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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Education and Science

Ancient Egypt: Medical tools of its time. From the Temple at Kom Ombo, Egypt.
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Ancient Egypt: Medical tools of its time. From the Temple at Kom Ombo, Egypt. Photo: Peter Snelling.

Education was not common in Ancient Egypt; only few attended schools. Most people's lives were so basic that what little knowledge was necessary could be passed on from the older to the younger in the local communities. Even among traders belonging to the middle class, it was customary for fathers to teach their sons.
The main subjects in the schools were reading and writing, as well as political skills that were central in the administration. Other important subjects were geography and mathematics. The education was based upon copying, whether it was literature, letters or business accounts.
Higher education was rare, and was generally transmitted through the process of work. While there were institutions like well-equipped libraries, Ancient Egypt had no form of universities.
The sciences of Ancient Egypt were limited to practical needs, for example, the development of a calendar consisting of 365 days in a year. The calendar was aligned with the appearance of the star Sirius over the eastern horizon. From this observation, the period of the flooding of the Nile could be predicted. Simple mathematics were also developed, helping to measure areas of land, volumes of products, as well as distances.
The study of the human body, in which field Egyptian doctors pioneered, was to a great degree related to protecting the corpse from disintegration after mummification. But doctors developed skills to take care of the living as well, and many anatomical functions were known to them.

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By Tore Kjeilen