We are up to our elbows in Egypt history over here, and having a ball. I admit when I first saw the story of the world activity guide, I wrote it off as something I would never ever want to do. On first glance it looked like all narration and review question and busywork and NO fun
I. Was. Wrong.
I don’t know why I tried to hold out on this book- it’s pretty amazing. It takes the Story of the World book and brings it to a whole new awesome level. A level where we get to keep dead animals in a Tupperware for weeks.
(this is fun, I promise)
May I introduce you to Cluckinkamun, Chicken Pharaoh extraordinaire, and soon to be super rad mummy.
When I first read the directions for this project I knew we HAD to do it. I was also grossed out. So, I did what I always do, I googled the assignment for some tips and tricks from the wise mama’s who have homeschooled before me.
They suggested I use a Cornish hen, or an apple instead of a full grown chicken, and a Tupperware instead of ziplock bags like the instructions recommend.
Clearly, we ignored their suggestions for a Cornish hen. I tried, but how can you say no to a little boy when you take him to the grocery store and he insists that the full sized chicken is much more “pharaoh-y” than the measly Cornish hens, and our mummy has to be a KING. And then he jumps up and down when he finds the PERFECT King Cluck.
I rounded up all the supplies and looked like a crazy person with my loot.
Now, here is how we mummified Cluckinkamun-
First, you have to rip out that bad boys guts. Ours had some “stuff”… I couldn’t even begin to tell you what it was, but it smelled. I had planned to be that awesome mom who also mummifies the organs and puts them in canopic jars- you know, to keep it as historically accurate as possible, but as I stood over the dead chicken, with stinky guts in my hand, I thought *screw it*…. The chicken is gross enough without mummifying a miniature chicken heart.
We washed Cluckinkamun in a warm bath, and then Bug patted him dry very carefully. Next, the Egyptians would wash the body with wine, but I am not wasting the good stuff on a chicken, Pharoah chicken or NOT, so we washed ours in rubbing alcohol.
This made the whole thing seem less chicken-y and much more clinical. The smell of the rubber gloves and rubbing alcohol reminded me of the dentist. Which was really strange and not really relevant. But it’s true. Chicken mixed with Rubber and Alcohol= dentist.
Then, we mixed up salt, baking soda, and baking powder. The activity guide explains that this is because the salt that the Egyptians used, and the table salt we have today are composed of slightly different chemicals. In order to keep our chicken from becoming a stinky, decaying mess, we have to make our salt like the original, hence the mix.
After he was all bathed and rubbed down with alcohol, we stuffed him full of the salt mixture, then placed him (and a LOT more salt) in a Tupperware, where he will hang out until he is “done”. I have no idea when that will be, or really what he will look like.
Luckily, we like surprises. Even in the form of mummified chicken carcasses.
Wish us luck, I’ll keep you updated with his *erm* “progress”!