The phrase ‘Ancient Egypt’ commonly invokes images of pyramids being built by thousands of slaves, of rich treasures buried within hidden tombs, and of the great kingdoms of the Pharaohs. But despite the history of buildings, mummies and treasures, archaeologists have discovered a great deal about how the Ancient Egyptians spent their leisure time and what they believed would happen after death. It is said that the Ancient Egyptians were directed to the arts of living and the arts of dying, and so it’s hypothesised that: ‘Leisure activities were extremely important to the Ancient Egyptians and were something to be enjoyed because they perceived it as an example of what they would experience in the afterlife’.
The Ancient Egyptians led mostly a pleasant and optimistic life as their energies were directed to the arts of living. Free time wasn’t always available, however, as the average Egyptian had household chores to attend to and also spent a majority of their time working on the crop fields. But when there was time to spare, the Ancient Egyptians engaged themselves in a variety of activities: hunting, fishing, music, dancing, board games, parties and banquets . Hunting was very popular in Ancient Egypt. While it was a necessity for the majority of Egyptians, hunting became dominant with the upper classes because it was seen as a pleasant form of entertainment and an opportunity to display courage and skills. Parties, along with music, dance, and banquets, were also a popular activity amongst the wealthier classes. Only someone of means, with a copious amount of food, drink and a substantial retinue of servants, could host a get-together . The rich families and guests could enjoy lots of delicious food and entertainment provided by dancers, acrobats or musicians . The everyday Egyptians could engage themselves in a board game, such as Senet , for amusement. Adults would take advantage of the sunlight and open air to sit under an arbor and...
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