Ancient Egyptian history experienced by students first-hand
By Kathryn Schiliro
Local seventh grade students took a field trip last Tuesday. To ancient Egypt.
Or to the Atlanta Civic Center, which is as close as anyone is going to get to going back in history to ancient Egypt without the help of a time machine.
Morgan County Middle School students participated in a trip to see the exhibit "Tutankhamun The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs," where they were privy to former secrets that lay in the Egyptian ground, concealed under huge pyramids.
This was perfect timing for the field trip, considering their studies.
"In Social Studies, we were studying the Middle East," student Wyatt Howard said. "The next unit is going to be Africa."
From the moment they entered, it seemed as though they stepped back in time. A Social Studies lesson it was.
"They had all the stuff laid out when you first went in," Howard said. "There were photos, stuff on the wall. It looked like the pyramids."
When asked about favorite artifacts or parts of the exhibit, student Dylan Jaynes didn't hesitate in his answer.
"Mine was the toilet seat," Jaynes said. "It was a big piece of stone, about two [feet] by two [feet], and had one small hole in the center."
Others looked to the items buried with the pharaohs.
"Mine was Nefertiti's Daughter," student Lydia Cuyler said. "The lady was on top of the jar and her organs happened to be in the jar. It was weird."
"I liked all the gold jewelry," student Ashlyn Slaughter said.
"My favorite would probably be his shoes," Howard said. "That dude had gold sandals, pure gold sandals. I don't know how they wore them."
The field trip taught the students much about ancient Egyptian culture, society and history.
"They treasured their pharaohs, pharaohs' family members, heirs and heiresses of the pharaoh," Cuyler said. "And they treasured cats and dogs. There was a coffin for just one cat!...Those people were crazy about some statues."
The trip also taught students about archaeology.
"They also talked about how they found it," Howard said. "Howard Carter...had trouble finding it...But then they were digging and found the steps."
"They didn't have any power tools," Jaynes said, discussing how the pyramids were constructed. "They were all crafted with hammer and chisel."
"They won't let the body leave Egypt," Cuyler said, explaining that while King Tut's coffin was in Atlanta, he wasn't inside.
And, maybe most importantly in this day and time, they learned about finances.
"You should definitely go in a group of 70 to 80 people," Cuyler said, when asked about advice for those interested in visiting the exhibit. "That way, you can get a discount."
PHOTO BY K. SCHILIRO
"WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN," OR JUST POSE BY ONE Seventh grade students from Morgan County Middle School took a field trip to see the "Tutankhamun The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs" exhibition at the Atlanta Civic Center last Tuesday. Pictured are students Dylan Jaynes (left to right), Wyatt Howard, Lydia Cuyler and Ashlyn Slaughter.
Printed in the February 26, 2009 edition.