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Egypt in our schools
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:14 am    Post subject: Egypt in our schools Reply with quote

I'm too old to be in school anymore, aside from the occasional courses I take at the museum where I volunteer as a docent, but I know there are some younger folks here on Egyptian Dreams who recently graduated from or are still in high school.

As a docent I frequently work with school kids and help them with their projects. It's one of the things I most enjoy about working in our Egyptian exhibit. These kids are so lucky; having a wonderful institution like the Field Museum, local teachers are able to tailor some of their curricula around our exhibits. The Egyptian exhibit is particularly popular for this purpose, as you can imagine. Where I grew up--in a small town in the far northeastern hinterlands of frigid Minnesota--ancient Egypt was little more than a couple of pages in our dusty history books. We had a local museum, but it certainly contained no Egyptian artifacts, and you could tour every object on display in an hour or two. I've lived in Chicago for going on five years and have yet to see many parts of the Field Museum.

I'm curious to know what some of you younger folks remember about studying Egypt in school. What projects did you do? What did you enjoy most? Do you recall how long in your school year you spent studying Egypt?

Some of the kids whom I've helped have done a lot of very interesting stuff in their classes. Many have built miniature shadufs, the simple water-retrieval device brought into Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period by the Hyksos. More than a few have conducted mummifications on various kinds of fruit. And my favorite, a boy in about ninth grade and a girl from another state in tenth grade, told me all about how they got to mummify chickens!

That last one delighted me. I mean, imagine how interesting and fun that must have been! I later went onto the net and found this site that explains how to go about it (see the links along the left side of this web page--there are five stages to this project):

http://www.uen.org/utahlink/tours/tourFames.cgi?tour_id=10053

I have to wonder, though, if the cafeteria served chicken nuggets for lunch that day. scratch
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid to say I never learnt about Egypt in my school. Crying or Very sad
All my knowledge comes from research I have conducted myself over my late teen years up to now. And I can assure you that no chickens were harmed in the process Wink
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regretfully, I havew to say the same as isisinacrisis--my school never taught much about Egypt. I "got the bug" at a very early age. I was only 9 years old, and read one of Halliburton's books, in which he discribed an Egyptologist finding an unplundered tomb, full of gold, nauterally! And I thought that was sooooo cool! Just what I wanted to do!
Then I started reading the "real" facts about Egypt, and was hooked! I remember, in my early teens, as a school project I built a replica of the GP--out of sugar cubes. The ants loved it!
I have been lucky enough to go to Egypt three times now, and can't wait to go again--I love it! Not only the ancient works visable, but the people there now are so interesting and kind. I'm seriously thinking of retiring there! I wanna live in Luxor--I love that place!
I remember--fondly--on one trip, I went to Aswan and stayed at the Old Cateract hotel. My room was right on the Nile, with a balcony overlooking the river. I would sit out on the balcony every night at sundown, watching the river, the sunset, the feluccas--sipping a martini. The height of decadance! Loved it!
I have so many wonderful memories, and so many lasting friendships that I made there. Can't wait to go again!! I've contacted John Hopkins University--they're sponsering a dig at Karnak, and they have offered me a position on the excavation. I am slightly handicapped--I have severe arthritis in my knees and walk with a cane--so I'm trying to be practical--can I cope? Will I be an asset or a detriment? Etc. etc.--I wanna do it, though!
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never had much interest in Egypt myself when I was a kid; back then my love of Native Americans took root, especially of the Lakota Sioux, who I still enjoy studying. But for my first college degree I took up a minor in anthropology and studied a lot of ancient history, and that's all it took. I've become a steadfast Egyptophile over the last 20 years.

You're a lucky person, Osiris II. The way you write about your experiences in Egypt, I can tell the wonderful effect it's had in your life. My own health isn't so great--type 1 diabetes--and I doubt I myself could be of much benefit in the scorching excavations, though that would be a dream come true! Even with your arthritis I'll bet you could be a lot of help to that team. I'll bet they could use you in numerous ways, if kneeling all day in the sand and gravel is too hard on your joints. These excavations are incredibly complex and varied operations, as I'm sure you know, and people do all sorts of things at these digs. I'll bet if you check into it, you'll find other ways to help the team.

The only problem is, if you go, you'll have to buy a decent laptop computer so you can post to Egyptian Dreams several times a day. Don't forget us little people. We'll need to live vicariously through you!
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, you can read daily reports of the John Hopkins team here:
http://www.jhu.edu/~neareast/egypttoday.html

Enjoy!
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great website, Osiris II. I enjoyed the photographs. I noticed that hot-air ballooning is still a popular way to tour sites (the photos from Feb. 3 on that calendar). I think this was started by Kent Weeks and his team, in the early days of their Theban Mapping Project. What a wonderful way to see Egypt!

I also really enjoyed the shots of the Luxor Temple (Feb. 5). What exciting projects this team is involved with. This is the team you'd like to be part of? I can see why. Very Happy
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that is the excavation team I would be part of if I decide to do it. The photos they post are what gave me the idea of going in the first place.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should go for it. I would love to do something like that myself, but I have to be realistic about my job, my age, and my health. Of course, I'd be more than happy just to visit Egypt like you have. Very Happy
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I mentioned at the start of this thread, one of my favorite things about being a docent at the Field Museum is working with and talking with kids. It gladdens me to see so many kids captivated by ancient Egypt and wanting to learn more. Their enthusiasm and charm inspire me.

This past weekend I met a mom who brought her 9-year-old son to the Field to get some info for a report he was working on for school. The boy's name was Alexander--not "Alex," mind you, but Alexander. His mom likes to read him Greek myths, so I called him Alexander the Great. He rather liked that. I took them all over the exhibit and showed them many things, including our New Kingdom bust of a woman that looks shockingly like Michael Jackason. The mom thought it was very creep, just as I do. Alexander was a great kid and very smart--his teacher had already taught him a lot about ancient Egypt, and he enthusiastically absorbed everything I had to say. Before I knew it I had spent over an hour just with this lady and her boy. It was hard to say goodbye. And I'm jealous of Alexander--in fourth grade and he's already learning about ancient Egypt!

My favorite museum kids are two boys (twins) whose mom or dad brings them to the Field at least once a month. I know the whole family now. The parents are very decent people who are fostering a love of learning in their two little ones, and particularly a love of ancient Egypt. When they come to the Field, they have to visit the Egyptian exhibit. It's all the more remarkable because Eric and Noah are all of four years old. And are they smart! I mean, how many grown-ups (much less toddlers) can look at a Canopic jar with the head of a baboon and know to identify it as Hapi, he of the lungs? (Their dad, John, once spelled it "Happy" and was promptly corrected by the twins.) How many grown-ups (much less toddlers) can tell you about Qadesh, the Canaanite goddess of erotica who became very popular in New Kingdom Egypt? (Their mom, Heidi, mentioned that the exact meaning of "erotica" will be explained to Eric and Nick at a later time.Laughing )

These are the kinds of kids who make my work as a docent so meaningful. It makes me want to return to teaching. Sorry that this post does not have much relevance. I hope those of you who read it aren't mad at me now, or now wonder if my brain has taken holiday. I just wanted to share with you folks some of the wonderful parents and kids I've worked with.

You parents out there, bring your kids to a museum this weekend! faroah
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:39 am    Post subject: When we studied Egypt Reply with quote

This was back in the Dark Ages, mind you. I think this must have been in intermediate school in the mid-late 60s. I drew a poster of the Sphinx and my mother found a recipe to make a pyramid out of dough.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dark Ages? You're really dating yourself. I was born in 1966 and have to admit my own childhood feels like the Dark Ages, complete with monks and scary nuns (I attended a private Catholic school).

So, the question must be asked: did you bake your pyramid and frost it? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Frosted? Reply with quote

It was baked to harden it. But as it wasn't leavened (no yeast, no baking powder or soda) it just dried out, essentially. No frosting Very Happy

Yeah, I guess I'm dating myself. But at least I don't have to use C-14 to get my age!

Old geologists never die, they just petrify.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Old geologists never die, they just petrify.


And are buried deep in the strata to be discovered by their colleagues in the distant future! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In high school, my art teacher taught us about Egyptian art and we had to paint a picture of an Egyptian-style coffin for a famous cartoon character. I did Scooby Doo with Tut's headress and crook and flail and everthing, it's kinda corny but we got to go to the Royal Ontatio Museum and I saw a real mummy, it was amazing!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I did Scooby Doo with Tut's headress and crook and flail and everthing


Did Scooby have a funerary mask with a snout? You probably had to change the traditional offering formula on the coffin to read: "An offering which the king gives and which Anubis gives, a voice offering of Scooby snacks and everything good and pure on which the doggy lives..."
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