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Why did the Egyptians mummify their dead?

It probably started by accident. The Egyptians discovered that bodies buried in the hot sand dried out and didn't rot. This may have given the idea that bodies must survive to provide a house for the soul.


Was it just Egyptian pharaohs who were mummified?

No. There are lots of mummies of ordinary people too, but we know more about the pharaohs because their tombs were grander and more carefully marked.


Why did ancient Egyptian civilisation last so long?

Egypt had good natural boundaries and an abundance of food. Everyone recognised the need to cooperate to make the most of the annual flood that made the land so fruitful.


Why are there gaps in our knowledge of ancient Egypt?

Because the Egyptians didn't number their years as we do. They dated them from the beginning of the reign of each new king, and we don't know all the pharaohs or the order they came in.


Ancient Egyptian artists drew things sideways. Why?

They wanted to include as much detail as possible to ensure that when the figure came to life in the afterworld it was exactly like the real thing. This way they could show the features more clearly.


What was the Book of the Dead?

A collection of ancient Egyptian spells to help a dead person in their journey through the underworld. To begin with they were written on tomb walls. As the list grew longer priests used papyrus scrolls instead.


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