JONESVILLE — From the Book of Exodus in The Bible to the classic horror films of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Ancient Egypt has loomed large in both history and popular culture and nothing has loomed larger than its most distinguishing feature, the pyramids.
The pyramids of Ancient Egypt were built over the course of a thousand years beginning around 2700 BC and ending around 1700 BC. They were built as tombs for the pharaohs of Egypt and their consorts during what is known as the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom eras. In most cases they were built west of the Nile River because the soul of the pharaoh — who was considered to be a god — was meant to join with the sun as it set before continuing on with it for eternity. Most of the more than 100 pyramids of Ancient Egypt are located near Cairo, the capital of modern Egypt.
The pyramids of Egypt are the most famous of the world’s pyramids and they are most defining and fascinating feature of the now vanished civilization that produced them. The pyramids and everything about them continue to fascinate and that’s why some students at Jonesville Elementary/Middle School recently built some of their own.
The 6th grade students has JEMS recently had the opportunity to create an ancient Egyptian feature in the classroom. Many, of course, chose to make pyramids, but others chose to create a diorama of Egypt that included its greatest natural feature, the Nile River. Some, however, chose to make items that, while not as famous as the pyramids themselves, were nevertheless a part of them.
Some of the students created a sarcophagus, a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse that is usually carved from stone and usually displayed above ground. One student created canopic jars which the ancient Egyptians used in the mummification process to store and preserve the viscera or internal organs of the deceased for the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians either carved them from limestone or they were made from pottery.
Nearly 4,000 years after the last one was built, the pyramids of Ancient Egypt continue to fascinate, drawing tourists to modern Egypt and inspiring the imaginations and creativity of students in Jonesville, South Carolina. They are the most visible legacy of one of great civilizations of humanity’s past, a legacy to be studied and marveled at in its present and future.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.