6 facts about ancient Egypt you probably didn’t know
The ancient Egyptian civilization was nothing short of genius. Tons of inventions were created during that time; inventions that paved the way to modern day versions that we surely cannot live without.
Ancient Egyptians excelled in medicine and mummification, architecture, and even beauty cosmetics. They were also among the first people to develop and enjoy board games.
Here are 6 uncommon facts about the ancient Egyptian civilization:
1. The Egyptian alphabet contained more than 700 hieroglyphs
According to Ancient Egyptians: a Linguistic Introduction (1995) by Cambridge UP, Egyptians had around 1,000 graphemes during the Old Kingdom period, which were then reduced to around 750 to 850 in the classical language of the Middle Kingdom
2. Egyptians invented the world’s oldest board game (Senet)
Finally a root to Egyptians’ addiction to chess and Tawla!
Senet or Senat was the ancient people’s all-time favorite, with the oldest game set dating back to 3100 B.C. Senet is considered one of the oldest board games ever.
The game board consists of a basic grid of 30 squares, arranged in three rows of 10, and called houses, plus two sets of pawns (five of each). It involved throwing sticks (like throwing dice) to move playing pieces between squares.
The number of movements you get is based on how you throw the Senet sticks. The winner is the one who gets all of their pieces off the board first.
According to some historians, the rules of the game were not fixed and nobody knows for sure what they were.
3. Egyptians invented the oldest toothpaste formula
Ancient Egyptians often take credit for eye make-up, door locks, and many other things. However, for us, this one takes the cake. Ancient Egyptians are said to have developed the first toothpaste formula.
There were several recipes; among the many ingredients used were burnt eggshells, pumice, salt, mint, dried Iris flower, and peppercorn.
4. Did you know that the Pyramid of Khufu weighs around 16 Empire State Buildings?
Yes, believe it or not. According to National Geographic, that estimate is correct. No wonder it’s among the world’s most magnificent wonders.
5. They invented bowling
During the 1930s, Sir Flinders Petrie, a British anthropologist, had discovered various shapes of balls and elements that can be likened to a perfect set of primitive bowling equipment. The artefacts were found in a boy’s grave and date back to 3200 B.C.
6. Egyptians curses (like King Tut’s curse) might just be real!
You’ve been warned.
Once upon a time, around the 1920s, British archaeologist and Egyptologist, Howard Carter, embarked on a mission with his team to study King Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Carter and his team found an ominous note warning of a ‘dire punishment’ that would haunt those who open the tomb. They opened it anyway.
At least 11 deaths have been attributed directly or indirectly to the tomb’s curse. The incidents have inspired several films such as The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (1980), The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964), and videogames like Curse of the Pharaoh: The Quest for Nefertiti.