Anthropology: Ancient Egypt Essay

Submitted By zedkay540
Words: 1243
Pages: 5

Caste System of Ancient Indian in Comparison to the Class System of Ancient Egypt

Throughout history, different social organizations and structures have successfully implemented themselves into everyday life. As societies evolve, these systems and structures are altered and changed to better suit the needs of its members. Although the details and small concepts of many civilizations and social organizations are still in effect today, it is recognized that lifestyles and systems of the past have since altered. Few systems in the world challenge this alteration, however there are a couple systems that have managed to preserve themselves. This includes the caste system of ancient India as well as organizational systems of Egyptian society. It is believed that the caste system of India has managed to preserve themselves much more effectively than the systems of Egyptian society through the conditions of physical manifestation, economy, family and political structures.

The structures of the class system within Ancient India were one of strong division. This was resulted through the connections of different tribes and cultures living in close proximity to one another. At the essence of this class system was a strong sense of discrimination; particularly through skin colour. The indigenous individuals of the region were seen as low-class, uncivilized peoples whereas the lighter skinned Aryans recognized themselves with an air of higher status.
Ancient Egypt followed a similar structure yet did not centralize on the skin colour as much as ancient India. Egyptians saw the southern regions of Egypt as despicable as they also implied the lack of civility and status to darker-skinned individuals. This led to conquests of lands and peoples used as slaves.1 The main difference however can be recognized as the lack of integration. Ancient Egyptians did see some variation in their populace yet the differences were miniscule in comparison to that of Ancient India. Furthermore, the differences in skin colour and integration of the physical symbolism was not connected to the everyday life of Ancient Egyptians. Ancient India asserted the connection between skin colour and roles of everyday life as a natural physical phenomenon, which worked as an advantage to hold the population to the system. The ties of skin colour were connected to the economy in Ancient India. It was not connected in this way with Ancient Egypt.

The economy of Ancient Egypt included noblemen and merchants focused on common peoples as well as serfs. These individuals worked on lands for noblemen, individuals of higher class and in return were fed and provided with housing. Taxes were paid in the form of crops and labour that was forced was included was a form of accepted lifestyle. The family unit was respected and treated positively as it was accepted. Women had less rights and opportunities than men, but the opportunities still remained. Business, domestic tasks, as well as field work were all plausible for females.
In ancient India, the class system had already established different classes for different activities. The vaisya was the class in the system that were the merchants and economic individuals. They had the authority to gather and sell livestock. In accordance to the class system, they were third-ranked and still had the luxury of being “twice-born”. This is the anointment into Indian society after puberty. Similar to Ancient Egypt, the family unit was recognized as an important structure within the society. It can be noted that the difference would be that Indian society included more than just husband, wife, and child into the family unit. The family unit consisted of grandparents, uncles and aunts following up to three generations. This can be seen as an advantage as the preservation of culture and rites is sustained between older generations to new generations. This is not just one generation, but rather three. The family was not simply a unit…