Land Of Secrets And Mysteries

Posted: 19. nov. 2010 in Life, Society
Sildid:, , , , ,

I love history. I’ve said that before. But I think I’ve never written in more detail about the Ancient Egypt. I don’t know why but I’ve always had this weird “connection” and obsession with Ancient Egypt. They way the ancient Egyptians lived just seemed fascinating to me even when I was a little girl. I know I had a book about Egypt which I read many times and looked at the beautiful pictures   – “Ancient Egypt”.

As we probably all know Egypt is located in Northern Africa, near the river Nile. Because of the Nile’s floods the soil was very fertile and that’s why Egypt was one of the first civilizations in the world.  Egypt was established already in 3150 BC. The society had strict rules, they were a closed civilization, meaning that they did not communicate so much with their neighbors. They were very religious and believed strongly in the afterlife. They also invented quite a lot of various things – black ink, first ox-drawn plows, paper, 365 day calender and a leap year, first triangular shaped pyramids, hieroglyphics, sails, toilet seats, clock, beer brewing, medicine, locks,  scissors, combs, wigs, eye make-up  and organized labor. Most commonly Egyptians are known for building the Giza pyramids, queen Cleopatra  and for mummifying their dead. Although so much has been written about Ancient Egypt I always find something new and interesting. Here are some fun facts about the ancient Egyptians:

1. A Pharaoh never let his hair be seen – he would always wear a crown or a headdress called a nemes.

2. In order to deter flies from landing on him, Pepi II of Egypt always kept several naked slaves nearby whose bodies were smeared with honey.

3. Both Egyptian men and women wore makeup – eyepaint was usually green (made from copper) or black (made from lead). The Egyptians believed that the makeup had healing power. Originally the makeup was used as a protection from the sun – rather than for adornment.

4. While the use of antibiotics did not begin in the 20th century, early folk medicine included the use of mouldy foods or soil for infections. In ancient Egypt, for example, infections were treated with mouldy bread.

5. Egyptian children wore no clothing at all until they were in their teens. The temperature in Egypt made it unnecessary. Adult men wore skirts while women wore dresses.

6. Rich Egyptians wore wigs while the other classes would wear their hair long or in pig tails. Until 12, Egyptian boys had their heads shaved except for one plaited lock – this was as a protection against lice and fleas.

7. Egyptian soldiers were used as an internal police force. Additionally, they collected taxes for the Pharaoh.

8. The women in ancient Egypt enjoyed legal and economical equality with men. Nevertheless, they never enjoyed social equality with men.

9. Contrary to popular belief, excavated skeletons show that the pyramid builders were actually Egyptians who were most likely in the permanent employ of the pharaoh. Graffiti indicates that at least some of these workers took pride in their work, calling their teams “Friends of Khufu,” “Drunkards of Menkaure,” and so on—names indicating allegiances to pharaohs.

10. When a body was mummified, its brain was removed through one of its nostrils and its intestines were also removed and placed in jars called canopic jars. Each organ was placed in its own jar. The only internal organ that was not removed was the heart, because Egyptians considered it to be the seat of the soul.

11. The great Egyptian architect Imhotep, who lived almost 5,000 years ago, is the earliest scientist who is known by name today.

12. In ancient Egypt, slaves are known to have been murdered to accompany their deceased owners to the afterlife.

13. The “Book of the Dead” was not an actual book but a collection of up to 200 chapters or spells

14. The mummy of Ramesess I, after its discovery at Thebes, was kept lying so long in the sun that the resins grew warm and the king’s arm began to lift, terrifying the workmen nearby.

15. There are actually 118 pyramids in Egypt

I am so “obsessed” with Ancient Egypt that I own an Ankh necklace and a key ring and also an Eye-Of-Horus ring. The Ankh was the ancient hieroglyph which meant eternal life. It is by Egyptologists called the symbol of life. It is also called the ‘handled cross,’ or crux ansata. It represents the male triad and the female unit, under a decent form. An ankh was often carried by Egyptians as an amulet either alone, or in connection with two other hieroglyphs that mean “strength” and “health”. The Eye Of Horus is the symbol of protection, royal power and good health. I also have some framed papyrus artwork on my walls.

I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt but somehow I’ve always ended up visiting some other place. And also the thing is that usually all the guided tours are just typical tourist sites and then it’s back to a hotel and then to the beach. I don’t want that. When I go to Egypt I want to see the old ruins, I want to walk around the pyramids, I want to “touch” the history. I hope I can do this at point in my life. And oh what I’d give to be included to a archeological dig in Egypt.

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