Family Life- Egyptians valued family life very much. Almost every Egyptian family wanted or had children. They regarded them as a blessing. If the Egyptian couple couldn’t have a child they would pray to the gods for help or put a letter in the tomb of a loved one that has not yet been put in the tomb asking for help from the people of the “afterlife”. In lower class families, the mother took care of the children. In upper class families, slaves and servants helped take care of the children.
Young boys learned trade or craft from their father or an artisan. Boys went to school around seven years old if their family could afford it. They would study religion, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Children were expected to watch over their elderly parents. Upon their parents death, the son of the family would get all of the land, and the daughter got all of the furniture and household goods. Young girls worked at home and were taught by their mothers. There is no proof that girls went to school, but some were taught at home and became doctors. Most Egyptian children didn’t have the chance to go to school though. Those who did hoped to one day become rich and powerful.
Women and men were treated equally. Women could own land, participate in business deals, and were expected to represent themselves in court, men the same. Few jobs were available to women and they were expected to do all of the housework. They ran farms and businesses in the absences of their son(s) or husband. Upper-class women and lower-class women could become musicians and professional mourners. Upper-class women could become priestesses. Men on the other hand had plenty of jobs available to them. Upper-class men most commonly became scribes or priests. Lower-class men became hunters, potters, farmers, or any other type of craftsmanship.
Egyptians did marry, females usually married around twelve years old, while males were twenty. The parents normally chose their child’s spouse, though some got to choose their own. When one was to marry, they would then move out of their parents’ house.
Clothing- Egyptians wore clothes most commonly out of linen and sometimes wool but it wasn’t too popular because it was itchy. Men wore kilts, which was like a skirt that fell right above the knee and was tied at the waist with a knot. Women wore sheath dresses that fell from below the collar bone to above the ankle. Most children wore no clothes at all. Boys’ and girls’ heads were normally shaven except for a braided side lock.
Men and women both wore jewelry. Many of the Egyptians’ pieces had amulets in them because they were very superstitious. The jewelry they wore was bracelets, necklaces, beaded necklaces, anklets, rings, and earrings.
Men and women also wore makeup. Like our eye shadow today, Egyptians wore kohl on their eye lids. Egyptians also wore fat or gum base mixed with red ocher, this was used to color the checks and possibly the lips. To color the hair, henna (which was a reddish-brown dye) was used, it was also used for coloring the nails, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet.
Entertainment- Ancient Egyptians had many activities to entertain them. Upper-class watched professional dancers dance at food parties. Other entertainment activities were hunting, playing the popular game; Senet, and simple games like the ones we have today such as leap frog. Very few enjoyed reading, probably because few knew how to. Ancient Egyptians enjoyed pets too. The most common were cats, then dogs. Monkeys were owned by some of the wealthy.
House- Ancient Egyptians lived in houses made of sun-dried bricks, which didn’t last all that long. There were a few rooms inside the house and a stairway in the back of the house that led up to the roof. The Ancient Egyptians usually slept on the roof so they could enjoy the cool winds at night. A house all depended on the family’s wealth, so some houses were sturdier than others. In the Egyptian homes were kitchens, and in the kitchens were stoves made of clay. Saucepans were used in the kitchen too.
Furnishings through the house were a low stool; which almost all Egyptians used including the pharaoh, low tables, and beds. The beds were a wooden frame with legs, a woven rush mat (which was equivalent to our mattress), a foot board at one end of the bed and at he other was a head rest (which was equivalent to our pillow).
Food- The main food Ancient Egyptians ate was bread. Since there was a lot of sand in the desert of Egypt a lot of it got into the bread. This was bad because it wore down the teeth causing tooth problems. Egyptians also ate lots of different fish and a variety of meat. They ate many varieties of fruits and vegetables too. The main drink (other than water) was beer and the second to main was wine. But only the wealthy could afford to drink wine daily.