Egypt, referred to as the land of the pharaohs, is popular for its shimmering treasures, great pyramids, and historical mummies. But what else do you know about this interesting country?
Read on and discover what you probably didn’t know about Egypt – its people, cultures and beliefs, and their way of life.
Facts About Egypt
- Employed Workers Built The Pyramids, Not Slaves. That I didn’t know!
We have been made to believe all this time, through the historian Herodotus, that over 100,000 slaves combined forces to build the Great Pyramids of Egypt. However, archaeological proof reveals that salaried employees totaling to 5,000, and 20,000 temporary employees worked on them. These men were not slaves. They were housed in a camp and provided with food, water, and medical services.
- Not All Who Died Were Mummified. But in the movies, everyone was.
Mummies are a distinct artifact, which is almost always associated with Egypt. But contrary to what we thought, only the wealthy Egyptians were mummified, since the process of mummification was laborious and quite expensive. Majority of the dead in Egypt were buried in the deserts, in simple pits.
The belief of the rich Egyptians was that if their bodies were preserved or mummified, they would possibly live again.
- Men And Women In Egypt Had Equal Rights. This sounds ironic since in most Muslim countries, the men were always above the women.
Egyptian women shared the same status as men. In other words, they can own properties, work and earn, and they can live on their own without any protection from men. In business matters, they were also allowed to replace their absent husbands.
Egyptian women, however, are expected to marry and fulfill their roles as wife and mother. Therefore, they were to take care of the house and raise their children well while the husband works and earns for the family.
- Egyptian Women Can Become Kings. Does this happen anywhere else?
Typically, the next king of Egypt is the previous king’s son, which is not always the case in this country. The king can actually choose whomever he wants to take his crown, even the most unlikely individual. Hatshepsut is one of the few women rulers who successfully reigned for over 20 years. She was literally King because queens in Egypt were used to refer to wives of the king.
- Cleopatra May Not Have Been Beautiful After All. We would beg to disagree, as she seduced two very important men – Mark Antony and Julius Cesar. Perhaps they were taken by her wits?
Cleopatra VII was the last queen of the old Egypt and she was believed to be beautiful, smart, and cunning. We have always assumed that she was beautiful, yet the coin that has her face engraved on proves otherwise. On her coin, Cleopatra had a sharp chin, a protruding nose, and eyes that were deep-set. But others suggest that maybe she wanted to look less feminine on her coin, although the historian Plutarch, who never ever saw the queen, tells that Cleopatra’s charm was all in her character and her lovely voice!
Do you know of other interesting and unique details on the history of Egypt? If you do, let us know!