Are you planning a unit study of Ancient Egypt? There is a lot of fantastic information to be found in many books, as well as on the Internet. If you are also wanting to include the use of one of the many available documentaries focused on the subject of Ancient Egypt, and found on DVD, you are in luck because there is a huge selection out there. Trying to find the best documentaries to include in your study of Ancient Egypt can eat up valuable time, though. Especially if you find yourself repeatedly coming across documentaries that you find to be inadequate. If you need a couple of quick suggestions for choosing (or avoiding) certain DVD documentaries about Ancient Egypt, keep reading!
Ancient Civilizations: Land of the Pharaohs, by Questar – Despite the fact that the Ancient Civilization series put out by Questar is, no question, designed to be used in the classroom, you may want to steer clear of the Land of the Pharaohs volume. We use a lot of History Channel and National Geographic documentaries in our homeschool studies, as well as some others, which nearly always turn out to be really interesting and useful. This was not one of them. We found it to be extremely boring and, how shall I say it, graphically challenged? The narrator was about as stimulating as Ben Stein, and the information being given didn’t always seem to match very well with what was showing on the screen. As interesting as Ancient Egypt is, I was pretty amazed that Questar found a way to deliver the information so blandly. After trudging through this documentary for about half an hour, I found myself nodding off and my son, who generally very much enjoys learning about Ancient Egypt, was begging to turn it off. Whether used in a home school or in a traditional classroom setting, Ancient Civilizations: Land of the Pharaohs, isn’t going to accomplish much other than putting everyone to sleep.
Ancient Egyptians – This simply titled documentary, available on Netflix as 2 separate DVD’s, was very well done and quite interesting. This documentary-style presentation contains very decent graphics, and four interesting stories. Each of the stories are true, the information having come from ancient scrolls which were found in real Egyptian ruins, and later transcribed. Due to the fact that the stories are true, there are some references to prostitution, as well as semi-violent war scenes, so that should be taken into consideration when choosing what age group this documentary would be appropriate for.
Both of these documentaries also included special features on hieroglyphics and other elements of Egyptian history.