“Walk like an Egyptian…” crooned the hit girl band of the early 1980s, The Bangles. What they did not know was that it is possible not only to walk, but also to eat and sleep like an Egyptian, even to live like one, in fact. A great majority of us are in awe of the Egyptian civilization – one of the earliest civilizations in the history of life on this planet. Their views on afterlife, their Sphinxes, and mummies, their pharaohs and their headgears and wigs, are all of immense fascination for every new generation. For some people, this fascination transcends the boundaries of age and, in fact, grows proportionately with it. Such people deserve to live like an Egyptian, instead of just walking or talking like one. Even for those who already have a home, it is possible to adopt the Egyptian theme into their homes with only some basic adjustments. Here are some basic changes that you can make to get an Egyptian themed home.
Home Décor In Ancient Egyptian Style
Here are some typical features of the ancient Egyptian décor:
Paint Like An Egyptian
As most of us are aware, the walls of ancient Egyptians were decorated with forms and symbols that had religious significance. These ‘writings on the wall’ (puns intended) were not the work of just one artist, but that of many such artists. Most of their themes for such paintings were their gods and goddesses and the warriors; these drawings also depicted the popular theories of future and afterlife. Most of these paintings on the walls give an idea of the lifestyle of the kings and queens, warriors out for a hunt, musicians, and dancing girls, gods that had the head of a jackal, and so on. Apart from gods, ancient Egyptian artists also loved to depict nature and animals. Cats were particularly revered in the Egyptian culture. The one peculiar aspect of these paintings is that they show not the profile view of the face but the frontal view of the body. This is a typical characteristic of ancient Egyptian paintings. The artist always began with a few basic forms and then went on to add the details. When that was done, color pastes were applied to these forms. You could, if the house belongs to you, get these paintings done on the walls of your own home. There may be some who would think it to be rather time consuming; for all of them, an easier way to get the same paintings is to ask an artistic friend to paint them on to canvas and these paintings could be hung on the walls. Another wonderful way to incorporate these paintings is to paint them over glass surfaces like windows and the glass pieces of Indian screens. Since the Egyptians used wonderfully bright colours, these paintings would look wonderful during the daytime, with light shining through them.
Some Hot Pots
The ancient Egyptians used reddish brown clay to make pottery. The craftsmen followed a very basic procedure to make the pots initially – they used a hollow lump of clay and shaped it with bare hands. It wasn’t until the Old Kingdom period that the potter’s wheel was finally brought into the picture to give shape to pots. However, inspite of the fact that these pots were created in abundance, it was not the only method to make pottery. Broadly, Ancient Egyptian pottery is classified into two types depending upon the type of clay used. The most commonly created pottery items were made of Nile clay. The name give to such designs and artifacts is Nile silt ware. Another kind of material used was Marl clay, often found in Qena, a place in Northern Egypt. The ancient Egyptians were also known to make amulets, figures of religious deities, animals and many other clay based pottery items that were used for both utility and for decoration. You could use red oxide or other materials that are sturdy and durable. In case you make any clay items, be sure to take them to a kiln so that they get a concrete shape before you can use them.
Ancient Egyptian homes were usually very sparsely furnished – the homes of the common people, unlike the opulence of the royal and the ‘haves’. The ancient Egyptians, much like the Indians through the ages, did all the household chores sitting on the floor, though evidence does show that they used low stools at times. The legs of the furniture were often in the shape of animal legs say the hooves of bulls or paws of a tiger. They also used small tables made of wood. However, since wood was not easily accessible to them, there were also times when they used metal or stone for making furniture. One of the most impressive pieces of furniture was a three-legged table for playing game, which was made out of wood. Guests and people of repute and senior citizens were given seats with animal skin to sit on, which was a sign of reverence; at times plant materials were also used for the same purpose. The most affluent families were always seen to have possessed beautiful boxes that were decorated with panels and could be opened only in one certain way. They tied a string to the knob of the lid of such a box and the chest, which was later sealed with clay. Needless to say, these were used to store Egyptian jewelry, utensils and other precious items. This may not be very practical because in the present age, cupboards and wardrobes are of absolute importance. What one could, however, do, is to include a lot of faux animal skin covering for the cushions and the couches and to also include arrangement for sitting on the ground, especially when it’s summers. The Egyptians preferred the ground because it was normally cool during the hot desert summers.