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A summary from the evidence for old age in Ancient Egypt

Defining the elderly as those no longer able to contribute labour, Egyptian writings indicate a social norm of respecting elders, but no special position in society for the elderly. As a general 'ethnographic' contrast, there are overtly gerontocratic societies such as China, and societies such as some traditions in India, where the elderly achieve a higher but otherworldly status. Contrast too within Ancient Egyptian writings the deep respect to ancestors, both the recently deceased and distant ancestors.


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