Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Harrogate Museums and Arts, Harrogate Borough Council.

 
This is a step by step guide to Ancient Egyptian Mummification. Mummification is the process of preserving a dead body. A mummy is the preserved body of a dead person. 

 

National Curriculum Links

  • KS2 History:  Ancient Egypt: the achievements of the earliest civilisations. 

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the steps of the mummification process, and about the many treasures found in Ancient Egyptian tombs.
  • Understanding of how artefacts from the past can reveal information about how people used to live, and how modern science can reveal even more detail to help us learn about the past.
  • Develop skills to use primary history materials alongside historical artefacts to discover more about the past; to learn about the durability of different materials.
  • Be inspired to discover more about Ancient Egyptian society and culture and beliefs; to discover more about how science helps us learn in many different subject areas.

Discussion and Activity Ideas:

  • Why are these things in the tombs?  What were they put there for?    
  • If you were taking things to an Afterlife, what would your treasures be?
  • Amulets were used in daily life and taken to the Afterlife. Do you have a lucky charm that you carry with you or take to special occasions e.g. to help you play well at a football match? 
  • Design an amulet, or protective charm for yourself, or a friend or family member. 
  • Look closely at the photographs of the artefacts in the story resources section. 
    • Without reading the information, can you work out what material(s) each one is made from? 
      Think about how long different materials last.  Materials that rot or break easily are not very likely to survive thousands of years.
  • A common material in Ancient Egyptian artefacts is faience.  Can you find out more about this material and why it was used so much?
  • Museums keep records of the artefacts they look after.  They record lots of details, such as: where the artefact has come from; what materials it is made from; the size of it; its condition so if it has a crack or broken bit.  Create a record about one of the Ancient Egyptian artefacts, or something in your house or classroom.
  • Design your own mummy mask.  What patterns will you use?  What will you want it to show about you?

 

A bit more Information

Why does Harrogate have these collections?
Harrogate's collection of Egyptology is internationally important and was donated by two local collectors: Benjamin Kent (1884-1968) and James Roberts Ogden (1866-1940).  Their collections were created in the late 19th century and  early 20th century at a time when there was much research and excavation at the ancient sites in Egypt.

Benjamin, or Benny, Kent was a farmer from Tatefield Hall in Beckwithshaw, just outside Harrogate. 

Benny inherited his interest in archaeology, and much of the collection, from his father Bramley Kent.  Bramley had a particular interest in ancient Egypt and was acquainted with the so-called 'father of Egyptology' W. M. Flinders Petrie.  Bramley travelled far and wide to buy Egyptian objects.  He also purchased items at auction.  On his death he donated his collection, including the mummy coffin and Anubis mask.

Yorkshire-born jeweller James Roberts Ogden donated a collection of Egyptology including jewellery and gold death mask. 

As with Kent, Ogden was friendly with prominent archaeologists of his day, and was one of the specialists working for Howard Carter during the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen during the 1920s.

 

More about the Science…
Egyptology: Scientific Investigation was an innovative project in the late 2000s, which used cutting-edge science to discover more about ancient Egypt through objects.

Harrogate Museums worked with Dr Stephen Buckley and Dr Joann Fletcher from the University of York. 

 Tiny samples can reveal important information about what objects were used for and where their contents came from.  They can date objects and find out the different materials that make up objects.