10 Surprising Facts about Egypt

10 Surprising facts about Egypt, Around Egypt Tours

Ancient Egypt is referred one of the most evocative periods in history that schoolchildren learn.

But even now, thousands of years later, we are still learning new things about how people lived. Although the land of pharaohs, mummies and majestic cats is widely known and recognized, there are many interesting facts about Egypt that many people are unaware of. Here is a laydown of the top ten facts about ancient Egypt:

The ancient Egyptians loved board games.

After a long day of work along the Nile River, Egyptians often relaxed by playing board games. Numerous different games have been played, including "Mehen" and "Dogs and Jackals," but perhaps the most popular was a gambling game known as "Senet ."This hobby dates back to 3500 BC., and it was played on a long painted board with 30 squares. Each player had a series of pieces that moved on the board based on the roll of the dice or the throw of sticks. Historians still argue over Senet's exact rules, but there is no doubt about the game's popularity.

The pyramids were not built by slaves.

The life of a pyramid builder was certainly not easy: workers' skeletons often show signs of arthritis and other ailments, but evidence suggests that communal graves were not built by slaves but by wage earners. These former construction workers were a mix of skilled craftsmen and temporary hands, and some appeared to be proud of their craft. Graffiti found near the monuments suggests that they often gave their crews humorous names such as "Drunk of Menkaure" or "Friends of Khufu ."The idea of slaves building pyramids with the crack of a whip was first evoked by the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC. However, most historians now dismiss it as a myth. Although the ancient Egyptians were certainly not averse to owning slaves, it appears that they used them primarily as laborers and servants.

Cleopatra was not Egyptian.

Another interesting fact about Egypt is that Cleopatra, one of the most famous figures of ancient Egypt, is actually Greek, not Egyptian. Although she was born in Alexandria, she had no Egyptian blood and was instead a descendant of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which was a line of Greek Macedonians. The Ptolemaic dynasty ruled ancient Egypt from 323 to 30 BC. The name Cleopatra is actually Greek for "Famous in her father" or "The fame of her father."

Makeup And Ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians believed that makeup had healing powers that protected them from the sun, and therefore makeup was worn by both men and women. The black eye paint we know so well from ancient Egyptian depictions was made of red, and they also used green makeup made of copper.

The Egyptians saw animals as embodiments of the gods!

Falcons, lions, baboons, and dogs were extremely popular animals among the ancient Egyptians. The animals were mummified and buried with their owners after their death;

accompany and watch over the dead.

Many of the gods were represented in therianthropic forms;  part human, part animal. In some cases, they were completely animal.

Egyptian women had a wide range of freedom and rights.

Although they may have been publicly and socially viewed as inferior to men, Egyptian women enjoyed great legal as well as financial independence. They could buy and sell belongings, serve on juries, make wills, as well as even enter into legal contracts. Egyptian women did not normally work outside the home, but they did, and they usually received the same pay for doing the same jobs as men.

Compared to the women of ancient Greece, who were actually the property of their husbands, Egyptian women also had the right to divorce and remarry. Egyptian couples were even known to negotiate an ancient prenuptial agreement. These contracts listed all the property and wealth the woman had brought into the marriage and guaranteed that she would be compensated in the event of a divorce.

A new capital

Cairo has been Egypt's capital for more than 1,000 years, but the government is building a new capital of about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to the east to ease Cairo's congestion. The plans call for the yet-to-be-named city to be home to major government departments and ministries, as well as foreign embassies.

The 356 days calendar

The calendar of 365 days divided into 12 months was invented in Egypt.

Egyptian gods

The ancient Egyptians believed greatly in more than 2,000 gods! They had gods for everything from chores to danger! They all had different responsibilities and had to be worshiped so that life could be kept in balance.

One of the largest dams in the world is located in Egypt

Egypt is home to one of the largest dams in the world. The Aswan Dam is referred to as the largest embankment dam in the entire world, stretching across the Nile, separating Egypt from Sudan and creating Lake Nassar. Lake Nassar is one of the largest bodies of water in the world.

Many of the things that people cherish in their lives today were invented by the ancient Egyptians, including paper and pens, keys and locks, and even toothpaste.

Well, here are some fun facts about Egypt that a lot of people probably didn't know about.

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