City anchor: Workshop to make you walk, talk & write like an Egyptian

You can now virtually be an ancient Egyptian scribe and make your own papyrus scroll. With original papyrus sheets sourced from Egypt, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) will teach Mumbaikars, and students in particular, how to crack the code of ancient Egyptians and try their hand at writing them on Saturday. Pictorial signage for modern day words like Facebook or something as basic as writing one's name, could be part of learning Egyptian hieroglyphs.

"Egypt and its history are part of the students' curriculum and the idea behind the enrichment workshops is to revisit the subject by making it interactive and fun. Hieroglyphs is a pictographic script and conveys an idea, object or syllable. It represents what the Egyptians saw around them. We will teach participants in the workshop how to greet people, common Egyptian words like mummy, temple, pyramid and river, among others. They will get to create their own script. A quiz will also be part of the workshop," said Bilwa Kulkarni, education officer, CSMVS.

While the recommended age group is 7-14 years, the workshop is open to people of all ages. It is part of the museum's programme on Egypt, which includes an exhibition Unravelling the Mysteries of the Egyptian Mummy from November 21, 2012, to March 24, 2013.

As wearing headgear was popular in ancient Egypt and held practical, social and aesthetic significance, another workshop will focus on Egypt's "crowning glory". Participants will get a chance to make headgear for themselves and even pose as an Egyptian God or pharaoh.

"They will find out what kind of headgear was in fashion 5,000 years ago in Egypt and what each signified. The crowns were related to royalty and each had a history and story behind it. We will also connect it to with Indian civilisation and headgear found here. It will be hands-on training to make a crown of your choice with cardboard, waste fabric, glitter and sequins, among others. Each participant will have to explain her or his creation," said Usha Rajaram, education consultant with CSMVS.

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