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The John


Mable Ringling MuseuM



To Live Forever
Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum
Ancient Egypt was one of the worlds oldest and greatest civilizations. Starting around 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians studied math, astronomy, and medicine, made beautiful art, and built huge buildings and statues for almost 3,000 years! Ancient Egyptians believed that after they died they began a new life, called an afterlife in a place called the Netherworld or duat. They spent a lot of time and money preparing for their next lives. Use this guide to explore each gallery and see first hand how the Egyptians provided for their life in the Netherworld.

Sarcophagus Lid for Pa-di-Inpw Ptolemaic Period, ca. 305 - 30 B.C.E. Limestone Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Sarcophagus Lid of Pa-di-Djehuti Ptolemaic Period, ca. 305-30 B.C.E. Limestone Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Hints for your Journey:

Only pencils are allowed on this trip. Remember to look with your eyes and not with your hands. The mummies get angry when you touch their things. Use the maps on the top of the pages and the numbers next to the pictures to find your way. Stray from the path at your own risk

Tomb Checklist
Check off these items as you find them in the galleries. Then finish the Tomb Checklist by adding three more items you would want to take to your next life (they can be anything from a video game to a pony). Create hieroglyphic symbols for each item you choose.


Fruits and Vegetables




Plants and Flowers





Water and Drinks


Visit the Family Discovery Center in this exhibition, #10 on the map, to play senet, write your name in hieroglyphics, and more!

Anthropoid Coffin of the Servant of the Great Place, Teti New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, ca. 1339-1307 B.C.E. Wood, painted Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Relief with Netherworld Deities New Kingdom, ca. 1332-1250 B.C.E. Limestone Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Getting Ready for the Netherworld

Ancient Egyptians believed that getting into the Netherworld was not easy. The path was packed with challenges and tests. Egyptians spent a lot of time and money getting ready for these tests. After they died, their relatives would even put a cheat sheet in their tombs to help them out. This relief shows part of The Book of the Dead, the cheat sheet put in a dead persons tomb that gave instructions, advice, and almost 200 magical spells to help the person pass the tests and challenges to enter the Netherworld. Look carefully at this relief. What kind of instructions do you think it gives?

Teti paid nearly a years salary for his coffin. He had to pay for each color the artist used.

Did you know

Whos Who
The Egyptians believed in many different gods. Each god had a job: some brought much-needed floods to this dessert country, some offered protection, and some took care of people after they died. Four gods are on the side of Tetis coffin. Can you figure out which god is which? A. Anubis had the head of a jackal (or dog) and helped bring dead people to the Netherworld. B. Kebehsenuef (also called Qebehsenuef) sometimes had the head of a falcon and protected the intestines. C. Thoth was the god of wisdom and knowledge. He had the head of an ibis bird and carried a pen and scrolls. D. Hapi (also called Hapy) sometimes had the head of a baboon and protected the lungs.
From left to right: Thoth, Kebehsenuef, Anubis, Hapi

I Want my Mummy!
After Egyptians died, their bodies were prepared for their next life and made into mummies. All Egyptians were mummified. How they were mummified depended on how much their relatives wanted to spend. The most expensive way of making a mummy had many steps. It was usually only done for Egyptian kings, called pharaohs, and very rich people.

How to Make a Mummy

1. Remove the brain and most of the organs. 2. Put some of the organs in special containers called canopic jars. 3. Cover the body with a drying salt called natron. 4. Remove the body from the salt and wrap it in strips of linen cloth. 5. Put special charms called amulets between the linen and the body to protect the deceased. 6. Cover the face of the mummy with a special mask. 7. Put the mummy in a coffin and begin the funeral. The Egyptians also made mummies out of animals. They mummified dogs, cats, crocodiles, birds, and even fish. Can you find any mummified animals in this gallery?
Canopic Jar of Hor Depicting a Jackal Late Period, 664-525 B.C.E. or later Limestone Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Can you find the four canopic jars in this gallery?

Did you know During a funeral, a priest would touch the mummys mouth with a special wand, called a pesesh-kef, so that they would be able to eat and drink in the afterlife. This was called The Opening of the Mouth. Can you find the pesesh-kef in this gallery!

A Home for the Mummy

The ancient Egyptians built tombs as homes for their mummies. Since they thought that they would live in their next lives like they did in this one, Egyptians filled their tombs with the things they would need. They believed that by putting these supplies in their tomb they would be able to have the items forever in their next lives. Egyptians left food, drinks, and supplies for deceased family members next to false doors in tombs. They thought that by leaving the items there, their loved one would be able to take them to the Netherworld. What would you leave at the tomb of someone you loved?
Upper Part of a False Door of Sethew Old Kingdom, ca. 2500-2350 B.C.E. Limestone, painted Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Say What?
The ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics, or picture symbols, to write. Reading hieroglyphics can be very hard! The pictures can stand for a letter, a sound, a whole word, or an idea. Hieroglyphic sentences can be written from top to bottom, left to right, or right to left. The symbols can also face right or left depending on whether the sentence starts on the right or the left. Most Egyptians could not read or write hieroglyphics. If they needed something written they hired professional writers, called scribes, to write for them. Scribes studied for years to learn more than 700 picture symbols and were very important in Egypt. A scribe could work as a record-keeper for a landowner, a priest in a temple, an official in the government, or even as an advisor to a nobleman. Can you find these hieroglyphics in the above relief? What do you think they mean?

Left to right: Life or to live; cup; house or building; of, to, or the letter N (if three of these symbols are put on top of each other it then means water or drink)

Mummy Money Matters

When we think of Egyptian tombs, we usually think of gold and treasures. Not everyone in Egypt could afford these expensive things. Getting everything ready for their tomb was the biggest expense in an ancient Egyptians life. Even the poorest Egyptians would get supplies ready for their next life. Families with less money would often use cheaper materials like wood or terracotta instead of the stone, gold, and jewels the richer people would use. Some people would even reuse objects from the tombs of other people. Look around the gallery. List objects that you think were the least expensive, average cost, or the most expensive. How did you decide how expensive the object was? Least Expensive ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Average Cost ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Most Expensive ______________________ ______________________ ______________________

Compare and Contrast

One of these mummy covers was made by a professional artist and was very expensive, while the other was probably made by a less expensive professional artist or an amateur like a family member or friend. How are the mummy covers the same? How are they different? Which do you think was more expensive? Why?
Mummy Cartonnage of a Woman Roman Period, 1st century A.D. Linen, gilded gesso, glass and faience Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund Head and Chest from a Sarcophagus Roman period, 4th century A.D. Terracotta, painted Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Ancient Egyptians often put hundreds of shabties in their tombs. A shabty is a small statue that had a magical spell on it. The shabties were supposed to come to life and do work for the dead person in the Netherworld. These shabties were made out of a material called faience, a type of ceramic. What work would you have your shabty do for you?

Shabty of Muthotep Third Intermediate Period, ca. 945-712 B.C.E. Faience, glazed Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Want more information on ancient Egyptians? Download a resource guide for To Live Forever at
To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum has been organized by the Brooklyn Museum. All pictures courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum. This exhibition is funded, in part, by the Sarasota County Arts Council, the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council, and the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners. Created by The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Education Department, 2008 Project Managers: Jennifer Sabo, Katherine Yount, Eve Rosin