1970s Landline telephone with question marks drawn on the surface and the British Museum logo at the centre of the rotary dial.

Student and teacher resource

History Hotline video – ancient Egypt

Student and teacher resource

Ages 7–11 (KS2)

For teachers to use with their students.
For children to use with an adult's help – see disclaimer

Curriculum links

KS2 History: the achievements of the earliest civilisations – ancient Egypt.

Video duration

13 minutes 24 seconds

Watch a video about everything you've ever wanted to ask about ancient Egypt.

Deep within the heart of the British Museum is a strange artefact, the History Hotline – a telephone that gives inquisitive children direct access to British Museum curators, so they can have their burning questions about history answered by the experts.

In this History Hotline video, Project Curator and Egyptologist Kelly Accetta Crowe is at her desk answering questions on ancient Egypt.

If you're an educator looking to inspire young people about ancient Egypt, you can use this video as a learning tool – see our lesson plan below.

Video duration: 13 minutes 24 seconds – if you allow a five-minute pause per question, this will fit into a 50–60 minute lesson. 

History hotline video

History Hotline video. 

Topics covered in the video

00.49: Introducing ancient Egypt. 

01.51: What would you find inside a pyramid? 

03.38: What happened to ordinary people when they died? 

04.57: Who started mummification and what herbs did they use to mummify bodies? 

06.48: How do you read hieroglyphs? 

09.20: What was written on canopic jars? 

11.06: What were the bandages on mummies made of? 

12.12: Why did Anubis have a jackal head? 

Lesson plan

We recommend you use this video mid-way through a topic so that your students already have a baseline of learning to build on.  

Step 1: Introduce the video and give a background to the British Museum. 

Step 2: Check out the Collection online.

Step 3: Watch the introduction of the video and pause after the first question. 

Step 4: Encourage your students to think about their answer, build a word bank and then play to watch the curator's answer. 

About the Egyptologist

Hi, my name is Kelly and I'm an Egyptologist. When I was just seven years old, I travelled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with my school, and there I saw the Temple of Dendur. I'd never seen anything like it, an amazing intact ancient Egyptian temple with Isis, Osiris, Horus and Hapy carved on the walls. It was then I knew I wanted to study ancient Egypt. I've been to many museums since then to study Egyptian objects, and I've travelled and excavated in Egypt, too. Temples are still my favourite part of Egyptian culture, and I spent many years studying Karnak, the largest temple in the world.  

Who is your favourite ancient Egyptian god or goddess? 
My favourite god is Anubis. He helps to guide the people through the underworld and protects the deceased in their tombs. Sometimes when I am doing work in the desert in Egypt, I catch a glimpse of a jackal in the distance – perhaps it is Anubis, keeping an eye on me!

Disclaimer for adults

Disclaimer – for adults

When learning about ancient history, your students or children may come across imagery, terms or phrases that are related to death, the deceased and human remains. If you are concerned, please read the webpage before your student does.

Find out about human remains at the British Museum.