Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who Was King Tut? by Roberta Edwards

Who Was King Tut by Roberta Edwards
Parent-Child Book Discussion
Grades 2-3
February 2008

snack: hummus and pita; fig newtons

1. Thumbs Up/Down and favorite fact in the book

2. What River is/was central to Ancient Egypt? Why was it so important?
(The Nile, most of Egypt is a desert, but the Nile provided water and rich soil for farming/agriculture). It was important for transportation and trade. FUN FACT: Most major rivers flow N. to S. The Nile flows South to North because the higher land is to the south!

3. What was Tut's father like? Why was he unpopular?
( He decided to change the Egyptian religion so that they had to worship one god--Aten-Ra. And he, as Pharaoh, was the only one who could talk to Aten-Ra. They also built a new capital--Amarna. All the names with -Amen in them turned to -Aten Even Tutenkamen had been Tutenkhaten at one time (4, p 16).)

4. What were the rules for Egyptian art before Akenhaten? How did art change when he came to power?
(Before: people always shown from one side, with one eye looking at the viewer, the face always young and perfect, shoulders facing front, torso facing sideways, legs drawn with one in front of the other. After: more natural and less formal)

5. What did children learn in school in Ancient Egypt?
Upper class male children and children of scribes learned to write in schools attached to government offices and the palace. Some rich families had private tutors and even included their daughters in the lessons. Poorer families taught their children trades. Formal schooling started at age 7, and secondary school at age 9/10 where they learned to compose documents and learn medicine, geography, religion, math, etc. (1, p 54)

6. Our alphabet has 26 characters. How many characters were in the Ancient Egyptian Alphabet? a) 26 b) 50-100 c) 700-1000* d) 10,000

Hieroglyphics were finally translated with the help of the Rosetta stone. English is a phonetic language. Our symbols represent sounds. Chinese is a picture language. Each symbol represents a unique word. Hieroglyphics does a little of both.
FUN FACT: the Egyptians wrote left to right AND right to left as well as up and down-- however they could get the symbols to fill the space they needed. (1, p 56)

7. What happened after Tut's father died?
According to this book, a vizer took over and Tut played only a symbolic role. According to "You Wouldn't Want to be Tutenkhamen", p 14, some scholars think Nefertiti, the head wife, becomes the next Pharoah. It is hard to know for sure because names changed often and officials worked hard to erase everything printed about king Akenhaten. We know that adviser Ay took over after Tut's death.

8) What do we know about King Tut's death?
1-- it was sudden (his tomb was smaller and probably belonged to someone else but had to work in a fix).
2--we know he had a broken leg. The 2005 CAT scan showed no evidence of a blow to the head, just a hole probably drilled by embalmers.

FUN FACT: Eyptian medicine was quite good! "A Visitors Guide" p 14
They sterilized surgical instruments in flames with a cleanliness that was not re-instituted until the 1800s. The had splints and casts for breaks and sprains. They used moldy soil and vegetation applied to cuts (like an antibiotic). There were actually written documents to train doctors what symptoms to look for and how to treat patients.

9) What did you think about how mummies were made? What did you learn?
(facts-- took about 70 days, thought the brain was useless, left the heart inside, wrapped with charms, people made animal mummies, too.)

10) What kinds of things did people need to be buried with?
(food, pictures or statues of servents that could come to life, furniture, clothing, games, etc. Anything they had/needed when they were living.)

11) Why were most of the tombs already discovered before Tut's? Why was his so difficult to find?

12) Where is King Tut's mummy now?
It has always remained in the tomb, though everything else, including his death mask and sarcophoguses, were moved to a museum in Cairo. Parts of the exhibit travel the world. In 2007, a year after this book was published, King Tut's mummy was placed on display inside his tomb in a climate-controlled exhibit to preserve the remains.

13) Share some more fun facts about Egypt from the websites below.

14) Activity: have students write their names using hieroglyphics on page 35 and/or try to translate some words you write in Hieroglyphics. Have them draw themselves "Egyptian style."


Funny Facts about Ancient Egypt

Interesting Facts about Ancient Egypt by James Yolkowski

List Universe 15 Fascinating Facts About Ancient Egypt

Color Me Egypt--categories include Ancient Egyptian Life and Printable Activities-- check out the computer hieroglyph name generator!


1) A Visitor's Guide to Ancient Egypt. Lesley Sims. 2000.

2) The Egyptology Handbook. Emily Sands. 2005.

3) Creative Fun Egyptian Activity Book. Sue and Steve Weatherill. 2006.

4) You Wouldn't Want to Be Tutenkhamen! Jacqueline Morley. 2004.

5) Egypt (Insiders series). Joyce Tyldesley. 2007.

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