A complete guide to the ancient Egyptian way of death. Mummies are synonymous with ancient Egypt and have long gripped the popular imagination through highly publicized archaeological discoveries and macabre horror films. For the ancient Egyptians, however, mummification was essential to secure eternal life. So too was a full set of magical "machinery," comprising at its most elaborate a chapel, a sarcophagus, coffins, masks, amulets, jewelry, furniture, ritual objects, and canopic jars (the containers for mummified intestines). This fascinating, fully illustrated account surveys the entire panoply of Egyptian burial practices over 3000 years. It first examines burial rites and tomb development, from the Giza pyramids to the underground chambers in the Valley of the Kings. Great discoveries are described, including the earliest explorations of Tutankhamun's magnificent tomb and the most recent detective work using X-rays and CAT scans. The second part of the book provides the most detailed survey ever of burial practices during the pharaonic era. Working from the mummy outwards, Salima Ikram and Aidan Dodson reveal the evolution of methods for treating the body, wrapping it, adorning it, and sheltering it. They give for the first time a comprehensive account of the development of mummy masks, coffins, sarcophagi, and canopic equipment. All the latest research on the subject is incorporated, some carried out by the authors themselves. The book's exceptional reference section includes descriptions of every known royal mummy, and a 700-entry bibliography that lists every significant work on the subject. With hundreds of photographs and specially drawn diagrams, this is the most authoritative publication ever on the Egyptian way of death.