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Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Food, Jobs, Daily Life

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What did they wear?

Looking nice and being clean was very important to the Egyptians. Most everyone, men and women, wore jewelry of some type. The rich wore jewelry made of gold and silver, while the poorer people used copper.

Makeup was important as well. Makeup was worn by both men and women. They had cosmetic cases they would carry around. The main type of makeup used was eye paint.

Because it was so hot, most people wore white linen clothes. Men wore kilts and women wore a straight dress. Slaves and servants would wear patterned fabrics.

Where did they live?

The average family lived in a village of sun baked mud houses. The houses were fairly small with few windows or furniture. They had flat roofs that the people would sleep on in the summer when it was too hot inside.

What did they eat?

The main staple of the commoner was bread. They also had fruits, vegetables, lamb, and goats for food. They had clay ovens to cook in and usually used dishes made of clay. The main drink was beer made from barley.

What kinds of jobs did they have?

Ancient Egypt was a complex society needing people doing many different tasks and jobs. Some of the jobs they had included:
  • Farmers - most of the people were farmers. They grew barley to make bear, wheat for bread, vegetables such as onions and cucumbers, and flax to make into linen. They grew their crops near the banks of the Nile River where the rich black soil was good for crops.
  • Craftspeople - There were a wide variety of craftsmen jobs. They included carpenters, weavers, jewelers, leather workers, and potters. How skilled a craftsman was would determine his success.
  • Soldiers - Becoming a soldier was an opportunity for a person to rise in society. Most of the soldiers were footmen. There was a well defined hierarchy in the Egyptian army. In peacetime, soldiers would help with government projects such as moving stone for a pyramid or digging a canal.
  • Scribes - Scribes were important people in Ancient Egypt as they were the only people who knew how to read and write. Scribes came from wealthy families and took years of training to learn the complex Egyptian hieroglyphics.
  • Priests and Priestesses - Priests and Priestesses were responsible for the temples and held religious ceremonies.
Fun Facts about Ancient Egyptian Daily Life
  • The bread the Egyptians ate was so rough that it caused their teeth to wear away.
  • The inside of houses was often painted with scenes from nature or colorful patterns.
  • Women could hold important jobs in Ancient Egyptian society including high ranking positions such as priestesses, supervisors, and administrators. Some women reached the highest ranking posts in the land. Hatshepsut was a woman who became one of Egypt's most powerful Pharaohs.
  • The average peasant girl married young, around the age of 12.
  • Most people bathed daily, often in the Nile River.

Take a ten question quiz at the Ancient Egyptian food and daily life questions page.

More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:

Timeline of Ancient Egypt
Geography and the Nile River
Valley of the Kings
Egyptian Pyramids
Inventions and Technology
Boats and Transportation
Egyptian Army and Soldiers
The Great Sphinx
King Tut's Tomb
Glossary and Terms
Egyptian Food, Jobs, Daily Life
Ancient Egyptian Art
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Egyptian Mummies
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egypt Government
Cleopatra VII
Ramses II

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