Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’
We’ve watched several programs and videos about Egypt during the last month. By far, our favorite was “The Ten Commandments”, with Charleton Heston in it. It is 3 and a half hours long, so we watched it half an hour a day, until one of my sons begged to finish it one Sunday afternoon (because he said he loved it). Even though the set of two videos isn’t perfectly Scriptural, it does help you to picture and to feel what it was like for the Israelites to leave Egypt. The movie was filmed in Egypt.
Our second-to-favorite video was “The Exodus Revealed.” It’s a Christian video that showed evidence of Egyptian chariot wheels in the middle of the Red Sea (which was super cool!), but at a different place than what is commonly believed. There was other evidence of the Exodus story, too, like a rock that was split, with evidence of water there, even though it is physically impossible.
The National Geographic video “Egypt Eternal: The Quest for the Lost Tombs” was boring. It contained a lot of good information, but they need to hire a better writer to make it more exciting. There was female nudity on one sarcophagus, and a sacred cow made the archaeologists excited. My oldest son said, “Why are they excited to find an idol? God isn’t pleased by that. Besides, isn’t that the same image that the Israelites made at the bottom of Mt. Sinai?” Yes, it was the one that infuriated Moses so much that he broke the Ten Commandments, and God nearly destroyed the whole nation. I told my son that the reason the archaeologists were excited about the golden idol was because it was a historic piece of antiquity that is worth a lot of money and has historic significance that can help us understand history. “Is that the way God feels about it?” my son said. “Probably not,” was my answer.
I recorded several programs off the TV, all apparently from the Discovery Channel. The one about the stars wasn’t on that video, so I must have watched it without recording it. Bummer, because it explained how the pyramids were built based on the configuration of the stars. It was absolutely fascinating. If anyone knows the name of that video, please let me know.
“The Lost Mummy of Imhotep” was not very good. It vilified Christians by saying that they destroyed a lot of ancient Egyptian artifacts and killed priests. Of course, this was back during the time when entire nations were “converted” to Christianity in name only. Regardless, there was nudity on the tomb walls, and people removed organs from the body (in a re-enactment) for the preparation for making a mummy. The blood and guts was behind the person lying down, so an adult can see that nothing is happening. This one isn’t worth watching, in my opinion, because they never even found the mummy. They were just looking. Ho-hum.
“King Tut’s Mystery Tomb Opened” was outstanding. Archaeologists found a new tomb from the time of King Tut. They had only a short amount of time to open the sarcophagus, because the mummy could disintegrate to dust within minutes. A hole in the coffin was already there, so they needed to open it, because it had already been exposed to air. Once a tomb is opened, there are changes in humidity, temperature, insects and other factors to deal with. Eventually they opened the sarcophagus (recorded live!) to find not a mummy, but lots of treasure! We were all on the edge of our seats the entire time. It was fun.
“Secrets of Egypt’s Lost Queen” was my personal favorite of all the Discovery Channel programs. This was a two-hour show, and it was an absolutely riveting, edge-of-your-seat mystery investigation. We were trying to figure out which of four mummies was Queen Hatchepsut. We knew that royalty was buried in high-quality linen, and that one arm was bent to signify royalty. Based on other ancestors and statues, we know that her eyes were far apart, and she had a wide nose and small mouth. A CAT scan of the mummies, followed by DNA evidence, was presented. Several mummies were ruled out. Finally, in a box labeled with Queen Hatchepsut’s name, a CAT scan revealed a tooth as well as organs of her body. The tooth had one root missing. One mummy had a tooth missing, with one root still in her head. The puzzle matched exactly for size, and the mystery was solved. My older two boys (ages ten and eight) were on the edge of their seats with excitement and often jumped up and down as we watched. I absolutely loved it. My seven-year-old son was scared of the mummies, especially the one called “The Screaming Mummy.” My five-year-old girl was fine with it. Because it was so long, we watched half an hour a day. So when my scared son saw “The Screaming Mummy” again, I sang, “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la…” (as if the mummy was singing instead of screaming) so that he would laugh. He did laugh, and he’s fine now. This show is fun to watch, especially if your kids are older.Tweet
I bought some papyrus paper at a teacher supply store. I looked on the back, and the papyrus was actually made in Egypt. I gave one sheet to each child, along with a pencil. My 10-year-old son grabbed one of our Egypt books, opened it up for ideas, and drew a scribe along with some hieroglyphs. The children colored their drawings with colored pencils. (I use Prismacolor colored pencils because they glide on more smoothly, and there are some metallic colors.)
My 7-year-old designed his own picture based on a page from another book. He wrote a story in hieroglyphs. His picture is absolutely precious. It looks similar in style to all the other drawings he makes. He loves drawing, almost as much as my oldest son, Bryan.
My 5-year-old girl took one look at the coloring book page that she had chosen, and she decided to trace it. Too bad that papyrus is so thick. We did this project after dinner one night, and my husband heard her scream and cry when she found out she couldn’t trace it. My husband took the coloring book, photocopied the one page she chose, taped it to the window, then taped the papyrus to the window. Luckily there was still enough light outside to trace the drawing. (The lights were off in the room where she was drawing, so that she could see through the papyrus.)
When she finished tracing it, she was so proud of her work. She colored it and added a few random hieroglyphs. (She didn’t realize that her brothers were writing real stories with their hieroglyphs, and she wanted to do what they were doing.)
We put their finished papyrus papers into their Egypt notebooks, sliding them into the sheet protector.Tweet
When we studied the story of Moses being pulled out of the Nile River by the Egyptian princess, my daughter wanted to be the Egyptian princess. Since I traveled to Egypt before I had kids, I had a real Egyptian costume. I used some face paint my husband had bought for $2 the day after Halloween several years ago when we had a circus birthday party. I wasn’t sure if the face paint was going to be old or hard as a rock, but it wasn’t. It worked perfectly.
I asked my son Bryan to design the Nile River, so he grabbed all the blue blankets in the house. He started by making a waterfall off the couch, then had the river meander through the living room.
We wrapped Rachel’s doll in a blanket and placed it in a basket in the river. We pretended to seal it with pitch before the baby went in, or pretend water would have leaked into the basket, and fake baby Moses would have been drowned. The princess heard the crying and walked over to retrieve the baby out of the river. For some reason she looked like she was dumping the baby into the river. “No, you’re taking the baby out, not putting the baby in! You feel sorry for the baby and want to raise the baby as your own son.”
Here are the pictures of the retrieval of Moses out of the Nile River by the beautiful Egyptian princess. If I had more daughters, I would have put a girl behind the potted plant in the corner, since the sister of Moses came out and offered to get a wet nurse for the baby. Instead, we just talked about it, since I didn’t want my boys playing a girl part.Tweet
My children have enjoyed drawing hieroglyphs and rubber stamping them. (If you want to see the hieroglyph rubber stamps, look at my YouTube video on Ancient Egypt.) My 10-year-old son said that he was a scribe, and he wrote a full page of hieroglyphs in pencil, telling a story. He rolled up the sheet of paper, came over to me, and said, “Where is my Ancient Egypt costume?” I told him the one I made was too small; that it was his brother Stephen’s now. Maybe next week or the week after I’ll make him another one. (Besides, I’m still figuring out how to spread the fabric glue faster, because for my conference workshop next March, I’ll be doing a workshop entitled “Using Simple Costumes and Props to Teach the Bible.” In that conference workshop, my opening act is to make a simple tunic in five minutes, with no sewing. I’m researching the fastest way to make it.)
Anyway, my son wanted to be an Egyptian scribe because, he said, his work contained all the wisdom of Ancient Egypt.
For rubber stamping the hierpglyphs, we dipped the rubber stamp (with one hieroglyph on it) into some gold paint. Then we stamped it on black paper. I’ve never seen that done before. I just made it up because it looked cool. To make it easier, put a very shallow puddle in a wide jar lid. Then when you dip it, it won’t be completely immersed in gold paint. (Yellowish-gold paint is the best color for this project.)
Stephen wrote: “A good omen is a flower at sunrise. A bad omen is a vulture around a pyramid.” He just made that up, too, based on Bryan’s sentence structure.
My daughter just rubber stamped the entire hieroglyph alphabet, and Nathaniel wrote a simple sentence and signed his name, all in hieroglyphs.
Later when we watched a video about Egypt, the kids were actually reading the hieroglyphs on the walls of Egyptian tombs! They recognized the different sounds, anyways. I thought that was neat.Tweet
Whenever you study a country, you ought to color a map of it, no matter what age you are. It helps you to remember the shape of the country, the rivers, and whatever else is on the map, like the major cities. I love this particular map of Egypt because it has some cartoon-like cultural stuff on it. Kids love it, and they can see where the pyramids are located, where Abu Simbel is (I walked around there!), and where Upper and Lower Egypt are (in opposite locations than you would think).
We got the map from Ancient Egypt: A Comprehensive Resource for the Active Study of Ancient Egypt, just in case you wanted to know where to get this particular map.
We colored the Nile River blue first. Then we put green along the river, because I’ve been on the Nile River, and it’s green right next to the water, where there are palm trees. The rest of the land is sand dunes. So the children colored the rest of the land light brown or yellow to represent the sand. Having a strong grasp of how Egypt looked, the kids were ready to make Egypt cookies.Tweet
Almost two decades ago, I had a chance to go to Egypt. Since I was living in England at the time, it didn’t cost very much to go on a cruise down the Nile River. I have to say, it was the most exotic-looking place I’ve ever been. Because I’m a tightwad, I took a cheaper tour that did not include the pyramids, and now I regret my decision. The most famous sight in Egypt is the pyramids, so I should have splurged and spent double the money. Oh, well. I asked my husband if we could take our children to Egypt on a “field trip,” you know, after I’m rich and famous. He said, “Are you kidding?! They’re killing Americans over there!”
The thing that struck me most strongly about Egypt was the enormity of all the stone sculptures. Almost everything was done in a very large way. Palm trees lined the edge of the Nile River, and beyond that were sand dunes as far as the eye could see. White long-necked birds flew along the edge of the river.
I entered King Tut’s tomb, which was almost like a cavern cut into the mountain. It was smaller than I thought, but everything was so elaborate, including the paintings that covered the walls. Hieroglyphs were painted everywhere, telling stories about the young king’s life.
Sphynxes lined different cobbled streets, and I saw the ruins of many famous cities, including the Colossi of Memnon statues in Thebes. They were tall and creepy, and they were roped off, so you couldn’t actually touch them.
Abu Simbel was a temple in Ramses. It had four large statues of men sitting at the entrance. Inside, large statues lined the hallway, and an eerie feeling crept over me, almost like there was something demonic about the statues. I had a sense of awe, but it was a creepy awe that included a strange fear. I can’t quite explain it, but I was glad to be out of there when the tour finished.Tweet