We've unearthed mummy upon mummy from Egypt, the oldest dating back to 3500 B.C., but one thing has remained a bit of a mystery: what does the mummification process actually entail from a surgical point of view? How did they remove the brains, guts, and other vital organs—what tools did they use and how did they train for it? One anthropologist thinks he's found out.
Much like a 46-million-year-old mosquito fossilized mid-meal, Egyptian mummification has long provided us embalmed snapshots of an ancient way of life. Just last week, we found out why King Tut's mummy had not been preserved in the most kingly fashion: his body seemingly experienced ignition inside its sarcophagus due to a flammable cocktail of oxygen, embalming oils, and combustible linens.