Ancient Egypt: The Afterlife

The Afterlife
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Slide 1: Slide
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This lesson contains 30 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

The Afterlife

Slide 1 - Slide

What you will learn in 
this lesson
  • what the Egyptian afterlife was
  • why Egyptians wanted to preserve the bodies of their dead
  • what mummification is
  • why Egyptians mummified people
  • how Egyptians mummified people
  • how rich people were buried differently than poor people

Slide 2 - Slide

The Afterlife
The Egyptians believed in an afterlife. They thought people who had led a good life went to the 'Fields of laru'. This was a sort of heaven that looked like Egypt - but everything was perfect. They wanted to preserve the dead person’s body for them to use in the afterlife. 

Slide 4 - Slide

The Afterlife
The Egyptians also buried their dead with as many grave goods as possible. The earliest Egyptians buried people directly in the hot desert sand. This absorbed the fluid from the body and preserved it. Later people were buried in coffins. The sand could not dry them out. They rotted. 

So the Egyptians found a new way to preserve the body: mummification.

Slide 5 - Slide

1. What are the 'Fields of Iaru'?
a place in Egypt
a place much like Egypt
the place where Egyptians went after they died
a field where Egyptians buried their dead

Slide 6 - Quiz

2. Why did Egyptians want to preserve a dead person's body?

Slide 7 - Open question

mummification (1)
Specially trained embalmers washed the body, then they took the organs out (including the brain), so there was less soft tissue to rot. Everything but the heart and brain were put in canopic jars and buried with the mummy. 
The embalmers then covered the body in a salt called natron for between a week and 70 days. Once the body had dried out it was given to priests for the next stage of the process. 

Slide 8 - Slide

mummification (2) 
 The priests wrapped the mummy in bandages soaked in oil. As they wrapped, they said prayers and put amulets in the wrapping. 
The more important a person was, the more wrapping and amulets they were given. Pharaohs were wrapped in over 400 sq m of linen.

Slide 9 - Slide

Slide 10 - Slide

3a. According to the text, what is the correct order of these pictures?

Slide 11 - Quiz

3b. Not every Egyptian person was mummified
after he / she died.
Why not?
Mummification was an expensive process, so only wealthy people could afford it.
Not all Egyptians believed that you needed your complete body in the afterlife.
The pharaoh picked the people who were going to be mummified himself.
The gods did not want too many mummies in the Fields of Iaru

Slide 12 - Quiz

funeral (1) 
While the body was being mummified, the family of the dead person had to get the tomb and grave goods ready. The funeral had to be held as soon as the body was mummified: within 70 days at the most. Most people began to get their tombs ready while they were still young, so that they had far more time to have the tomb dug and painted and the grave goods made. 

Slide 13 - Slide

funeral (2) 
 From the Middle Kingdom onwards, most people were buried with as many possessions as the family could manage. Poor people, who could not afford much of a funeral, still buried people directly into the hot sand. Their grave goods were simple: a loaf of bread, a string of beads and a home-carved shabti figure. Shabtis were models of servants (see picture). They were put in tombs to work for the dead person in the afterlife. 

Slide 14 - Slide

4. Why did many healthy young people start building their own tomb?

Slide 15 - Open question

5. What was a shabti and why would a pharaoh have more shabtis than a poor person?

Slide 16 - Open question

Source A
First, they pull the brain out through the nostrils with a metal hook. They flush out the remains with drugs. Next, they make a cut in the side with a knife and take out all of the internal organs. They clean out the body, rinsing it with palm wine and powdered spices. Then they stitch it up again. They cover the corpse with natron for 70 days and so mummify it. Then they wash the corpse and wrap it from head to toe in linen bandages covered in the 
finest gum. Finally, the relatives put it in a human-shaped coffin and store it in a burial chamber. This is the most expensive method of preparing the dead. 
A description of mummification written by the Greek writer, Herotodus (picture) who visited Egypt in about 450 BC.

click here for more information about Herodotus

Slide 17 - Slide

6a. When was this source written?
3500 years ago
4500 years ago
2500 years ago
1500 years ago

Slide 18 - Quiz

Use the information from the website about Herodotus (previous slide).

6b. Write down the most important information about Herodotus.
Include date of birth & death, birthplace, his travels, the book he wrote and why he is called the "father of history".

Slide 19 - Open question

Source B

Look at these objects, then answer the next 2 questions.

Slide 20 - Slide

7a. these objects are examples of:
canopic jars
shabti figures
mummified animals
statues of gods

Slide 21 - Quiz

7b. what were they used for?
to serve the dead in the afterlife
to store the dead person's organs
they were toys, so the dead person would not get bored
they represented the dead person's family members

Slide 22 - Quiz

click here
to play the Mummy Maker game

Slide 23 - Slide


  • desert
  • mummification
  • embalmers
  • canopic jars
  • amulets

all these words are in the glossary in your textbook, from page 138 ..

Slide 24 - Slide

Copy this in your notebook and fill in the gaps.
Summary Lesson 1.9

Egyptians believed in an ___________. They also believed that a dead person needed his _________ in the afterlife. Therefore it was important to ____________ a dead body and bury it with __________ goods.
Three ways in which Egyptians butied their dead:
First they buried people in the _____________.
Later people were buried in _____________.
Finally they found a new way: __________________.

Mummififcation was done by specially trained ______________. It took between a week and _______days.
The more important a person was the more ___________ and _____________ they were given.
Most people began to get their __________ ready while they were still ___________.
Shabtis were models of ____________. They were put in the tomb to work for the dead person in the ____________.

Slide 25 - Slide

How well did you do this lesson?
(the more answers the better)

I read all the texts carefully
I answered all questions the best way I could
I wrote the summary in my notebook
I looked up difficult words or used WRTS

Slide 26 - Quiz

What did you learn in 
this lesson
  • what the Egyptian afterlife was
  • why Egyptians wanted to preserve the bodies of their dead
  • what mummification is
  • why Egyptians mummified people
  • how Egyptians mummified people
  • how rich people were buried differently than poor people

Slide 27 - Slide

Do you think that this lesson was enough for you to understand the learning goals?
yes, I got it.
no, I still do not understand everything

Slide 28 - Quiz

Was your answer in the previous question "A"?
Then you can fill in "OK".

Was your answer in the previous question "B"?
Then write down what part of the lesson you do not understand and (if you can) what can help you.

Slide 29 - Open question


Slide 30 - Slide