Egyptian Mummies: People from the Past

Egyptian Mummies: People from the Past

by Delia Pemberton
     
 

Who were the ancient Egyptians? Why did they mummify their dead? Why did they bury people with their possessions? And why do mummies still fascinate us today?
The remains of seven mummies from the world-famous British Museum can answer these questions and many more. From Ginger, a simple prehistoric farmer, to Katebet, a wealthy woman buried with her jewelry,

Overview

Who were the ancient Egyptians? Why did they mummify their dead? Why did they bury people with their possessions? And why do mummies still fascinate us today?
The remains of seven mummies from the world-famous British Museum can answer these questions and many more. From Ginger, a simple prehistoric farmer, to Katebet, a wealthy woman buried with her jewelry, to Hornedjitef, a grand priest of Amun, the lives and culture of ancient Egyptians are uncovered in thrilling detail. Nearly a hundred color photographs detail what these people looked like, how they worked, the foods they ate, and why they prepared so elaborately for the afterlife—revealing that the life of ordinary Egyptians was different, and yet not so different, from our lives today.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Egyptologist Delia Pemberton unravels the mystery of mummification in Egyptian Mummies: People from the Past. Focusing on seven mummies that currently reside in the British Museum, this volume provides a wealth of information about such subjects as tomb preparation, funeral equipment and 18th- and 19th-century mummy mania. Full-color photographs of tombs and period artifacts plus sidebars punctuate the text. Pemberton wraps it all up with a glossary, index and suggestions for further reading. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
"Unravel the mysteries of life¾and death¾in ancient Egypt." That appears to be a large order, but this book fills it. Students will find a wealth of information for studies about Egyptian history and the whole fascinating subject of mummies. The detective work employed to discover mummies and other artifacts and to discern from them how those in the past lived from day to day and, in some cases, what certain individuals looked like, adds interest to this subject. In addition to offering general information about how mummies are made and exactly what they are, the individual stories of several mummies are presented, including those of Ginger, a Stone Age farmer from about 3400 B. C., Katebet, a wealthy lady from about 1300 B. C. and Hornedjitef, a priest of Amun from about 240 B. C. Also touched upon are the uses of mummies in medicine and how the craze for mummies once led to them being taken for souvenirs and being unwrapped as a show for paying audiences. The author is a regular lecturer at the British Museum, which provided many of the photographs. 2001 (orig. 2000), Harcourt, $18.00. Ages 9 up. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Seven mummies from the British Museum are used as an organizing device to look at the historical and medical significance of mummification. The specimens are presented in chronological order, from Ginger, found preserved by simple dehydration and dated at around 3400 B.C. to a Roman schoolboy, circa A.D. 120. Following a general overview, there are discussions of grave goods, tombs, coffins and sarcophagi, medical uses of mummies (past and present), archaeology and excavation, hieroglyphics, etc. The text is brisk and readable, and is enhanced by an abundance of well-placed color photographs. The columnar type makes good use of white space; along with the appropriately placed sidebars, it gives the book an open and appealing look. This informative volume is similar in scope and quality to James Putnam's Mummy (Knopf, 1993), though it has a narrower cultural and historical focus.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Examining the remains of seven Egyptian mummies ranging from a prehistoric farmer who lived about 3400 b.c.<\h> to a schoolboy from Roman Egypt in 120 a.d.<\h>, the author, a lecturer at the British Museum, provides a fascinating introduction to history. She explains where and how mummies were found, how they were made and why, how they were treated by early archaeologists and treasure seekers, and what can be learned, from studying mummies, about history, medicine, and life in the past. Mummies are treated with dignity and photographed with sensitivity. Portraits and painted plaster portrait masks are particularly effective, as are the inclusion of oddities that will appeal to young readers, such as, for example, animal mummies, with photographs from the underground tombs at Saqqara, which contain millions of mummified ibis. The author includes a map, timeline, glossary, further reading, index, and picture credits. Vivid, full-color photographs, lively writing, and an attractive and accessible format make this a first choice for studying the life and times of ancient Egypt. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152026004
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Edition description:
1st U.S. Edition
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.63(w) x 10.88(h) x (d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

DELIA PEMBERTON is a regular lecturer at the British Museum and a specialist in museum education. An acclaimed Egyptologist, she has written several books on the subject, including the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt coauthored with Geraldine Harris. Ms. Pemberton lives in the United Kingdom.

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