There are many elements of ancient Egypt which could be considered similar or different to modern Australian society. The history and civilization of Ancient Egypt spanned over 3000 years from 3100 B.C. to 310 A.D. One of the aspects that could be least similar was their concept of death, whereas art and music or sport could be considered most similar. Ancient Egyptian culture was one of the oldest cultures ever to exist, and while ancient Egyptians invented so many things one takes for granted today, such as paper, wigs, and makeup, there were many similarities and differences between ancient Egyptian and modern-day Australian civilization and society. This essay will compare a few of these aspects in detail.
An aspect which could be one of the most similar was farming. Like Australians, Egyptians had a thriving farming lifestyle, thanks to the Nile. All ancient Egyptians needed to do was throw some seeds onto the ground near the Nile. Cattle and pigs would bury the seeds in the ground simply by walking on them and, not long after it rained, there would be plenty of food that the ancient Egyptians had not even put any effort into growing. As such, Egyptians could create big food surpluses with relatively little work. Similarly, Australians have made farming a lot easier with the resources one has. Although Australians put a lot of effort into farming, one can still make a huge surplus in a small amount of time. This is why farming is one of the most similar aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization.
One of the least similar aspects was the prospect of what happens to a body or soul after a human dies. Nowadays, we don’t usually consider death until we actually, well, die. Our bodies get embalmed, buried, cremated or donated to scientific research. In Ancient Egypt, corpses went through the mummification; the process of preparing a body for the afterlife. For Egyptians, death was the most important part of their existence. If their body was prepared properly, they would proceed to the afterlife safely and spend the rest of eternity there. If not, their heart would be eaten by a monster which was a part crocodile, hippo, and a part lion called Ammut. They spent their whole life planning their perfect afterlife, whereas we do not give it a second thought. Even though we still embalm bodies and bury them, this is one of the least similar aspects of ancient Egyptian society.
Another aspect which could be considered least similar is religion. Egyptians had a complex polytheistic belief, which was the only option in religion. In Egypt the Hierarchy was more powerful, so Egyptians didn’t have a choice of religion, not that there were any. For example, in Australia, there are many different religions, but Egypt wasn’t as multicultural. It probably never even occurred to any Egyptians that another religion was possible. They were forced into one way of living whether they liked it or not, and no more than one religion was ever available to them. It was called a polytheistic religion which lasted through their civilization, and after 3,000 years had passed they turned to Coptic Christianity and Islam. Therefore, religion was another aspect which could be least similar.
One of the most similar aspects was sport and leisure. Objects found in tombs relate to activities similar to ones today, such as music, board games and sports such as fishing, hockey, handball, and archery. Musical instruments were made mostly of wood, though string instruments had animal guts as strings, and there was one instrument called a sistrum which was made of metal and made a clunking noise when shaken. A common board game was senet, which was similar to chess and backgammon, and was usually made from ivory or ebony, although Egyptians who could not afford the proper game etched the board in dirt or ceramic. Although the real rules of senet are not currently known, there have been several attempts to recreate it. This evidence can let us conclude that one of the most similar aspects of ancient Egyptian society was sport and leisure.
Egyptian architecture and art was extremely complicated, although as we devote so much of our time now to art, it could be viewed as one of the most similar aspects of ancient Egyptian society. The Egyptians created towering pyramids and monuments that still amaze us even thousands of years later. Things such as the Great Sphinx would be extremely hard to replicate even with today’s complex technology. It took 100,000 workers 20 years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza with just their bare hands and perhaps a simple contraption to help them drag massive stone blocks across the sand. It is thought that the only other way to transport the stone was a small amount of water to wet the sand and let the blocks move easier. Although we now have complicated machines to aid us in building structures, these similarities prove that art was one of the most similar aspects of ancient Egyptian society compared to modern Australia.
In conclusion, ancient Egyptian society was both similar and different to modern Australia. Its art, architecture, and farming were similar in the way that we both practiced it, while the prospect of death and was among the least similar. Their sport and leisure were similar because so many of the activities they enjoyed were the same or extremely similar, such as their musical instruments or games such as hockey and handball. Their religion was different in the way that the ancient Egyptians had only ever had one religion (polytheistic) and that they had never considered the possibility of another. Therefore, there were many different aspects of ancient Egyptian society that, compared to modern Australia, were both similar and different.