ContentsAncient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. Rituals such as prayers and offerings were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, who was believed to possess a divine power by virtue of their position. They acted as the intermediary between their people and the gods and was obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain order in the universe. The state dedicated enormous resources to Egyptian rituals and to the construction of the temples.Government and religion were inseparable in ancient Egypt. The pharaoh was the head of state and the divine representative of the gods on earth. Religion and government brought order to society through the construction of temples, the creation of laws, taxation, the organization of labour, trade with neighbours and the defence of the country’s interests. The pharaoh was assisted by a hierarchy of advisors, priests, officials and administrators, who were responsible for the affairs of the state and the welfare of the people.The ancient Egyptians were very clever people. They invented many things to make their life more comfortable.CALENDAR: The ancient Egyptians created a calendar based on the farming season. There were 3 seasons the flooding season, the planting season, and the harvest season. Each season was 3 months long. That added up to 360 days. The ancient Egyptians noticed they needed a few more days to fit the seasons. So they added 5 days, holy days, to thank the gods. So thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians invented a calendar with 365 days! The ancient Egyptians were very clever people. They invented many things to make their life more comfortable. The ancient Egyptians created a calendar based on the farming season. There were 3 seasons – the flooding season, the planting season, and the harvest season. Each season was 3 months long. That added up to 360 days. The ancient Egyptians noticed they needed a few more days to fit the seasons. So they added 5 days, holy days, to thank the gods. So thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians invented a calendar with 365 days! Also they invented things like obelisks,eye makeup, the number system including fractions,a written language,Courts and Justice ystem,papyrus,flat roofed homes,square sails,and number system including fractions.The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land, the ‘black land’ and the ‘red land’.The ‘black land’ was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. This was the only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich, black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded.The ‘red land’ was the barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. These deserts separated ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. They also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for precious metals and semi-precious stones.The ancient Egyptians were wonderful traders. They traded gold, papyrus, linen, and grain for cedar wood, ebony, copper, iron, ivory, and lapis lazuli (a lovely blue gem stone.) Ships sailed up and down the Nile River, bringing goods to various ports. Once goods were unloaded, goods were hauled to various merchants by camel, cart, and on foot. (Donkeys were used by farmers, not traders usually.) Egyptians traders met traders from other civilizations just beyond the mouth of the Nile, to trade for goods brought to them, but they did not often travel themselves much beyond the Nile River. For social ranking, merchants were right under scribes in importance. They were respected.The ancient Egyptians bought goods from merchants. They traded goods through their shops and in the public marketplaces.The Pharaoh was believed to be a God on earth and had the most power. He was responsible for making laws and keeping order, ensuring that Egypt was not attacked or invaded by enemies and for keeping the Gods happy so that the Nile flooded and there was a good harvest.The Vizier was the Pharaoh’s chief advisor and was sometimes also the High Priest. He was responsible for overseeing administration and all official documents had to have his seal of approval. He was also responsible for the supply of food, settling disputes between nobles and the running and protection of the Pharaoh’s household.
Nobles ruled the regions of Egypt (Nomes). They were responsible for making local laws and keeping order in their region.Priests were responsible for keeping the Gods happy. They did not preach to people but spent their time performing rituals and ceremonies to the God of their temple.Scribes were the only people who could read and write and were responsible for keeping records. The ancient Egyptians recorded things such as how much food was produced at harvest time, how many soldiers were in the army, numbers of workers and the number of gifts given to the Gods.Soldiers were responsible for the defence of the country. Many second sons, including those of the Pharaoh often chose to join the army. Soldiers were allowed to share riches captured from enemies and were also rewarded with land for their service to the country.Craftsmen were skilled workers such as pottery makers, leatherworkers, sculptors, painters, weavers, jewellery makers, shoe makers, tailors. Groups of craftsmen often worked together in workshops.Farmers worked the land of the Pharaoh and nobles and were given housing, food and clothes in return.
Some farmers rented land from nobles and had to pay a percentage of their crop as their rent.
There were no slave markets or auctions in Ancient Egypt. Slaves were usually prisoners captured in war. Slaves could be found in the households of the Pharaoh and nobles, working in mines and quarries and also in temples.