What was life like for an ancient Egyptian soldier? Was there a strict code? What did they do during peacetime? Did they do other things?
Life as an ancient Egyptian military man was tough. You would be expected to train with a variety of weapons. Some children started military training at the young age of 5. Though, you weren’t allowed to go to war until you were around 20.
If you showed more promise with a bow and arrow, you could be expected to be an archer for the rest of your military career. Likewise, if you showed better promise wielding the traditional Khopesh (sword) then you would be expected to fight on the front lines as a foot soldier.
The armies were made up of partially conscripted, partially voluntary men.
During the Old and Middle Kingdom, Egyptian armies were very basic. The Egyptian soldiers carried a simple armament consisting of a spear with a copper spearhead and a large wooden shield covered by leather hides.
It was during the New Kingdom when the Egyptians defeated a long-standing enemy, The Hyksos. They then developed the use of the War Chariot and perfected it to suit their needs. Egypt became the dominant superpower after honing the use of the chariot. A sophisticated piece of war equipment.
Because their lifestyle was so athletic, soldiers who weren’t at war made for excellent labourers and farmers. During peacetime, soldiers would do their bit to keep the economy growing. They would help out with building projects and other strenuous activities.
A tough life.