Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Egyptian Society
The PHAROAH was at the top of the
social hierarchy.
Next to him, the most powerful officers
were the VIZIERS and HIGH
PRIESTS, the executive heads of the
bureaucracy, and religion.
Next were the ROYAL OVERSEERS
(administrators) who ensured that
the 42 DISTRICT GOVERNORS
carried out the pharaoh's orders.
At the bottom were the
SCRIBES, ARTISANS,
FARMERS, & LABORERS.
ROYAL PALACES, were CITIES IN
THEMSELVES, included separate
residences, a temple and a workers’ village.
The HOMES OF THE WEALTHY were larger and more
luxurious.
SPACIOUS reception and living rooms opened onto a
CENTRAL GARDEN COURTYARD with a fish pond and
flowering plants.
Each bedroom had a PRIVATE BATHROOM, and the
walls, columns and ceilings were painted with
BEAUTIFUL DESIGNS inspired by nature.
A villa from the city of Amarna
CRAFTWORKERS lived in one- or two-storey FLATROOFED DWELLINGS made of mud bricks. The walls
and roof would have been covered with plaster and
painted.
Inside, there was a RECEPTION ROOM, a LIVING
ROOM, BEDROOMS and a CELLAR in which food
and beverages were stored. Food was prepared in an
Ancient Egyptian Housing
Middle Class
Homes
Peasant
Homes
Social Roles
Role of Women
• Well treated and had
considerable legal rights
compared to other
civilizations
• Same legal rights as men (land,
property, divorce)
• Women could be economically
independent
• Primary role was in domestic life
• Common title for a married
women in ancient Egypt was
“nebet per” meaning “the lady of
the house”
• Bear and raise children
Role of Men
• Head of the family
• Men could have numerous
wives but economically men had
only 1 wife
• Labourers, craftsmen
• Jobs were hereditary
Jobs
• Labour required for construction
projects and was mostly filled by
poor, serfs
• Stability of Egypt thrived as
skilled trades were passed from
father to son
• Children always learned the
trade from parents; seldom
could choose occupation
Scenes of Ancient Egyptian
Daily Life
Making Ancient Egyptian
Beer
Making Ancient Egyptian Wine
An Egyptian Woman’s “MustHaves”
Mirror
Perfume
Whigs
Egyptian Nobility
Egyptian Priestly Class
Egyptian Scribe
Papyrus  Paper
Hieratic Scroll Piece
Papyrus Plant
Hieroglyphics
Champollion & the Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone
What is the Rosetta Stone?
• The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it
in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), using
three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek).
It was carved in 196 BCE.
Why is it in three different scripts?
• The Rosetta Stone is written in three scripts
(hieroglyphs for religious documents; demoticcommon script of Egypt; Greek- language of
the rulers of Egypt at that time)
• The Rosetta Stone was written in all three
scripts so that the priests, government officials
and rulers of Egypt could read what it said.
When was the Rosetta Stone found?
• The Rosetta Stone was found in 1799 by
French soldiers who were rebuilding a fort in
Egypt (in a small village in Delta called Rosetta
(Rashid)
What does the Rosetta Stone say?
• The Rosetta Stone is a text written by a group
of priests in Egypt to honour the Egyptian
pharaoh. It lists all of the things that the
pharaoh had done that were good for the
priests and the people of Egypt.
Hieroglyphic “Cartouche”
Hieroglyphics “Alphabet”
24 “letters” + 700 phonetic symbols
• History of Writing:
1) pictograms (sun= sun)
2) ideograms (sun = sun, daylight,
warmth, light)
3) phonograms: symbols that suggest a
particular sound; related ideas and also
sound (Sun = sun, son, Sunday)
• Each hieroglyph found in pyramids and
tombs often symbolized more than one
consonant. Not only that, but actual
Egyptian hieroglyphs were a combination
of sound-signs, pictograms, and
ideograms. No wonder it was so hard to
decode them!
• New Kingdom= 700
hieroglyphs in common
usage, while rest were
phonograms
• 100 were strictly visual,
while rest were
phonograms
• Eventually scribes
adapted hieroglyphic
symbols
• By 700 BCE, script was
refined to the demotic (or
popular script) was used
for secular matters such
as letters, accounts and
record keeping
Education
• Original purpose of schools was to train priests
• Subjects taught
– Reading & writing
– Math
– Religious ceremonies & rituals
• Eventually temple schools provided
more general education
• Usually schools attended only by the
wealthy
• Girls did not attend school
– Taught domestic skills at home
• Students took notes on scraps of pottery -
Papyrus was expensive & only used by advanced
students
• Strict discipline
Education
• Contributed to stability and continuity of Egypt
• All children, regardless of social class, received some
education
• Followed a moral and ethical guide “Instructions in
Wisdom”
• Goal for education was to ensure youth exhibited self
control and good manners
• At 14, young boys followed fathers in jobs, and girls
learned from mothers in the household
• Children of priests were schooled more formally
• Literacy was stressed for government jobs
• Education respected for creating a well rounded
individual
Egyptian Math & Draftsmenship
1
10 100 1000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000
What number is
this?
legal traditions
• Law was governed by religious principle
of Ma’at
• GODDESS MA’AT represented truth,
righteousness and justice= balance and
order
• Laws were applied equally to all classes
specifically protected the family (children
and wives)
• Punishments could be quite severe- act
as a deterent or disgrace the guilty
(Examples: minor crimes had 100
lashed; rapist were castrated; corrupt
officials had their hands amputated;
crimes that resulted in a death sentence
could have choice= devoured by a
crocodile, suicide, burning alive)
Religion
• The Egyptians were deeply religious people
• religious roots were in the worship of nature
deities – their first gods were in animal forms
• Those responsible for creation were the
most important gods (Atum is the creator
God)
• They later developed national gods around
the Middle Kingdom (Amon- local god of
Thebes; gods of Dead: Osiris, Anubis,
Horus and Thoth)
• Religion was instrumental to stability of
Egypt (life, social structure, education, laws,
rule of Pharaoh, economy, death, afterlife)
Atum
Egyptian Gods & Goddesses:
“The Sacred ‘Trinity’”
Osiris
Isis
Horus
Gods and Goddesses
Creation Story
GEB
NUT
TEFNUT
ATUM
NUT
MA’AT
SHU
HORUS
ANUBIS
Website: Gods and Goddesses
ATUM
ISIS
Entering a Temple
Life and Death
• Life and death was measured in accordance
to Ma’at: the goddess and symbol of
equilibrium of the universe and the king had
to rule according to her principles
Death viewed as a new beginning
• Afterlife common to all, regardless of social status
(preparation varied as well as goods stored in tombs)
• 2 Common Principles:
MA’AT
-symbol of the equilibrium
of the universe
1) body preservation in a lifelike form
2) the deceased must have items necessary for life in the afterworld
• Personal belongings were usually placed in the tomb to make the Ka
more at home and to assist the dead in their journey into the afterlife.
• Text was read from the 'Book of the Dead' which was a collection of
spells, charms, passwords, numbers and magical formulas for the use
of the deceased in the afterlife.
Mummification
• Mummification
focused on Egyptian
belief of the
importance of
preserving the body
• Afterlife would be
spent enjoying best of
life experiences
• Body covered with
natron and dried for
up to 70 days
• Body wrapped in linen
coated with resins and
oils
• Middle Kingdom
became customary to
place a mask over the
face
• Removal of organs (lungs,
stomach, intestines, liver) in
Canopic Jars were closed with
stoppers fashioned in the shape
of four heads -- human, baboon,
falcon, and jackal - representing
the four protective spirits called
the Four Sons of Horus.
• brain was sucked out of the
cranial cavity and thrown away
because the Egyptian's thought it
was useless.
Preparations for the Underworld
ANUBIS weighs the
dead person’s heart
against a feather.
Priests protected
your KA, or soulspirit
Materials Used in Mummification
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Linen
Sawdust
Lichen
Beeswax
Resin
6. Natron
7. Onion
8. Nile Mud
9. Linen Pads
10. Frankinsense
Preparation for the Afterlife
Egyptian Mummies
Seti I
1291-1278 B. C. E.
Queen Tiye, wife
of Amenhotep II
1210-1200 B. C. E.
Ramses II
1279-1212 B. C. E.
Journey to the Underworld
The dead travel on
the “Solar Bark.”
A boat for the
journey is provided
for a dead pharaoh
in his tomb.
Anubis
Horus
Osiris
This scene depicts what occurs after a person has
died, according to the ancient Egyptians.
• panel of 14 judges
• Ka (soul /spiritual duplicate), ba (personality) ankh (form
mummy took in afterlife / the key of life)
• Weighing of the heart vs Ma’at
• Judgment of scale
• record of the outcome
Egyptian Book of the Dead
Shabtis: The Pharaoh’s Servants
in the Afterlife
Stepped Pyramid at Saqqara
“Bent” Pyramid of King Sneferu
Giza Pyramid Complex
Plan of the Great Pyramid of Khufu
Pyramids were part of a FUNERARY COMPLEX. The complex
includes a PROCESSIONAL CAUSEWAY that links a
FUNERARY TEMPLE to the pyramid, SOLAR BARQUES
buried on the four sides of the pyramid, and MASTABAS and
smaller pyramids where the family of the king and nobles were
buried
The Valley of the Kings
Archaeologist, Howard Carter
(1922)
Entrance to King “Tut’s” Tomb
King Tutankhamon’s Death Mask
1336-1327 B. C. E.
King Tutankhamon
King Tutankhamun’s Tomb
Treasures From Tut’s Tomb
The Valley of the Queens
1473-1458 B. C.
E.
Temple of Queen
Hatshepsut
Ankhenaton: First Monotheist?
1352-1336 B. C.
E.
The Ankh – The “Cross” of Life
Queen
Nefertiti
Abu Simbel:
Monument to Ramses II
1279-1213 B. C. E.
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