Ancient Egypt

We’re exploring Egypt on our next Lockdown Adventure, taking in the majesty of the Pyramids, mystery of ancient temples and tombs, and bazaars full of treasure and life.

Egypt is one of the world’s oldest civilisations, with archaeological artifacts dating back more than 10,000 years. Ancient Egypt — dating between 3100 BC to 332 BC — was particularly advanced, leaving behind writing, artifacts, and monuments that have inspired countless movies, storybooks and dreams in the millenia since.

Setting the scene

I’ve bookmarked a playlist of Egyptian street music for when we touch down in Cairo. My boys aren’t overly familiar with Egyptian landmarks and culture, so I’ve also printed out several images of the landmarks we’ll be visiting on our adventure:

  • Cairo city
  • The Khan el-Khalili bazaar
  • Giza
  • Luxor

We’ve also printed boarding passes and packed a cabin bag for each boy, with their usual travel toys, snacks, water bottles and outfits for the day.

Itinerary

We’re flying into the Cairo International Airport and will be greeted by our playlist of Egyptian street music on arrival. Our first stop will be the Khan el-Khalili bazaar — our backyard, with photos of the bazaar lining the walls. There, the boys will have a stand-up breakfast while they embark on a treasure hunt for dried leaves and flowers that we’ll use in our next activity.

Ancient Egyptians made and used paper from the papyrus plant from around 3000 BC. If they could do it, so can we: we will be making paper from our growing heap of scrap paper, plus the dried leaves and flowers for decoration.

While we’re in craft mode, we’ll also make quick, easy Egyptian headbands from a paper template, and maybe get our Egyptian eyeliner on for the day.

Then it’s time for lunch — with photos of Giza and Luxor surrounding our dining table — and some virtual sightseeing. The Egyptian Ministry of Tours and Antiquities offers virtual tours of the tomb of Meresankh III, the tomb of Menna, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the Red Monastery and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq. More information and images are available on the Ministry’s website.

Next, we’ll set about building our own pyramid using cardboard boxes in the backyard if it’s sunny, and Lego in the lounge room Giza if it isn’t. And while I realise toilet paper is precious in these COVID-afflicted times, I’m willing to sacrifice one roll of ours so our boys can create little toilet roll mummies for their pyramid.

We’ll have some quiet time in the late afternoon — after a quick lesson on hieroglyphics, the boys can construct cartouches of their names, learn some simple Arabic phrases, and/or journal. Dinner will be kebabs with flatbread and dips, and baklava to finish. Tayeb!

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