Why are there so many ‘mummies’ in Western museums?

Primary History article

By Richard Harris, published 7th November 2023

Richard Harris invites us to consider how the teaching of ancient Egypt can be decolonised by considering non-Western perspectives. The article provides a fascinating viewpoint on this popular period of history and shares examples of how this can be explored with children.

One of the joys of working in history education is the opportunity to support the development and thinking of others, which at times can take all of us outside our comfort zones. In this instance, I had been working with staff from Rathfern Primary School in Lewisham, who are passionate about teaching history, particularly about decolonising the curriculum. They were however struggling to think how they  could decolonise their teaching of ancient Egypt, as the period covered by the topic was a long time before any Western colonial intervention!  They were however keen for me to develop some materials and run a workshop for their local network of schools...

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