Saturday morning Brenna and I ended up talking about archeology real treasure. I painted florid descriptions of what is likely the most famous discovery of “treasure” in the last hundred years or so: the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. We talked about what archeologists were and how they studied the past to learn new things.
I told her all about how “King Tut” had died thousands of years ago and been buried with incredible wealth. We discussed how mummies were, in fact, real, but they didn’t really go around like monsters, trying to catch people. We ended up hitting my computer and browsing through a few galleries, and she was utterly fascinated by photographs of Tutankhamun’s funerary mask (solid gold!) and even photos of his unwrapped mummy being CT scanned.
We left the house to run some errands and ended up browsing through the semiannual book sale at the library. While there I came across the perfect find, a treasure in its own right: a book detailing, in full color, Tutankhamun’s treasure. I bought it for Brenna (it was less than a dollar), who was nearly squealing, she was so excited to have this book for her very own.
Yesterday we sat down and read the book together. At the beginning was a section that detailed the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Professor Carter in the early 20th century. Following that were over 50 pages of full-page photographs, each of a treasure from the tomb. Brenna was blown away, to say the least. We had a lot of fun discussing the importance of the vulture, cobra, and scarab to ancient Egyptians. She really liked the gold funerary mask and the various necklaces, especially one shaped like a falcon.
The book also contained quite a few black-and-white photographs taken by the original photographer back when the tomb was first opened. It was neat to see how disorganized everything was (as the tomb had been robbed twice, thousands of years ago).
Really, what was most special was showing Brenna how should could learn about anything she wanted. With books and the Internet, she really can learn about anything that interests her. She’s asked that we study the pyramids next, so hopefully we can find some good materials on that topic.