Thank you all very kindly for your helpful replies!
>But why would you assume that it's all one thing or another?
>Honey may well have been involved as were many other
>process, procedures and chemicals.
**Oh yes, in my opinion the legend of a king who was burried
in a coffin or a big jar [sic] filled with honey goes back on
something more down to earth, namely on the words of some
Classical writers about Mesopotamian funerary rites:
Herodotus (Histories I,198) says about the Babylonians that "with
them, the dead are entombed in honey and their lamentations are
about the same as those of the Egyptians".
Strabo (Geography 16.1.20) says that the Assyrians "bewail the
dead, like the Egyptians and many other nations. They bury the
body in honey, first besmearing it with wax."
As Alexander died in Babylon, these words were applied to
him, and were taken too literally. For I presume that the dead
were only "annointed" or "embalmed" with wax and (perfumed?)
>Cant recall if mummification was used.
It is not explicitly mentioned in ancient texts, but many scholars
Alexander's funerary rites in Babylon took quite a while,
as the cart on which he was placed was very luxuruous.
On this cart his body made a 'tour' through his realm.
Classical opinions on what the final destination was (Macedonia
or Egypt) differ, but Ptolemy of Egypt 'kidnapped' the
body in Syria and buried it in Memphis, later transfering
it to Alexandria - and it was lost from history there after the
3rd c. AD. Before that, Roman Emperors were said to visit
the tomb and gaze at the body, and the later Augustus even
accidentally broke off a piece of the nose.... Anyway, the
lenghty tour alone seems to have required some kind of
mummification or embalming, and the same for the exhibition.