Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) love stories about Ancient Egypt so they tell the story of the boy Pharoah, Tutankhamun, including how his body was turned into a mummy.
We explain how Egypt got its wealth from the annual flooding of the Nile. The Old Kingdom turn this wealth into the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx. The Middle Kingdom builds on this. After years of turmoil the New Kingdom emerges. Powerful Egyptian rulers expand Egypt’s territories to nearby countries.
But the new Pharoah, Akenhaton wants to build a new religion at home. He replaces all the old priests and spends less time fighting other countries. His Queen, Nefertiti, becomes increasingly powerful.
But after they die they leave the eight year old boy Tutankhamun to become Pharoah. Tutankahmun reverses the policy of abandoning the old Gods. He returns Egypt to their traditional religion. He returns Egypt to their traditional approach of engaging, sometimes by war, with neighbouring countries. He gets married and has two children. But Tutankhamun is sick. His legs don’t work properly and he has to walk with a cane. He gets a severe form of malaria which leaves him weak and sick. Then his leg is badly injured somehow. Tutankhamun dies aged just 18 years old.
After his death, he is turned into a mummy. We learn about the mummification process. It’s disgusting and Ellie tells the full gory details. He has his brain pulled out through his noise. His organs are sliced from his body and put in pots shaped like Gods. His body is stuffed with plants and herbs. Finally, it is wrapped up to protect the skin. Afterwards his mummified body is placed in a golden shell covered in jewels. He is placed into a tomb.
Over thousands of years his body and tomb are lost.
Then 100 years ago, explorers discover the lost tomb. When they open it they are amazed to see Tutankhamun’s beautiful golden mask and then to find his mummy inside.
People around the world see the incredible workmanship. It sparks a global fascination with all things Egyptian - a fascination which continues today.
If you liked this episode about Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt and mummies then you might enjoy our episode about Cleopatra:
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