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Life in Ancient Egypt
Transcript of Life in Ancient Egypt
Life for Women
Egypt was one of the best places in the ancient world to be a woman.
Unlike other ancient African cultures, in Egyptian society men and women had fairly equal rights.
>. For example, they could both own and manage their
Cared for their children and home.
Some women wove cloth.
worked with their husbands in fields.
Some women, such as Queen Tiy, even rose to
important positions in the government.
Egyptian priests studied the sky as part of their religion. About 5,000 years ago, they noticed that a star now called Sirius appeared shortly before the Nile began to flood.
>. The star returned to the same position in 365
days. Based on that, Egyptians developed the
world’s first practical calendar.
• The Egyptians developed a calendar, early
geometry, medical knowledge, and
• Ancient Egypt had a complex society with
specialized jobs. Women and slaves lived better
there than in many other ancient lands.
Lesson 2: Life in Ancient Egypt
As Egyptian civilization grew more
complex, people took on jobs other than that of a farmer or
Some skilled artisans erected stone or brick houses and temples.
Other artisans made pottery, incense, mats,
furniture, linen clothing, sandals, or jewelry
As Egypt grew, so did its need to organize.
Egyptians created a government that divided the empire into 42 provinces.
One of the highest jobs in Egypt was to be a
>. Priests followed formal rituals and took care of the temples.
>. Before entering a temple, a priest bathed and put on special linen
garments and white sandals.
> Priests cleaned the sacred statues in temples, changed their clothes, and even fed them meals.
priests and the ruler
held ceremonies to please
the gods. Egyptians believed that if the gods were angry, the Nile would not flood. As a result, crops would not grow, and people would die. So the ruler and the priests tried hard to keep the gods happy. By doing so, they hoped to maintain the social and political order.
Slaves were at the bottom of society.
became slaves if they owed a debt, committed a crime, or were captured in war.
Egyptian slaves were usually freed after a period of time.One exception was the slaves who had to work in the
mines. Many died from the exhausting labor.
What were the levels of Egyptian society?
Learning Advanced in Ancient Egypt
The Egyptians developed some of the first geometry.
Each year the Nile’s floods washed away land boundaries. To
restore property lines, surveyors measured the land by using
ropes that were knotted at regular intervals.
Geometric shapes such as squares and triangles were sacred
to Egyptians. Architects used them in the design of royal temples
Egyptian doctors often prepared dead bodies for
burial, so they knew the parts of the body. That knowledge
helped them perform some of the world’s first surgery.
Some doctors specialized in using medicines made of herbs.
Egyptian medicine was far from perfect. Doctors believed
that the heart controlled thought and the brain circulated blood,
which is the opposite of what is known now.
Some Egyptian treatments would raise eyebrows today. One “cure” for an upset stomach was to eat a hog’s tooth crushed inside sugar cakes!
Beginning about 3000 B.C., Egyptians
developed a writing system using hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphs are pictures that stand for different
words or sounds. Early Egyptians created a hieroglyphic
system with about 700 characters. Over time the system
grew to include more than 6,000 symbols.
The Egyptians also developed a paperlike
What advances in learning did the
Writing in Hieroglyphs Use the hieroglyphs shown to write
Egyptians thought they would need their bodies in the afterlife, so they embalmed dead people.
means to preserve a body after death.
First, embalmers removed all organs except the heart.
Next, they filled the body with a mixture of salt and herbs to create a mummy. A mummy is a body that has been dried so it won’t decay.
When dry, the mummy was wrapped in hundreds of yards of linen strips. The whole process of embalming and wrapping took about 70 days. Embalming was expensive, and not everyone could afford it.
The mummy was placed in a coffin inside a tomb. The tomb
also held everyday objects, furniture, and food. Scenes from the
person’s life were painted on the walls. The Egyptians expected
these pictures to become real so that the dead person could use
them in the afterlife.