Image: Illustration, 'Native Tombs', 1847

Illustration, 'Native Tombs', 1847

Plate 40. Native Tombs, and Modes of Disposing of their Dead. George French Angus, South Australia Illustrated. 1847.

© Australian Museum Research Library


n certain parts of Australia, mummification was sometimes one part of body disposal, and was not necessarily the final stage. The body of the deceased was sometimes placed on a platform in a tree and exposed to sunlight causing it to dry out. This could also be achieved through smoke-drying, or a combination of the two. Sometimes the internal organs were removed and the cavity packed with grass or other items. Sometimes the orifices were sewn shut to speed the preservation process. In many cases, the corpse was intended to be preserved only for a short time, until all mortuary and mourning rites were completed.

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Tags Death Online, disposing of the dead, Indigenous Australians, preservation, burial, South Australia, illustration,