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Fri, Feb. 21

Sixth-graders build crafts of Egypt

PRESCOTT – Granite Mountain Middle School sixth-graders filled three classrooms with artwork reminiscent of Ancient Egypt on Thursday in a culmination of their studies of the land along the Nile.

Teachers Kristen Haynes, Dalma Rose and Sue Dykeman let the 105 students chose their projects. The result was a mix of jewelry, statues, miniature pyramids, a mummy, a sphinx, scarabs and other interesting items.

A "gold-jeweled" statue of Bastet, cat-shaped goddess of music and dance, welcomed visitors to the "museum." Students modeled it in papier-mache after a statue they say archaeologists found in Cleopatra's tomb, circa 47 BC.

Nearby, Katie Hurt displayed several scarab seals. She made them of clay, then scratched in her initials using hieroglyphs.

"People used seals to show their name and what they did," she said, stamping her own on white paper.

Sarah Fischer showed off a beaded collar she made of clay beads, cord and rolled-up, colored squares cut from magazines. Egyptians wore such collars to display their


"I'm going to put it up on my wall at home," Fischer said. "I spent five hours on it; it was a lot of work and a lot of fun."

A special burial mask was Anna Lerch's project. She made it from plaster and papier-mache, then painted it with the "gold and blue" of royalty.

"Anybody could use a death mask, but this one was King Tut's," she said. "During Ancient Egypt, when someone was mummified, it was part of their burial process. They put it over the mummy's face."

Mandy Stevens found the lion body and pharaoh's head of the Sphinx fascinating. She made her own foot-long model of plaster and papier-mache.

"According to my research, the Sphinx was made of blocks left over from building the pyramids," she said.

Jessica Meeker built a tabletop model of the Nile River featuring farms, complete with pigs in a pen, along the sides. Hippos, a goose and some "palm" trees complete the scene.

"I thought it was a big project I could do, and it'd be fun," she said.

Drew Ramsey was among those who built step pyramids out of sugar cubes. "This is like one from 2815 BC," he told those who paused to admire his work.

Taylor Noecker made a similar pyramid but also teamed up with Jake Rogers to craft a boat of grass – excuse me, "papyrus" – and a delicatessen.

"Sometimes when they were baking stuff in their oven, it was really hot, and they'd go under the sun roof and relax," said Rogers, pointing to their miniature building.

Puzzles, a jackal headdress and an assortment of dolls rounded out the museum display.

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