50 Fascinating Facts About Ancient Egypt

50 Fascinating Facts About Ancient Egypt

Today, let's take a moment to revisit history and explore the stunning and interesting period of Ancient Egypt. From pyramids to pharaohs to myths and legends, there are so many amazing facts worth learning about. Trust us, you won't leave this article disappointed!

Wolfgang-Hasselmann-Imerg68I6Be-UnsplashPhoto by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

1. The Mummy's Curse

Ancient Egyptians believed in the "Curse of the Pharaohs," which was a punishment for anyone who disturbed a mummy's tomb. This legend continues to exist today, with tales of bad luck befalling those who remove artifacts.


2. Inventors of Makeup

Both men and women in ancient Egypt wore makeup, such as eyeliner and lipstick. It was believed to have protective properties and was also a sign of status.

chalo-garcia-9pszsLaXh7A-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash

3. The Great Pyramid Precision

The Great Pyramid of Giza aligns almost perfectly with the cardinal points of the compass. Its precise alignment has created much curiousity as it remains a mystery to this day.

fynn-schmidt-hKwWA1nNKt4-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Fynn schmidt on Unsplash

4. Calendar Innovators

The Egyptians created a 365-day calendar based on their observations of the star, Sirius. It's amazing how this system is very close to our current calendar system.



5. Dentistry Pioneers

Ancient Egyptians suffered from dental issues due to their sandy diet. They had a form of dentistry and even had dental bridges.

caroline-lm-QA9fRIi6sFw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Caroline LM on Unsplash

6. Beekeeping and Honey

Honey was highly prized in ancient Egypt for its sweet taste and medicinal properties. Egyptians practiced beekeeping and used beeswax in various applications.

arwin-neil-baichoo-yQzrDgU-KAI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Arwin Neil Baichoo on Unsplash

7. World’s First Peace Treaty

The Egyptians signed one of the world's first recorded peace treaties with the Hittites around 1259 B.C. Both empires sought to establish peace after years of conflict.

2partoftheclaytabletofkadeshtreatywritteninakkadian1269bcefrombogazkoyturkeyclaytabletmuseumoftheancientorientistanbulturkey.jpgPhoto by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) on Wikimedia Commons

8. Nile's Gifts

The Nile River flooded annually, depositing nutrient-rich silt that made the surrounding lands incredibly fertile. This allowed Egypt to become an agricultural powerhouse.

yusef-el-gzzar-hNjVNa6wpks-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Yusef El Gzzar on Unsplash

9. Board Games Aficionados

Ancient Egyptians loved board games, with "Senet" being one of the most popular. It was played by all classes and is often depicted in tomb paintings.

senet47429946982.jpgPhoto by Enoch Leung on Wikimedia Commons

10. Papyrus: The Ancient Paper

Egyptians developed papyrus, a form of early paper, from the papyrus plant. It was used for everything from writing to boat construction.

loren-biser-irDMyeyV4QE-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Loren Biser on Unsplash


11. Beer Consumption

Beer was a dietary staple in ancient Egypt. Workers were often paid in beer, and it was consumed daily by people of all social classes.

St%C3%A8le_Mercenaire_syrien_18%C3%A8me_dynastie_Neues_Museum_image_%C3%A9claircie_et_perspective_corrig%C3%A9e.jpgPhoto by Vassil on Wikimedia Commons

12. Cats: Revered and Protected

Cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt. Killing one, even accidentally, could result in severe punishment.

matheus-queiroz-UhxJSJmT1R4-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Matheus Queiroz on Unsplash

13. Hieroglyphics Decoded

The Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799, had inscriptions in three scripts, enabling scholars to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Egyptian_hieroglyphs_Louvre_AF9459-01a.jpgPhoto by Vania Teofilo on Wikimedia Commons

14. Nileometer: Measuring the Nile

Egyptians used a tool called the "Nileometer" to measure the river's water levels. This helped them predict and prepare for the annual floods.

1024px-Kairo_Nilometer_BW_1.jpgPhoto by Berthold Werner on Wikimedia Commons

15. Cleopatra: The Greek Pharaoh

Although Cleopatra is famous as an Egyptian queen, she was of Greek descent and was the last Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Kleopatra-VII.-Altes-Museum-Berlin1.jpgLouis le Grand, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

16. Medicine and Surgery Pioneers

Ancient Egyptians practiced advanced medicine and even had specialized doctors for various body parts. They performed surgeries, dental procedures, and had a vast array of medicinal recipes.

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17. Perfumes and Fragrances

Egyptians were pioneers in the production and use of perfumes. They used various oils, resins, and aromatic plants to create fragrances for ceremonies and daily life.

laura-chouette-2H_8WbVPRxM-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

18. Sun Worship: The Solar Disk

Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten and promoted the worship of the sun disk, Aten. This was one of the earliest forms of monotheism in history.

1024px-reliefdepictingakhenatonandnefertitiwiththreeoftheirdaughtersundertheraysofaton01cropped.jpgPhoto by Neoclassicism Enthusiast on Wikimedia Commons

19. Dream Interpretation

Dreams held significant importance in ancient Egypt, and there were specific dream interpreters. Various papyri have been discovered that list common dreams and their meanings.

kinga-howard-5NzOfwXoH88-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Kinga Howard on Unsplash

20. Shipbuilding and Maritime Expeditions

The Egyptians were excellent shipbuilders and organized maritime expeditions to distant lands. The "Wadi al-Jarf" papyri describe the logistics of building ships and the daily life of workers at the Red Sea port.

1024px-Wells_egyptian_ship_red_sea.pngPhoto by J. F. Horrabin (1884-1962), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

21. World’s Oldest Dress

A dress found in Egypt, dating back to around 3482-3102 B.C., is considered the world’s oldest woven garment. It's very plain - a simple V-neck tunic with narrow sleeves.

ancientegyptianassyrianandpersiancostumesanddecorations192014741944536.jpgPhoto by Houston, Mary G. (Mary Galway), b. 1871 on Wikimedia Commons

22. Shaved Heads for Cleanliness

Ancient Egyptians often shaved their heads and wore wigs. This helped combat lice and maintain cleanliness in the hot climate.

Statue_of_Khentika_with_Shaved_Head_MET_62.77_02.jpgPhoto by Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


23. First Labor Strike

The first recorded labor strike in history took place during Ramses III’s reign. Workers on the pyramids protested delayed payments in the form of food.

leonardo-ramos-CJ4mbwSK3EY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Leonardo Ramos on Unsplash

24. Beauty Marks

Ancient Egyptian women placed a cone of scented fat on their heads. As it melted, it released fragrance, functioning like a perfume.

ancientegyptianwomen14577602497.jpgInternet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

25. Advanced Medical Texts

The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian medical text detailing surgical knowledge. It’s the world’s oldest known surgical treatise.

Edwin_Smith_Papyrus_v2.jpgPhoto by Jeff Dahl, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

26. Land of Gold

The Egyptians called their country “Kemet,” meaning “Black Land” due to the rich, dark soil. They also referred to it as “Nubt,” meaning “Gold,” due to their rich gold mines.

Egyptian_Gold_Earrings.jpgPhoto by Maksim Sokolov (maxergon.com) on Wikimedia Commons

27. Unique Writing Direction

Hieroglyphic inscriptions could be written in any direction: left-to-right, right-to-left, or top-to-bottom. The reader would follow the direction that the symbols (like animal heads) were facing.

axp-photography-vVqDav15TBk-unsplash.jpgPhoto by AXP Photography on Unsplash

28. Sandals with Messages

Some ancient Egyptian sandals were found with inscriptions on their soles. They might contain messages or symbols, so that they left imprints when worn.

palmleafsandalsnewkingdom1539-1075bceorlateregyptpennmuseum.jpgPhoto by Mary Harrsch on Wikimedia Commons

29. A Festival of Drunkenness

Egyptians held a festival called "The Feast of Drunkenness" to honor Sekhmet, a lion-headed goddess. It involved music, sex, and, as the name implies, getting intoxicated.

0sekhmet-a3-louvre1-gradient.jpgPhoto by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT on Wikimedia Commons

30. Sphinx's Lost Nose

There's a myth that Napoleon's troops shot off the Sphinx's nose, but drawings from before Napoleon's time show the nose already missing. The true cause remains a mystery.

greatsphinxaboalhol.jpgPhoto by Petar Milošević on Wikimedia Commons

31. Animal Mummies

Not only did Egyptians mummify humans, but also animals like cats, birds, and crocodiles. These were often given as offerings to gods.

ancientegyptgoldfoilcoveredrame1267128316291612.jpgPhoto by Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

32. The Diverse Pantheon

Ancient Egyptians had over 2,000 deities. They ranged from major gods worshipped nationwide to minor local deities.

thegodsoftheegyptians-orstudiesinegyptianmythology190414577536608.jpgInternet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

33. World's Oldest Prosthetic

An artificial toe found on a mummy is considered the world’s oldest functional prosthetic. It shows advanced craftsmanship, suggesting an understanding of human anatomy.

ancientegyptmummy28130705914.jpgPhoto by Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

34. Pyramid Construction Theories

While many theories exist about how pyramids were built, the exact techniques remain a subject of debate. Some believe they used straight ramps, while others think spiral ramps were employed.

ricardo-gomez-angel-hAw4e-F4klY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

35. Eye of Horus: Symbol of Protection

The Eye of Horus was a prominent symbol, representing protection, royal power, and good health. Egyptians often wore amulets shaped like this eye.

carlota-o-69Q6P0kpLeU-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Carlota O. on Unsplash

36. Royal Women’s Power

Hatshepsut, one of ancient Egypt’s female pharaohs, donned male attire to assert her authority. She ruled successfully for over two decades.

Seated_Statue_of_Hatshepsut_MET_Hatshepsut2012.jpgPhoto by Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

37. Mysteries of the Saqqara Bird

A wooden artifact, called the Saqqara Bird, resembles a modern airplane. Some believe it demonstrates knowledge of aerodynamics, though it's often thought to represent a bird.

lossy-page1-800px-egyptsaqqaraoldkingdomearlydynasty62311-2140bc-reliefofmenbringingbirdsandcattle-1930738-clevelandmuseumofarttif.jpgPhoto by Cleveland Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

38. Beauty Standards

Green eye makeup (made from malachite) and black kohl eyeliner were beauty essentials. They not only enhanced appearance but also offered protection from the sun’s glare.

512px-Ancient_Egyptian_eyes_makeup.pngPhoto by Crystal Gabriela on Wikimedia Commons

39. The Role of Dwarfs

Dwarfs held special roles in Egyptian society, often revered and associated with gods like Bes. Many served in prominent capacities in households and temples.

1024px-Egypt_deity_God_Bes_Wellcome_L0000867.jpgPhoto by Unknown on Wikimedia Commons

40. The Lighthouse of Alexandria

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos of Alexandria), was an engineering marvel. Standing about 330 feet tall, it guided sailors safely into the harbor for centuries.

Farol_de_Alexandria_Lighthouse_in_sand.jpgPhoto by Paulo Juntas on Wikimedia Commons

41. Advanced Haircare

Egyptians took haircare seriously, with evidence of hair gel usage discovered on mummies. They used plant oils and fats to style and maintain their hairdos.

tim-mossholder-SxPISzSxJrQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

42. The Worship of Dung Beetles

Scarab beetles, or dung beetles, were revered because they rolled balls of dung underground, symbolizing the sun’s journey. They became symbols of rebirth, with scarab amulets regularly used for protection.

ancientegyptsarcophagusofken-hor-akhmim-sohag26thdynastyc600bc28132912443-1.jpgPhoto by Chrumps on Wikimedia Commons

43. A Unique Form of Pillows

Instead of soft pillows, ancient Egyptians used headrests made of wood or stone. These elevated the head, promoting air circulation and protecting elaborate hairstyles from getting ruined.

liaostonepillowmongolia10196123335.jpgPhoto by Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

44. Timekeeping Devices 

Egyptians used sundials to tell the time during the day and water clocks for nighttime. The water clock consisted of a pot with a small hole, letting water drip at a steady rate, marking the passing hours.

gotthetime-geographorguk-1469342.jpgPhoto by adam sommerville on Wikimedia Commons

45. Breath Mints for Oral Hygiene 

Given the diet and dental issues, bad breath was a concern. To combat this, Egyptians chewed on herbs and created early forms of breath mints using ingredients like frankincense and myrrh.

Scotch_mints.jpgPhoto by Themightyquill on Wikimedia Commons

46. A Society Built on Beer and Bread

Beer and bread, often made in the same facilities, were staples of the Egyptian diet. The beer was a thick, porridge-like substance, and sometimes herbs were added for flavoring.

1024px-Beer_and_bread.jpgJon Sullivan, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

47. First Known Peacekeeping 

Force The "Medjay" was an ancient Egyptian paramilitary force, originally a desert tribe, that later became an elite military unit. They protected valuable areas, especially royal and sacred sites, from thieves.

1024px-Egyptian-Chariot.pngJoseph Bonomi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

48. A Game of 20

Squares "Aseb" was another popular board game, distinct from Senet. Players used a set of knucklebone dice to advance their pieces on a board of 20 squares.

Game_Box_for_Playing_Senet_and_Twenty_Squares_MET_16.10.475a.bot.jpgMetropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

49. Tattooing in Ancient Egypt

Tattoos have been discovered on mummies, especially on female ones, often around the lower abdomen, thighs, and chest. It’s believed these tattoos had a therapeutic or protective function.

ancientlibyansnubiansegyptiansasiatics.jpgPhoto by Noctuark on Wikimedia Commons

50. The Sacred Bennu Bird

The Bennu bird, resembling a heron, was linked to the sun and rebirth. Some believe the Bennu was the inspiration for the legendary Phoenix in later cultures.

bennudeity.pngPhoto by Eternal Space on Wikimedia Commons