Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cheryl Carpinello Walks Like an Egyptian

What could be scarier than a mummy all wrapped in rags rising out of its tomb. A favorite Halloween motif is based in ancient history. Cheryl Carpinello shares some facts. Dang it! No walking mummies! Check out Cheryl's Egyptian adventures, Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhaman Speaks, on Amazon. Find Cheryl on her blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com

4 Facts About Ancient Egypt You may Not Know
by Cheryl Carpinello

Since our visit to Egypt in 2008, I’ve been researching and plan what eventually became my Tween/YA novel Sons of the Sphinx. I’ve learned so much and wanted to share with Marva’s readers four of the many amazing facts about Ancient Egypt.

1. The Rosetta Stone

Discovered by Napoleon’s soldiers during the invasion of Egypt. This stone, with the same message written three times in Greek, Demotic, and Hieroglyphs, was instrumental in relearning how to pronounce the hieroglyphic symbols from Ancient Egypt. 

It was later captured by the British and now resides in the British Museum. I took this picture during our visit in September 2014. On the top of the stone are the hieroglyphs, in the middle the demotic script, and on the bottom the Greek.

2. The Egyptian Museum

Located in Cairo, Egypt, this museum houses the most amazing collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world. The entire outside of the building is pink!

3. Cartouches of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egyptian pharoahs had as many as five names. The birth name and the throne name of the pharaohs were enclosed in oval called Cartouches. We are most familiar with Tutankhamen’s throne name and his birth name.

Tutankhamen’s throne name—Nebkheperure—appears on artifacts found in his tomb like his golden throne. It is shown below.

At the top of the cartouche is the sun disk with a basket under it. Next is the bettle with the three dashes underneath. The name means “Lord of the forms of Re” (the Sun god).

Tutankhamen’s birth name or son of Re was given at birth. This is the name we know him by although originally his name was Tutankhaten. Tut changed his birth name to Tutankhamen after the death of his father. This was also when he abandoned the worship of the Aten and return to worship the Amun. This is what it looks like.

4. The Opening of the Mouth Ceremony

In Sons of the Sphinx, the ghost of Tut must perform this ceremony on another dead pharaoh in order to take another step forward in his search.

The Opening of the Mouth was often conducted on a statue of the deceased. The purpose was to enable the body’s spirit to be able to partake of food and drink in the after life. It is an elaborate ceremony with prayers said to Re. If the ceremony is not performed, then the deceased’s spirit will not survive in the afterlife.

And now that Sons of theSphinx is published and waiting for readers, I am still drawn to that Ancient and Mysterious land. I continue to read and absorb all I can. Who knows, I may revisit that land in a future book. For now, here are some of my favorite reads. Maybe you’ll get hooked on Ancient Egypt also!


Beneath the Sands of Egypt by Archaeologist Donald P. Ryan; non-fiction
Omm Sety's Egypt By Dorothy Eady; a memoir
Discovering Tut-ankh-Amen's Tomb edited by Shirley Glubok; non-fiction
The Lost Army of Cambyses by Paul Sussman; fictional series
Description De L’Egypte by Franco Serino. A look at the diaries and drawings of Napoleon’s savants from 1798.
The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt’s Past & Present by Toby Wilkinson; non-fiction


  1. Sons of The Sphinx sounds interesting. I've been to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Unfortunately, most of the Tut artifacts were touring the U.S.A. at the time. I finally manged to view some of them in Seattle in 2012.

    1. H Renee. Thanks for stopping by. I've been to the Cairo Museum also. When the Tut exhibit was in the US, I went three times! Once with 100 high school seniors.

    2. I bet they were thrilled to be there. I taught a much younger age group, but I found even very small children were fascinated by Ancient Egypt.

  2. I have written a thriller that also takes place in Egypt and I've learned so much from it! It's so much fun to write about things I know so little about. Congrats on the book!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I would love to know the name of your book. I pretty much devour anything Egyptian!

  3. I'd like to thank Cheryl for helping me fill in my blog this month. I was definitely running out of material for my Halloween is for Witches theme. I hope she does well with her Egypt books.

    1. Hi Marva. Thank you so much for hosting me. Glad I could fill in even if I left the Mummies at home!