By L. J. Amstutz
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Indd 42 10/30/14 9:28 AM CHAPTER 4 A DAY IN THE LIFE T he ancient Egyptians enjoyed life. In some ways, they were quite similar to people today. They worked, played, ate, drank, fell in love, and cared for their pets. But in other ways, their life was quite different. Queen Nefertari, who lived in the 1200s BCE, plays senet, a popular board game in ancient Egypt. indd 43 10/30/14 9:28 AM Celebrations Most Egyptians, especially the lower classes, worked extremely hard every day. The Egyptians did not have weekends, but they did celebrate special holy days to honor various gods.
Wealthy families had small baths and toilets. These were simple seats made of limestone that had a hole in them. The waste collected in a container of Egyptian Pets Egyptians kept dogs and cats as pets. They also kept more unusual animals. Gazelles and monkeys were popular, as were geese. Pets often served a dual purpose—dogs might also act as guards, and dogs and cats both helped with hunting. Cats held a special place in Egyptian society. The ancient people considered them sacred, and hurting a cat brought severe punishment, even death.
Some have called Prince Khaemwaset, the son of Ramses II (1279–1213 BCE), the first Egyptologist because he restored some of the old pyramids and excavated burial sites of some sacred bulls. Early historians, such as Herodotus, who lived in the 400s BCE, traveled through Egypt and recorded what they learned. Egyptology grew most rapidly in the late 1800s CE, as new archaeological techniques developed and fabulous finds riveted the world. Beginning in 1880, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie likely made more discoveries than any other archaeologist, and his careful scientific methods greatly influenced the field of Egyptology.
Ancient Egypt by L. J. Amstutz