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Life in Ancient Egypt in the Time of the Pharaohs{Part Two}

posted 10 Jul 2011, 02:38 by Manal Raafat
Welcome again to my second post about Life in Ancient Egypt to continue the story .I had divided it because it is long ,and I do not like you to get tired of me . Thanks for your time . MR
The ancient Egyptians had a rich fertile soil resulting from annual inundations of the Nile River,so Egyptians were able to produce an abundance of food .Farming in Egypt was dependent on the cycle of the Nile River. The Egyptians recognized three seasons: Akhet (flooding from June to September ), Peret (planting  from October to February ), and Shemu (harvesting from March to May ) .Farmers used sickles to harvest their crops. The ancient Egyptians cultivated emmer wheat, and barley, and several other cereal grains, all of which were used to make the two main food staples of bread and beer. Papyrus growing on the banks of the Nile River was used to make paper. Vegetables and fruits were grown in garden plots . They cultivate also flax plants ,which was used to weave sheets of linen and to make clothing.


The Egyptians believed that a balanced relationship between people and animals was an essential element of the cosmic order; thus humans, animals and plants were believed to be members of a single whole. They use the animal's symbols to refer to their gods . the worship of the gods in their animal form was extremely popular, such as the cat goddess Bastet and the ibis god Thoth, and these animals were bred in large numbers on farms for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. 

Daily life 

*** Housing :
Most ancient Egyptians were farmers tied to the land. Their houses were restricted to immediate family members, and were constructed of mud-brick designed to remain cool in the heat of the day. Each home had a kitchen with an open roof, which contained a grindstone for milling flour and a small oven for baking bread. Walls were painted white and could be covered with dyed linen wall hangings. Floors were covered with reed mats, while wooden stools, beds raised from the floor and individual tables comprised the furniture .
*** Hygiene and appearance : 
Most bathed in the Nile and used a pasty soap made from animal fat and chalk. Men shaved their entire bodies for cleanliness, and aromatic perfumes and ointments covered bad odors and soothed skin.

- Clothing was made from simple linen sheets that were bleached white, and both men and women of the upper classes wore wigs, jewelry, and cosmetics. Children went without clothing until maturity, at about age 12, and at this age males were circumcised and had their heads shaved. Mothers were responsible for taking care of the children, while the father provided the family's income.
- Clothing materials were mainly linen and in Roman times occasionally cotton, an import from India . Wool was used to a lesser extent .    Animal skins, above all leopard skins, were sometimes worn by priests and by pharaohs in their role as first servants of the god. Such outfits were found in Tutankhamen's tomb and were depicted quite frequently on the walls of tombs
- Fashion    The clothes were generally made of linen and kept simple: a short loincloth resembling a kilt for men, a dress with straps for women. 

- Laundering :  Cleanliness was apparently next to godliness in ancient Egypt. Manually washing clothes was hard work. Soap was unknown to the ancient Egyptians, so lye, made of castor-oil and saltpetre or some such substances, or detergents made of soap wort or asphodel  were used. The laundry was beaten, rinsed and wrung by pairs of workers. By 1200 BCE there were fire-proof boilers in the wash-houses, and the hot water lightened the workload. The poorer people had no access to facilities and had to do their laundry under at times difficult conditions. Washing on the shore of the river or the bank of a canal, which had the advantage of not having to carry a lot of water in heavy earthen pots.

- Headdresses : ordinary Egyptians did not wear any headdress as a rule , but it was better if you will put wigs like the Africans,perhaps on special occasions. The pharaohs are always wearing crowns.
Footwear : Egyptians went barefoot much of the time, but wore sandals on special occasions or when their feet were likely to get hurt. The sandals were tied with two thongs and, if they had a pointed tip this was often turned upwards. They were made of leather or rush woven or stitched together, and often had leather soles and straps.Early Middle Kingdom shoes were little more than sandals with straps between the toes and joined to the sides at the heel with the upper leather just covering the foot without being fastened to the foot itself.

- Music and dance : were popular entertainments for those who could afford them. Early instruments included flutes and harps, while instruments similar to trumpets, oboes, and pipes developed later and became popular. In the New Kingdom, the Egyptians played on bells, cymbals, tambourines, and drums and imported lutes and lyres from Asia.[128] The sistrum was a rattle-like musical instrument that was especially important in religious ceremonies.


The ancient Egyptians maintained a rich cultural heritage complete with feasts and festivals accompanied by music and dance.
 Thanks for your time .I hope it was easy and useful .