Women During Ancient Egyptian Society Essay

1560 Words Aug 14th, 2015 7 Pages
Beginning in the Old Kingdom, women were seen as the subordinate of the two sexes during Ancient Egyptian Society. Moving through to the Middle and New Kingdoms, it is clear that their role in society was diminished heavily. This essay is primarily focussed on the roles of elite and non-elite females in Ancient Egyptian society, and how through time these roles changed – often for the worst. The increased importance placed on administrative titles that some elite women held during the Old Kingdom made them unobtainable for the less well educated females and literate men took over. Women’s role in the temple cult was reduced from priestess positions in the Old Kingdom to musicians in the Middle and New Kingdoms as males took over the role that now made up part of the state bureaucracy – something that women had no place in. Furthermore, non-elite women also had their positions in agriculture and the important textile trade taken over slowly by men as we move through the periods, with their role in the household being one of the only aspects that did not change.
As Egypt entered the Old Kingdom, the role of women was being diminished from that of the pre-dynastic period, with males being the dominant sex. This doesn’t mean that women had no part to play in Old Kingdom life, with some elite women obtaining administrative titles in the service of higher ranking women. These were not titles under the state, however, which were held exclusively by men. One exception to this is…

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