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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Egyptian Death Masks

The  Ancient Egyptians were extremely religious people and had very elaborate burial rituals, as well as complex beliefs about life after death.  According to Ancient Egyptian myth, death wasn’t the end of life– it was just a process that every soul must go through in order to reach the next level of eternal life (the afterlife).

In order to achieve eternal life, they believed you had to preserve the dead body. This was accomplished  by mummifying it.  The mummy would then be placed inside the tomb with other vital items that they thought they would need in the afterlife.  Mummies were also accompanied by the death mask.  This gave the dead a face in the afterlife, protected the face and helped to ensure that the spirit could find the right body to return to.  Students discussed the amazing discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb and examined the solid gold death mask that was found on his mummy. 

Next students set out to design their own death masks.  Using a mask mold each student  used papier mache to create their own mask.  The headdresses on many Egyptian masks showed images of Egyptian myths and gods.  On the student headdresses they needed to include symbols that could represent the things that are important to them.

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