ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CLOTHESWritten by Dr. Sherin Elkhawaga
The ancient Egyptians made their own clothes from what their environment and nature gave them. Egypt has mostly a hot climate thus use of clothes reflect material that is lightweight to suit this type of climate. The ancient Egyptians thus used clothes made of linen. For reading more articles about ancient Egypt click on: www.kingtutshop.com The ancient Egyptians both men and women wore linen clothes all throughout hot weather. The men wore short skirts around their waists called kilts, while women wore straight fitting dresses with straps on their shoulders. The wealthy men wore pleated kilts, and older men wore a longer kilt. When doing hard work, men wore a loin cloth, and women wore a short skirt. Children usually ran around nude during summer months. HOW LINEN WAS MADE Linen is a fabric made from plant fibers. The plant fiber comes from flax plants that grow abundantly along banks of Nile. The flax plants are plants having small leaves, blue flowers and stems about two feet tall. Flax was pulled out of ground, not cut. This work was done mostly by men. Half-ripe flax stems made best thread. If stems were too ripe, they were used for mats and rope. Flax stems were soaked for several days then fibers were separated. Then fibers were beaten until soft. The resulting fibers are then spun into thread. The thread is woven into linen fabric from which garments are made. Most Egyptians wore garments made from linen. This type of fabric is light, airy, and allows freedom of movement, which are important characteristics because of hot and sometimes humid climate of Egypt. In Ancient Egypt, women were predominately in charge of textile manufacturing and garment making. Garment making was a household chore, but woman also worked for aristocrats in spinning and weaving shops. Every garment from decorative dresses of queens and elaborate, pleated kilts of pharaohs to simpler kilts and aprons of common people were handmade by woman. The tools involved in garment making include knives and needles, both of these needed to be molded, shaped or craved. In predynastic times, knives were made out of stone and needles were made from bones. However, during Old Kingdom, they were both made out of copper. Then, in Middle Kingdom, bronze replaced copper. Knives and needles were molded. Surprisingly, eyes of needles were not bored. They were "scratched out with a hard, pointed instrument, probably a stone." With these tools and linen, garments were fashioned to suit needs of people based on climate and social status. . All men, from tomb worker to pharaoh, wore a kind of kilt or apron that varied in length over years, from halfway above knee, to halfway below it. It was tied at front, folded in at side, or in two knots at hips. A sleeved, shirt-like garment also became fashionable. Men were always clean-shaven, they used razors made from bronze to shave their beards and heads. Women wore straight, ankle-length dresses that usually had straps that tied at neck or behind shoulders. Some dresses had short sleeves or women wore short robes tied over their shoulders. Later fashions show that linen was folded in many tiny vertical pleats and fringes were put at edges.
Amenhotep KingsWritten by Dr. Sherin Elkhawaga
18TH DYNASTY PHAROAHS- Amenhotep kings
The 18th Dynasty was a period full of powerful Kings and Queens. It starts by King Ahmose who ruled from 1570-1546, one of most outstanding in history of ancient Egypt. His principal achievement was to weaken Hyksos, who had dominated Lower Egypt for some 300 years, by taking Avaris, their citadel in north. He pursued them into southern Palestine and laid siege to Sharuhen for three years.
Amenhotep I (Amenophis) was son of Ahmose I and his queen Ahmose-Nefertari - and ruled from 1546 to 1526. He undertook military campaigns in Libya and in Nubia (up to 3rd cataract) using boats on Nile to transport his army, and extended boundaries of his empire by establishing a vice-royalty in Nubia. On reaching throne, Amenhotep I very quickly had to defend Egypt's borders - Libyans had taken opportunity of Ahmose I's death to launch an invasion in Egypt's delta - Amenhotep I led an army to Western border and defeated Libyans and their allies. Next was a rebellion by Nubia, Amenhotep I this time led an army to southern border and very quickly restored order. Amenhotep I had an interest in art and architecture and intiated elaborate building projects - such as Karnak temple complex at Karnak . Amenhotep I was also first pharaoh who separated his mortuary temple and tomb. Amenhotep II , 7th king of 18th dynasty, son of Thutmose III, ruled Egypt from 1450 to 1425 BC. He continued military exploits of his father, particularly in Syria, where he crushed an uprising and demanded oaths of loyalty from local rulers. His mummy was discovered in Valley of Kings. Amenhotep II was famed at time for his sportsmanship - he was very athletic and had a great love of horses.His greatest feat of sportsmanship was shooting of copper targets with arrows, while driving a chariot with reigns tied round his waist. Upon death of Tuthmosis III, Amenhotep II inherited a vast empire, it was not something that he intended to lose - any rebellions were severely dealt with and a series of campaigns were made into Syria. Amenhotep III ruled (1417-1379 BC) Egypt at height of its power. His father was Tuthmosis IV by one of that king's chief queens, Mutemwiya. She may have, though mostly in doubt now, been daughter of Mitannian king, Artatama. That queen was indeed probably sent to Egypt for purposes of a diplomatic marriage. He was more likely between six and twelve years of age at time of his father's death. Amenhotep III's own chief queen, was not of royal blood, but came from a very substantial family. She was Tiy, daughter of Yuya and his wife, Tuya, who owned vast holdings in Delta. Yuya was also a powerful military leader. His extensive diplomatic contacts with other Near Eastern states, especially Mitanni and Babylonia, are revealed in Amarna tablets. Of great temple he built near Thebes, only two statues, so-called colossi of Memnon, remain. Amenhotep's wife Tiye, a woman of humble birth, was prominently associated with him during his long and peaceful reign.We know at least six of his children consisting of two sons and four daughters (other daughters including Henuttaneb and Nebetiah). However, his probable oldest son, Tuthmosis died early leaving future heretic king, Amenhotep IV, otherwise known as Akhenaten, as crown prince. His extensive diplomatic contacts with other Near Eastern states, especially Mitanni and Babylonia, are revealed in Amarna tablets. Of great temple he built near Thebes, only two statues, so-called colossi of Memnon, remain.
After military problems seem to have been settled, we find a long period of great building works and high art. It was also a period of lavish luxury at royal court. The wealth needed to accomplish all of this did not come from conquests, but rather from foreign trade and an abundant supply of gold, mostly from mines in Wadi Hammamat and further south in Nubia. . During his reign, we find a marked increase in Egyptian materials found on Greek mainland. We also find many Egyptian place names, including Mycenae, Phaistos and Knossos first appearing in Egyptian inscriptions We also find letters written between Amenhotep III and his peers in Babylon, Mitanni and Arzawa preserved in cuneiform writing on clay tablets.