History Embalmed

Ancient Egyptian Education

The Ancient Egyptians held education in high regard. However, there were only a limited number of schools which were attended by royalty and the wealthy or those whose careers would be that of a scribe or a priest. These schools were only attended by boys.

The ordinary people were educated at home. Girls were given education by their mothers, which was dictated by the tasks of their particular social standing. Men were educated by other men and it was common place for a father to teach his profession to his son.

Ancient Egyptian Education for Girls

The main roles of Egyptian women were to nurture and serve. Their mothers would teach them the fundamentals of housekeeping, cooking, brewing and making clothes. Women were excluded from the ruling bureaucracy so were not eligible to work as scribes.

Women were also excluded from the temple elite. Egyptian women were allowed to farm land, sell land and produce produce which they could sell and would therefore have received some education in these areas, if appropriate to their status.

Ancient Egyptian Education - The Scribe Schools
The scribe schools were attended by boys and their age of entry was between 8 and 9 years of age. Schoolboys lived at home and attended schools on a daily basis. The schools were usually attached to government buildings and temples and the teachers were men who were experienced in government such as scribes and temple priests. The school day started education in the morning with a break at midday which was followed by a siesta during the heat of the day after which lessons would continue through the late afternoon.

Ancient Egyptian Education - The Prince's School
The Prince's School was the most respected of all of the schools and gave the very best Ancient Egyptian education. The Prince's School would have educated the sons of the Pharaoh, members of the royal family, nobles and high officials. There was also a scheme which allowed recommendations when young boys who showed great promise were also allowed in the Prince's school. The Vizier had overall control of the Prince's school and therefore the education of the next Pharaoh, nobles and court officials.

Ancient Egyptian Education - The Lessons
The lessons undertaken by the younger schoolboys consisted of basic mathematics and reciting sums. They practised writing by copying from existing documents. The youngest schoolboys would practise writing on wooden tablets which were coated with a smooth white plaster which could be wiped clean. Only older students would be allowed to use papyrus. The students sat Indian style holding his writing board in his lap. Older students were given a good, well rounded education and their lessons included:

  • Reading and Writing
  • History
  • Math - Using a decimal system based on ten fingers
  • Arithmetic and geometry
  • Astronomy
  • Music
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Medicine

Any misdemeanours were treated seriously and punishments for pupils ranged from beatings to writing out lines and even being placed in the stocks!

Ancient Egyptian Education - The Art of Writing
Ancient Egyptian Education included the Art of Writing. The different styles of writing are detailed as follows and these would have been taught in schools and were an important part of Ancient Egyptian education

  • Hieroglyphics were a system of picture writing which used symbols (hieroglyphs) instead of letters or words. Hieroglyphics use a combination of logographic, syllabic, and alphabetic elements. The original hieroglyphs represented sounds and there were over 700 hieroglyphs which could used in numerous combinations to give specific meanings. Hieroglyphics were used for writing memorials on great monuments

  • A simplified version of hieroglyphics was devised known as 'hieratic' writing which lost the pictorial aspect of hieroglyphs. The hieratic version of writing was used to create various papyrus documents

  • By the Late Period and even more fluent script was used for documents and lists which was called Demotic script

Ancient Egyptian Education - Books of Instruction
The Ancient Egyptian Education included the use of the Books of Instruction which contained rules for living a  well ordered life. The Books of Instruction also included elements of morality such as justice, wisdom, obedience, humanity and restraint.

Ancient Egyptian Education
Each section of this Egyptian website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of Egypt. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of Egypt, the Ancient Egyptians and of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, King Tut.

Ancient Egyptians

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

2017 Siteseen Ltd