Friday, April 06, 2012

Book Review: Women in Ancient Egypt

Daily Mail (Review by John Harding)

Women in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Watterson

A woman in Ancient Egypt spent a lot of time with a broom in her hand because it’s a country with a lot of sand. Constant sweeping wasn’t the worst of it, though, because the ubiquity of sand meant she probably had rotten teeth, too.

Not only did sand get into food, but the Egyptians also added a little as an abrasive to help the process of grinding grain for flour to make bread. The grit in the bread cut people’s gums, causing gum disease and eventually tooth decay and loss, so most people had bad or missing teeth.

This is one of the many unexpected details in Barbara Watterson’s survey of Ancient Egyptian women’s lives from contemporary inscriptions and papyrus writings. Teeth apart though, Egyptian women in the 3,000 years leading up to the birth of Christ are revealed to have enjoyed higher status and better lives than many of their counterparts in the ancient world.

No comments: