Cae and I decided to study Mesopotamia for a few weeks. I think it will help her gain some insight into the patriarchs. It has certainly helped me to sort out the various kingdoms that are mentioned throughout the Pentateuch. We found a fantastic book to help us out, loaded with simple text and great activities called "Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors".
At one point, Cae wrapped herself in a bed sheet-- Meso-style. We also made a triangular clay mosaic, much like what would have decorated the homes in Abraham's childhood city of Ur.
One of my favourite teaching moments to date emerged from an Ancient Egyptian study of the Amarna Tablets. These were correspondences captured on clay, found in the city of Amenhotep IV. These were "letters" passed between some of the world's most powerful rulers. And this is what they said;
"How is it possible that, having written to you in order to ask for the hand of your daughter - oh my brother, you should have written me using such language, telling me that you will not give her to me as since earliest times no daughter of the king of Egypt has ever been given in marriage? Why are you telling me such things? You are the king. You may do as you wish. If you wanted to give me your daughter in marriage who could say you nay? . . . Why hasn't my brother sent me a wife?"
Now, this was written by the King of Babylon to the King of Egypt! But wait, there's more. Next comes a 'letter' between the sons of these two mighty Kings:
"Now, my brother has sent me only two mines of gold. But this is a very small amount: send, then, as much as your father did! And if you have little (gold), send half of what your father sent! Why have you sent me only two mines of gold? My work in the houses of the Gods is abundant, and now I have begun an undertaking: Send much gold!"
When I asked Caelah what these tablets teach us, she summed it up perfectly; "They teach us that Kings are whiny!"