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But each summer, the Nile river rises because of rains at its source, far to the south in Ethiopia.When this happens, floods cover the river’s valleys, leaving sediments needed for trees, plants and crops to grow.
Turns out it wasn’t all divebombing the Nile and pranking your cat by mummifying it back then, children had schooling and homework too – or at least you did if you were male and highly born.
A wax tablet mounted in a wooden frame dating back to second-century-CE Egpyt, at that time under Roman Empire control, reveals the ancient lessons taught to elementary-school-age children 1,800 years ago.
The Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about maths, medicine and farming.
They also made their own paper out of reeds called papyrus, and wrote using pictures called hieroglyphics. Over the centuries, they learned the best ways to grow crops in the dry land around the Nile River – but, they’d use different kinds of machines to get water from the river to their crops so the plants would grow.
It is thought these types of tablets were used with a stylus (like a precursor of Black Berrys, really the ancient Egyptians were ahead of their time), one end sharpened to make the mark, the other flat that when heated up could remove mistakes by melting the wax.
That the tablet – about the size of a paperback book, or, again prophetically, your electronic tablet of choice – survived nearly 2,000 years is impressive.
They traded with their neighbours and learned to sail boats. C., Egypt fell under Roman control and centuries later, in A. Having so many people in such a small area causes overcrowding everywhere, from schools and hospitals to apartment buildings and public transport.
Egypt’s geography, population, history and military strength have made it highly influential in the region.
Wax typically breaks down in moisture so the dry clime of ancient Egypt would have helped preserve it.
The tablet, which was acquired by the British Library in 1892, hasn't been on display since the 1970s.