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Students dig up mummies

The M1 students of Clearwater Middle School recently became archeologists for a day, digging up mummies to learn more about archaeology and Ancient Egypt only these mummies were chickens.

As part of their Social Studies Curriculum, the students are required to study a variety of different people and their cultures of the early civilizations.

Social Studies teacher Denika Jones, explained, “Many of these, such as the Babylonians, Sumerians, Assyrians and Ancient Egyptians, lived long ago and their cultures are no longer present. As a result we must rely on archaeologists to help us uncover the mysteries of these past people.

“In an attempt to help our students better understand how an archaeologist is able to learn about prehistoric and ancient historic times, we actually become archaeologists for a day.”

Students were a bit sceptical at first, but soon got excited about the project and may even have considered archaeology as a career opportunity.

Students had a lot of positive things to say about this activity.

“This activity helped me to think that maybe I could be an archaeologist. Even though it was dirty and stinky, I had fun,” said Kyanna Bramwell.

“I enjoyed this particular day because we got to find clues and put them together to find out about what the particular person we dug up was like”, stated Jalen Franklin.

The activity was also kept organised Jada Simmons-Trott explained, “We got into groups, and Mrs Wade said to pick a number to get the mummy we wanted.”

There were an number of challenges, as Jarryd Simmons pointed out: “We were able to find all of the pieces of the coffin to put back together, but it just kept falling apart.”

Clues were also used decide upon the mummies' genders. “I liked our group” Seandra Burchall stated, “because we decided that the person was a girl because she had a key chain that said, ‘I love to cheer' and some bracelets.”

The process in fact began about nine months earlier with the previous year's M1s. In June 2010, teachers worked with students to actually create mummies using store bought Cornish Hens and then using the mummifying process of ancient Egyptians. Over a period of six weeks, during the summer term of the last academic year, students prepared the hens for burial and developed a personality and added items to the boxes to describe what their “person” was like in life.

The mummies were then buried in small wooden boxes by M1 teacher, Mrs Wade. It is these mummies that the current M1s dug up.

The M1s are also looking forward to their next curriculum unit when they get to create a new generation of mummies. “I enjoyed this activity, and I look forward to making my own mummy and coffin when we study ancient Egypt in May,” enthused M1 student Deaje Trott.

Some of the Clearwater Middle School students who dug up mummies as they learned about archaeology.

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Published March 31, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 31, 2011 at 9:20 am)

Students dig up mummies

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