Made famous by the 1999 movie The Mummy. The Hom-Dai was the act of mummifying a person alive. It was reserved for the most severe of blasphemers.
The act involved tying up the condemned, cutting out their tongue, wrapping them in linen and placing him/her in a sarcophagus and sealing it. But not before throwing thousands of flesh-eating Scarabs in for good measure.
But was this act ever carried out? Or is it just Hollywood make-believe?
It is a common misconception that a young prince, called Pentawer was mummified alive. He was involved in a plot to kill his own father - Ramesses III. He succeeded - but he was caught.
His mummy looks as though he is perpetually ‘screaming’. His vital organs were not placed into Canopic Jars and his brain was not removed.
Studies show that, as he was a high ranking royal member, he was either ordered to take his own life or was strangled to death as punishment.
No clear cases have been found that suggest an ancient Egyptian was mummified alive. After all, the whole act of mummification is to ensure that the dead reach the afterlife in one piece.
Why would the ancient Egyptians mummify someone alive if they didn’t want them to reach the afterlife?
Still...it wouldn’t be very pleasant.