Arundel children have a ‘Pharaoh-ly’ good time

Children captivated by their Egyptology Lesson at Arundel Cof E School.
Children captivated by their Egyptology Lesson at Arundel Cof E School.

MUMMIES big and small spent the day wrapped up in the horrific history of ancient Egypt on Friday (February 10).

Captivated children from the Arundel Church of England Primary School, in Jarvis Road, were taught about the stomach-turning traditions of land of the Pharaohs during a special Egyptology activity afternoon.

Pupils from Year 4 had a visit from archaeologist and local Egyptian expert Robert Scott, of the Sussex College of Ancient and Classical Archaeology, to learn about the gruesome goings-on inside the pyramids.

The youngsters had a chance to delve into the traditional way of life for most Egyptians, from Pharaohs and gods, to trade, politics and farming.

They also discovered the hair-raising ceremonies and processes behind one of the society’s mystical traditions – mummification.

Pupils were told of the intricate methods, albeit primitively brutal ones, the Egyptians used to remove the brain through the nose of the individual being mummified.

Robert explained: “They used a piece of copper wire, shaped like a hook, to scratch out the brain.

“It was very tricky work. They didn’t cut open the face in any way.

“They also removed the liver, lungs, stomach and the intestine, before placing them into specially-designed, ceremonial containers, known as canopic jars.

“Embalmers then began the process of dehydrating the body, packing it with salt, before rubbing scented perfumes on the skin.”

The children took part in a set of three workshops during the day, which was organised as part of the school’s topic on ancient Eygpt.

They took on roles including brutal tax men, legal enforcers and Egyptian royalty. One brave volunteer even took part in a mock mummification.

Robert, who runs interactive classes for primary school pupils across the county, said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“They loved the role-play session, and the hands-on experience with some of the Egyptian artefacts and hieroglyphics.

“Egyptian culture is something that is still so fascinating, regardless of your age. As an archaeologist, it is our job to help preserve this culture, and educate the public about it.

“So I’m so proud to pass on this knowledge to the children in Arundel.”