(NewsGlobal.com)- A study published in Nature found that after researchers examined the contents of a previously discovered embalming workshop, some of the mysteries surrounding the mixtures and procedures used by ancient Egyptian embalmers became clearer.
In 2016, an archaeologist made a unique discovery of the workshop where Egyptians prepared their dead for embalming. The chamber was built Between 664 and 525 BC. One hundred twenty-one beakers and bowls were inside the workshop, similar to the King Unas pyramid.
A report shows senior study author and Max Planck Institute professor of prehistoric archeology Phillip Stockhammer said he was fascinated with this chemical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians.
At a press briefing, study co-author Mahmoud Bahgat, a biochemist at Egypt’s National Research Centre in Cairo, raised the question of how the ancient Egyptians developed specific embalming procedures and recipes and why they chose certain ingredients over others.
Stockhammer observed that much of the pottery in the workshop was labeled with ingredients and instructions. From the discovery, researchers selected 22 bowls and nine beakers with the most legible labels for organic residue analysis.
The discovery showed animal fats, beeswax, pistachio tree resin, cedar, cypress, and juniper oils were among the identified substances.
The researchers discovered that some mixtures had been heated or carefully distilled.
In 21 of the 31 vessels, juniper and cypress oil or tar were the most prevalent. Cedar oil or tar was discovered in 19 vessels, making it the second most common material.
The bowl containing animal fat and elemi derived from the Canarium tree perfumed the body, while other materials reportedly possessed microbial properties.
Most of the ingredients used came from distant lands, and the study concludes that this indicates a nearly global trade network with the Egyptians.
According to the research, while scientists have studied and examined various embalming materials through historical texts and mummies, this is reportedly the first time they have been able to investigate materials found at the site where the mummification process took place.