A History of Egyptian Mummies: And an Account of the Worship and Embalming of the Sacred Animals by the Egyptians

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First published in 1834, this work was an important early contribution to the emerging field of Egyptology in Britain. It united the twin passions of its author, the noted surgeon and antiquarian Thomas Joseph Pettigrew (1791-1865), who made a name for himself by unrolling and autopsying mummies: his London home was the scene of well-attended parties during which he would impress his guests with such displays. In the present work, Pettigrew delves into the history, technique and ritual of mummification in a depth that had never been attempted before, notably extending the coverage beyond ancient Egypt to other societies and eras. Describing the beliefs that informed these practices, the work also addresses the Egyptians' worship and embalming of animals such as bulls, dogs and hawks. Based on numerous examinations and years of study, this work stood as a landmark in the scientific and historical understanding of these funerary rites.