If you’re looking for a museum exhibit to share with your kids, check out the “Mummy Chamber” at the Brooklyn Museum. Step inside the chamber and you’ll feel as if you’ve gone back in time to visit an ancient Egyptian tomb. The rooms are quiet, and the walls are dark and adorned with images of a winged Sun disc to evoke the look and feel of what a completed tomb would have looked like so many thousands of years ago. The artifacts are brought together to explore the practice of mummification and the ancient Egyptian belief about preserving the body so that the Egyptians could have eternal life.—
The installation is beautiful and the information easy to understand, so that families and young children can read and learn more information about this ancient culture. Children definitely will not be bored in this exhibit; the bright gold statues and the colorful carvings will attract their attention and stimulate their imagination as they walk around and consider what life was like for the ancient Egyptians.
When visitors first enter the installation, they come across the mummy of the priest Thothirdes, who is still encased in his linen wrappings. There are three other mummies on display, which include an anonymous man from the Greco-Roman era, a man named Hor, and a lady named Gautseshenu. The colorful carvings on the sarcophagus will enchant children as they read the placards and discover the meanings behind the hieroglyphics and paintings.
The exhibit holds 170 artifacts in all; they include small figurines, amulets, and sarcophagi. They also have on display canopic jars, which were used to store the internal organs of the mummy and shawabti, which were magical statues that would come to life in the Underworld and work for the mummy.
Another stunning artifact is the twenty-five foot long copy of the Book of the Dead. This text was written on a scroll made of papyrus and used as a map to reach the Afterlife safely and the museum is currently working on translating and publishing the full text of the book. Children will marvel at the mysterious writings on the scroll and learn more about this text, which was very important to the ancient Egyptians.
There are also a few sarcophagi on display, which gives children insight on Egyptian mythology. They will also love the friendly-looking statue of the jackal God Anubis, who is in a case on the right-hand corner and as well as being amazed by the animal mummies, which includes a few cats, a crocodile, and an ibis.
Afterwards, the museum’s gift shop has some kid-friendly toys, some of which include a stuffed animal of Anubis, Egyptian hieroglyphic blocks, jewelry, and statues of the Egyptian Gods, books, and more! It’s a great way to foster their love of learning and an interest in history.
This installation is the perfect way to spend a wintry afternoon with your family. Children seven and up will love the chance to explore the mysterious history and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians in this gorgeous exhibit!
Mummy and Cartonnage of Hor
Circa 712-664 B.C.E.
Linen, painted and
69 3/4 x 18 1/16 in.
(177.2 x 45.8 cm)
Ancient Middle Eastern Art
Charles Edwin Wilbour
Fund, Brooklyn Museum