How to ‘mummify ‘a tomato…
We have been studying ancient Egypt this term, and in particular have been fascinated by the process of mummification. We want to see if we can emulate this process using a tomato and household items. Why not give it a try at home?
The ancient Egyptians would wash the body before removing the internal organs (except for the heart).
Step 1: With a knife and spoon, remove the seeds and the inside of the tomato. Be careful, this step can get a bit messy!
Step 2: Clean your tomato using alcohol gel, before measuring it’s start mass. The mass of the tomato will then be measured again at the end.
The ancient Egyptians would pack the body before using a substance called natron in order to draw the moisture from the flesh of bodies. In order to mimic this we used a mixture of salt and bicarbonate of soda.
Step 3: Pack the tomato with a mixture of salt and bicarbonate of soda, before leaving it to ‘bathe’ in more of the mixture.
We left one tomato ‘untreated’ to act as a control for our experiment.
Week 1 results!
After a week, we definitely noticed a difference between the ‘mummified’ and ‘not mummified’ tomato. The first thing we saw was that the ‘not mummified’ tomato had started to develop lesions of mould, whilst the ‘mummified’ tomato had not. Both had lost moisture, however the ‘mummified’ tomato had lost a significant amount of water in comparison. This was based on how it looked, and felt.
Week 2 results!
After two weeks we can see that the ‘not mummified tomato’ (on the left) is covered in mould, whilst the ‘mummified’ tomato (on the right) has been preserved by the mixture of salt and bicarbonate of soda.