Discover ancient Egypt

Discover the ancient world of Egypt and immerse yourself in the wonders of daily Egyptian life. Pupils will become junior museum archaeologists, touching real objects and using their powers of deduction to discover what they reveal about the people who lived in ancient Egypt.

Workshop details

During the workshop pupils will be able to touch artefacts such as amulets and statuettes of gods. They will be able to imagine the person who carefully made them and think about why they were so important to the ancient Egyptian people more than 3000 years ago. How have these artefacts survived for thousands of years?

After an introduction by a member of the museum staff, pupils will split into four groups to take on the role of archaeologists as they look at and handle the museum artefacts. We will explain the correct handling techniques as they are being allowed to touch ancient objects from our collections, not modern replicas.  They will explore four topics:

  • Gods and their symbols - how to recognise some of the Egyptian gods.
  • Materials - what the artefacts are made from and how they were used.
  • Mummification – what they can learn from an examination of a mummified cat and a mummy crocodile? How can archaeologists learn about them without damaging them by unwrapping them?
  • Egyptian writing - little pictures called hieroglyphs were used to write the sounds of their language. Pupils will also examine a different ancient Egyptian writing, on a piece of mummy bandage.

Using items from the museum’s handling collections; this workshop offers a unique learning experience that cannot be offered in the school classroom.

Practical information for your visit

We need adult help to ensure the pupils have the best possible experience and to ensure the safety of the artefacts. For this reason you must bring at least four adults for this workshop. If you don’t bring this ratio of adults we may still be able to run the session but it won’t unfortunately involve the same level of interactivity for the young people.

Please arrive on time for your workshop or we may not be able to run it for you. Please share these notes with your adult helpers before your visit. This will help them to support your pupils have a successful and enjoyable day.

 This workshop can be linked with:

Image © Pete Carr

Curriculum links


  • Understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world and the nature of ancient civilisations.


  • Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons.


  • Develop an understanding of methods of scientific enquiry so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. 

SMSC – Fundamental British Values

Through participating in this session students are encouraged to think about democracy, individual liberty and tolerance. 

  • Individual liberty: Students consider practices in Ancient Egypt affecting individual liberty and discover about positive and negative examples.
  • Mutual respect and tolerance: As students discover about the different beliefs, practices, achievements and everyday way of life of the Ancient Egyptians they develop their respect for others with differing lives and beliefs. By understanding the museum’s rules about how to handle ancient artefacts we encourage tolerance and respect.
  • Social skills: By working in groups to complete a series of investigative activities using our handling collections students develop their social skills.
  • Democracy: Children start to understand about the social hierarchy of Ancient Egypt and learn about a society very different from our own. They can compare forced labour under a pharaoh to conditions in our democracy.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history.
  • establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world; the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • understand how the past is constructed from a range of sources.


Pupils will:

  • recognise and identify artefacts used in the sessions and some of the evidence they reveal about life in the past.
  • construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • begin to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.
  • use dates and historical vocabulary to describe the periods studied.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.


Pupils will:

  • be introduced to the work of an archaeologist.
  • be introduced to the work of curators and the reasons why the museum has a collection of objects from ancient Egypt.
  • appreciate that the objects they are working with are thousands of years old and have to be treated with respect.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.


Pupils will:

  • appreciate that the objects they are working with are thousands of years old and have to be treated with respect.
  • see World Museum as a resource for historical research to help understand the ancient world.