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A day in the life of an ancient Egyptian priest

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Every town or city in ancient Egypt had at least one temple and yet most people never set foot in it. The largest temples dominated the skyline and employed lots of people to look after their farms and buildings, but only the king and his priests could enter the secret homes of the gods. The temple priests were very important and every day they had many tasks.

What did a day in an ancient Egyptian priest’s life look like? Find out with this short animation from the National Museums Scotland. The video highlights just one of the stories that can be found in the museum’s Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery.

incense's meaning in the temple

The Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery presents the remarkable culture and achievements of the ancient Egyptians, highlighting individual stories to give a sense of their values and personal lives. The displays showcase the depth and breadth of National Museums’ Ancient Egypt material with 2019 being the 200th anniversary (May 1819) of the first Egyptian objects becoming part of the collection.

Highlights include the Qurna burial, the only intact royal burial group outside of Egypt, a gold ring said to have belonged to Queen Nefertiti and a unique double coffin of two half-brothers, Petamun and Penhorpabik.

Gold finger-ring, incised on the top with the name of Queen Nefernefruaten-Nefertiti: Ancient Egyptian, Middle Egypt, Amarna, probably the Royal Tomb, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten, c.1353-1336 BC.

Virtually walk the halls of the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery with Google Streetview or take a guided tour of a few of the gallery objects with Margaret Maitland, Principal Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean. Recorded in April of 2020, the 10-minute video focuses on themes of family, home, togetherness, and separation.

Watch these related videos about Egypt next:
• Power beards, a Getty Museum 2-minute review
• Ancient Egyptian Tombs Were Crammed Full of Snacks
• Examining Tutankhamun’s Golden Coffin
• Unmasking the Secrets That Ancient Mummies Hold

Plus, more from the National Museums Scotland.

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