Everyone is aware about mummified Egyptian pharaohs. Today, the researchers know that using ointment for mummification goes further back in time than it was previously though. As per the findings that were published in the PLOS One Journal, it is indicated that use of ointments dates back to 4,500 BC
The suggestion of the Egyptian mummies having appeared far earlier than were thought previously is not a new one. From this study, it is quite evident that his recipe for embalming has its existence 1,500 years earlier that what was believed.
The lead author, Jana Jones, writes that “ the most surprising and probably most sensational finding was that there was no fundamental change in the recipe of the embalming mixtures used when pharaonic mummification was at its peak some 2,500 or 3000 years later”
This means that the early Egyptians had developed an understanding of this science which would later become the basis of mummification.
A glimpse of the recipe that was used for mummification is also given by Jones. The recipes are quite complex and heating was done at very high temperatures. Jones writes that sugar, plant gum, pine resin, plant wax, aromatic plant extract and natural petroleum were mixed into a base of oil or fat. No one yet knows the exact source of these ingredients, but in future, a better picture on the sources of these ingredients will be painted by the research.
Jones further writes that it can be expected to be a base of something like a mixture of linseed oil that is mixed with animal fat, such as that from gazelle or hippopotamus.
She adds that “ the only differences lay in the introduction or substitution of an ingredient according to availability or to changing religions beliefs”.