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According to a new article in the journal Nature, a group of researchers has analyzed the residue of embalming ingredients from vessels found in an embalming workshop discovered at Saqqara. The workshop was found underground near the pyramid of Unas and was initially excavated in 2016. Dating to the 26th Dynasty (ca. 664–525 BC), the workshop was in excellent condition, with approximately 100 vessels surviving, many of which were labeled with their contents and information regarding their uses, delineating which substances were for washing the body, reducing odor, softening the skin, etc. The researchers performed chemical analysis on the residues in the vessels and discovered that some of the substances came from as far away as the eastern Mediterranean and Asian or African rainforests. This discovery will help scholars understand the process of embalming in the seventh century BC and how it is different from embalming practices in earlier periods of Egyptian history. The Bible records that both Jacob (Gn 50:2) and Joseph (Gn 50:26) were embalmed when they died.


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