What was life like for the ancient Egyptians?

Learn what life was like for the ancient Egyptians.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos.

  • two activities to build knowledge of life in Ancient Egypt

Learn

How different was Ancient Egypt from today?

What food, drink, jobs and possessions would be in ancient Egyptian homes?

Watch this short animation to learn more about the ancient Egyptians and their lives.

Life in Ancient Egypt

There was a large variety of jobs in Ancient Egypt.

There were bakers, scribes, farmers, priests, doctors, craftsmen, merchants and many more.

Jobs were usually inherited from your parents – if your father was a farmer, it would be very likely that you would become a farmer too.

There were no schools in Ancient Egypt, meaning even children had jobs.

Click the labels below to find out more about life in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian houses

Because they were built a very long time ago, not many examples of ancient Egyptian houses have survived.

Houses would have been built of mud-bricks with floors made from earth.

There would be living rooms for chatting and socialising, kitchens for preparing food, and bedrooms for sleeping.

Many of the large objects that we can move around (like seats and ovens) were built into the house.

There was no gas or electricity, meaning that food was cooked in stone ovens, using a fire for heat.

To keep food and drinks cool, pits were dug and food was stored below ground level.

Ancient Egyptian food

Thanks to the annual flood, the area around the Nile was very fertile.

This meant lots of different foods could be grown and harvested.

Often the food you ate depended on your class. Richer people (like priests and pharaohs) ate meat, eggs , figs and grapes.

Poorer people, like farmers, ate bread and onions. Everyone loved garlic.

Common foods we eat today, like tomatoes, bananas, potatoes and kiwis were not eaten in Ancient Egypt as they had not yet been discovered.

Now for a quick recap, watch this short animation below to tell you more about life in Ancient Egypt.

Practise

There are lots of fun ways to show your historical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians.

Here are a few you could try.

Activity 1

Ancient Egyptian life

Create a poster about ancient Egyptian life.

Use crayons or pencils to draw what you have learned.

You could include jobs, houses, food or anything from your own knowledge about ancient Egypt.

Activity 2

Which foods would you find in Ancient Egypt?

In this activity sort some of the foods you would have found in Ancient Egypt. If you get stuck read back through the lesson.

Activity 3

Make your own Egyptian flatbread

With permission and supervision from an adult, download this ancient Egyptian flatbread recipe and get baking together!

Make your own Egyptian flatbread
document

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources from around the BBC and the web.

Primary games
Bitesize Primary KS2
Bitesize Daily lessons