Students dress like Egyptians

SOUTHWICK children travelled back in time to experience life in Ancient Egyptian times.

History Off the Page led an Ancient Egyptian Workshop at Glebe Primary School last Monday, giving the year-three pupils the chance to find out what life was like in 1347 BC.

S13522H13 Egyptian Day at Glebe Primary School in Southwick

S13522H13 Egyptian Day at Glebe Primary School in Southwick

The day began with a scene set in the busy marketplace of Thebes, in the Street of the Dead and, with a new Pharaoh in charge (Akhenaten – father of Tutankhamun), there was plenty for slaves to gossip about around the crowded stalls.

The children, aged seven and eight, played the part of slaves who had been given the opportunity to be apprentices for the morning.

They needed to work hard to perfect new skills in the hope securing future paid employment.

Craft workshops included bread making, tomb-painting, soap carving and crushing olives to make oil for the small clay lamps.

After completing the tasks, the children were able to take all their wares away with them – but only after going to the special altar to give thanks to the sun god, Aten, for “giving them the skills and patience in making these items”.

For the afternoon session, the children were busy with preparations for the Festival of the Nile, being held to celebrate the flooding of the river.

The children played percussion instruments, performed dances and plays, all to entertain the Pharaoh and his wife, Nefertiti, and their honoured guests.

In between the performances, the slaves delivered various courses of a magnificent banquet, with servings of bread, cheese and fruit, washed down by a goblet of fine “red wine” (blackcurrant cordial in reality).

The Pharaoh was pleased and it proved a great way to finish what had been an exciting day of role-play for the children.

Year-three teachers Pauline Davies and Matt Miller agreed: “It had been a really enjoyable day for the pupils and it was a wonderfully active way for the children to learn about life in the past.

“The workshop provided by HOTP was full of practical activities, which gave them hands-on experience and created a real sense of being an Ancient Egyptian.”