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Teaching Resources

Mummies and Mummification

STEM Discipline

Physical Anthropology

National Middle School Science Standards

Life Science, Physical Science

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies 

Key Terms:

physical anthropology, archaeology, skeletal remains, mummification, burial practices, decomposition, culture 

Key Concepts:

  • Skeletal analysis for age, sex, ancestry, and health 
  • Cultural burial practices over time 
  • Chemical process of mummification 
  • Scientific benefits of studying mummies 
  • Technology used by physical anthropologists 

Resource Types:

Associated Experts

An Egyptian ibis that was probably raised and killed for mummification. Smithsonian photo A279283 by Don Hurlbert.An Egyptian ibis that was probably raised and killed for mummification. Smithsonian photo A279283 by Don Hurlbert.




The mummification teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

Life Science


From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS1-1Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells, either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.
  • MS-LS1-5Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
Physical Science


Matter and Its Interactions
  • MS-PS1-2Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.


The Mummification teaching resources support students in meeting the following Social Studies standards: 

Time, Continuity, and Change

  • Studying the past makes it possible for us to understand the human story across time. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the past enable us to analyze the causes and consequences of events and developments, and to place these in the context of the institutions, values and beliefs of the periods in which they took place. 
  • Knowing how to read, reconstruct and interpret the past allows us to answer questions such as: How do we learn about the past? How can we evaluate the usefulness and degree of reliability of different historical sources?

People, Places, and Environments

  • The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world.  
  • During their studies, learners develop an understanding of spatial perspectives, and examine changes in the relationship between peoples, places and environments.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards


Dr. David Hunt about to put a mummified child in a CT machine to do a scan. Dr. Bruno Frolich is standing behind him.
David Hunt
Physical Anthropology Museum Specialist
Close-up shot of anthropologist Dr. Sabrina Sholts examining a beige skull thats in her hand in the lower right foreground.
Sabrina Sholts
Physical Anthropologist
Anthropologist Kari Bruwelheide in a room by a table holding a human skull and showing it to two female students.
Kari Bruwelheide
Physical Anthropology Museum Specialist
Dr. Douglas Ubelaker sitting at table in a lab that has a skull and other human skeletons on it. Skeleton on the wall behind.
Douglas Ubelaker
Physical Anthropologist and Curator of Anthropology
Anthropologist Dr. Doug Owsley crouched down in a burial site looking at two human skeletons excavated in Jamestown.
Doug Owsley
Anthropologist, Division Head of Physical Anthropology

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