Culture Of Ancient Egyptians
Egypt was a powerful nation during the ancient times under the rule of the Pharaohs. These age of prosperity were divided into the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, each separated by short periods of instability.
How would a normal person have lived in Ancient Egypt? With all the paintings, tomb writings, ancient Egypt pyramids and objects that archaeologists from all over the world have uncovered, this question can be answered to a substantial extent.
It is quite clear that the authority in every Ancient Egyptian family was the father, who was in charge of bringing home the bulk of income for his family. The mother would be responsible for taking care of the tasks at home, in addition to ensuring that the upbringing of their children was well taken care of. Mothers belonging to lower class families would do this job themselves. Wealthier families usually tasked servants to tend the daily needs of the children. Primary education for the children was provided at home. When they have been deemed as able by their fathers, they would serve as apprentices, accompanying their fathers as they worked to learn the trade.
Children would wake up to join their fathers out in the crop fields. Builders and other sorts of craftsmen would have their male offspring serve as helper- apprentices. The more privileged children of Ancient Egypt had the option of receiving a formal education; to eventually become a scribe, or an army officer in the royal service.
In the Ancient Egyptian home, there are very few furnishings, and these were not very complicated in design. All Ancient Egyptians, from the Pharaoh to the peasant would utilize the low stool, one of the most common pieces of wooden furniture at the time. In the kitchen a cylindrical stove crafted from baked clay was a regular. Pottery was used to store food, and a two handled saucepan which served as basic cooking equipment was made from the same material.
The staple food of Ancient Egypt was bread and beer, accompanied by vegetables such as onions with the usual piece of dried fish. The bread was made
from a grain they call cyllestis. Beer was made from barley as they lacked vines and fruits to make wine. Meat was rarely consumed in Ancient Egypt, as domesticated animals were used for other tasks, and raising them for the purpose of getting their meat was expensive.
People would add some variety to their diet by hunting hares and gazelles, and gathering root and wild fruits. Based on findings, Ancient Egyptians were likely to prepare their food in many ways, such as boiling, baking, stewing, grilling, and roasting. Though nobody has exactly unearthed an Ancient Egyptian cookbook just yet, many agree that these people seasoned their food with salt, oil, cumin, honey, and other spices.
In the category of fashion, both males and females in Ancient Egypt adorned in jewellery. They would embellish their plain clothing with earrings, bracelets, rings, anklets, and necklaces. Amethysts, garnets, onyxes, and lapis lazuli would be paired with copper and gold to make these items. Besides wearing these pieces, superstition has a large number of Ancient Egyptians wearing or holding on to amulets, or good luck charms.
Again, both male and female wore make-up; for whatever reason, this was an essential bit of everyday life. None-the-less, Ancient Egyptian cosmetics were not only critical, but were a matter of personal health and hygiene. Oil and cream was used to protect them from the hot sun and dry winds. Eye paint, in black and green, would definitely stand out as the most characteristic of Ancient Egyptian cosmetics. Green eye paint (malachite) was made from copper, while black eye paint, or kohl, was formulated from lead, or simple soot.
When the Ancient Egyptians were not working, studying, or doing other required chores and tasks, they had many options to pass time. Toys such as balls and animal figures carved from ivory kept the children entertained. The Nile River was a primary target for many people who sought some fun. Ancient Egyptians would swim, fish, and engage in all sorts of games at the river. They also loved music, and would not hesitate to pick up harps and other instruments to fill the air with a good tune. If the weather did not allow more physical activities outside, ancient Egyptians would pass time by playing board games. The chess-like game named ‘Senet’ was one famous example. Parties and celebrations were also held occasionally, to honour the many gods that had a huge significance in their daily lives.
One aspect that archaeologists have determined through unearthed relics would be that of Ancient Egyptian funerary customs. In many tombs found throughout Egypt, one should not be surprised to find all sorts of objects and inscriptions. To the Ancient Egyptians, these paraphernalia were essential to ensure that the deceased would enjoy the same ‘good life’ in the afterlife as he or she enjoyed while alive.
It did not stop with these paintings and inscriptions. The Ancient Egyptians believed that full participation of a deceased individual in the afterlife required preservation of his or her identity. Consequently, food and drink were offered to the body, which was most likely preserved through mummification. Death was something that many, if not all, Ancient Egyptians prepared for as their belief in the afterlife was very strong. Pharaohs built the most luxurious tombs and were subject to the most expensive methods of mummification upon death.
There are definitely a lot of things to know about Ancient Egypt, but it should be enough for us to know in summary that they led lives shaped by customs, traditions and beliefs. Some are still practiced by a majority of the population today; apparently, some things just never change.
AfricaPoint, a travel agent in Africa offers Egypt travel packages. View itineraries and travel to Egypt for your vacation. Visit us at http://www.africapoint.com/tours1/egyptour.htm