Ancient Egypt – KQ5 – After-life lesson additional information – Dealing with sensitive issues

This supports the teaching of KQ5.

As you know, pupils get very excited by whole topic of mummification. Whilst we rejoice in this enthusiasm, there is a danger that important learning points will be overlooked in the excitement of all the activity. Many of your pupils follow religions which emphasise the importance of the afterlife. This may then make the lesson particularly sensitive and, potentially, controversial.

So it’s important to find time for pupils to quietly reflect. You might use the two iconic images of ushabti figures and mummified bodies to focus their thinking. Here are a couple of threads, amongst many, which you might like to pursue.

Should ushabti have been removed from their tomb and placed in museums in this and other countries across the world? Pupils usually reply that the ushabti should have been left there, because “it was important to Egyptian beliefs about what they needed in the afterlife.” Similar questions could be asked about mummies.

Should they be displayed? After all we don’t display did bodies from today’s societies in museums 

Pupils will probably answer in a variety of ways., such as:

  • If we unwrap the body it may not be preserved
  • If I
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