Hieroglyphs are fun

The last of our series of workshops within the framework of the Junior Science Club 2014 was not directly connected with AcrossBorders and our excavations on Sai Island, but was dedicated to another important subject of the general field of Egyptology: Egyptian hieroglyphs and writing. Students of the secondary school Anton Sattlergasse Wien 22 were introduced to basic characteristics of ancient Egyptian writing. We explained the hieroglyphic alphabet and the kids were very good in stamping their names and other words in hieroglyphs, in deciphering words and puzzles and in writing with ink on papyrus.

Page 2 of our handout - can you find the words among the hieroglyphs?

Page 2 of our handout – can you find the words among the hieroglyphs?

Thanks to the kind support by Angelika Zdiarsky (Papyrussammlung und Papyrusmuseum, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) we were able to show a miniature copy of the Rosetta stone, original modern papyrus and a modern copy of a scribal palette!

Modern computer applications for writing hieroglyphs were demonstrated on a PC and all participants went happily home with a hieroglyphic name label!

All of AcrossBorders' team members also had their hieroglyhic name label!

The AcrossBorders’ team members also had their hieroglyphic name labels!

Once again its my pleasure to thank all of my enthusiastic team members without whom these workshops could not be realised – great job and very well done! Special thanks go of course to the nice and friendly students and their teachers – they made the Junior Science Club events very pleasant and also instructive for us! From what I have seen we managed to communicate our dedication and enthusiasm for science and especially archaeology.

AcrossBorders goes school: Junior Science Club 2014

Lectures and workshops of a very special kind kept us busy in the last days: AcrossBorders participates in the current programme of the Vienna School Board (Stadtschulrat Wien) entitled “Junior Science Club”, aiming to communicate scientific research to school kids! Summarizing our project, key working steps, methods and general aspects of archaeology in an understandable and appealing way was quite challenging – but also very instructive and enjoyable!

P1020156Today, we had the great pleasure to welcome a class of students in our office rooms and to provide them with some ideas what is behind archaeological research. A full programme was carried out, focusing on documentation work during archaeological excavations and its main principles.


Illustrating the importance of accurate labelling of finds during excavation.


Sherds, scarabs and shabtis were to discover in our “trench”!

Four working stations were open to the participants after a short general introduction: 1) A sand box where hidden finds had to be traced, exposed and labelled; 2) another sand box holding a small “foundation deposit” which had to be photographed; 3) a modified fish tank illustrating main principles of stratigraphy and 4) a poster summarizing the most important working steps of archaeologists from the excavation until publication and museum/archive.

We really enjoyed this morning session and hope that our young visitors did so as well! With two more Junior Science Club workshops coming up in June (on ceramics and hieroglyphs), we will be able to profit again from further encounters with pupils!

I am especially grateful to Jördis, Elke and Daniela for all of their efforts and enthusiasm – and to Johanna Novak (Stadtschulrat Wien) for joining us and for taking nice souvenir pictures!