SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Four-thousand years ago, ancient Egyptians believed that mummifying a person ensured safe passage to the afterlife. Now, a religious group in the United States is selling an updated version of the ancient art.
Nearly 140 people have signed with Summum in Salt Lake City to be mummified once they die, at a cost of $63,000 US.
The group says there’s no point shopping around; it’s the only company in the world that offers the service.
Modern mummification mimics how it was done back when the ancient pyramids were being built.
The body is cleaned, the blood is drained and the internal organs are removed before it’s soaked for as long as six months in preservation fluid. It’s covered with lanolin and wrapped in gauze.
Then a coat of polyurethane membrane is added, which forms a tough rubber layer around the body, which is then wrapped in fibreglass bandages.
For one last layer of protection, the body is sealed inside what’s called a mummiform, a bronze or stainless steel container that’s shaped like a person and decorated to reflect the person locked inside.
Summum has yet to mummify a human body. It has mummified several pets.