Teaching Ideas

Early Learning

For Ages 3-5

Art Discussion

  • Special people called archaeologists uncover treasures from long ago to learn about the people who lived in ancient Egypt. An archaeologist might have discovered this object that is now hanging in the museum.
  • Look closely at this relief. What do you think these people are doing? What are they carrying?
  • Pose your body to mimic the figures in the frieze. How does this feel? Do you think you could really walk in a procession with your body in this position?
  • The Egyptians believed in an afterlife where a person would need all the things they loved in this world, such as food, water, pets, favorite objects, etc. These treasures would be buried with the person in his or her tomb. What are your treasures that you would want to keep forever?
  • Read Mummy Cat by Lisa Brown (Clarion Books, 2015) and look for elements in the book’s illustrations that are similar to what we see in this object.

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • What makes this object look "Egyptian"? How do you know what Egyptian things look like?
  • Why might the servant figures be depicted in a combination of frontal and profile views?
  • The ancient Egyptian culture and the people who lived during that time have been the source of conversations, plays, books, movies, and music for centuries. Why do you think so much attention has been given to this ancient culture? What do you like about Egyptian culture? Why do you think people are interested in the life and death of this pharaoh?
  • What items can you identify being carried by the servants? How might these items be useful in the afterlife?

Making Connections

For Students K-12

  • Similar to Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup (1989.78.A-B.McD) from Japan, this Relief of a procession is a two-dimensional work of art with a horizontal emphasis. Compare and contrast the two works. How are human figures treated in both works? How did the artists create a sense of space and depth in each work?
  • Create a living sculpture. Study each figure in the procession and create objects or props that resemble the items they carry. Next, act out the poses of the relief with friends. In what ways are the poses challenging to recreate?
  • Egyptian relief sculptures often show human figures in a combination of frontal and profile views in order to emphasize the most essential qualities of the figures. Create a portrait of a friend which emphasizes his or her most characteristic qualities.
  • The Egyptians took great care in preparing for death and life after death through the building and decoration of tombs, mummification, and funerary rituals. Research the burial rituals of another ancient culture. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the two cultures, highlighting the beliefs, rituals, and practices associated with death and burial.