Ancient Egypt – Life in Ancient Egypt
Somewhere around 3150 BC ancient Egyptian civilization began to develop in eastern North Africa along the lower areas of the River Nile. This empire saw its beginning when the Upper and Lower Parts of Egypt came under one ruler, which at the time was known as Pharaoh. Overall, ancient Egypt had a time span of approximately 3000 years, which today has been divided into approximately 8 time periods known as Kingdoms. These divisions are based on periods which are defined by the power of the government of Ancient Egypt and the wealth and unity of the country. During these 3000 years ancient Egypt experienced many changes in terms of their belief and way of life. Nevertheless their basic culture, artistic style, and religion remained the same.
The land of ancient Egypt was thought of as two kinds of land in the minds of ancient Egyptians, these were the red land and the black land. The red land referred to the desserts which were barren, but were nevertheless a great source of semi-precious and precious stones. In addition, the desserts protected ancient Egypt from invasion by surrounding countries by separating Egypt from these countries on both sides. The black land on the other hand, referred to the extremely fertile land of Egypt that could be found along the banks of the River Nile. This land was used for agricultural purposes. The black land was the only land that was used for farming, as a result of the River Nile flooding every year and depositing a rich layer of black silt which would enrich the soil making it very prosperous.
Ancient Egyptians lived in mud brick homes in various villages, most grew their own food and then traded some of the food they grew for other goods that they did not produce. Individuals worked as craftsmen, farmers, scribes and field hands. There were also nobles which were made up of a small group of elite Egyptians. The lives of the Egyptians in ancient Egypt was centered around the River Nile and its very fertile banks.
Ancient Egypt was ruled by the Pharaoh of the time. He was the most powerful person in Egypt and served as both the religious and political leader for the people. As a result he was both known as the ‘High Priest of Every Temple’ and the ‘Lord of the Two Lands’. Being the Lord of Two Lands made him the leader of both Lower and Upper Egypt. He therefore was the owner of all the land, received all the taxes, created all the laws and was also the protector of the land. In his capacity of the High Priest of Every Temple he was seen as the representative for the gods on the Earth. Therefore he was responsible for conducting the rituals, honoring the gods and building the temples.
In ancient Egypt, temples were seen as the residence of the gods and goddesses. Hence each temple was devoted to a certain god or goddess who would be worshipped in that temple by the Pharaoh or the temple priest. These temples were made of stone for durability, and their walls were decorated with pictures first carved into the stone and then painted. The pictures illustrated the Pharaoh conducting various rituals for the gods or fighting a battle. Ancient Egypt came to an end when it was conquered by the Roman Empire.