Egypt is one of the oldest nations on Earth and boasts an extensive cultural legacy to discover. From Great Pyramids to local football rivalries, here are some interesting facts about Egypt!
Egyptians viewed cats as sacred deities. Many homes kept cats to bring good fortune.
Egypt may conjure images of its desert landscapes when people think about this country, but Egypt boasts mountains, shorelines, wetlands and more – each offering shelter to an array of wildlife that lives here. Egypt boasts 21 protected areas that help ensure this biodiversity flourishes.
Ancient Egyptians treated their dead with great reverence. After death, their souls would ascend into heaven through such practices. Mummies also served as symbols of sun worship to connect Egyptians to nature.
One of the most remarkable facts about mummies is their linen bandages can stretch for over one mile! This explains why movie depictions often feature them with arms flailing about and bandages trailing behind, signalling they were ready for heaven.
Mummies provide another tool for discovering more about ancient societies. Scientists can analyze mummy bones to gain an insight into when someone died and even identify any family ties between pharaohs.
No doubt about it: Ancient Egyptians loved cats to an extreme. In fact, they worshiped felines like deities. Cats were considered sacred animals as well as good luck charms used to guard tombs — which made them one of the key items wealthy Egyptians brought with them when leaving this life behind.
Ancient Egyptians were among the earliest civilizations to create written languages, using hieroglyphs as a system for recording important information such as names and titles of people and places.
This writing system used a combination of pictograms, phonograms and determinatives. These signs were intended to work as logograms – letters that represent words – phonograms – sounds; and determinatives – words with specific meaning – to help communicate its message. The ancient Egyptian system was complex. There were more symbols than in alphabetic languages, each representing multiple consonants; vowels were represented by special triangle-shaped symbols arranged horizontally on rows or columns to ensure neatness of reading direction and layout of hieroglyphs arranged vertically arranged hieroglyphs could be read either left-to-right or vice versa arranged rows and columns of signs together for ease of reading and display.
As opposed to letters in an alphabet, hieroglyphs represented more than one sound and were usually depictive rather than abstract. Each sign could function as either a logogram, phonogram or determinative; sometimes all three at the same time. For instance, an Egyptian word for house (pictured above) serves both functions by being an image of such; its presence also serves as both a phonogram for its inclusion of the r sound as well as being determinative via its vertical stroke indicating where this particular glyph should be read when.
The determinative was also used to distinguish homophones – words with similar sounding but different meaning. For instance, one hieroglyph for ‘dog’ can also be used to write out the word for “tree”, so Egyptians didn’t need separate glyphs for both sounds.
The Great Pyramids
The Great Pyramids of Giza are among the oldest and tallest manmade structures on earth. Constructed over 23 years by ancient Egyptian pharaohs Khafre, Khufra, and Menkaure they remain one of the world’s greatest mysteries today.
How did ancient Egyptians move such massive blocks and fit them together so precisely? Scientists have proposed several theories, such as ramps and pulley systems, water-assisted stone sleds and rolling wooden ramps – yet none of these explanations has been proven and we still do not know exactly how these pyramids were made!
There is confusion as to what these pyramids were used for; scholars speculate they were either tombs or temples for worship purposes. The Giza Necropolis houses these ancient structures built for members of Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty kings.
Ancient Egyptian burial customs included placing valuable objects and treasure with those who died, with the intention of aiding their soul in the afterlife. Unfortunately, grave robbers often broke in to steal them – hence why pyramids were so strongly guarded at that time.
Ancient Egyptians were not entirely successful at protecting their tombs from thieves; almost all pyramids in Egypt had been looted by 1000 B.C. This may have been out of revenge, economic hardship or family members seeking to claim some of the belongings as their own. Even with guards and sealed tombs in place, many thieves managed to gain entrance by digging tunnels; one such tunnel known as Robber’s Tunnel ran 27 meters before reaching Ascending Passage.
The Red Sea
The Red Sea is a large body of water separating Egypt from Africa. As one of the busiest ocean waterways worldwide, allowing large ships to sail all the way from Eastern Asia all the way to Europe; additionally it boasts incredible marine life that draws in tourists from across the globe.
The sea is home to an astonishing variety of aquatic marvels ranging from pelagic fish like oceanic white tips and pelagic tuna, all the way down to tiny macro species such as colorful nudibranchs. Its underwater landscape boasts an endless collection of marine delights that only can truly be appreciated first-hand.
At its most vibrant, the sea has long been considered the “window to the universe.” This may be in part due to its unique makeup; lack of rivers and streams means it is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet! Furthermore, its vibrant hue is created by mineral-rich waters surrounding it.
Diving here is an incredible experience, with some incredible reefs to discover and over 200 soft and hard coral species as well as 1200 fish species found only here! About 10% are unique to this location!
No wonder why the Red Sea is such a popular tourist attraction, offering tons of great snorkeling and diving spots as well as fascinating shipwrecks to discover! Not to mention it being home to sailfish which can swim up to 68 miles per hour! So if you’re up for some thrills and spills then come explore.
The Gabal Katrine
Egypt is home to much more than its iconic Pyramids of Giza; there’s so much more on offer here! Deserts, mountains, coastal areas, river islands and wetlands make up its varied landscape – many protected areas allow Egyptian wildlife thrive while safeguarding natural beauty – you may spot cheetahs, crocodiles or even elephants in their natural environment!
Ancient Egypt is widely recognized as one of the world’s most advanced civilizations, pioneering written language and inventing many of our everyday items such as breath mints and surgical instruments. Yet less widely known is that Ancient Egyptian women were treated equally to men in terms of rights and social status – they could own property and run businesses just like men did, marry whomever they chose and even seek revenge against their enemies.
Ancient Egyptians revered cats as sacred incarnations of Gods. Many households kept at least one cat and treated it like royalty; when a deceased would pass, its owner would mummify and bury it along with shaving their eyebrows as a mark of mourning.
Not surprisingly, Egypt was once a lush green landscape inhabited by prehistoric hunters and gatherers who hunted and gathered food during prehistory. At one point during the last Ice Age, its region featured grass-grown plains and forests ideal for human settlement. As climate changed over time and eventually led to desertification in this part of the world; one thing keeping this from becoming barren is the Nile River which provides fertile soil that supports plants, animals and people surviving here.