Kids Cafe Lectures: Ancient Egyptian History

I took a class on Ancient Near Eastern History (which included Egypt and Mesopotamia) during my undergraduate years and loved it, plus I had originally intended on using Egyptian art history (at least the museum pieces) as my first Masters’ thesis, so when trying to come up with ideas for Kids Cafe, I immediately jumped at the chance to talk about Ancient Egyptian History! Plus most kids love Egyptian things like mummies and pyramids, so I figured it was a safe bet. I divided the lecture into two parts, the first was History and the second Art. Obviously there is a bit of overlap when talking about these, but that’s gonna happen. I had a little more interaction with the kids as I tried to ask some questions while I was doing the presentation. The outline comes out a bit funny-looking (format-wise) on here, but it does the job of explaining what I did.  The cartouches came out pretty good too, as an activity.

KC Ancient Egyptian History – Feb 13

Upper and Lower Egypt map

  • Brief History of Egypt
    • 3100 BCE – King Narmer unites Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom
    • NarmPalette1
    • The Narmer Palette, which shows on the left side, King Narmer defeating his enemies
    • 2650 BCE – 1st Pyramid(a Step Pyramid) is built
      • Step Pyramid of Djoser
        • The Pyramids were built using huge stones. Each stone weighed as much as two and a half elephants! The finished pyramids had a white coating to protect the stones underneath.
        • The pyramids were built as burial places and monuments to the Pharaohs. As part of their religion, the Egyptians believed that the Pharaoh needed certain things to succeed in the afterlife. Deep inside the pyramid the Pharaoh would be buried with all sorts of items and treasure that he may need to survive in the afterlife.
        • There are around 138 Egyptian pyramids.The largest is the Pyramid of Khufu, also called the Great Pyramid of Giza. Scientists estimate it took at least 20,000 workers over 23 years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza.
    • 2250 BCE – Egyptians introduce gods into all areas of their lives
    • Egyptian gods
        • Some gods include Anubis, Thoth, Amun-Ra, Bastet, Horus and Hathor
    • Pharoahs
        • Rulers of Ancient Egypt were called pharaohs. The word ‘pharaoh’ means great house. The pharaoh was the most powerful person in Egypt and some people considered him a god.
        • One of the most famous pharaohs was Ramses II (aka Ramses the Great). He ruled Egypt for over 60 years. In that time he fathered 156 children! He was a brave soldier and a great builder.
          • Ramesses_II_on_chariotRamses II in his chariot
          • Ramses II reconstruction Ramses II mummy
          • Ramses II reconstruction                             Ramses II’s mummy
        • Another famous pharaoh was King Tutankhamun [below is his mummy and reconstruction]
        • King Tut Reconstruction
        • King Tut Sarcophagus
        • King Tut’s Sarcophagus
  • Hieroglyphics
    • Ancient Egyptians used a system of picture writing called hieroglyphics. Each hieroglyph represented an object or letter. There were about 700 different hieroglyphs.
    • There were no vowel sounds, only consonants. Also, there was no punctuation.
    • They wrote on tablets, walls or papyrus paper (a reed-like plant)
    • Sometimes scribes used a faster short form of hieroglyphics on papyrus called hieratic.
  • The Rosetta Stone
    • In 1799 a French soldier found a special stone in the city of Rosetta. This stone had the same message written in both hieroglyphics and Greek.
    • This was important because it helped to translate what the hieroglyphics said and could be used to help translate other hieroglyphics as well.
    • Top section is in Egyptian Hieroglyphics (language of the scribes/priests); 2nd section is in Egyptian Demotic (common language); 3rd section is in Greek
    • Rosetta Stone  rosettastone-detail
  • Cartouches
    • An oval frame which is surrounded by a protective rope. This rope is said to possess a magical power to protect the name within it from evil spirits in present life and afterlife. Cartouches were primarily used to house the names of Pharaoh’s, Royals or Egyptian gods only.
    • Cleopatra CartoucheCleopatra’s Cartouche
    • ??????

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  • Activity: Creating our own Cartouche
    • Cartouche: An oval frame which is surrounded by a protective rope. This rope is said to possess a magical power to protect the name within it from evil spirits in present life and afterlife. Cartouches were primarily used to house the names of Pharaoh’s, Royals or Egyptian gods only.
    • Supplies: blank cartouche and examples of hieroglyphics that the kids can trace over/color/add to their own cartouches
    • I traced the hieroglyphs of my first name by placing the cartouche over the alphabet letters.

Print

My name in Hieroglyphics

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One thought on “Kids Cafe Lectures: Ancient Egyptian History

  1. […] Egypt, this one of course being about Egyptian art. It does overlap a bit with the previous one on Egyptian history, but that is a bit unavoidable.The formatting is a bit off again, not sure why it does that when I […]

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