Also known as The Land of Pharaohs, Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. The history of Egypt is full of fascinating theories and interesting facts. When you think of Egypt, you usually think of the famous Pyramids, or the bandaged mummies. But there’s a lot more to this ancient country than what meets the eye. Which is why, in this article, we will be taking a look at some of the most interesting and fascinating facts, that you might have known about Egypt.
Unknown Facts About Egypt
Contrary to popular belief, the camel was not used regularly in Egypt until the very end of the dynastic age. Instead, the Egyptians used donkeys as beasts of burden, and boats as a highly convenient means of transport.
Though the country is famous for its mummification process, not everyone was mummified, as it was an expensive and time-consuming process. It was usually reserved for the wealthier members of society. The vast majority of Egypt’s dead were buried in simple pits in the desert.
- Egypt has the largest Arabic population in the world.
- The formal name of Egypt is the Arab Republic of Egypt.
- Approximately 90% of Egyptians are Muslim (primarily Sunni), 9% are Coptic, and 1% is Christian.
- Egyptian women had equal rights with men, and enjoyed a great deal of legal and financial independence. They could buy and sell property, serve on juries, make wills and even enter into legal contracts.
- Evidence suggests that the massive Pyramids were built not by slaves but by paid laborers, and skilled artisans who haven taken great pride in their craft.
- The great King Tut may have been killed by a hippopotamus, as evidence indicates that the Egyptians hunted the beasts for sport, and King Tut had an avid liking to the sport.
- The Egyptians saw animals as incarnations of the gods and were one of the first civilizations to keep household pets.
- Both men and women in Egypt were known to wear copious amounts of makeup, which they believed gave them the protection of the gods Horus and Ra. The make-up was made by grinding ores like malachite and galena into a substance called kohl.
- The afterlife was incredibly important to the Egyptians. They believed that by preserving a dead person’s body – which they did through the process of mummification – their soul would live on in the after-life forever.
- The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. This incredible structure weighs over 5 Billion Kilograms.
- When Unwrapped, the bandages of an Ancient Egyptian mummy could stretch for 1.6km.
- Cats were considered to be a sacred animal by the Ancient Egyptians. It’s thought that most families kept a cat as a pet, which they believed would bring the household good luck!
- The Ancient Egyptians invented lots of things we still use today, such as paper, pens, locks, keys and even toothpaste.
- The literacy rate for Egyptian men is 83% and 59.4% for women.
- On average, only an inch of rain falls in Egypt per year.
- The shape of ancient Egyptian pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the spreading rays of the sun.
- Approximately 99% of the population of Egypt lives on about 5.5% of the land.
- The famous Great Pyramid at Giza was built as a burial place for King Khufu and took more than 20 years to build.
- It is built from over two million blocks of limestone, each one weighing as much as two and a half elephants. It stands about 460 feet (149 m) high. The base of the Great Pyramid takes up almost as much space as five football fields.
- Ancient Egyptians mummified not only people but animals as well. Archeologists discovered a 15-foot long mummified crocodile. The crocodile is known as the “devourer of human hearts” in the ancient Book of the Dead.
- For ancient Egyptians, bread was the most important food and beer was their favorite drink.
- The ancient Egyptians had three different calendars: an everyday farming calendar, an astronomical calendar, and a lunar calendar.
- Egypt’s first pyramid was a step pyramid built by famed Egyptian architect Imhotep for the pharaoh Djoser in 2600 B.C.
- The ancient Egyptians worshipped more than 1,000 different gods and goddesses. The most important god of all was Ra, the sun god.
- The Sahara Desert at one time was a lush grassland full of vegetation. But due to the climate change in 8000 B.C. the pastoral land transferred into a desert. Now it is the world’s largest hot desert at over 3,630,000 square miles.
- Egypt is the 30th largest country in the world by area.
- To stay cool and avoid lice, both men and women in ancient Egypt shaved their heads and often wore wigs.
- In fact, wigs indicated social status, and became one of the most important fashion accessories in ancient Egypt. Rich people wore wigs made from human hair, while poor people wore wigs made from wool or vegetable fiber.
- Egypt’s Nile River is the world’s longest, running river, at 4,135 miles (6,670 km).
- Ancient Egyptians needed to predict when the Nile would flood, which led to the development of the world’s first calendar.
- The pyramids of Egypt are not only the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world, they are the only ones to survive today.
- Ancient Egyptian tomb builders had their own guarded villages. They were well fed and looked after because their work was so important.
- More than 14,000 Gods and Goddesses were worshiped by the Egyptians in ancient times.
- The Statue of Liberty was initially intended to be installed in Egypt.
- Heracleion, the lost city of Egypt was found under the sea after 1200 years.
- Sailing boats were first invented in Egypt.
- Exchanging wedding rings was a tradition that was first started in ancient Egypt.
- Egyptians were the first to invent writing known as “Hieroglyphics” as well as ink, and paper which they called “papyrus”.
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