A man with a keen (and very strange) interest in the ancient Egyptian form of body preservation technique known as “mummification” actually let a reality show mummify his dead body after he passed away from a terminal illness.

He is not expected to be identified until next week when his family will explain why he agreed to be part of the show. The programme will make television history when it airs on Monday, October 24, as a scientific embalming experiment is unprecedented.

A team of pioneering scientists were brought together to perform the little-known technique used by the ancient embalmers at one of the UK’s leading pathology laboratories. It is understood the man’s body remained in excellent condition when it was examined months after the experiment.

Researchers concentrated on the techniques used on Tutankhamun, whose body was mummified during Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. The Pharoah’s body was remarkably preserved more than 3,000 years later when his tomb was found in 1922.

Egyptian embalmers left few clues about their ingredients, but it is known that embalming took 70 days, with 15 days of that spent cleansing and purifying the body, 40 days spent drying it and 15 days spent on wrapping, bandaging and art work.

The Egyptians were able to ‘mummify’ bodies for longer than any other civilisation, and are believed to have used resins found only in Burma – more than 4,000 miles from Egypt.

In recent years, chemical analysis of a shrine from the 18th Dynasty by German scientists found that the body had been preserved with cedar wood extract.

Ancient Egyptians believed the preservation of the body after death was essential because it would be needed for the journey to the afterlife.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: ‘Using a secret and complex blend of ingredients and processes, embalmers managed to stop decomposition almost entirely.’

In 2010, Channel 4 stoked controversy after advertising for a terminally-ill volunteer to take part in the project.

The advert they published read: ‘We are currently keen to talk to someone who, faced with the knowledge of their own terminal illness and all that it entails, would nonetheless consider undergoing the process of an ancient Egyptian embalming.’

It was said payment would not be made, but that costs would be covered.



All of this begs the following question though:

Has reality TV gone too far?

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