Embalming is the art and science of preserving human remains by treating them (in its modern form with chemicals) to forestall decomposition. This is usually to make the deceased suitable for public or private viewing as part of the funeral ceremony or keep them preserved for medical purposes in an anatomical laboratory. The three goals of embalming are sanitization, presentation, and preservation, with restoration being an important additional factor in some instances. Performed successfully, embalming can help preserve the body for a duration of many years. Embalming has a very long and cross-cultural history, with many cultures giving the embalming processes a greater religious meaning.
Animal remains can also be embalmed by similar methods, but embalming is distinct from taxidermy. Embalming preserves the body intact, whereas taxidermy is the recreation of an animal's form often using only the creature's skin mounted on an anatomical form.