Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sleeping Mummies and Magical Dolls

Today, I toured a group of second and third-grade students through the Carlos Museum's Egyptian galleries. We started with our new exhibit, "Life and Death in the Pyramid Age" and my favorite mummy of all time, our sleeping beauty:

Isn't he just magnificent? He really looks like he's about to sit up, swing his legs over and walk out, doesn't he?

At 4,000 years old, this guy was around during the dynasty when the Great Pyramids were built.

Before we entered the gallery, I debunked myths about mummy curses and walking mummies, which reassured the littlest ones who seemed a bit nervous about seeing a "real, live mummy." As expected, they "oooh-ed" and "aaaah-ed" over him. 

"He looks like he's taking a nap and just needs his blanket," one kid said.

They were most surprised, though, by the models buried with mummies--including the bread-bakers and beer brewers.

"Are they dolls?" they asked.

"Nope," I told 'em. "They're models of workers put into the tombs. In the afterworld, the pharaoh would point to them and they would  magically come to life and serve him."

They liked that kind of magic. I over-heard a couple of them mumbling about models for "cleaning-up-your-room" and "doing-your-homework-for-you."

I love kids.


Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Oh I need some of those models myself!! :) e

Ashes said...

I don't know what I'd do without my shabti around the house!

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

I say we build a whole factory of shabtis to take care of the dirty work for us!