One of the most notable civilizations to inhabit the early Middle East is that of the Israelites. Notable not because of the influence that they had in their own time, but rather because of the almost incomparable influence that they have had throughout history.
Billions and billions of people throughout the ages have believed in religions that are all based on the beliefs originally put forth by the Israelites. The Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths all get their heritage from them.
The surest way to lose a friend is tell him something for his own good.
The process of mummification in Egypt involved removing all moisture and internal organs, then drying the body and anointing it with various preserving chemicals.