The role of women in Ancient Egypt is explained in a journey through the different social classes, from humble peasant women to powerful courtesans. Apart from creating life, from the origins of the Pharaonic civilization, there was a close relationship between women and the divine world; the deities linked to the protection of royalty and Egypt itself were female.

_MOLINERA_ Piedra caliza / Reino Antiguo (2686-2181 a. C.) / Roemer- und Pelizaeus- Museum, Hildesheim (nº inv. PM 19)

Limestone / Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC)
Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim (inv. no. PM 19)

Everyday objects, ceramics, sculptures, reliefs and tomb paintings provide a truly vivid idea of family life, customs, many various trades and positions they held, as well as the legal and religious bases that made women equal to men. Their relevant role as mothers is also emphasized: providing offspring to guarantee labor in the fields was fundamental in an agricultural society. As was ensuring the care of parents in old age and taking charge of the performance of their funeral rites.

We will see amulets in the shape of women, which were made for infants and have a clear symbolic value of a medical-magical nature intended to protect newborns, especially if they were premature. And if one of the key aspects of marriage was procreation in Ancient Egypt, when this did not occur, it was not considered a divine punishment, but rather a disease that could be diagnosed and treated.

_ ANILLO_ Cornalina / Reino Nuevo (1570-1070 a. C.) / Museu egipci de Barcelona. Fundació Arqueològica Clos (nº inv. E 479)

Carnelian / New Kingdom (1570-1070 BC)
Museu egipci de Barcelona. Fundació Arqueològica Clos (inv. no. E 479)

_BOL (réplica)_ Fayenza / Reino Nuevo, dinastía XVIII, reinado de Amenofis III (1386-1349 a. C.)/ Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden (nº inv. F2009/3.5)

_BOWL (replica)_
Faience / Original: New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty,reign of Amenhotep III (1386-1349 BC)
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden (inv. no. F2009/3.5)

A host of everyday objects speak to the importance of staying beautiful, from Kohl pots to mirrors. The 18th dynasty was prolific in terms of vessels for cosmetic use, some of them highly original. The ideal of beauty is associated with the image of Nefertiti, the icon par excellence of ancient Egypt.

Thanks to the tomb paintings and temple reliefs, we know what women looked like in public events. The recreation of costumes and the analysis of royal jewelry and headdresses inherited from Ancient Egypt to the present day enable us to discover the image of women first-hand and appreciate the importance of each of the accessories that made up their attire in projecting a certain social status.

STATUE OF NEPEH-KA AND HIS WIFE, WAHIT Limestone, Old Kingdom, 4th dynasty (2613-2498 BC) Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim

Limestone, Old Kingdom, 4th dynasty (2613-2498 BC)
Roemer-und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim (inv. no. PM 2972)