Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => Science Experiments => Topic started by: Sally Le Page on 24/06/2021 14:28:36

Title: Would Egyptian mummification be affected by temperature?
Post by: Sally Le Page on 24/06/2021 14:28:36
We got this question from Andy:

"I am a sophomore in high school and I would like to do an experiment for school. My experiment involves a demonstration of the mummification process as practiced by the ancient Egyptians but I'm open to other ideas as to how to mummify my specimen. For my specimen I would like to use a feeder rat or something of the sort so that I"m not infringed in any legal situations, and I intend to do more research on what is legal to do testing on so I won't have to worry about that. But with all my mental chatter out of the way, I would like to ask a question which I seem to be having a bit of trouble finding on the Internet. Would the mummification process be affected by temperature? I was thinking of burying the rat in a jar after it was covered by the mummifying substance. But I'm not sure if this is a good idea. My logic was that the Egyptians wouldn't have the means to keep their tombs warm, so keeping this thing in a cold environment wouldn't affect the process of mummification. I honestly have no idea at this point..."

Can you help?
Title: Re: Would Egyptian mummification be affected by temperature?
Post by: Just thinking on 04/07/2021 11:03:50
Hi, there have you considered the modern way that is using embalming fluid. apparently it is pumped throw the vascular system.
Title: Re: Would Egyptian mummification be affected by temperature?
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/07/2021 12:45:30

have you considered the modern way
Why would you if the plan was to consider mummification
as practiced by the ancient Egyptians
Title: Re: Would Egyptian mummification be affected by temperature?
Post by: Just thinking on 04/07/2021 13:10:39
Why would you if the plan was to consider mummification
Sally said she was open to other ideas. This is a way to preserve the body.
Title: Re: Would Egyptian mummification be affected by temperature?
Post by: Tomassci on 24/11/2021 11:44:55
Yes, it could theoretically affect mummification: The goal of mummification is to stop growth of bacteria and fungi, therefore stopping decay and decomposition and leaving the body in its state.

High temperatures inhibit any metabolic pathways and kill cells, which is why we boil things. Similiarly, low temperatures also stop any chemical reactions in decomposers.

If you do it around 20-40 C you might have a bad time on the other hand - this is the range where many bacteria prosper.