have been found that were mummified as a natural consequence of climatic conditions.
Various methods have been employed by different peoples in the preparation of mummies. The method usually depended upon the state of civilization and the ability of surviving friends to defray the expense incurred. Among the poorer classes the bodies were dried by salt or natron, or left entirely covered with salt for seventy days, after which they were inclosed by wrappings of coarse cloth and placed in the catacombs. The most complicated operations were employed in embalming the bodies of the rich and distinguished. In the common method it was required that the entrails be removed through an opening in the side, though the heart and kidneys were left within the body, and the brain was taken out through the nostrils. The body was carefully shaved, washed, and soon after brought in contact with the necessary salts and spices, the process depending largely upon the ability to pay the expense. Powerful drugs were used in effecting passage into the various cavities, of the skull and different portions of the body, while in some cases the nails were gilded and the toes and fingers were incased in costly inclosures of gold.
After all necessary rites and chemical treatments were completed, the bodies were carefully wrapped with bandages of linen. These bandages were extremely coarse for the poorer classes, while the finest India muslin was used for the wealthy. The strips were from two to four inches wide, and from 700 to 1,250 yards long. After the toes and fingers were carefully wrapped, the limbs were similarly inclosed, and finally a firm wrapping was made around the entire body, in many cases from fifteen to twenty thicknesses being utilized. The face was the object of especial care and was treated with a coat of fine plaster and various costly chemicals. It is thought that embalmers of cities often had from 500 to 800 corpses in their mortuaries, since it required considerable time to complete the entire process. The cost of high-class embalming was very expensive, depending entirely upon the value of the chemicals, perfume, and ornaments used. Usually the rich were provided with mummy cases, the more expensive consisting of three parts, the sarcophagus or coffin, the outer mummy case.