Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recipe for Fig Cakes

With an abundance of Figs in Ancient Egypt, many delicious dishes were created. Here is a modern version of an ancient delight! If we recall how costly and labor intensive the importing of spices was from foreign lands, we can be very grateful for the ease with which we obtain these items today.

  • 1 package figs

  • 1 cup slivered almonds

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Nutmeg

  • Cinnamon

  • Honey

With a mortar and pestle, or small food processor, grind almonds into small pieces. Set almonds aside. Grind walnuts until they are a paste consistency; add a small amount of water if needed. Set walnut paste aside. Grind figs, almond paste, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a small amount of water. Roll the mixture into small one inch balls. Coat the balls with ground up almonds. Enjoy the sweet and healthy treat by dipping the fig balls in honey.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Henna in Ancient China!

October 5 Henna Workshop: Henna in Ancient China

The upcoming Henna Workshop will be held on October 5, and will explore the use of henna in China, as well as the ancient art of tattooing that has also been practiced there for thousands of years as another form of body decoration. We will even study the beautiful body art found on Chinese mummies!

Henna Workshop Background

Henna is a plant dye that has been used by many cultures throughout history to decorate the skin. The leaves of the henna plant, when dried and powdered, are mixed with an acidic liquid such as lemon juice. This mixture can be applied to the skin in designs and patterns, and will temporarily dye the skin an orange-brown color.

Every month, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum holds a Henna Workshop where, in addition to making and applying their own henna, guests will learn about the use of henna by a particular culture in history.

For September, we explored the use of henna by the Minoan civilization, a culture that inhabited the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea during the Bronze Age. The Minoans were a peaceful civilization that gave women a relatively prominent role in society. They built palaces at various sites in Crete, which included beautiful wall frescoes. These sites have provided us with the majority of our knowledge about Minoan culture.

One of the most striking qualities of Minoan culture is the art, where motifs of geometric patterns and natural subjects covered the surfaces of walls and pottery in sophisticated compositions. These included geometric patterns used in the “Palace Style” as well as beautiful depictions of marine animals such as dolphins, octopi and fish, known as the “Marine Style.”

We know that the Minoans had extensive contact with Egypt; Minoan art shows some Egyptian influence, and characteristically Minoan-style paintings have actually been found in ancient Egyptian structures. Texts from the period as well as art depicting women with red markings on their skin confirm that the Minoans used henna as a form of body decoration, probably utilizing designs similar to those used in their art.

As part of the workshop, guests learn to mix and apply their own henna. If you would like to use henna at home, here is a henna recipe:

  • Henna powder (available at most Indian grocery stores or online)

  • Lemon juice (or other acidic liquid - Coca-Cola will work too)

  • Sugar

  • Tea Tree Oil (or other essential oil of your preference)- this is optional

  • Plastic sandwich bag


  1. Mix about 1 tablespoon of henna powder with about a teaspoon of sugar.

  2. Add lemon juice to create a paste a little thicker than cake batter.

  3. Add a few drops of essential oil, if desired. Tea tree oil works best to
    darken the henna stain.

  4. Cover and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes (an hour or so is preferable).

  5. Put henna into plastic bag and cut a tiny piece off of one corner of bag.

  6. Apply henna to skin using bag as applicator (like decorating a cake!). For darkest stain, leave on overnight.

  7. Do not remove henna until it has dried. When removing henna, scrape it off or wipe with oil (such as olive oil). The longer you avoid exposing the area to water, the longer the stain will last.

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum’s Henna Workshop is held on the first Sunday of every month. Complimentary tickets are available at the museum’s front desk on the day of the workshop, and are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited, so make sure to come early to reserve your seat!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pumpkins in the Park

Discovery Meadow
Guadalupe River Park & Gardens
Saturday, October 11, 2008
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium as we celebrate “Pumpkins in the Park” at Guadalupe Park and River Gardens. This event is family friendly and a great way to begin the fall festival season.

This year our booth will give both children and parents the chance to create Anubis, Bastet and Egyptian Pumpkin masks. Fall was a time for celebrating the bountiful splendor of the Nile river valley, and although the ancient Egyptians did not grow pumpkins, they did have other types of squash, legumes and veggies.

Here, you will find more information on Pumpkins in the Park as well as a schedule of activities. Included are a Scarecrow Making Contest, live entertainment and lots of good food!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall Festival

Saturday and Sunday September 20-21, 2008

September in ancient Egypt was a time of great excitement. The waters of the Nile were beginning to recede and everyone was getting ready to plant the crops. To celebrate this exciting time the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium will be holding a Fall Festival full of exciting activities for everyone! This festival will feature a variety of fun family friendly events including hands-on workshops, special lectures and classes, and even an up close and personal look at some artifacts rarely seen by the public! Full event details and schedule.

Saturday activities will include:

  • Historical Talks
  • Tomb Tours
  • Peace Garden Tour
  • Armbands Workshop
  • Kids Archaeology Dig Outside
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Pottery Class
  • Visit to the Rosicrucian Research Library
  • Harvest Race
Full Saturday Schedule here.

m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m

Sunday activities will include:

  • Historical Talks
  • Tomb Tours
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Tour of Rosicrucian Park
  • Hieroglyphic Workshop
  • Kids Archaeology Dig Outside
  • Lil’ Scarabs Touch Box Activity (actually handle selected ancient items!)
  • Kids and Family jewelry in ancient Egypt class with jewelry making
  • History Detectives Kids Investigation
Full Sunday Schedule here.

Please join us for this celebration of the Fall! For Questions, please email us.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday Nights in September

Thursday Evenings in Egypt continue at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum during September!

As you may know, the Museum is now open until 8:00 pm each Thursday for your visiting convenience. In addition to our regular exhibits, please join us at the Rosicrucian Museum and Planetarium on Thursday evenings for very special family-friendly talks and tours. Each Thursday will feature a new theme of ancient Egyptian history and culture to explore.

Upcoming Thursdays during September:

September 11:
The Glory of the Gods:

5:00 Tomb Tour
5:30 Seth & Nephthys: Two Egyptian Gods
6:00 Osiris: Lord of the Afterlife
6:30 Isis: the Magical Queen
7:00 Tomb Tour
7:30 Horus: the God of Kingship

September 18:

Great Discoveries:

5:00 Tomb Tour
5:30 The Rosetta Stone
6:00 The Step Pyramid
6:30 The Child Mummy Sherit
7:00 Tomb Tour
7:30 Tutankhamen and his family