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Teaching Ancient Egypt

Religious beliefs in Ancient Egypt

When did 'ancient' Egypt exist?

The ancient Egyptian civilisation is thought to have lasted for about 3,000 years. This is measured from the time when Egypt became a single country ruled by one person, around 3,150 to 30 BCE, when the Romans conquered Egypt.

When people think of ancient Egypt today, the first things they think of might be pyramids, mummified people and Pharaohs. However, we can find out a lot about the lives of ordinary people in ancient Egypt using the large collection of artefacts stored at museums like the Discovery Centre. 


Religion in Ancient Egypt


A range of different amulets were used as good luck charms.


An Assortment of small  Egyptian Amulets including eye of Horus, a small bottle and a neck rest.
An Assortment of Egyptian Amulets

People would string amulets on to bracelets, necklaces and on their belts to try to keep good luck with them at all times. They were also used in mummification and would have been wrapped in the mummy's bandages by their loved ones


Ceramic figurine with a jackal head.  One ear is missing
Amulet of Anubis

Shabti figurine

Model Shabti represent workers or enslaved people who would look after the dead people in the afterlife. They carry tools for domestic or farm tasks. They come in a wide range of sizes and can be made out of different materials like clay, wood, metal, stone or terracotta.

Three ceramic figurines of men with beards
Group of three Shabtis

Both rich and poor people would have shabtis in their tombs. Having larger numbers of shabtis made from expensive materials would show that the dead person had been wealthy or important during their life.

In the video below, Emily talks about Shabits and Death in ancient Egypt, and examines related artefacts from Leeds Museums & Galleries collection.



Afterlife - a new life after death

Amulet - a kind of good luck charm, usually shaped like an object

Domestic - something to do with the home 

Mummify - to stop a dead body from decaying

Represent - show

Terracotta - a red clay that can be baked until hard and used for tiles