Publisher: pports the British MuseumThis fascinating book allows children to explore ancient EgyptThe book contains a wealth of fascinating images from the British Museum's world-renowned Egyptian collections, showing the people of ancient Egypt and the objects they made and usedThe text offers supporting information, descriptions and explanations alongside each image, encouraging children to engage with the photographs in detailA special feature is the quotations from ancient Egyptian sources, ranging from royal decrees to personal letters, that allow children to read about the Egyptians in their own words
Genre: Non Fiction
Age Range: 10-14 Middle/Secondary
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It’s refreshing to find a book on the Ancient Egyptians that isn’t aimed at KS2 – although keen and very able top juniors would be able to handle it – or that feels obliged to offer speculative reconstructions of Egyptian scenes. Rather, this British Museum publication, written by an expert in the field, uses well chosen and photographed artefacts from the Museum itself to give insights into the daily life of a variety of people from different levels of Egyptian society. The emphasis on what remains, whether it’s temple buildings and statues, tombs, burial goods or everyday articles, and on translations of letters and inscriptions written by Egyptians, gives a more rounded view of Egyptian life than the usual focus on Mummies and Pyramids. It also links, in a way that is relatively rare in a children’s book, what we actually see when we visit a museum with its place and meaning in Egyptian life, providing some fascinating connections: since the lotus symbolized rebirth, a cup shaped like a lotus flower was designed to make its drinker feel young again; most Egyptians are depicted in inscriptions or paintings in an idealised form, only farmers are shown as aged or bent, and no one really knows why; you can spot a statue of a king by the royal cobra (uraeus) on his brow, but sometimes ruling queens are difficult to identify because they had themselves depicted as if they were kings; and so on. Not just another National Curriculum text, and honest enough to say where there are gaps in knowledge, this is a fascinating book for enthusiasts. It provides an extensive bibliography, thoughtfully divided into sections for younger readers and older readers, in which the second section, where the titles are predominantly written for adults, is much the greater. It ought to be cherished for its faith that there are young people who are keen enough to explore ancient history for themselves beyond the classroom.