How Ancient Egyptians Played: Water Games & Hunting

All work and no play makes anyone a dull citizen. In every civilization, no matter how ancient, there was some sort of angles of entertainment present to help inhabitants to unwind. We learn about what ancient Egyptians did to entertain themselves by analyzing the pictures and scenes carved into tomb walls. This article deals with some of the entertainment outlets associated with ancient Egypt.


Evidence suggests that drama productions were held within the temples, but this was not considered the most popular forms of entertainment. When it came to having fun, it was the Nile River that allowed many of the activities that the ancient Egyptians enjoyed so much. The most popular entertainment-oriented activities dealt with the outdoors. These included a variety of water games, as well as the thrill of hunting. It was there that the river provided the means for trips on the water. This was conducted on river boats that were built. Fishing was also a nice way to help pass the time during ancient Egyptian times. To cool off from the heat, swimming was a popular past time.


Through their boats, they developed a variety of games that they played on the water. For example, a popular game involved men competing against one another on separate boats. With long poles in their hands, they would attempt to push one another into the water. Kind of sounds like some of the challenges we see on reality television obstacle courses, doesn’t it?


The water also created the scene for conducting hunting competitions. Some of the more popular kills came from hunting crocodiles. It was not uncommon during this time to include hippopotamuses as part of the fun. Egyptians enjoyed hunting in other places as well. Turning to the desert, noblemen often took to the sand in search of entertainment. In the beginning of this type of hunting, the men covered ground by foot. As time went on and new methods of hunting were developed, horses and chariots took over the feet as the primary mode of hunting transportation. This shift in hunting techniques was viewed as occurring during the New Kingdom.


Besides the hippos and crocodiles that ancient Egyptians sought after in the Nile River, there were other types of animals they looked forward to nabbing during a hunt. The English weren’t the only hunters to enjoy a nice foxhunt. You’d also think that they wouldn’t have any trouble locating the laughing hyena, which was a popular animal that they hunted. Hares were also part of what they considered their main objectives of prey for these ancient hunters.