The egyptian social level is ironically just like a pyramid. The man on top is the Pharaoh,
he is wealthy and is in charge of making his land thrive and ensuring the survival of his people.
Government officials such as viziers, priests, and noblemen are on tier two of the pyramid. They
are the upper class, have authority, and can afford more than one wife. Following them would be
the soldiers and scribes, who are apart of tier three and four. They would be considered the
uppermiddle class. On tier five and six, we have merchants and craftsmen. They are labeled as
the lowermiddle class. Below them we have the peasants and servants. These are apart of tiers
seven and eight and are the lower class. They serve to everyone else and did not get to enjoy any
luxuries. Work was tough and life was not enjoyable. Now egypt is mainly broken into two
classes. You are either rich or you are poor.
In ancient Egypt, daily life revolved around the Nile river. The Nile had a yearly flooding
that lead to rich fertile land along it’s banks. This brought good harvest and wealth to the land.
Ancient Egyptians built homes in the village and countryside with mudbrick. Most were field
hands, farmers, craftsmen, and scribe writers. They grew and raised their own food and traded
for the foods and goods that they could not produce. Agriculture is very important in Egypt.
Nowadays, wives would also work to help support the family. Jobs are hard to come by since
only a small area offers work but the population is so dense.
Courtship, Dating, Marriage
Egyptian children were wedded off according to their parents. The parents met and
arranged with the groom and agreed on conditions. The bride price is called Shep en shemet.
Sometimes children were allowed to date freely. The lower class married sooner at about the age
of twelve and the upper class married a little later. They married within their social class and race
did not matter.
During a marriage, spouses had to sign an agreement. The paper stated that the wife was
to receive an allowance from her husband and is allowed to keep all her goods. She was also
entitled to a third of all of his assets. Divorce was an option, but not many couples did it. They
often had their family members help them sort out their problems. Divorces took place by simply
stating the annulment in front of witnesses. The wife gets full custody of the children and then
she is free to remarry. The now exhusband would have to support her until she is remarried.
Although egyptians love to party, not much information can be found about an actual
ceremony or celebration that takes place. Marriage between older men and younger female often
took place when his previous wife was no longer in the picture.
Ancient Egyptians were big on family. You should always have pride and respect for
your family. The eldest child had the honor and duty to care for his parents and assure they
receive a proper burial. Upon death, the son would receive the family land and the daughter
would inherit family goods. Egyptian villages tended to be crowded, and poorer Egyptians often
lived with their whole family in only one room of a house, with other poor families living in the
other rooms. The wife and mother of a family is also very highly regarded and respected. It is
often said that a pharaoh’s wife or mother is the true ruling government of the land.
It is hard for genealogists to different in family links because the word used to designate
mother, is also used for grandmother. The word used to define son, grandson, and nephew were
all identical as well. Childbirth and children were celebrated and both male and female babies
were desired. This is because they had a high rate of infant mortality. Children are so treasured
that they would pray to gods and ancestors to be fertile. If this did not work, they would adopt.
Nuclear family, a husband, wife,…