Where did the Egyptian word “mummy” originate, as in mummification?
The word “mummy” is not of Egyptian origin, but is derived from the Arabic mumiyah, which means “body preserved by wax or bitumen.” This term was used because of an Arab misconception of the methods used by the Egyptians in preserving their dead. The actual process of embalming as practiced in ancient Egypt was governed by definite religious ritual. A period of seventy days was required for the preparation of the mummy, and each step in the procedure was co-ordinated with relevant priestly ceremonies. The embalmers’ shop might be a fixed place, as in the case of those connected with the larger temples. Often, however, it was a movable onersometimes a tent–which could be set up near the home of the deceased.