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The mummy displays a highly sophisticated mummification technique, and at around 5,500 years old is older than any comparable Ancient Egyptian mummy.The monks of Palermo in Sicily began mummifying their dead in 1599, and gradually other members of the community wished to have their bodies preserved as a status symbol.
The Capuchin catacombs of Palermo contain thousands of bodies, many which are clothed and standing, however in many cases the preservation was not successful with only the skeleton and clothing surviving.Although Egyptian mummies are the most famous, the oldest mummies recorded are the Chinchorro mummies from northern Chile and southern Peru.Also among the oldest is Uan Muhuggiag which is a place in the central Sahara, and the name of the mummy of a small boy found there in 1958 by Professor Fabrizio Mori.Desert conditions can naturally preserve bodies so it is uncertain whether the mummification was intentional or not.However, since Ginger was buried with some pottery vessels it is likely that the mummification was a result of preservation techniques of those burying him.This individual, nicknamed ‘Ginger’ because of the color of his hair, is not internationally renowned despite being older than other famous mummies, such as Rameses II or Seti I.
Currently on display in the British Museum, Ginger was discovered buried in hot desert sand.Stones might have been piled on top to prevent the corpse from being eaten by jackals and other scavengers and the pottery might have held food and drink which was later believed to sustain the deceased during the journey to the other world.While there are no written records of religion from that time, the beliefs of those who buried Ginger could have resembled the later religion to some extent.Many ancient civilizations believed in life after death, mummifying those who had died to guarantee the soul passage into the next life.Different civilizations had their own rituals to that end.A mummy is a corpse whose skin and flesh have been preserved by either intentional or incidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or lack of air when bodies are submerged in bogs.