Except in rare famine years, no one starved in Egypt. The Nile’s flood and constant sunchine produced such good crops that even peasants with tiny patches of land could grow enough wheat, vegetables and fruit to live on. Those who could afford meat ate pork, mutton, goat, goose, duck or wild game. Beef was a luxury because cows needed good land that was better used for crops. Hens were unknown until the New Kingdom (c1568-1085 BC), when some were imported from Syria.

There were no shops. Townsfolk bought what they needed from farmers and craftsmen who sold their wares from stalls in the streets. Money had not been invented, so shopping was done by bartering – exchanging goods of equal value. Wages and taxes were paid in the form of food, goods, or services.

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