Archive | March, 2017

Agricultural Life D.17.04.01

31 Mar

From cutting trees down to ploughing – people gathered for the agricultural life. Together the people ploughed and threshed grain.
Egypt is a desert and the only arable land in Egypt was next to the River Nile and the River Nile got almost no rain in Egypt at all.
So the question begs – How was farming possible? Farming was possible because of the Nile flood. Rains in the summer in Ethiopia sent floods down the Nile. They began in May. They were high in July to October. And the land, because of all the silt being washed down from Ethiopia, became incredibly fertile.
There were myths and legends that the Nile flood, the mud in the Nile flood was so fertile that it spontaneously engendered life. Things would just grow out of the Nile flood even without seeds. But of course, they planted a lot of seeds as well.
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Ancient Harvesting D.17.03.31

31 Mar

There is a fascination about the daily life in Ancient Egypt. Life for some ancient Egyptians was harvesting wheat and this is what most ancient Egyptians did.
When we think of Ancient Egypt, we often think of the pyramids and the treasure of King Tut and the Temples of Luxor and the bust of Nefertiti we think of all these beautiful artefacts of high culture.
But what we need to remember is that most people in Ancient Egypt lived and worked as peasants harvesting grain and other crops in the Nile Valley.
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Household Servants D.17.03.30

30 Mar

In ancient times an elite household would have many servants. Servants would do all of the work of the house, cooking, cleaning.
When the elite Egyptians male or female when out on their daily business, Servants would accompany them in groups to do things like brush flies away from them and to carry clean sandals so that when they came to wherever they were going, they could change their shoes and get the dust of the street off of them and go nicely into whatever meeting they had to attend.
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Young Men in Egypt D.17.03.29

28 Mar

The life of young boys in Egypt is interesting. At the age of 14, boys were publicly circumcised in public ceremony and at that age they’d begin to learn a trade.
They either worked with their fathers or were instructed in temple school.
If a young boy were lucky enough to be a member of the Egyptian elite, they would have many servants.
Slaves, interestingly, were relatively rare in Ancient Egypt. People often think that the pyramids were built with slave labour, but they weren’t. The labour on the pyramids was as far as we could tell, voluntary and paid which is an interesting thing to think about.
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Ancient Family in Egypt D.17.03.28

27 Mar

The family unit in ancient Egypt was structured. Women’s work was confined to the home. There are documents from Ancient Egypt that attest that that work was seen as dignified.
Men were told how to live a good life. There are texts indicating this advice to men. Men were told to leave the household affairs to their wives. Children were told to honour their mothers.
What is known is that even though women’s work was constrained and limited to the household that there was some dignity and social esteem given to that work.
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Ancient Marriage Ideals D.17.03.27

26 Mar

I wonder what it was like to be an ordinary woman in ancient Egypt. The age of marriage will surprise you. Girls were married at age 12 to 14, at the onset of puberty. In comparison young men were married at about age 20. There was a disparity by gender about the age of marriage. Girls were married as soon as they could start having children because remember they would mostly die by age 29. If they were to have a family, they needed to start early.
On the other hand, men can’t get married until they have enough possession and a trade and a way to provide for their family. It was mostly at the age of 20 for young men after they had learned to trade and 12 to 14 for young girls because they were then capable physically of having babies.
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Cleopatra D.17.03.26

25 Mar

The most famous Queen of Egypt was Cleopatra. Cleopatra was in many ways an anomaly. First of all Cleopatra was not Egyptian. She was ethnically Greek. She was a descendant of the generals of Alexander the Great, who conquered Egypt in the 3rd century BCE. She ruled the kingdom for a time by herself, though she also took great care to associate herself with powerful Roman leaders, such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Cleopatra was in some ways, more Greek, culturally, than Egyptian.
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Ancient Female Ruler D.17.03.25

24 Mar

There was the occasion in the 3,000 year history of Egypt where women actually ruled. In the new kingdom, Queen Hatshepsut ruled. Hatshepsut ruled as regent. She was the mother of a pharaoh who was too young to rule and she took over and ruled in her own right.
It was presumably known that Hatshepsut was a woman but the statues of Hatshepsut many of them represent her as a male pharaoh. And this shows just how tied the notion of kingship was to masculinity. Even when you had a queen on the throne they represented her in a statue as being a male.
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Women in Ancient Egypt D.17.03.24

24 Mar

What was it like to be a woman in Egypt? Egyptian women were subordinate to men as women were in most pre-modern cultures. But Egyptian women were less restricted than in some other ancient cultures like Greece or Rome in some cases. For one thing, in Egypt polygamy was rare. So women tended to not be in a harem situation.
The standard unit of Egyptian society was the family based on a couple. And that meant that women were not being subordinated in groups to one husband. This was unlike in Ancient Athens; they were not confined to their houses. They were able to walk around the streets freely.
Women could own property. Women could inherit property and they could run their own businesses. They could also represent themselves in court. This may not seem great but they were signs of freedom compared with what we think of in the modern world and they are significant.
Women did not always have these rights in other ancient cultures.
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Ancient Medicine D.17.03.23

22 Mar

Egyptian medicine had a great reputation in the ancient world, and the doctors were very good at practical things like setting broken bones but Egyptians had no systematic knowledge of how the body worked.
Egyptians knew how to mummify bodies, but they didn’t really understand the function of various bodily organs and, so beyond things like treating cuts and fractures and so on, many remedies relied on magical methods.
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