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Egypt's Golden Empire
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Pharaoh Nobleman Craftsman Priest Soldier Farmer Woman
 
It’s another new day in Egypt. In a bedroom inside a splendid townhouse in one of Thebes’ most desirable neighborhoods, a nobleman and his wife stir beneath their fine linen sheets.

Remmao gets out of bed and puts on a long white linen robe before hitting a small gong. This is the signal for his secretary to bring him his schedule for the day on a piece of papyrus. When she has gone, other servants help him wash and shave, before he dresses in a fine linen kilt and leather sandals.

His wife, Kemisi, is also getting ready with the help of her own servant. Wearing a linen dress and glass jewelry, she puts on her makeup – some black kohl powder on her eyelids – and goes downstairs for breakfast.

Egypt is too hot for heavy breakfasts, so there are no pancakes or waffles. Instead, Remmao and Kemisi, sit on some cushions at a low table for a simple meal of bread and fruit.

Then it’s time for work. Remmao leaves Thebes by chariot and heads for his estate on the banks of the Nile. He meets the estate overseer, who gives him the latest figures on his cattle and geese, and updates him on their expectations for the harvest.

The two men then go on a tour, watching slaves carrying baskets full of grapes and pomegranates. The grapes are taken to the wine press where they are crushed underfoot, before being put into clay vessels and taken to the cellars – where they will eventually become wine.

Afternoon

After the morning’s work, Remmao joins his overseer for lunch and some of the estate’s wine, before he takes a siesta to avoid the worst of the afternoon’s heat. It’s a tough life!

Back home, Kemisi is supervising preparations for a banquet this evening. Everything’s going well, so she goes out into the garden to enjoy the shade and watch her children play.

At the estate, Remmao meets up with a friend. Together they go to the river to hunt wildfowl, but today they have little luck and Remmao goes home empty handed.

He gets back to find Kemisi getting ready – as usual, she’s taking forever. Her servant brushes and curls her favorite wig, and then helps her into her best clothing. Her jewelry is made from gold and semi-precious stones. Remmao changes quickly and they head downstairs.

Evening

One by one, their guests arrive. Some come in chariots. Others are carried on decorated litters – covered couches – by servants. As the villa becomes fuller, the small cones of scented wax placed on guests’ wigs gradually melt, releasing their perfume.

It’s soon time for dinner – a feast of geese and ducks, fresh fish, roasted ox, goat and gazelle. For dessert, there’s grapes, melon, figs, dates, pistachio nuts and pomegranates, all served on golden plates. The wine flows freely and the guests love the music and dancers provided by their hosts.

Finally, the evening comes to an end. The guests stagger out of the villa and go home. The place is a mess, but that’s what servants are for. Tired but happy, Remmao and Kemisi make their way to bed.


Where to Next:
A Day in the Life of a Pharaoh, Crafstman, Priest, Soldier, Farmer or Woman

A Day in the Life - Introduction

 
 
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Egypt's Golden Empire A Day in the Life