Egypt is one of the world’s most captivating nations, boasting an ancient culture dating back millennia. From mummies to the Nile River, there are so many exciting facts about this incredible nation you may never have known!
Do you know that, if you were to unwind the linen bandages on an Egyptian mummy, they would cover an area over a mile?
The longest river in the world
The Nile River is the world’s longest river and an integral component of Egyptian history, having served as its source for civilisation in North Africa’s desert regions.
The river’s annual flooding enabled crops to flourish on its fertile banks. Additionally, its waters provided shelter for animals like hippopatami and crocodiles as well as providing papyrus reeds used for writing purposes.
Egyptians believed that the Nile River was God’s gift and an eternal symbol, with both sun and moon seen as symbols for it. Furthermore, they worshipped many gods and goddesses related to it such as Ra (sun god), Hathor (goddess of love) and Amun-Ra (sun and creation god).
Egypt may be best-known for its pyramids and pharaohs, but there’s much more to this country than meets the eye! Luxor and Thebes are two popular tourist spots worth seeing for learning about ancient Egyptian culture as well as for spiritual quests or simply relaxing by enjoying the Nile river – two stops that should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list!
The oldest civilization
Egypt was one of the greatest ancient empires, boasting an expansive civilization located along the Nile River that at one point stretched all the way from Syria to Sudan. Egypt is famous for its monumental pyramids, hieroglyphic writing, advanced mathematics, complex religious beliefs, magnificent art and mummies – among many other attractions.
Egypt’s early villages began appearing approximately 7,000 years ago, thanks to the Nile River providing fertile soil for agriculture and livestock breeding. Thanks to centralized power of their Pharaohs, who had the ability to mobilize large labor forces for monumental building projects such as pyramid building – Harl firmly asserts that no other civilization is capable of organizing such massive constructions as efficiently as Egypt did.
Menes was the first pharaoh of Egypt to unify Upper and Lower Egypt in 3150 BCE, ushering in millennia of rule from successive dynasties that would produce monuments such as Giza’s Great Pyramids and Sphinx, an enormous stone figure resembling both lion’s body and human head. Pharaohs governed their kingdom through an intricate system of laws and taxes; established strong diplomatic ties with neighboring kingdoms; waged war against invading nomadic groups.
Ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic, honoring numerous gods and goddesses. Some became state deities that attracted devotion across all of Egypt while others were venerated only locally or at specific points in life. Furthermore, people living in Ancient Egypt paid much heed to healing practices and magic spells as part of their religious practices.
The Great Pyramids
The Great Pyramids at Giza are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and were constructed as tombs for Egyptian pharaohs to help their spirits ascend into heaven, their smooth angled sides symbolizing sunrays to help guide his spirit towards joining with gods and goddesses in afterlife.
The pyramids were massive structures constructed out of over two million blocks of stone. Determining how these huge stones were moved has proved challenging; one theory suggests Egyptians may have used ramps to lift and place blocks for easier pyramid construction without needing cranes.
Not surprisingly, no treasure has ever been discovered within any pyramids; this may be because tombs were looted repeatedly through history and/or early Pharaohs were less extravagant in their tomb designs than later Pharaohs such as Tutankhamun.
No evidence supports claims that Egyptians used slave laborers to construct their pyramids; rather, a highly skilled workforce was likely used. Furthermore, building pyramids required significant resources–including stable government and wealth–which could only have been secured with strong central authority and strong trade links from one or more Pharaohs.
The Nile River
The Nile River is an essential source of irrigation that transforms desert areas into fertile land, as well as supporting an array of animal life including Nile perch, catfish, eels, lungfish and tilapia fish species – plus it serves as an important route for migrating birds.
Ancient people relied on the Nile as an essential source of food and water, with annual flooding being essential to cultivation. Furthermore, it served as an important route for trade and travel – and Egypt boasted expert boat builders whose images appeared on early predynastic pottery vessels.
Today, Egypt’s Nile River forms part of its border with Sudan and forms Lake Nasser – one of the world’s largest reservoirs – as well as being home to some of its most iconic monuments – like Giza Pyramids and its Great Sphinx.
The Nile was central to ancient Egyptian thought about their world; Kemet, composed of fertile valleys and oasis regions such as Oasis, was associated with life while Deshret represented death. Additionally, this river played an integral part of ancient Egyptian religion – Osiris could only return after being submerged by its waters into his tomb in the River of the Dead; Nile River served as an intermediary between physical underworld and spiritual afterlife realms. Additionally, unlike their Greek counterparts who were effectively owned by their husbands for all aspects of life except prenuptial agreements or labor strikes!
The country has a high literacy rate
Egypt ranks among the highest literate countries worldwide. This achievement can be largely attributed to government efforts promoting literacy among women and children – not only is this education provided free-of-charge but it is available regardless of where residents reside.
Most of Egypt’s population lives along the Nile River valley, which covers only a fraction of its total land area but provides vital resources such as water and fertile soil, prompting most economic activity in Egypt to center around agriculture and tourism.
Egypt is home to seven World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO: Abu Mena, Abu Simbel, Aswan and Luxor are among them – sites which hold historical, cultural, and environmental significance for Egypt as a whole.
Even with its high literacy rate, Egypt still experiences some issues with illiteracy in rural areas, mainly caused by social and cultural customs that discourage girls from seeking an education – this can cause them to leave school early and enter the labor market more readily – financial constraints on families cannot afford sending their children to school and unemployment rates contribute further to Egypt’s high illiteracy rates; one solution would be increasing education so all children can read and write by raising literacy rates across Egypt’s communities.
The country is divided into Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt
Egypt boasts more than just vast desert stretches – it also features the Nile River and fertile delta with villages dotting the landscape. Egypt’s geographical diversity sets it apart from other ancient civilizations; even today there remain distinct cultural divisions between Upper and Lower Egypt that influence culture differences between them.
Upper Egypt extends south of the Nile Delta while Lower Egypt lies to its north; depending on time and source, their respective borders might move slightly closer or further apart; typically though, Memphis marks their borders.
Egyptians united quickly throughout history despite their differences, leading to economic prosperity, technical advancement and productivity. Menes of Thinis became Upper Egypt’s first Pharaoh from Thinis who founded two Dynasties; his name can still be found on subterranean stelae today.
At this period of Egypt’s history, some of its most prominent queens were of non-royal descent due to kings marrying their sisters or half-sisters for incestuous purposes; such marriages ensured the new queen would be properly trained from birth for her duties as well as loyalty towards their king – also limiting claimants for his throne and claimants of any claimants for it. Pharaohs often married off their daughters or sons as an act of worship to his Gods or as an act of obedience by offering up something extra sacred for sacrifice at religious festivals or ceremonies – thus cementing his divine connection between himself and his gods.