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This summer, 1,500 books were released into the villages nearby Tell Timai, the site of a prominent ancient Delta city in Egypt. The University of Hawaiʻi excavation team at Tell Timai, led by UH Mānoa Professor of Classics and Site Director Robert Littman and Co-Site Director Jay Silverstein published the illustrated children’s history book, The Story of Ancient Timai. It was made possible through a grant from the National Geographic Society.

The book details the ancient history of Timai and includes illustrations, maps, photographs and even a comic book. “It aims to inspire the minds and hearts of young adults about the ancient world under their feet, as well as educate and entertain so this threatened site will rise in importance in the local consciousness,” said Littman.

The outreach effort was well received in the villages. One thousand books were given to the education ministry and will be incorporated into the fall curriculum of the schools. Copies of the book were also given to the Egyptian Museum and Children’s Museum in Cairo for program development.

Site artist Isabel Zermani created the book after the team found that many people in the village had little understanding of the site.

The books became the hot topic of the village and a touchstone for the UH team to connect with the people who reside near Tell Timai year round.

“We plan to stay committed to our outreach effort in future seasons and expand our goals,” said Silverstein. “We hope the story of Timai will continue to be excavated, written and shared.”

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