Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
2013-02-25 0:00

By Shemsu Sesen | EmHotep.net

What was daily life like in ancient Egypt? That was the question we pondered with this week’s Em Hotep Digest. How did Egyptian families get along? What was town and home life like? What did they eat and drink? How did they attire themselves? What did they do for entertainment? All these issues are considered within.


Family Life

The Family Unit


From Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt, by Rosalie David

“The Egyptian family was a small, independent unit consisting of father, mother, and children, although it was sometimes extended to include unmarried or widowed female relatives. The financial position of women and children was protected by law, and even after marriage women retained ownership of their own property. If a woman’s husband divorced her, she kept her own property and he had to pay her compensation. Bigamy and polygamy were rare among commoners, and consanguineous marriages outside the royal family were infrequent before the Greco-Roman Period” (p. 359).


The whole family pitched in to keep the household running smoothly. Wooden models from the tomb of Djehutynakht, late Eleventh Dynasty

Children and Coming of Age

From Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

“Until relatively recent times, and in most cultures, children entered into adulthood at an age which may seem scandalously young to us. They didn’t have time to waste. Life was short and hazardous. In pharaonic Egypt the average lifespan was thirty to forty years…

“Even before formal achievement of maturity, children started working—girls in the house, helping their mothers with household chores and the care of younger children, boys learning the tricks of their fathers’ trades. The fact is, we don’t know much about the lives of the peasants, all of whom were illiterate and few of whom could afford tombs or other lasting monuments. When we talk about careers or professions we are talking about the small percentage of people who did leave such records—skilled workmen, members of the professional class, and the nobility. However, even those records are scantier than we would like” (p. 50)."

Love and Marriage

From Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

“Setting up a household was a proper adult activity. A man needed to beget sons to carry out his funeral ceremonies and see that his spirit was provided with food and drink. This is the formal reasoning, but it would be absurd to suppose that it was the only reason why the ancient Egyptians got married. We don’t know how often marriages were arranged by parents, but there was no seclusion of the female, and in some cases at lease a boy and a girl married because they had fallen in love.

[...]

Read the full article at: emhotep.net



Related Articles
Cracking the Ancient Egyptian Code: Jean-François Champollion
Bones and jars of the dead unearthed in 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs
Eight million mummified animals unearthed at ancient catacomb in Egypt
An archaeological first: sixteen severed hands found buried in ancient Egyptian city


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden may be at war "in a few years" - top brass in leaked document
2016-02-13 5:24
In a few years Sweden may be engaged in a war with a “qualified opponent” after two centuries of peace, a senior Swedish commander has told soldiers in an internal brochure. The alarming message was reportedly sent by Major General Anders Brännström, the Army chief, in a brochure distributed among the participants of a major annual event that is to open ...
Danish imam urges govt to accept child marriages among refugees
2016-02-13 4:57
A high-profile imam has urged the Danish government to accept child brides, as the practice is part of the culture of many refugees arriving in the country. It follows an announcement by Denmark that such couples will be separated under Danish law. Imam Oussama El-Saadi, of the Aarhus mosque in Denmark, said that child brides should be looked at from a ...
White Parents in Virginia Shutdown White Guilt Video!
2016-02-13 4:56
You see folks? This is what happens when you stop blaming the Joo, and you get the fuck off your favorite bitch corner and start taking action! This is what happens when parents start parenting again! What? You’re gonna brainwash our kids with your filth and lies? We don’t think so. How would you like an empty school with no ...
Hungarian Top Economist: Civil War is Coming to Europe
2016-02-13 2:36
Zsolt Bayer, Hungarian journalist, publicist, and co-founder of Hungary's currently ruling political party, and Dr. László Bogár, former politician and leading economist, discuss the Cologne sexual assualts committed by migrants on New Year's Eve, 2016. This short part of the 60-minute long television program that aired on Echo TV on January 8, 2016, is of a rant by Mr. Bogár warning ...
British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos
2016-02-12 23:48
The Francis Crick institute will genetically edit the leftover embryos from from IVF clinics British scientists have been granted permission to genetically modify human embryos by the fertility regulator. The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development. It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has ...
More News »