Introduction - Ancient Egyptian HousesPlain, simple and overcrowded is an accurate description of ancient Egyptian homes. Average homes consisted of four areas where each room in the house had a specific function, which is discussed below. As expected, those who were wealthy had much larger homes than those who were poor. What materials were used to make a home also depended on a person's class. When you read the interesting facts and information below, you'll discover how peasant's homes differed from nobles and wealthy people's homes. You will also learn why furniture was not plentiful in ancient Egyptian homes. The easy to read layout makes the information kid-friendly, but an interesting read for adults as well.
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Ancient Egyptian Typical House Layout
- Most ancient Egyptian homes consisted of four rooms.
- The front room was a common area where guests first entered the house.
- The living room was a place of worship and religious rituals.
- The kitchen, which had no roof, was where the ancient Egyptian women prepared all of the meals.
- There was also some type of all purpose room where activities of daily living took place such as gathering together, eating and sleeping.
- In front of the house was a courtyard. The ancient Egyptians would cook there and perform other daily activities such as eating, making linen and tending to the animals that were kept there. Sometimes the courtyard was shared by many families.
- All ancient Egyptian homes had flat roofs. They would secure a ladder and it would become a living area. They would sleep on the roof when the weather was hot and sometimes work up there during the day in hopes a breeze would cool them off.
Ancient Egyptian Peasant Houses
- Papyrus reeds were the most common material used in the earliest ancient Egyptian homes. After they discovered how to make bricks with mud and straw that quickly became the more common way to construct homes.
- Mud brick homes were relatively cheap to make but they did not last long. Homes made with this material usually had to be rebuilt within a couple of years.
- Mats made from papyrus reeds were used as window coverings to keep out dirt and insects and provide shade from the heat.
- A hearth was essential to both the poor and the wealthy ancient Egyptians. It provided a means of cooking as well as heat source.
- Woven mats were used as carpets to cover the clay and dirt floors.
- Since wood was almost non-existent in Egypt, it made it very difficult for any class of ancient Egyptians to have more than just very basic furniture. Small three-legged wooden stools were typical in ancient Egyptian homes.
Ancient Egyptian Houses of the Nobles and Wealthy
- The nobles and the wealthy in ancient Egypt preferred to make their homes out of stone. It was more expensive and much sturdier than mud bricks.
- If an upper class ancient Egyptian's house had more than one level, they used ramps instead of stairs.
- The inside of the homes were usually painted white to keep them cool. In addition to that, wealthy ancient Egyptians usually hired the best artists to paint throughout the interior of the home.
- The ultra-rich often used white limestone throughout the interior of the house which made it appear shiny and fancy.