They also thought scarab beetles were very important; they represented rebirth and life after death. The Egyptians were very good farmers. Some of the machines they used are:. Because farmers grew crops near the Nile, they had to schedule their growing season around times when the Nile flooded. By the end of May, all of the crops would have been harvested in time for the Nile to flood again. Egyptian farmers also had oxen pull ploughs through fields.
We know about their farming techniques because of the paintings that archaeologists have found that the Egyptians made. The paintings show all sorts of things that the Egyptians did, such as tending livestock and harvesting the crops.
Some make-up had practical uses as well, like black kohl used around the eyes. It shielded eyes from the sun, and it was also a kind of disinfectant that protected against eye diseases. The papyrus that Egyptians made came from reeds that grew along the Nile River, which were called papyrus. To make paper, they would cut papyrus reeds into strips and spend quite a few days soaking them, rolling them out and repeating that process until the reeds were very thin.
All of the thin reeds would be pounded together and clamped down to dry, then polished to smooth it out — the result was a thin yet very strong sheet that was ready to be written or drawn on.
The papyrus reeds were actually used for a lot of things besides paper. It was good for making mats to put on the floor, twisting into rope, plaiting together to make boats, and weaving to make baskets and sandals. The Egyptians also ate it, and used it to make different medicines. The Egyptians made a lot of discoveries about medicine. We know this from reading what they wrote on papyrus, discovered later by archaeologists.
They understood about heartbeats and listening for a healthy pulse, and knew how the body and organs worked because of the process of making mummies. They also learned about the ways that different plants healed different illnesses and injuries, such as aloe vera being good for healing burns.
Egyptian society was ranked into different classes, called a hierarchy. It went like this:. Access thousands of brilliant resources to help your child be the best they can be. Who were the Egyptians? They lived in a very dry area, but they got water from the Nile River the longest river in the world! Farming techniques to water crops included using machines like the sakia and the shaduf — these are still used in Egypt today. Snefru had another pyramid built that did have smooth, perfectly angled sides — this is called the Red Pyramid.
The Great Pyramids were built like that one. The Egyptians believed in many different gods that oversaw different parts of life.
The also believed that when people died, they would enter the afterlife. This involved travelling through the underworld to get to Osiris, who was the king of the underworld. Because of this, they thought the body should be in as good condition as possible — they believed that the soul still needed the body in the afterlife. They realised that bodies buried without any covering in the dry, salty sand were better preserved than those buried in closed coffins.
From there, they began to drying out bodies before it was buried by using a type of salt called natron. To prepare for the drying stage, the brain would be removed by inserting a hook in the nose, and organs would be taken out of the body and placed in jars. These were called canopic jars, and each one had a different top and a special purpose:.
It took 40 days to dry out the body using natron. Then, it would be wrapped in lots and lots of linen strips, using resin to hold the strips in place. Sometimes a mummy mask would be placed on the head, over the linen wrappings, and then the mummy would be put inside a wooden coffin, and maybe even a stone one as well an Egyptian coffin is also called a sarcophagus.
The coffin was painted in bright colours, with hieroglyphics on it that were meant to help the person in the afterlife. The underworld could be a dangerous place, with many obstacles that would stop you from reaching Osiris. Because of this, people were buried with specially written spells to help them combat some of these things. Mummies also had amulets — good luck charms — to protect them on their journey. Mummies were buried with scrolls called the Book of the Dead , which explained how to go through the underworld and what spells and chants to use.
The Book of the Dead was sometimes written on tomb walls too, and some scrolls had pictures. Scribes would write copies of the Book of the Dead on papyrus. Tomb robbing was common, so sometimes pyramids would be built with false entrances to keep the real entrance hidden. Queen Hatshepsut — She was one of the first female pharaohs, and very successful. He is one of the most well-known pharaohs since his tomb was discovered in in the Valley of the Kings. She killed herself when she knew the Romans were going to conquer Egypt in 30 BC.
Access thousands of brilliant resources to help your child be the best they can be. What are pyramids and mummies? When people died, they were mummified — this process took a long time, but it prepared them for the afterlife. The Egyptians believed that there were many gods who oversaw different parts of life on earth and life after death.
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