This is actually a really interesting answer, and one that can be answered through etymology! Etymology is the study of word origins, and is a common practice in linguistics, which is basically the study of languages.
So, knowing that, let’s look at the history of the word “mummy!” The word “mummy” is derived from the Medieval Latin “mumia,” which was translated from the Arabic “mumiyah,” which means embalmed body.
In popular use, any body that has been mummified no longer applies only to a body that has been ritually embalmed like those in Egypt, but to bodies that have been preserved naturally as well. This means that not every single skeleton found is actually referred to as a mummy. In fact, they’re usually just called “bodies” or “skeletons.” Mummies need to have a lot of moistures sucked out either through natural processes (salt, ash, dry climate) or ritual embalming.
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