Birmingham Museums for Kids

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Ancient Egypt - Investigate real Egyptian artefacts

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Let's find out about some real Egyptian artefacts. You can see lots more objects on display at Birmigham Museum and Art Gallery.

A Shabti Figure Made From Sandstone A Shabti
Shabti figures were statuettes, usually in the form of a mummy. The Egyptians believed that these would magically carry out any work they had to do in the 'afterlife' (when thay had died). Often 365 shabti figures were placed in a tomb that's one for each day of the year!
A Wooden Headrest A Headrest
This wooden object was used as a type of Egyptian pillow. It doesn't look very comfortable because the padding is missing from the part that touches your head. Some were plain and some were beautifully carved. Headrests were also used to support the heads of the dead to keep evil spirits from entering from the ground, into the body.
A Circular, Metal Mirror A Mirror
The mirror is made out of a metal called bronze which is a mixture of copper and tin. The scientific name for a mixture of metals is 'alloy'. The mirror was made by beating a lump of bronze until it was as thin as a sheet of cardboard. Then it was polished to make it shiny enough to reflect the light back from your face. Sometimes these mirrors had handles made out of bone or ivory.
An Amulet in the Shape of 'The Eye of Horus' An Amulet - The Eye of Horus
An amulet could also be called a lucky charm. They were often made to represent one of the many different gods that the Egyptians believed in. This amulet represents 'Horus' who was one of the most powerful gods. He had a man's body and a hawk's head.
Alot of amulets have been found in Egyptian tombs as they were wrapped up with body in order to protect it from evil.
A Blue Beaded Necklace A Necklace
The egyptians loved to decorate their bodies with jewellery. This necklace is made from pottery beads called 'faience'. Poorer people wore jewellery made from clay or bone. Richer people had more elaborate jewellery made from bronze, silver or gold.
A Make-up Pot A Make-up Pot
Both men and women used special powders and pastes to cover their skin. The make-up was not only worn to make them look attractive but also to protect them from the hot climate - quite similar to how we use sun cream today.
This pot may have stored 'Khol' - black makeup that the Egyptians used to decorate their eyes.
A Senet Playing Piece

A Senet Playing Piece

Egyptians like to amuse themselves by playing a board game called 'Senet'. This is a playing piece from the game. It's about 3cm high. You can try senet out for yourself in the Egypt Gallery at Birmingham Museum or play some paper based Egyptian games from the printables section of the website.

Printable Egyptian activities | Egyptian timeline | Explore real mummies


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