Ancient Egyptian Wall Paintings

By Borelli, Carol | School Arts, October 1998 | Go to article overview

Ancient Egyptian Wall Paintings


Borelli, Carol, School Arts


The exquisite tomb paintings of ancient Egypt inspired the third grade to interpret these antiquities in depth. Following a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's extensive Egyptian exhibit, the children began studying these picture stories carefully, using one of the museum's publications. As they looked at reproductions of details and close-ups of these ancient wall paintings, they were able to gather extensive information about ancient Egyptian life.

Artistic Clues to the Past

The children were intrigued by tile stylization of tile figures. Trying to stand in front of a full-length mirror in this position brought forth some giggles. Tile children practiced drawing eyes, hair, and fingernails, Egyptian style. They noticed that the clothing was minimal which helped them to figure out the climate. Jewelry was an important adornment which helped them understand the socioeconomic status of the population.

They were able to observe agricultural practices, noticing the presence of animals such as oxen, crops such as grains and dates, tools such as plows and scythes. They observed methods of transportation on land and water. They learned about the geography of the area rivers, marshes, and desert, and the kinds of plants and trees that grew there.

Though some animals were used for work, others, particularly cats, were revered as idols and worshiped by the people. …

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