18 children (ages 2-14) travel from a small American town in 1995 to the year 1312 BCE in ancient Egypt. They stay with Jewish slaves in their village (the structure is more serfs than slaves) for 9 days, then everyone takes off for the Exodus. Over the next 3 months or so, the group travels some and mostly camps at Mount Sinai.
The children’s leader, age 12, is the only one who believed the time travel could happen, but even she thought they’d be there a few hours, not stuck for months. While the other children were all told where they were going, they thought it was a game. So they have few supplies, mostly knapsacks, canteens/water bottles, sunscreen, and some snacks. Everyone has a hat and good walking shoes.
Every child has at least one Jewish grandparent, but none were raised with much (or any) Jewish culture or religion. Some of the children researched the trip ahead of time, most didn’t. Another 12 year old is a super-involved Boy Scout who brought things like a Swiss army knife, matches, compass, etc. Three others (ages 7-8) are also boy/girl scouts. Three 9-10 years olds are self-proclaimed geeks who love science and science fiction. Others have a variety of skills including classical dance, music, cooking, etc.
The Jewish (and some non-Jewish) slaves, the Hebrews, are all ages and have a variety of skills. No formal schooling, few academics. Most adults are (or were) laborers—primarily farming and brickmaking—and most of the children work in those places too. Everyone has skills in at least some of the tasks that maintain their village, including basic building/repair, cooking, brewing, weaving/sewing, gardening, and animal husbandry. Some have advanced training in things like metalwork, ceramics, shoemaking, and other crafts. As they start their journey, they will pick up mineworkers (and gem experts) as well as slaves with specialty training in the palace.
The children and the Hebrews will learn much from each other. My story focuses on what they learn about faith, spirituality, culture, and their own personal journeys. The children can also tell the Hebrews a bit about their future (“Jews will survive” and “Heck yes, you can totally cross this sea”), but nothing too specific. My question is about the technology exchange, which I will use to flesh out the story. I assume the Hebrews will have more to teach the children. In part because a lot of them are experienced adults but also because they are living in that time and place. So much of the technology of the children’s world is pretty useless in ancient Egypt (“I have a watch and can tell you the exact time”…So?).
- For the purposes of this question, assume that the Exodus is real and more or less as described in the Torah and various Rabbinic commentaries. Assume the level of tech and culture is as multiple history writings describe it for peasantry in this time period (which still leaves a lot open to interpretation).
- The children will leave well before the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). But they are friends with the 12 year old boy who will become the master builder.
- Use a broad definition of “technology” and be sure not to focus only on traditionally male knowledge. Baking bread and brewing beer is technology as much as forging hammers.
- Stuff that isn't really a technology, that is just cultural, is very welcome. Music, singing, and dancing all play a part in my story. Also jewelry.
- Assume a handwaving "universal translator" so language is not an issue.
What practical things can the modern(ish) kids teach their Ancient Hebrew hosts?