People often ask me, “How long will a good embalming job last?  Will the body still be preserved in 100 years?”

There’s a lot of factors that go into the equation.

One major consideration in the longevity of an embalmed corpse is the climate it’s in.  If it’s in a dry, arid environment it has a longer chance of lasting (example, the Egyptian mummies).  Moisture is the kryptonite of an embalmed corpse.  If the corpse is embalmed hard and is placed in a dry environment, it can last and last.

Here’s an example of a body that’s been deprived of moisture, having been buried in a frozen condition:

Via National Geographic (Photos below):

The mummy, called La Doncella or The Maiden, is that of a teenage girl who died more than 500 years ago in a ritual sacrifice in the Andes Mountains.

The girl and two other children were left on a mountaintop to succumb to the cold as offerings to the gods, according to the archaeologists who found the mummified remains in Argentina in 1999.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Johan Reinhard, who co-led the expedition, described the discovery at the time as “the best preserved of any mummy I’ve seen.” (National Geographic News is a division of the National Geographic Society.)


It’s very possible, given the right environment and arid conditions that an embalmed body could last for a couple hundred years.  It’s possible, although it’s very unlikely.




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