A mummy is a corpse whose skin and flesh have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or airlessness. Ancient Egyptians used chemicals—natural salts—to dry their corpses. Basically, when all moisture is removed from a corpse, it becomes a mummy. The Egyptians used natron—a naturally-occurring desiccant.
A desiccant is a substance that has a high affinity for water and is used as a drying agent. The earliest known “mummy” dates back to approximately 3300 BC. This mummy is at the British Museum in London, England and has been given the nickname of “Ginger” because of its red hair. “Ginger” was found buried beneath the hot, dry desert sand which preserved the body.
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