How museum collections make ancient Egypt, and the people who lived there, real

Primary History article

By Rosanna Evans, published 22nd June 2022

Instead of mummies made with loo roll: how museum collections make ancient Egypt real

It’s a safe bet that ancient Egypt is one of the most exciting topics on the primary history curriculum. But that can come with misunderstandings of a complex 3,000-year-long history and an accomplished group of people, embedded by the sensationalised, gory, and othering approach often shown when ancient Egypt features in popular games, films and TV shows.

Museum visits and experiences with collections are an incredible way to bring awe and wonder to your history teaching. They offer authentic experiences with tangible items that connect students to the broad range of real people that made and used such things. For the learning team at the Fitzwilliam Museum, this is never more impactful than when we teach our most popular school session on ancient Egypt. The closure of the museum during the pandemic gave us the opportunity to focus our intentions and broaden our offer. We worked with teachers and curators to consider how using real artefacts might help us to tackle some of the common challenges we face when teaching ancient Egypt to children...

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