Especially in ancient Egypt the fibre occupied a most important place, linen having been there not only generally worn by all classes, but it was the only material the priestly order was permitted to wear, while it was most extensively used as wrappings for embalmed bodies and for general purposes.
(2) The royal coffins and wrappings, which give information by the added graffiti recording their removals; (3) Royal tablets, which are of the highest value for history, as they often describe or imply historical events; (~.) Private tombs and tablets, which are in many cases biographical.
Later, the form was reproduced by elaborate external wrappings of the different parts of the body before the final swathing; later still, in the Ptolemaic age, by coarse padding with plenty of linen and pitch.
Thus the bituminous and fatty matters found about the mummies and their wrappings were employed as a sovereign remedy, particularly for wounds and contusions, and a brisk trade began in these "exudations" of mummies.
It is to be noted, however, that these limits apply to the living matter itself, and many of the apparent exceptions are due to cases in which the living matter is enclosed in protective wrappings capable of resisting heat and cold.