The Ancient Egyptians lived their whole life preparing for death. Their elaborate belief system meant that life after death held promises of wonders impossible in this world. Death, burial and mummification seemed a good, if not unusual place to start our study of Ancient Egypt.
We used these books for our study:
First we learnt about death and its importance in Ancient Egypt. We looked at all the things that remain from Ancient Egypt today and how they all revolved around the gods and the after life. We learnt about mummification:
And built our own paper mummies:
We mummified an apple and then took the decision to mummify a chicken. This wasn’t going to be any chicken. We got the local butcher on board and he managed to get hold of a whole chicken, head, feet and insides all present and untouched. It was a laying chicken which had reached the end of its natural life and was not destined for the table (my brother has been a passionate vegetarian all his life and my mum is mostly vegetarian with an utter love for animals.) Familial peer pressure would allow for no less!
Our wonderful butcher very kindly took out the insides for us, without damaging the chicken’s exterior at all. He laid out the innards for us to identify. We made canopic jars by painting baby food jars and sticking the appropriate god to each (which we got from an ancient Egyptian Toob play set). The innards were placed in those and sealed NEVER to be opened again!
We took the rest of the chicken home and followed instructions to mummify it.
- We cleaned it with alcohol. We used a cheap Vodka:
- We then dried him thoroughly:
- We made a mixture of salt and baking powder and filled the insides until full:
- We filled a bag full of the mixture and popped in the chicken, making sure he was fully covered:
Loving Gary’s face! The things he does in the name of education!!
- We left the mixture to dry out the chicken, changing it as it became damp. Once the mixture was continuously dry we removed the chicken, which by now was very arid and stiff:
- We wrapped it in strips of linen:
I’m really enjoying looking back at old photos of all we’ve done!