The Mummy Quiz @ Mummy Tombs

Quiz Answer 4


Myth 4. Mummies are always buried the same way.

Fact: Mummies are buried in two different ways.


People generally visualize mummies wrapped in linen bandages, fitted into decorated coffins, and hidden in dusty tombs. Numerous movies and books have por­trayed mummies in exactly this way.

Although it is true that many intentional Egyptian mummies look like this, some were wrapped only in a reed mat. As for accidental mummies and most intentional mummies of the world, they are buried quite differently. They may be dressed in clothes or be naked. They may be placed in tombs, put into baskets, or stretched out on large wooden platforms.

What mummies do share is the position in which they are buried. In fact, almost all mummies are found in one of two positions. Sometimes the body is flexed, either tightly or loosely; that is, it is drawn up into a fetal position. A tightly flexed mummy is curled up into a ball, while a loosely flexed mummy will look much more relaxed. A flexed mummy can be seated, kneeling, or reclining. Other times the body is extended; that is, stretched out. For example, intentional Egyptian mummies are always in extended positions, though Egyptologist Thomas Pettigrew noted that the position of their arms can vary:

The arms are found either lying along the sides of the body, the palms of the hands in contact with the thighs, or placed upon the groins, or brought forward in contact with each other, or they are placed across the breast, or, as in some rare instances, one arm extended along the side of the body, while the other is carried across the chest.

On the other hand, accidental Egyptian mummies uncovered in the sand are almost always in flexed positions.


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