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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2009
Wow! I purchased for my niece for her 9th birthday. She is enamored with ancient Egypt, as am I. My fascination is with the burial rituals, pyramids, gods, and their belief in the afterlife. Her fascination started when our cousin had to get brain surgery, and a reference was made to egyptian brain removal technique...

The stone was a little tough to get started, but she had a harder time keeping her younger brother away. It took two hours to complete with a little help from my 15 year old daughter. They were very meticulous and scientific in their technique. There are digging directions to behave like an archaeologist. Yes, it was dusty, you ARE chipping away at a plaster "rock"!! It was FUN! She unearthed every "treasure" piece with a sense of pride and accomplishment. When she was finished, she assembled the treasure to learn what each piece was and what it meant to the ancient Pharoah in his afterlife. This is interactive, and not just a toy they look at and throw in their closet. It is also a game when they are finished. 5 Stars - Wish I could of had one when I was a kid...
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2011
I ordered this to go along with a homeschool unit on Ancient Egypt. It took my 6 year old about 2 hours to finish. I only helped a little bit when he got tired and asked for help. The block was not as hard to break through as I expected. The instructions say you can soak the block to make it easier to break apart, I think that would be a bad idea to do though as it would probably come apart in about 20 minutes and would take away all the fun of excavating. The mummy came out first and then there was a few other smaller items to get out also. The mummy had 4 game pieces and a small red dice in it for the board game that comes with this. The board game is simple and fairly straight forward, takes about 5-10 minutes to play, is made from cardstock paper although it is nice quality paper and glossed over for durability.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2007
My son had lots of fun unearthing all the treasures. However, the brick was very hard and it took a hammer to really get started, the little mallet which was provided did not do the job initially. Also, I would recommend doing the excavation outside as it created a lot of very fine, powdery dust.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
Our daughter (6) picked out this game and really enjoyed the 'dig'. We're studying about Egypt as part of our homeschool curriculum and having a hands-on activity to drive home the studies and stories was so helpful. Our 4 yo son watched with excitement the whole 2 hours of unearthing the toys. And though I would have preferred metal vs plastic treasures, the kids didn't mind a bit. Toysmith toys are typically on the cheap side, so I didn't expect much. As others have stated, it's about the dig, not the game.

I'm going to bury the toys again in plaster for a second dig. I'll report back on the success.

All in all, given that we're homeschooling and studying Egypt, this game was just fantastic. Kids do learn through play and with this game, they gained a lot of understanding in that 2 hours of fun.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
My seven-year-old daughter has been expressing a keen interest in ancient Egypt ever since we read a children's book on the subject. I also got her the Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris book which really sparked her interest and imagination. She wondered what it would be like to go look for a real tomb belonging to a king or queen of ancient Egypt, and after browsing around on Amazon, I finally found this kit. The overwhelmingly positive reviews convinced me to try it out and I am glad I did because we had lots of fun together, and learned quite a bit too!

The kit comes with a block of red plaster that encases a mummy (which can be opened to reveal some pieces and one dice that is to be used for the board game that also comes with the set) and several other treasures including an ankh (the ancient Egyptian symbol of life), a hieroglyphic tablet, a cat, and a scarab. The set also comes with a plastic chisel/scraper that is to be used to scrape away the plaster, and a paintbrush.

Now, having done this with my seven-year-old, I'd recommend doing this activity in an area of the house where there's a nice sized workspace. We worked on a glass-topped table, but I took the added precaution of placing the block of plaster on an old baking tray which I use for crafts as it captured the fine pink dust and I could just tip it over into the garbage bin after we were done. It took both of us several hours to get at the hidden treasures, and I also used additional tools I got from our garage.

It does take a lot of patience though, and my daughter was a trooper, and really enjoyed the process. The look of happiness and satisfaction when she uncovered something made it all worthwhile. After we were done cleaning up and washing off the excess plaster from the artifacts, we played the board game which is similar to chutes and ladders (the winner is the one who gets to the tomb first). This provided hours of entertainment on a cold and rainy afternoon, and has spurred my daughter to learn more about ancient Egypt. Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2013
I'm a homeschooling parent, and I ordered this product as an add on activity for a unit study about Ancient Egyptian Life. My son LOVED it! We did wet the block,as we had used a similar kit for another study, and the process proved too difficult for his hands. Wetting it definitely softened it quite a bit, and he finished the project within an hour. I followed the advice of another reviewer and we went outside. I'm glad we did. It made a big mess, much as I expected it would (thank you for the warning!). The kit itself included a board game, 5 plastic pieces embedded in the in the brick, and the tools needed. Since we wet the block, we did not need any other tools. He was able to remove the pieces from the brick using the scraping end of the tool, and only occasionally was the mallet necessary. Overall, it's fun and educational at a decent price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2013
Well, sadly, the pieces that are shown on the package are not what they look like once you dig them out of the block of clay. They are plastic, but not the shiny, cool looking type that is shown on the box. And, something made my son and I laugh when we read the instructions for the game: roll to see who goes first. Guess where the dice is at? Inside the pharoah tomb that is inside the clay block which your are trying to unearth (we only knew this AFTER we removed the tomb piece). It was fun, but the product is no where as nice as the box states on the cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2013
I did this with several middle schoolers for an Egyptian-themed activity. There is a plastic "chisel" with a serrated edge (like a knife) that helps you slowly get through the plastic--and a small paintbrush to brush away the plaster dust. Luckily, you can see some of the "artifacts" almost right away (but not before doing some of the work), so it kept everyone interested.

That said, if you have younger kids or very impatient ones, they may give up if they try it in one go. In that case, it would be better to try breaking it up into several sessions. We talked about how civilizations grow on top of other civilizations, and why archaeologists have to work slowly and carefully. Knowing about Ancient Egypt helped us pass the time.

For $15, this was a great deal. I rated it 5 stars because it was as advertised, the pieces were nicely sized and looked good (even if plastic), the included game was fun and can be played over & over (the 4 needed pieces and the die store in the sarcophagus). Just wanted to warn about the time! I think it took us about 90 minutes to do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2015
I was excited about this item.. My granddaughter could "excavate" the block, and then we could play the game. Imagine my confusion and disappointment to find out that the game is useless because the stickers and instructions are in six languages.. Not one English, not one that I can read. No where am I avoided that I would need a different language to play the game
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2011
Dylan wanted this from the first time he saw it. He is a bright 6 year old with a vivid imagination. This toy allows him to be creative and perform various play situations. He enjoys it very much.
The toy is well designed and rugged enough for a 6 year old boy to enjoy without breaking it.
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