Teacher's Guide for DIG TM EgyptNovember 2004
Teacher Guide prepared by: Lisa Greenberg. Lisa Greenberg taught in international schools in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. She now lives and writes for children's and travel magazines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- To increase student understanding of the discipline of archeology
- To examine what kinds of jobs archeologists do and what they like about their work
- To examine changes in Egyptian architecture
- To practice expository and creative writing skills
- To practice information organization skills, such as making lists, making charts, and making a model from text information
Review the front and back cover of the magazine with students. What do the pictures tell them? What are some of the tales of magic and mystery that they already know about Incredible Egypt?
"Stairway to Heaven," pp. 6-9
You might want to have students work in small groups or pairs to list what they know or you might want to make a chart on the blackboard or paper of all the ideas the class has.
Reading for Facts:
"Tomb TT37," pp. 9-11
- Who was Imhotep? (the chief architect of the Sakkara Pyramid)
- Who was King Djoser? (the first kind of the Third Dynasty in Egypt)
- When did Djoser live? (around 2650 B.C.)
- What was the usual building material in Djoser's and Imhotep's time? (mud brick)
- What change did Djoser make in Egyptian architecture? (He built with stone.)
- Why did Djoser choose to build with limestone and granite? (He wanted his tomb to last forever.)
- How was the King's coffin protected? (by a granite plug topped with rubble)
- How were the "King's Apartments" decorated? (with blue-green glazed tiles)
- What is a serdab? (a box in which a statue is placed as a substitute for the king's body)
- What did Imhotep build around the famous Step Pyramid? (ceremonial courts and buildings for the King's funeral)
- How is the Egyptian Creation myth similar to and different from that of Genesis in the Bible or other Creation myths with which students are familiar?
- What is the difference between a mastaba and a pyramid?
- How does the shape of the step pyramid fit with the Egyptian Creation myth?
- Why do you think that Egypt's kings spent so much time, money, and energy on building pyramids?
- How were Egyptian burial practices different from and the same as present-day burials in the Western world?
"Digging in a Cemetery," pp. 13-15
Ask students, in pairs or small groups, to pretend they are "armchair" archeologists and list the information they discover as they read this article. Then have them write short paragraphs on Harwa, the "God's Wife of Amun," the Assasif cemetery, the texts discovered by Francesco Tiradritti's project, or how an epigraphic team works.
- Have students imagine the burial ceremony of Harwa from his daughter's point of view.
- Write a page in the diary of Amenirdis I or Shepenwepet II.
Fact and Opinion:
"Mummy Work," pp. 16-17 & "Digging Deeper," pp. 24-25
- What opinion does Angela Murock Leatherman hold about being an archeologist and why?
- What are the different types of work that Leatherman describes archeologists doing at the Abu Bakr Cemetery?
- Can you read through the lines and discover Angela Leatherman's "favorite find" at the Abu Bakr cemetery? Discuss with your classmates.
Salima Ikram and Zahi Hawass clearly like their jobs. Salima Ikram researches mummies, teaches at the university, manages a dig, and writes books. Zahi Hawass wrote the "Site Management" rules for Egypt and excavated the Workmen's Cemetery at Giza. Which of these jobs most appeals to you and why? Would you like to do them all? Are there some you wouldn't care for? Why?
"Pharaoh's Fortress," pp. 20-22
"To the Rescue," pp. 23-25
Display a map of the Middle East and trace the extent of the empire of Ramesses II by using the information on p. 20. Locate present day Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham where the excavation in the article took place.
Using the information in the text, draw a representation or build a 3-D model of the Pharaoh's Fortress and its contemporary surroundings. Use the information from the photograph of Neb-Re's statue for costume ideas for the soldiers.
What does the information in the article and the excavation of the fortress tell you about the
political situation of Egypt at the time and the life of the common soldier and his leaders?
"Frith's Fabulous Photography," pp. 26-27, & "King Tut's Pectoral,"
Why is site management important on archeological sites? Are there any "rules" you would add to the ones discussed in the article?
Frith's photographs and King Tut's Pectoral both give the viewer clues about ancient Egypt. What do these artworks tell you about the ancient people of Egypt? Put your information in a chart or short essay to share with the class. Students may choose to work with a friend or small group.
Discuss with the class, "What was the most incredible (or amazing) thing they learned about Egypt from this magazine?"