Ancient Egyptian Baths

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Tutankhamun

Most people that lived in Ancient Egypt thought that staying clean was very important and they would use baths to make sure that they would stay clean and live a better life.

Each Day

Most Ancient Egyptians would bath almost every day.  They believed that when they would take a bath, it would make the gods happy when it was time for them to die.

Since it was important for the Egyptians to make it to the afterlife, they would do whatever they could to keep the gods happy.

They also believed that when they died and went to the judgement, that bathing while they were alive would help them with their judgement.

Poor People

During the Ancient Egyptian times, people that had a lot of money would have a separate room or area in their home that they would take a bath in.

People that were poor would bath in the Nile River because they did not have enough money to build an extra room or a bath.

Wealthy People

People that were wealthy would have water that would run in their bathroom.  The homes had certain areas where the people would bath, and the room would have a large tub and basins that would be available when they wanted to take a bath.

The slaves or the servants would go and bring water with the basin and put it into the tub.

Getting Clean

When a person finished bathing in a tub, the servants would clean the tub and make sure that the tub was ready for the next bath.

New Kingdom

It wasn’t until the New Kingdom that bath houses were built.  These houses were bath houses that had an area for both men and women.

Some of the rooms were shaped in a circular way and they would have baths that were hooked on the walls.

Even poor people were allowed to use the bath houses.

Running Water

Even though there were bath houses, the water in the bathhouse had to be brought into the house.  People would get a large container like a bucket and they would go out and get water.  Someone would then pour water on them or they would pour the water on themselves.

The Ancient Egyptians took these kinds of baths for a long time.  Later, the Egyptians built larger tubs and larger bath houses and some of them had running water.  People would then take longer baths and would relax in the bath house for longer periods of time.

Bath Houses

Historians believe that there were over 46 different bath houses in the Ancient Egyptian times.  Some of these bath houses changed as time when on and some had water that was not only running, but it was also heated.

The water would run under the ground and this would cause the water to heat up.

Alexander the Great

After Alexander the Great took over the rule of Egypt, the bath houses begin to be built again.  According to historians, there were 12 bath houses just in Alexandria.

Types of Bath Houses

There were many different kinds of bath houses and those that were wealthy would take baths and then they would put perfume on their body.  Some of these people also wore make up.

There were also different ways that the Ancient Egyptians would make the water smell good so that they would smell cleaner.  They would use a certain kind of soap called natron when they took a bath.  This soap smelled like perfume and it would make the water smell nice.

There were also different ingredients that were used in the soap to make bathing better for the wealthy people.  Some of these included animal fat, salt, oil and perfumes.

Diseases

The Ancient Egyptians would take baths and use different soaps so that they would not get diseases.  It was common for Egyptians to get skin diseases because of all of the sun and the heat.  With the use of bathing and soaps, the skin diseases got less and less.

Queen Cleopatra

When Queen Cleopatra was in rule, she would take baths that had milk in them so that she could keep her skin smooth and soft.

Facts About Ancient Egyptian Baths:

  • Most Ancient Egyptians bathed every day.
  • Natron was a soap made out of clay and ash.
  • Cleopatra used donkey milk to put in her bath.
  • Sometimes the Egyptians would put medical ingredients in their water to help people that were sick get better.
  • 49 bath houses were constructed from the 1st century to the 6th

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was an Ancient Egyptian bath?  An Ancient Egyptian bath was a place that people would go to take baths, like we do today.
  2. What was different about the rich people? The rich people had bath houses in their homes.
  3. What was different about the poor people? Poor people would bath in the Nile River.
  4. What did Cleopatra used to take a bath? Cleopatra would use milk to take a bath, more importantly, donkey milk.
  5. Did the Ancient Egyptians think bathing was important?   They thought bathing was very important because the gods wanted them to bath and they wanted to keep the god happy after they died.