Dec
01
2009

Make the better choice- go with all natural mummification. The Dead Sea Scrolls did.

Mummy Juanita: This mummy was found on a mountain top in Chile, naturally mummified by the cold, dry conditions.
Mummy Juanita: This mummy was found on a mountain top in Chile, naturally mummified by the cold, dry conditions.Courtesy Wikimedia
Mummification sounds like a lot of work. You have to carefully remove organs, cover and pack the body with salt (natron), dry and wrap each organ, wait 40 days, then do what you can to make the resulting dried-out corpse smell somewhat tolerable…then there’s that whole wrapping process. Whew! There’s got to be an easier way! If only there was a hands-free way to mummify people, like Ron Popeil’s “Set it and forget it” Showtime Rotisserie. Luckily there is! Nature does a wonderful job of mummifying people and animals. Environmental conditions such as extreme cold, salinity (saltiness), acidity, and aridity (dryness) can all result in natural mummification. This is the case with bog bodies. Bog bodies are… well… bodies found in bogs. But not just any bogs, bogs where a combination of acidic water, cold temperatures, and lack of oxygen are enough to preserve the tissue, essentially pickling the body. So this type of mummification occurs in damp/wet conditions, but another way in which nature preserves human and animal tissue is through extreme cold and dry conditions. There are mummies found in Peru and Chile from the Inca period that were preserved this way. Certain young girls from the Inca Empire were sacrificed and placed at the summits of mountains in the Andes. Some archaeologists believe this was part of a ritual honoring Apus, the Inca mountain god. The cold, dry conditions on these summits desiccated the bodies and maintained the hair, blood, and in some cases even the contents of the stomach!

The psalms scroll
The psalms scrollCourtesy wikimedia
Although not really considered “mummies” (because they are not living organisms), objects can be “mummified” or preserved in this manner as well. The case of the Dead Sea Scrolls is an example. The scrolls are made of papyrus as well as animal skins, and were found in caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea, near Qumran. The average annual rainfall for this region is about 3 inches (Minnesota averages 26 inches and our driest state, Nevada, averages about 8 inches), and the average summer temperatures range from 90-102°F. These extreme conditions were major factors that contributed to the preservation of the scrolls for 2,000 years! It’s amazing what setting it and forgetting it can do. Not only can it result in the best rotisserie chicken you’ve ever had in your life, but also in preserving history. So the next time you have to make that all too common decision about how to mummify something, just remember there’s the hard way and then there’s nature’s way.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hi how did the dead sea scrolls get found

posted on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 2:21pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Some shepards were tending their flocks when one of there goats ran away. While they were chasing the goat they fell upon some pottery.One of them opened a jug they found the scrolls. That is the best way I can explain it.

posted on Fri, 04/02/2010 - 7:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

some shearpard was following a sheep tossed a rock in a cave allong the dead sea and just hit one of the jars hope I helped!

posted on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 3:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

that is amazing

posted on Sat, 06/26/2010 - 6:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

they were found by a sheperd in 1947 in a cave.

posted on Mon, 07/19/2010 - 11:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It is super weird that some shepards would find the scrolls, but of course, they were near the caves. Man, just to think that Jesus Christ was living in that time! I am really aching to know who wrote the scrolls, maybe that question will never be answered?

posted on Fri, 04/02/2010 - 7:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

where are the dead sea scrolls from.
are they all over the world?

posted on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 1:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

who wantss to be mummified

posted on Sun, 04/18/2010 - 1:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this sounds cool.

posted on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

we were just dying to hear that

posted on Thu, 08/05/2010 - 3:37pm
Josh $'s picture
Josh $ says:

Yeah...I'd have to agree with 4/18/10...who DOES want to mummified?! I mean, it's not like its exactly your life ambition...

posted on Fri, 05/28/2010 - 5:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think it would be rather cool to be mummified. That way later on my family can put me in their house as a decoration. :) Gives you something to think about huh?? You could even put a tape recorder of your voice inside and a motion detector so when a family member walks by you talk to them and its like you never even died!!! SaWEET!!

posted on Sat, 06/19/2010 - 12:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

they were found by a shepard supposedly looking for goat or sheep.but when he didnt find his sheep or goat, he threw three rocks and heard pottery clashing. he went isside and made the most important arceological discovery of the twentieth century. but years later other shepards found two whole scrolls and 50,000 fragments.they also found 11 other caves. scientists have also been using the latest tecnology to put all of the 50,000 fragments together. it has also been 2,000 years so dont expect it to take 6 months or so.

posted on Mon, 07/19/2010 - 11:57am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

salutations fellow readers i found this mumification stuff rather interesting and it bafumbles as to why we dont use this same process still? write me back

posted on Thu, 08/05/2010 - 7:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how old are the dead sea scrolls

posted on Mon, 08/23/2010 - 4:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS ARE OLDER THAN THE BIBLE.

posted on Tue, 08/24/2010 - 11:30am
Anonymous!!!'s picture
Anonymous!!! says:

The Dead Sea Scrolls are very old and were found by a shepard who accidently found a cave and looked inside and the found the scrolls. It wasn't intentional... he didn't mean to find them. It's not like he was trying to,but he did. I would think that would be sooo cool to find something like that.

posted on Sat, 09/25/2010 - 4:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The dead sea scrolls are awesome &I wish that I lived here.

posted on Thu, 10/14/2010 - 1:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Mummy Juanita was found in Peru.. not Chile...get the facts right!

posted on Mon, 08/01/2011 - 7:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i thought it was found in southern Peru at least thats what wikipedia

posted on Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:39am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options