Ancient Egypt's Art
We went to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and learned
a lot about mummies in ancient Egypt. The original
name for Egypt is Kemit. Kemit means black land and the Nile River has
black soil around it that is good for planting.
When they buried their dead they decorated
the coffins with amulets. Amulets are good
luck charms for the afterlife.
The beetle is a symbol of rebirth
and that is why it is important. It lays its eggs
in animal droppings so they will have something to eat when they are born.
It makes new life from waste. It also pushes the ball of waste around.
That made the Egyptians think that their sun god also pushed the ball of
the sun around the sky. The sun seemed to go away each night but it
came back each day. So the sun was also a symbol of
rebirth. Their sun
god had the head of a beetle.
They put vultures' wings on their goddesses
because the vulture eats dead animals and then
gives birth to babies. It makes new life from death. When you die
the goddess can help you live a good afterlife in the future.
They also buried people with statues
of servants to bring food, water, and clothing
for the dead person to use in the afterlife.
The pictures often show the dead person
being given water. Water was a sign of life.
If a man was painted blue it represented water and air and it meant he was a god. You could also tell he was a god because
he had a curved beard on his chin. The goddesses were painted yellow
or orange to represent the sun.
We learned about mummification. First
they would break the nose and pull out the brain.
They threw it away because they did not think it was important. They left the heart in because they thought that
was where the soul was. They also saved the liver,
lungs, stomach, and intestines. They put
them in special jars with figures of a jackal, a monkey, a man, and a
falcon on top to guard them. They buried them with
the person, but not inside the body where they would
rot. They dried out the body by covering it in salt and then they wrapped
it in cloth and amber.
When you died they thought you would
go to a place like heaven if you had lived a good life.
Osiris, the god of the underworld, would weigh your heart on a scale. If it weighed more than a feather it meant that
you had not told the truth.
If your heart weighed more than
truth you would be eaten by a monster named Ammut. Ammut is part crocodile,
part lion, and part hippopotamus. All of those animals
used to live in Egypt and people were afraid of them.
We read about the most famous mummy,
in class. He was made pharaoh when he was just nine
years old and then he died when he was eighteen.
You can still see the pyramid where he was buried in Egypt in 3,000 B.C.
You can learn more about the pharaohs and pyramids
at this internet web site.
They wanted them to last for millions
of years. I wish I could go to Egypt and
Mr. Greenberg, Teacher
Public School 241
976 President Street
Brooklyn, NY 11225