After one week of visiting many temples of worship, from Cairo to Luxor, I asked Ahmed, our guide, “Where did the Pharaohs live?”
“In palaces, which don’t exist anymore, but don’t worry they lived in great splendor,” he answered. I had no doubt that they did. But why, besides the wall paintings in their tombs, telling us about their splendid life, is there no trace of it.
“Can you tell me what happened to their palaces?” I insisted, but Ahmed was moving on and did not seem ready to explain further. So I did some research and found out that most places of the living in ancient Egyptian, even the king’s residence, were built of mud bricks. Stones and rocks were reserved for the dead and the gods. Unfortunately mud bricks could not withstand the challenges of floods, neglect, and the ravages of time. A few small traces remain, and here and there we can still see part of a wall, or what once was a building.
Mud Bricks are made of mud, sand, water, rice husks, or straw, measuring between 18 to 12 inches in length and 8 to 6 inches in width, and they have to dry in the sun for at least 25 days.
Are they still used today? Yes – in villages along the Nile farmers still build their small houses from mud bricks.
More from Egypt soon