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Pyramid Guide Essay

4214 words - 17 pages

EGYPT BEYOND THE PYRAMIDS
PAGE 1

THE HISTORY CHANNEL CLASSROOM PRESENTS EGYPT

TEACHER’S GUIDE

Egypt Beyond The Pyramids
The mystifying world of ancient Egypt comes to life in this four-part miniseries, Egypt Beyond the Pyramids. Within the walls of recently excavated temples and tombs lie secrets that will challenge current ideas about ancient Egypt. Discoveries—from the enormous burial tomb called KV5 to the sacred temples of Karnak—show how ancient Egyptians lived, worked, worshipped, and honored their dead. To provide a deeper understanding of Egypt’s past, head archaeologist Dr. Kent Weeks, along with other Egyptologists, leads viewers into ancient temples and tombs—including ...view middle of the document...

Egyptian gods were routinely fed and clothed in their sanctuaries of worship. With the construction of temples such as the Ramesseum and the temple of Hatshepsut, a significant shift in the function of Egyptian temples took place, from honoring ancient Egyptian deities, to celebrating the living pharaoh. Egypt Beyond the Pyramids: Mansions of the Spirits explores this shift in temple function and the complex relationship between religion and government in ancient Egypt. Objectives Students will be able to explain the relationship between religion and the state within Egyptian religious ideology. They will be able to identify and describe the shift in temple function, from the dwelling place of the gods to a place of worship dedicated to the living pharaoh.

CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS
1. It is difficult to unravel the past from the archaeological record. Ritual paraphernalia can be easily identified, but the difficulty lies in the meaning attributed to a ritual instrument. The Coptic religion and language are the closest link we have to the mystifying religion of the ancient Egyptians. What do they teach us about ancient Egyptian ritual? 2. Ancient Egyptians built temples with two purposes in mind: to house the gods and to protect themselves from primeval chaos. How does the architectural structure of Egyptian temples reflect their double function? 3. Fifteen obelisks were placed inside the great temple of Karnak. These magnificent stone monuments were dedicated to the sun god Re. Many ancient obelisks were removed from Egypt during the nineteenth century. The magnificent obelisk that once stood at the entrance to the temple of Luxor, for instance, now resides in Paris. Why was it removed from Luxor? Should cultural treasures such as Egyptian obelisks be returned to their native countries? 4. Dr. Van Siclen claims that “archaeologists hate to find gold because it’s only a problem and it never tells us anything.” The public’s fascination with gold has disrupted a number of archaeological excavations by encouraging looters to search for more hidden treasures. What are the implications of Dr. Van Siclen’s statement? In what ways can the current antiquities trade be curbed? 5. Who built the ancient Egyptian temples? How were they built? How did the earliest Egyptian temples differ from the monumental temples of the New Kingdom? 6. The great temple of Karnak is dedicated to which ancient Egyptian deity? How and why is the small statue of Amun different from other statues dedicated to ancient Egyptian gods? 7. The temple of Seti I is of great importance not only because it is so well preserved, but also because the temple contains a list of Egyptian kings in hieroglyphics. How does this list help archaeologists understand Egyptian history and the Egyptians’ sense of their place in history? 8. How are the remains of ancient Egyptian temples different from what the temples looked like in the past? What are some of the threats endangering the survival...

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