A Children's Guide to Ancient Egyptian Discoveries

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The Ancient Egyptian civilization was located in northeast Africa along the Nile River. It was one of the most powerful and civilizations throughout time lasting over three thousand years. The civilization lasted from 3150 BC to 30 BC and throughout it's time the Egyptians made some remarkable discoveries in everyday life. Some of their most important discoveries were Hieroglyphics, Glass Making, Pyramids, Mummification, and even clothing and makeup.

Hieroglyphics

Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics as a form of communication during their time. Hieroglyphics was a very complicated form of writing and communication, the language had over one thousand symbols. Similar to the American alphabet, most symbols represented a sound like our letters. Other symbols were used to represent full words in the language. Unlike many languages, the communication method didn't use any punctuation. The Hieroglyphics could also be written in any direction. Readers would figure out the order of the message depending on the direction of the symbols. Hieroglyphics was known to be one of the most beautiful languages as the symbols and pictures were drawn and created to be beautiful to the eye. The language of hieroglyphics was so complex that it would take a person years of practice to learn. People who were known as scribes would train others to learn the language as early as six years old.

Glass Making

Glass-making in Egypt was extremely popular. The Egyptians would make the glass by finding small pieces of the mineral quartz, crushing them into fine pieces, and then mixing it with plant ash. The mixture was set over a low heat in clay containers creating a ball like shape made out of molten. This was then cooled, crushed, and then coloring and dyes were added. After a final time of reheating the mixture, this time at a higher temperature, glass ingots were formed. The glass was used to create jewelry pieces such as beads and pendants. People incorporated colored glass into furniture, mosaics, and statues as well.

Pyramids

The Ancient Egyptian pyramids are known as some of the most impressive and complex man-made structures built throughout time. Many of the pyramids are still around for us to marvel at and learn from today. Egyptians believed that when Pharaohs died they would need certain things in the afterlife to survive so they were buried with some of these items. Pyramids were built as burial grounds for these Pharaohs. When the pyramids were first built they had a more step like structure to them. This was because the Egyptians believed the Pharaohs would climb the sides of the pyramid as stairs to what they believed to be the sun God. As more pyramids were built the sides became more sloped and flat, symbolizing a mound where the sun god would stand.

Mummification

Mummification is the process of preserving a human or animal's body after death for the afterlife. The mummification process was extremely expensive and only a select few who could afford it had their bodies preserved. The process started with washing and purifying the body, removing all of the organs except for the heart. The body was then stuffed and covered in a substance that would dry out the body. The heart was left in the body because the Egyptians believed the heart was what controlled intelligence and emotions in the body and they would need that in the afterlife as well. The entire process of mummification could last up to 70 days at times.

Clothing and Makeup

Egyptian clothes were made of various materials including cotton, linen, and woven reeds. The upper class wore the linen and cotton, while the lower class usually wore the woven reeds. As for makeup, women and even some men children colored their cheeks and their nails. Women, men, and children also made rings around their eyes with a substance of powdered stone called Kohl. They believed the rings protected their eyes from the sun, sand being blown in the wind, and flies. However, most just wore the rings because they thought it looked nice.

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