Life in Ancient Egypt

We offer a choice of Ancient Egyptian workshops (click the link for each listing):

 

In-School Day

Two boys use wooden sticks to carve figures into white bars of soap.
Soap carving during an in-school Life in Ancient Egypt Day.

Welcome to the 14th century BC, the 8th year of Akhenaten’s reign. Construction of a new utopian city to honour the god Aten nears completion. To celebrate, the Pharaoh plans to name a new high priest, the Mery-Ra, to oversee religious worship. (Pharaoh banned worship of all other Egyptian gods.) No one knows who the Mery-Ra might be.

The children serve as workers and slaves finishing the construction of the city. They complete important tasks in ancient Egyptian culture, including embalming, tomb painting and amulet making, among others.

The afternoon features an Egyptian “banquet” — what will the pronouncement of the Pharaoh be?

(View our risk assessment of the day’s activities in new tab.)

How You Contribute to the Day

To make the most of your children’s day, please help us with the following:

  • Adult helpers: The number of children participating determines how many work stations our Teacher brings. Please recruit a corresponding number of adults (teachers, TAs, parents) to oversee the activities and the afternoon session. (Your booking form lists the exact number needed.)
  • The school hall: Please reserve the school hall for the full day (it is not a problem if it is used for lunch).
  • Food: Please provide a small amount of food for the afternoon banquet. (It is a very small amount that helps set the scene — you can find details in the booklet when it arrives.)
  • Costumes: Please encourage the children to dress up in simple costumes. It helps them feel the part.

Please note that we still require adult helpers for in-school days. If this conflicts with your schools coronavirus policies, please let us know — a virtual workshop might be a better option for your school.

 

What to Wear

Costumes need not be complicated — we suggest the following “homemade” alternatives:

  • Boys: A white T-shirt and white shorts with a belt, cord or sash around the waist; sandals.
  • Girls: A simple white shift made from a sheet; sandals.

For those who prefer, we offer a bespoke costume service through History Off the Peg. We sell inexpensive costumes for both children and adults.

View costume options and pricing on our website, www.historyoffthepeg.co.uk. Place an order by sending an e-mail containing your name, your school, the date of the event, the topic, your child’s age and your child’s size to ddworkshop@icloud.com.

 

Virtual Workshop

Welcome to Thebes. It is 1323 BC, and the 19-year-old pharaoh, Tutankhamun, fights for Egypt to regain its standing after years of rule by his heretic father. The children have arrived to perform ma’at, an act of community service, under the guidance of the nomarch (provincial governor), User. But bad news arrives just after the work begins — the pharaoh has died, and the children have just 70 days to prepare his tomb. There is much to do.

The topics covered during the workshop include:

  • Tutankhamun’s life and death
  • Egyptian religious beliefs
  • Egyptian burial beliefs and rituals
  • How Tutankhamun’s tomb was prepared, and how it was unusual compared to others
  • Contrasts between Tutankhamun’s reign and that of his father, Akhenaten
  • Tutankhamun’s lack of an heir, and his unusual successor

 

How Does the Workshop Work?

The new workshops consist of two key elements:

  • A box packed with individual activities kits for each child in your group (plus a few extra, just in case). The kits contain up to six activities, which the children can do at their own desks.
  • A pre-recorded video made by our knowledgeable teachers that leads the children through the narrative and gives purpose to the activities they do along the way.

The workshops can take place in your own room at your own pace – we give you access to the video for several days, so you can rewind, replay, or break up the activities as you see fit.

Our school trials so far indicate that they can fill up to half a day.

For a small additional fee, you can also choose to add on an hour of “live” teaching time with one of our qualified teachers. This extra time, which takes place via video conferencing software, is a chance to add extra engagement to the day – the children can prepare questions, take notes from the answers, discuss artefacts and explore the materials used to make them, and generally probe further into the learning.

 

What Activities are Included?

The items include a tomb painting, a mummified doll, an engraved plaque made with golden foil, a feather fan, a clay shabti doll and a papyrus cartouche.
Objects the children make during the Ancient Egypt virtual workshop.

As mentioned, each child will receive an activities kit to match the video. There are a few basic supplies such as PVA glue, scissors, and pencils that the school will need to provide, but otherwise the children will receive the necessary materials to make six projects:

  • A mummified doll
  • An engraved golden plaque depicting Tutankhamun’s life
  • A clay shabti doll
  • A feather fan
  • A papyrus cartouche with hieroglyphs
  • A tomb painting

The workshop will also come with an information sheet for teachers, which will detail the learning outcomes, extra supplies that might be needed and possible follow-up learning.
 

How Much Does a Virtual Workshop Cost?

The pricing scheme is straightforward. We charge £300.00 for the first 30 children, plus £6.00 for each additional child (the costs are inclusive of 20% VAT, which the school can claim back.) Shipping is free.

The optional hour of video conferencing with one of our knowledgeable teachers can be purchased for an additional £60.00 (incl. 20% VAT).
 

How Do I Book a Workshop?

Please feel free to contact us by form, e-mail or telephone. Let us know the week you would like to use the workshop, and whether you would like the optional live teaching time, and we are happy to help.

Since the virtual workshops do not depend on our diary, there is no limit on when they can be ordered. Once full payment is received, we can turn them around and get them into schools within days. (Or they can be ordered well ahead and delivery scheduled – it is very flexible.)
 

Photos of the In-School Day: