Ancient Egypt: Sports as daily priority

Sports in Ancient Egyptian Society [Photo: Wikipedia]

In retrospect of alleviating an open spirit in development, ancient Egyptians were open to games and sports that ranked as a priority in their lives. Egypt Today continues its series in exploring the social traditions of ancient Egyptians.

Children were brought up on doing exercises regularly. It was believed that sports were an important tool to train the body to fight in war. Ancient Egyptians managed to know a number of sports and games that are now part of the Olympic Games.

Gymnastics Ancient Egyptian Society [Photo: Wikipedia]
They enrolled in easy exercises that helped maintain health and fitness of their body, and sports were also used for entertainment, often including balance games, such as standing on one leg.

Egyptians also did more complicated sports, such as wrestling, boxing, swimming, running, and jumping. They were among earliest nations to introduce wrestling.

Sports in Ancient Egyptian Society [Photo: Wikipedia]
A number of inscriptions in Ptahhotep’s tomb portray different wrestling positions, while other inscriptions of wrestling are also found at the Beni Hasan tombs.

Wrestling Ancient Egyptian Society [Photo: Wikipedia]
Other sports in ancient Egypt included handball, which was popular among girls. Mainly, sports were played by both boys and girls.

Some inscriptions in the Beni Hasan tombs show that hockey was also known in ancient Egyptian society, as well as fencing, rowing, horse riding, high jumping, archery and gymnastics.

Horse Riding Ancient Egyptian Society [Photo: Wikipedia]
Games in ancient Egypt included mind games and mind tricks as well.

”Sent Game”, similar to chess, was the most popular game at the time. The game is drawn in 30 squares on a piece of leather, with each column including ten squares. Each player was assigned a number of game pieces that came in different colors, shapes and sizes.

Some versions of the game were later created, like the famous Egyptian game “Ladder and Snake”.

Sent Game [Photo: Flicker]
Ancient Egyptian children played with toys and small balls as well, and they also attended primitive versions of a puppet theater. Previous articles in Egypt Today’s special series have tackled
Love, Marriage, and Divorce in Ancient Egypt and Celebrations of New Born Babies.