We all fantasize about Ancient Egypt throughout our childhood. Personally speaking, I was very amused and fascinate about this culture ever since watching famous hollywood Mummy Franchise’s movies. Keeping that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 10 Interesting Facts about Ancient Egypt, you should better know. So here we begin:
Queen Cleopatra was not Egyptian. In fact, she was descended from Ptolemy I, a trusted general of Alexander the great. So her Ptolemaic dynasty was a Greek one and she was born in Alexandria. On top of that, she was one of the first members of her family to actually speak Egyptian language.
Egyptians signed one of the first peace treaty ever recorded. For more than two century Egyptians fought worth Hittite empire for the control of area which is now Southern Sudan. So 1259 BC Ramses II of Egypt and king Hatusiili signed a very famous peace treaty. This agreement’s copy is placed at the entrance of United Nation Security Council Chamber in New York.
Board games were particularly popular among Ancient Egyptians. After all the hard work of a day, they just sat along River Nile, play their favorite board games and just relax. They played many different games like ‘Mehen” and “Dogs and Jackals” but their most favorite game was “Senet”.
That game was played more than 3500 years ago. In that game, there was long board painted with 30 squares and each player move his pieces by throwing a stick or dice. A little is known about its rules. But as far as its popularity is concerned, there are many paintings Queen Nefertari playing Senet and King Tutankhamen even has a board buried alongside his mummy.
Unlike many other civilization of its age, Ancient Egyptians gave their women very much financial and legal independence. Although Egyptian women did not work outside home like man, they got equal amount of money if they did so.
In Ancient Greece, women was considered as a property of his husband. That was not the case in Egypt, where women had the right to get divorce or remarry. In case of a divorce, all property and wealth will be compensated by her husband, which she had brought along with her at the time of marriage.
Despite all that, women were still considered inferior to men – socially and publicly.
Although Ancient Egypt Pharaohs are often depicted as slim and smart – in paintings and films, that is not the truth. The Egyptian’s diet contained a large amount of sugar in the form of beer, bread, wine and honey. Some there were many overweight and unhealthy Pharaohs. A close examination by scientist revealed that some had diabetes too.
As an example we have Queen Hatshepsut, who although, depicted as slender and beautiful in paintings, was actually obese and started balding in reality.
At its prosperous days, Ancient Egypt was the most advance civilization in the world. Not only they were the first people to invent paper and ink, Ancient Egyptians were the first people to invent writing. Literally.
In Ancient Egypt, a Pharaoh had a very sacred place. He was considered to be very close to their main God RA. In fact, he was also considered as “Son of RA”. So in order to remain distinct with all the other egyptians, a Pharaoh never let his hair to be seen by anybody. He usually wore a headdress or a crown to accomplish that.
Ancient Egyptian had a very sacred place in their hearts, not only for Pharaoh but also for animals. No other civilization and its artwork in history has emphasized more on Animal than Ancient Egyptians. They respected animals so much that two out of every 5 Egyptian Hieroglyphs ( Egyptian Characters) resembled to an animal in one way or another. Some animals were even thought to be the living incarnations of their different Gods.
More unknown fact is that, that had mummies for animals. Because Egyptians thought that there behavior towards animals would affect their afterlife. They wanted to be kind towards animals and hence gave them proper burial aka Mummification.
Mummification, let’s discuss what it actually is! Simply speaking, whatever body was meant to be mummified, its brain and intestines were removed, first. Then apart from heart, all the internal organs of that body were kept in different jars, like brain and intestines.
The reason of not removing the heart from body was pretty simple according to Ancient Egyptians. They thought that it is the main component from soul and essential for afterlife.
Besides fighting against the Enemy kingdoms, Ancient Egypt army had the responsibility to do other tasks. They were used as an Internal police force as well as tax-collectors for their Pharaoh.
View of Ancient Egyptians regarding the shape of Earth was same, like the rest of Ancient Civilizations, and wrong also. They also thought that the Earth was Flat and round (yeah, not sphere but round). And Nile River is flowing through the centre of this world.
Doing makeup was popular for both the sexes – Male and Female, in Ancient Egypt. They also usually wore eye paint of green or black colors. They were made from Copper and Lead respectively. They believed that, that makeup had some special sort of healing power. It should be worth mentioning that the original purpose for their makeup-applying for protection from sunlight rather than looking beautiful.
In Ancient times, a physician was more of a “jack-of-all-master-of-none” man. It means he knew a little bit about all systems of human body but he didn’t have specialization in any of these fields. But that was not the case in Ancient Egypt where, there were specialized physician from every field of medicine.
A solid proof of this specialization are the writings of Herodotus in 450 BC, an Ancient Greece Historian and Traveler, who wrote:
Each physician is a healer of one disease and no more…some of the eye, some of the teeth, some of what pertains to the belly.
They even had specific names for those different types of Doctors. Like Dentists were called “Doctor of the tooth”.
Ancient Egyptian had a lot many different gods (2200, to be precise). Images of those Gods might confuse you for a moment, because they have shape of a human but had of an animal or a bird. For example, we have Ra – the most important God and the Lord of all the Gods. He had a body of a man but have a falcon on its head. If that’s not enough for you, has had a Sun encircled by a Cobra on its head cum Falcon. Other than this, Tefnut – the Goddess of rain, had the head of a lioness and Sobek – the God of Nile had ead of a Crocodile.
Ancient Egyptians believed that humans and other living beings were made from clay. River god Khnum made them on a Potter’s wheel (really?).
So these were some little Interesting FActs about Ancient Egypt. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. If you have any other interesting fact about Ancient Egypt in your mind, please mention that in your comments.