Ancient Egypt teaching resources

The following objects are on display in our Ancient Egypt gallery. You may want to use some or all of these photographs before or after a visit to the gallery or one our Ancient Egypt education sessions

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All images and information can be downloaded for classroom use. 

Ten objects - information and images

1. Figure of a servant carrying a vessel

Servant carrying jar
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18th Dynasty about 1300 BC

This object is actually a container for cosmetics. It has been carved in the shape of a servant carrying a large jar. The jar once had a lid and the left hand of the servant would have held a stick or other tool for applying the cosmetic.

It is known that objects such as this were given as gifts by the pharaoh to foreign dignitaries.

Find out more about the figure of a servant in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

2. Mummy of an unknown woman

Mummy of an unknown woman
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Roman Period 30 BC - 200 AD

This mummy is unusual in that it has been prepared differently from other mummies. The limbs have been wrapped separately, and the features of the head and body were modelled with resin before the final bandages were applied. The head itself is only wrapped up to the browline and above this the hair and scalp have been left exposed. This is extremely unusual. The facial features have also been painted on the outer covering. 

Find out more about the mummy of an unknown woman in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

3. Lion Hunt Scarab of Amenhotep III

Scarab
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18th Dynasty about 1300 BC

Amenhotep III was the grandfather of Tutankhamun and ruled over a vast empire. He used scarabs like this to send messages around his empire, a bit like a ‘postcard from the pharaoh’.

Hieroglyphs on the base of the scarab tell how great a hunter the king was, announcing that he has killed 102 lions in 10 years.

At 6cm long, the scarab will fit in the palm of your hand. The writer has had to fit this message into a limited space – not unlike a postcard or a Tweet.

Find out more about the scarab in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

4. Pair of Sekhmet statues

Sekhmet
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18th Dynasty about 1390–1352 BC

The lion-headed deity Sekhmet could be a powerful destructive force as the goddess of war but she was also the goddess of healing. She has the sun-disc and uraeus (rearing cobra) on her head and would have held the ankh – the life symbol, in her left hand.

This pair of statues is most likely to have come from the mortuary temple of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) in Western Thebes.

The back of one of the pair has been inscribed with the name Belzoni. This refers to Giovanni Battista Belzoni, an engineer and explorer who is collected the statues.

The statues were badly damaged in a bombing raid during the May blitz in 1941 and repaired in 1995. 

Find out more about the Sekhmet statues in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

5. A group of jewellery

A tomb group of jewellery
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18th Dynasty about 1425 BC

This is a collection of jewellery from Abydos, one of the oldest cemeteries in ancient Egypt. The tomb contained eight burials and was excavated by Professor John Garstang of the University of Liverpool in 1909. Wealthy Egyptians would be buried with their jewellery and other items they would need in the Afterlife. Unfortunately, this made their tombs targets for grave-robbers looking for treasure.

Find out more about a gold finger ring found with this jewellery in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

6. Mummified hand

Mummified hand
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Roman Period 30 BC – 100 AD

The hand of a young adult, with four rings made of gold and lapis lazuli. The hand has been wrapped in linen and coated with resin which has given it a black appearance.

Lapis lazuli was a highly- prized material for the Egyptians and other ancient cultures. It was used by the Egyptians to make amulets and jewellery and helps give Tutankhamun’s funerary mask its distinctive appearance. 

Find out more about the mummified hand in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

7. Shabti figure – a magical servant

Shabti
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26th Dynasty 664 - 525 BC

This Shabti was once owned by Florence Nightingale who travelled to Egypt in 1849-50 and spent several months there.

The Egyptians placed shabti figures like these in tombs. The hieroglyphic inscription on the front is a magical spell to bring the shabti to life and instruct it to work for the deceased once they had entered the afterlife.

This example is holding farming tools to carry out manual labour in the fields for the dead person in their next life. The inscription also features the name of the owner ‘Pa-di-Neith'.

Shabtis were usually made from wood, stone or a glazed material which we call ‘faience’. The name Shabti means ‘answerer’ in Egyptian.

Find out more about this shabti in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

8. Djed-hor’s Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead
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Ptolemaic Period, about 332 BC

Djed-hor’s Book of the Dead is a well-preserved papyrus nearly 4m long. It is inscribed for a man named Djed-hor, the son of Tapes and features two kinds of writing, hieratic and hieroglyphic.

The Egyptians wrote with reed pens using carbon black ink made from burned organic materials and red from minerals such as haematite (iron oxide).

The Book of the Dead was like a guide to reaching the afterlife and would be placed with the body in the tomb. It gives the deceased person answers to questions the gods would ask and spells to help them get past the various dangers on their journey to the next life.

The papyrus is probably from after the end of the Pharaonic Period, at the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period, shortly after the invasion of Alexander the Great about 332 BC. This is the first time it has ever been displayed in full.

Find out more about the Book of the Dead in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

9. Statuette of Osiris, God of the Underworld

Osiris statuette
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26th Dynasty about 664 – 525 BC

Osiris is best known as the god of the dead and ruler of the underworld, a place where people went to be judged before entering the afterlife. He was also the god of rebirth and represented fertility.

The statuette shows Osiris wrapped like a mummy, holding the symbols of his kingship, the crook and flail. He also wears the plumed atef crown with the uraeus cobra on his head.

Find out more about the statuette of Osiris in our Ancient Egypt collection. 

10. Mummy Room wall painting

Monsieur Mural painting Mummy Room wall
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This mural was painted by Liverpool artist Matthew Williams in our Mummy Room. It shows some of the magic spells that were inscribed on the coffin of the priestess Aset who lived in Thebes around 945-715 BC.

The dead needed magic spells to help them overcome obstacles on their journey to the afterlife. The spells reproduced on this wall are from the Book of the Dead. They would have helped Aset get through the gates of the underworld which were guarded by ferocious gods and monsters. Aset would have thought that with them, she was guaranteed success. But she may have been in for a nasty shock as the spells on her coffin are actually full of spelling errors and impossible to read.