Please answer the following questions with as much detail and personal insight as you can. You will want
to review them before viewing the exhibition so you know what to look for:
1. Describe five ritual objects used by Egyptians to help people reach the afterlife, or to make their life
better once they are there. Describe the objects themselves, and how they are used.
2. What was the function of the masks that were placed on mummies? What is different about the “Fayum
Portrait” as compared to the others on display? What accounts for this difference (think about the influence
of other cultures on Egypt)?
3. Describe the stages in the process of mummification.
4. What are amulets, and what was their purpose? Give three specific examples.
5. How has scientific technologies helped us better understand the nature of mummies, the people who
made them, and the people (i.e. the dead individuals whose bodies we study)? Discuss the use of new
technologies in this area, and what they have enabled us learn (be specific with the types of facts we can
learn as a result, and also how it helps us preserve mummies while still allowing us to study them).
6. Discuss how a coffin (or sarcophagus) can give us information (with specific reference to the coffin of
Tenthonsu). What is communicated by this coffin? Through what process is one reborn? Describe.
7. Aside from humans, what other animals were often mummified? What was the purpose of this?
8. What gods are represented with an ibis (skinny bird) head, and with a jackel head? What was the
purpose of each in Egyptian mythology?
9. What was the role of inscribed names?
10. Describe the role of votive figures in Egyptian rituals.
Once you have finished answering all of the questions, write an academic ESSAY of between 1000
and 1500 words on the following topic:
When looking at mummies in a museum, we need to remember that they are the dead bodies of
actual people. How do you feel about looking at them? Is the way they are displayed respectful?
When are bodies “historic” enough that we disregard the sanctity of their burials? Imagine that one
of these mummies was one of your close relatives. Would this change your opinion on the validity of
this sort of display? Why or why not? Take a position on this argument investigating the
compromise between scientific and historical value versus human dignity.
WHAT YOU WILL TURN IN (in a folder of some sort to keep it organized):
1. A selfie in front of the entrance to the exhibition at the Natural History museum
2. All hand written notes taken while viewing the Mummy exhibition.
3. Answers to all questions, typed (the more detail and insight, the better).
4. An ESSAY using information derived from your notes and answers to the questions (not merely
a list of answers) and additional research, 1000-1250 words in length. Again, this must be written according
to MLA guidelines for writing research papers. Your essay should have a thesis statement, show clear
development, have good organization, and impeccable citing of sources. Remember, 10-20% of your paper
SHOULD be direct quotation. The rest should be your own wording, but ALWAYS reference information
from other sources