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Civilizations in a Crate

Let the Kelsey Museum guide you in the exploration of the ancient world!

This series of traveling educational kits, designed for use in the classroom or home, gives students and teachers a unique resource for studying ancient Mediterranean archaeology. Whether your interest is in Egypt, the ancient Near East, Greek mythology, or the Roman Empire, our Civilizations in a Crate provide a variety of artifact replicas, videos, books, games, and presentations for grades K–12.

The kits are divided into two groups: the K–4 kits contain materials appropriate for younger students, while the 5–12 kits include more advanced reading for middle school students, high school students, and adults. Each kit includes a notebook with teaching strategies.

Throughout 2018, each Civilization in a Crate kit is available for a free two-week rental in exchange for an evaluation of the crate materials and how they were used in your classroom. We ask that you pick up and return the kit to us. For further information or to rent a kit, please contact the  Education Department.


For Kindergarten – 4th Grades

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.

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. 

Ancient Writing

Writing developed in different forms throughout the Mediterranean. Students get hands-on experience of several ancient writing styles, from hieroglyphs to the Greek alphabet, through modern reproductions of ancient objects including cuneiform tablets and the Rosetta Stone.


For 5th – 12th Grades


Undoubtedly our most popular Civilization in a Crate, the “Egypt” kit contains an assortment of amulet and figurine reproductions, as well as DVDs such as Pyramid, hosted by David Macaulay, papyrus samples, and a portfolio collection of Egyptian art from the Brooklyn Museum.

Roman Civilization

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 artifact replicas are included.

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.


When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, the Roman city of Pompeii was buried beneath tons of volcanic ash. Archaeological 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.