Ancient Egyptian Culture

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptians Pages: 6 (2093 words) Published: November 29, 2011
This research paper is written about ancient Egyptian culture. This includes information on writing/literature, education, career possibilities, family life, the role of women, religion, daily life, architecture such as the pyramids, and their art. All of these things were interconnected; one aspect of their life affected all the others, especially when it comes to their religion. The culture of ancient Egyptians is very interesting as well as very deep and complex. In this paper only the surface of several dimensions of their culture will be scratched. Ancient Egyptian social structure was built on a social class system. At the top was the pharaoh and at the bottom were the townspeople. Below is a chart I created to show the hierarchy.

Pharaoh means “Great House.” Their duties were very vast as well as important since they ruled the civilization. What they said was the law. They watched over the courts, were the chief of the temples, the leader and commander of the army, they were in control of trade and the economy, and possibly one of the more important tasks was supervisor of food storage. They were able to track the food available from the bountiful crops produced by the Nile River and could command more crops be produced for the land. The pharaoh was believed to be a living god so what they did directly affected how the gods favored the land and people. If the pharaohs pleased the gods then they would have good fortune. Below the pharaoh was the vizier, who was the overseer. Essentially their task was to execute and fulfill the orders and decisions of the pharaoh, he served as a diplomat in court, was in charge of tax collection and public works. Next in the social structure were the nobles. They were the overseers of the land worked by the peasants in Egypt. Directly below the nobles were the scribes. They were the keepers of the records. Besides the priests, scribes were the only ones taught to read and write so in a way they held a lot of power over the common man.

Craftsmen came next. Either they were skilled sculptors, goldsmiths, painters, carpenters, and rock cutters. Or they were unskilled “peasants who labored in large groups to accomplish large projects, normally for the government”. Farmers were the lowest although they were responsible for providing all the crops for the land ("Study Egypt"). The Egyptian people cared a great deal about their appearances. They wore makeup, even the men, and adorned themselves with fine cloths and jewelry. The richer they were the better quality adornments they possessed. The people of ancient Egypt had very strong family values and children were one of their biggest blessings. In a larger household, the work was to be done by servants and slaves as well as raise their children. In the smaller homes of lower class families, the mother raised the children and stayed at home to take care of the housework. Having children was very special to the people as well. If a couple was unable conceive then they would pray to the gods and ask dead relatives for help. Possibly the most interesting fact was that if nothing worked then they had a system of adoption set up even back then. Women of the time had a fair amount of rights compared to some other civilizations around this time period. Women were still expected to follow the rule of the man over them whether it was their father or husband, but they were equal to men in many ways. Legally women were allowed be involved in business deals, own land, and represented themselves in court. If a woman broke the law she was even expected to be given the same penalties as a man. Women even had a few job opportunities open to them, they could run the farm or business in the absence of the man of the house. They could also be hired as a maid or nanny for the wealthy families. Occasionally, wives and mothers of pharaohs held a great deal of ruling power over the king although he didn’t have to listen to them. The only woman to rule...

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"Mummification Story." Introduction. The British Museum. Web. 30 Oct. 2011. <>.
Rymer, Eric. "Ancient Egypt Culture." Untitled Document. History Link 101, 2010. Web. 12 Oct. 2011. <>.
Spielvogel, Jackson J. "The Ancient Near East: The First Civilizations." Western Civilization to 1715. 8th ed. Vol. 1. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 20-27. Print.
"Study Egypt." St. Petersburg Times Online. 1999. Web. 12 Oct. 2011. <>.
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