Egypt in South Africa

Houses

The average family’s house was constructed from adobe bricks. These bricks were made using a mixture of mud and straw and then baked in the hot desert sun. The architecture of these ancient Egyptian homes was simple. It often had two storeys - the upper storey housed the family while the lower one was used to store crops. Windows were covered with reed mats to keep out dust and flies.
 
Wealthier families could afford to have homes built from stone which were sturdier and lasted much longer. These houses were often constructed around a central courtyard which, on occasion contained beautiful gardens. All houses in Egypt had flat roofs and this area was also used as part of the family’s living quarters.
 
The best examples of houses of the ordinary workers in Ancient Egypt can be seen at the modern Deir el-Medina. This is where the craftsmen and artists who constructed the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived for more than 500 years. Similar villages were situated around the Giza pyramids, where the people who were responsible for the cult of the dead king lived.
 
The town at Deir el-Medina was a walled settlement of about 70 houses. The village had one entrance only with a central street and narrow houses on both sides. These houses had four rooms; one behind the other. The front room often had a mud-brick raised dais or bench decorated with figures of the benevolent god Bes. The second room was larger with storage space under the floor, whereas the third one also served as a storage area. The last room was open to the sky and could have been the cooking area.
Houses were often decorated with the god Bes. God Bes is photographed here at the Hathoter temple in Dendera, Egypt.