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Ancient Egypt Basic Needs

Ancient Egypt has thrived mainly because of farming. Since the Nile River floods regularly, its banks were scattered with silt, which made the land fertile and was a prime spot for growing different crops. The Egyptians grew crops such as wheat, barley, vegetables, figs, melons, pomegranates and vines. Because of this, the ancient Egyptians enjoyed a high standard of living compared to other ancient civilizations. Their majority of crops and foods were a factor of their existence. Even though farming played a part in their survival, it wasnt the only factor of their expectations of their basic needs. Their shelter from the weather was also a necessity of life. Most of the ancient Egyptians build homes of sun-dried bricks, made of mud and straws. Nobles sometimes had houses of stone. It was rare to see houses built with these, since stone was difficult to cut and use. However, bricks were easy to create, and the materials needed to make the bricks were freely found along the shores of the Nile River. The Egyptian climate with its hot summers and mild winters favored light clothing made from plant fibers, predominantly linen, which were made from farming. The linen was made by men; they reaped the plants and by beating and combing the plants, they extracted the fibers from them. And eventually, they would by spun into a thread and will be used for clothing. Daily life in Egypt was often misunderstood when they are pictured in movies and other media.

They worked very hard, but saved time for families. In ancient Egypt, children were the heart of the family. If a couple could not have a child, they adopted a child. Children were taught to be kind and honest, to respect their parents, to help with the family business, and to care for the elder members of their family. They also believed that you could only reach your afterlife if your heart was light, but not too light. Else, they thought that you have not done anything worthwhile in your life. There are also professions and roles in Egypt. Important jobs in ancient Egypt included soldiers, scribes, artists, and peasants. Most jobs were inherited. If your father was a farmer, so were you. In ancient Egypt, everything was written down, especially lists. Scribes were in high demand and sometimes, prized scribes could work their way up, all the way to the Pharaoh's court. Unlike other ancient societies, Egyptian women achieved parity with Egyptian men. They had the same benefits, legal and economic rights. This concept can be found in Egyptian art and contemporary manuscripts. The disputes between peoples legal rights were based on differences in social class and not on gender. Legal and economic rights were afforded to both men and women. In roles, it seems that women and men were the exact opposite: ...but the Egyptians themselves, in most of their manners and customs, exactly the reverse the common practices of mankind. For example, the women attend the markets and trade, while the men sit at home and weave at the loom... The women likewise carry burdens

upon their shoulders while the men carry them upon their heads... Sons need not support their parents unless they chose, but daughters must, whether they chose to or not. -- The History of Herodotus Book II, Herodotus The Nile was the main source of all their needs to survive. The mud bricks that were needed for shelter were provided by the water from the Nile River. Their crops were watered and fertilized by the silt from the mountains, which were carried by the river. It seems that most of their basic needs were all provided by the river. Even clothing was provided by farming, with the help of the Nile River of course. With all this evidence, it is prominent that the ancient Egyptians valued the Nile. Steven Zhao March 14, 2011