Making an ancient Egyptian pot and snail racing

This was the other part of AJ’s ancient egyptian project. Every museum, seems to have reconstructed pots, so we decided to have a go. Fortunately, I already had a broken flower pot, which I had let outside over the winter. Bedding plants had grown around it. AJ dug through the plants to find all the bits. Not quite the same as finding it on an archaeological dig, but fun all the same.

It was good fun piecing it all together. Like a 3-d jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces were there. We sellotaped it on the inside, to temporarily keep it together.

It was still fairly fragile, so we put another pot inside to make it easier to paint. AJ used acrylics to paint hieroglyphics and other patterns on to the pot. She made sure that she painted over the cracks, to give an impression that it was painted before it was broken. It would have been easier to use an unbroken pot, paint it and then break it. I’m too frugal to ignore a good use for my already broken pot. AJ allowed the pot to dry, before taking it to bits again.

I then used my glue gun to glue the pieces together again. The glue dried too quickly to tweak the joins, so two pieces would not fit back in. I’m sure there are lots of pots where all the pieces are never found. More realistic. Incidentally, did you know that museums use a water base glue on real ancient pots that are broken. That way, if they need to undo the pot, they can just wash the glue away. Clever, hey.

In between clay bead making and pot reconstruction, we had snail racing. The wet weather had brought them out. After a false start…..

…. two of them set off in the right direction. One of them was a non-starter. I am afraid to report that the race was declared a draw, soon after this photo was taken, due to all participants curling up in their shells and refusing to move.

The children were fascinated that the snail trails were broken up, like a dashed line. They watched how the snails moved in a wavy motion. I could hear the children hold their breathes as the first one appeared from its shell.

No snails were knowingly harmed in this activity. They were all released into the wild again and I am sure are enjoying recounting their racing exploits to any snail that will listen.

One thought on “Making an ancient Egyptian pot and snail racing

  • Wednesday 31 July, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Charming! Love your words and passage very much, you will sure be on my favorite blogger list!

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