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Common Ancient Egyptian Homes Essay

1323 words - 5 pages

Common Ancient Egyptian HomesThe homes of the people of Egypt reflected their social status, as they do today. Most Egyptians were commoners, living in small, square shaped houses with few windows and flat roofs. In villages as families grew, and villages grew, there was no way to expand their living space, for the towns were enclosed with walls and all space was occupied or used within the town. There were also houses in the country, by the Nile River, which were made of mud brick. Although most information known is about greater, more expensive buildings, because of their lasting building materials, the homes of common Egyptians show what their daily life was like. These fascinating homes show the parallels from Egyptian life thousands of years ago, to life today.Most homes were built out of mud brick, which was mud, gathered from the Nile and left to dry in the hot sun. The bricks were made of mud and chopped straw, which was moulded in a square container and left to dry. Some dwellings deteriorated after awhile, and crumbled right down and new houses were built right on top. The homes were whitewashed to prevent the sun from deteriorating the brick, and to cool the houses down. It is difficult to know the exact way a house of a farmer by the Nile was, because mud brick did not last. However, in one excavated town, Deir el Medine, the homes were built out of stone. Usually, stone is only used on religious buildings of pharaohs because they were made to last. This village was 50 meters wide by 150 meters long, and the average house was 4 meters by 20 meters.The homes at Deir el Medine were cramped with such thin walls that it was impossible to build a second story on top of them. As you entered the house from the street there were a few steps descending to the home. The entrance was whitewashed with a platform with three steps leading up to it. Many people believe it was a type of alter because it was decorated with the painting of the god of Bes. Entering another door you would find the main hall with a large, wooden pillar supporting the roof. A chair for the master of the house was raised up and there were stools for the rest of the family or guests. Some stools were collapsible, but most were four legged. The larger the chair of the master, the greater importance he was. Underneath the platform, or dias, of the master, there were stairs that led down into a cellar for safekeeping. Also, a window built high up allowed light into the room. The walls were decorated with paintings and were whitewashed and there were little alcoves said to contain religious or ancestral images. There was also a false door in this room, its purpose unknown and experts believe that there was a table in front of it with offerings to Gods. This room was used for social activities.As you walked on, in a house in Deir el Medine, you would find next to the hall, a bedroom that was used for storage for clothing and other articles, and sleeping. The ceiling of the...

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