Religion in the Ancient Egypt history for kids
The ancient Egypt for kids will be untold if the aspects of religions that prevailed in Egypt are not discussed. Since Egypt was one of the earliest countries discovered and had significance based on its area of placement many people resided in Egypt. These people did not conform to the concept of one God but liked to worship various Gods whoever they thought was powerful. The religions in Egypt were more of polytheist in nature and believed in the worship of sun, moon, stars, fire, evil spirits and even the Pharaohs.
The Egyptians believed that the elements and forces of nature were controlled by a variety of supernatural powers. They had many Gods to worship like Ra, Anubis, Seth, Osiris, Isis and Horus. The ancient Egypt for kids calls for looking into the worshipping aspects of the Egyptians. The worship of any God took place in a temple. Many temples can still be found in Egypt showing the paintings and scriptures of worshipping a certain God. The temples were also built to communicate with the spirits of the deceased Pharaohs.
Statues of Gods were placed inside the temples. The temples were also a place to provide offerings and sacrifices to Gods. The Egyptians usually presented animals as sacrifices and in some cases even humans. The ancient Egypt for kids has many such stories. The temples were of great value to the Egyptians as much of the black magic was also practiced here. The maintenance of temples was part of the duties of the Pharaohs and the people as gratitude towards their Gods. Therefore they spent much of the resources in the expansion and decoration of the temples.
Every incident of life starting from birth to name keeping, to death was associated with religious obligations. Since the Egyptians believed in magic there were a number of cults in the society as well. The rituals and the oracles were used to communicate with spirits in order to make decisions or gain knowledge. The magical text was mostly found inscribed on the walls of the temples which were used by their priests.
The ancient Egypt history for kids needs also telling that the Egyptians never relied on a single God for their wishes. With the change in the kingdom or reign of a king the people followed whoever their king followed. During the time of the Pharaoh Akhenaten he forced people to worship only the God Aten. After he died people went back to worshipping the Gods of their choice until they were forced again by some other ruler.
The ancient Egypt history for kids is of significance in the matter of religion. As Egypt was invaded by many nations different religions were imposed. During the time of Greed invasion the worship of Greed gods was common. It was only after the revelation of the Prophet Moses and Jesus that many converted to Jews and Christians. Now most of the Egyptians are Muslims as it was conquered by Muslims after the Islamic dynasty.
Pyramids and the Ancient Egypt history for kids
The discussion about ancient Egypt for kids would be incomplete without mentioning the pyramids. The pyramid is generally what Egypt is known for. These are structures predating Christ and are a symbol of Egyptian reign. The Pharaohs that ruled Egypt wanted to be buried with honor so that people would remember them forever. They ordered huge stone tombs to be built for them and their belongings. Over the time as historians and travelers have visited and explored Egypt they have discovered around 138 pyramids. Many of them are still under the deserts of Egypt.
The pyramid structure has its historical importance as well. The tombs were not built in a pyramid shape from the start. Rather the bodies of the kings were buried with walls built around them called the Mastabas. The successive rulers had their own style of getting buried. It was started in the time of Middle Kingdom when the Pharaoh Djoser chose a pyramid structure for his tomb. Thousands of workers were used in the construction of the first pyramid for a Pharaoh and it also took about 20 to 23 years for it to complete.
The ancient Egypt for kids also lays importance on the design structure of the pyramids. Everything the Egyptians did had some religious association to it. The Egyptians were worshippers of the Sun and various other Gods. The shape of the pyramid was chosen because it represented sun rays descending from the sky. The Egyptians believed that the shape will help in taking them to the next world.
The Pharaohs of Egypt wanted a grand pyramid constructed for themselves during their lifetime so as they took over the throne the construction of a pyramid started. The importance of pyramids in the ancient Egypt for kids also lies in the fact that with the discovery of these pyramids the rule of a place by a certain Pharaoh and his life has been known. Every Pharaoh had his pyramid constructed near his acquired land.
Some of the Pharaohs died before their pyramid was built so they had to be transferred to some other pyramid in order to preserve the bodies quickly. The pyramids were mostly made of limestone from outside and granite and basalt flooring was placed inside. The pyramids are quite enclosed from inside the basis of which is not understood by many archeologists.
The ancient Egypt history for kids with respect to pyramids can be found in the Great Pyramids of Giza. These are the most popular and one of the largest manmade structures in the world. They are also amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. The Pyramids of Giza include the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khafra and Pyramid of Menkaure who were of the same generation. The built of these pyramids is so huge that many researchers and archeologists have different theories based on its construction. It is hard to understand how such huge structures can be built without modern day tools by the ancient Egyptians who used basic tools to work with. There are a lot of undiscovered mysteries of the pyramid which might stay mystery forever in order to hold the significance of these brilliant structures.
Pharaohs and the Ancient Egypt history for kids
The role of Pharaohs is significant to mention in the ancient Egypt for kids. Pharaohs were the rulers and kings of Egypt. He was the most powerful person in all Egypt. The Pharaohs owned everything in the land of Egypt from land, deserts, trees, crops, animals and even people. Not only were the Pharaohs leaders of the nation but also high priest of the temples. The pharaohs portrayed themselves as gods and inflicted the fact upon people that they are self created and no harm can be brought upon them.
Since the pharaohs considered themselves the elite and the highest member of the country, they chose men to represent themselves to the people. Big estates were given to the representatives of pharaohs so that people would consider them powerful as pharaohs as well. These representatives took care of their estates and provided food to the Pharaohs along with the state information.
The ancient Egypt for kids must also emphasize on the fact that Pharaohs were not really considered the Supreme Being in the earlier periods. The Pharaohs themselves believed in Gods and asked people to worship the god of their choice. It was in the later periods after Egypt was divided and united again that the new era provided Pharaohs that were powerful in characteristics.
The first true Pharaoh of Egypt was Narmer or also called Menes. This was the first dynasty which is important to be told in the ancient Egypt for kids. It was around 3100BC when the Egypt was divided into two parts and reunited again. It was also sometime after the reign of Narmer that pyramids were built for the Pharaohs to be buried and prepare for the afterlife.
Pharaohs had the most unique lifestyle than the rest of the people. They had thousands of servants to do favors for them and even had several wives out of which only one was made queen. The Pharaoh Tutankhamen holds importance in the ancient Egypt history for kids. He died at a very young age after becoming king just at the age of nine. Another important figure amongst Pharaohs is the Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti.
The ancient Egypt history for kids will not be complete without the mention of Ramses who built great structures for himself. He was also known for his numerous military battles and strength. He regained many of the territories that were lost by Egypt during previous wars. He is also speculated to be the Pharaoh during the time of Moses.
The ancient Egypt history for kids mentions different Pharaohs in the three kingdoms from 2700 BCE to 1000 BCE. As the time of Pharaohs ended so did the construction of pyramids and tombs. The later kings and rulers of Egypt were neither called Pharaohs nor were they buried in tombs. The later rulers chose to be buried in the valleys. The era of Pharaohs is the reason that Egypt is so famous.
Interesting Facts in the Ancient Egypt for kids
Ancient Egypt history for kids is fascinating to be told. One comes to know all the cultural and habitual practices of Egyptians and how they led their lives in the most unique way. There are some interesting facts about ancient Egypt and Egyptians that adds to the knowledge in intricacy.
- As the Pharaohs were considered Gods and even if they were they certainly called for royal treatments. In order to keep flies away from the Pharaoh a slave was appointed to stand naked with honey spread all over his body so that the flies only stuck to him.
- A headdress or a crown was always part of the Pharaoh’s dress because they did not like their hair to be shown.
- The ancient Egypt for kids also tells that kids wore no clothing until they reached their teenage years. The temperature of Egypt was also hot that the natives themselves wore short dresses.
- The ancient Egypt for kids puts importance in the classification of the locals. The rich dressed differently and poor in different attire. The rich wore wigs while the lower classes would weave their hair. The boys had half their head shaved like ancient Chinese with only one plaited lock. Historians tell that they did this to protect them from lice and fleas.
- The first pyramid discovered, that of Djoser, was surrounded by a 34 ft wall with 15 doors and only one allowed entry into the pyramid.
- The ancient Egypt history for kids is interesting to hear when there are mummies involved. The mummies of the Pharaohs were preserved by removing all the organs of their bodies except the heart. The Egyptians believed that the heart is must for the soul of the Pharaoh to survive so they did not take it out. The rest of the organs were put in a jar and placed besides the mummified Pharaohs.
- The Pharaohs married many women and even kept concubines. One of the popular Pharaohs Ramases had 8 wives and 100 concubines and he was 90 years old when he died.
- Only one Egyptian architect has been known by name in the ancient Egypt history for kids. The name of the architect is Imhotep who died around 2600 BC.
- Makeup was not only worn by women at that time but also men. The Pharaohs spent most of the time of a day on their personal care and cosmetic treatments.
- The Egyptians used to sleep in pillows made out of stone
- The purpose of the Sphinx in Egypt is still known since all the entrances to the structure are blocked by being buried in the sand.
It is interesting to know the facts in ancient Egypt for kids to share further. The secrets of ancient Egypt are vast enough to be still in the discovery phase by the archeologists. The lifestyle of the common Egyptians are still unknown as not much has been found about them in detail.
Importance of Mummies in Ancient Egypt for kids
It is important in the ancient Egypt for kids to tell about the preservation of the body in the form of mummies. In ancient Egypt times the Egyptians believed that after the death of a person he goes into another world where he continues his life. This concept called for preservation of dead bodies by mummifying them. Mummifying bodies meant wrapping and packaging the bodies so that they can stay preserved forever.
How did Egyptians Come up with Mummies?
During the 3500 BC when the Kings died they were simply buried in the ground. Soon the Egyptian people came up with the concept of drying bodies and preserving them. This appealed to them as they could preserve the bodies for a long time and they thought it would be helpful in the afterlife. The mummification process was divided based on the class of the person being mummified. If the person was rich he was mummified more lavishly and the poor people were preserved simply
The Mummification Process
Mummifying a body required drying up the body in the desert heat and then burying it. With time this process was enhanced and the people started taking out the organs of the body which decomposed the body quickly. The organs dried up quickly and were placed in separate jars while the body remains preserved forever. This was the better of the two process and most of the mummies of Pharaohs now found in Egypt had their organs placed in separate jars. This is important for ancient Egypt for kids to know.
Although the process of mummifying is still not very clear since not many scriptures about mummifying were found in the tombs of the Pharaohs but some researchers also suggest that the bodies were also submerged in a natural salt solution before wrapping it up. The ancient Egypt for kids is pretty much based on speculation about the mummifying process.
Why did the dead bodies not rot?
Although the concept of making mummies held significance in ancient Egypt for kids and the Egyptians thought that the bodies were preserved because of some divine power but this was not the case. The climate of Egypt was very dry and mostly consisted of hot deserts. The heat from the dry ground did not allow anything placed inside the ground to rot because the ground is not contaminated with bacteria. Moreover they were placed inside the coffin that is why the bodies were more protected.
The ancient Egypt history for kids puts importance to the concept of mummy for Egyptians. Upt ill now around 63 mummies of Pharaoh’s and their dignitaries have been discovered. These have mostly been found in the Valley of Kings. From 3500 BC till the 4th Century AD a total of 70 million mummies have been calculated to be buried in Egypt. Some have been found and many are completely vanished by getting buried under the sand. Eventually mummifying was given up as Egypt was conquered by different nations.
Hieroglyphic Writing in the Ancient Egypt History for Kids
The ancient Egypt for kids has to include the fascinating way of recording information by Egyptians. Like in every culture the Egyptians also gave importance to literature and writing. Language in writing did not exist on a well known level so Egyptians created their own style of communication. Scripts were created which were known as the hieroglyphic which evolved in the three generations of the Egyptian civilization.
It is important to emphasize in the ancient Egypt for kids that learning to write was also important to convey religious messages in the temples of Gods. The language of hieroglyphics was conveyed using symbols or pictures to represent words. There were several hundred words created in the scriptures carving and writing of which was a very labor intensive job for the Egyptians. These were mostly used in buildings, temples and tombs.
There are two categories in hieroglyphics called the phonograms and the ideograms. The ancient Egypt for kids provides interesting methodology of communication through these categories. The ideograms were pictures to represent one word. For example a picture of a woman would actually represent the word ‘woman’. Phonograms however, are symbols that were used to spell out the word and did not necessarily have any relation with the word itself.
The Egyptian community did not emphasize much on writing except for some groups who provided schooling to boys in order to learn writing in hieroglyphics. The benefit of such schooling at that time was that the boys became scribes when they grew up and were servants of the royal household.
Another point in the ancient Egypt history for kids is that hieroglyphics means ‘sacred drawings’ and Egyptians did consider all of their writings to be sacred. This form of writing evolved as the generations passed and was also affected by the invaders of other land. Like when Greek invaded Egypt they introduced Greek letters in hieroglyphics.
This form of writing was first fount in 1779 on a stone discovered near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. The text consisted of Egyptian and Greek language scripts. Most of the text found was written in the honor of the Pharaohs and Gods of that time. Reading the text is also another interesting part. The direction of hieroglyphics can be from left to right, top to bottom or the other way around. This depends on where the symbols are facing. If the symbols are facing right then reading is done from right to left and so on.
The ancient Egypt history for kids tells much about the usage of hieroglyphics for a long time until new and easy forms of writing were developed. The Egyptians usually wrote on walls, plants, papyrus reed and hollow stems to make books or pages. The writing grew more complex with time as new symbols were introduced. Hieroglyphics were also used to design sarcophagus symbols for the Pharaohs. Much time has been spent by historians in figuring out how to read hieroglyphics because of its complexity.
Hatshepsut and the Ancient Egypt for kids
As pharaohs play an important role in the ancient Egypt for kids, it is significant to mention that not all pharaohs were men. Egypt has also been ruled by female Pharaohs. Hatshepsut is one of the most successful female leaders of Egyptian dynasty who has the one of the longest reign in history. It was not common for Egyptians to be ruled by female leaders but in some dynasties the men Pharaohs allotted the governmental rules in the hands of their beloved.
There have been numerous female Pharaohs in ancient Egypt which are important to mention in the ancient Egypt for kids. Some of them included Nimaethap, Nitocris,Sobekneferu, Ahhotep, Amenhotep, Nefertari and Cleopetra VII. Amongst all the female Pharaohs Hatshepsut’s reign is known to be the most prosperous one. She is known to have brought great wealth through enforcing peaceful relationships with trading partners. She ruled for almost 22 years according to scriptures found by archeologists.
During the second intermediate period of ancient Egypt history trade networks were disrupted by the invasion of Hykos. Hatshepsut re-established these networks by sending missions to different lands with her representatives to bring goods into the country. Here expeditions went to the land of Punt, Byblos and Sinai and provided Egypt with peaceful trading opportunities which increased the wealth of Egypt as well.
Hatshepsut is also known to have led many successful military campaigns in Nubia, Levant and Syria. She was also known as one of the most prolific builders in Egypt. The ancient Egypt for kids also calls for looking into the construction projects Hatshepsut took under her reign. She employed some of the finest architects of Egypt to build monuments, temples, chapels, shrines and her famous obelisks.
Hatshepsut also liked to promote her accomplishments. Many of the buildings constructed by her had inscriptions of her achievements and the work she had done in hieroglyphic writing. Hatshepsut lifestyle is also important to mention in the ancient Egypt for kids. She was a dedicated Egyptian representing her symbol and regalia in all her belongings and communication aspects. The expeditions she sent took her regalia on the ships and decorations they exchanged with the traders.
Hatshepsut was also the daughter of the Pharaoh before she became one herself. She was the Great Royal Wife of Thutmose II. She held the position of God’s Wife which was a term used for royal women at that time during her father’s period.
The challenges she faced during her reign are unknown to be told in the ancient Egypt for kids. However some findings do show that Hatshepsut was forcedly removed from her throne and several attempts were made by her nephew Tuthmose III. The tomb she created for herself was destroyed after her mummy was removed and placed in some other tomb. It is also presumed that after her death her symbols were removed from every monument by Tuthmose as well to ensure that he is the true successor and Pharaoh.
Games in the Ancient Egypt history for kids
When talking about the ancient Egypt for kids, the people of Egypt were mostly portrayed as very hard working people. They built great structures, looked after their crops and animals, worked skillfully with art and tools of construction but they always did manage their time for leisure and fun activities. The adults and children gathered around for games to play. The Egyptians were also amongst the first to introduce board games.
A popular board game in the ancient Egypt for kids is the Senet. This was one of the very first and most played board game by Egyptians. Mostly played by the wealthy adults it was a game of good against evil. The tomb of Hesy had paintings and carvings on the wall showing that the game was played by the Egyptians and also told the method of playing. The game was slightly complex with a board and 30 holes, 3 rows and 10 columns. Because the Egyptians believed in magical powers and also practiced it a lot the Senet was also related to a magical meaning that symbolized the going of the dead into another world with success if he won the game. Some of the Pharaohs were also buried with Senet boards in their tombs.
Other board games like Dogs and Jackals, Seega and 30 & 50 Squares were also found in the tombs of kings. Ouija is another of the common board game played by the Egyptians. It was related to fortune telling another very common belief in Egypt. Some people also took Ouija to have evil powers and dealing with evil spirits. For the ancient Egypt for kids it is also interesting to mention that the snakes and ladders game also has roots within the Egypt culture. This was another board game with just a snake and no ladders. The one who reached the piece from tail of the snake to its head first won the game.
The ancient Egypt for kids also tells about the Mancala for children. It was a game to be played with stones and holes dug in the earth. The more quickly one gets his stones on all the holes won the game. The kids also played with knucklebones and small stones. Dice was also introduced at that time. Toys were also used during those times mostly made out of painted clay or wood. Shapes of animals were popular as Egyptians were experts in crafting and art. Dolls were mostly made out of wood with clay beads for hair.
The ancient Egypt history for kids has shown many artifacts that were simply toys for recreational purposes and mostly given to kids to play. Some toys that were found in the tombs were exceptionally carved and glazed which were expensive for the poor kids to buy. The poor kids usually made games of their own using stones and pebbles or making things of clay from the Nile. They always had ways of entertaining themselves.
Tutankhamun and the Ancient Egypt for kids
The ancient Egypt for kids will be incomplete if the story of the most famous Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun is not told. This was the youngest Pharaoh in the history of Egypt whose tomb was undiscovered until 1922. The tomb was discovered by a british Egyptologist Howard Carter who had been searching for the tomb for several years. Tutankhamun is the only Pharaoh still residing in the Valley of the Kings.
As a tradition in Egypt the Pharaohs built tombs for themselves during their life time and each Pharaoh wanted a grand tomb for himself. Tutankhamum was Pharaoh at the age of 9 and died at the age of 16 so his tomb could not be completed during his life time and he had to be buried in someone else’s tomb. He was short in height with a long face and lacked the personality of a true Pharaoh yet he ruled Egypt for certain time like a God. The tomb discovered had painting of the ceremonies that were held during the time of the Pharaoh’s reign
For ancient Egypt for kids, tutankhamun’s tomb had four gilded shrines nested one inside the other. The coffins were made of 110 kg of solid gold inside which he was lying with a gold mask. The interesting thing found at the tomb was the treasury of the Pharaoh which included figures, canopic chest, internal organs belonging to him, array of boats and other beautiful figures of goddesses including Isis and Selkis.
Not much is known about the life of Tutankhamun. He was either the son or brother of Akhenaten because he became the successor of Akhenaten in 1333 BC. An interesting aspect in the ancient Egypt history for kids to tell is that during the research of the Valley of the Kings some storage jars and flower garlands were found which bore the name of Tutankhamun. This led to the discovery of the Pharaoh’s tomb in the valley. This tomb was the most well preserved that were discovered in Egypt.
Tutankhamun was one of the few kings who were worshipped as a God according to his choice. He even ordered people to perform rituals for him to honor him in worship. During his reign he ordered people to stop worshipping the god Aten. Like other Pharaoh’s he was also involved in building structures around Thebes and Karnak. He even erected several temples and tombs with paintings that showed that he led the life of a God.
Tutankhamun story is interesting from the aspect of the ancient Egypt for kids. During his time Egypt did not come any more successful and his time is usually regarded as weak and in turmoil. Much of the foreign trade and diplomatic relations were neglected much of this could also be due to the fact that he was very immature for his king’s age and he did not have a set of strong advisors. His tomb also revealed body armors and tools of military campaigns showing that he might have lead a few battles.
The ancient Egypt for kids must include the reign of Cleopatra in the rule of Queens. Cleopatra was not an Egyptian rather she was a Macedonian born in a Ptolemy family. She was called Cleopatra the Seventh because her mother and sisters bore the same name. She was born in 69 BC in Alexandria. As a family tradition she married brother Ptolemy XIII to take over the throne of Egypt. She soon however ended the marriage to be the sole ruler of Egypt.
In the ancient Egypt for kids, the mention of Cleopatra starts in the Hellenistic period when Egypt was ruled by Alexander the Great. She was one of the daughters of the generals and the first in the family to speak Egyptian language. She represented herself as the Egyptian Goddess Isis. She was deeply possessed by the Egyptian land and the religions followed here that she came to throne as soon as her father was exiled and fled to Rome. Cleopatra was only 17 years old when she became the Pharaoh of Egypt.
She was regarded as a very intelligent and charismatic personality and impressed many of her male peers during her reign. However she was soon exiled from Egypt when she faces serious conflicts with Ptolemy XII. She and her sister escaped to Syria at that time and she struggled again to get her reign back. She befriended Romans and influenced their leader Julius Caesar who was already an enemy of the Ptolemy of that time. The war between Romans and Ptolemy’s army led to the victory of Caesar who then restored the throne of Cleopatra.
The stories of Cleopatra and Caesar have been laid out in many books and novels with own versions of the writers. The relationship between Cleopatra and Caesar was scandalized in all of Rome. Soon Caesar was assassinated and Cleopatra joined alliances with Caesarian party. In the ancient Egypt for kids it is important also to mention that Cleopatra also led many of her close partners to execution in order to keep the throne to herself alone. She also joined forces with Mark Antony and they were also scandalized in all Rome.
During her reign Cleopatra was provided with many titles based on her beauty and leading Rome. Some called her the Queen of Kings and some called her Goddess of Love. The kings and generals made statues to portray her beauty. She died when Egypt was again in clash with the Romans and civil disputes began. Many stores relate to her death and some say she committed suicide by taking poisonous toxin or getting bit by a snake.
The ancient Egypt for kids gets more interesting with Cleopatra’s reign and how she conquered and ruled Egypt for a long time. With her death Egypt was taken over by Romans. She was taken prisoner by the Octavian army after the death of Mark Antony. This was also the end of the Egyptian empire and the Pharaohs.