Mummification is the art of preserving a body after it has ceased living. It is often referred to with human remains, but any body can be mummified successfully. The earliest accounts of mummification come from Ancient Egypt, where they would preserve the body as best as possible and wrap the body in gauze to protect it in the burial coffin from the wild animals of the desert.
The Ancient Egyptians had a number of additional inventions that dominated their culture as well. Here is a look at some of them that exist to this day.
1. Makeup for the Eyes
Eye makeup has been around for over 6,000 years thanks to the Ancient Egyptians. Some of the techniques that they pioneered are even still used today. The first makeup was made from galena and soot to create the striking black features that are in detail on the artifacts that are on display today. It wasn’t just for fashion that eye makeup was worn either. The Egyptians believed that it could cure them of eye diseases.
2. Written Language
Although the Egyptian language is depicted in hieroglyphics and there are cave paintings that are thought to be more than 24,000 years older than Egyptian society, the Ancient Egyptians were the first to really make a collection of symbols represent something specific to everyone in society.
The Egyptians needed to have a seasonal calendar in order to understand when the Nile River would be prepared for flooding. The first calendar had three main seasons instead of four, based on the growing, harvest, and inundation seasons. Each season had 4 months and each moth was given 30 days. To make up the extra 5 days, there was a week of religious holidays that were placed after the season of harvest to celebrate the children of their gods.
4. Breath Mints
Dental health was difficult for the Egyptians because flecks of stone would get into the flour that was being ground down for food. Over time, the enamel of the teeth would grind off and dental infections were found to be quite common. To stop the bad breath that comes from poor dental hygiene, breath mints were invented that included honey, cinnamon, and myrrh so that the unpleasant odors didn’t have to be smelled.
5. Door Locks
The earliest door locks date back 6,000 years as well and was a basic pin and tumbler lock. Doors bolts were connected to pins that can be altered with the help of a key. The first locks could be more than 2 feet in size, but this technology stayed in place almost to the time of the Roman Empire because they were so effective at securing a door.
Because dental health was killing off Egyptians left and right, early toothpaste from eggshells, pumice, and other ingredients became part of ritual tooth care. Toothpicks have also been found with mummies in burial chambers and early papyrus toothbrushes have also been found.
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