Today we had the opportunity to join our homeschool group for a field trip to the Art Museum. The Museum has a great art collection and we enjoy going there, but just don't seem to make it there very often.
The class focused on Egyptian Art and mummies. The museum has 3 mummies in their collection and on display. The curator explained to the children briefly about the process of mummification and the reasons for it. One of the mummies they own is over 3000 years old with a very elaborately decorated case. She also explained the art on one of the sarcophagi. This particular case has pictures of many of the Egyptian gods and pictures depicting what they "governed". The deceased name is also on the case in hieroglypics as well as several scenes of his life.
Another one of the mummy cases had a picture and writing painted on the inside of it. While it was under glass, the cover was lifted up high enough so that the children could squat down on the floor and see the underside of the cover. This also made the mummy visible. It was kinda cool to see the actual wrapped mummy, not just the case.
Also with the displays were pictures of Xrays that had been taken of the mummies. I was amazed at the detail these Xrays showed. They were very clear and it was relatively easy to see the bones and organs. Not only was this a great art lesson, but also anatomy.
After this the kids went to a classroom where they had the opportunity to make their own mummies out of air dry modeling clay and decorate them with markers. They were also given small boxes to keep the mummies in and were allowed to decorate them as well. The staff provided diagrams of hieroglyphics and other Egyptian art to assist with decorating.
I know my son had a great time. He is especially interested in Ancient Egypt right now due to a LEGO magazine and online activities, our study of beetles,and Exodus. Seeing mummies and sarcophagi which were so much a part of the Ancient Egyptian culture was extremely exciting for him. I think all the children present, not just mine thoroughly enjoyed the outing.