Humanities › History & Culture Ancient Egyptian Terms for Children Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture Ancient History and Culture Egypt Figures & Events Ancient Languages Greece Asia Rome Mythology & Religion American History African American History African History Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By N.S. Gill Ancient History and Latin Expert M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota B.A., Latin, University of Minnesota N.S. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. our editorial process N.S. Gill Updated January 22, 2020 When children are studying ancient Egypt, they should become familiar with most of these terms, some — like Cleopatra and King Tut — because they are such colorful figures and part of common culture. The others should be learned and quickly because they are essentials needed for reading and discussing further. In addition to these terms, discuss the Nile's floods, irrigation, the limitations imposed by the desert, the results of the Aswan Dam, the role of Napoleon's army in Egyptology, the Mummy's curse, Ancient Egyptian myths, and more that may occur to you. Cleopatra Culture Club / Getty Images Cleopatra was the last pharaoh of Egypt before the Romans took over. The family of Cleopatra was Macedonian Greek and had ruled Egypt from the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 B.C. Cleopatra is thought of as the mistress of two of Rome's great leaders. Hieroglyphs powerofforever / Getty Images There is more to Egyptian writing than just hieroglyphs, but the hieroglyphs are a form of picture writing and, as such, are beautiful to look at. The term hieroglyph refers to the fact that it is carving for sacred things, but hieroglyphs were also written on papyrus. Mummy DEA PICTURE LIBRARY / Getty Images Various entertaining B-movies introduce young viewers to mummies and mummy curses. Mummies didn't walk around, though, but they are to be found inside the carved and brilliantly painted burial case known as a sarcophagus. Mummies are also found elsewhere in especially arid parts of the world. Nile De Agostini Picture Library / Getty Images The River Nile is responsible for the greatness of Egypt. If it hadn't flooded each year, Egypt wouldn't have been Egypt. Since the Nile is in the Southern Hemisphere, its flow is opposite that of northern rivers. Papyrus CM Dixon / Print Collector / Getty Images Papyrus is the word from which we get paper. The Egyptians used it as a writing surface. Pharaoh Instants / Getty Images "Pharaoh" designates the king of ancient Egypt. The word pharaoh originally meant "great house," but came to mean the person who resided in it, i.e., the king. Pyramids Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images A geometrical term that refers to the aboveground part of the burial complexes especially for Egyptian pharaohs. Classic examples are the great pyramids of Giza, and the idea of the Mastabas. Rosetta Stone George Rinhart / Corbis via Getty Images The Rosetta Stone is a black stone slab with three languages on it (Greek, demotic and hieroglyphs, each saying the same thing) that Napoleon's men found. It provided the key to translating the previously mysterious Egyptian hieroglyphs. Sarcophagus MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP via Getty Images Sarcophagus is a Greek word meaning flesh-eating and refers to the mummy case. Scarab Simanovskiy / Getty Images Scarabs are amulets formed to look like the dung beetle, an animal associated, by the ancient Egyptians, with life, rebirth, and the sun god Re. The dung beetle gets its name from laying eggs in dung rolled into a ball. Sphinx MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP via Getty Images A sphinx is an Egyptian desert statue of a hybrid creature. It has a leonine body and the head of another creature — typically, human. Tutankhamen (King Tut) tepic / Getty Images The tomb of King Tut, who is also referred to as the boy king, was found in 1922 by Howard Carter. Little was known of Tutankhamen beyond his death as a teen, but the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, with his mummified body inside, was of tremendous importance for the archaeology of Ancient Egypt.