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Egyptian Scribes


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Only 1 out of every 100 ancient Egyptians could read and write.

Who were Ancient Egyptian Scribes?

Scribes were the few Egyptians who knew how to read and write.

Why was being a Scribe a difficult job?

Being a scribe was an extremely difficult job because in total, there were hundreds of different hieroglyphs to remember.

How long did it take to train as a Scribe?

It took as long as twelve years to train as a scribe.

Could an Egyptian girl become a Scribe?

No, only boys went to school to learn to be scribes.

What did the Scribes write on?

The scribes used a kind of paper called papyrus, which was made from reeds otherwise known as the papyrus plant.

What was the job of the Scribe?

A scribe recorded in writing the everyday life and extraordinary happenings in ancient Egypt. Their jobs were varied and included:

  • writing letters for fellow villagers who couldn't write
  • recording the amount of crops harvested
  • calculating the amount of food needed to feed the tomb workers
  • keeping accounts and ordering supplies for temples and the Egytian army

How have Scribes helped us learn about life in ancient Egypt?

Almost all of our known knowledge about the ancient Egyptians came from the work and art of the ancient Egyptian scribe.

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