The image shows a photograph of the Book of the Dead of Hunefer. The information has been written on papyrus. It shows Hunefer kneeling before deities and the jackal-headed Anubis leading Hunefer towards the balance of judgment, where Anubis is depicted again, kneeling to adjust a weighing scale of the heart.

Student resource

Journey to the afterlife

Student resource

Ages 7–11 (KS2)

For children to use with an adult's help. 

Top tip

Read the introduction to all of the challenges carefully to help you succeed.

Tackle a series of challenges to see if you can enter the ancient Egyptian afterlife.

Many ancient Egyptians believed that there was a place they went to when they died called the Duat. We translate this word as 'underworld' or 'afterlife'. To get to the afterlife, a deceased person's spirit had to travel on a long and challenging journey.  

Each person was made of several elements: essence (ka) and personality (ba), which joined together in the afterlife to form a perfect being called an akh. The ba was usually shown as a human-headed bird. The deceased travelled through the Duat in his own form and in the form of the ba. The goal was to reach a special place called the Field of Reeds – Egyptian heaven. 

Journey to the afterlife by playing this series of challenges:


  • The correct answer will turn green. 
  • These activities work best on desktop and laptop computers. 

Landscape memory game

During the journey to the afterlife, the deceased might have to travel across huge lakes and dry deserts, over mounds and around caverns before reaching paradise. Test your skills in the memory challenge below. There are four matching images that show landscapes that an ancient Egyptian might have come across on their way through the Duat to the afterlife. Can you match them all? 

Click on the rectangles below to reveal and match the images

Landscape memory game

Gate guardians quiz

Magical spells helped the deceased on their journey. These spells were carved inside pyramids, painted on coffins and written on papyrus. The most famous set of spells was in what we call today the Book of the Dead. Copies of the Book of the Dead written on papyrus were often buried with the deceased.

On their journey through the Duat, the deceased found their way blocked by gates. The gates were protected by guardians wielding knives. In order to pass, the deceased had to know the name of the gate itself, the god associated with it and the guardian who defended it. Luckily, Spells 144 and 146 in the Book of the Dead gave them the answers.

Try guessing the names of some ancient Egyptian gate guardians in the quiz below. Remember that they are fierce, protective and often quite scary! 

Gate guardians quiz

Animal encounters challenge

Some spells helped the deceased fight off dangerous creatures. In this challenge, can you match the spell to the animal it protects you from?

Drag the spells or pictures to move them up or down. The background will turn green when you've matched them correctly. 

Animal encounters game/challenge

Weighing of the heart quiz

The ultimate test was at the end of the journey to the afterlife: the weighing of the heart against the feather of Ma'at. Ma'at was the goddess of truth, justice and balance. This final test checked if the deceased was worthy enough to meet the god of the dead and ruler of the underworld, Osiris, and live in the Field of Reeds. If they failed the test, their heart was eaten by the terrifying creature, Ammit. Her favourite food was human hearts!  

Are you brave enough to face the challenge in the quiz below

Weighing the heart quiz

Label the Field of Reeds

The ancient Egyptians imagined the Field of Reeds to be a perfect version of Egypt: endless fields of beautiful plants, clear rivers and bright sun. It was their version of paradise, a place of peace and contentment, where the deceased would meet with the gods, be reunited with their deceased parents and harvest plenty of crops. Some people were buried with little magical statues called shabtis that would do all the hard work in the Field of Reeds so they could just relax! 

Drag and drop the keywords on the papyrus to learn about the Field of Reeds. Words will turn green when they're in the right place. 

  • This activity works best on desktop and laptop computers. 

Field of Reeds