music playing no dialogue gtgt Dr. Allen Lanham Good morning and welcome to Booth Library in our continuation of A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses , our journey to ancient Egypt as we progress through the month of October. I think this is our sixth or seventh event, and we have had all types of programs come forth, but this one impresses me as something that goes right to the root of life, and that’s the people, and perhaps the common people because several of our attempts have been looking at perhaps the very wealthy, or.
Looking at the geographic implications of life, etcetera. Now we’re really going to look at the family and some things that would be quite meaningful for us today. We thank you for coming and hope that you will return. Make sure that you have a brochure from the back so you’ll know when our other activities are sponsored. Even today, this evening at 7 p.m., we will look at medicine, and so without further ado, I give you Wafeek Wahby, who is coordinating this series. audience applause gtgt Dr. Wafeek Wahby Thank you very much for coming.
To this presentation as part of the symposium, EIU symposium, A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses. As we pride ourselves in our achievements in the 21st Century, we felt it’s good for us as a generation to take a few minutes, or seconds, or moments to look back and see what great people did in the past. Today we have a very special presentation that talks about familymother, sister, women and childrenthe building blocks of any society. And when we look into great achievements of this civilizationI gave my students an exercise to make.
Ancient Egyptian Woman, Familes Parenting
Construction, a bid for this today, it was our technology today, to make a replica of this. They did it from scratch. I tell my students see how much it would’ve cost with today’s prices, with today’s technology to build something like this. It’s amazing and wherever you look, you see this civilization that was the super power of its time. Family was the building block, I think. We have family consumer sciences at Eastern Illinois, we pride ourselves on this, and we thank the family consumer sciences faculty and chairI’ll ask him to come and present them.
We have the school of technologythe dean couldn’t make it and the chair couldn’t make it, so I’ll introduce technology here and ask Dr. Jim Painter. Kaninika Bhatnagar, right She is very strong in architectural technology and construction, but she is also strong in women. She has lots of studies on women and technology and I won’t steal her thunder, but leave her to do this, but before that I’ll ask chair Jim Painter. gtgt Dr. Jim Painter Thanks Wafeek. Thank you very much. It’s a privilege for us to be here as family consumer sciences.
Because really the issues that we talk about today are really family issues at the base about any of them. Whether they’re cultural things, nutrition problems we have, they come back to the family as the base, and so I’d like to introduce Christina Yousef. Christina is going to talk about marriage and family life, and it’s interesting to watch Christina in the classroom because she comes in and talks about her arranged marriage and the students eyes pop open as she discusses how she came into her marriage, and so that’s kind of exciting and she’ll probably.
Share some of that with you. And then thanks to Dr. Micki Meadows and Dr. Frances Murphy who run our child development lab, and so they again have a great perspective looking at families and children, and they’re going to talk a little bit more about family life in general. So with that, Wafeek, are we ready to begin Okay, thanks. audience applause gtgt Dr. Kaninika Bhatnagar Thank you. So I’m Kaninika, School of Technology, and I’m going to be really introducing this entire piece because I’m going to be talking about gender roles in general, at a broad level.
Now, to begin with, I found this quote and I found several confirmations of validations of this quote, which is basically saying that ancient people of the Nile Valley, or the Egyptians, unclear dialogue, they have given the maximum or the highest legal status to women in general, and that actually includes today as well and that’s what’s so interesting as we will see in a bit. Now I apologize for a lot of text on my slides, but I’ll try to sort of run through them. Ancient Egyptian women were in mild contrast to other cultures,.
The kind of rights they had as opposed to cultures existing at the same time unclear dialogue. There was a very high level of respect for women, unclear dialogue sophisticated, legal and unclear dialogue. Christina is going to be talking more about that particularly in the royal household, women could become extremely influential. They could rulewomen in ancient Egypt could be the rulers and that is something that I learned while I was researching for this piece. For example, and you have to forgive meI’m not getting the names right hereAahotep ruled while her son came of age.
And then of course there was a female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, and she ruled for 20 years. That was unusual and that was something that I did not know. This is something of Nefertiti. She is riding in her own chariot andlet’s see hereaccompanying husband, pharaoh Akhenaten from the royal palace to the temple, and because she has an extremely high status she is by herself, riding in her own chariot, so she’s actually the person in charge in that sense. Now before we go any further talking about gender in ancient.
Egypt, we have to sort of roll back to the idea of religion and gods and goddesses, because everything really kind of derives from there. So Egyptian deities tended to mirror their mortal worshippers. So it’s kind of the other way aroundthe worshippers are mirroring the deities, the gods. So therefore we can think about goddesses. When you talk about gender, we think about goddesses, queens and the wealthy women, and then the unclear dialogue. These, by the way, are names of some goddessesIsis, Hathor, Nut, Sekhmet, Tefnut. So, natural forces have been personified as goddesses.
The goddesses for music, dancing, pleasure, and the goddesses for motherhood, in particular, fertility, motherhood, child bearing, etcetera. And goddesses had a very special place because they were the protector of the gods. There were also the protector of the pharaohs, and therefore that actually led to a very high place. So very quickly, let’s talk about some of the goddesses in ancient Egypt. The social system reflects an Egyptian mythology where goddesses played an equal if not chief role, guiding the pharaoh for example. Primeval mother figures in the earliest prehistoric Egyptian.
Unclear dialogue are female. Female deities were kept separate from the males, excuse me. Egyptian goddesses also creator deities and the protectors of pharaohs in the form of natural animals, for examplecobra, vulture or lioness, etcetera. The first goddess is Isis, that I’d like to talk about. She was important, she was very important because she was the goddess of motherhood and fertility, and therefore she was worshipped throughout until the sixth century. Here, this is a statue of Isis, and she is the goddess of fertility, pregnancyprovides protection during pregnancy.
And child birth. In this case she’s nursing her son Horus. This is another very interesting goddessTawaret, is that right gtgt male speaker Yes. gtgt Dr. Bhatnagar Tawaret, she is the goddess, again, of pregnancy, birth etcetera, and she is a very, what would you say, grotesque kind of figure but she was worshipped for protection against the dangers of birth, pregnancy, etcetera, etcetera. This is kind of an exception to other, the ways goddesses have been displayed. And then this is another very very important goddessshe’s Ma’at. And she is the symbol of cosmic harmony and balance, and what’s.
Important about her is she actually was sort of over the pharaoh in the, in terms of her powers. The pharaoh was supposed to be following her dictates for carrying out his ruling, rulerships, etcetera, so Ma’at becomes an extremely important goddess here. Several depictions of her, if they come through. So these are some examples of the kind of Egyptian goddesses and from there we sort of get to the next level, which is the royal womenthe queens, the wealthy women. Now the wealthy womenthis is where, Cleopatra, it’s supposed.
To be her sarcophagus. Pharaohs were polygamists, but they had a principle queen whose children would be the heirs, and therefore that queen became an essential part of her husband’s reign. She supported her husband in a variety of duties, religious and political, and here are some examples. Queen Tiy was the wife of Amenhotep III, was actually born a commoner so it was not unusual for that to happen. Queen Nefertiti of course, you’ve all heard of her, unclear dialogue. Another surprising fact that I did not know, royal women.
Undertook military campaigns, so they were not just sitting at home taking care of the children. They actually took part in conflicts, active conflicts and they have been depicted as such. Regarded socially threatening unclear dialogue enemies of the state, female graves containing weapons are found throughout the history of Egypt. That was interesting. Here are some examples of rulers of like I mentioned earlier. Ahhotep ruled while her son was growing up. Hatshepsut became the pharoah because of her father, so the legitimacy was actually gained through her father. They’re given estates, financial independence, unclear.
Dialogue, even develop their own religious symbols. Queen was perceived as being close to being a god, so if you look at their hierarchy, they have the gods and goddesses, then you have the royal folk and queen was very close up there. Amenhotep III and Ramesses the Great each built temples to their principle queens. In other words, their queens were actually being worshipped as gods, so that shows the amount of respect and the stature that queens had in that society. Nefertiti is shown actively involved in her husband’s.
Unclear dialogue as well, so these are just some examples. unclear dialogue executing foreign prisoners, ruling independentlyI tried looking for those pictures but this is all I could find. Similarly, unclear dialogue took the throne following the death of her husband, etcetera, and then of course you have Cleopatra, last of the great female pharaohs. So it was not exactly an exceptionthere were several female pharaohs, something which came to light during this research for me. Otherwise, if we go down just a little bit, the next step, the wealthy, in general, their status, their privileges,.
Etcetera, were a direct result of their relationship with the king and their abilities to administer the country, even though most of the officials were men, but women did get high office, and these are just some examples. Two of the women even achieved the rank of a vezir, the prime minister, which was highly unusual, unclear dialogue below the pharaoh. Now this oneI know it’s hard to readbasically this is about leisure, ladies of leisure, which is wealthy women who had the money and therefore, unclear dialogue, rich women were not required to produce large numbers of children.
Unclear dialogue because that was one of the criteria. You have a large family, you have a lot of children and therefore you have people who can work for you, family members who can work for you, but that’s not a requirement for queens and royalty. They could instead have alternate career choices, so here are some examples of what they could do. This, by the way, is of course the Hollywood version of it, it’s not really a authentic picture, but it gives the idea that they could have a good life.
Basically, and they’re pampered. enjoying a manner of relaxation, listening to music, eating good food, etcetera, etcetera. So this was about, a very quick overview of what the wealthy women and the queens had and had access to, but we talk about the ordinarynot exactly poor as much as ordinary Egyptian women, the common folk. The woman’s role as mother and wife still comes first in Egyptian society, which again Christina will talk about that in detail, but besides that there were some other professions such as weaving, perfume making and entertainment.
They were musicians and they had a lot of rights. The political economic rights Egyptian women enjoyed made them extremely liberated. These were some examples of workfarm work, weaving, unclear dialoguealthough the primary work was still to look after home and children. One of the problems, of course, was there was no contraception, which means when they became pregnant then a whole lot of time and energy and everything would be concentrated on child care and that would take time away from any possible potential work they could engage in. They also had religious employment.
In general, men were in charge of temples, etcetera, but women filled a variety of religious offices. unclear dialogue. So musicians was a very sort of a significant career option you could say, for our women at that time. Associated with unclear dialogue, in general goddesses tended to serve as protectors of the dead. And finallyI think I’m getting close to, yeahequity. I cannot sort of stress on this enoughit’s so surprising the degree of equity that women enjoyed in ancient Egypt. They were portrayed in a very public way alongside men, they.
Were shown to coordinate ritual events, even undertake unclear dialogue. This is interesting, I came across this. One woman steering a cargo ship even reprimands the man who brings her a meal. The words don’t obstruct my face when I’m pulling to shore. So they had a commanding or a powerful position and it didn’t matter, they could be as the overseer position rather than just the underlings. Surviving accounts, contractscontracts unclear dialogue receiving the same pay rations as men for undertaking the same job, which is something that we still have not achieved.
That was just amazing to me. They control treasury, own estates, workshops, etcetera. So in conclusion, strange mix of very traditional and surprisingly modernand I would like to underline modern, certainly, in so many different ways. Limited by gender but they’re highly respected. Most remarkably their legal rights and responsibilities that unclear dialogue for the next 4,000 years or more. Thank you, any questions gtgt Dr. Wahby Should we keep the questions until the end gtgt Dr. Bhatnagar Yeah, let’s do that. no dialogue. gtgt Ms. Christina Yousef Alright. Now, I’m going to talk about the role of the women in marriage as.
Wives and mothers. So from Kaninika’s presentation, we can lend that 4,000 years agoif we look at the women today and if you think of them, we would imagine them as oppressed, depressed and very kind of neglected, devalued women, but from her presentation and from all the research that I did, I learned that no, in reality, all these ancient women had more rights as compared to what we have today, even in the thirdworld countries. Many women in the thirdworld countries don’t enjoy the rights that the women then had, today.
Egypt treated its women with respect in the ancient times than any other major civilization of that time, so women were treated with respect because marriage was a normal and a very desirable state at that time. Both genders valued each other’s company and they wanted to spend time together, and it is interesting to know that there are no records of any actual marriage found in the history, so some scholars believe that maybe it’s a real fluke in the history records that we don’t find any actual marriage records.
There, but then some other scholars, they believe that when couples started to live together they were considered a married couple, which is like a veryunclear dialogue North American concept of common law marriage, so it’s very true that even then people, but there were no records of marriage but definitely they did have records of divorce, which means that divorce only follows marriage, so there was marriage, that’s why there were records of divorce there. As the first very kind of highly sensual people, they believed more in fertility and procreation.
That’s why they considered that if they want to get into the relationship, marital relationship, they ought to have plenty of children there, you know. And for a normal, kind of ordinary people, large families were the big idea, but for the royal families, they kind of stuck to the smaller number families because they could afford the servants and they could afford many other people. Once marriage was there, the couple was expected to be faithful, sexually, to each other, you know. Except the kings of the royal family, monogamy was the norm.
Monogamy was the norm, you know. They would marry one spouse and they will express their love, they will express their affection and it was a purely social and economic arrangement. Extended family concept was also there, like the mothers, the daughters, the grandmothers, auntsthey all lived together in one household. If not in the one household, then they would live in a very close proximity of each other so that they could help out each other with the household tasks and other things. So there are some records, you know, that they said when men.
Were unable to have children with their wives, when their wives were unable to conceive, they could have children with servant girls so they were so much into the procreation and the families that they wanted more and more families and more and more children right there. There was no age limit. People could marry, I mean there was no set rule that only you have to get married at this age, but certainly there was definitely a rule for the girls. The girls were supposed to get into this marital relation only.
After they start to menstruate, which is about the age of 14 and 15. So when their unclear dialogue their hormones start to kick in, yes, certainly they can have the marital status there. So the family would throw big parties, the family and the friends, you know, so that they can celebrate the marriage of the children and friends, and the couple were presented with a lot of gifts so that they can have their fresh start in the new household. Egyptian marriages were different as compared to the marriages that we have today.
They were allowed, they could marry in their own relationships, like their first cousins, their brothers and sisters, especially in the royal family to safeguard their dynastiesthey didn’t want their royal blood to become a mixture, so they wanted that especially, you know, and there are some unclear dialogue reading the articles and doing the researchI found that there were times where fathers also married their daughters to save their dynasties there. So, women were treated as equal in the marriage as their husbands, you know. They have equal say and couples were shownhow we see their.
Love and emotional support, we also see in the images having their arms around each other and couples are embracing each other, so that shows their love and emotional support and they are treated very equally. Even in this picture, we see that husband and wife, they both are holding the children. That means that it was not only the job of a woman to raise the family and childrenmen took equal sharing in their raising families. Monogamy was the normwhich I said earlier, yesand with the marriage comes their legal rights.
And their economic rights. Women acquired the possession of what they got as gifts from their family, from their parents and from their husbands there, or family and friends. According to this Egyptian property law, women were entitled to own onethird of the property, which was the community property of her husband, even during the marriage or even after the divorce or even after the death of her husband there. The dowrydowry means the property that she brings in from her family, the inheritance that she gets from her parents there,.
So that was hers. That is hers but husbands are entitled to use them for free, but in case of divorce she will take all of her inheritance back plus the share which she gets in the property that she gets, the community property that she gets from her husband there. As Kaninika told you, yes child bearing was unclear dialogue. They had so many goddesses of pregnancy, goddesses of children, you know, so it was a very important phenomenon for them. A fertile woman was considered like a very successful.
She didn’t only earn the recognition of her husband, she also earned the respect of her society by becoming a mother, so no matter how many roles they have, know matter what kind of careers they had, once they’re a mother, once they’re a mom, they are put above anybody else there, you know. So these are the important rolesthe mothers, the sisters and the daughters. So these are considered the three very important roles at that time. So the birth of the child was certainly great time, it was a time of great joy, but of a little concern also.
The two concerns which are very common was the high infant mortality rate and secondly the stress that the mother could go through during that time of delivery. So there were two midwives assigned to that kind of job, when the mother was supposed to deliver the babiesone to take care of the newborn and another to take care of the woman who is delivering the child at that time. They had many titles, they had many titles but the mistress of the house was the title commonly given to the non royal women.
Mistress of the house means that she is running the householdmen were supposed to be the head of the household, but women were not less. So there is a great saying in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you know, the movie, that if men are the head of the household, women are the neck, so they are the ones who make them turn right or left. This is true, yeah, women were the neck at that time and they made, they ran the household and men were not expected to interfere.
They avoided interfering in the household matters and trusted their wives to do the job properly. Running the smooth household was not an easy job. It required a lot of work. Even food had to be prepared from scratch, and commonly eaten food was the bread, vegetables, served with beer, so that was the kind of common food that they had, and everything had to be started from scratch. Even if you wanted a loaf of bread, the women had to grind the grains to prepare that bread so it was not easy, but.
Certainly Egyptian women, who were the head of the household, you know, they also could afford, they would hire servants and slaves to help them around the household, but it was still the job of the mistress of the house to see and supervise that all the work is done properly in the presence of the servants there. We learned a lot about the royal women, we talked about the wealthy women, we talked about the unclear dialogue, so women, no matter whether they belonged to the royal families, they belonged to the wealthy families or poor families,.
They had equal rights. They enjoyed a lot of rights that we may not have even today, okay. What were their rights They had the same legal and economic rights as any Egyptian men could have. They kept the inheritance from their parents that they got. There was no legal distinction whether it’s a male or female. The only legal distinction was based upon their social classesif they belonged to the upper class or if they belonged to the lower classthat was the only, but there was no distinction between the genders.
Both men and women, they were treated pretty equal. When it comes to the property that the woman brought into the marriage from her parents or which she inherited from her family, that was hers no matter what they do. She could manage and dispose of her private property, she could administer all her property independentlyshe didn’t have to ask her husband what she wanted to do with the property, she was her own master when it comes to her stuff, her property and her belongings. And she had full right to own and run her own business,.
And of course, the family, the friends, and the husband and parents, they all helped that lady to run her own business, so the social support, the family support, was always there when it came to running their own businesses and sharing their own property right there. We heard about royal ladies, that until the time their sons and nephews grew old that the women were in control and they ruled the nation, yeah, that was one of the rights that women enjoyed at that time. They were also able to appear in the court.
They could bring lawsuit against anybody in the court and they would not be discriminated based upon their gender or based upon their sex, so they could appear in the court and they will win the case is what they brought to the courts right there. They were able to make a will. Whatever the property they broughtif they want to leave it for the family, if they want to leave it for their children, sons or daughters, whatever. Procreation was the main idea according to their religion and their values but in case the woman is unable to conceive,.
They were open to adoption. They were able to adopt, but only with the consent of their husbands and they won’t go unclear dialogue, they will go for the adoption within the family. They will go and adopt children from the poor family so that they could keep the family inside. They won’t go for much of the outside adoption that today we can dowe can go for international adoption, we can go for adoption anywhere, but they preferred to adopt children from their own families, like less fortunate families. They were allowed to go out in public.
Today we see a lot of Egyptian women wearing veils and a lot of people from the thirdworld countries wearing veils, but they worked in the fields, they worked in the offices, they worked everywhere in the public, but they did not wear a veil at that time. So it means that they felt, they had a sense of safety, they had the sense of security. That’s why they didn’t have to cover themselves or hide themselves from anybody else there. So, work of the upper and middle class family was limited to the.
Home and to the family, but the customary rules were the mothers and daughters and bearer of the children but some did more than that. They also held offices and they also participated in the real jobs unclear dialogue. Though, you know, all these Egyptians, their main focus was on the institution of marriage but divorce was not uncommon either. It was, of course, a matter of disappointment but no way it was a disgrace. It was accepted, and there were two reasons how people could gothere was a faultbased reason and there was a no.
Faultbased reason. The faultbased reason was if the person, either one, either gender, was unfaithful to the person, they were unable to conceive or there was abuse in the family, so those were the faultbased reasons that why you would get divorced. The no fault was incompatibilityI cannot get alongand they were granted the wish to go for the divorce, but it was never a stigma. It was a matter of disappointment, but never brought any disgrace, and we see, the records show, that many people, they remarried after the divorce.
That’s why we see one person having more than one spouse, because remarriage was common, they can divorce and also because of the high death rate at that time, high mortality rate, people would go for the second marriage because marriage was like the most desired institution and they did want to get married all the time. So that’s whymarriage, remarriage and high death rate was able to keep that. But certainly, women were also able to initiate the divorce. It’s not only the men who would initiate the divorce, but if.
Women initiate the divorce and if the divorce is uncontested, if the man is kind of willing to divorce also, she will not only take her share, but she would also take the property which comes from her husband, which is onethird of the community property, plus she will take all the settlements that come with the divorce. But if she dumps her sick husband and wants the divorce just to get rid of the sick husband, then she has to let go of everything that she brought. So therefore, she had a right to divorce, but in a genuine case,.
Not in just because ‘I want to go away, I can’t take care of you, sick man,’ so no, she can’t do that. Then she had to let go of everything which was there, so yeah women had the right to initiate divorce at that time. So, the royal wives, yeah it was their role to help bore the children, but maybe not that many. They bore many children so that the system could run smoothly. They ensured the smooth functioning of the palace. They were not actively involved in the official businesses, but.
Silently, in the background, they were very actively involved with their husbands, helping them. And they also played the role of unclear dialogue, you know, like until the time the sons grew up they will rule so that, yeah, they can wait until then. So, we learned about the royal kingdom, that how the queens, they became more powerful, they acquired many titles and Hatshepsut, you know, she became pharaoh after gainingoh, did I say it right, Wafeekokay, so she gained, she became pharaoh after she gained the role there. So certainly, no matter whatever women did, they always found.
Honor as mothers, and that is the role of any woman, no only the Egyptian women, not only the Asian women, not only the American women. No matter wherever the women are, you know, they find great pleasure in their motherly role. So, many people say that Egyptian times were the best times for women to live, and it seems like thatat least for women. Where they were treated equally and they were given the basic rights, and today, in today’s society there are many countries, there are many societies where women rights are.
Lacking and womenlike as you said, they are the role models and they are the building blocks of our societies, the families. The are the neck of the family, if not the head, definitely the neck of the family, and if they don’t get any respect, then certainly, they need to do more. So I will leave the motherly role and the family role for my colleagues to discuss, but certainly, I will talk a little bit about the womennot talk but sharethat these were the ancient clothing that many women prefer to wear.
There was a distinction between the upper class and the lower class clothing. The royal, the rich women always had better clothing as compared to the women who came from the notsofortunate families there. Anytimeyou know, women, they are so much into the beauty and they have these beauty treatments there and then the beauty secrets, their hair style and all that, you know. One profession that I think Kaninika unclear dialogue, that is the women were professional mourners. They will always mourn, they were called to mourn at the death of the men, not at the death of the women, but they.
Were called to mourn, professionally. They were special mourners there, okay. So, these are the ancient royal peoplethey can get their hair cut right there. And these are the jewelrythe weakness of a woman. Alright, thank you so much. audience applause no dialogue gtgt Dr. Frances Murphy Mickie Meadows and I are going to talk a little bit about the family life, and I want to draw two contrasts. One is how ancient Egyptian family life is similar to our contemporary family life, and then to talk about how it is.
Actually different. Just in case you don’t know where Egypt is, I want to make sure, that you realize it’s in north Africa. And we’re indebted to the hieroglyphics and the drawings because that’s how we know about Egypt. We don’t know this much about so many other cultures, but they were kind to us in that they shared with us their representation of their royal life. We unfortunately don’t know all that much about the common people because what’s depicted and what we go to see are the monuments to the deities and people who ruled at different.
Times in history. Okay, I’ve been to Egypt twicethere’s thatit is the coolest place in the world, I’m sorry, it is just wonderful. Actually these are just picturesthe camels are out of this world. This is a young EgyptianAmerican young man who also went back to his homeland. If you ever have a chance to go to Egypt, you must do so because it is just a phenomenal experience, so don’t overlook that part. Put it in your bucket list on your todo list. So, children are instructed to repay your mother for all her care.
Give her as much bread as she needs and carry her as she carried you, for you were a heavy burden to her and when you were finally born, at the end of that, she still carried you on her neck and for three years she suckled you and kept you clean, so the original guilt triphere it is, right here. Be good to your mother because she has worked so very hard. So child birth was seen as important, as has been established, so that’s one thing you can know about.
Early Egyptian life. There’s a book by Brazelton and Greenspan called The Irreducible Needs of Children, and I love that terminology. So what are the irreducible needs of children, whether they’re in ancient Egypt or they’re in Charleston, Illinois. And this is a selected list of what Brazelton and Greenspan identifiedso love, safety and a village membership. So loveongoing, nurturing relationships. How can we see that that was exhibited in ancient Egypt They cared for their children and it was either their job or it was their job to manage the people that cared for their.
Children, and that of course depended on their socioeconomic status. They also named their children early. They didn’t wait to name them. Through the naming process and amulets and other things that fit in with their religious practices, they sought to protect their children. You know, in protection, and the environment was important. Is that horribledo you see what that slide is, see the scorpion That’s the point. So they lived out in a desert area, or at least the Nile Valley bordered a desert area, so it could be, especially.
Before the rains came to flood the Nile and create all the growth season, it was austere environmentso the heat, the windof course that has done us a favor, because things are so well preserved in Egypt because of the heat and because of the dry, very very dry climate. So while a lot of the things they did was to preserve the beauty and the youthfulness, there were also some of these practices used in chemistry and concoctions that actually protected their skin. So families protected their children. The villlage membership was important.
Of course, many of us grew up with the story of Moses who was drawn from the water and actually adopted by an Egyptian princess. Well, adoption was not that uncommon, and that really amazed me because I had thought that the adoption of Moses must have been a really really strange occurrence. You know, another child from a race of people who, at that point, were slaves, but that was not the case apparently and so as Christina pointed out, they utilized adoption to care for children who had been abandoned, whose.
Families were very impoverished. As a matter of fact, the Greeks actually noted in their writings that they were surprised that the Egyptians treated babies, infants, so well because, apparently, the Greeks were throwing out their babies to the elements when they didn’t want them anymore. Female children were socialized and educated to be mistresses of householdsalso, entertainment skillsto be the people who carried out the actual work to enable other people to utilize the cosmetics and the hair and the clothing standards that was necessary. So that took a lot of skilled labor in order to support these.
Wealthy families. To be a domestic servant and then to be a wife, mother, according to the skills. So that’s how female children were educated in terms of developing skills. Male children, in their village membership, could possibly go to school, and if they learned to read, they learned to write and they learned mathematics, then they could be a scribe or a bureaucrat and do the accounting and the managerial work of the kingdom. The military was also an option and it took many many tradesman, artists and farmers and herdsman, so if their family was.
In those professions, then they would be continuing. So the class distinctionstransportation required people to do the transportation , whether it was boat travel on the Nile or carrying people through the city who were very wealthy and royalty, so that was part of the job of the people of the lower class. All the beauty regimens were things that the lower class people helped the upper class, as well as household and food preparation. But the good thing was that the peasants and farmers did have property rights, and they could even inherit the properties of.
Their masters if those masters died childless. The common people’s materials and artifacts is rarely surviving, so here’s a terracotta model of what a common person’s household would be likethe small garden, the small house, the importance of the rooftop for cooling, wheat sandals, whereas the royalty would wear leather sandals and, of course, baskets. So, Egyptian technology is astounding and our technologysee this little light bulbit doesn’t seem to fit very well. So when I was in Egypt, II didn’t take this picturebut when I saw this picture, I remember very well the feeling.
Of going down this tunnel, this place that was stairs and knowing that that rock had been there for thousands and thousands of years, and there was these little light bulbs on these little thin strings and you’re in this completely dark unclear dialogue place. You’ve got only one way out and that’s all those people behind you, and there’s that little light bulb and I thought ‘how incongruent’. So technology, our technology, doesn’t exactly fit with theirs and we can’t reproduce their technology very well, and Dr. Meadows is going to pick it up there.
Gtgt Dr. Micki Meadows I’m going to actually do the comparison with ancient technologies and our technologies now. So when we think about ancient Egypt, we think about their limitations often, so limitations by their deities. You know they were limited in the way they could behave, by their patterns of worshipwe might think that they were limited in their communication patterns and some of those types of things, but actually what I want to look at is the way they had more freedom sometimes than we did, and how we are limited.
As well and don’t even realize it often. So in order to really compare and contrast today’s children and families with ancient Egypt’s children and families, we’d have to pull the plug on what we would call our technology. Technology is anything that makes the world easier obviously, but our technology is largely electronic. You know, we would have to get rid of things powered by petroleum products, you know, we would have to completely rethink the way we interact, the way we communicate with one another. So I want to talk about that for a minute.
We are, in our mind, we are servants almost to the technology we have, just like people in ancient Egypt might have seemed to be servants, so the technology we have shapes our lives, shapes our family. The technology that we have shapes the way we interact with one another. Think about the way those of you who are here interacted with your families when you were children and the way families interact now, and whether that’s a positive or a negative is open for debate. On one hand, my children don’t live with me anymore and I.
Talked to them a lot. I talked to them at leastI have two and I talked to one of them at least once a day. Now it’s through texting, it’s not facetoface, but I think if they still lived acrossthey still live here in townbut I think if they lived across town and we didn’t text, I don’t know that I would talk to them every day, you know, I don’t know what that would be. So the idea that our technology is taking over us is true, but there’s some positive aspects.
You know, we always have to look at technology with a real fluid eye, I suppose, but it does change the way families communicate, right For better or for worse, we communicate very very differently than we have in the past, you know, based on the technology we have. The media that we have shapes families. It tells families what to value instead of looking to a smaller community, looking toward deities, looking towards nobility, we look towards the media to tell us what’s important, what we need, what we should have.
The media shapes our value system to a great degree. The media shapes our entertainment clearly. It’s just overwhelming. See how overwhelmed the children are by the technology. It’s really something to think about. So I want to leave you guys with some recommendations, because that’s what we do in the school of family and consumer sciences. So we’ve covered ancient Egypt, you know, I’m going to lead then into how we believe we might be able to get back the feel of some of that ancient closeness and some of the ancient ties,.
And a village that is more connected maybe by relationships and less connected by technology, so these are some recommendations that we have in the school of family and consumer sciences we use from the American Association of Pediatrics, National Association for the Education of Young Childrenall provide information for us. What we need to do is we need to look at the media and the technology that the children are using. We tend to look at some things as being very useful to children in families and some things as being negative, so, for.
Instance, I’ll have people that will come inI work in the child development lab, as Dr. Painter saidI have families that will come in and say ‘my child will sit in front of a computer for hours,’ so we’re talking under 5. And they’re excited about that, they think that that’s a really good thing because computers are good, because people need to know how to use computers, and so what we say is that’s pretty close to sitting in front of a television for hours. The computers, the games that children use, the things that.
They’re doing, when you add up all of their screen timeyou have to consider computers, you have to consider televisions, iPods, you know, whatever it is that they’re doing, you have to count all of that when you’re talking about screen time. When you’re talking about younger children, use of the computer is pretty close to the use of any other, you know, entertainment media, so thinking about all of that and looking at the purpose of our technology, we recommend that you use technology to do things you can’t do other ways.
So for instance, I’m always amazed by, well edutainment they call itso that’s education through entertainmentwhich, you know, fine, whatever. I try to do that myself, I try to be somewhat entertaining, I have tutorials, things like that, but the education that young children need is not found on a screen so I always tell the story about the learning to dress yourself program for preschool childrenthat is a computer program. And so it’s a stick person standing here like this, and then there are clothes and you drag the clothes, you know, to.
Where they go, so you drag the hat to the head and it’ll stay there if you drag it to the tummy, you know, it goes back where it came from, so that it helps children know where clothes go. Which, you know, really laughter And these are the same people that will dress a child, complain if a child undresses itself and then put him in front of a computer screen to learn where clothes go, so, you know, really don’t do things like that, that’s just silly. We need to let children do what they can do.
Use technology to do things that you can’t do, so for instance, I don’t have a lion in my house or access to a lion. If I want children to hear what a lion sounds like or see a lion, that’s a really good way to go to technology, and look it up and show them tutorials, photos, audio of a lion, not to learn to dress yourself, not to learn the coloring books, you know. Things like that, those are all just silly, don’t do that. It’s very comparable to passive viewing.
A lot of the games that they have that they say are education are very comparable to passive viewing, and then rote learning is just not productive. I always tell the story of my little son who came to visit my class years ago when I taught child development, and I said, Lee, do you know the days of the week. And he said Yes, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I said You do know your days of the week. Today’s Wednesday, what day is tomorrow And he looked at me and said Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday laughter And I said, so basically, I’m not real, I mean he’s cute, of course he’s the cutest child in the world, I was very proud of him, but he didn’t know his days of the week, you know. He knew the words, which is called rote learning, and that’s not productive, that’s not impressive. I’m not impressed when children know their ABC’s particularly. You know, they’ll learn that. I’m impressed if they know heavy and light and know that you can’t put something really heavy on top of something light.
Without squishing it. I think it’s good when they know that you don’t bite somebody when they have something you want, you know. Those are the type of skills that I’m impressed with as opposed to just memorization, and that’s what computers do for us basically. To avoid unintended use, locatingthis is just a huge thingjust put the computers in a central location of the house so that children are not off by themselves using them, and then, you know, if you’re always going to be around, they’re very likely not to be doing things that.
They shouldn’t do with computers. So I say if you do nothing at all that I tell you to do, don’t allow children to have technology in their bedroomsthat’s just the number one thing that you should. Oh, let’s seeoh, I’ve already said this. Use only to represent what can’t be represented, so I’ve already said thatI jumped ahead. But like I said, we need to use our technology to enhance what we have, not to replace what we could do in relationships. So this is our little FYI informational piece, and this is.
Our closing picture. These are just beautiful photographs that Frances has chosen for you. One more photographoh yes, these are Frances’ children that she likes to, you can tell them. gtgt Dr. Murphy So, the contrast between the current contemporary Egypt and the background, the historic, now is in the hands of the children. gtgt Dr. Meadows Thank you. audience applause gtgt Dr. Wahby I can use this one. Well, thank you very much for your presentation. Any questions from the audience I have just a hypothetical question. What do you think is the difference in the mental.
Processes of a child who is, today, having his magic thing and very busy, and mommy asks him to do something and says ‘Mommy, I’m very busy, I’m all absorbed here’. What goes in his mind or her mind, as a child, in comparison to a child in ancient Egypt who has got this prism of rare rock that has many colors, and she is so absorbed in itso my comparison is absorbment or something, being absorbed. And the guy in ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago who says ‘Mommy. I’m so busy now, leave me alone’.
Same thing here after 5,000 years. What do you think is the difference, or no difference in the processes, in the mind processes Here’s a mic for any of you. gtgt Ms. Meadows You’re right, it’s very true. Children are hard to, it’s hard to pull children away once they get involved in technology, we all know that, but it’s hard to pull children away from anything they enjoy doing, and so the difference would be that it’s an external motivation when they’re dealing with technology. When somebody is doing something for them and they’re responding.
To something, then it’s external, whereas if they have to manipulate the itemswhatever that might be, you knowbuilding something with rocks, water and, you know, wet and dry, things like thatwhenever they’re manipulating it, then they’re forming the processes and thinking from one item to the next. It’s like cause and effect, you know, the issues like that that they can really think through. So it’s more of an external motivation instead of an internal motivation when you are dealing with modern technology. What we see and what the research shows us repeatedly is.
A shortage in attention span, and we’re seeing that, I think, at the university level. It’s beginning to come up to the university level, so short attention span, inability to problem solve, you know, wanting people to do things for them. What do I have to do to make this happen as opposed to let’s talk about it, let’s figure out what you have to do to make things happen. So it’s more the externaldo you have anything to add to that gtgt Dr. Murphy No, that’s excellent. gtgt Dr. Wahby Is it a myth that.
People in this generation, or children of this generation, can multitaskquote, unquoteand do four, five things at a time perfectlyquote, unquoteor is it a myth gtgt Ms. Meadows It is actually a myth because I just saw some recent research. I can’t remember the researcher’s name, but what they found was people are able to multitask but their productivity in each of the things that they’re doing actually goes down, so the quality does go down. Even though they are able to do it, the quality goes down, so that, I thought, was a very important.
Experiment to be able to do. And people have always multitasked. We saw the photograph of the woman who was feeding the baby and picking a fig, I mean, you know, that’s multitasking. So we’ve always done that, it’s just that we multitask externally and so overwhelmingly with the jangles and, different parts of our brain are used with the external motivation. gtgt Dr. Wahby I think this is very important, if you agree with me, that we have to define what multitasking is because I can click on printer to print 1,000 pages and push on my.
Microwave in a second to cook my meal for half an hour and then turn off the lights and do this, unclear dialogue things that are multitaskable. To listen to you, I have to give you my full attention. I can’t listen to you while texting or doing this or that. gtgt Ms. Meadows Right, exactly, exactly. gtgt Dr. Wahby unclear dialogue, if they have a problem, they’re hurting and they come to you and you say ‘okay, I’m listening, I’m listening’ and they say ‘please, give me your attention, look at me’.