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 BCE to 30 BCE, when the Romans conquered Egypt.
When people think of Ancient Egypt today, the first things they think of might be pyramids, mummies 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 Leeds Museum Discovery Centre.
Religion in Ancient Egypt
Photograph 2 shows four different amulets. These were used as good luck charms. People would string them 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.
These models (shown in the bottom picture) represent workers or slaves 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. 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.
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