Women in Ancient Egypt, By Barbara Watterson

 

This history of women's lives in Pharaonic Egypt may seem clear-cut (men ruled the world, women were subordinate and only the richest could afford tombs), but it nevertheless contains a few surprises – that landed property, for instance, passed through the female line, or that they enjoyed a certain amount of social freedom, walking about without their faces veiled.

Even when married, a woman's property did not automatically fall into her husband's hands. They could occupy professional roles, too, such as priestess and midwife. Watterson has a light but not a superficial touch, and it's interesting to note that it was men, not women, who most valued fashion, wearing over 40 different types of costume.

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