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Marriage and Adulthood

Marriage and Adulthood Were there ceremonies to mark the end of childhood? Young boys seem to have been initiated into manhood through a circumcision ceremony. There is no mention of a similar ceremony for girls, but menarche may have been celebrated at women-only parties which would not be

Names

Names Names went in and out of fashion in Ancient Egypt, even as they do in modern times. (For example, Florence was not used as a woman's name until Mr. and Mrs. Nightingale decided to call their little girl after the city in Italy. Kim was a very rare name in the English-speaking world

People

The People of Ancient Egypt Who were the people of Ancient Egypt? What did they look like? What evidence can we get from archaeology and anthropology? Can Ancient Egyptian statues and paintings tell us what people really looked like in the Age of the Pyramids? The ancient population of Egypt has

Merchants

Merchants There are images in Old Kingdom tombs of people at markets, buying and selling. Commerce was carried on by barter: everything had to be traded for something of equal value. Weighing, measuring and counting were very important. Were there shopkeepers, people who make their living in trade?

Scribes and Bureaucrats

Scribes and Bureaucrats Few skills were more important in Egypt than the ability to read and write. No illiterate could hold high office. Knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic made the scribe a person of importance, one who watched while others sweated in the sun. Scribes gave the orders

Servants

Servants Considerable numbers of people made their living as washermen and women, porters, maids, weavers and cooks. The tombs of the rich and famous are filled with images of servants, often named, who accompany their mistress or master into the next life.  Porters are often depicted very

Social Structure

Social Structure At first glance, ancient Egyptian society seems highly structured and rigidly stratified, particularly in the Old Kingdom. Ptahhotep, the wise Vizier who lived about 2414-2375 BCE, put it this way: If you are in the antechamber, Stand and sit as fits your rank, Which was assigned

Soldiers

Soldiers The military may have constituted a social class of their own, with sons often following their fathers into the army. Son often followed father into the army. Opportunity, good luck, and courage could help a soldier rise in wealth and prestige. Because Kings were also war-leaders, a good

Goddesses & Gods

Glossary of Goddesses and Gods Some images of ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses show them as if they were humans. Ptah of Memphis, for example, is usually shown as a man wrapped in mummy clothes, his hands outside the wrappings, grasping scepters. But other gods, such as Horus, Thoth and Sakhmet,

Egyptian Gods

Images of Gods Ancient Egyptian gods could manifest themselves in human form, like the god Ptah, or as animals, like the sacred bulls, or as a combination of human and animal, like the Hawk-headed Horus, or the Ibis-headed Thoth. Most of the sacred images from the Age of the Pyramids have not

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