The Fitzwilliam Museum Quests


Notes for Teachers

How Did They Do That? Science and Technology in Ancient Egypt

Quest 1: A Sarcophagus for a Pharaoh

This interactive game is based around the sarcophagus lid of Rameses III. Guided by Amy and her Egyptologist Uncle, children are led through a series of simple tasks to help them to understand some of the extraordinary achievements of the earliest civilisations. The quest has been designed to encourage children to look carefully at a museum object, to think about what they can see and to make simple deductions based upon existing historical and scientific knowledge.

The Quest has been designed for children aged 8+.

You will need:

Working a with a whole class: an interactive whiteboard

Individual or group working: one computer or tablet per group, headphones for each child

The whole quest lasts about 20 minutes and has been divided into 5 sections:

Section 1: Cracking the Code (approximately 3 minutes 30 seconds)

In this first section the Fitzwilliam Museum and the sarcophagus lid is introduced. Amy and her Uncle unpick what the symbols on the sarcophagus lid mean.


Section 2: Mummification (approximately 4 minutes)

This section describes ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife, looks at the mummification process and explains the science of dehydration


Section 3: Materials for the Sarcophagus (approximately 5 minutes)

This section looks at the stone that the sarcophagus is made out of and compares different rocks and their properties.


Section 4: Journey up the Nile (approximately 3 minutes)

In this section the overseer is introduced whose job it is to transport the stone to the Pharoah’s tomb at Luxor. After looking at a map of the Nile children must now try to work out how the 7 tonnes of stone could be transported and then floated across the Nile.


Section 5: Journey Across the Desert (approximately 3 minutes 30 seconds)

Once the stone has arrived at Luxor it must be moved across the desert to the Valley of the Kings. By using their knowledge of forces and friction the children must now work out how to move the block across the desert sand.


Upon completion of the quest children can play ‘Catch the Scarab.’


We would really interested to collect feedback from you so that we can plan to make more collections based digital interactives in the future and continue to improve our offer to schools. Please take 5 minutes to fill in this on-line survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8PDKYX9

Many Thanks