Vol. 12, No. 4 (page 1)
The Sands of Time
with Egyptian and Mayan Art
A Unit of Study
Have you ever marveled at how (the gigantic Egyptian pyramids
and massive Mayan temples were constructed without the use
of modern machinery? Have you wondered how) ancient people
recorded their thoughts? Has the advanced craftsmanship of
wall painting and ornate relief sculpture from these two ancient
cultures captured your imagination? If so, invite your students
to assume the roles of archeologists and accompany you through
a fascinating and enlightening “dig” through the
sands of time.
From the earliest evidence of human existence, people have
developed a variety of civilizations that have, over time,
flourished, and fallen, and built new societies based on aspects
of the old. Two of the most amazing of these are the ancient
Egyptian and Mayan civilizations. Both civilizations created
a variety of pictorial symbols that relate to universal human
experiences and ideas such as war, death, family and history.These
two cultures parallel each other in their approaches to the
construction of architecture, use of hieroglyphics, and development
of styles of art.
The Egyptian tomb painting Scene Showing the Official Nebamun
Hunting Birds, British Museum, London, and the Mayan wall
relief Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler c. 785 , Mexico,
Usumacinta River Valley, Maya
||Late Classic period , Kimbell Art
Museum, Fort Worth, were chosen as the initial focus of the
unit because they embody primary parallel characteristics and
are strong representations of the Mayan and Egyptian art styles,
respectively. These two works will be compared and contrasted
in order to illicit an understanding of their meaning and form.
Another possible work that could be used is Wall Panel: Royal
Woman from the Dallas Museum of Art. A final comparison will
be between Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mayan glyphs.
Note: This unit is designed for Grade 3, but can be adapted
by the teacher for other levels.
(continued on page 2)