A house is regarded as a home, it is the place we seek for in order to get shelter, and it ranges from different types depending on the area we live in, it also ranges from hut to the more improvised one like the fixed structures of wood, brick, concrete, or other materials containing plumbing, ventilation, and electrical systems. Ancient Egyptians were among the first set of people in the world to enjoy early civilization and this was exemplified in the evolution of their housing system.
When we consider the happenings of the ancient times, one may be intrigued by some of the events, occurrences and even buildings that existed then. Such is the type of houses ancient Egyptians lived in. Egypt is one of the few countries of the world regarded as the bedrock of modern civilization, because of the level of innovation, constructions and accomplishments exemplified by those who lived in ancient Egypt. Although, none of the great achievements of the past can rival what we have in our age now, some of them are still the foundation for many of the styles and designs we see around today – some great examples are the houses in ancient Egypt. Egyptians evolved with time in terms of the houses they lived in. They moved from living in vulnerable huts to large stone houses. However, it wasn’t really a favorable period for Egyptians in terms of housing and shelter.
Early Houses in Ancient Egypt
Early houses in ancient Egypt suffered from natural disasters such as flood from the River Nile which lasted for about three months and this occurs at a certain time every year. This problem of flooding affects them in such a way that it washes their huts away and this prompted the decision of the ancient Egyptians to start using mud to make bricks for stronger building materials.
The Houses Ancient Egyptian
During the old times, ancient Egyptians lived in bricks and mud made houses. Are you wondering where they got enough mud to build houses to accommodate everyone in ancient Egypt back then? Well, ancient Egyptians had to rely on annual floods which brought a lot of mud for them to use in their house constructions. This made the whole house construction process easier for the ancient Egyptians. They were able to craft these houses in different designs and styles, even though the houses lacked strength. Those who molded the bricks used in these constructions are known as brick makers and they mould the mud into desired shapes (mostly square-shapes) with the aid of wooden molds. Upon molding, these bricks are set in the sun and allowed to become hardened. However, poor Egyptians lived in single walls houses which were one brick thick, while the rich Egyptians of ancient times lived in double walls and they paint the outer part of their houses white to keep it cool.
Types of Houses in Ancient Egypt
The first type of houses in ancient Egypt that ancient Egyptians lived in is the Reed Huts, these type of hut is made from papyrus reed a type of plant which is grass-like, found in Egypt and these plants can also be used to make paper. This hut is used by the poor, and it can only be used for small house with small family but can be easily demolished by winds, sandstorm and heavy rain. So, houses in ancient Egypt were a means of classifying people. One could easily tell what class of the economy someone belonged to, just by looking at their houses.
Mud Brick House
This first type of ancient Egyptians houses then later got improved by mixing the reed, mud and the sand together to form stronger materials which can withstand some unfavorable weather condition. The mixture is then poured into brick molds then dried. This is also uses by the poor but can be used for a bigger house than the reed hut house and can also be used to make a second floor too. The windows in this type of house is always very small to allow some ventilation and to prevent sun, this house is referred to as the Mud Brick house.
Merchant Homes and Stone Mansions
The mud brick was later extended and uses to make houses with more than two stories, these are the typical Ancient Egyptian houses in which only the rich ancient Egyptians live in and they also use it as a building for business activities. The mud bricks here are doubled and larger in sizes and such types are build closed to each other to shield themselves from the sun. This is referred to as the Merchant homes and some poor could still afford it while the wealthiest ancient Egyptians live in a house called the large stone mansions. This is best type of ancient Egyptian houses in which every houses in ancient Egypt would love to look like, they are specially decorated with gardens and some have pool and the wealthiest ancient Egyptians were able to afford bed sheets to sleep on and the walls of the building were higher to prevent trespassers from getting into their compound. Although furniture was not available due to the scarcity of wood because Egypt is a desert area, and the people need a fertile land for growing crops. So, there were not many trees for building houses and they were left with mud, reed, bricks and whatever means they have for their building.
Rich Ancient Egyptian Houses vs. Poor Ancient Egyptian Houses
The difference in the ancient Egyptian houses between the rich and the poor was that the poor houses had no toilet, no kitchen, weak walls while the houses that the rich ancient Egyptians lived in was well constructed with courtyard, kitchen, toilet, pool although there was no running water but slaves and kids were made to fetch water from wells which will then be used for their cooking, bathing, washing and drinking. Although, the rich have their private wells while the poor are made to fetch from public wells and some poor use water from canals or Nile. The homes of the rich ancient Egypt were built in areas which contained fruits, flowers and vegetables which make them more attractive than the poor ancient Egyptian houses. The rich have more items than the poor in their homes which include; pots, beds, clothes, cosmetics and more. Since there was no enough furniture, there was nothing like cupboard or wardrobe, they store their things in reed baskets.
Challenges of Ancient Egyptian Houses
In the absence of modernized innovations, ancient Egypt houses lacked many basic amenities. Even the houses of the affluent also lacked some of these features. Ancient Egyptians evolved with time but the houses in ancient Egypt suffered from these challenges:
- Little or no furniture supplies. So, they had to keep items in their flat roofs in the absence of tables, shelves etc
- Relied solely on the River Nile for the supply of mud
- Without the sun, they cannot produce their mud-bricks.
- The best kind of houses are the stone mansion houses
This is the description of the houses in ancient Egypt compared to the Egyptian houses of today, there have been vast changes now because Egypt is now more civilized and a beautiful country with advanced buildings and constructions and it is a safe and peaceful place to live nowadays without the fear of the natural disaster which affects them a lot during the ancient times.