Everyday Life in the Old Kingdom

Topics: Egypt, Ancient Egypt, Egyptians, Life, Death, Nature / Pages: 3 (730 words) / Published: May 1st, 2012
In the Old Kingdom, it was common to see everyday life depicted in Egyptian Art. Artists wanted to show how the Egyptians lived. Agriculture was also a large aspect in Egyptian art because agriculture made up a large part of their lives. Specifically, everyday life was important to portray in the afterlife because the dead needed to be properly prepared for the afterlife. The idea was that the function of the paintings "was to furnish the tomb with enduring pictures that limited, transcended, and re-created nature. The need to guarantee the survival of the dead, and to assemble in one single figure or object the fundamental elements for their magical reanimation, lies at the root of the Egyptian iconographical repertory" (Art A World History). Egyptians wished to take as much of their past life with them to the afterlife. The paintings of nature on the tomb walls recreated the world they once lived in- the world they knew. Private tombs were famous for having nature depictions like these, rather than those of Kings and Gods.
A common nature scene seen in these funerary tombs are of netting fowl. In the painting: Frieze of the Geese from the tomb of the Prince Nefermaat and his wife Itet at maydum, the artist puts a lot of detail into the depiction of the geese making it “seem to have been of considerable aesthetic interest for the artist” (Malek). Birds in paintings on the walls of tombs are usually seen as tomb offerings above or near doorways. “In general, these wild birds represent wild spiritual elements that must be trapped, caged, sometimes tamed, or offered to the neteru (gods/goddesses) in sacrifice” (http://www.egypt-tehuti.org/tombs.html).
Birds also serve to fully enhance the everyday life of an Egyptian. “These agricultural scenes of peasants working in the fields stress the owner’s status and distinction in the physical world” (http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/122/Interpreting-Egyptian-Art.html), and act as a reminder that the owner was

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