With everything that the modern world has to offer (from the Internet to television and numerous sports-related pastimes), we really have no reason to experience boredom. But of course it still happens. Maybe we are victims of sensory overload or perhaps we’ve just become spoiled from all the technology at our disposal.
Have you ever wondered what people did to pass the time when the Giza pyramids were being built?
Life may have been tougher in ancient Egypt, and people didn’t live as long on average, but they still had to devise ways to deal with their boredom. After all, it was not “all work and no play for Neferhotep.”
You may be surprised to know that the ancient Egyptians enjoyed imbibing beer nearly every day, oftentimes all day! It wasn’t that the Egyptians were necessarily a culture of soaks, they just didn’t have access to potable water. Even back then, the Nile River was full of animal waste, making it undrinkable for the most part. Beer was the safe alternative.
While the majority of Egyptians drank beer, the nobles chose wine as their favored alcoholic beverage.
All Egyptians enjoyed public and private celebrations, where a certain level of drunkenness was not only expected, but encouraged. As they were drinking their beer or wine, many Egyptians also enjoyed playing the world’s oldest board game—senet. Although modern scholars don’t know all the details of game play, senet was a two-player game where pieces were moved after rolling dice, similar to backgammon. Senet games probably got pretty heated when the players were drunk, especially since betting would have been frequent.
So, the next time your power goes out and you’re feeling bored, think about the ancient Egyptians.