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Gallery 19: Case 14

Daily life

The ancient Egyptians were often buried with objects of daily use. Their preservation enables us to form a picture of the way people lived and the objects they used in their homes.

As religion was part of everyday life many 'ordinary' objects, including some that we might think were toys, had a religious significance. The group of terracotta figures shown here were found in houses at Ehnasya and Antinoopolis; some of them portray gods and would have been kept in domestic shrines. Other domestic objects have religious imagery: among those displayed are copper-alloy weights in the form of Serapis and the tyet-knot (a divine symbol) from a piece of furniture.

The Egyptians seem to have enjoyed board games, using gaming pieces and decorated sticks for dice. From the Roman period onwards real toys were made, like the mouse with moving jaw and tail.

The pottery shown here spans a variety of periods: while some shapes changed or developed over time others remained current for long periods.

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