By L. J. Amstutz
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Extra resources for Ancient Egypt
A papyrus from the third intermediate period features a mixture of figures and hieroglyphics. indd 53 10/30/14 9:28 AM Egyptian scribes found plenty to write about. They wrote medical and religious texts and kept notes on court cases and battles. They also wrote lists, recipes, and stories. Scribes wrote on almost any available surface, including papyrus rolls, coffins, statues, temples, and walls. Beginning in approximately 3500 BCE, the people of ancient Egypt wrote by pressing a tool into a clay tablet to form pictures called hieroglyphs.
They carefully mummified and buried his body with everything he might need for his journey to the afterlife. There, he would sail the heavens with the gods. THE UPPER CLASS Ancient Egypt’s upper class was wealthy and well educated. This group included scribes, government officials, noblemen, priests, and priestesses. Originally, all government workers were relatives of the pharaoh, but this changed as the population grew and positions started to be passed from father to son. By the time the Old Kingdom ended, the pharaoh Servants for the Dead The ancient Egyptians believed people journeyed to the underworld after death, where everyone had to do menial labor.
The Egyptians also ate beans, chickpeas, and lentils. They grew many spices, such as anise, celery seed, cumin, dill, mint, mustard, and sage, and they kept bees for honey. Protein came from numerous sources. Farmers raised cows, oxen, sheep, gazelles, goats, oryx (a type of antelope), geese, ducks, cranes, and pigeons for meat. Cattle and goats also provided milk. Egyptians of all classes hunted birds and fished. Once chariots came into use, some hunted larger game, including elephants, leopards, lions, ostriches, and wild cattle in the desert.