Ancient Egypt Education for Kids

Updated on September 5, 2018
angela_michelle profile image

Angela loves history and feels it is essential to our future to know the past or else be destined to repeat it.

Egyptian drawings were often in tombs, pyramids, and caves. They often depicted their gods, and their daily life.
Egyptian drawings were often in tombs, pyramids, and caves. They often depicted their gods, and their daily life. | Source

Ancient Egypt is a time and place full of mystery. Scientists continue to make new discoveries revealing more about pyramids, tombs, Egyptian artifacts, and even entire civilizations buried there. Artifacts are items found that existed a long time ago that teach us about a certain place. Once one is found, scientists study it, to see what can be learned. Many of these items are then put into museums to be enjoyed and viewed by many curious minds teaching many how Egyptians lived a long time ago.

Gizah Pyramids

The Gizah Pyramids are some of the most famous pyramids ever built.
The Gizah Pyramids are some of the most famous pyramids ever built. | Source

Pyramids of Egypt

Pyramids are large man-made structures that Egyptians began building as early as 2700 BCE. This was 5,000 years ago. Pyramids were only built during the Old Kingdom, which meant only during the oldest times of Ancient Egypt. Pyramids were very extensive structures that had rooms, halls, courtyards, steps, secret passageways, and even traps that could catch those attempting to rob what was inside.

The pyramids were usually requested by a pharaoh, so that way when they died, they could have their tomb placed there. They did this because in their culture they believed that after they died, they would come back in the afterlife and live forever. They wanted a place to protect their bodies and all their material things on earth. Therefore, they would hire hundreds, maybe even thousands to build these pyramids. Since there were so many people who worked on these oversized tombs, the people would develop a city beside the pyramid, known as a pyramid city.

Because the pharaohs wanted their treasures built in their tombs, there were people who wanted to steal those treasures. So they often built the inside of a pyramid much like a maze, and even had traps inside to catch tomb robbers. If caught, a tomb robber would be put to death.

Today, we now study the pyramids so we can understand how the Ancient Egyptians lived. We can find what type of clothes they wore, what type of jewelry, what their toys looked like, and even what kind of furniture they had.

Over ninety pyramids still stand in Egypt, usually close to the Nile River as it was easy to transport materials along the Nile. The pyramids in Giza are some of the most famous. There are three main ones that belong to three old pharaohs. The largest one was the largest building on earth for 4300 years, until the Eiffel tower was built. It is also the only one still standing.

The Sphinx

The Sphinx is one of the most famous statues built during ancient Egypt.
The Sphinx is one of the most famous statues built during ancient Egypt. | Source

The Sphinx

The Sphinx is a structure that was carved from natural rock. It lies in front of the Giza pyramids and is thought to guard them, symbolizing wisdom and strength. The Sphinx's body is shaped like a lion and has a head of a pharaoh. Lying down, the paws extend far in front, reaching fifty feet or fifteen meters. That is as long as a five story building is high. The entire length of the entire Sphinx is 150 feet or 45 meters. That is half the length of a football field.

For many years until 1905, there was sand covering the entire body, but showing the head. As a result, the head received most of the corrosion over time. The head which is thirty feet high and fifteen feet wide has corroded significantly. The nose itself has corroded completely away. There are stories of how it was destroyed, but it is uncertain whether any of them are true. Due to a splash of paint found underneath the Sphinx's ear, it is believed that at one time it was vibrantly painted, with much more detail than it has today.

There are many mysteries surrounding the Sphinx. Most will remain unknown, yet there are some that are still being researched. Although nothing has been found, it is believed that there are hidden passageways and rooms underneath the Sphinx, just like within the pyramids. The sphinx may even have more cave drawing and treasures that would give us further details about ancient Egypt.

Hieroglyphics in Egypt

Another name for ancient Egyptian drawings is hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics means sacred drawings in Greek, which worked a lot like our alphabet today. Hieroglyphics were used from 3000 BC to 300 AD. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, they began using the Greek alphabet. Hieroglyphics looked much like drawings of everyday things. They were often simplified versions of people or animals, to make it easier to draw.

They used these drawings to communicate their thoughts, beliefs, and plans. Many of them meant more than what they appeared. For instance a drawing of a sheep could have stood for the 'sh' sound, whereas a picture of an owl, may have meant 'hoot.' Together, they would read shoot.

Hieroglyphics were used to write on everything from the inside walls of pyramids, to little stones that acted as tablets. The Ancient Egyptians would write everything down, from their views of Egyptian gods, to what food they ate yesterday. Although there is no one today who remembers how to read hieroglyphics, there are scientists who are studying the drawings on many of the old Egyptian artifacts, and have learned a lot about ancient Egypt this way.

Mummies

Mummies are often within a very ornate covering.
Mummies are often within a very ornate covering. | Source

Egyptian Mummies

Mummies were essentially the Egyptian way of preserving a body after death. It took seventy days to complete, which is more than two months. Because it took a long time, only the wealthiest people could afford to have their remains preserved. The reason many people chose to preserve their body is because they believed that someday they would come back to live in those bodies again. Since they did not want a decomposed body, they would hire people who could preserve it for them. Some even would mummify their cats.

In order to mummify someone, they would need to wash the body, and then remove all the organs except the heart. They left the heart, because they believed that the heart was where someone's intelligence and emotions came from. We now know today, we think with our brains not our hearts.

The body was then filled with stuffing and had a substance put on the body that would absorb all the moisture. Then the body would sit for forty to fifty days until the body was all dry. Then they would fill the body with linen or sawdust. With the same linen, the body would be wrapped, which gave the appearance we often think of when we think of a mummy. Once this was completed, the mummy was placed in a tomb called a sarcophagus. Many of these sarcophaguses are found in pyramids. The outside of the sarcophagus were often decorated very ornately, and sometimes had hieroglyphics on the outside.

From Pyramids, to mummies, we are able to learn a lot about ancient Egypt. The hieroglyphics found on sarcophaguses and inside pyramids help us learn many things we would not know otherwise. For instance, a lot of why we know whose mummy is in what pyramid or tomb is because of hieroglyphics that are either written on the pyramids walls or the sarcophagus themselves. We have also learned a lot about the Sphinx due to hieroglyphics found on the Sphinx itself.

Still there are a lot of mysteries that we don't know. By searching Egyptian land, as well as researching the hieroglyphics found on many of the Egyptian artifacts, we are able to learn even more.

Citations

  • http://egypt.mrdonn.org/pyramids.html
  • http://egypt.mrdonn.org/hieroglyphics.html
  • http://www.guardians.net/egypt/sphinx/
  • http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/egypt/literature/hieroglyphs.htm

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz

    Comments

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      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        I'm so glad to remind you!

      • clairemy profile image

        Claire 

        6 years ago

        I fell in love with Egypt when I was a child and this hub has helped me to remember why...well done.

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        THanks so much Bewhuebner!

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        hirundine, when I was little I was a big science geek, I think growing into a history geek has been a natural transition, since they are so inter-related.

      • bewhuebner profile image

        bewhuebner 

        6 years ago from Virginia, USA

        Great introduction to Egyptian history! I, as many others, was fascinated with Ancient Egypt when I was a kid, and a hub like this is a good introduction for any kid looking to learn about this subject... Voted up!

      • hirundine profile image

        hirundine 

        6 years ago from Nelson, B.C. Canada

        angela_michelle,

        Right on! You seem to have succeeded. I was given a one book encyclopedia as a child. For it's time; it had good graphics. I spent a lot of time on the pages of Egypt and Dinosaurs. After my grandparents had taken me to both British museums and Natural History. They seem to definitely capture the imagination; of generations of children?

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        I hope so, and thank you!

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 years ago

        As a teacher I would have enjoyed teaching Hieroglyphics as it is a very visual way of communicating. Great topic and well covered. I believe kids will enjoy learning from your topic.

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        Thank you very much goodlady.

      • GoodLady profile image

        Penelope Hart 

        6 years ago from Rome, Italy

        Such a pleasant way to tell the Egyptian story to kids. (and adults who have forgotten their history!)

        Thanks

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        I would love to visit there to. There and Israel.

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        Yes, it was hard to sum up this entire population, but I took four of the most fascinating things that kids would enjoy. I honestly find all ancient history fascinating, not just Egypt history.

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        6 years ago from England

        Hi, this was a really interesting look at Egypt especially for children to read. It's a place I always wanted to visit, but alas I haven't managed to get there yet, but very good information, cheers nell

      • hirundine profile image

        hirundine 

        6 years ago from Nelson, B.C. Canada

        Hi angela_michelle,

        It must be difficult to write a summation of these people who were the culmination of a political power; located around the lush fertile delta that is the river nile. Which was the main desire of the conquerors? I'm sure?

        I'm not sure what today's fascination with their culture stems from? Especially with the even older cities, to the east. The tales of atlantis, either, are not so far fetched? The neolithic cultures around northern turkey of gobekli tepe and their living cathedrals; show that the egyptians inherited a lot of the knowledge of stonework and building and it was a special craft in society.

        The pyramid culture globally seems odd, to me? I would not have seen the connects? With what the builders achieved. The math and geometry involved without looking at the finished structure, completely phenomenal!

        Cheers! Jamie

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