Ancient Egypt is a long-established civilization thousands of years old. There are many things that have survived from this ancient civilization and even shaped modern life. Groundbreaking discoveries in mathematics, gigantic pyramids and the splendid lives of the pharaohs… But what was everyday life like in Ancient Egypt? The life of the pharaohs or the rich is more or less known even after thousands of years. What about the conditions under which ordinary people and the poor lived in Ancient Egypt? How were they spending their days?
First of all, Ancient Egypt had a population of mostly poor farmers. And life in Ancient Egypt was not easy at all, especially for ordinary people! The average life expectancy was 30 years for women and 34 years for men. People had to contend with many obstacles to survive. Chief among these were the hygiene problems in all of Egypt! On the other hand, the majority of the people living in Ancient Egypt were extremely religious. They considered food, clothing, and even cosmetics to be gifts from the gods. For this reason, daily life in Ancient Egypt was largely shaped within the framework of religious rules. Still, people in Ancient Egypt were not far from “earthly” things like playing board games. Here are 14 things that were part of everyday life in Ancient Egypt…
1. “The Nile River” was everything to Ancient Egypt
People living in ancient Egypt depended on the Nile for growing crops, washing their clothes, and even traveling! Even a funeral held at that time began on this “sacred” river. The body of the deceased was brought to the Nile River by boat. It was moved from here to the burial place. However, the Nile River, for all its importance, was extremely dangerous for the Ancient Egyptians. Especially for the poor! Pharaohs and the wealthy traveled in relatively safe boats. But the poor used boats with almost no safety measures. Because of this, many Ancient Egyptian citizens lost their lives by drowning in the cold waters of the river or being fed to ruthless crocodiles! Moreover, ruthless crocodiles were not the only danger in the Nile! Angry hippos were another dangerous element of the Nile. In fact, more than one pharaoh died as a result of the attack of the hippopotamuses…
2. Ancient Egyptians loved beer
Beer was one of the most important elements of everyday life in Ancient Egypt. Because beer, together with bread, was the main consumption item of the people living at that time! Even the wages of workers in Ancient Egypt were paid with grain used to make both bread and beer. However, people in Ancient Egypt consumed beer not by drinking it, but by eating it! Beer at that time was quite different from what it is today. The beer consumed in ancient Egypt looked more like a thick soup. And it was probably sweet. The ancient Egyptians loved beer so much that they associated it with the gods. For this reason, there was more than one beer god and goddess. “Ra” was considered to be the creator of beer.
3. Ancient Egypt’s healthcare system was highly developed
People in ancient Egypt faced many hardships in their daily lives. But when they were sick, they didn’t have to worry! Because they had many specialist doctors in fields such as dentistry, gynecology and surgery. Moreover, the healthcare system in Ancient Egypt was extremely egalitarian. Even poor slaves had easy access to health services.
4. Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with hygiene
Because they were afraid of diseases. They were also aware that pollution causes many diseases! For this reason, taking a shower had an important place in the daily life of people living at that time. They had soaps made from various vegetable and animal oils! Both men and women would shave their hair and body hair. On the other hand, the Ancient Egyptians were mindful of how they smelled. They produced various perfumes from many plants, especially lilies. It is also thought that the first deodorant in the world was invented in Ancient Egypt. This deodorant was prepared from a mixture of citrus and cinnamon.
5. People living at that time believed that they were thinking with their hearts
In fact, Ancient Egypt was a geography where anatomy was highly developed. Despite this, people at that time did not fully know the function of some organs. For example, they believed that the human ability to think comes from the heart.
6. Ancient Egypt had two separate courts
Law was as important in people’s lives then as it is today. The legal system in ancient Egypt included two different courts. The courts, called Kenbet and Great Kenbet, served to settle disputes between people. Minor cases were heard in the Kenbet courts. The Grand Kenbet court dealt with major crimes such as theft and murder. Also, the pharaoh was the head of the legal system and had the last word when the final was needed. On the other hand, in some cases oracles or gods were invoked.
7. Children wouldn’t dress until they were 6 years old
Children in ancient Egypt did not wear any clothes until they were 6 years old. However, they wore necklace-like jewelry. When they grew up, they began to wear clothes that changed according to their social status.
8. Fertility was tested with garlic in ancient Egypt
Although this ancient civilization was extremely advanced in medicine, they got some things wrong. People living at that time thought that women’s wombs were connected to their alimentary canals! For this reason, garlic was put on a woman’s genitals to see if she was fertile. If a woman’s breath smelled of garlic, she was considered fertile. It was believed that if the woman’s breath did not smell of garlic, she had a blockage in the reproductive tract and could not get pregnant.
9. People in ancient Egypt enjoyed playing board games
The most popular board game was the game called Senet. The bill was basically based on the progression of the figures on the game board relative to the dice rolled. This board game was quite popular in the daily life of Egypt. Even the pharaohs often played this game.
10. Both men and women wore makeup
Men as well as women did not hesitate to wear make-up! Men and women wore lead-based lacquer over their eyes. Today, lead is known for its negative effects on human health. However, people in Ancient Egypt were able to eliminate the negative effects of lead with a special formula they prepared.
11. Ancient Egyptian people were mostly vegetarian
Eating meat was not something easily encountered in everyday life in ancient Egypt. For this reason, the people in Ancient Egypt were largely vegetarian. Their diet was largely based on wheat and barley. It was also consumed a lot in foods such as dates, celery and pomegranates…
12. Linen fabrics were used in daily life
The naturally grown flax plant near the Nile River was of great importance in the life of the Ancient Egyptians. Because people of that period produced a large part of their clothes thanks to this plant. Clothing made of linen was the most effective way of protection from the scorching sun in Ancient Egypt. In addition, the thinner the fabric and the lighter the color, the higher the status of the person wearing the outfit.
13. Men and women were equal before the law
Girls were treated with as much sympathy as boys. In addition, women could own property and slaves. On the other hand, women also had the right to sue anyone. And they could divorce whenever they wanted.
14. Only the rich could get an education
A well-educated citizen of Ancient Egypt meant a citizen of Ancient Egypt from a wealthy family! The children of wealthy families took mathematics and geography lessons after learning to read and write. As their education progressed, they also took medicine and history courses. Education was a privilege that only wealthy and noble families had access to. However, extraordinarily talented poor children were also offered education.