People you will read about: Herodotus 484? - 425? B.C. Greek historian. He is often called "The Father of History."
Things you will read about: hieroglyphics: a form of ancient writing combining pictures and symbols. Sphinx: a statue that is half-human and half-beast.
Will we ever learn the secrets possessed by the ancients or are we destined to speculate and wonder? Long ago, before 'Once upon a time .. .', a young Greek named Herodotus went into exile and traveled to Egypt. Egypt is said to be among the oldest
In Egypt, Herodotus found wonders hidden beneath the ground and incredible treasures behind false doors and secret staircases in man-made mountains of huge stones that rose hundreds of feet into the sky. These man-made mountains are called pyramids. When Herodotus was in Egypt, the pyramids were used as ancient monuments to dead kings. At the base, the pyramids have four exact sides of the same dimension. The tremendous walls rise with precision to form a point and make a perfect triangle. It is the precise dimensions of these enormous stones that. astound people today. Hundreds of these pyramids were built, but there are only 35 that are still standing along the Nile River. These magnificent structures were built at the time of a great flood to give the farmers work, since they could not care for their fields.
The Egyptians, as well as being interested in architecture, were also interested in astronomy. They discovered that when the great star Sirius came into view, the river would rise and the fields would become flooded. A dark hall in the top of one of these pyramids was used as an observatory to locate this star. By recording its annual appearance, the Egyptians were able to create a twelve month calendar.
The Egyptians also placed the north wall of another pyramid at such an angle so that at spring and again at autumn, one half of this exterior wall was in the shade, and the other half was in the sunlight for two weeks to show the change in the seasons.
Northern part of the Nile River
and the Nile Delta from space
Herodotus, in writing his histories, gathered many of his tales from strangers. We know that he was a scholar because he tells of things he had read. He tells us that Egyptian girls could not marry Greek boys. The reason, he said, was because the Greeks ate beef and the bull was considered sacred by the Egyptians.
Many of these customs seem incredible but the Egyptians did consider the bull to be a god. When one of these creatures died the carcass was buried with the horns above the ground to mark the place. Each year the remaining bones of these carcasses were gathered and taken to a sacred place.
The Hawk and Falcon are
symbols of the god Horus
The wonders of Egypt, both natural and man-made, are certainly good reasons for calling it 'The Gift of the Nile'. But when you consider how much Egyptian history had been deciphered and made known because of the works of people like Herodotus, we must be equally grateful for 'The Gift of the Greeks'.
1. Which of the following statements is not true?
2. The Egyptians put food and weapons in the pyramids because _______________
3.The language that unlocked the secret to Egyptian hieroglyphics was __________________
4. The Sphinx legend might appear in a book called __________
5. The Nile River _____________________
6. The Egyptians were ______________________
7.In order to capture a crocodile, first the Egyptians would dangle pig meat from a hook in the water. Next, __________
8. The sphinxes were ____________________
9. Another name for this selection could be ____________
10. This selection is mainly about ________________
See also "The Golden Pharoah" from Edcon Publishing about the young king, Tutenkhamun, and the discovery of his tomb.
And, "Exploring the Nile River" from Voice of America.
One more link! "The Treasures of Cairo" from Voice of America.