December 17, 2023 | Carl Wyndham

Monumental Facts About Ancient Egypt


When it comes to Ancient Egypt, it can be difficult to separate facts from fiction. It was a massive civilization that existed for thousands of years, utterly transforming the basic tenets of human civilization and influencing almost every people that has come about since. And because of all of this occurred in the early years of written history, there's a fair amount of myth and legend mixed in with the truth.

Here at Factinate, though, we deal in facts. So in the interest of setting the record straight, here is our definitive guide to the history, culture, religion, and technology of the great Egyptian empire.


49. How To Build A Great Pyramid

Granite blocks used for the King’s chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza weighed as much as 60-80 tons each and were quarried nearly 500 miles away. The exact way the massive blocks were used is unknown. Egyptologists think the massive blocks were floated down the Nile river as much as possible. Legend says that there were some Egyptians who were so devoted to the King that they would walk 500 miles, and they would have walked 500 more, just to be the man to bring the King a block to build a lovely door.

Ancient Egypt

48. Pick Your Poison

Between the Fourth and Sixth centuries, the main religion in Egypt was Christianity before eventually being supplanted by Islam. Christianity says it’ll make a comeback. We’ve heard that before.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPixabay

47. Pioneers In Love

Nearly 5000 years ago, Ancient Egyptian citizens were among the first people on Earth to trade "rings of love" as a way to demonstrate their commitment. That's right: Ancient Egypt invented the wedding ring.

Egyptian Pharaohs FactsWikimedia Commons

46. The Science Of Egyptian Cosmetics

Both men and women in ancient Egypt were known to wear copious amounts of makeup. They often believed it would give them the protection of the Egyptian gods Horus and Ra. They believed that the makeup had magical healing powers.

Recently, modern science has demonstrated that in a sense, the Egyptians were right. Research shows that the lead-based cosmetics worn along the Nile helped to stave off eye infections.

Egyptian Pharaohs FactsWikimedia Commons

45. Pyramid Scheme

The Great Pyramid of Giza has 8 sides, not 4, distinguishing it from other pyramids. The concavity of the sides was so subtle that it wasn’t noticed until the advent of aviation.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

44. A Poly Lifestyle

Ancient Egyptians worshiped over 1,400 different gods and goddesses which likely greatly upset the One True God: Bill Murray.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikimedia Commons

43. Riddle Me This

The Sphinx of Giza is one of the largest single-stone statues in the world, and to this day, nobody knows exactly who built it or why. She is also missing her nose, and while there are theories, it is unknown exactly how that happened. Our theory is that she sneezed too hard because she’s allergic to cats.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPexels

42. Coast to Coaster

Egyptians believed that the earth was flat and round like a pancake and that the Nile flowed through the center of it.

Ancient Egyptian FactsPixabay

41. Say Yes to the Dress

The world’s oldest dress was found in Egypt and it is 5,000 years old. Even back then, people were probably arguing over if it was blue and black or white and gold.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPexels

40.Bare Truth

Egyptian children wore no clothing until they were in their teens as the warm temperatures made clothing unnecessary.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

39. Planting a Flag

On the border between Egypt and Sudan, there is an area of land 795 miles square, called Bir Tawil, that neither country has claimed. Be right back. We’re off to claim it in the name of Factinate.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

38. Great Minds Think Alike

Written language was invented independently several times in human history: by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, and Mayans.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPexels

37. Location Location Location

Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt. We guess the aliens liked Sudan more.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

36. Historical Inaccuracies

Recent discoveries have lead experts to believe that it is possible that the pyramids were actually built by paid laborers and not slaves. The latter is a myth perpetuated by Herodotus, the Ancient Greek historian who was apparently not a very good historian.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsShutterstock

35. Anhotel Was Here

These workers often left graffiti behind near the monuments suggesting that their work crews had humorous names like the “Drunkards of Menkaure” or the “Friends of Khufu". Might be one of those jokes where you had to be there.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsGeograph

34. Over Their Heads

The lost Egyptian city of Heracleion was found after 1,200 years under the sea. Being submerged 30 feet underwater probably did a real number on property values.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsMax Pixel

33. Sleep Like a Rock

Ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stones. In case you were wondering, the Princess and the Pea was not an ancient Egyptian story.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikimedia Commons

32. On Board

Ancient Egyptians loved board games, one of the most popular being a game of chance known as “Senet". Historians are a little shaky on what the rules of that game were, but there was no doubt it was popular with paintings depicting Queen Nefertiti playing the game and King Tut was buried with a board.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

31. When You Gotta Go

Many Egyptian tombs included toilets. Turns out, you CAN take it with you.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikimedia Commons

30. ¿Dónde está el baño?

There are still unexplored passageways in the Great Pyramid of Giza and we’re sure some of them probably lead to undiscovered toilets. 60% of the time we are right, every time.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikimedia Commons

29. Egypt by Calvin Klein

Both sexes also wore perfumes made from oil, myrrh, and cinnamon. Given the likelihood that hygiene standards weren’t as high as modern-day, this is probably a good thing.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsShutterstock

28. The End of Curiosity

In Ancient Egypt, cats were venerated and causing harm to a cat, even inadvertently, could result in severe punishment up to one's life being forfeited. Does that imply they would enforce the capital punishment nine times?

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPixabay

27. Animal House

In addition to cats, Egyptians also had a reverence for hawks, ibises, dogs, lions, and baboons. These animals held a significant position in Egyptian households, and it was common practice to mummify them and place them alongside their owners upon the latter's passing.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization Facts

26. The Long Paw of the Law

Ancient Egyptians law enforcement officers were known to have trained dogs and monkeys assist them during their patrol duties. We can certainly imagine a sitcom out of this.

Ancient Egyptian Facts width=

25. A Periodic Break

In Ancient Egypt, men could take time off of work to care for menstruating wives and daughters.

 

Ancient Egyptian FactsWikipedia

24. We Heart Mummies

When a body was mummified the brain was literally scrambled and removed through one of its nostrils, and each organ was placed in its own canopic jar. The only internal organ that was not removed was the heart as it was considered to be the seat of the soul.

Ancient Egyptian FactsPixabay

23. Keep it in the Family

Ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun, or as he is more affectionately known, King Tut, met his end at the tender age of 18. Some researchers suggest he succumbed to a genetic disease because his parents were siblings. Ancient Egypt was into Game of Thrones before it was cool.

Egyptian Pharaohs factsWikimedia Commons

22. Hungry Hungry Hippo

The lack of heart and chest wall in Tut's body, a major deviation from the standard Egyptian embalming methods, has led other researchers to theorize that King Tut may have met his end following a horrific injury. One potential scenario is being devoured by a hippo.

Ancient Egyptian FactsFlickr

21. Anatomically Correct

Ancient Egyptian doctors had specialties, often focusing on one part of the human body. Dentists were known as “doctors of the tooth,” while the term for proctologists literally translates to “shepherd of the anus". We don't want any part of that Shepherd’s Pie.

Ancient Egyptian FactsShutterstock

20. This Wooden Piggy

The world’s oldest prosthetic limb belongs to an Egyptian woman who, in approximately 1000 BC, was outfitted with a wooden toe.

Ancient Egyptian FactsWikimedia Commons

19. Tyrion is Pleased

The ancient Egyptians had a very high regard for dwarves, and did not see them as having a physical handicap.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPixabay

18. It’s All Greek to Me

In the dynasty of Greek rulers of Egypt, Cleopatra was the first who could speak Egyptian.

Egyptian Pharaohs QuizPxHere

17. Sweet Relief

To deter flies from landing on him, Pepi II of Egypt kept himself surrounded by slaves, without any clothing, whose bodies were smeared with honey. Pepi II was somewhat difficult to deal with.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsShutterstock

16. It’s Good to be the King

Ramses the Great had 8 official wives and nearly 100 concubines. He was over 90 years old when he departed this life in 1212 BC and, undoubtedly, he concluded his journey full of happiness.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

15. Bundle of Joy

Traces of nicotine and a certain illicit substance were found in Egyptian mummies.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikipedia

14. Peace Out

The ancient Egyptians and the Hittite Empire were the signatories of one of the earliest surviving peace accords, a copy of which can be seen above the entrance to the United Nations Security Council Chamber in New York.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

13. In One Ear…

One ancient Egyptian cure for blindness was to pour mashed-up pig’s eye into the patient’s ear. Luckily, patients who received this treatment couldn’t see the mess it made.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikimedia Commons

12. If the Mold Fits

While antibiotics weren’t discovered until the 20th century, early Egyptian medicine used moldy bread to treat infections.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

11. Rubbish to the Future

Ancient Egyptians practiced scatomancy, the act of predicting the future through examination of someone's excrement. Well, if there’s anyone who can tell us about the future, it’s Doc Brown. We’ll let ourselves out.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsShutterstock

10. Wage Gap? What Wage Gap?

Although Egyptian women typically stayed at home, those who worked outside the home received equal pay for doing the same jobs as men.

Ancient Egyptian FactsShutterstock

9. Strike One

Ancient Egyptian workers were not afraid to protest for better working conditions. The most famous was during the reign of Ramses III when laborers building the royal necropolis did not receive their usual payment of grain. They organized one of the first recorded strikes in history.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsWikipedia

8. What’s Mine is Mine

Egyptian couples were known to negotiate ancient prenuptial agreements. These contracts listed all the assets a woman brought into the marriage and guaranteed she would be compensated for it in the event of a divorce.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPxHere

7. Time for S’Mores

Ancient Egyptians were the first people to make a sweet treat from the marshmallow plant, combining its sap with nuts and honey.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPxHere

6. A God that Poops

Pharaohs were viewed by the Egyptian people as living gods.

 Golden Mask of King Tut (Cairo)Lucas, Flickr

5. Man of the House

The term pharaoh translates to “great house” and originally referred to the royal palace where the pharaohs lived. Eventually, it became the designation for the ruler of Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsMax Pixel

4. Under Wraps

A pharaoh would never let his hair be seen and always wore a crown or a headdress called a nemes. As a result, pharaohs never had a bad hair day.

Egyptian Pharaohs QuizPixabay

3. Sweet Tooth

Many Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were overweight due to a sugary diet of fermented beverages, bread, and honey.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsShutterstock

2. Jabba the Tut

Even though her sarcophagus depicted her as slender and athletic, the legendary Queen Hatshepsut, who lived in 15th century BC, was said to be likely obese and bald.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsFlickr

1. Planned Parenthood

The Egyptian Kahun Papyrus (1850 BC) suggested using crocodile waste either as a contraceptive or as an abortion drug. We’re not doctors, but we’re sure that smearing yourself in poop would deter anyone from wanting to have a baby with you.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization FactsPxHere

Sources: 1 2 3 4


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