Netflix Academy: The best streaming videos on ancient Egypt
Note: This post is part of our series, "Netflix Academy: The best educational videos available for streaming." Be sure to check out our previous Netflix Academy posts on dinosaurs; aquatic life; insects; frogs and other amphibians; ancient Asian cultures; ancient Greece; the Maya, Inca, and Aztec; Native American cultures; Christopher Columbus and the Age of Discovery; the American founders; movie adaptations of classic children’s books; and American folk heroes. Thanks to research interns Melissa Reynolds and Singer Crawford for their help in compiling these lists.
When people say that it’s not “developmentally appropriate” to teach young children about “academic” subjects like history, I like to point to ancient Egypt. Is there any topic, besides dinosaurs, that can better capture the imagination of a five-year-old than a civilization with pyramids, child kings, and a secret code? Not to mention the great adventure stories one can tell about discovering King Tut’s tomb and other treasures? Maybe I’m biased—I was eight when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out, and turned me into a wanna-be archeologist—but ancient Egypt is a whole lot of fun. These videos provide a solid introduction. Enjoy!
The best streaming videos on ancient Egypt
1. Cyberchase: The Eye of Rom
Cyberchase follows three Earth children as they use their math and problem-solving skills to stop the evil deeds of The Hacker and save Cyberspace. Each episode is followed by a live-action educational supplement, linking concepts learned in the show to real-life experiences. In this episode, Hacker steals the Eye of Rom from Binky's tomb and creates a monster. The kids will help Binky get the eye back if she helps them find the missing encryptor chip. (And in the meantime, your kid is learning about inverse operations.)
Length: 23 minutes
2. Secrets of the Dead: The Silver Pharaoh
The royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I is one of the most spectacular of all the ancient Egyptian treasures - even more remarkable than that of Tutankhamen. So why hasn't the world heard about it? What mysteries does it contain? And what does it reveal about ancient Egypt?
Length: 53 minutes
3. Tombs of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptians believed in life after death. They built huge tombs (some of which still stand today) and mummified their dead. Check out this National Geographic Kids video for a child-friendly introduction to the Egyptian afterlife beliefs.
Length: 3 minutes
4. National Geographic: Egypt: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Who built the pyramids? What were the secrets of mummification and burial? For centuries, Egypt's pharaohs kept these secrets to themselves. Travel to a land of mystery and marvel as archaeologists investigate how the pyramids were actually built, follow scientists as they recreate the ancient ritual of mummification, and be there as cameras reveal the ancient underground vault that houses the mysterious ship of the Pharaoh Khufu.
Length: 53 minutes
5. Out of Egypt
The Discovery Channel follows archaeologist and UCLA professor Kara Cooney as she travels the globe to unravel the mysteries of the world's oldest civilizations. Examining these ancient cities, Cooney gains new insight into human and societal behavior throughout history.
Length: 53 minutes
6. Egypt's Golden Empire
The first section of this series explores a time when Egypt was occupied by foreigners, except for a narrow strip of land around a town called Thebes. The capital and its royal family had fallen on hard times. But one local family was determined to revive it: the king of Thebes and his two young sons, Ahmose and Kamose, who became liberators of Egypt. The second section delves into the reign of Amonhotep III, when Egypt had reached dizzying heights but stood on the brink of a devastating fall.
Length: One 108-minute episode and one 56-minute episode
7. Best of NOVA, Volume 3, Episode 5: Riddles of the Sphinx
For forty-five centuries, the Great Sphinx has cast its enigmatic gaze over Egypt's Giza plateau. The biggest and oldest statue in a land of colossal ancient monuments, its scale is staggering. How was it built, and who or what does it represent? NOVA's expert team of archaeologists carries out experiments that reveal the techniques and incredible labor that was invested in the carving of this gigantic sculpture.
Length: 55 minutes