While we study Ancient Egypt at our homeschool co-op, we want to bring it alive for young and old alike. We watched David Down’s archaeology video Pyramids of Ancient Egypt to learn more about various dynasties, pharaohs, and pyramids.
I told the children about the mummies I saw at the British museum. It was fascinating the way you could see inside the clothes with an X-ray machine. How on earth did the Egyptians know how to preserve a body so that thousands of years later, you it would still hold its shape?
The next step was to make our own mummies.
Don’t worry! We did not use real people or animals. We used my old Barbie® dolls.
Mummies from the British Museum
How to Make Your Own Barbie Mummies
Sarah read the real mummification process aloud and we adapted it, giving directions to the children who acted it out with the dolls.
By the way, we left their clothes on to keep everything modest. We laid the cut-out body organs on top of the dolls where they belonged.
Steps in the Mummification Process
We just put the paper clip near the nose and pretended to pull out the brain. Then we moved the brain off the face.
Step Two: Remove all the internal organs through an incision on the left side of the body near the waist. Leave the heart inside the body. The Egyptians believed that the heart was where the soul resided.
Step Three: Let the internal organs dry.
We removed all the organs laying on the dolls stomach, except the heart. We put all the cut-out organs in a baby food jar.
Step Five: Rinse the inside of the body with wine and spices.
We did not do this but mentioned it.
Step Six: Cover the body with Natron, a special kind of salt, for 70 days.
We did not do this, but discussed it.
The kids stuffed a tiny bit of toilet paper under their clothes.
Step Eight: After 70 days, wrap the body from head to toe in bandages.
This was their favorite part! The kids wrapped and wrapped those dolls in toilet paper.
Step Nine: Place a face mask on the mummy to ready it for burial.
We just used cut out face masks. We taped it to the mummy doll.
Step Ten: Place the mummy in a Sarcophagus, a special type of stone coffin.
We placed the mummy dolls in clear and cardboard shoe boxes.
Step Eleven: If the person was a pharaoh or very rich person, they would be placed inside a burial chamber. The chamber would be filled with treasure and any items thought needed for the after-life. They would also write about their good deeds on the walls of the burial chambers. Pharaoh’s burial chambers are inside pyramids.
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Don't forget that history should be fun.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)