5 Mummy Facts That’ll Blow Your Brain Out Your Nose
Happy mummy week! To celebrate the new mummy movie — The Mummy, starring the Cruise Missile, which is a remake of The Mummy which was a remake of The Mummy — I’m going to share some of my favorite mummy facts that I learned while researching my best-selling mummy romance novel Unwrap My Heart.
In the original 1932 movie The Mummy, he wasn’t an action-monster like today. After being accidentally awakened, Imhotep just put on a trench coat and passed for a totally-not-dead archaeologist who somehow just knew where all the best undiscovered temples were. Ah, the good old days.
In the higher-end mummification processes, Egyptian priests removed the deceased’s brain (with a straw, through the nose, obvs) but they left the heart because they believed the heart was the center of a beings intelligence. That’s why the best mummy characters are all heart and no brain.
Scientists have been able to find chemicals in the hair of Peruvian mummies that teach us about their lives: the hormone cortisol shows they were stressed out and the presence of the hallucinogenic drug harmine shows they got high, presumably to deal with the stress.
Mummies were so abundant, they were sold as souvenirs in Egypt up until the early 1900s. Some aristocrats held “unwrapping parties” which is a fun European word meaning “corpse desecration”.
Ground up mummies were used extensively in medicines in the 16th and 17th century, though as they got harder to get, chemists just used bodies of recently executed criminals. Ground up mummies were also used in paint pigments until 1964, event though Mummy Brown wasn’t a great color, fading quickly.
The point here is mummies aren’t the monsters, we are.