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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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Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt

As in all ancient societies, agriculture was the main economic activity. The harvests in Egypt were richer than in most other countries at the time, allowing for a larger percentage of urban dwellers and diverse forms of production. Hence the cities, temples, the wealth of the state and the ability to equip armies for campaigns against countries producing products that Egypt had in short supply.
The main crops of Ancient Egypt were wheat and barley, as well as lettuce, beans, onions, figs, dates, grapes, melons and cucumbers. Flax was grown by many farmers, and then used for the production of linens.
There was no typical money system in Egypt. Products were bartered, and workers were paid in wheat, barley and, occasionally, in craft products like pottery, clothes etc. But barley could be defined as a type of money, since it was easy to use as payment. For example, if a peasant might pay with barley for a refined product, like a new garment, and then the seller would in his turn sell that barley to obtain other products.
Crafts were produced in small shops. Their wares included linen textiles, pottery, bricks, tools, glass, weapons, furniture, jewellery, perfume, rope, baskets, mats and writing material. Egypt also had a substantial output of mineral products, like limestone, sandstone, granite; copper, gold, tin and gems.
Trade was important to Egypt, and goods were exported to and imported from countries around the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea and the Red Sea. Silver, iron, cedar logs and horses were imported from the Levant. Ivory, copper, cattle, leopard skins and spices were imported from Nubia in the south.
The main exports from Egypt were gold and other minerals, wheat, barley and papyrus sheets.

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By Tore Kjeilen