Most houses were made of brick. The banks of the Nile provided the mud used to make bricks . Brick makers collected mud, added straw and water to it as needed, and stomped it with their feet until it reached the right consistency. The mixture was then placed in a mould. Once shaped, the bricks were removed from the mould and left on the ground to dry in the sun.
Cross-section of a typical house in the workers' village at
The workers who built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived in this
Drawing: Catherine Fitzpatrick.
Craftworkers lived in one- or two-storey flat-roofed dwellings made of mud bricks. The walls and roof would have been covered with plaster and painted. Inside, there was a reception room, a living room, bedrooms and a cellar in which food and beverages were stored. Food was prepared in an outdoor kitchen equipped with a mud-brick oven. Stairs on the exterior of the house led to a roof-top terrace.
The homes of the wealthy were larger and more luxurious. Spacious reception and living rooms opened onto a central garden courtyard with a fish pond and flowering plants. Each bedroom had a private bathroom, and the walls, columns and ceilings were painted with beautiful designs inspired by nature. Elaborate and highly decorated furniture included beds, chairs, boxes and tables. Painted clay pots and vessels, as well as alabaster bowls and jars, were also found in the homes of the nobles.
House in a garden with pools.
Painting: Winnifred Neeler, Royal Ontario Museum