Five thousand years, no one cared cared how big you built your home
in ancient Egypt. It was up to you. Homes were built with bricks made of
mud and straw. The ancient Egyptians invented molds to make bricks. That
let them make many bricks at one time, and dry them out in the sun.
Bricks were not baked in an oven. A few homes were built of stone,
but most of the homes, for both the rich and the poor, were made of sun
dried bricks. That was the material most readily available. They also
sometimes cooked bricks in ovens to make them even stronger.
Nobles: The nobles lived in huge homes
or villas along the
Nile River. They painted the outside of their homes white because it kept their home
cooler. The very wealthy lined the outside of their homes with white
limestone. Limestone was expensive, but it made their homes sparkle in
Although the best artists were busy
working on the pyramids or tombs, the walls of each villa were highly
decorated by the best artists their money could buy. Some walls were
washed with pastel colors to brighten, lighten and clean.
Some of these huge homes had as many as 30 rooms. Each room had
a function. Many were store rooms. They had guest rooms, and kids rooms,
and bathrooms! (No running water, though.)
had front and back doors. Each door was built about 4 feet off the
ground to reduce the amount of sand that worked itself inside the house.
You reached the door via a ramp. Ramps, rather than stairs, were used to
reach various levels in the house.
windows were cut high to keep out sand. The windows had bars on them to
keep out wild animals. They also acted to reduce thief, although crime
was very low in ancient Egypt.
center of the house was the living room or family area. It was usually
raised up a bit from the rest of flooring, again to reduce the amount
sand that got into everything in ancient Egypt. Because it was in
the center of the villa, surrounded by other rooms, this central living
area was cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
the living room was the master bedroom suite. It usually had its own
bathroom, complete with toilet. Other bathrooms were scattered through
the home. Pipes led from the bathrooms to various parts of the garden
outside. Other rooms were used for a variety of purposes, including the
childrenís bedrooms and playrooms. Some of the rooms were storerooms
full of sealed jars of food.
typical home in ancient Egypt had mirrors, pots and pans, ovens,
shelves, beds, comfortable sitting areas, lighting for evenings, heat,
and fountains to naturally cool their homes. In the bedrooms, you would
find cosmetic pots and perfume pots, and clean clothes. They kept
beautifully designed chests to hold linens and clothes and other
peasantís home was tiny by comparison. It was still very nice. Each
peasant family had their own home. A door led into an open courtyard
with walls but no roof. From the courtyard, a ramp led up, and a door
led inside the house. The ramp led to the second floor roof, where the
peasant family could enjoy the evening together. Some homes had a third
story with a ramp that led from the second floor roof to the third floor
In town, the bottom
level was used for a business. It was the bakery or the store or
workshop. The top levels were used for the family home. Homes were built
close together, like townhouses are built today. They had shared walls.
In the cities, the peasants and middle class workers were crowded
together in close quarters and neighborhoods. But each family had their
In pyramid-towns, homes
were provided for the workers. In the city, quite often the city
planners would have homes built for workers.
In the country, the homes of peasants were even more roomy. The first
level might be used to hold wild birds for eggs and meat. Outside,
behind the house, you would probably find a vegetable garden. Brick was
cheap. People were talented. Although the master had the final say, it
was usually up to the peasant how big he or she wished to build their
and Buildings in Ancient Egypt (interactive)