Sports in Egypt

To study life in ancient Egypt one only needs to look at the depictions on the walls of the pyramids and the temples of the country. A variety of sporting activities and athletics were part of ancient Egyptian lifestyle. Wrestling, archery, and throwing the javelin seem to have been favorites. Navigating the Nile made the ancient Egyptians expert rowers.

Rowing competitions seem to have been as common as ball games. Bats fashioned out of palm leaves or carved wood are discernible in the pyramid etchings. Records say that Pharaohs such as Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV were not only patrons but also skilled sportsmen themselves. Riding and running were common events in the sporting events and marathons held in ancient Egypt. These sporting festivals, such as the Heb Sed Festival, were held in the desert amidst much fanfare. Unlike ancient Romans, the Egyptians practiced “peaceful” sports aimed at enhancing their fitness and athletic prowess and at providing entertainment.