Egypt unveils pharaonic 'brain drain' bed

Mar 19, 2009

Egyptian antiquities authorities on Thursday revealed an ancient pharaonic embalming bed unearthed from a mysterious tomb near Luxor used to prepare bodies for mummification more than 3,000 years ago.

The wooden was painstakingly restored after being discovered in pieces in the KV-63 tomb in southern Egypt's famous Valley of the Kings, next to Tutankhamun's tomb, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement.

The bed, featuring carved heads of a lion and a lioness at its foot, slopes downwards five centimetres (two inches) from head to toe to help drain bodies being prepared for mummification.

Bodies had their organs removed as soon as possible after death, including the brain which was thrown away as it was thought to serve no purpose in the afterlife.

The heart was left in the body, with other organs cleaned, perfumed and preserved in jars to be buried with the .

Afterwards, the corpse spent 40 days on the bed for draining of fluids, and another 15 days being bandaged.

Antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass said in a statement that the 170-cm- (68-inch-) long bed had been reconstructed from pieces of wood found scattered around tomb KV-63.

Luxor antiquities director Mansour Bouriq told AFP that unlike most beds found in , this one was not ceremonial but actually used for embalming.

"We believe this was a room used for embalming because we found some embalming materials, including herbs, oils and pottery vessels," he said.

Tomb KV-63 was discovered by Egyptian and US in 2006, the first to be found in the area in more than 80 years.

It is believed to date from the 8th (1570-1304 BC), although there was no mummy found inside to enable the tomb to be dated more precisely.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Ancient wheat points to Stone Age trading links

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China discovers 1,700-year-old tomb

Dec 26, 2006

Archaeologists have found a 1,700-year-old tomb dating back to the Jin Dynasty at a construction site in China's Jiangxi Province.

Study: King Tut liked red wine best

Oct 27, 2005

A University of Barcelona research team has discovered Egypt's King Tutankhamun was partial to wine, preferring red over white.

Recommended for you

Ancient wheat points to Stone Age trading links

Feb 26, 2015

(AP)—Britons may have discovered a taste for bread thousands of years earlier than previously thought, thanks to trade with more advanced neighbors on the European continent.

Who's your daddy? Hippo ancestry unveiled

Feb 24, 2015

A great-great grandfather of the hippopotamus likely swam from Asia to Africa some 35 million years ago, long before the arrival of the lion, rhino, zebra and giraffe, researchers said Tuesday.

CT scan taken of mummified remains in statue

Feb 24, 2015

(Phys.org) —A CT scan and endoscopy have revealed a master's mummy inside a Buddha statue. These were mummified remains of an ancient Buddhist monk who lived during the 11th or 12th century. Investigations ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.