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Suggested Texts for Studying Old Testament and Ancient History

The following resources have been gathered from all over the internet, in book stores, in libraries, and from suggestions from various curriculums and university level courses. I've included a short synopsis on each resource, and a clickable link and/or ISBN number to help you locate the resource if you would like further information.

Adam and His Kin : The Lost History of Their Lives and Times by Ruth Beechick
Drawing on linguistics, archeology, astronomy, the Bible, and other history, Dr. Ruth Beechick writes an enlightening and entertaining history of Adam and his offspring. An entertaining, informative, easy-to-read account of Genesis from creation to Abraham. Includes information from science, archaeology, astronomy and ancient traditions. Interest level: Ages 11-Adult Paperback (January 1991) Arrow Pr; ISBN: 0940319071.

Ancient Civilizations & the Bible by Diana Waring
Review from Amazon.com: This book has been a wonderful resource for our history. It has pages of recommended books for each section of history studied. It is packed with many hands on activities for the sensory learner. Many ideas for map related learning, music, cooking ideas, drama, creative writing that corresponds with each civilization. It also includes a wonderful outline that parallels each age and is continuous throughout the book. We find it to be a great asset to our learning.

Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick
This book provides a unique look at Genesis 1-11, integrating history with art, literature, and other disciplines. Startling insights into how ancient art, literature, world history, language, and even ancient myths prove the Bible is a true historical record. Includes maps, charts, timeline, and beautiful full-color reproductions of ancient art. Hardcover - 112 pages (February 1998) Educational Services Corp.; ISBN: 094031911X.

True Tales from the Times of Ancient Civilizations and the Bible by Diana Waring

Ancient Civilizations & the Bible by Diana Waring

Bible History : Old Testament by Alfred Edersheim
Grasping "the big picture" of God's story in the Old Testament helps readers understand the finer points of theology. And it is this "grasp of the big picture" that Alfred Edersheim offers in an unparalleled way. Since its original appearance in 1890, this work has encountered many rivals but no successors, and its relevance for the Christian faith has only been reinforced during the intervening decades. Henderickson Publishers' unique, newly typeset edition of the complete and unabridged work will be a milestone contribution to the libraries of believers. Hardcover Updated edition (September 1995) Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 156563165X.

Ancient Civilizations (Exploring History) by Philip Brooks
Beginning with the dawn of civilization, this ambitious new book tackles all aspects of civilized life, from settlement, agriculture and trade to crafts, language and transportation. Sections on Sumer, Babylon, the Hittites, Assyria, the Persian Empire, the Parthians and Sassanians, the Islamic Empire on through to the civilizations of the Andes, the Olmec and the Maya, create a real sense of history for young readers, who will be captivated by the vividly told stories and fascinating factual information. Reading level: Ages 9-12. Hardcover - 64 pages 1 Ed. edition (October 1, 1999) Lorenz Books; ISBN: 0754802116.

Streams of Civilization: Earliest Times to the Discovery of the New World
A comprehensive overview of history from a Christian perspective. Extensive vocabulary questions and suggested projects are listed throughout the text. Contains beautiful illustrations and numerous high-quality, two-color maps. Vol. One covers history from Creation to the 1620's. Answer Key and Test Packets can be purchased separately. The Timeline provides students with an excellent overview of the key personalities who have shaped history from ancient times to the present. Grade level: 9-10.

The Promise of the Land : The Inheritance of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites by Moshe Weinfeld
The settlement of the Land of Canaan by the Israelite tribes is a central theme in the Bible which is immensely relevant to the Middle East today. Moshe Weinfeld synthesizes the biblical material on this theme, approaching his subject from three viewpoints: historical, using the Bible as a source; literary-comparatist, comparing Patriarchal stories of settlement with Greek and Roman foundation myths; exegetical, explaining that in Judaism land is a gift from God. He emphasizes the ethical weight of God's Promise of the Land, how failure to achieve it was seen as a reflection of sin and lack of faith, thus illustrating the importance of biblical tradition to one of the most troubled issues of modern history. From the Back Cover: "Written by one of the outstanding biblical scholars in the world, this book is very important, not only as technical biblical criticism but also for its treatment of one of the most pressing and controversial issues of our own time." (David N. Freedman, co-editor of The Archaeology of the Bible) Hardcover - 384 pages (November 1993) Univ California Press; ISBN: 0520075102. Advanced reading level.

Bible Lands by Jonathan Tubb, Alan Hills (Photographer)
Through an intriguing text and striking photographs of archaeological finds, this compelling title gives historical perspective on the ancient peoples of the Holy Land, from the Israelites to the Greeks. Agriculture, clothing, jewelry, weaponry, art, and trade practices are brought to life in this survey of an area that has been in turmoil since ancient times. Reading level: Ages 9-12. Hardcover - 63 pages (September 1991) A. A. Knopf; ISBN: 0679814574.

Creation to Canaan Workbook
The Biblical lines of the godly and ungodly are clearly defined in this rich volume. A chronological book about the extremely important beginning of time. Chapters include: Creation to the Flood, Spread of Humanity, Beginning of the Jewish Nation, Growth and Development of Israel. Heavily illustrated and packed with charts, maps, diagrams, and family trees making this period come alive for all ages. Written by Rod and Staff Publishers. Paperback 350 pages. Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc. at P.O. Box 3, Highway 172, Crockett, Kentucky 41413-0003 USA; telephone (606)-522-4348, fax (800)-643-1244.

Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent (Looking Back) by Mavis Pilbeam, John Malam
Focusing on particular periods in four areas of the world, these titles provide broad introductions to each region. Clear expository text briefly addresses many aspects of the lives of each region's diverse inhabitants, including government, laws, food, science and technology, arts and crafts, religion, and the impact of war on everyday life. Maps and attractive color photos appear in each volume. Reading level: Young Adult. Library Binding - 64 pages (October 1999) Raintree/Steck Vaughn; ISBN: 081725434X.

First Civilizations (Cultural Atlas for Young People) by Erica C.D., Ph.D. Hunter, Gillian Evans (Editor)
This volume focuses on the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East, beginning with the region's earliest nomads, following the growth of warring city states and empires, and culminating with Drain's mighty Persian Empire and its destruction by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. 220 full-color illustrations and maps. Index. Glossary. Gazetteer. 96 Pages. 1994 • ISBN: 0816029768.Reading level: Ages 9-12.

Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia by Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat “Readers will discover fascinating details about the lives of these people from the society where writing began--taken from the ancients' own quotations and descriptions. A wealth of information is provided on such varied topics as: education; literature; mathematics and science; city vs. country life; family life; and religion. Similarities between daily life in ancient Mesopotamia and modern-day Iraq are also discussed. Beautifully illustrated, this easy-to-use reference contains a timeline and an historical overview to aid student research.” )review by The Historian). Hardcover (September 1998) Greenwood Publishing Group; ISBN: 0313294976. Expensive but worth a library trip.

The First Civilizations
A brilliant illustrated colorful overview of world history from prehistoric times to the early 20th century. Prepared with the help of experts in each period, each book has lots of illustrations to provide an attractive and stimulating starting point to each subject. Assumes evolution. (June 1978) E D C Publications; ISBN: 0860201384 Reading Level Ages 8 - 12. Interest level 8 to 16.

The Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near Easy by Michael Roaf
Review: "A beautiful, well-researched, informative study . . . an excellent survey of this ancient region of the world." - School Library Journal. Following their growth and complex interrelationships, this volume explores the manifold cultures and peoples that flourished in the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and extended from modern-day Afghanistan to the Aegea. 468 illustrations, including 342 in full color. 53 full-color maps. Index. Bibliography. Chronological table. Hardcover - 240 pages (November 1990) Checkmark Books; ISBN: 0816022186. This book is a bit high priced for use in one unit but probably available at your library.

Mesopotamia: The Mighty Kings (The Lost Civilizations Collections) by Time Life
Explores the great empires that flourished during the first and second centuries BC in Mesopotamia Includes the rise of Babylonia in the south, Assyria in the north, and the renaissance of Babylon before it fell to the Persians in 539 BC.

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Sumerian Slave!: A Life of Hard Labor You'd Rather Avoid

Ancient Inventions by Peter James & Nick Thorpe.
Few people know that brain surgery was performed in the Stone Age; a form of computer was used by the ancient Greeks; the Roman Empire had plumbing. Written with the pure joy of discovery, brimming with odd facts and entertaining curiosities, Ancient Inventions is a dazzling celebration of inventiveness. Illustrated with more than 300 line drawings. Paperback (November 1995) Ballantine Books (Trd Pap); ISBN: 0345401026.

The Ancient Near East : The Origins of Civilizations by Annie Caubet, Patrick Pouyssegur
Includes: 1. Origins: The first villages The birth of agriculture The rise of agricultural society; The first ceramic cultures The emergence of the hierarchical society; The first towns. 2. Cities: The city-states of Sumer (2900-2330 BC) The Akkadian empire (2334-2193 BC); The Third Dynasty of Ur (2112-2004 BC) Ashur and the Amorite kingdoms (2004-1792BC); Hammurabi and the rise of Babylon (1792-1595 BC). 3. Peoples and empires The emergence of new peoples (1595-1365 BC): The rise of Assyria (1365-934 BC); The Assyrian conquest of the East (934-745 BC); The age of Assyrian hegemony (745-612 BC); The Babylonian empire (612-539 BC); The Persian empire (539-330 BC). Paperback - 208 pages (April 1998) Terrail; ISBN: 2879391520.

Mesopotamia (Cultures of the Past) by Pamela F. Service
The Cultures of the Past series is hallmarked by very good writing, colorful graphics, well-chosen pictures, and excellent design work, showing what can be done within the confines of the series format. In these two volumes, the authors not only provide a survey of the ancient cultures but also put them within a historical context. These tightly focused books provide historical overviews of each ancient society and discuss their religious beliefs and cultural achievements. Excerpts from sacred books, charts comparing the childhood experiences for boys and girls living in those eras, and plentiful color reproductions enhance reader interest. Each volume concludes with a chapter exploring the enduring legacies of the cultures. Reading level: Ages 9-12. Library Binding - 80 pages (October 1998) Marshall Cavendish Corp.; ISBN: 0761403019.

Science in Ancient Mesopotamia (Science of the Past) by Carol Moss
Describes the enormous accomplishments of the Sumerians and Babylonians of ancient Mesopotamia in every scientific area, a heritage which affects our own everyday lives. Many of the clay tablets the ancient Mesopotamians used to record their observations still exist today. By deciphering the text, we know that they were the first group of people to study the human body, use a system of weights and measures, and classify plants and animals. They could also perform complex mathematical calculations and used a variety of herbal remedies.School & Library Binding - 64 pages Revised edition (September 1998) Franklin Watts, Incorporated; ISBN: 0531203646. Appropriate for the middle grades, but the reading level is about 9th to 12th grade.

Students tour ancient lands on a 12-day, 36-stop field trip that takes them to more than 100 Web sites rich in both content and activities. Among the learning stops: Egypt’s pyramids, the Nile, Tutankhamen’s tomb, hieroglyphics, buildings in Ancient Greece, and famous Greek philosophers. Hot links from the publisher’s home page—buyers get their own user name and password—eliminate the need to enter long unwieldy URLs. Web-embedded exercises are augmented by trip-planning and culmination activities, while teacher information sites and assessment ideas appear separately. Grades 4–8. Illustrated. 8"½ x 10½". Forest Technologies. 94 pages. ©2000.

Contains a wealth of inventive interdisciplinary activities that will help pupils learn about four ancient cultures: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Reproducible worksheets ask students to do such things as compose news stories about famous figures in ancient history, critically assess democracy in Greek city-states, learn how volcanoes like Mount Vesuvius form, write hieroglyphics, and construct Roman mosaics. Comes with two double-sided 17"h x 22"w full-color posters (illustrating each civilization), creative teaching tips (including ideas for bulletin boards and art centers), and a reproducible unit evaluation form. Grades 4-6. Illustrated. 8½" x 11". Instructional Fair. 32 pages. ©1994.

**Ancient Egypt By Michelle Breyer.
Filled with a great variety of interdisciplinary lesson ideas, this complete unit delves into ancient Egypt's geography, economy, transportation, science, education, arts, religion, government, and family life. Students may, for example, calculate the weight of a pyramid's stones and investigate the principles of leverage, write and illustrate a poem about Osiris, make a Senet game, and trace trade routes for precious metals. Each topic includes background information, worksheets, and a read-aloud play. A literature section based on The Golden Goblet provides more than two dozen activities that correspond to the topical lessons. Grades 5-8. Answer key. Bibliography. Illustrated. 8½" x 11". Teacher Created Materials. 224 pages. ©1996. **I highly recommend this book. Although it is listed as “challenging,” there are so many activities in here that would work well with younger students with just a little adjusting. Plus, there are some fantastic craft and unit culmination activities listed.** (ISBN 1-55734-574-0)

Organized around six themes--the land, pyramids, pharaohs, religion, everyday life, and Ancient Egypt's legacy--this volume will have students writing in hieroglyphs, measuring in cubits, journeying through the underworld with Anubis and Horus, creating face masks of the gods, and making an ingenious three-disc wheel to understand the cycle of flooding and agriculture along the Nile. Part of the “Idea Banks” series. These well-conceived and economical units on four ancient civilizations are dense with information and challenging activities. Produced in England, each volume contains about two dozen reproducible handouts. Facing each handout is an "Ideas Page" laden with teaching strategies, a lesson plan centered around the handout, background information, and a plethora of ideas for cooperative and independent extension work of all kinds (role-plays, hands-on activities, research and writing, discussions, and games). Grades 3-6. Illustrated. 8" x 11". Folens. 48 pages each. ©1993-97.

The pharaoh has ordered you to find the thief who broke into his ancestor’s pyramid and looted the treasure. You have the help of a clever boy named Maya, but beware! The pharaoh has powerful enemies who will try to stop you. This is part of the “History Detectives” series by Philip Ardagh. These beautifully illustrated books juxtapose social studies content with stories of mystery and adventure. High-interest historical information is presented in 18 double-page spreads with photographs and highly detailed drawings (all labeled), descriptive text, and fascinating sidebars. Topics include gods and goddesses, food and drink, clothing, homes, recreation, the lives of children, famous persons, armies, government, and much more. Each history concludes with a 15-page illustrated mystery story. Students earn points and solve the mystery by answering questions that refer them back to word and picture clues in the book’s history section. Answer and scoring keys are included. Grades 4–7. Indexes. Glossaries. Timelines. 10" x 10". Peter Bedrick. 62 pages each. 2000 American edition

ANCIENT EGYPT, VOLUME I (note: this series is great and this new addition is due out July 2001).
In a 13-stage simulation, students re-create the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and the international race to decipher it. In an "Egyptomania Scavenger Hunt," students race to discover (researching in libraries and on the Internet) modern traces of the lasting impact of Ancient Egyptian culture. Also, students learn to decipher hieroglyphs through "charades" that dramatize the symbols. This is part of the Exploring History series. Comprehensive curriculum guides equip teachers to lead cross-curricular simulations that engage today’s students in yesterday’s events. Students read historical fiction, analyze primary source documents, and write persuasive essays along the way to simulating historic events that range from ancient Mesopotamia to the Industrial Revolution. Two-track materials (grades 5–8, grades 8–12) provide teaching instructions, reproducible handouts, overhead transparencies, answer keys, management forms, assessment rubrics, multimedia resource lists, and resource banks on CD-ROM. The activities encourage multiple perspectives and align with National Council of Social Studies standards. Grades 5–12. Three-hole-punched 8½" x 11" loose-leaf pages with binders. Teacher Created Materials. 250–300 pages each. ©2000–2001.

ANCIENT EGYPT, VOLUME II (companion volume to the one listed above)
Simulating forensic analysis of a mummy, students learn about the diet, health, and lifestyles of Ancient Egyptians. They explore parallels between mummification and the dehydration of fruit; learn the myths, symbols, clothing, and characteristics of eight deities; and simulate the marketplace at Deir el-Medina. Other activity suggestions: skits, videos, songs, ceremonies, and crafts (jewelry, clothing, masks, and models).

ANCIENT EGYPT: Ancient World Cultures
Cross-curricular activities develop skills in language, mathematics, and arts and crafts while teaching the history of Ancient Egypt. Main topics are the Nile, the farmers’ year, domestic life, Egyptian society, religion, the afterlife, artisans’ tombs, jewelry, and hieroglyphs. Working from dozens of reproducible handouts, students will, for instance, compare the sizes of various pyramids, write a press release announcing Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb, construct a model papyrus skiff, make tomb paintings of harvest scenes, calculate the barter values of various items, and make jewelry incorporating Egyptian symbols. Grades 4–7. Glossary. Illustrated. 8½" x 11". World Teacher’s Press. 120 pages. ©2000.

ANCIENT EGYPT: Treasures, Tombs and Tutankhamen
A creative collection of reproducible activities designed to develop higher-level thinking skills while teaching about ancient Egyptian culture and history. Students draw on information within the text or from outside research to compare mummification with taxidermy, make a scarab paperweight, draw Egyptian gods, create a papier-mache mummy case, write with hieroglyphs, play the game of Senet, and interpret maps of both ancient and modern Egypt. Grades 4-8. Illustrated. 8½" x 11". Good Apple. 60 pages.

Students discover the rich legacies of ancient Near Eastern cradles of civilization including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Nubia, and Hatti in this innovative, well-researched activity book. Each of four sections concentrates on and compares one culture to the others, delineating its history and geography, professions, everyday life, and achievements. Activities with easily obtainable materials include building a Nubian irrigation machine, creating a lavish headdress Mesopotamian style, or writing Hittite cuneiform. Black and white line sketches make projects easy to accomplish. Grade 4–8. Index. Bibliography. Further readings. Chicago Review Press. 186 pages. ©1999.

EGYPT: A Simulation of Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Divided into six phases called "cataracts," this simulation has students sail the Nile from its source in Africa to where it flows into the Mediterranean. Each cataract focuses on different aspects of Egyptian history, culture, or geography. To navigate these divisions, students complete a series of requirements while traveling as citizens of one of five ancient cities. Sample tasks: make a 3-D map of the Nile valley; use Egyptian numbers and hieroglyphs; construct masks to wear in the afterworld; study Ancient Egyptian myths, religion, art, and architecture; create costumes; and participate in a festival and living museum. Time: 15-23 days. Grades 5-10. Interact. ©1997

MAKE HISTORY: Ancient Egypt By Nancy Fister and Charlene Olexiewicz.
Through 12 make-and-use craft projects, students discover fascinating parallels between this early civilization and their own. The Egyptians built monuments, practiced their religion, played music, enjoyed toys and games, and produced art just as people do today. Color photos and drawings accompany step-by-step directions, materials lists, and historical sidebars for each activity. Projects include sewing a corn husk ball, building a sandpaper pyramid, designing a royal cartouche, making a reed boat, painting a wall frieze, and fashioning a replica of King Tut's headdress. Grades 3-7. 8½" x 11". Lowell House. 32 pages. ©1996.

PYRAMIDS! 50 Hands-on Activities to Experience Ancient Egypt By Avery Hart and Paul Mantell.
As they participate in wonderful projects, students are urged to discover the similarities (like playing Leap Frog) and differences (no spoons or forks) they share with ancient Egyptian children. Your class can create a pull-toy horse like one found in a royal tomb, calculate how many generations back the ancient Egyptians lived, solve the riddle of the Sphinx, make costumes, and even construct a miniature ancient Egypt (after you flood your little Nile once a week, lush grass sprouts along its banks--as it would for the Egyptians). "Think About It" sidebars offer a wealth of topics for discussion. Grades 1-6. Index. Illustrated. 10" x 10". Williamson. 96 pages. ©1997.

The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated Histories) by Ian Shaw (Editor) Hardcover - 640 pages (November 2000) Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0198150342 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.57 x 9.85 x 7.45

Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt (Cultural Altas Series) by John Baines, Jaromir Malek Hardcover - 240 pages Revised edition (October 2000) Checkmark Books; ISBN: 0816040362 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.15 x 12.22 x 9.60

One of the homeschooling resource catalogs that I use quite frequently is the Rainbow Resource Center (Rainbow Resource Center, Rt. 1 Box 159A, 50 N 500 East Rd, Toulon, IL 61483, Order: 1-888-841-3456, Fax: 1-800-705-8809, email: rainbowr@cin.net, website: www.rainbowresource.com)
They have a wonderful selection of items for a study ancient Egypt. The following are only some of what they have available (item number in parenthesis):
· Ancient Egypt Activity Book (020075)
· Start Exploring Ancient Egypt Coloring Book (005363)
· Egyptian Stained Glass Coloring Book (019772)
· Golden Goblet (006212)
· Ancient Egyptian Costume Paper Dolls (000453)
· Archaeology (006182)
· Riddle of the Rosetta Stone (006209)
· Hieroglyphs from A to Z (005362)
· Fun With Hieroglyphs (020117)
· Mummies, Gods, & Pharaohs, a Fandex Field Guide (010114)
· Our Amazing Pyramids (002862)

Greenleaf Publications also has a “Greenleaf Guide” for Ancient Egypt. From Rainbow Resource, the current price and catalog number (as of April 2001) is $7.95 (cat no. 008934). The following books are used with this guide:
· The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
· Time Traveller Book of Pharaohs and Pyramids
· Finding Out About Deserts
· Pyramid by David MacCaulay
· Tut’s Mummy … Lost and Found
· Mummies Made in Egypt
· The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt

Dover Coloring Books can usually be found priced at about $2.95 each. Two selections in this large series that I have found useful in a study on ancient Egypt are:
· Life in Ancient Egypt by John Green (ISBN 0-486-26130-1)
· Ancient Egyptian Design by Ed Sibbett, Jr. (ISBN 0-486-23746-X)

For a Christian Worldview you could add:
· The Holy Bible (Book of Exodus; Genesis 12:10; Genesis 39-50; Deuteronomy 32-34; Psalms 66, 78, 95, 105, 136; Isaiah 19-25; Ezekiel 29-32; Acts 7:1-46; Hebrew 11::23-29)
· The Mountain of Moses: The Discover of Mt. Sanai by Larry Williams – NOTE: out of print but worth the hunt. Gives thorough information with Biblical and archaeological support through out the text.


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