10 Interesting facts you didn’t know about Egypt.

What do you know about Egypt? It’s home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations and is a country with many inventions such as paper, mathematics, toothpaste and is the 29th largest country in the world by area with more than 97 million inhabitants.

Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities.

Many dreams about visiting the Pyramids of Egypt, but there’s more than Pyramids to explore and see. Here are 10 interesting facts about Egypt

1. The Egyptians Invented The 365-Days a Year Calendar.

oldest calendar in the world
Photo: Shutterstock

Yes, the ancient Egyptians invented the 365-days a year calendar, to predict the yearly floodings of the Nile river.

In 1904 Eduard Meyer started that the Egyptians calendar was invented about 4231 B.C., and some of the principal Egyptologists of his generation adopted this theory with minor modifications. Primitive man in Egypt regulted his life entirely by the cycle of the Nile’s stages. Nature divided his year into three well-defined season- Flood. Spring and Low water or harvest, with the flood season, following the hardship of the Low Nile, the obvious starting point for each annual cycle. The Egyptian early recognised the fact that usually twelve moons wold complete  nile year, but his lunar reckoning always remained secondary to his Nile reckoning, and he never adopted solar seasons. However, by about 3200 B/C he provably recognised the helical rising of the prominent start Sothis as a definite phenomenon heralding the coming flood, and he began to count the observed reappearance of the start as his New Year Day.

2. World’s Oldest Dress was found here. 5000 years old.

It’s almost impossible to imagine that an item of clothing worn thousands of years ago has survived to the present day. But the “Tarkhan Dress,” named for the town in Egypt where it was found in 1913, has endured—and has now been precisely dated using the latest radiocarbon dating technology. Researchers have determined that the very finely made linen apparel dates to between 3482 and 3103 B.C., making it the world’s oldest woven garment. 

The dress coded UC28614B is currently in the collection of the University College London (UCL) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. Radiocarbon testing conducted in 2015 by the University of Oxford affirms, with 95% accuracy, that the dress dates from between 3482 and 3102 BCE.

3. The great Pyramids were not built by slaves

giza pyramids from above

Many people believe the pyramids were being built by slaves, but that is not the case. They were paid laborers, and most of them built with great honor towards the Pharao and those who died were buried in the tombs near the sacred pyramids.

Egypt displayed today newly discovered tombs more than 4,000 years old and said they belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, supporting evidence that slaves did not build the ancient monuments.Advertisement

The modest 9ft deep shafts held a dozen skeletons of pyramid builders, perfectly preserved by dry sand along with jars of beer and bread for the afterlife. The mud-brick tombs were uncovered last week near the Giza pyramids, stretching beyond a burial site first found in the 1990s and dating to the 4th dynasty (2575BC to 2467BC), on the fringes of the present-day capital, Cairo.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus once described the pyramid builders as slaves, creating what Egyptologists say is a myth propagated by Hollywood films.

4. Greater Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East.

With an estimated population of 22 million and approximately 500 square km, Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East. The city’s metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East, and the 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. 

5. There are 35 million facebook users in Egypt.

That’s a lot of Facebook users, and it’s continuously growing. Officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a Middle Eastern country in North Africa. Egypt which has a population of 97,6 million boasts with 49,231,493 Internet users. Egypt is the sixteenth most populous country in the world and is the country with the most Facebook users in Africa. It is also ranked 20th in world for the most Facebook users.

6. The Oldest Known Recipe For A Toothpaste Possibly Comes From Ancient Egypt

the world’s oldest known formula for a toothpaste unsurprisingly comes from Egypt. To that end, a papyrus dating from circa 4th century AD contains the recipe for what had been described by the ancient scribe as ‘powder for white and perfect teeth’ that transformed into a ‘clean tooth paste’. And quite interestingly, the ingredients were written in black ink (made of soot and gum arabic) – incidentally, another invention of the ancient Egyptians.

7. Every City had their favourite God during Ancient times

The Ancient Egyptians had so many gods that literally every city had their own favorite deity. Ancient Egyptians believed in more than 2,000 deities! They had gods for everything, from dangers to chores! Each had different responsibilities and needed to be worshipped so that life could be kept in balance.

8. Egypt is home to one of the largest dams in Africa

The Aswan Dam or Aswan High Dam is an embankment dam built across the Nile. Constructed between 1960 and 1970, it has an estimated cost of $1.2 billion by Russian engineers alongside their Egyptian counterparts. The Aswan Dam is 3,830 meters long, 980 meters wide at the base, 40 meters wide at the crest, and 111 meters tall. Its reservoir can hold 132 cubic km of water.

The multipurpose dam serves to generate electricity, control floods, and irrigate thousands of hectares of farmland. Following the 1952 Egyptian revolution, a government developmental blueprint considered a dam pivotal to the country’s industrialization ambitions.

9. Egypt is the largest Arab country in the world.

With a total estimate of about 97,6 million people, Egypt is the largest Arab country in the world. It ranks higher than Iraq and Saudi Arabia which ranks 2nd and 3rd respectively.

10. Ancient Egyptians loved board games

The ancient Egyptians enjoyed passing their time playing interesting board games. In fact, there were a number of board games like “Mehen” and “Mancala” but far more popular was the “Senet”. It was a hieroglyphic board game played in ancient Egypt as far back as 3100 BC. Even the widely known Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen had a copy of the Senet board in his tomb, untouched for the past 3000 years until modern archaeologists found it.

The game of Senet allowed two players at a time. It was played on decoratively carved boards like the one in King Tut’s tomb or simply on a board drawn on the ground. The board would consist of thirty squares drawn out in three rows of ten squares each. Not all the squares were carved with hieroglyphs. The carved hieroglyphs were symbols that represented good or bad omen, and changed the course of play likewise.

READ MORE:  15 Reasons to Visit Egypt

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
7. The origin of the ancient Egyptian Calendar – Director Emeritus, Metropolitan Musem of Art

Do you know some more interesting facts about Egypt? Leave a comment and share your knowledge! 

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