Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Embalming, the process of preserving bodies - human or other - from decaying by the use of medicaments. Many nations, including the ancient Peruvians of South America, have employed the art; but it is chiefly known to us from its use among the ancient Egyptians, owiug to the number of mummies which fill our museums. Herodotus gives some interesting details of the process, from the elaborate system employed by the wealthy to the comparatively simple one that served the turn of the poor. The Egyptians not only embalmed human bodies, but also those of their sacred crocodiles and cats, the latter of which a few years ago underwent the sacrilegious degradation of being shipped in quantities to Europe for manure, just as their masters have become a stock curiosity for museums, and, it is said, have before now served as fuel on the overland railway. The most usual form of embalming among the Egyptians was to remove the brain and viscera and to fill up the cavity with aromatic and bituminous substances, and to wrap the body in cloth steeped in resinous materials, and then put it in a highly ornamented coffin. The duration and completeness of the process depended, like the pomp of a modern funeral, upon the amount of money expended. Many modern systems of embalming have been employed, some of which profess to preserve the whole body - flesh, skeleton, and viscera alike. By one process the body is petrified, and a table has been constructed out of human remains, quite solid, and taking a high polish.