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Ch 9 Daily Life in Ancient Egypt Introduction Ancient Egypt's Social Pyramid Government Officials Priests Scribes Artisans Peasants Summary.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch 9 Daily Life in Ancient Egypt Introduction Ancient Egypt's Social Pyramid Government Officials Priests Scribes Artisans Peasants Summary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch 9 Daily Life in Ancient Egypt Introduction Ancient Egypt's Social Pyramid Government Officials Priests Scribes Artisans Peasants Summary

2 Introduction Life during New Kingdom BCE Opet Festival –Nile flooded its banks –People honored the pharaoh and his patron, the god Amon-Re statue of god decorated with jewelry by priests Placed statue in shrine and shrine on a ceremonial boat, barque –boat made by craftspeople –Barque carried by high government officials –Peasant farmers watched the procession –Scribes recorded the celebration Social Classes

3 Ancient Egypt's Social Pyramid Egypt's Social Classes –Pharaoh at the top supreme ruler Egyptian religion strengthened authority Viewed as gods Word was law –Government officials carried out pharaoh's orders came from noble families powerful and wealthy high quality of life –Priests in charge of temples and religious rituals oversaw ceremonies surrounding death and burial –scribes recorded information for government and religious leaders required many years of schooling –artisans Included carpenters, metal-workers, painters, sculptors, and stone carvers highly skilled little social statue –peasants largest social class worked the land worked on pharaoh's massive building projects Life in Egypt's Social Classes –little chance to move to a higher class –Family life married within social group children highly valued Men and women had different roles –men »heads of households »worked to support family »trained sons to take their line of work –women »managed home »raised children »servants or slaves helped noblewomen »had more freedom and rights than most women in ancient world could own land and run businesses ask for divorces represent themselves in legal matters In middle and upper classes women might be doctors, government officials or priestesses

4 Government Officials Important government officials –Assisted pharaoh in role as supreme ruler –Came from Pharaoh's family or upper-class families –Most inherited their positions –Trusted servants from the royal court sometimes rose to power –Vizier more power than anyone except the pharaoh advised pharaoh carried out his commands appointed and supervised other officials Chief judge expected to be fair and not show partiality In works of art shown wearing white, the color of neutrality –Chief treasurer looked after government's wealth collect taxes –taxes were in the form of grain, cows, cloth, silver, and beer –General of the armies advised the pharaoh in matters of war and national security protected Egypt's borders Helped the pharaoh make alliances with other kingdoms Lives of luxury –Demonstrated by lavish banquets host provided the best food Guests dressed in fine linen clothing Men and women wore perfume Guests offered long blessings Men and women sat on opposite sides of the room important guests were given chairs with high backs Normal seating was on stools or cushions Servants, mostly women, waited on guests Ate with fingers entertainment provided while guests ate –most musicians were women

5 Priests The duties of priests –High priest advised the pharaoh and oversaw all religious ceremonies –temple priests in charge of temples took care of the god of the temple –god was thought to live in a statue –statue housed in a holy room, sanctuary –priests would purify or cleanse themselves »avoided certain foods such as fish »bath three or four times a day in holy pools »shave off body hair »wear clothes made of linen –Women allowed to be priestesses equal to male priests oversaw temples that were devoted to music and dancing –other priests Gave advice and performed healings The priests' role in burial practices –Egyptians believed in life after death –Embalming Removed body organs –brain, lungs, liver »packed in jars to preserve them –brain pulled out through nostrils –heart left in body »gods used the heart to judge a dead person's soul Dried out with a special salt called natron After 70 days –embalmers washed and oiled the body –wrapped it in hundreds of yards of linen –decorated the wrapped body with jewelry and protective charms –may place a mask over the head –spread a black gooey gum over the body and wrapped it a final time –Burial mummy placed in a wooden box Wooden box placed inside a large stone coffin, sarcophagus –Buried with things needed in the after-life

6 Scribes Scribe Schools –Not an easy life classes lasted from dawn until sunset teachers were strict Teachers were harsh –length of training School began around age 5 Spent 12 years or more learning hieroglyphs –What they learned Had to memorize over 700 hieroglyphs practiced writing on pieces of wood, flakes of stone, and broken bits of pottery When good enough, allowed to write on papyrus –Who attended Students came from artisan or merchant families very few came from peasant class –Teachers Run by priests –Only men could be scribes The Work of the Scribes –Types of records records of grain and food supply government census calculated and collected taxes recorded court cases helped enforce laws kept track of army soldiers and food supply kept track of the number of enemies killed in battle –Tools finely sharpened reeds were used for pens paper was a sheet of papyrus –Invented by Egyptians –Process of production »cut the inner part of the papyrus plant into strips »soaked the strips in water for several days »Laid the strips out in a crisscross pattern between two sheets of cloth »Strips were pressed until cloth absorbed the water »Strips pressed one more time to form a sheet of paper. tablets were made of wood or stone Red and black ink small container of water Position in society –highly respected and well paid –one level below priests in the social pyramid –worked for the government

7 Artisans Position in Society –Below the scribes –Highly skilled laborers –rarely got respect Types of Artisans –Included carpenters, jewelers, leatherworkers, metal-workers, painters, potters, sculptors, and weavers –Usually men –Some women wove fabric, beaded clothing, and made perfume –Stone Carvers Most skilled produced statues, engravings, and reliefs played important role in tomb building Equipped the tombs with artwork to honor and preserve the dead hard, time-consuming work Tools –Granite –dolerite, to pound out the object's initial shape –stone tools and copper chisels –quartz sand for smoothing and polishing The Daily Life and Work of Artisans –Homes modest homes rectangular and around 10 yards long three rooms –work room or used to house animals –living room –kitchen/bedroom roof sometimes used as a place to work or sleep –Working conditions Worked in large workshops worked for 10 days at a time depended entirely on employers for food May go hungry when food in short supply Worked in large groups on royal projects –Recognition viewed as common laborers almost never allowed to sign their work Employers may have honored them with a banquet or they could portray themselves in a painting or an engraving

8 Peasants Position in Society –lowest and largest class –unskilled laborers –grew crops that supplied everyone with food –helped build monuments like the pyramids The Three Seasons of the Nile –Flooding season June to September Nile overran its banks and fertilized the fields Worked on royal projects –Planting season October sowed fields with seeds biggest crops were wheat and barley, used to make bread and beer Worked in pairs –One plowed the earth –second person scattered the seeds –Harvest season March entire family helped with the harvest men cut plants with sickles women and children gather the stalks of grain worked from dawn to dusk Sang songs to make the long hours go quickly Musicians might play in the fields The Daily Lives of Peasants –Houses made of mud bricks furniture limited to woven mats –Diet onions, cucumbers, fish, homemade bread, water or beer peas and lentils common rarely ate meat during famine - boiled papyrus plants for food –Recreation river game - knocking each other off of papyrus rafts holidays celebrated before planting and after the harvest Took part in festivals honoring Egyptian gods –After Harvest allowed to gather up leftover grain from the harvest paid taxes in the form of crops –If taxes weren't paid, farmers were beaten

9 Summary Social Pyramid Work and daily lives


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