Ancient Egyptian Daily Life
Ancient Egypt was a highly civilized society, however a person’s daily life very much depended on the class in to which he or she was born. This is demonstrated through the family life, clothing and social classes of the people. Today, we can still see the many ways Ancient Egypt has impacted our society.
Firstly, the family life of ancient Egypt was very valued by all family members no matter what class they belonged to. The children were very treasured and regarded as a great blessing. Couples that had no children would beg to the gods and goddesses for help and, sometimes, would place letters on the tombs of dead relatives for them to help influence the gods. Also, women in ancient Egypt were equal to men in many ways. Women would not only face the same penalties as men; also, they could become queen or Pharaoh. In lower class families the mother raised the children, while in wealthy and noble families the slaves and servants took care of the children by attending to their daily needs. If parents were rich the boys could be sent to school to study religion, reading, writing and arithmetic. There was no evidence of school for girls, but some were taught to read and write at home (some girls became doctors).
Secondly, the clothing a person wore also depended on class in which they were born. A Nobleman’s family had fine linen sheets, a cabinet for clothes and the women had a cosmetic box. The Nobleman wore a kilt made of fine linen and sandals made of leather. The Nobleman’s wife wore a dress of fine linen and jewelry made of glass. Also, she applied ‘Kohl’ to here eyelids (Kohl was a powder used as eye makeup). A farmer’s family had coarse linen sheets that had been woven by his wife and a basket that held their clothes. The farmer wore a kilt made of linen and sandals made of reeds. The farmer’s wife wore a coarse linen dress and an amulet of the goddess Tawaret on a piece of papyrus string.
Thirdly, a person’s life style also depended on which social class you were in. Firstly, there was the Nobleman’s family (the rich people). These people would hold parties and live their life in comfort with other people taking care of the house, kids and meals.Next, there were the craftsmen and the shopkeepers. If you were a craftsman in Ancient Egypt you were quite high up in the social classes. Most of the time the craftsmen were scribes or artists, which were highly prized in society. After them, there were the peasants and the farmers. Theses people lived off the lands’ agriculture (land was owned by the Pharaoh). The taxes made it very difficult for the peasant and farmers, especially the ones that affected the crops. Lastly, there were the slaves. The slaves worked for the rich people but performed the role of servants more than slaves. They worked humiliating and degrading positions, which included building the pyramids. (Slaves mean ‘One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.’). Without slaves the rich people would not have been able to live their opulent lifestyles.
This picture shows farmers planting seeds in the fields.
Finally, there are many ways that Ancient Egyptian daily life can be connected to the Ancient Egyptian religion and the modern life today. Ancient Egyptian daily life connects to Ancient Egyptian religion because there were many days of the year that were devoted to the gods and the daily life revolved around the pharaoh, who was the peoples’ version of a ‘living god’. This also means that the laws were set around what the ‘gods’ wanted. The daily life of Ancient Egypt is connected to the modern life today because we still value our children, women are equal to men, women face the same penalties as men and finally, young girls and boys both get taught things (education).
Over all, Ancient Egypt was a very evolved society, even though people’s daily life very much depended on the class in to which they were born. Ancient Egyptian family life, clothing and social classes have had major influences on today’s daily life.