Table of Contents
What type of salt is natron?
Natron is a chemical salt (Na2CO3), which was used by the ancient Bronze Age societies in the eastern Mediterranean for a wide range of purposes, most importantly as an ingredient in making glass, and as a preservative used in making mummies.
What is natron salt used for during mummification?
Natron, a disinfectant and desiccating agent, was the main ingredient used in the mummification process. A compound of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (salt and baking soda), natron essentially dried out the corpse.
What is the English word for natron?
(Chem) bicarbonate of soda; (= Backzutat) bicarbonate of soda, baking soda, bicarb (inf)
What is the definition of natron salt?
: a hydrous native sodium carbonate used in ancient times in embalming, in ceramic pastes, and as a cleansing agent.
Can you drink natron?
The corrosive water would continue burning your mouth, esophagus and stomach. So if you continued drinking the salty Lake Natron water, your body would make you pee more water than you drank. This would make you dehydrated. And the more salty water you drank, the thirstier and more dehydrated you would become.
Is natron poisonous?
The extreme waters of Tanzania’s Lake Natron are as deadly as they are beautiful. Water flows into the lake, but doesn’t have an outlet to drain out of. As a consequence, as the water evaporates, it leaves behind high concentrations of salt—making it a salt lake, like the Dead Sea.
Why did the Egyptians use natron?
Natron or native soda, a natural compound of sodium salts, was a very important product in ancient history. It was produced in Egypt, Middle East and Greece. Natron was used for medicine, cookery, agriculture, in glass-making and to dehydrate egyptian mummies.
What kind of salt was used in mummification?
This they did by covering the body with natron, a type of salt which has great drying properties, and by placing additional natron packets inside the body. When the body had dried out completely, embalmers removed the internal packets and lightly washed the natron off the body.
What is special about Lake Natron?
Unlike those other lakes, though, Lake Natron is extremely alkaline, due to high amounts of the chemical natron (a mix of sodium carbonate and baking soda) in the water. The water’s pH has been measured as high as 10.5—nearly as high as ammonia. Frequently, though, migrating birds crash into the lake’s surface.
How many days was a corpse soaked in salt before it was wrapped in bandages?
Unlike the hot sand that dried the earliest Egyptian mummies, the salty natron absorbed moisture without severely darkening and hardening the skin. The embalmers left the body in the powder for 35 to 40 days to allow enough time for the body to dry completely.
Why do Egyptians use salt?
Salt was used to preserve Egyptian mummies. In many cultures, salt plays a vital part in religious ritual, symbolizing purity.
What’s the difference between natrium and sodium carbonate?
Natrium is the Latin name for the chemical element having atomic number 11. The common name for this chemical element is sodium, as published in 1814 by Jons Jacob Berzelius. The Latin name Natrium refers to the Egyptian natron, which is a natural mineral salt mainly consisting of hydrated sodium carbonate. The chemical symbol for sodium is Na.
How are natron and sodium carbonate minerals formed?
Geological occurrence. Geologically, the mineral natron as well as the historical natron are formed as transpiro- evaporite minerals, i.e. crystallizing during the drying up of salt lakes rich in sodium carbonate. The sodium carbonate is usually formed by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by a highly alkaline,…
What was the original purpose of natron salt?
Historical natron was harvested directly as a salt mixture from dry lake beds in ancient Egypt, and has been used for thousands of years as a cleaning product for both the home and body. Blended with oil, it was an early form of soap. It softens water while removing oil and grease.
What does the term natron mean in mineralogy?
In modern mineralogy the term natron has come to mean only the sodium carbonate decahydrate (hydrated soda ash) that makes up most of the historical salt. Historical natron was harvested directly as a salt mixture from dry lake beds in ancient Egypt, and has been used for thousands of years as a cleaning product for both the home and body.