A closer look at mummification

Two ancient limestone blocks discovered in Matariya Thursday November 22, A mummification workshop and a communal burial place, dating to the Saite-Persian Period B. Angy Essam Sun, Jul.

A closer look at mummification

On a deeper level, myths serve to explain the world view of a people.

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In Lesson 1students make inferences in order to gain an acute understanding of the belief system of ancient Egyptians by analyzing some of their myths and comparing myths from other cultures. In Lesson 2students examine the mummification and burial practices of ancient Egypt and compare and contrast with the burial practices of other cultures.

Initiate a discussion with students asking: What is a myth? Have students share examples of myths that they know and create a definition based on what they share.

Compare this explanation with one from the dictionary.

A closer look at mummification

Read a version of Isis and Osiris and ask if this falls into the category of myth that they just created. Ask students what the main idea or message is of this myth? Have students read over the myth again in a group and come up with as many inferences that they can about life and culture in ancient Egypt.

Students can continue to explore other myths to uncover and compare beliefs and rituals of other cultures. Focus on a specific topic death, creation and have each group research a myth from a specific culture.

Using the jigsaw strategy, one member from each group an expert in their cultural myth will present it to their new group where each cultural myth is being represented.

Students will explore this detailed process through on-line resources to better understand the mysteries of Egyptian burial traditions. Students will make comparisons between other cultures and challenge preconceived notions regarding ancient rituals and current practices.


Have students use descriptive words to express their initial thoughts about mummification as a burial ritual. You can create a class mind map to record student ideas.

These will be revisited. As they begin to understand the beginnings of the ritual of mummification, they will record questions they have regarding the actual process.

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