Before I go any further, I’ll set your mind at ease: no, it did not stink. This is the most common question asked about the project, and I can attest to it not being a stinky project, even in hot weather.
We followed the directions in the Story of the World Activity Guide. Our ingredient list was surprisingly small: baking soda, baking powder, salt, rubbing alcohol, spices, and one (small) chicken.
After cleaning our chicken thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, we created the salt/soda drying mixture. We added in some ground spices to make sure that our noses wouldn’t be deeply offended by the process.
Then we immersed the chicken in the drying mixture inside of a sealed plastic container.
The mixture had to be changed frequently at first, but after a couple of weeks we just had to check on it every week or so. Any guests who showed up at our home during the mummification process had the thrilling pleasure of viewing and participating in the process of changing the mummy’s drying mixture.
Meanwhile, Grandpa taught the girls how to use tools to make a sarcophagus for our chicken mummy.
We wrapped the mummified chicken, now regally named “Chickeny Chicken Bumps,” in strips of cloth and put it in the sarcophagus.
The lid had to be carefully nailed on.
After the sarcophagus was lowered into a hole that Daddy had dug, the girls covered it and created a pyramid of bricks over top. They had to use a level to figure out if the pyramid was going to be stable enough.
A couple of months after starting, we had an entombed chicken mummy! And none of us will ever, ever forget how mummies were made.