Lionel Casson offers a comprehensive introduction to the people of ancient Egypt. He describes the structure of Egyptian society-the levels from peasant to pharaoh, the nature of the family, and the role of women. He reviews the professions, from the lowliest scribes to the architects and engineers who built the pyramids, and examines the work of sculptors, painters, cabinetmakers, jewelers, and smiths whose hands turned out the sculptures, murals, and objects of beauty that are so prized today. He deals with that key factor in Egyptian life, religion: the nature of the gods; the powerful role played by belief in the afterlife; and the career of one pharaoh, Akhenaten, who attempted to put heretical views into practice.
Originally published in 1975 as The Horizon Book of Daily Life in Ancient Egypt, this revised edition includes a new chapter as well as full documentation of the sources.