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Ancient Egyptian nobility

A wealthy Egyptian family relaxes by the pond in the courtyard of their house. After the royal family, the wealthiest people of ancient Egypt were the nobility: government officials, army generals, courtiers and high priests. The houses of these noble Egyptians were cool and airy with many rooms, including a kitchen and a bathroom complete with washing slab and lavatory. There was often a large, shady, central courtyard with a fish pond. Here, wealthy people lived in luxury with their families surrounded by ornaments and elegant furniture carved from wood.

A luxurious lifestyle

Wealthy Egyptian families enjoyed a varied diet including meat, fruit and wine. They wore fine clothes and jewellery made of gold and silver, and enjoyed singing and dancing. The lady of the house wore make-up and a wig made of human hair. On formal occasions, she placed a cone of scented wax on her wig, which, as it slowly melted, gave off a pleasant, perfumed aroma.A banquet for the nobility, with music and dancing provided as entertainments.

People married young—sometimes at the age of 12—so a number of generations from one noble family (grandparents, parents, children and their children) might have lived together in the same house.

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