This past school year, we learned all about ancient cultures with our history curriculum, The Story of the World. I love this program because it brings Ancient Civilizations and their stories to life in a way that keeps the kids interested.
We learned all about the Egyptians, mummified a chicken, and built our own Pyramid. We learned about the first laws, and Mesopotamian cities, and the myths and legends of Greece and Rome. It was an amazing year.
When we were in Paris, I was not about to miss the Louvre, especially after reading about their collection online and realizing that many of the things we had learned about in history class were in the museum!
One afternoon, Bug and I took off to explore the museum on our own, and I let Bug lead the way so he could find all these amazing things on his own! (Don’t worry, I grabbed links for you to explore the museum with your kids from your computer so you can see it too!)
The Greek statues were my favorite part of the museum. The artists had an amazing eye for beauty and detail! Their statues show the Gods engaged in many “human” behaviors- they are fighting, and playing and laughing. Some of my friends had told me their children were uncomfortable with all the nude statues, but Bug didn’t mind. I explained to him that the Greeks just found the human body to be such a beautiful thing- and they celebrated it.
When we were at the Louvre, they had a special exhibit of Egyptian art- both papyrus and relief carvings. The works shown were in various stages of completion, so Bug was able to see how the Egyptians would draw their carvings on the stone before chiseling, and how they would line and sketch their work on the papyrus before painting it. He joked that even Egyptian kids had to do rough drafts and final drafts when they were writing! We weren’t allowed to take pictures in this exhibit because the papers were so fragile.
The Louvre has an amazing collection of Egyptian relics. We couldn’t believe how many different kinds of sarcophagi there were- it makes sense now that people would have been able to afford different materials and artwork, but the variations are amazing to see.
They displayed Egyptian clothing, toys, make-up, housewares- anything you can think of, they had. The rooms went on and on, and Bug and I could have easily spent the whole day in this one exhibit.
You should have seen the look on Bug’s face when we turned the corner and happened upon the Law-Codex of Hammurabi. Hammurabi was the king of Babylon and had his laws engraved on large stones and placed all over his kingdom. There are 3000 lines of text on this stone. On the top is a carving of Hammurabi with Shamash, the sun-god.
There is no way to miss these Winged Assyrian Bulls in the Mesopotamian exhibit. At one time, they protected the entrance to the palace of King Sargon. They weigh over 3 tons each. If you look closely at them, you’ll see that they have 5 feet, which makes them appear that they are moving when you look at them from the side, but are standing still if you look at them from the front.
We had SO much fun exploring Ancient Art at the Louvre and seeing so much from the Story of the World in the flesh! If you want to explore more of the art at the Louvre (including many ancient stories), their children’s page, Tales of the Museum, is very well put together. Check it out!