You’d think there were tons of mummies in the world considering how routine it was in ancient Egypt. We should be up to our ears in damn mummies. The only reason why we are not is that we ate them.
“We” naturally refer to the Europeans who “discovered” them and then turned around and mocked the cultures from which they stole “savages” as cannibals, in a breathtaking representation of the pot that calls the kettle a pot. Due to an unfortunate mistranslation or a simple pseudo-science, the whites believed in the Middle Ages that mummies had healing properties, and crushed them and used them in medicine. These drugs were usually given orally, probably because mummies are a great way to get a literal blood curse.
It was such a popular treatment that eventually the mummy supply ran out and only every corpse would suffice. It was known that King Charles II drank a potion of alcohol and a crushed human skull and was from then on the most gothic king. Poor people who couldn’t afford to buy corpses to eat came to public executions and haggled over a cup of the condemned blood. Even Da Vinci, usually a decidedly un- ???? Gwyneth Paltrowish man of science, was thrilled. The practice didn’t get out of favor until the 18th century, when people found out how illness works (it turned out to be germs all the time), but mummy powder was in German medical catalogs until the early 20th century to find. That’s right: we’re only about as far from Charlie Chaplin as we’re from prescription mom.
Upper picture: Keith Schengili-Roberts / Wiki Commons