Slaves in Egypt were either criminals, those who could not pay their debts, or captives from foreign military campaigns. These people were considered to have forfeited their freedoms either by their individual choices or by military conquest and so were forced to endure a quality of existence far below that of free Egyptians.
One of the most commonly held misconceptions about ancient Egypt is that slaves were used to build the pyramids. But recent archaeological evidence has found that this is not true, and it’s now suggested it was either farmers who built the pyramids when flooding meant they could not work on their own lands or that a workforce of labourers dedicated their entire lives to the task. That’s not to say Ancient Egypt didn’t have slavery. It did. It was just a little different to how we imagine it today.
Slaves and Slavery in Ancient Egypt .For many years, it was presumed that inancient Egypt, the GreatPyramids atGiza were built by many thousands of foreign slaves, toiling under very harsh conditions over a period of decades. Today, many scholars refute this picture of ancient Egypt, believing instead that they were built by the free Egyptians themselves, some perhaps as seasonal conscripts with other artisans consigned permanently to the projects. One must also consider just how the Egyptians would really control so many slaves in one location with the rudimentary weapons of theOld Kingdom. A slave is defined as "One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household". This is an interesting definition, considering that it does not refer to entities other than persons or households, such as the state. The definition of slavery does provide that it is "The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household", which seems to have a broader scope. Certainly most of us would consider anyone bound in servitude, regardless to whom, a slave.
It can be difficult to understand ancient Egypt because its society is so different to our own. However, this brief introduction to the various social groups in Ancient Egypt will help you understand the way they thought and lived.