Cliffe Castle and the Ancient Egyptians

Cliffe Castle and the Ancient Egyptians

Year 4 pupils enjoyed a visit to the Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley today, as part of their ‘Temple, Tombs and Treasures’ IPC topic.

Whilst the large museum is home to a wide variety of displays, which include; local fossils, mounted birds and mammals, original furnished rooms complete with old toys and domestic items of their day, pupils were particularly drawn to the Egyptian Exhibition.

They took part in an ‘Egyptian Mummification’ workshop and were intrigued to find out how Ancient Egyptians prepared their dead for the afterlife. They also investigated how the mummy in the Cliffe Castle’s collection met her death.

Using a life sized fabric body, pupils were guided through the gruesome process of mummification used by the Ancient Egyptians. Many pupils offered a ‘hands-on’ role; some carried the body, some carefully removed the organs and prepared the canopic jars, whilst others wrapped the body and provided spells for the journey to the afterlife.

Pupils also enjoyed dressing as Egyptian gods and playing the role of Anubis, the Greek jackel-headed god associated with mummification. The workshop concluded with the opportunity to handle real Shabti figures which would have been placed in the original Egyptian tombs to act as servants for the deceased, should he/she be called upon to do manual labour in the afterlife. Pupils were then guided through the various Egyptians artefacts and mummies on display.