Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt

Divine and royal headdresses and crowns

One of the most astonishing facts about Egypt is how little everyday life changed over the millennia. The rhythm of Egyptian life was the rhythm of the Nile until a few years ago, when the Aswan dam was erected. Even today one can find the ancient shadoof, oxen pulling ploughs and houses made of mud bricks.

Means of transportation: Walking, ferries, litters, chariots, beasts of burden, ships and boats.

Personal Hygiene and Cosmetics: Cosmetics, perfumes, washing, hair, manicure.

Miningof metals, precious stones, natron etc.

Childhood: Origin – Birth – The Toddler – Education – Coming of Age – Death of a Child

Ive tried to be as accurate as possible. Should you find facts which are incorrect, pleaselet me know. Thank you.

[ ] Source of the three 20th century photographs (reaper, potter, winnowers):University of Washington website

Contemporary plan of the tomb of Ramses IV

Dyeing fabrics and other materials.

Glass production: The material, uses and technologies

Diodorus Siculus on the Egyptian judicial system

Animal products: Leather, fur, eggshells, bone, ivory

Social relationships and institutions

The Country and its people: geography, population, flora, and fauna

Slavery: The Enslavement – The Slave Population – The Price of a Slave – The Treatment of Slaves – Runaways – The Setting-free – The Status of Women and Foreigners

Architectural elementsFoundations, arches, pillars, obelisks, stairs

Ships and Boats: The archaeological evidence, the state involvement, ship construction, navigation, constructions facilitating navigation.

Theadministration: The court, the civil adminstration, the military, foreign relations, the temples, regional governments, the vice-royalty of Nubia.

Diodorus Siculus on mining in ancient Egypt

ABestiaryAnimals divine, wild, domestic and imaginary

Humour: What the ancient Egyptians laughed at

Old Kingdom market scene: Egyptian merchants in the Old Kingdom

Vermin: Insects – Birds -Rodents – Remedies

Masters and Workers: Labour relations in ancient Egypt

The funerary cortge and the opening of the mouth ceremony, Ptolemaic period

Transliteration and pronunciation of ancient Egyptian

The gods are gone, so are the pharaohs, the language and the writing. The cities look European in a ramshackle sort of way, transportation is partly 20th century, theres some industry, and radio and television are everywhere. But villages in the farther off corners of the country must still look very much like those of thousands of years ago.

Foreign correspondence: the Amarna letters

Contracts and other legal documents

Medical Care: The healers, the diseases, herbal medicine, pregancy and childbirth, surgery, prosthetics, dentistry, historical perspective.

Walls and ramparts:Private dwellings, palaces, city walls.

Diodorus Siculus on Egyptian medicine

The Social Classes in Ancient Egypt: The nobility, the intelligentsia, labour, the outcast, the military, the priesthood, social stability

The decorative palettes of the late 4th millennium

Building in stone:The tools, the stone, the masons craft

Cities and citizens:The cities and their gods – National and regional centres – The citizens – Citizens of the army

Play and games: Childrens games, toys, board games.

Games found at Ballas by W.M.Flinders Petrie

Mummification: the embalmers and their art

Journeys of exploration: Henenus exploration of the Red Sea, journeys to Punt under Hatshepsut, the circumnavigation of Africa

Public ceremonies: Processions, festivals

The Chariot: History, design and use

Overseas trade: Trade routes, goods, traders

Horticulture- Gardens and gardeners.

Minnesota State Universitys eMuseum: Daily life in ancient Egypt

The four kas: Human happiness as gift of the gods

Composition and development of tools

The Religion of the People: Worship in the Temples – Personal Piety

The fourteen kaswith which Re and the pharaos protected the people of Egypt

Man and Woman: The Family – Husband and Wife – Property – Infidelity – Marital Violence – Death – Divorce

The economy: Population, sources of wealth, duties imposed and beneficiaries of the system.

Town planning: Location, city quarters, residential areas, temple districts

I mostly chose topics not widely dealt with on the web. For the time being I do not include anything about pyramids or royal tombs for instance, as plenty of material can be found on these subjects.

Hat-hetep-Senusret (Kahun), map of a planned city

Some of the articles on the Touregypt site are blatant and systematic plagiarisms and no references are given, with the full knowledge of the sites editor

Thegeographyof Egypt through the eyes of Herodotus

Master Index of Articles and Essays on Egypt (Touregypt site)

Procreation: Fertility, family planning, pregnancy, childbirth

Sea-going vessels- warships and merchant men

ABotanical: Plants wild and domesticated

The Weapons: (Clubs, maces,axes, swords, spears,bow and arrow, slingshot,shields, helmets and body armour)

Body and soul: Explanations of the terms associated with the Egyptian view of self

River shipping: Fishing boats, transportation barges, pleasure boats

Friendship: The Teachings – Literary Friendships – Real-life Friendships – The Pharaohs – The Gods

Funerary objects: Amulets, Canopic jars, censers, coffins, funerary cones, funerary masks, hypocephali, models, mummy labels, the nemset vessel, the netjeri blade, offering tables, Osiris beds, papyrus scrolls, the pesesh-kaf, reserve heads, statues, stelae, ushabtis

Personal adornment:Jewellery, body painting, tattoos.

Law enforcement: The police, the criminals and their crimes, the laws, the courts, the punishments

Making beer, much less widespread in Egypt today than it was in ancient times

The priests of Amen and the Theban Kings

Flax- The crop and the production of linen.

Farmed and domesticated animals- Farm animals and pets.

The vizierate: Historic development, rules of conduct, duties

The Egyptians and their Dead: Life after Death – Ancestor Worship – The Dead and the Living – Remembering the Dead

Building in ancient Egypt:Planning, ceremonies, materials, tools.

W.M. Flinders Petrie: The weather in ancient Egypt

Mummification: the embalmers and their art

Marriage as a tool of foreign politics during the New Kingdom

Conviviality: Carousings and Banquets

Desertion and revolt of a discontented army

Metals: sources, technologies, uses

Duties: Taxation, forced labour, military service

These are just suggestions for further reading. I do not assume any responsibility for the availability or content of these websites.

Landed property: types of land, ownership, conveyance, leasing

The people: Composition, numbers, language

– the New Kingdom elite training centre

Agriculture and horticulture- The role of the Nile, irrigation, the crops.

Index of the Petrie Museum website (University College London)

Stone vessels: The stone, the craftsmen, the tools, the vessels

Genderin the economy, literature and art

Descriptions generally refer to the period of the New Kingdom.

Domestic trade: Barter, the exchange of gifts, abstract equivalence values, credit, market places, the merchants.

Early ship construction: Khufus boat

Might and right in international relations

Stone: Quarrying, transporting and working stone

Pliny on Nitre, its production and uses

Economy, crafts, raw materials, trade, transportation and travel

The declarations of innocence: the Negative Confessions

Heka, the Magic of Ancient Egypt: Acquiring Magical Powers – The Practitioners of Magic – Practical Purposes – The Practice of Magic

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