Ancient Civilisations – 6c Ancient Egypt
Who were the Egyptians?
Egypt is a country in Africa. People have lived in that region for thousands and thousands of years – we call them the Ancient Egyptians. They settled around the Nile River, and built pyramids that you can still see there today.
The Ancient Egyptians helped us learn a lot about maths, medicine and farming. They also made their own paper out of reeds called papyrus, and wrote using pictures called hieroglyphics.
The Egyptians settled in northeast Africa, and that’s where the country of Egypt is today.They lived in a very dry area, but they got water from the Nile River (the longest river in the world!) so they could grow crops Their farming techniques included using machines like the sakia and the shaduf – these are still used in Egypt today.
The Egyptians created paper using reeds, called papyrus. They wrote using pictures called hieroglyphics that stood for different words.Only certain people studied how to write, and they worked as scribes. Their scribes were ranked in the middle of the order of social groups in Egypt – the pharaoh (king) was at the very top of this list, and slaves were at the bottom. They built pyramids to bury their pharaohs.
Life in Ancient Egypt
The Egyptians were very good at maths – they had to be, to work out how to build pyramids so perfectly!Both men and women wore make-up. The wealthier people were, the more make-up they’d wear. Make-up wasn’t always worn to dress up. 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. They also had a huge amount of respect for cats, and for a type of dog called a jackal. They also thought scarab beetles were very important; they represented rebirth and life after death.
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.
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