The ancient Egyptians were known as among the most civilized people in the history of mankind. They stood up as the greatest civilization for around 3 thousand years. Therefore, the region is rich in both culture and history. People mostly know them because of the stunning art, awesome architecture and amazing burial methods. Among all these fascinations, there are certain ancient Egypt facts that you need to know about the Gift of the Nile.
Cleopatra wasn’t Egyptian
Cleopatra and King Tut are two most famous figures in the history of the Egypt. Cleopatra VII was born in Alexandria, and many people think of her as a true Egyptian. However, the fact is that she was a part of a long line that comes from the Greek Macedonians. It goes all the way back to the Ptolemy who was among the trustworthy companions and lieutenants of Alexander the Great. According to the sources, the Ptolemaic Dynasty was ruling this region from 323 to 30 BC, and many of the leaders were Greek. Another fact here that is worth mentioning is that Cleopatra was well known due to the fact that she was among the first members of the Ptolemaic dynasty to get command on Egyptian language.
The Egyptians and earliest peace treaties
There are indications from the history that the Egyptians fought with Hittite Empire for around two centuries in order to gain control of what we know today as Syria. The conflict also had a few bloody engagements among which the most popular is the Battle of Kadesh. It was still to come to a conclusion as the pharaoh Ramses II took over the control. There were threats to both Egyptians and Hittites from third parties considering which they negotiated a peace treaty. It dates back to 1259 B.C. and is among the earliest peace accords on record. They agreed to end the conflict and promised that they would assist each other in case that there is any invasion from a third party.
Ancient Egyptians and board games
The ancient Egyptians had people that were hard working. And after working for a whole day, you will surely find something for relaxation. Same was the case with these people, and they often passed their time by playing board games. There were plenty of board games that were available to them which include the ‘Mehen,’ ‘Dogs and Jackals,‘ and, the most popular of all, ‘Senet.’ According to the historians, it goes back to as long as 3500 B.C. and the games were played on the boards that had 30 painted squares. They would roll a dice or throw a stick to come to a conclusion before finally moving a piece. The most mesmerizing among the ancient Egypt facts is that the board games were even buried in the tombs of pharaohs like Tutankhamen.
The Egyptian ladies
There is a great debate on the ancient Egyptian ladies, but one thing is for sure that they had plenty of rights and freedom. They were given a chance to be independent both legally and financially. They had the opportunity to trade, serve in different fields that include juries, make wills and even consider a legal contract of some sort. However, the noticeable thing is that most of them were not working outside of homes. But the ones that did work had equal pay as men. It is something great particularly when you take a look at the ancient Greek women that were like slaves of their husbands. The Egyptian women could file for divorce and may remarry as per their desire.
The Egyptian workers and labor strikes
The pieces of history that we found in this region suggest that ancient Egyptians took pharaohs as living gods. However, this was not something that will hinder them to protest for their rights. The workers were known to organize a strike in order to get better working conditions. An example can be seen back in 12th century B.C. when the kingdom was in the hands of Ramses III. The workers working at the site of Deir el-Medina did not get their fair share of grain as the payment; the recorded what we know as one of the earliest strikes in the history. It was a successful gamble as they eventually got their rations.
The royals were often suffering from obesity
Take a look at the Egyptian art that is depicting their ancient royals, and you will think that ‘how come they can be overweight?’ Well, considering the Egyptian diet which consisted of beer, wine, bread and honey, all these elements are high in sugar. The studies suggest that this might have had a decent impact on the royal bloodline or perhaps, to be more precise, the waistline. Scientists that have done an examination of mummies also give a note that they were often overweight and had bad health. Furthermore, to top it all, they also had the problem of diabetes. One of the biggest example of all this is the nominable Queen Hatshepsut. She is often shown as a slender and athletic lady. However, considering the words of historians, she was obese and balding.
King Tut was probably killed by a Hippo
The young boy and arguably the most prominent figure in the history of ancient Egypt, King Tutankhamen, was perhaps killed by a Hippo. There are certain historians who believe that they know how he died. After scanning his body, scientists found that the chest wall or heart was missing. It is shocking considering the ancient Egyptian burial practices. It can also be an indication that the king had a horrible injury before his death. Certain Egyptologists state that the most likely cause of this terrific injury can be a bite from a hippo. There are indications that Egyptians hunted the beasts for sports and also the young king had a taste for the game. Considering it, you may say that the myth can actually be true.
So, these are some interesting and fascinating ancient Egypt facts. The history of this region is full of drama and stunning beliefs, and one can say that there is a lot that we still do not know about these people.