In ancient Egypt marriage was considered to be for a lifetime, however, divorces were fairly common. With an average lifespan of about 30 years, boys were usually married by the ages of 15-20 y/o and girls around 12 y/o. Incest and polygamy were disapproved, except for royalty.
While the primary considerations for partners were quality of lineage, integrity, and personal habits, many couples also looked for romantic love. Many ancient Egyptian tomb drawings depict affectionate gestures between man and wife, indicating the a value of romantic love.
Men and women set out to make their spouses happy because for them marriage would go beyond the grave. More emphasis was placed on the woman's happiness, a man was expected to provide for his wife in a manner that would please her and ensure her happiness.
Appearance was very important for ancient Egyptians, and they are known as a symbol of ancient beauty, vanity, and hygiene. The way they looked and their hair style represented their wealth, status, role in society, gender and age.
Slaves and lower class couldn’t have the same hairstyle as a free person or the upper class. Men usually wore their hair short, women wore their hair long or short and boys and girls had their hair shaved off with only a long lock of hair left on the side of the head.
Wigs were used for the daily life of the royals, but also at major festivals and events. Egyptian wigs usually were made in a structure similar to the helmet, like the Nubian style. Some of them were brightened blue, red or green, and decorated with precious stones and jewelry.
Compared with other ancient civilizations, Egyptian law, has left little evidence of its institutions. Law was believed to have been given to mankind by the gods on the First Occasion (moment of creation), and the gods were responsible for establishing and perpetuating the law.
For the ancient Egyptians, law was personified in the goddess Ma’at. She represented truth, righteousness, justice and maintained the correct balance and order of the universe. The king or pharaoh, as chief official of the judiciary, was a priest of Ma'at.
Since there was no formal law code, cases were decided on precedent. The laws were generally humane, more than those of other societies. Men and women of all classes were treated equally, and there was great emphasis on protection of the family within the society.
Ancient Egyptian’s two most common pigments seen on papyri are black and red. The black ink was mostly used for writing hieroglyphs or hieratic text, this ink was made by burning wood or oil, and then pulverizing the material before mixing it with water.
To avoid the particles from clumping together, the powder was mixed with a binder, probably a plant gum from the Acacia tree family. Besides keeping the carbon particles suspended in the water solution, the gum binder helped to keep the ink adhered to the papyrus surface.
This ink was stable, didn’t fade or deteriorate the papyrus. The red color on the papyrus, derived from the earth pigment iron oxide. Like most pigments used in ancient Egypt it was made from minerals, rather than from organic or living materials.
Ma’at was the goddes of truth, balance, cosmic order, justice and harmony. She was depicted with vulture wings, the ostrich feather of truth in her headdress and carrying the Ankh, the key of life. Ma’at’s worship can be traced to the Old Kingdom ca. 3200 BCE.
According to the Papyrus of Ani (The Book of Coming Forth or Book of the Dead) everyone would be judged before Ma’at to determine whether they were good and able to move on to the afterlife. The feather was weighed against the heart while they stated the 42 Negative Confessions.
Ma’at 42 Negative Confessions translated by E. A. Wallis Budge: 1 I have not committed sin. 2 I have not committed robbery with violence. 3 I have not stolen. 4 I have not slain men or women. 5 I have not stolen food. 6 I have not swindled offerings. 7 I have not stolen from God.
For the Ancient Egyptians, color was an important part of their life, it symbolized the nature of the beings they depicted. The Egyptian word for color, IWN (iwen) also translates as character, disposition and nature. Thus, color was intimately linked to the essence of being.
The Egyptian artist had 6 main colors in the palette: green, red, blue, yellow, white and black. They were usually obtained from mineral compounds, and prepared with a mixture of pigments acquired by grinding colored earth with the addition of water, rubber latex and egg’s white.
The mineral compounds used have allowed some of the colors to remain vibrant and beautiful for thousands of years. Colors weren’t used randomly, they conveyed meaning. Truly, wasn’t just the value or scarcity of the materials that mattered, but their symbolic meaning.
There isn’t enough information about human sacrifice in ancient Egypt, though there is some evidence that it could have been practiced in the Nile Valley during the 1st Dynasty and possibly the Predynastic period.
J. Kinnaer posits there were two types of human sacrifice possibly practiced in early ancient Egypt: the killing of human beings as offerings to the gods regularly, or on special occasions and the retainer sacrifice, the killing of servants who were buried with their master.
One form of human sacrifices to the gods may have been the slaying of criminals and prisoners of war. It was a custom, in Predynastic times, to slay slaves at the graves of kings and nobles in order that the souls of the slaughtered might protect them and keep away evil spirits.
Ancient Egypt’s crowns, the Deshret crown, red crown worn by the ruler of Lower Egypt. Probably was made of fabric or leather with a copper wire ending in a spiral. In Egyptian mythology, the Deshret was first given to Horus by Geb to symbolize his rule over Lower Egypt.
The Hedjet crown, White crown was associated with Upper Egypt and confirmed the rule of the king over southern Egypt.
This Crown is depicted on one side of the Narmer Palette, it was worn by gods with a connection to upper Egypt, such as Nekhbet the vulture goddess and Horus.
The Pschent, Double Crown, known as Sekhemti,Two Powerful Ones,symbolized the king’s rule of Upper and Lower Egypt.The Pschent is often embelished with the cobra and the vulture (Wadjet and Nekhbet). The crowns were worn seperately in earlier periods until the 19th Dynasty.
The Benben stone is an architectural name given to the tip of an obelisk or the capstone placed on top of a pyramid. This architectural feature is known also as a pyramidion. Also the Benben stone is a symbol of the Phoenix and the cycle of the seasons.
Egyptian mythology has many stories of the creation, one says the god Atum, brought the universe into being. In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness and chaos. It was out of the dark waters that the primordial hill, known as the Benben stone arose with Atum on top of it.
In some versions of the myth, Atum masturbated, creating Shu and Tefnut. In other versions of the story, they were created by Atum’s copulation with his own shadow. Shu and Tefnut left Atum on the Benben stone, and went away to create the rest of the world.
Ancient Egyptian Writing. In the last part of the Predynastic Period, 6000-3150 BCE Anc. Egyptians began to use symbols to represent simple concepts limited to notations to identify a person, place, event or possession. Most likely the earliest purpose of writing was for trading.
The first extant evidence of Egyptian writing is found in Offering Lists, which are a list of the gifts due to a person when they died. Who had done great deeds, held a high position of authority, or led troops to victory was due greater offerings than who had done less in life.
Along with the list, there was an epitaph, stating who the person was, what they had done, and why they were due offerings. The lists and epitaphs sometimes were brief, but most of the time were long till the day someone saw that a short prayer would substitute the list.
The Ancient Egyptians’ complex beliefs of life, death and afterlife evolved over thousands of years. Life was only one part of an eternal journey and didn’t end in death, but in an eternal joy. One was born by the goodwill of the Seven Hathors, who decreed ones’ fate after birth.
The soul was to live a life as good a as it could in the body it had been given for a time, so when death came, it would transition to another realm where, if one was deemed good by the gods, one would live eternally in a paradise known as The Field of Reeds.
The Field of Reeds, known to the Egyptians as A'aru, was a mirror image of one's life on earth, so the aim of every ancient Egyptian was to make that life worth living eternally.
The board game of Senet was very popular and represented one's journey in life to eternity.
1/ A little research about the main #pandemics that affected us throughout history. Contagious diseases had already existed during the nomadic stages of humankind, but the shift to the sedentary life, 10,000 years ago, made the spread of epidemics more often and at larger scales.
2/ The establishment of communities and the development of civilizations with trading routes and activities, and waging wars generated the opportunities for the occurrence of the pandemics that have decimated human populations, and changed the curse of history.
3/ The earliest recorded pandemic occurred during the Peloponnesian War. It came from Ethiopia and Egypt, reaching Athens in 430 BC. 2/3 of the population died of a suspected typhoid fever. It weakened the Athenians and helped in their defeat by the Spartans.
For the Ancient Egyptians, color was an important part of their life, it symbolized the nature of the beings they depicted. The Egyptian word for color, IWN, also translates as character, disposition and nature. Thus, color was intimately linked to the essence of being.
The Egyptian artist had 6 main colors in the palette: green, red, blue, yellow, white and black. They were usually obtained from mineral compounds, and prepared with a mixture of pigments acquired by grinding colored earth with the addition of water, rubber latex and egg white.
The mineral compounds used have allowed some of the colors to remain vibrant and beautiful for thousands years. Colors weren’t used randomly, they conveyed meaning, Truly, wasn’t just the value or scarcity of the materials that mattered, but their symbolic meaning.
Every ancient civilization had some system to track time. The ancient Egyptians, being an agricultural society, organized their calendar according to the cycles of the moon and the agricultural seasons. Most scholars agree that the Egyptian day began at dawn, rather than sunrise.
The day was divided into 24 hours: 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night (based on the movement of stars “decans”). Beginning in the New Kingdom (1500 B.C.), there is evidence that sundials, shadow clocks, and water clocks were used to measure the passing of hours.
Ancient Egyptians used 4 sided obelisks and a T- shape sundial, situated in strategic point, to tell the time as the sun was passing by. They were also the first ones in creating portable sundials. Time was calculated depending on the length of the shadow.
Why do ancient Egyptian wore makeup? For more than beauty reasons. They used two types of eye makeup, Udju and Mesdemet. Each had a different meaning and purpose. Udju was made from green malachite, wimen brushed it across the lid of the eye as a sing of Hathor’s protection.
The Mesdemet, dark grey or black was made of lead, or specifically galena. Was used by men and women, and proved to be a disinfectant, it also protected the eyes from the sun, and kept flies and bugs away.
An unadorned and thus unprotected eye was believed vulnerable to evil. Outlining the eyes thus became a personal protective amulet drawn right upon the skin; an amulet that once applied could not be lost or misplaced.
Thoth, worshipped from the Predynastic Period to the Greco-Roman times. He was a deity of writing, magic, wisdom, the moon, and the principles of balance, thus was symbolized as ‘Lord of Ma’at’ and portrayed as the husband of Maat, the deity of truth, justice & the cosmic order.
Thoth had many origin stories in the Egyptian mythology, with the older lore mentioning how Thoth was either born from the lip of Ra or was ‘self-born’, as an ibis, which lays the cosmic egg that holds all of the creation.
Later origin myths put Thoth as part of the Osiris saga, wherein the deity was oddly born when Set accidentally swallowed Horus‘ seed. In any case, Thoth equally healed and aided both the parties Horus and Set in their epic battle.