Mummy Chicken
Materials Needed:
  • one chicken for every 4-6 students
  • plastic gloves
  • 26 oz. salt per group (each week)
  • 1/2 cup spices per group (each week)
  • paper towels
  • Zip-loc freezer strength bags (gallon size)
  • gauze strips
  • plastic containers to hold chicken in bag (in case of leakage)
  • one weight loss record sheet per group

1. Wearing gloves, students will remove entrails from the chicken and discard (they don’t embalm as well – they’ll stink even with the spices and drying process).
2. Weigh your chicken.
3. At a sink, thoroughly rinse both inside and outside of chicken. Do this until the liquid runs clear.
4. Using paper towels (many will be needed), dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out, especially under the legs and wings. This is critical, since any moisture can create problems with the mummification process.
5. Rub the 1/2 cup of spices all over the chicken (inside and out). Any mixture of sweet-smelling (and cheap) spices will do. The purpose is to mask the odor of the decay which is about to take place. We used cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. Buy the big containers at a "dollar" store.
6. Rub salt over the entire chicken, making sure that every inch is covered (and very dry).
7. Fill the cavity with salt.
8. Place the chicken in a Zip-loc bag. Seal the bag and place in a plastic tub (or bowl) in case the bag begins to leak. (As the process occurs, liquid will drain from the carcass).
9. Once a week for 4 or 5 weeks, open the bag and remove the chicken (be sure to wear gloves!). Weigh the chicken each time and record the weight. The chicken must be re-spiced, re-salted (inside the cavity and out), and replaced in a clean bag.
9. Repeat this process each week until no more liquid accumulates in the bag.
10. When the chicken is done, remove it from the bag. Weigh it one last time. Discuss their answers on the Weight Loss Record Sheet.11. Then wrap it in gauze strips or ripped muslin strips. Decorate with handmade "authentic" Egyptian amulets, medallions, jewels, etc.
12. Create a sarcophagus for the mummy using shoe boxes. Spray box with gravel paint. Decorate with hieroglyphics and pictures of Egyptian gods.