We met this mummy at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. We appreciate their giving us permission to take and use these photos. Read more about this mummy on the Nelson-Atkins website.
Mummifying the bodies of people when they died was a way that the ancient Egyptians showed respect to their family members. We also have funeral customs intended to show respect. Read basic information from the Smithsonian, and discuss funerary customs in Ancient Egypt and in your community.
Mummies are human remains, prepared in a special way and then placed in a special case like this one. Mummify an apple to get an idea of the process, or take the project to the next level and mummify a chicken.
The mummy wore a mask made from the face of the person who had died. Though this was called a death mask, you can use Plast’r Craft Plaster Impregnated Gauze Strips to make life masks from your students’ faces. Artrageous gives step by step instructions.
The mummy was buried with everything he or she might need for life in the next world, including plenty of servants, in miniature. Use Model Magic to create some grave goods – it’s light, clean, and air dries overnight. You can paint it or color it with markers.
A final case for a mummy has paintings on it.Notice that the paintings are very flat looking, repetitive, and rhythmic. Challenge students to decorate a box with paintings like this, and to put their mummy inside the box along with all its grave goods and accessories.
These projects make a great classroom display, whether you choose just one or go through the whole series.
The mummies of Egypt have allowed us to learn a lot about the lives of the people of ancient Egypt. Many art objects were preserved in the arid tombs of the pharoahs. Archaeologists have been able to examine the grave goods to learn about daily life, the paintings to gain a better understanding of the religious beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians, and the human remains to learn more about the medical knowledge of the time. Learn more about how modern technology let the Nelson-Atkins discover more about the mummy shown above:
“Modern Science Reveals Secrets” explains how forensic artists joined with the museum and medical experts to gain an understanding of the person behind the mummy.
Some people have been very superstitious about mummies, though. Learn about The Mummy’s Curse and the scientific method at the same time with a lesson on the deaths following the opening of King Tut’s tomb.
Add a bit of math with Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry, a mild adventure with clues related to geometric shapes. Set up an online mummy themed math game in the computer center for fast finishers. Neither of these resources increases your knowledge of mummies, but you have to do some math practice anyway, don’t you, so why not go with the theme?