Awful Egyptian Assembly.
(Children seated around in a circle as always.)
Narrator 1: Welcome to Year ____’s assembly.
Narrator 2: We have been looking at The Ancient Egyptians.
Narrator 3: The Ancient Egyptians lived many thousands of years ago.
Narrator 1: Round about the time (teacher’s name) was born.
Narrator 2: The Ancient Egyptians are famous for many things.
Narrator 3: Probably the most famous being the pyramids.
Narrator 1: A pyramid was a huge tomb for the Kings of Egypt that, surprisingly, was shaped like a pyramid.
Narrator 2: The king of the Egyptians was called the Pharoah and he would order his pyramid as soon as he became king.
(Pharoah and architect stand up. Pharoah goes over to the architect)
Pharoah: So how is my pyramid going?
Arch: Oh fine, fine. We’ve got about 400 or so people building it at the moment so it shouldn’t be too long.
Pharoah: Brilliant. So how long do you think it’s going to take?
Arch: (thinks for 3 seconds.) About 20 years.
Pharoah: 20 years!!! You’re kidding.
Arch: No, you’re probably right. We’re doing really well so more like 19.
Pharoah: 19 years! But I’ve asked my friends round for a birthday party this weekend.
Arch: Well, they’ll have to wait a bit. Might be an idea to show them round the sights of Egypt while you’re waiting.
Pharoah: For 19 years!
Arch: Walk very slowly.
Narrator 3: Before a pharaoh was put into his pyramid, of course, he had to be dead.
Narrator 1: The Egyptians had a special way of looking after their dead. They mummified them.
Narrator 2: This was a way of preserving the body so it stayed lifelike.
Narrator 3: They embalmed the body and wrapped them in strips of linen.
Narrator 1: This is how they did it.
(Rahotep and his assistant come forward. Assistant is holding a poker. The dead body lies on a table in the middle.)
Rahotep: Hello my name is Rahotep and my assistant and I are going to show you how to mummify a body. (Rahotep walks over to the body.) The first thing you do is go and check that the body is dead. (Leans over and speaks to the dead body.) Are you dead?
Dead Body: Yes
Rahotep: Great. Let’s get started then. Rule no. 1; Wash the body with scented palm wine and then wash it off with water from the Nile.
Narrator 1: The Nile is the river that runs through the whole of Egypt and was very important to the Egyptians.
Narrator 2: It was so important that they treated the river Nile as a living thing.
(As the narrators have been saying this, the embalmers have been miming the washing of the body.)
Rahotep: Now your body is ready for the next bit. We have to get all the organs out of the body. We need them later so don’t throw them away. One organ we need to get out is the brain.
Assistant: Do we cut it out?
Rahotep: No.no.no. We don’t want to spoil the way the pharaoh looks. No, the method for taking a brain was very simple. First, you put the tip of a small metal pole into the fire until it’s nice and hot. Then you get the red hot pole, shove it up the deceased’s nose, waggle it about a bit and then pour the brains out.
Dead body; (sits up.)Wait a minute! You’re going to do what!?
Rahotep: I’m going to shove a red hot pole up your nose. Is that a problem?
Dead body: A problem! A problem! Of course, it’s a problem. That’s going to hurt!
Rahotep; But you’re dead, you won’t feel a thing.
Dead body: Oh yeah, I forgot. Okay, carry on (lies down.)
Rahotep: Alright, if there are no more objections, if I could have the red hot pole, please.
(Assistant takes pole, which has been painted red at the end, and hands it to Rahotep. He grabs it by the painted end. He screams, dropping the poker, looks at his hand, screams again and then runs off screaming.)
Assistant: Rule no.2: Grab the red hot pole by the right end.
(Rahotep comes back on, blowing on his hand.)
Rahotep: Oh, that hurt. (Picks up pole and mimes taking out the brains.)
Rahotep: Next Rule no. 3: we take out the organs: (He takes a knife and mimes cutting open the body.) First, the liver.
Narrator 3: The organs were placed in special jars called Canopic Jars.
Narrator 1: These were sometimes put back into the body later or left inside the tomb in their jars.
Rahotep:(As he takes each bit out, he hands it to the assistant who puts it in the Canopic Jar.) The lungs….. the stomach…(next he takes out a teddy bear.) a teddy bear. (looks confused.) a teddy bear? I wonder how that got in there? (Throws it away.) and finally, the intestines. Remember, don’t take out the heart! That has to stay in the body. Rule No.4: we have to stuff the body with linen and then cover it with natron.
Assistant: Natron? What’s that?
Rahotep:It’s another name for salt.
Assistant: Why didn’t you say so in the first place!
(Rahotep and assistant cover the body in natron. The body sneezes, Rahotep and assistant stop, look at body and when they are convinced everything is alright carry on covering the body with natron.)
Rahotep:Right, Rule No.5: leave the body for 40 days.
(They sit down. Someone holds up a sign that says; 40 Days later. Rahotep and assistant get up.)
Rahotep:Then Rule No. 6: we wash the body again using water from the Nile and then cover it in oils to make it look nice. Then all you have to do is wrap your body in linen bandages and your body is ready to pop into its tomb.
(Rahotep and Assistant sit down.)
Narrator 2: Once the body had been wrapped, religious charms and prayers written on papyrus were placed in the body to help it reach the after life.
Narrator 3: The whole process was usually so expensive that only the rich could afford it.
Narrator 1: Probably the greatest Pharaoh of them all was Rameses. He was actually called Rameses the Great.
(Rameses the Great stands up.)
Narrator 2: In the year, 1300Bc he got into an argument with another king.
(Mutwatali stands up.)
Mutwatali: That’s me, King Mutwatali of the Hittites. We’re Egypt’s next-door neighbours.
Narrator 1: And they didn’t trust each other.
(The two kings look at each other suspiciously.)
Narrator 3: It got so bad that eventually fighting broke out at the Battle of Kadesh. No one is quite sure how it started.
(The kings point at each other.)
Rameses: (both pointing)
Mutwatali: He started it!
Narrator 1: The two armies met in battle.
Narrator 2: Both the Hittites and the Egyptians fought with chariots.
Narrator 3: It was the probably the biggest chariot battle ever involving about 5 – 6, 000 chariots.
Narrator 1: When the battle was over, the Egyptian Pharaoh went back and told his people.
Rameses: Great news, people of Egypt. We have defeated the Hittites. Thousands of Hittites have been killed and I killed every one of them!
Narrator 2: Now obviously this isn’t true.
Rameses: (Annoyed.) You calling me a liar!
Narrator 3: In fact, in some versions of the battle, Rameses was caught by the Hittites and had to run away in his chariot.
Rameses: (Embarrassed) Yeah, so.
Narrator 1: So if you ran away, how could you kill so many people?
Rameses: Well, I probably ran over loads of Hittites while I was legging it.
Narrator 2: Meanwhile, King Mutwatali went back to his people and said:
Mutawatali: Great news, Hittites. We have defeated the Egyptians. Thousands of Egyptians have been killed.
Narrator 3: Didn’t you say you’d killed them all yourself?
Mutwatali: No, I’m not a big head like him. (Points to Rameses.)
Rameses: I heard that!
Narrator 2: In truth, no one knows who did win the Battle of Kadesh as both sides said they did, so we don’t know who to believe.
Narrator 1: We do know that they continued to fight for fifteen years until they finally made peace.
(Rameses and Mutwatali walk into the middle and shake hands.)
Narrator 2: We still have both versions of the peace treaty they signed.
Narrator 3: It is one of the oldest peace treaties in the world.
Mutwatali: Good news, Hittites, from now on its peace between the Hittites and Egyptians.
(Half the class cheer.)
Rameses: Good news, Egyptians, from now on its peace between the Egyptians and the Hittites, which is pretty big of us as considering we won the Battle of Kadesh.
(Other half of class cheer.)
Mutwatali: No, you didn’t.
Rameses: Yes we did.
Mutwatali: No, you didn’t.
Rameses: Yes we did.
Mutwatali: No, you didn’t.
Rameses: Yes we did.
(They go back to their sits repeating :)
Rameses: Did, did, did.
Mutwatali: Didn’t, didn’t, didn’t.
(Once they have sat down, still arguing :)
Everyone: Will you stop arguing! You’re interrupting our assembly!
Narrator 1: Rameses is also famous for being the Pharaoh in the Bible who has trouble with Moses.
(Moses stands up.)
Moses: Pharaoh, let my people go!
Rameses: Oh no, more trouble. (puts head in his hands.)
(Moses sits down.)
Narrator 2: The Egyptians believed in many gods.
Narrator 3: Many had the bodies of humans and the heads of birds and animals.
Narrator 1: They believed that cats were sacred.
Narrator 2: This is the story of how the Egyptians believed the world began.
Narrator 3: they believed that in the beginning there was a god called Atum.
(Atum stands up.)
Atum: The entire world is covered in water. I will cause a hill to rise out of the water and I shall call this hill Ben Ben.
Narrator 1: Ben Ben?
Atum: Yes, yes.
Narrator 2: Really, really.
Narrator 3: Atum decided to create other gods.
Narrator 1: He coughed and spat out two other gods.
Atum: I did wash my hands afterwards!
(Shu and Tefnut stand up.)
Shu: I am Shu, the god of air.
Tefnut: And I am Tefnut, the goddess of moisture.
Narrator 2: Shu and Tefnut had 2 children, Geb and Nut.
Geb: I’m Geb, the god of the Earth.
Nut: And I’m Nut, the goddess of the night.
(Geb sits on the floor while Nut stands over him and stretches her arms out above him.)
Narrator 3: And that is how the Earth and the sky came to be.
(Everyone sits down.)
Narrator 1: One of the most famous Pharaohs was Tutankhamun.
Tutankhamun stands up.)
Tutankhamun: I’m Tutankhamun and I’m going to be one of the greatest Pharaohs that has ever been and live forever!
Narrator 2: But he died when he was about 17.
Tutankhamun: So much for living forever. (Drops down dead.)
Narrator 3: By the time, Tutankhamun died, Pharaohs weren’t buried in pyramids anymore.
Narrator 1: Tutankhamun was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
Narrator 2: Many years later Lord Carnarvon (Carnarvon stands up.) paid a young archaeologist called Howard Carter (Carter stands up.) to look for Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Narrator 3: But after years of looking, Carter couldn’t find it until Lord Carnarvon finally lost his patience.
Carnarvon: Carter, you’re probably the best apprentice I’ve ever had but if you don’t find that tomb soon (points his finger at him.) you’re fired.
Narrator 1: luckily, a few days later in November 1922, Carter found Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Carter: Thank goodness for that.
Narrator 2: Lord Carnarvon was there when Howard Carter broke through the tomb wall and, through a tiny little hole, was able to look inside.
(Carnarvon and Carter come to the middle. Carter bends down and looks while Carnarvon bends his head down in front of him.)
Carnarvon: Carter, can you see anything?
Carnarvon: Why not!
Carter: (Moves his head out of Caernarvon’s way.) Because your big head’s in the way.
Carnarvon; (stands up.) Oh, sorry. Have another look. (Carter looks.) Carter, can you see anything!
Carter: Yes, I can see wonderful things. (He stands up and talks to the audience.) We found the first intact Egyptian tomb ever. All the treasures were still there.
(They go and sit down.)
Narrator 3: We learnt a lot about Egypt and the Egyptians thanks to Howard Carter.
Narrator 1: And you can still see the body of Tutankhamun in the Cairo Museum.
Narrator 2: Thanks for watching our Assembly.
Narrator 3: We hope you liked it.