Salts and special drying solutions played important roles in preserving mummies, but they also served another purpose.
Before refrigerators and freezers, people had to preserve food by pickling, drying, salting, and smoking.
Visit a local food store and see how many foods you can find that have been preserved the same way as mummies.
Try your hand at drying different fruits.
How do the textures and tastes compare?
Find out how hard it is to reconstruct pottery at an archaeological site.
Assemble five or six old clay flower pots and decorate them on the outside with either magic marker or paint.
Try to make each design distinctive.
Now, place all the pots into a large paper bag and close the top.
With a hammer, gently bang on the pots inside the bag until they are all broken into pieces.
Next, shake the bag several times and dump out half the pieces.
Using white glue, try to reassemble as many of the original pots as you can.
How do you look inside something without opening it up?
This is a problem that archaeologists face every time they find a new mummy.
To get an idea of how tough this really is, try the following activity.
Take an old shoe box with a lid and have a friend place a "mystery object" inside.
Tape the lid closed and try to figure out what's inside by sliding it back and forth, shining a light in it, tapping on it with a pencil, etc.
The only thing you can't do is open it up and look inside!