Houses in Ancient Egypt

As stone was expensive in Egypt and only afforded by the wealthy, most houses were made of mud bricks. These were made by mixing mud, left behind following the annual flooding of the Nile, and straw with water and leaving it in the sun to dry.

The poorer people would build their homes only one brick thick, but as you move up the social ladder, homes would be built three or four bricks thick.

Wood was used in the construction of the houses to support the roof, doorways, ceiling and stairs.

The construction of houses changed through the years, early on, houses would consist of only one room, but as times changed, houses where built with two floors. The living space would be the top floor, while the bottom floor would be used for food storage. Food such as grain was stored in reed baskets.

Very little furniture was used in Egypt as other than the wealthy, most Egyptians would sit on the floor, even when having their meals. If they did have furniture, it was mainly just a wooden table and wooden stools. The poor would sleep on the floor or maybe have a straw mattress.

The houses had flat roofs. Due to the hot climate in Egypt, people mainly slept on the roof of their homes. Often canopies made of papyrus leaves were placed on the roof to provide shade from the sun.

The kitchen area had an open roof. This area would have an oven for baking bread and a grindstone for milling grain.

The wealthy would build houses on a much grander scale. These houses would have two or three floors and many rooms. They could contain bedrooms, separate rooms for the children and even indoor bathrooms. Houses of the wealthy were built around a central courtyard. This courtyard contained growing areas for fruit and vegetable gardens. They also kept chickens and goats in the courtyard.

Often the doorway of a house would be above ground level and reached by a ramp. This was to try and keep as much sand as possible out of the house. Windows were placed high up for the same reason.

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