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Sunday, 6 January 2013

It's a wrap!

I have to hand in my project tomorrow so this is what I did yesterday

Wiped natron off fish and scraped out from inside, It would have been better if the fish could have been in it for a bit longer. The end of the tail fell off. This kind of thing happened in Ancient Egypt too. Filled inside of fish with woodshavings.

Cut some cotton into strips like bandages. Soaked them in some PVA glue diluted with water which is not authentic but I did not have enough time to get enough resin and melt it down.

Squeezed bandages as dry as possible. Wrapped fish in a piece of cotton and then wrapped it in the bandages. Covered it in woodshavings to try to take moisture out of the bandages.

I wrapped some of the guts in the cotton, with some woodshavings and put them in the canopic jar and sealed it with PVA.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Mummified fish

This is a picture which I took at the British Museum which gave me the idea to mummify a fish.
The things I have read about mummification say that after mummifying the body it was washed and then wrapped in cloth that had been soaked in resin to help it keep its shape. I can get some resin but not enough to soak the cloths in so I will have to think of something similar or that will do the same job.

Nearly Finished Mummy!

There are lots of different sources of information about mummification and they don't agree about how long the process takes eg some say 40 days, some 70, some 90. In a damp English autumn and winter it should probably take even longer if you want your mummy to last for hundreds of years. My fish has only been mummifying for around 60 days but there are only 3 days until I have to hand it in so I will have to start getting it ready now.

It does seem dried out but the inside probably needs more drying. The guts are a bit like leather. It does still smell but not as bad.

The fish and guts before mummifying.
Here is a picture of it after 2 months and the picture of it before it was mummified is on the right so you can see the difference.

My fish after mummifying.
Here is a close-up of the mummified fish intestines

I am not sure yet how I am going to get them into my canopic jar. 
I thought they would shrink more than they did and I don't know
if they will all fit into my jar.
That is something else I have learned from this. Check the size
of your guts before you make your canopic jar.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Natural Mummies

The Ancient Egyptians probably got the idea of how to mummify bodies from the naturally mummified bodies which were created by the minerals in the dry sand. Some of these natural mummies still survive. There is a very old one on display at the British Museum which is called Gebelein Man (because that was the name of the place where it was found). This has recently been CAT scanned to help find out how the man died and the image has been put on display so that visitors to the British Museum can help solve the mystery. He was stabbed in the back.

To find out about the autopsy follow this link

Monday, 24 December 2012


Thanks to everyone who has viewed the blog.
Never thought that the blog would become this popular.

Only two weeks left if you want to send me any questions.

Merry Christmas

Lake Natron

There is a large lake in Tanzania called Lake Natron which is very alkali because of the sodium minerals in it. The soda in the lake helps the flamingoes who breed there. To find out how, follow the link.

See Lake Natron here
see it here

Four Week's Fish

This week I took the fish out of the natron and replaced it with new natron and inside the fish too.
The natron had gone a bit yellow and damp.  When I put the fish in the new natron, I did not put the lid back on the box, so I put it in the shed because it smells too much to put it in the house. This is the first picture of the mummifying guts. I don't think they are all going to fit in the canopic jar I have made as they have not shrunk as much as I expected them to.