The sixth graders of Starkville Academy recently turned their school into a museum about ancient Egypt.
Beverly Cachot’s social studies classes covered a unit on Egypt from 3100 BC to 31 BC in which they learned the Gift of the Nile, the Dynasties of Ancient Egypt and the Nubia and Kush.
“Every year I like to have a study where we go more in depth than what is covered in the book. In the past we have completed a more in-depth study on 911 and the Oklahoma City Bombing by working with the museum in Oklahoma City,” Catchot explained. “Social Studies is liked by many, but there are a few that may not find it as interesting as other subjects. I try to make learning fun and hopefully change their perspective on history... This year I thought the Ancient Egyptians would be a great learning experience.”
The museum created by the sixth graders took the elementary students through three stops: the mummy room, rulers and other cultural facts and the hieroglyphics room.
Student Hays Miller explained that the mummification process took roughly 70 days to complete.
The Egyptians started by cleaning and purifying the body.
“Next, they cut the left side of the body to remove organs,” Miller said. “They then removed the brain by taking a metal rod with a hook on the end and then pulled your brain out through your nostrils.”
Mummification was an important ritual for the Egyptians, and mummified bodies were often decorated in jewels and fine linens and laid to rest inside a pyramid.
“The heart was left because the Egyptians believed that the thinking was done with the heart. Due to their belief in the afterlife they wanted the person to be able to think once they came back,” Catchot added.
In the next room of the museum tour, the students learned about King Tut, and how be became ruler at just 8 years old. He died just a decade later due to a blow to the head.
Cleopatra VII is was the last queen of the independent Egypt, and perhaps the most famous, Sydney Passons reported.
Students also learned of the types of food Egyptians ate. Logan Alpe reported that a typical meal consisted of barley bread, fish, sour milk and beer — “That’s right, even kids around 10 or 11 years old drank a nice warm beer,” Aple said.
The last stop was the hieroglyphics room where students learned that hieroglyphics were simple drawings that stood for objects, words, sounds and phrases.
“One symbol might stand for a whole thought,” Mallory Reed said. “Messages were written by combining symbols.”