WRAPPED FOR ETERNITY: The Story of the Egyptian Mummy by Mildred Mastin Pace

WRAPPED FOR ETERNITY: The Story of the Egyptian Mummy

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a deceptively casual tone Pace conveys an appreciation of the mummy's lessons for scientists and historians as well as its fascination for curiosity and treasure seekers. First Egyptologist Kenneth Jay Linsner, whose own experience of unwrapping a mummy while still a college student forms an instructive later chapter, suggests that Egyptians practiced mummification, not because they worshipped death, but because they ""loved life so much that they thought of the afterworld as a copy of this one."" Then Pace continues, surveying the process itself, the centuries of tomb robbing (often, she speculates, to provide the poor thief with the means for his own proper burial) and, finally, the grisly medieval reliance on powdered mummy as a medical cure-all. The mummies' importance to archaeologists seeking to expand our knowledge of Egyptian culture in general and of the preserved rulers in particular, and to scientists who have dissected and X-rayed them to learn more about the history of disease is stressed throughout. Unlike Georgess McHargue (Mummies, KR, 1972) Pace pays scant attention to accidental or natural mummies, an emphasis which reflects her more Serious intentions but no lack of the shivery appeal which makes mummies universally popular.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1974
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: McGraw-Hill