Look Out Below

Duck Mummy

Dr. Diane Hanson, a University of Alaska at Anchorage anthropology professor, had her Fall 2007 Rise of Civilization class do some research to create an artifact that one might find in one of the primary civilizations of the world (i.e. Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, Indus River, Inka, Maya, etc.).

Many of the students came up with ingenious project ideas. Some of the more memorable ones involved pottery, quipu, and the top mention in my book was a student who made beer with an ancient Egyptian recipe and the prayer that went along with it.

One student, Tracey Rose, used a female mallard duck to create a duck mummy she called, Duckshepsut, after Hatshepsut.

All the mummy “preparatory” photographs shown in this set are from Tracey, who generously let me display them. The final photograph is my own. This duck mummy is still resting in its shoe-box sarcophagus in Dr. Hanson’s office for going on 6 years.

The duck was not killed for this project. It was found dead and was scavenged. Its body had already been donated to science. Before it came to be a part of this project it was on its way to be a part of the collections at the Alaska Consortium of Zooarchaeologists of which I am a proud member.

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