Ancient Egyptian Table Etiquette

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Egyptian table etiquette might not seem like a very interesting topic, but once you learn about their etiquette you will be happy ours is not like theirs was back then. Egyptians didn’t use silverware because sand would stick to the metal. When they use their fingers, sand would stick to their fingers, but not as much. To counter the sand sticking to their fingers, they dipped them into to water bowls frequently to get the sand off. The Ancient Egyptians had very interesting table manners that are different to presents time American table manners.

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What kind of utensils did the Egyptians use? Believe it or not, the Egyptians didn’t use utensils at all! They did this because of the sand that gets everywhere. Ancients Egyptians’ teeth would actually chip away over time due to the sand in their bread and how coarse the bread was. The Egyptians did, however, use bread like a spoon to scoop food into. Some Egyptians today still eat with their fingers!

What were their table manners like? The Ancient Egyptian always wanted you to sit up straight! You were not allowed to eat with your mouth open too. They washed their hands a lot over a certain periods of time! They also never wasted food. Do you eat with your left and right hand? I know I do! The Egyptians were not allowed to eat with their left hand either! Pork was forbidden in every meal. They even considered it rude to stare at you meal. The Ancient Egyptians didn’t use any kind of washcloth or napkin to dry their hands, instead they just shook their hands.

What are the similarities and differences of their table manners compared to ours? Obviously you still had to behave and control yourself, but their still are some differences to ours today. Let’s do the differences first. You were not allowed to eat pork or eat with your left hand. You always had to get someone else’s food for them, which means you couldn’t get your own food. They didn’t use silverware. Finally, Poor people ate at a carpet and had no chairs, while wealthy people ate at a table that was sometimes gold or copper plated. Let’s do the similarities now. Because they didn’t use silverware they used bread to scoop their food most of the time. Just like our etiquette it was considered rude to chew with your mouth open. It was also considered rude to stare at your food. They still washed their hands, just like us. They did not like wasting food as well.

As you can tell, Egyptian food etiquette is much different from ours. Your etiquette obviously depends on what region you live. Your etiquette also has to make sense on where you live. American etiquette is good for America, while Egyptian table etiquette is good for Egypt. It is good for Egypt because of its environment. Their etiquette makes sense because of the sand, and their surroundings.

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Ancient Egyptian Table Etiquette. (2019, Jul 09). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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