Main content area

Ancient Egypt

The Year 7 curriculum provides a study of history from the time of the earliest human communities to the end of the ancient period, approximately 60 000 BC (BCE) – c.650 AD (CE).
Key inquiry question #1: 
How do we know about the ancient past?
Key inquiry question #2: 
What emerged as the defining characteristics of ancient societies?

Content summary

The significant beliefs, values and practices of the ancient society, with a particular emphasis on ONE of the following areas: warfare, or death and funerary customs (ACDSEH033, ACDSEH036, ACDSEH039)


  • explain how the beliefs and values of the ancient society are evident in practices related to at least ONE of the following:
  • warfare
  • death and funerary customs

Background notes

The Description de l'Égypte (Description of Egypt) is the collaborative work of about 160 civilian scholars and scientists who accompanied Napoleon's military expedition to Egypt in 1798 to 1801. Over 2000 artists and technicians, including 400 engravers, later compiled it into its final form.

The full title of the work is Description of Egypt, or the collection of observations and research which were made in Egypt during the expedition of the French Army.

It was printed as a series. The first volume appeared in 1809 and the last in 1829. It is a remarkable work because it was not only a record of the surviving ancient monuments in Egypt at the time, but also a record of Napoleon’s comprehensive scientific study of modern Egypt and its natural history. 

Student Activities

Ancient Egypt

Students use the sources provided and their own research to write a factual recount of what everyday life was like in ancient Egypt.

Number of set tasks: 2

NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum History K-10

A student:

  • HT4-6 uses evidence from sources to support historical narratives and explanations
  • HT4-9 uses a range of historical terms and concepts when communicating an understanding of the past
  • HT4-10 selects and uses appropriate oral, written, visual and digital forms to communicate about the past


Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts

  • sequence historical events and periods (ACHHS205, ACHHS148)
  • use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS206, ACHHS149)

Analysis and use of sources

  • identify the origin and purpose of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS209, ACHHS152)
  • locate, select and use information from a range of sources as evidence (ACHHS210, ACHHS153)

Perspectives and interpretations

  • identify and describe different perspectives of participants in a particular historical context (ACHHS212, ACHHS155)


  • ask a range of questions about the past to inform an historical inquiry (ACHHS207, ACHHS150)
  • identify and locate a range of relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS208, ACHHS151)

Explanation and communication

  • develop historical texts, particularly explanations and historical arguments that use evidence from a range of sources (ACHHS213, ACHHS156)
  • select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written and digital) to communicate effectively about the past (ACHHS214, ACHHS157)
  • Perspectives: people from the past may have had different views shaped by their different experiences
  • Empathetic understanding: the ability to understand another's point of view, way of life and decisions made in a different period of time or society
  • Significance: the importance of an event, development, group or individual and their impact on their times or later periods

Learning across the curriculum

  • Difference and diversity