February 29, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Music

Facts and Secrets about Ancient Egyptian Musical Instruments
It virtually appears unusual which you will need to learn because a lot because some of us do regarding ancient Egyptian musical as well as simultaneously come with minimal or perhaps not an concept of its actual nature. You come with texts, representations plus additionally extant instruments however, practically practically nothing found on the actual musical compositions that have been made up.

Ancient Egyptian flute
Musical instruments ranged taken from simple, for instance percussion instruments, that would really sophisticated, like harps. A number of instruments happened to be strictly (at the least when it comes to design) Egyptian, while some apparently came in order to Egypt within the Near East. Needless to say, the actual almost all simple instruments happened to be percussion and then the most straight-forward of these happened to be human hands, selected for clapping. Clapping in order to musical is actually frequently displayed by singers depicted throughout Age-old Kingdom tombs, and additionally actually now continues to be a particular significant aspect of contemporary Egyptian musical. But, the particular earliest instruments inside evidence are generally boomerang-shaped clappers, that are not merely recognized within Egypt and taken from southern Palestine because early because the entire fifth millennium BC. For the duration of

Clappers within the shape of hands
the actual pharaonic period, clappers happened to be usually decorated alongside hands or simply Hathor faces. Generally there happened to be in addition small clappers or simply castanets. But unfortunately, drums didn't really occur till the actual Center Kingdom. Initially, many of these appear to currently have been drums within the form of the barrel made of hollowed tree trunks that turned into common within military bands.

Drums within the form of the goblet as well as wheel-thrown pots alongside skin covered tops plus open bottoms happened to be introduced about 1750 BC within the Palestinian area. Whenever circular frame drums alongside a skin stretched over a hardwood hoop happened to be introduced throughout the Unique Kingdom, some other types of percussion instruments occur to be able to currently have lost ground. Naturally, there was clearly as well the particular sistrum which had been a metal rattle or simply noisemaker, consisting of an handle along with a frame fitted alongside loosely held rods which may be jingled. Many of these happened to be chosen most notably within the worship of Isis.

Harpest not to mention lute players
At long last, generally there had been virtually absolutely bells, and even throughout the Late Period, Egyptians turned into acquainted alongside symbols consisting of an pair of concave discs pertaining to fifteen centemeters over which were connected in order to the entire player's hand alongside leather straps. Though easy, percussion instruments could certainly create interesting and in addition sophisticated musical, especially in case utilized in ensembles. Specific this big ensemble typically is depicted within the Center Kingdom tomb of the performing teacher called Khesuwer.

He typically is shown training 10 sistrum players not to mention 10 hand clappers whom currently have been organized throughout clean rows, showing a very disciplined overall performance. Regularly, even so, percussion instruments can not create various pitches, and so the utilization of wind then stringed instruments as well was a particular significant aspect of Egyptian singing.

Simultaneously string as well as wind instruments had been utilized by the actual ancient Egyptians because early because the actual Aged Kingdom and even prior to. We are able to accept a wide range of kinds of wind instruments, which includes flutes, parallel double-pipes then divergent double-pipes. Of many of these, the particular flute typically is the particular oldest and even is actually depicted on a predynastic shard along with on a slate palette taken from Hierakonpolis. Therefore, the particular instrument may currently have been invented within Egypt. The particular authentic flutes never disappeared completely and in addition currently have survived to the week underneath the actual Arabic names of nay not to mention uffafa.    

Ancient Egyptian Sistrum
The particular trumpet of Tutankhamun, among the best surviving taken from ancient Egypt a lot more sophisticated instrument that would create ended up being the entire trumpet, for example which found within the tomb of Tutankhamun. Many of these happened to be made from silver plus bronze, alongside mouthpieces of gold and / or silver. The two happened to be occasionally inlaid alongside gold. Trumpets appear to have experienced largely a military incorporate, though the two turned into connected also alongside gods including Amun, Re-Horakhty and in addition Ptah. Though we all select the entire 1st samples of the actual trumpet at the entire starting associated with the Brand new Kingdom, it's quite possible they existed because early because the particular Aged Kingdom. Instruments made of animal horns never develop in almost any reliefs, nevertheless it ought to be noted which indeed there happen to be terracotta models of these instruments dating that would the actual Brand new Kingdom. Stringed instruments largely consisted of lyre, lutes then harps.

Generally there had been 3 kinds of lyre consisting of thin, thick plus large. The actual thin lyre ended up being utilized through out the entire Fat Crescent and then the Egyptian lyres of the design happened to be only the particular southern extension of the shape without nearby qualities. Thin lyres happened to be introduced back into northern Syria about 2500 BC, and then the initially depictions within Egypt which we all recognize go out with in order to about 1900 BC. The two turned into typical when it comes to Egypt with regards to five 100 many years later on.

Ostracon taken from Deir el-Medina showing a woman lute player taken from a unusual potential Thick lyre alongside bigger dimensions and in addition a lot more strings compared to the actual thin range quickly looks inside Anatolia about 1400 BC. Yet, the two had been utilized in Egypt taken from regarding 2000 BC plus back into the particular Greek Period within Egypt. Large lyres were prevalent throughout the reign of Akhenaten. Several had been actually big sufficient that would accommodate double players. Though large lyre players is spotted wearing Canaanite costumes, right now there are generally not an large lyres still recognized within the Palestinian area. Even so, throughout Mesopotamia, large lyres usually are recognized taken from engraved seals found at Uruk not to mention Susa which go out with that would about 2500 BC.

Lutes, like mandolins, created their presentation with regard to Egypt throughout the Hot Kingdom. The two had already attained recognition within the Near East at the entire starting associated with the 2nd millennium BC. Though the two gathered spacious acceptance with regard to Egypt, their make use of ended up being largely abandoned throughout the Hellenistic age, merely that would reappear when a lot more shortly after the entire Muslim invasion of Egypt within the mid-seventh century Advertisement. Lutes had been regularly prepared alongside a lengthy oval resonating human body made of lumber not to mention most likely partially covered alongside leather and in addition partially by a thin sheet of lumber alongside a starting in order to let go of the entire sound.

A lot of the instruments had been patterned shortly after examples found elsewhere within the Near East, because happened to be stringed instruments like the actual lyres and additionally lutes. Though, though the actual harp tends in order to initial look inside Mesopotamia with regard to with regards to 3000 BC, the actual harps which showed up with regard to Egypt with regard to 2500 BC consume on a form which is actually uniquely Egyptian. Stringed instruments happened to be a lot more sophisticated compared to either percussion and / or wind instruments, and even lots of had been indeed finely created alongside valuable components. For instance, we all fully understand which King Ahmose possessed a harp made from ebony, gold not to mention silver, whilst Tuthmosis III commissioned "a splendid harp wrought alongside silver, gold, lapis lazuli, malachite, then each and every splendid expensive stone."

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February 28, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Religion and Afterlife Part 2/2

Ancient Egyptian Afterlife Facts and Secrets
Among the popular cults at Deir el-Medina, and one which spread throughout the West Bank and later the whole of Egypt, was that of the deified Pharaoh Amenophis I and his mother Ahmes-Nefertari. The reason fir the spread of his worship beyond his official mortuary temple was initially that he was the first ruler to be buried how in the Vally of the Kings and had formed the group of artisans who were later to live at Deir El-Medina. He became the patron dirty of the craftsmen and was seen as an intermediary between men and the gods. His main shrine was in the village, but there were at least five others scattered round the West Bank. Each of these had its own statue of the king, which differed slightly from the others in type and dress, These developed into different forms of the god, each with its own epithet, such as 'Amenophis of the Forecourt' and 'Amenophis Favorite(of Amun). Other deceased rulers were the object of similar cults in various locations, but none of them had the success of Amenophis I.

Afterlife Egypt
On of the main functions of the various forms of Amenophis I was the provision of oracles. In this he was not unique, for many gods provided oracular reposes, but Amenophis I is one of the best attested and provides a good example of the procedures involved. The custom of seeking an oracle developed only in the New Kingdom, as part of the growing belief in a personal relationship with the gods, who, it was thought, might be willing to show an active interest i human affairs. The evidence indicates that most oracular response were sought and received when the image of the god was carried out in procession. The statue of the deity was carried on the shoulders of specially purified laymen, while priests walked alongside on attendance. In many cases the statue of the god was not visible but hidden in its shrine, although Amenophis I was carried openly for the people to see.

The applicant approached the god with his question, either spoken or offered in writing on papyrus us an Ostracon the. The range of questions varied enormously. Enquirers about health, job opportunities and absent relatives and friends were common. The god was also frequently asked to settle disputes, which more properly belonged on a court of law, but these instances may have been ones which a court was not able to settle. An example appears on an Ostracon dating to the reign of Ramses IV. A workman named Kenna had rebuilt for him self a ruined house, but when he had completed the work a certain Mersekhmet appeared and claimed that the god Amenophis had decreed that he was to share the house with Kenna, although he had had no part in the rebuilding. Kenna therefore presented his case Amenophis via the scribe Horisheri and the god affirmed his claim to sole occupation of the dwelling.

Amenophis I
The questions put to the oracle were usually phrased in a manner which required a simple yest or no answer. Alternatively, if seeking a guilty party in a crime, a list of names was read out until the god reacted to one of them. The method by which the god gave his response seems to have been that the men carrying the statue were forced by the will of the deity or move forwards or backwards, meaning yes and no respectively.

Another aspect of personal piety which is strongly attested throughout Egypt was ancestor worship. It was the duty of the family to maintain the tombs of its relations, but there were also special festivals for the dead, such as the occasion when the statue of Amun visited the West Bank. Mortuary images were carried in the procession of the god and later returned in the grave, where the family held a private feast . The purpose of these festivals was to renew the spirits of the deceased,, so that they could appear again, like the sun god Ra , every day. For this reason they are called the 'excellent spirits of Ra'. Ancestor worship, however, did not cease at the tomb, for busts of departed relations were kept in the him, in a niche in the main room of the house.

Rooms in the home contained a number of ancestral busts, but also images and stelae of the household deities. These could be any food, with which the inhabitants felt an affinity, but the general deities of him were Bes and Taweret, the pregnant hippopotamus goddess, was largely connected with fertility and childbearing. Bes was a bandy-legged dwarf god with a wide mouth and protruding tongue. He was part lion, for his beard resembled a lion's mane and he had a lion's ears and tail. His role was to bring happiness to the home and to protect it from evil.

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February 27, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Magic

The Magic in  Ancient Egypt

The power of Bes and Taweret in the house hold was amuletic and they frequently appear on small plaques and amulets which could be fastened to objects or worn about the person. This amulets role tacks us into the realms of ancient Egyptian magic ,which the ancient Egyptians strongly know and unknown forces of evil. A wide variety of amulets were available to protect the body from harm. Some reproduced hieroglyphic signs with abstract notions of power, such as life, strength, prosperity, stability and beauty, while many others took from of deities. One of the most popular amulets was the udjat-eye of Horus. This was the eye knocked out by Seth and later returned and healed by Thoth. It was a symbol of light and was thought to ward off the evil eye.

udjat-eye of Horus
Two further examples of interest are the cippi of Horus and ancient Egyptian magic wands made of hippopotamus ivory. The purpose of these two amulets was not to protect against unseen forces,cut against the very tangible presence of animals and insects dangerous to man. The cippi of Horus take the form of stelae on which s depicted Horus the Child standing on two crocodiles and holding in his hands harmful creatures such as snakes, scorpions and lions, as well as an oryx gazelle, which was considered to have a baleful influence. Above Horus is a mask of the god Bes to provide additional protection.

The magic hippopotamus wands were designed to combat the approach of poisonous creatures such as snakes and scorpions during the night.They were laid near or under the bed and may have been used to draw ancient Egyptian magic circles round have been used to draw magic circles round it before sleeping. Their power was came party from the material, hippopotamus ivory being considered very potent because of the strength of the animal from which it came.

A number of surviving magical texts on papyrus give us a good idea of how widely ancient Egyptian magic and superstition affected peoples' lives. Each day had attached to it magical significance which made or good, bad, party good or party bad. Calendars were drawn up showing the statues of each day, so that people would know if it was safe to do certain things. The magical import of dreams as a means of divination was also takes seriously. The Dream Book gives an on list of dreams and their meanings for examples, 'if a man sees himself in a dream drinking warm beer: bad, it means suffering will come upon him. If a man sees himself n a dream carving up a female hippopotamus: good, it means a large meal form the palace.'

Another way in which ancient Egyptian magic affected the lives of the ancient Egyptians was in the sphere of medicine was advanced for its time, sceptically in the case of observable ailments and wounds. A number of medical papyri exist in which there is a rational attempt to categorize diseases and which give an almost modern producer for examination, treatments and prognosis. by trial and were the Egyptians learnt the use of many natural drugs and realized the importance or rest and care of the patient , as well as basic hygiene as means of presenting the onset certain propels. Nevertheless, there were many errors and great gaps on their knowledge of the human body and its working. For instance, they released that the heart was the centre off an elaborate series of vessels, but did not realize that it circulated only blood. It was believed that all the main systems of the body passed thought the heart: blood, air, water, never and tendons.

The Magic in  Ancient Egypt
The Egyptians even thorough that the stomach was connected out his heat and of food and its waste entering the circulatory system and polluting the body. The heart was also throat to be the seat of intelligence importance of the brain was not recognized, this organ being discarded as useless during the process of mummification.

Where science failed the medical men, magic took over. The power of suggestion may well have had some effect, but s if else had failed the recitation of a spell could be a source of comfort and hope to the sock. For this reason the medical profession included three frissons of practitioners: surgeon-healers, priest-doctors and pure magician. The nature of these healing spells can be gauged from an example desisted to cure a complainant called 'half-head' which is the origin of the Greek in other words migraine.

This protected by gods and charms, the ancient Egyptians were free to enjoy they bounties if their land.

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Ancient Egyptian Religion and Afterlife Part 1/2

Introduction about Ancient Egyptian Religion
Much is known and has been written about formal ancient Egyptian religion and cults in Ancient Egypt, but the genuine beliefs of the average man are more difficult to identify. Lay people could not enter far into the major temples in order to worship; this was the prerogative of the priests who carried out the set rituals on behalf of the population. Nevertheless,ancient Egyptian religion played a vital part in the everyday life of the Egyptians, for they needed help against the hostile forces of nature which surrounded them and also against machinations of their fellow men. Closely allied with religion at those levels was magic, which was the practical means whereby men could combat these inimical powers.

Religion in ancient Egypt
Although the ordinary person was not allowed to take part in the daily ritual of the State gods, an opportunity for ancient Egyptian religions fervor came during the festivals or coming forth'. When the stature of the deity was carried out in procession, the frenzy that attached itself to the festival of Bast at Bubastis in the Late Period has already been described. In a more serious vein were the mysteries of Osiris a Abydos .these represented the betrayal and murder of the god by his brother Seth, after which there were several days of morning, then followed a funeral procession of the statue of Osiris towards the traditional site of his tomb. At the sire of the murder, the overthrow of Seth and his followers was reenacted, after which Osiris was deemed to have risen again and his image was carried back to the temple amid the rejoicings of the crowd.

At Thebes there were two important festivals, belonging to the god Amun . The first of these was the festival of Opet, in which the statues of Amun , Mut and Khons were taken from their temples at Karnak to Luxor for a 'visit'. They proceeded by divine barque along the Nile, towed by the boats of the king and senior nobles. The procession was a great spectacle and the citizens of Thebes lined the bank for a rare vision of the god. This festival took place at the beginning of he year. Towards the end of the year the statue of Amun was carried across the Nile to the West Bank to visit the mortuary temples of the deceased kings, the ceremony culminating at the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri. The procession was eagerly followed by the citizens of the West Bank and was probably connected with the worship of dead ancestors in their funerary chapels.

The Egyptians may not have been able to worship the gods directly in their great temples, but they did have small, local shrines in which they could offer a prayer. A number of shrines to Amun are known to have existed on the West Bank, Including one at Deir el-Medina. In that village there were also shrines to Hathor and to Ptah, patron of craftsmen, and other deities worshiped there were Thoth, Re-Harakhty, Khnum, Isis, Osiris and Anubis, as well as foreign gods such as Qadesh and Astarte. Also prominent was the cult of the local goddess Mertseger, who represented The great mountain of the West Bank known as El-Qurn. Evidence shows that the cult of this multitude of Gods was organized by the villagers themselves, although they could no doubt have afforded to support a resident priesthood. This suggests that it was common practice in small communities for the inhabitants it act as their own priests, as a way of achieving closer contact with their gods.

The Deir el-Medina shrines were open for people to drop in to say their own prayers or make an offering. This commonly took from of a votive stele showing the donor worshiping his chosen deity. Around the god a number of ears were often depicted, to make quite sure that the prayer inscribe beneath was heard. These stelae, belonging to the Ramesside period, bear witness to a great upsurge of piety, or at least an increase in the open expression of personal belief, which had previously been committed to writing. One explanation of this phenomenon may be that most of the evidence comes from Deir el-Medina, a community of exceptionally gifted, literate and comparatively well-off artisans, who were more capable and willing to express their beliefs than others at their level of society. On the other hand, Deir el-Medina has been thoroughly excavated, whereas the majority of other village and small town sites, which might yield similar evidence, have nor.

Deir el-Medina
The prayers on these stelae often take the form of a plea for mercy and recognition of the god's power over mankind for good or ill. Afflictions of the body, such as blindness, are frequently attributed to a god as punishment for some transgression against his might. Such a prayer was uttered by the workman Neferabu to the god Ptah :

I am a man who swore falsely to Ptah , Lord of Truth, and he caused me to see darkness by day. I will declare his powers to those who know him and to those who do not know him, to the small and the great. Beware of Ptah, lord pf Truth. Behold! he does not overlook a person's deed.
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February 26, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Games and Toys

Ancient Egyptian Toys and Games
During a quiets evening at him there were other diversions to entertain the family. Adults could engage in a number of board ancient Egyptian games which were exceedingly popular amongst all walks of lie. The most popular of these, called senet, began in the Predynastic Age and is even now plated in Egypt in recognizable form. The senet board was rectangular and divided into three rows of ten squares, The number of pieces allotted to each player could vary, but seven was usual, The fame began by sitting out the pieces alternately along the first fourteen squares, Movement was in reversed S fashion, the object being to get all one's pieces off the board whilst preventing one's opponent from doing the same, If a piece was blocked it had to return to the start of the board.

Ancient Egyptian Games and Toys
Dice as we know them did not appear ill the Graeco-Roman period, but the ancient Egyptians had alternative methods of moving the pieces. The first of these was a set of sticks, often shaped marked like a human finger. One side of each stick was flat, the other rounded, the sticks were thrown down and the number of flat and round surfaces which landed uppermost was counted. In the modern from the fame the number of flat sides determines the throw and so it may have been in antiquity. The other for of dice was the astragalus, which was originally a knucklebone from hooved animals, although the distinctive shape was soon copied u other materials, the face in which the astragalus fell again determined the throw.

Another popular game was called 'twenty squares', and is frequently found on the other side if a senet board, the markings were sightly different from those of senet. The middle of the three rows had twelve squares, while flanking it were two rows with four squares at one end and a long strip at the other: The players had five pieces each, which they placed in the empty strip. They began by moving pieces p the four squares to the corner. The object of the fame was to get the pieces safely down the centre row and off the board, As the opposing pieces moved in opposite directions the tactic must have been to block and set back the advancing enemy. This game seems to have entered Egypt from the Near East. Other board ancient Egyptian games are known but the rules by which they played are lost.

Meanwhile, the children could amuse themselves with a variety of toys.

ancient egyptian games and sports

Finally, we may count literature among the diversions of him ancient Egyptians. by no means all the Egyptians were literate. Although a fair number all the Egyptians were literate, although a fair number probably were. These fortunates could read their favorite stories on papyrus rolls or on ostraca. For those who could not read, there was the storyteller, who would recount the tales of adventure and magic on which Egyptian literature abounds.... ancient Egyptian games .

One of the most popular tales was the Story of Sinuhe, which is set during the Middle Kingdom. Sinuhe was a royal servant who, fearing for hos life for a reason not names, fled Egypt and want to Palestine. After a great many adventures he was befriended by the local king who gave hi, land, a wife and command of the army. He led a long and prosperous life, occasionally fighting off jealous rivals, but in his old age he wished to return to his native land. His wish was granted by Pharaohs and so he returned to Egypt with great honour and was granted a fine house and an elaborate womb with all the trimmings. Another travel tale, tinged with an element of magic, is that of the Shipwrecked Sailor.

A raised-relief depiction of Amenemhat I accompanied by deities; the death of Amenemhat I is reported by his son Senusret I in the Story of Sinuhe.
In this story are features which appear later in the Odyssey and the story of Sindbad the sailor. Like the Odyssey, it seems to belong to ab oral tradition, and to have been part of a cycle of stories, as Sindbad is part of the thousand and one nights. Another group of stories in the thousand and One Nights tradition is to be found in the West-care Papyrus.

This is a serious of tales with a connecting narrative which provides the reason for telling the stories. The theme is again magic and the scene the court of Cheops. Who is being entertained with tales of past wonders? He caps them all, however, by sending for a real magician who astounds the audience with his skill. Allegorical and, moral tales were also popular, such as the Blinding of Truth by Falsehood and the Tale of the Two Brothers. A great many of these stories have been published in translation and make entertaining reading even today.

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Ancient Egyptian Dance and Musical Instruments

Facts and Secrets about Ancient Egyptian Musical Instruments
Dance was also very popular in ancient Egypt, again in both religious and secular spheres. Rhythmic Accompaniment was provided by clapping, clapping, cymbals, tambourines or chanting. Again, dancing was mainly a group activity, Representations vary from slow, postured movement to lyrical, fluid or gymnastic performances.

Ancient Egyptian Dance
Ancient Egyptian Music in some form was an essential accompaniment to the dance , but it was also a recreational and religious art in its own right. Musical scenes are depicted from the Old Kingdom onwards. Although there were always musicians of both sexes, in the Old Kingdom most of those shown are women. One theme that recurs again and again is that of the blind harper, usually male. The Egyptians seem to have lacked a written, ancient Egyptian musical notation so a blind performer would have been at no disadvantage. To gain some idea of the music played it is necessary to study the instruments, many of which survive. They can be divided into three categories- stringed, wind and percussion-and their range increased during the New Kingdom when new varieties were adopted from the Near East.

Stringed instruments comprised the harp, the lyre and the lute. Two varieties of harp are known. The arched, or bow, harp was used from the sixth Dynasty onwards, but the angular harp appeared at the start of the New Kingdom, imported from Asia. The number of strings on these harps varies from four to ten and the size of the instruments is also variable. The strings were attached to the neck by pegs and to the sound box by a suspension rod, secured by a cord which could be adjusted to vary the tone. The harp was played by both mane and workmen. The lute and the lyre both appeared from the Near East during the New Kingdom. The lute consisted of a long wooden neck attached to a sound box, which was made either of wood or, in the case of small examples, a tortoise shell.
Ancient Egyptian flute
A skin was stretched over the box for sounding and the neck had frets onto which the strings were pressed to make the notes, They were played with a plectrum. The lyre had two forms, asymmetrical and symmetrical, and consisted of two arms attached to a sound box. The two arms were joined by a yoke to which the strings were attached by cords, pieces of cloth or papyrus. Both these instruments were played mostly by women, either in orchestras or solo to accompany singers.

Various wind instruments are known, with and without reeds. The flutes of ancient Egypt were played obliquely. They could be made of reed or metal and came in different sizes. Reeded instruments were the clarinet and the oboe, which were played in pairs, on acting as a drone. The oboe tended to replace the clarinet in the New Kingdom and was mostly plated by women. Trumpets were not used in orchestras, but only for military and religious purposes.

Of percussion instruments,those most commonly used in orchestras or for accompaniment wee the tambourine and drum. Clapperboards, bells and sisttra were mostly reserved o religious uses.

The British Museum's collection contains several scenes showing musical groups. The firs is of Old Kingdom dare and shows a male chamber group consisting of a harpist , a flautist and two singers. The New Kingdom scenes show a greater variety of instruments. One depicts a female ensemble at a banquet. The group consists of a large lute, a clapping singer, a smaller lute, a double oboe and a tambourine or drum, A similar banquet scene from a Theban tomb shows a double oboe and three women clapping out a rhythm to accompany two dancers, The final scene depicts a religious procession and indicates the pleasure to be had at a festival which would also have been a holiday. It represents a procession similar to one described by Herodotus, which took place at Bubastis - an occasion of a great joy and frenzy.

The worshipers went to Bubastis in barges, men and women packed in together: on the way some of the women kept up a continual clatter with castanets while some of the men played flutes. The rest sang and clapped their hands. Whenever they passed a town along the bank they brought the barge close inshore, making their ancient Egyptian music . The crowed in the barges yelled good-nature abuse at the women of the place, began to dance about or hitched up their robes to reveal their behinds, On reaching Bubastis they celebrated the festivals with elaborate sacrifices and drank vast quantities of wine.

Ancient Egyptian Sistrum
As already of the main sources if employment for musicians was performing a banquets. Dinner parties seem to have been on of the favorite pastimes of the Ancient Egyptians middle and upper classes, judging by the frequency with which they are depicted in tomb scenes. At the beginning of a feast the guests would be greeted by their hosts and offered flowered garlands by servants. They were also given scented cones for their hair, as described in the previous chapter. Gusts did not sit round a large dining table as we today but small tables at which they were served with food and wine. The hosts and honored gusts sat in chairs, while others sat on stools or cushions. In some scenes the men and women sit separately, while in others they mingle freely. This nay represents the difference between married couples and single gusts. The food and wine was heaped enticingly on stands and tables , almost like a buffet, although servants brought the food to the gusts.

During the meal musicians played and afterwards dancers, or possibly an acrobat, would perform, As the banquet continued, more and more wine was consumed, accompanied by such sentiments as 'Give me eighteen cups of wine, for I should love to drink to drunkenness my inside is as dry as straw'. The end result of such indulgence is also recorded, men and even women being sick into a bowl held by servants and being comforted by their neighbors as the jollity continues.

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February 24, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Sports and Hunting

The ancient Egyptians were a people who knew how to enjoy themselves, as the great number and variety of pastimes recorded in tomb scenes so vividly illustrates. Indeed, it was to a large extent the intense pleasure which they found in life that encouraged them to seek to continue it after death.

Recreation in Ancient Egypt
Sporting and hunting in Ancient Egypt
Let us begin with the more active, sporting pursuits. Hunting for pleasure in the desert or marshland was the ancient Egyptian sports of Pharaoh, his nobles and the well-to-do. In early days a desert hunt took place on foot, but following the introduction of the chariot the nobleman galloped away in purist of his prey armed as if for war. The technique of hunting was to await or lure a large number of animals to a restricted area, possibly around a water hole, and then attack them en mass with volleys or arrows. The nobleman would be accompanied by professional huntsmen. Hunting dogs were let loose to harry the hapless prey. The early hunting dogs had erect, painted ears, narrow flanks and a short, curled tail, while in the New Kingdom there appeared a breed with pendent ears and long, straight tail, like the modern saluki. A very early hunting scene is shown on the Hunters Palette (c.3300BC). From the early New Kingdom comes another hunting scene, painted on the side of an archery case. Not all hunting culminated in the mass killing, for there are representations f animals being captured alive for display, breeding or possibly taming.

Hunting in the marshes comprised fowling fishing and possibly the killing of hippopotami. The pleasure with which these activities was regarded by the Egyptians is recorded in a very fragmentary papyrus entitled The Pleasures of Fishing and Fowling:' A happy day when we go down to the marsh, that we mat snare birds and catch many fishes in the two waters... a happy day on which we give to everybody and the marsh goddess in propitious. We shall trap birds and shall light a brazier to Sobek.' The text was written by someone who was forced by his position to live away from the rural haunts which he used to frequent in his youth: "Would that I were in the country always that I might do the things that were what my heart desired when the marsh was my town ...'The rest of this fragmentary text comprises enthusiastic description of the huntsman's art which provide an interesting supplement to set-piece scenes which survive in tombs.

'I settle at the ford and make ready for myself a screen after i have fastened my bait. I am in the cool breeze whitest my fishes are in the sun. I kill at every thrust; there is no stop for my spear. I make bundles of 'bulti-fish.' However, our keen fisherman has to admit 'gutting does not please me'. Having caught the fish, he hands over this messy job to a servant or to his poor wife. Many scenes depict this type of fishing. The fisherman lurks in the reeds on a papyrus raft and catches the fish with a harpoon-like spear. Hooks and nets were also available but these were mostly used by pro fessional fishermen.

Ancient Egyptian Hunting and Sports

The papyrus goes on to describe the process of bird trapping :

I walk away from the river in the second day and the fifteenth day of the month and go down to the lake. Staves are on my shoulder, my poles and two and one-fifth cubits (of rope) under my arm. I attend to tugging at five cubits of draw rope by hand. The water is sluggish. The thick cloth which the hand holds, we see it fall after we have heard the quacking of the pool's birds. We snare them in the net.

Another, more sporting way of catching birds is frequently depicted in tombs, such as that of Nakht. Nakht is shown with his family and servants on a light papyrus raft used for moving about in the shallow waters. It is made simply of papyrus reeds tied together, with a wooden platform in the centre in which to balance. In the left of the scene Nakht holds a bird by its feet. This is probably stuffed decoy. In this other hand he holds the instrument of the kill, a throw-stick shaped like a snake, which acted in the same way as a boomerang, to break the bird's neck. His son prepares to hand him another. On the right-hand side of the scene he is town having just cast his weapons, both the one in his hand and another given to him by his hand and another given to him by his daughter. In the miraculous way of tomb painting, both these throw-sticks have found their mark and two birds fall, their necks snapped.

Ancient Egyptian Sports
Athletic games and sports were popular among the ancient Egyptians, whether practiced informally or formally in the presence of the king or as part religious ceremonies. Typical games included wrestling, boxing, fighting with quarter staves, and there are frequently shown as group activities.

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    February 20, 2012

    Tattoos in Ancient Egypt | Ancient Egyptian Fashion P5

    Tattoos in Ancient Egypt

    Tattoos in Ancient Egypt
    To colour their cheeks the Egyptians used red ochre in a base of fat or Gum-resin. Ochre may have been used as lipstick, and a scene in a papyrus now in Turing shows a woman painting her lips with a brush whilst holding a container in her hand. Henna was used as a colorant, as it is today. It was certainly used to color hair and perhaps also the palms of the hands , soles of the feet and nails, although it has been suggested that the henna-like stain i n these parts of mummies was caused by embalmers' materials.

    Tattooing was known and practiced by the ancient Egyptians , the earliest direct evident coming from the Middle Kingdom . Mummies of dancers and royal concubines have geometric designs tattooed on their chests, shoulders, armies, abdomens and thighs. In the new Kingdom, dancers, musicians and servants girls occasionally had a tiny representation of the god Bes tattooed on their thighs as a good-luck charm.

    Other  beauty secrets of the ancient egyptians

    Ancient Egyptian Makeup
    The toilet object essential to all beatification is the mirror. In ancient Egypt mirrors took the form of highly polished metal discs,usual of bronze. Besides being functional, mirrors developed religious and funerary uses. Their circular shape, brightness and reflective quality suggested to the e Egyptians the face of the sun and its life-giving powers and thus the mirror became a symbol of regeneration and vitality . The religious aspect is highlighted in the motifs used to decorate the handles. The papyrus plant,m which figures frequently, is another symbol of vitality , as is the head of Hathor, a goddess of fertility and beauty . Metallic mirrors may have been restricted to the more well-to-do. For the poor a reflection in water had to suffice.

    The final element of dress was jewellery , a wide variety of which was worn by the ancient Egyptians. Although worn as personal adornment, much of the jewellery had an underlying amuletic purpose, to protect the wearer from harm-both tangible, in the form of dangerous creatures , and intangible evil forces which might invade the Vulnerable points of the body. Thus many items of jewellery take the form of amulets. Even certain of the materials used had amuletic properties, notably carnelian, turquoise and lapis lazuli.

    The most prominent types of costume jewellery were the collar and the pectoral worn at the neck. T Collars were usually board, covering much of the chest. They were made u of rows of beads , either plain, amuletic or floral, The strings of the various rows passed through large terminals which were themselves ornamental or amuletic , common forms being lotus flowers or falcon heads. The weight of these heavy collars was supported a the back by a counterpoise pedant called a mankhet. The pectoral developed from a single amuletic pendant hanging from a cord around the neck into a large plaque with ab amuletic motif, usually a deity r a large scarab. It was worn with bead necklaces or straps. A great variety of less broad and elaborate necklaces were also worn.

    Head ornament took the form of diadems or filets based on hands of live flowers, but the floral forms were also copied in metal and semi-precious stones . Earrings did not appear in Egypt until the beginning of the New Kingdom and they soon became quite elaborate. They were worn through wide holes punched in the ear lobes. Plain , mushroom-shaped ear plugs, usually made of stone, glass or glazed composition, were also popular.

    Limb ornaments consisted of armlets, bracelets and anklets, although a combination of all three was not worn until the New Kingdom and men did not wear anklets until the Ramesside age. Early types were made of shell ivory o beads, but they developed into opulent , inlaid metal jewels designed ti be worn in pairs. The Egyptians also wore finger rings. The most usual variety was a signet ring formed of a button sea pr scarab, but other amuletic types were also popular. Most of the rings which survive are made of glazed com position the design being cast in a mould. Nevertheless, heavy metal signet rings with figures of deities, royal names and protective hieroglyphs are also common.

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    Ancient Egyptian Eye Makeup

    Ancient Egyptian Eye Makeup
    Ancient Egyptian Fashion


    Eye paint - Egyptian Eye Makeup is probably the most characteristic of the Egyptian cosmetics. Two colors were popularly used: black and green. The use of these pigments for the eyes dates back as far as the Badarian Period (c.4000BC). Both colors have been found in early graves as fragments or raw material, often in small bags, as stains on palettes or in the prepared state as a dried paste or powder. The prepared eye paint has been found in shells, in segments of hollow reed, wrapped in plant leaves or in small vases. The green pigment s malachite , an oxide of copper.
    Ancient Egyptian Eye Makeup
    In the Early Period thus was the most popular color, and especially in Old kingdom when it was applied liberally from the eyebrow to the base of the nose . In the Middle Kingdom green eye continued to be used for the brows and corners of the eyes, but by the New Kingdom i had been superseded almost entirely by black. Black eye paint(kohl), which was usually made of galena,a sulphide of lead, was used in the Early Period, but did not come into its own until the late Middle and New Kingdoms.It then continued right through to the Coptic period . By this time, however, soot was the basis of the black pigment.

    Both the malachite and galena were ground in a palette and then mixed with either water or gum and water to form a past. It is assumed that before the Middle Kingdom the kohl was applied with the fingers, but at this tome kohl pencils begin to appear. These take the for of slender sticks with a bulbous end. They are made from wood, bronze, hematite, obsidian or glass. Some examples have a spatula end for mixing, or even a tiny spoon. The sticks are frequently attached to containers and act as a means of fastening the lid. In the Predynastic Period and Old Kingdom, eye paint was kept in a variety of different vessels and was probably often mixed just prior to use . During the Middle and early New Kingdoms, however, kohl was almost invariably kept in a small jar or pot of special design with flat bottom, wide rim, tiny mouth and flat, dis-shaped lid. The majority of kohl posts were made out id stone, especially alabaster, but other materials were also used, such as glazed composition, glazed steatite, glass, pottery and wood.

    During the New Kingdom, the kohl pot was gradually replaced by a new type of container which was a tube formed of a length of red or a number of lengths bound together. This tubular from was imitated in other materials: wood, ivory, glazed composition, glass and stone . Multiple containers reproducing clusters of reeds became typical, usually in wood or stone.

    Ancient Egyptian Kohl Eyeliner
    From these basic forms there developed a series of decorative types. A common variety has the form a miniature palm column reproduced in polychrome glass with multicolored decoration. Thees columns also occur in glazed composition and ivory , with the variant design of a papyrus bud column. Squatting or standing monkeys holding kohl tubes appear quite frequently ,as do human figures, either grotesques or young girls. Finally, images of the popular deity Bes figure on a number of containers in stone , glazed composition ivory and wood.

    Kohl was certainly used for its cosmetic value, making the eyes appear larger and more luminous, but the green eye paint also had a symbolic meaning, representing the eye of the god Horus, which was a potent amulet Kohl may also have had a prophylactic function , the dark line around the eye stopping the glare of the sun. It was used as the basis for many eye medicines and us included in prescriptions against eye diseases to be found in the medical papyri.

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      Perfume in Ancient Egypt

      The Ancient Egypt Perfume in 3 Steps

      Vain of their appearance , the ancient Egyptians considered cosmetics an important part of ancient Egyptians dress. Nevertheless, their use went beyond this, for their application was often a matter of personal hygiene and health. Oils and creams were of vital importance against the hot Egyptian sun and dry, sandy winds. So essential were they considered that non-arrival of ointments in part-payment of wages was one of the chief grievances of the striking workers at Deir el-Medina during the reign of Ramses III. The oils were necessary to keep the skin soft and supple and to prevent the onset of aliments caused by cracked, dry skin. Thus ointments figure largely in medical recipes of all kinds throughout Egyptian history .

      Perfumes Industry in Ancient Egypt
      A great variety of oil and fats were available to the ancient Egyptian perfumers. These can be identified in texts and form the writings of Classical authors such as Theophrastus, Dioscoridesand Pliny. The most popular basic oil was balanos and the most widespread the castor oil used by the poor. The Egyptians were fond of strong scents, which they would blend with the case oils and animal fats to form perfumes. It is certain that the modern process of distillation using steam was not known for the extraction of essences, but there were three techniques available for producing perfumes in ancient Egypt from flowers, fruits and seed.

      The first of these was enfleurage, the saturation of layer of fat with perfume by steeping flowers in the fat and replacing them when their perfume was spent. In this way the Egyptians were able to crate creams and pomades. A popular form of pomade was the so-called cosmetic cone which was worn on top if the head. They are frequently represented in banqueting scenes, worn not only by the gusts but also by the servants, The cone is usually white with streaks of orange-brown running from it top. The colouring represents the Perfume in ancient Egypt with which the cone was impregnated. As the evening progressed, the cone would melt and the scented oil run down over the wig and garment , creating a pleasing scent and , no doubt, a sticky mess . Throughout to renew the scent on the cones and the tomb scenes show servants circulating among the gusts, replenishing the perfumed cream.

      The second process for creating perfume was maceration , that is dipping flowers, herbs or fruits into fats or oils heated to a temperature of about 65 degrees Celsius. This technique is depicted in a number of tomb scenes. The flowers of fruits were pounded in mortars ad then stirred into the oil, which was kept hot on a fire. The mixture was sieved and allowed to cool. It might then be shaped into balls or cones, or, if liquid, poured into vessels. An alternative process may have been to macerate the flowers in water, cover the vessel with a cloth impregnated with fat and boil the contents of the vessel until all the perfumes in ancient Egypt had evaporated, fixing them in the fat which was then scraped off the cloth, This technique is still used by peoples living beat the source of the Nile.

      Thirdly, there was the possibility of expressing the flowers or seeds .This process as borrowed from the manufacture of wine and oil. The material to be pressed was placed in a bag with a stick attached to each end. The sticks were twisted in opposite directions, exerting pressure on the contents. In a more sophisticated from, the was attached to a frame at one end. The other and was held by a stick which was twisted by a group of workmen. This technique was not used often, as most recipes specify either maceration or enfleurage.

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      Ancient Egyptian Clothing and Wigs

      Ancient Egyptian Clothes for Women
      The greatest leap forward was in women's dress, which became far more elegant, although it took its from men's fashions rather than developing a style of its own. The sheath dress was still worn, but often only as an undergarment. On top is to be found a heavily pleated, fringed robe. This seems to have been made of a single piece of cloth draped over the body, without any stitching. The material was folded round the waist and the two top corners pulled over the shoulders. A knot was tied under the breasts to hold the garment in place

      Ancient Egyptian Clothes for Women
      On their feet the ancient Egyptian wore sandals made of woven reed, grass or leather. The standers from consisted of a thing passing between the first and second toes and attached to a bar passing over the instep. In the Nineteenth Dynasty a style with an upturned toe appeared, a forerunner of the Turkish slipper. Among the earliest examples of this type are the delicate, red leather sandals found in the cosmetic chest of the lady Tutu, wife of the scribe Ani.

      An integral part of Egyptian costume was a wig or hairpiece added to the natural hair. Many Egyptians shaved their heads or cropped their hair very short, although some did retain a full head of hair which they kept elaborately dressed. Sculpture and wall scenes show that there was a great variety of hairstyles to choose from , both for everyday wear and festive occasions. There does, however, seem to have been an element of idealization in the rendering of wigs, as there was in clothing, for surviving examples are far less elegant than their regular, sculpted counterparts.

      Wigs in Ancient Egypt
      Wigs were made of human hair, although some vegetable-fibre padding was also used T. The wig illustrated has a mass of lightish curls on top and a multitude of thin, tight plaits below ear level. The foundation for these elements was a net woven of plaited human hair, with rhomboidal openings, The wig comprises about 300 strands, each of which contains about 400 individual hairs. These have been coated with a mixture of beeswax and resin,. To attach the strand to the net, some of the hairs were looped over the netting while the rest of the strand was whipped round the loop. This was then waxed to fix the strand in place. The melting point of the max is about 50 degrees Celsius, so it was unlikely to melt even on the hottest Egyptian day.

      The manufacture and care of these wigs, as well as the creation of elaborate plaited hairstyles, required either the specialist services of a hairdresser for those who could afford it, or the help of a friend for those who could cont. A number of scenes and figurines survive showing ladies at their coiffure. Pins rather than combs seem to have been used to arrange and hold the tight curls, although combs, both functional and decorative, have been found ion large numbers.

      the Egyptians were fastidious about the rest of their bodily hair, considering a hirsute appearance a sign of uncleanliness and personal neglect. The only exceptions to this were an occasional thin mustache or goatee type of beard on men. For this reason, the razor had a long history i Egypt , beginning in predynastic times . originally there were two types : an asymmetrical variety with a single cutting edge at the side, and a symmetrical , spatula-like type with parallel sides and a rounded cutting edge. The asymmetrical type soon fell out i use , but the spatula type survived and developed through a series of forms.

      The sides began to splay out, and during the Middle Kingdom the cutting edge began to protrude laterally. by the New Kingdom this had evolved into a hatchet-like form with a handle at a virtual right angle to the cutting edge and a spur projecting from the rear. This is thought to have served as a counter-weight to ensure proper balance in the handling. The exact mode of handling and method of working the razors has not yet been fully established. In the absence of soap, oil or unguent was probably used to soften the skin and hairs of the area to be shaved.

      Other types of implement were available for removing unwanted hair. Tweezers are known from the First Dynasty onwards , with both sharp and blunt ends for different tasks. There are also curious composite tools consisting of two metal elements pegged together with a pin. one element is straight-edged with a sharp point at one end , and the other has a flat blade and razor-like blade. These implements may well have served several purposes . It has been suggested that they acted as curling tongs, but they were certainly used as razors for close, delicate work.

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      Ancient Egyptian Clothing for Men and Women

      Ancient Egypt Clothes for Women
      The dress of the ancient Egyptians consisted not simply of the clothes they wore but also of elaborate costume jewellery which served to embellish their usually plain garments, wigs which they wore over their own cropped hair, and striking cosmetics which not only enhanced their features but were also thought to have hygienic and medicinal qualities. Their clothing was simple and did not change a great deal over the millennia, although more elaborate styles did appear during the New Kingdom. The universal material was linen, which was light and cool to wear, Wool seems almost never to have been used, possibly because of religious taboos, although the native Egyptians sheep were bot wool-bearing and cotton was unknown until the Coptic Period. Garments were draped round the body rather than tailored, and sewing was kept to minimum. The chief from of decoration was pleating, and from examples of garments which have survived it is clear that a mechanical process was used to put the small, regular pleats into the cloth and that some from of starch or size was used to fix them, The nature of the implement which created the pleats is unknown, but it may have consisted of a board cut in peaks and groves into which the cloth was pressed.

      Ancient Egypt Clothing for Women
      Colored or patterned cloth was rarely used. One reason for this is that is very difficult to fix dyes into linen without a mordant, the use of which was unknown in ancient Egypt. Garments with colored patterns are depicted in tombs and a few examples have survived, but the technique of their production was not native . It was developed in the Near East and only brought into Egypt with the introduction of the vertical loom. The use of woven patterned textiles by the Egyptians was never widespread and may been limited to the royal household.

      Let us briefly survey the changing fashions of ancient Egypt up to the New kingdom, after which there was little change or development,. The basic costume for men, throughout the period, was a kilt, falling to just above the know and made of a rectangular piece of linen folded round the body and tied at the waist with a knot or fastened with a buckle. Variations on this simple theme include a squared end, a rounded end, a starched from forming an apron , and pleating, In the Old kingdom this is the only type of male costume depicted , although a cloak of some sort must have been added for cool weather, Official and ceremonial attire was more complicated , Priests, for example , wore leopard skins wrapped around their torso and falling over the kilt like an apron. Working men wore only a twist of linen around their lions or wet naked . Children are also frequently depicted naked, as are those indulging in rigorous exercise.

      Women wore simple sheath dresses falling from the breast to just above the ankle . These appear to have been made of a rectangle of material sewn down one side , roughly hemmed and wit straps attached to the top edge to support the dress . Their extreme figure- hugging style may be put sown party to artistic license - the desire of the artist to show the from of the body beneath. Examples of dresses which survive from the Early Period are much more baggy and have sleeves. Indeed, if the dresses were as tight as portrayed, they would have been difficult to put on, let aloe walk in.

      Ancient Egypt Clothes for Women
      During the Middle Kingdom pleated clothing became far more common and although men continued to wear the short kilt, a longer, straighter style appeared which was fastened on the chest and fell to the shins. Representations of this type of kilt indicate a series of wide, horizontal pleats, which may in reality have been fold-marks in the cloth. These 'maxi-kilt' were frequently worn over the top of a short under-kilt . At this time clothing for the upper part if the body is also shown. It consists of a bag-like tunic made simply from a rectangle of material seamed up the sides , with holes left for the arms and another hole cut in the centre for the head. An enveloping a clock also appears, rapped round the body, although on shoulder was sometimes left bare. The edges of this garment are frequently fringed. The style of female dress changed little during the Middle Kingdom, although colors and patterning became popular among workingwomen.

      The New kingdom heralded the appearance of a highly elaborate style of dress for both men and women. Pleating ran riot and is to be seen over the whole garment. Fringing also became more popular. Men usually wore a short under-kilt, over which hung a long , heavily pleated skirt, knotted at the hips, with a fringed sash hanging down over a pleated apron which fell below the knee. On their torso they wore a developed from of the bag-tunic, with a key-hole neck and wide sleeves which were normally pleated, although plain tight sleeves are also shown. A light shawl or cock was sometimes thrown over the shoulder.

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        February 18, 2012

        Ancient Egyptian Crafts Part 4/4

        Allied to waving was the manufacturing of mats, baskets and rope using read, flax papyrus, palm fiber and grass. Mats were woven on horizontal looms, while baskets were made by coiling a fibrous core spirally into the shape required. Baskets were as common as pottery in the Egyptian home and were used as containers for food; clothing and household linen Nevertheless, a great deal of pottery was made and used by the ancient Egyptians, although it was not a  ancient Egyptian crafts at which they excelled. The best pottery belongs to the late predynastic age, when fine black and red wares were produced, as well as vessels body painted in red on buff. It was not until the Eighteenth Dynasty that painted was reappeared, the most striking examples being blue-painted buff vessels especially common during the reigns of Amenophis III and Akhenaten.

        Painted jars crafts from ancient Egypt
        Let us return once again to the craftsmen who created some of these works of art in ancient Egypt and take a look at the organization of one particular group about which we have a lot of information: the tomb-builders of Deir el-Medina. These artisans were dived into two groups, the left and the right gangs, which presumably worked on the left- and right*hand sides of the tomb at the same time. The gangs were controlled by two foremen who were appointed by the vizier, although the posts became hereditary. The son of the foreman often became his father's deputy before taking over full responsibility for he gang.

        Working with the foreman was an official scribe who administered the activities of the workmen and the village. He oversaw the distribution of tools and materials from the royal stores, carefully registering what was given to each man. He also kept lists of those who were not at work and the reason for their absence and most importantly, her received and distributed the men's wages, below the scribe was a guardian who looked after the official stores, while other guardians acted as watch men over the tomb under construction. These would be supplemented as necessary by the official police of western Thebes, the Medjay.

        The main body of the workforce consisted of stonemasons, plasterers, sculptors, draughtsmen, painters and carpenters. They worked for eight days out if ten living in huts above the Valley of the Kings and returning to the village for their two days of rest. During the day they were supposed to work for eight hours with a mid-day meal break but absenteeism was frequent.

        Days were lost for such reasons as brewing beer, building houses and drinking, a and these, added to the large number of religious holidays, show that the tomb-builders in fact only worked for about six months of the year. Their payment was in Kind: wheat and barley for making bread and beer, water, fish, vegetables, cosmetic oils, wood for fuel, pottery and clothing. On festival days they were given more elaborate food, including wine, as well as bonuses of oil, salt and meat. In order to help prepare these foodstuffs a number of female slaves were assigned to the village.

        At times the delivery of these essentials became irregular or ceased altogether. On several occasions the men actually wet on strike to demand that their wages be sent. Nevertheless, these 'servants of the place of truth', as they were at one time called, were comparatively well of. They used their skills to construct highly decorated tombs for each other. There were also opportunities for moon-lighting-making tombs or funerary equipment for the well-to-do Thebes. Their houses were well appointed and their lists of possessions, as we have already see, could be relatively impressive Of the living standers of other craftsmen and ancient Egyptian crafts we unfortunately know little, but it is to be suspected that by and large they were less comfortable.

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        Ancient Egyptian Crafts Part 3/4 - Craft Techniques

        Craft techniques  in ancient Egypt
        The techniques of sculpting were not very different. The outline of a statue was marked on an appropriate piece of stone with red ochre. The piece was then roughly blocked out and the features modeled. In the case of soft stones such as limestone, chisels could be used as well as saws. Hard, volcanic stones could only be worked with similarly dense materials. The amount of time, patience and manpower used to create a colossal statue of granite almost defies the modern imagination.

        Craft techniques  in ancient Egypt
        Among other  ancient Egyptian crafts techniques not depicted in the tomb of Apuki and Nebamun, the manufacture of glass and glazed ware is characteristically Egyptian. Glazed composition (faience) is known from the predynastic period onwards. It consists of quartz ground to a fine powder, possibly mixed with a weak solution of natron to make the material malleable. Objects of glazed composition could be formed by hand or on a wheel, but many small pieces were shaped in pottery moulds. The glaze was similar in composition to glass, being made of sand and natron salt. It was probably applied as a fluid coating which fused with the body material on firing, creating an object of great strength; the usual color for the glaze was blue-green or turquoise, created by tee inclusion of copper or malachite. Nevertheless, it was possible to produce other colors: objects of red, white, yellow and green proliferate during the late Eighteenth Dynasty.

        Although the glaze used on faience is similar in composition to glass, glass proper was not made in Egypt until the Eighteenth Dynasty and it seems likely that the technique was introduced from Syria. Glass production involved the heating together of quartz and natron with a coloring compound, usually a copper-based blue. The molten glass could be moulded, shaped into rods or formed round a core, but blown glass was not known until the Roman Period. Core-forming involved the creation of a sandy core in the shape of the inside of the intended vessel. This was then dipped into the molten glass and twirled round, creating a skin of uneven thickness which could be worked to the required shape. Bases and handles were added separately. Decoration in different colors was often applied o the form of rods of glass which meted on contact with the hot body of the vessel. A tool drowns across the bars of color created a ripple-pattern effect.

        Weaving was another major  ancient Egyptian crafts of the ancient Egyptians, dating back to early predynastic times. The cloth that used was made of linen, and the cultivation and treatment flax has already been described. The linen fiber, having been beaten from the plant, was spun on a stick weighted at one end with a circular whorl, either flat or domed, until the New Kingdom, women alone spun thread, but thereafter men also took part in this operation. The same is true of weaving. The loom in Egypt was at first horizontal, but was replaced by a vertical type during the Second Intermediate Period. A great variety of cloth was produced, from coarse homespun to fine linen, as sheer as muslin, known as byssos. Most cloth was plain, although sometimes pattern of loose threads was woven in.

        The Egyptians mastered the techniques of making fine stone vessels at an early date, utilizing the great range of ornamental stone to be found in the desert and hills which border the Nile. A block of stone would be cut to the appropriate dimensions, probably with a saw. The shape of the vessel was then roughly formed with a chisel or a drill. Smoothing followed, using abrasive stone rubbers worked up and down the object. When the outside was completely shaped, the inside was hollowed out. This was achieved using a drill with an offset crank handle at the top, as shown in the scene. The drill was set with a stone bit of flint, limestone, sandstone or diorite shaped for different types of vessel or phases of the work. Some drill bits were formed of copper tubes which could remove cylindrical cores. A chisel could then be used to remove the surrounding martial. Some vessels were made in sections and then cemented together. This applied especially to ornate vessels with narrow mouths. As with bead drilling, emery or quartz was used as an abrasive.

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        Ancient Egyptian Crafts Part 2/4

        Crafts and Craftsmen in Ancient Egypt
        Next to this pair are two men engaged in chasing and carving metal, one of whom is named as the draughtsman of the god Amun Pasinisu, also called Parennefer. He chases and inscription on a libation vessel, while his friend works on a golden sphinx using a stone hammer and metal chisel. Further along metal vessel are being manufactured: the smaller of the two is supported on a rod-anvil, while the smith heats a partially worked vessel in a small furnace. This process was required to keep the metal supple, as copper and bronze become brittle when beaten. He holds the, metal with a pair of tongs, whilst blowing through a tube to raise the temperature in the furnace.

        Craftsmen in ancient egypt
        The lower register is damaged, but enough remains to show that, on the left , bronze lamp stands are in the process of manufacture. One of the smiths heats a small piece of metal in a fire on the ground, again raising the temperature by means of a blow -pipe. Behind him two men appear to be beating a metal sheet over a concave form, possibly the preliminary shaping of a vessel. In the centre of the register is an elaborate furnace in which metal is smelted from the ingots shown above, probably copper and tin combined to make bronze. The furnace is aerated by four men operating foot bellows. These were presumably made of leather. The men hold ropes in their hands, on which they pull to reflate the bellows after they have trodden out the air .... ancient Egyptian crafts.

        The molten metal from the furnace would probably have been used for casting, although this process is not shown in the scene. Copper and bronze were used for casting tools,  weapons in ancient Egypt and decorative objectives, using moulds cut out of stone or fashions from pottery. Cast metal was also used for figure statuettes, although not commonly until the Late Period. The British Museum's bronze statuette of Tuthmosis IV is a rare example from the Eighteenth Dynasty. The technique used for casting these figures was the lost-wax process. This method could be used to make either solid cast or hollow figurines, the latter representing a way of economizing on the valuable metal.
        Weapons  in Ancient Egypt
        On the far right of the lower register is a group of stone-workers engaged in the manufacture of beads and vessels. In order to make beads, suitable pieces of coloured or semi-precious stone were broken up and roughly shaped by rolling or bruising. They were then smoothed by rubbing them together. The next phase was to bore holes through the beads for stringing. This was achieved using a bow-drill. The drill point of metal, stone or through reed was attached to a stick. This was rotated using the string of the bow as the operator moved it backwards a forwards. Many beads were drilled from both sides. If one whole began to wander off true, another was begun from the other side to meet it.

        For this reason ancient beads rarely have straight holes running through them. The drill bit was aided by an abrasive material such as emery or fine quartz, which is shown on the table next to the drill worker. To speed up production several bits were operated by the same drill-one reason, no doubt, why the line of the bore ran out of true so frequently. Once the beads were made they could be polished or glazed as required. They were then handed over to craftsmen - ancient Egyptian crafts who made them into simple stings of beads, elaborate collars or amuletic nets and plaques to be placed on mummies.

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