Civilizations in a Crate

Let the Kelsey Museum help you explore the ancient world!

This exciting series of traveling educational kits, designed for use in the classroom or home, give students and teachers a unique resource for studying ancient Mediterranean archaeology. Whether your interest is in Egypt, the ancient Near East, Greek city-states, or the Roman Empire, this series provides a variety of reproductions, videos, books, games, and slides for grades K-12.

We offer eleven different kits. The K-4 kits contain materials appropriate for younger students, while the 5-12 kits have more advanced reading for high school and adults. Each kit includes a notebook with suggestions and teaching strategies.

Rental costs are $20 per two-week session. We ask that you pick up and return the kit to us. For further information or to rent a kit, please contact Cathy Person or call the Education office at 734.647.0441.

The following kits are available:


Undoubtedly our most popular kit, Egypt contains an assortment of amulet and figurine reproductions. This kit also includes videotapes, such as Pyramid hosted by David Macaulay, papyrus samples, and a portfolio collection of Egyptian art from the Brooklyn Museum. (5-12)

Pyramids and Puzzles

This kit introduces young students to the world of ancient Egypt through a variety of interactive materials. With hieroglyphic stamps, mummy masks, and samples of real papyrus, children get a hands-on learning experience. (K-4)

Greek Mythology

Since Greek myths have long intrigued readers young and old, this kit concentrates on the tales and stories of Greek civilization. Illustrated books on Hercules, Pegasus, and the gods of the Olympic Pantheon are chosen with young readers in mind. This kit also includes Greek plays and artifact reproductions, such as the owl of Athena and a statue of Hermes. (K-4)

Greek Art and Archaeology

Five slide shows focus on the art and archaeology in this kit. The slide sets explore everyday life in ancient Greece, as well as the Cyclades, Mycenaean, and Minoan cultures, and the Odyssey. Artifact reproductions include Greek pottery, coins, and figurines.


Latin, the Roman arch, and Roman numerals--all these subjects are covered in this kit on ancient Rome. Books included are The Secrets of Vesuvius, Pompeii, and Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome. Four glass vessels, Roman coins, and other reproductions are included. (5-12)

Near East

This kit covers a variety of civilizations including the Hittites, Babylonians, Persians, Sumerians, and Assyrians. The Dead Sea Scrolls are highlighted with a scroll reproduction in a clay jar along with several books on the subject. Clay lamps, a cuneiform tablet, and seal reproductions help to illustrate the text. (5-12)

Ancient Writing

Writing developed in different forms throughout the Mediterranean. Study ancient writing from hieroglyphs to the Greek alphabet. Through cuneiform tablets, a Rosetta Stone facsimile, and other reproductions, students get a hands-on view.


As the first in a series of ancient explorers kits, this kit highlights Wenamon, an ancient Egyptian whose travels are described in a remarkable story. While this kit focuses on Wenamon, it provides general information on ancient Egypt through books, videotapes, and various artifact reproductions. (5-12)

Jason and Argonauts

A kit from the ancient explorers series, Jason and the Argonauts centers on the voyage of Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece. Like our other Greek kits, Jason and the Argonauts provides basic information on ancient Greece, its myths and legends, architecture, trade, and more. (5-12)

Medieval Explorers

The last kit in the ancient explores series focuses on the early explorations of St. Brendan and the Vikings. Rune stones, a piece of chain mail armor, and a Celtic cross illustrate the varied cultures of Europe, from the pre-Christian era to the Romans. (5-12)


When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the Roman city of Pompeii was buried beneath tons of volcanic ash. Today excavations have yielded an extraordinary number of artifacts, frescoes, and mosaics from the doomed city. This kit focuses on ritual, cults, and the role of women. The remarkable frescoes from the Villa of the Mysteries provide a focal point. (5-12)