Women in ancient Egypt had power in their societies more than any other comparable societies as they couldn’t just rule the country, but they could also have the same rights as men. One of the most important ancient Egyptian Queens is Queen Hatshepsut, who obtained the rank of pharaoh and ruled through the 18th dynasty. Although ancient Egyptian women played vital roles in Egyptian societies, the Egyptian societies were dominated by men but some women at the royal court gained their power through their relationships with the male kings. Through our article, you will know all the life aspects of the women in ancient Egypt:
The Role of Women in Ancient Egypt
- 1. Women's Work in Ancient Egypt
- 2. Pregnancy of the Women in Ancient Egypt
- 3. Women’s Power in Ancient Egypt
- 4. Social & Political Position of Women in Ancient Egypt
- 5. Education & Marriage of Women in Ancient Egypt
- 6. Art of Women in Ancient Egyptian
Women’s Work in Ancient Egypt
Women in ancient Egypt used to help their husbands at agricultural work. They used to manage farms and businesses in the absence of their husbands and that was mainly related to women from the peasantry but women from the upper classes didn’t work outside homes and they used to supervise their children and their housemaids.
During the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was a normal thing to find men & women working side by side and that is not all as women also could easily obtain their own property. Men used to be served by men and women used to be served by women and that is depicted on the walls of the tombs.
Women who belonged to any class could easily work as professional mourners or musicians, and of course, these were common jobs. Noblewomen could be members of the priesthood connected to some deities.
Pregnancy and Childbirth of the Women in Ancient Egypt
There were some complex beliefs regarding the importance of fertility and the significance of having heirs. It was a normal thing that if the wife wasn’t fertile, it was the husband’s right to divorce her and marry another woman to have children.
There were some fertility rituals for those who wanted to have children. They also used to prepare some remedies to help them to get children including a spermicidal made of fermented acacia gum, which was very effective at that time.
When the woman knew that she is pregnant, she was once placed under the protection of the goddess Tennent. Ancient Egyptians also had a special way to know the sex of their babies.
How The Ancient Egyptians Did Pregnancy Tests?
- Pregnant women got grains of barley and wheat.
- They used to put them in a cloth sachet and soaking them in the pregnant woman’s urine.
- If barely sprouted first, then it is a boy.
- If wheat sprouted first, then it is a girl.
When the woman was about to have her child born, she was assisted by midwives. She was shaved, including her head. She was also supported by the midwives during labor while she remained in a squatting position on a mat. There were four bricks placed on the corners of the mat, believed to be the incarnation of four goddesses: Nut, the great Sky-goddess; Tefnut, the feminine polarity of the first couple; Aset; and Nebet Hut.
The Women’s Power in Ancient Egypt
We don’t have a lot of ancient societies that gave women higher positions in their societies. The ancient Egyptian society gave women rights that were somehow equated to men and that are how they achieved truly important positions in the society. Nebet was the first woman to be a vizier, which was the second-highest state official after being a king.
In ancient civilizations, reign was transferred between the male heirs of the kings without allowed women to rule or have the right to be the one in charge but that was absolutely changed in ancient Egypt as women started to gain the right to rule after her husband if they didn’t sons to inherit their father just like Queen Nefertari, the wife of Akhenaten.
Ancient Egyptians preferred to be ruled by women with royal blood rather than being ruled by kings who don’t have royal blood. The most notable example of the great Egyptian queens who ruled Egypt is Queen Hatshepsut, who married Thutmose II to have control upon the country and after her, it was pretty common to have women ruling the country in a very successful was but Queen Hatshepsut ruled the country for the longest period for more than 20 years. Her daughter Neferure followed her and continued her mother’s normal duties. And of course, there is Queen Cleopatra VII, who is known for her breathtaking beauty and her famous love story with Marc Antony.
A-List of the Most Successful Women Who Rule Ancient Egypt:
- Nitocris (6th dynasty of Egypt)
- Sobekneferu (12th dynasty of Egypt),
- Hatshepsut (18th dynasty of Egypt),
- Neferneferuaten (18th dynasty of Egypt),
- Twosret (19th dynasty of Egypt).
The Great Royal Wives Also Played Significant Diplomatic and Political Roles:
- Tiya, the wife of (Amenhotep III)
- Nefertiti, the wife of (Amenhotep IV)
- Nefertari, the wife of (Ramses II)
During the Egypt New Kingdom, the great wife has invested the divine role of “Wife of God” and Queen Hatshepsut was the first Queen to obtain such a title.
Social & Political Position of Women in Ancient Egypt
Women from the ancient time used to help their husbands in the social life and there are many depictions of women working in fields and harvesting with their husbands and they truly contributed to their societies in many untraditional ways. During the New Kingdom, women were depicted in all sizes, shapes, and ways just like men and this can be seen through the two massive stone statues of king Amenhotep III and his wife Tiya in the Egyptian Museum.
Education & Marriage of Women in Ancient Egypt
Because women weren’t required to do any official work in the state, they weren’t educated and they were only taught the homemaking skills and also how to manage a household. And they used to get married at a very early age about twelve or thirteen years old.
The Art of Women in Ancient Egyptian
We don’t have any depictions of women with wrinkles as the most women depictions mainly showed women in her most beautiful state. The ancient Egyptian art is really far away from being realistic as their main concern was their afterlife and they really cared for how they are going to look like in it.
There aren’t depictions for any pregnant women or even women after giving birth to their children but for men, they are depicted all through their life without worrying about how they look like at all as they were generally depicted in the best possible way.
Nefertari was one of the unique queens who was depicted in the same way like her husband and her children and this show how he really admired and appreciated her and that is not all as he decided to build her a special temple of her own in Abu Simbel & also her marvelous tomb in the Valley of the Queens, which is now considered one of the most beautiful preserved tombs ever built by a man.
Deity’s Wives Title
It was the highest rank that could be given to the cult of Amun. Ahmose Nefertari, the wife of Ahmose, was the first queen to obtain such a title and then her daughter Meritamen took the title from her after her death, who also passed on the title to Queen Hatshepsut.
Interesting Facts About Women in Ancient Egypt
- Husbands and wives in ancient Egypt were buried together in the same tomb except for the pharaohs who were usually buried separately from their wives.
- The concept of family was very important to the ancients and both men and women were expected to be loyal to each other after getting married.
- Women wore long dresses made of linen, jewelry, and makeup to protect their eyes and skin.
- Women in ancient Egypt were generally considered lower than men although they had equal rights with them.
Best Tours to Discover the Secrets of Ancient Egypt
You have a great chance to enjoy the best form of a vacation by discovering the history of ancient Egypt. You will cast your eyes on the majestic natural and historical wonders through our Egypt vacation packages. Witness the landmarks of the charming cities of Luxor & Aswan where it would be perfect to explore them through book one of our Egypt Nile cruise packages. Don’t miss the chance and book one of this tour:
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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.
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