The Road to the Afterlife

The Road to the Afterlife

In ancient Egypt, every citizen was entitled to a proper burial. The process, known as mummification, is one of the oldest and most complex burial practices in history.


5 - 8


Anthropology, Archaeology, Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History

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Idea for Use in the Classroom

Ask the class what they think of when they hear the word “mummy” or “mummification." Have a brief discussion of how mummies and the practice of mummification are portrayed and viewed in modern society. Introduce the infographic and have a volunteer read the overview. As a class, brainstorm reasons why ancient Egyptians may have been concerned with preserving the deceased in a life-like state. Students can perform outside research to learn more about the general purpose of mummification before exploring more about the process.

Next, read through the remainder of the infographic. Break students into small groups and have them determine how each step in the process of mummification supports the overall purpose of mummification. Encourage students to cite specific evidence from the infographic and their research to support their claims. Once students have become familiar with the process, have them consider what scientific skills, technology, and knowledge were needed to carry out mummification based on the infographic.

Finally, have each group use the infographic to identify further areas of research. For example, groups could investigate the availability of mummification for different classes of society or delve further into the specific techniques and skills needed to practice mummification (have students who do this look for the “recipes” used for mummification). After students conduct their research, have them present their findings to the class. Conclude by discussing what the process of mummification implies about ancient Egyptian attitudes toward the afterlife.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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