It is hard to gather every last bit of information that would make piecing together the exact shape and form of an ancient Egyptian household. When analyzing temple paintings and found artifacts, certain correct assessments can be made about the way ancient Egyptians lived within their inside dwellings. In this article, we will take a look at some of the elements of their homes, as well as aspects of cooking associated with ancient Egypt.
A Look at the Food and Cooking
When it came to the cooking of ancient Egyptians, food preparation took place mostly within an oven made of clay. Roasting their food was also commonly achieved over an open fire. For the clay ovens that they used to cook their food, wood was the primary source for their fuel. At this time, wood was not an abundant material to find during ancient Egyptian times. There were many different ways that they cooked their food, which was limited by the different ways they could accomplish food preparation. Baking, boiling, frying, grilling, roasting and stewing were the ways that they cooked their meals.
Where we use knives and forks to cut up our food, and pots and pans to boil our vegetables, ancient Egyptians had similar utensils during their time. For example, they too had pots and pans, as well as bowls, ladles, and whisks. Although they did not have any Tupperware to store their leftovers, they did have their own type of storage jars. When we are having a fancy get-together, we tend to bring out the fine chine. As for the ancient Egyptians, their plates were made from silver, bronze and gold. It was the commoners who ate off of plates made from clay.
In the Egyptian diet, bread was a staple food. Washing it down was their favorite drink: beer. This intoxicant was created from barley. Dry barley was left out to dry and when it was ready, it was baked into loaves of bread. These loaves were then broken into small pieces and added to a large jug of water to ferment. Dried grains were added to this. Wine was also popular during ancient Egyptian times, but it was set aside mostly for the wealthy to enjoy. Ground wheat was used by the woman of the household to make the flour meant for the baking of the bread. The men pounded the flour until it produced a fine grain. To add a special flavor to the bread, honey, fruit, butter, herbs and sesame seeds were often added to the dough.
While we have siding, brick, slate and other great materials to produce out homes, the ancient Egyptians lived in houses built from sun-dried mud bricks, which was named adobe. At this time, wood was not used to build house because there just wasn’t enough of it. If you were a nobleman, you lived in a home that had three main areas. First their was a private quarters, followed by a reception area and a hall. The windows and doors were covered in mats so that the heat and other annoyances, such as bugs and dust would not enter the living quarters. Leather wall hangings added design elements to the interior walls, while the floors were decorated with tiles.
The commoners dwelled within what looked like 2-3 story-tall townhouses. Businesses often settled in the bottom level of the townhouse. The second and third floors were where the families lived. To enjoy a cool nights sleep, rooms were often available on the roof. The fly problem was quite an issue during these times, that every dwelling possessed at least one fly catcher.