Ancient Egypt for Kids
A great deal of what we know about ancient Egypt is what archaeologists learned from studying their tombs. A tomb is a place in which you are buried when you die. The ancient Egyptians believed that life did not stop when you died. What you did when you died was move away to another place, a place they called the afterlife. After the time of the Old Kingdom, pyramids fell out of style. Pyramids cost a lot of time and money to build. They were also very easy for robbers to spot. The royals began burying their death in secret tombs. But the people had always buried their dead in tombs. The ancient Egyptians loved their tombs. They worked on them their whole life.
A popular family outing was visiting the family tomb, with armloads of grave goods they kept making. They filled their tombs with small and large statutes of friends and family, and little statues of workers who would do all their chores for them, along with other items they might need to keep them company and to help their Ba, their magical self, enjoy their days in their afterlife. They believed their Ka, their spirit, flew home to their tombs at night so their mummies could get a good night's sleep. The Egyptians were very practical. Obviously, everyone needs sleep, even mummies. It was very important that your name was written down in your tomb, so your Ka could find its way home at night. If it got lost, you would disappear forever.
The ancient Egyptians wrote stories and poems on the walls of their tombs, with pictures, that said nice things about themselves, "in praise of me" poetry. They wanted the gods to be reminded that they had done a lot of good deeds in their lifetime. That's because, to reach their afterlife, they had to do a lot of good deeds while they were alive to keep their hearts light. What happened to them if their heart was not light when they died? Oh dear - find out here.