99 Interesting Facts About Egypt

  1. The shape of the Egyptian pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the rays of the sun.
  2. Pharaoh Pepi II (2246-215 BC) ruled for the longest period (94 years). He became king of Egypt when he was only 6 years old.
  3. Pharaoh Pepi II allegedly applied honey to naked slaves to keep flies away from him.
  4. It is generally accepted that the history of Egypt began in 3200 BC, when King Menes (alias: Narmer) united the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. The last local dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 BC, followed by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. The Arabs brought Islam and Arabic to Egypt in the 7th century.
  5. It is commonly believed that Ramses II was the greatest pharaoh (“big house”) of the Egyptian Empire. He was the only pharaoh who had reigned for 60 years and had the title “Great” in his name. He had over 90 children: Approximately 56 boys and 44 girls. He had 8 wives with whom he was wedded and had about 100 concubines. He also had red hair, which was associated with the god Seth.
  6. The famous Great Pyramid at Giza was built as the tomb of King Khufu (2589-2566 BC) and took more than 20 years to build. This artifact is made of two and a half million limestone molds, each weighing an average (2.3 tons) approximately one-third of the African savanna elephant (6.7 tons). Its height is approximately 146 meters, taller than the Statue of Liberty.
  7. The ancient Egyptians believed that embalming ensured the safe passage of the body into the afterlife. The embalming process consisted of two phases: first the embalmed body was then wrapped and buried. His organs were stored in canopic jars (they had lids in the shape of animal heads), each symbolizing a god.
  8. The ancient Egyptians mummified not only humans but also animals. Archaeologists discovered a mummified crocodile 15 feet (about 4.5 m) long. The crocodile is known in the ancient Book of the Dead as “the devourer of human hearts.”
  9. Mosquito nets made from giraffe tails were a popular fashion item in Ancient Egypt.
  10. Ancient Egyptian women had more rights and privileges than most other women in the past world. For example, women could own property, enforce business deals, and file for divorce. Women from wealthy families could become doctors or nuns. Ancient Egyptian women enjoyed more rights than other women in the former world.
  11. In Egypt, men and women were adorned with eyeliner called kohl, which is made by mixing vegetable or animal oils with fully powdered galena or lead sulfide. They believed that it could correct poor vision in the eyes and combat infectious eye diseases.
  12. Bread was the most important food for the ancient Egyptians and beer was their favorite drink. In fact, samples of brewers were left in the graves to ensure that the deceased had plenty of beer in the afterlife.
  13. The ancient Egyptians had three different calendars: the daily agricultural calendar, the star calendar, and the lunar calendar. The 365-day agricultural calendar consisted of 3 seasons of 4 months. The stellar calendar was based on observations of the star Sirius, which appears every year at the start of the flood season. Finally, the priests used the lunar calendar to determine when they would hold rituals to the moon god Khonsu.
  14. Hieroglyphs were developed around 3000 BC and were probably originally found in the form of wall paintings. Unlike the 26 letters in English, there are over 700 Egyptian hieroglyphs.
  15. Egypt’s first pyramid was a “step pyramid” built by the famous Egyptian architect Imhotep for the pharaoh Djoser in 2600 BC.
  16. Ancient Egyptians worshiped more than 1000 gods and goddesses. The most important of these was Ra, the sun god.
  17. Throughout its long history, Egypt has been called by many different names. For example, during the Old Kingdom (2,650-2,134 BC), Egypt was called Kemet, or Black Land, referring to the dark rich soil of the Nile valley. Later this became Deshret or the Red Country, denoting the vast deserts of Egypt. It has been replaced by Hwt-ka-Ptah or “the house of the invisible body (ka) of Ptah”. Ptah was one of the first gods of Egypt. The Greeks changed this name to Aegyptus.
  18. The Sahara Desert was once made up of fertile grasslands and savannas. By 4,000 BC, overgrazing and/or climate change caused the region to turn from grassland to desert. Now this is the world’s largest hot desert, covering an area of 9.4 million square kilometers as opposed to roughly the area covered by the United States. Antarctica is considered the largest desert (of any type) in the world. In 2001, scientists found the fossil of a giant crocodile species called the Supercroc (Sarcosuchus imperator) in the Sahara Desert.
  19. The first pharaoh of Egypt is believed to be King Menes, and he unified Upper and Lower Egypt in 3,150 BC. He named its capital as Memphis, which means “The Scales of the Two Nations”. Legend tells that he ruled for 60 years until he was killed by a hippopotamus.
  20. In ancient Egypt, both men and women shaved their hair and often wore wigs to cool off and ward off lice. Indeed, wigs became one of the most important fashion accessories in ancient Egypt, as a sign of social standing. The rich wore wigs made of human hair, while the poor wore wigs made of wool and vegetable fibers.
  21. The ancient Egyptians were the first to divide the 365 days of the year into 12 months. They also invented sundials.
  22. Egyptian sage Imhotep (the one who came in peace) is known as the first physicist, the first engineer and the first architect.
  23. The ancient Egyptians believed that the tears of the goddess Isis flooded the Nile every year. They were celebrating the flood with a festival called the “Night of Tears”.
  24. Ancient Egyptian priests often wore the jackal-headed mask of the god Anubis when mummifying a body. The ancient Egyptians associated Anubis (the god of death) with jackals because they dug up and ate corpses from Egyptian cemeteries.
  25. The quality most valued by the ancient Egyptians was called ma’at, meaning good behavior, honesty, and justice. Also, Ma’at is the name of the god of righteousness in Egyptian mythology who weighs the hearts of every Egyptian after death (in the hereafter).
  26. Before the ancient Egyptian scribe wrote anything, s/he poured some water mixed with ink to present to Thoth, the messenger of the gods, patron of scribes and learning. The Egyptians, who could write, were believed to receive power from the gods.
  27. The ancient Egyptians believed that the god Thoth invented writing and passed on his secret to humans. Its symbols are the bird called the Egyptian crane and the baboon.
  28. The word Pharaoh began as a nickname for the king of Egypt. It means “big house” because everyone believed that the human body of the king was the house of the god. This term pharaoh was not actually used until the 20th dynasty (1185-1070 BC).
  29. The Great Pyramid at Giza has a ventilation shaft pointing to the constellation of Orion. In this way, the mummy’s spirit could fly directly to the gods.
  30. The ancient Egyptians believed they were created from clay on a potter’s wheel by the river god Khnum.
  31. In ancient Egypt, every major city held its favorite god, just as people support football teams today.
  32. The ancient Egyptians needed to predict when the Nile would overflow. This led to the development of the world’s first calendar.
  33. The largest pyramid in the world by volume is not in Egypt, but in Mexico. Most of the Cholula Pyramid (also called the Quetzalcoatl Pyramid, sometimes pronounced as ketsalcoatl) is believed to have been built by the Toltecs around the 10th century. The length of each side of the foundation of the Great Pyramid of Giza is on average 230 meters, and its footprint is 5 ha. The same values are 450 meters and 9.45 ha for Cholula. The height of the Great Pyramid of Giza is 146 m, while the other is 66 m.
  34. The Egyptian Pyramids are not only one of the 7 wonders of the world, but also the only surviving examples of them. An old Arabic proverb expresses the durability of the pyramid as follows: “Man is afraid of time; but time also fears the pyramids”. The other 6 wonders of the world are: (1) Hanging Gardens of Babylon, (2) Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, (3) Zeus Statue at Olympia, (4) Halicarnassus Mausoleum, (5) Rhodes Statue, (6) Lighthouse of Alexandria.
  35. The earliest surviving work on mathematics was written by the Egyptian scribe Ahmes, circa 1650 BC. It is found in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, and its opening sentence is: “Introduction to the Knowledge of All Existing Beings and All Implicit Secrets”.
  36. The oldest recorded death penalty exists in Egypt. In the Amherst papyri, it is stated that in 1500 BC, a man between the ages of 13 and 19 was punished with poison or stabbing himself to death for practicing magic.
  37. Hieroglyphs were used only for liturgical and official writings. In their daily lives, the Egyptians used the hieratic script called cursive script, which they worked on papyrus. Around 700 BC, the Egyptians began using a second type of script, called demotic script (folk script), which was composed of simplified hieratic script. A script derived from this is used by Coptic Christians today.
  38. Ancient Egyptian tomb builders had well-protected villages. Since their work was important, they were well fed and their needs were met.
  39. The oldest recorded standard of weight is the beqa (beqa), an ancient Egyptian unit between 6.66 ounces (188.81 g) and 7.05 ounces (199.86 g). It is still used today.
  40. The last known hieroglyphic inscription was built in 394 at the temple of Isis on the island of Philae (Philae).
  41. Scientists believe that the ancient Egyptians sewed up wounds for the first time about 4000 years ago. Egyptian doctors kept their sharp surgical instruments in a bag made mostly of hollowed-out bird bone.
  42. Hippos were considered bad signs and associated with the evil god Seth. They were more dangerous than crocodiles and often overturned boats floating on the Nile.
  43. In Egypt, the first tax evader named Mery was sentenced to 100 club strokes for his crime.
  44. Medical studies show that parasites such as maggots were a problem for the Ancient Egyptians. The Guinea worm, a common parasite, matured into a 3-foot-long (91.44 cm) worm inside the body and painfully emerged from the skin a year later.
  45. Children (even girls) were seen as blessings in Egypt. It is surprising that the Greeks sometimes let unwanted babies (mostly girls) out to die, not seen in the Egyptians.
  46. The Berlin Papyrus (circa 1800 BC) contains the instructions for use of the oldest known pregnancy test. The test involved soaking the grains with urine. It was understood that the woman was pregnant with a boy if the barley grew, and a girl if the wheat grew. It was thought that if both did not grow, the woman would not give birth.
  47. To preserve the hook shape of Ramses’ nose without shattering, mummies filled his nostrils with unground black peppercorns brought from the Malabar Coast.
  48. The scarab was sacred to the Egyptians and symbolized the afterlife and resurrection.
  49. Some ancient Egyptian tombs also had toilets.
  50. “Beautiful House” (per-nefer) is the name of the house or tent where mummification took place in ancient Egypt.
  51. Contrary to popular belief, Cleopatra was actually Greek, not Egyptian or African. On Afro American blogs and discussion forums, some people erroneously reacted to the casting of Angelina Jolie in the 2011 film for the role they saw fit for a black actress like themselves. Others responded that the role should have been given to an actress of Greek origin such as Jennifer Aniston.
  52. According to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, the embalmer who made the first cut in the flank during the mummification process was called a ripper. The Egyptians considered any cut an attack on the body. Therefore, with a symbolic show after this process, the remaining embalmers threw stones at him and chased him with curses.
  53. The ancient Egyptians called the pyramids mer, a word of disputed origin. The English word pyramid comes from the Greek word puramis, meaning a pyramid-shaped honey and sesame cake eaten in Demeter and Korean rites and night worship.
  54. The first pharaohs were buried with their true slaves. Later, they were replaced by small figurines called ushabti (ushabti) made of wood, stone or china.
  55. Legend has it that the first mummy was Isis’s brother Osiris, who was slain by Seth, the god of deserts, lands, thunderstorms, eclipses, and earthquakes. His wife and sister Isis collected the parts of his body with the help of his sister Nephitis, and Anubis (the god of mummification) wrapped them together in linen bandages to form the first mummy. Thus, Osiris, who was prepared by Isis and resurrected by magic, became the god of the dead as a father to his son Horus.
  56. The bandages of the mummies were covered with moist, soft sheets of mud and re-wrapped, presumably to preserve the integrity of the body. Onions could be placed in the eye sockets, as in the mummy of Ramses III and Iset’s son, Pharaoh Ramses IV. The brain, on the other hand, was carefully removed by inserting special hooked tools up the nostrils to disassemble its parts. Afterwards, the stomach, liver, lungs and intestines, apart from the heart, were taken and placed in separate covered earthen pots.
  57. The Egyptians knew of the existence of Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. They were known by the names they associated with the gods: Sebegu (Mercury), a form of Seth; Morning God or Crossing (Venus); Horus (Saturn), the Bull of the Heavens; Red Horus or Horus of the Horizon (Mars); Horus (Jupiter) Bounding Two Lands.
  58. For the ancient Egyptians, the Nile was mysterious. For both them and the Greeks, the fact that unlike other great rivers they knew, the fact that it flowed from south to north, overflowing during the hottest time of the year, and its source could not be found was an unsolved mystery. It has two main tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. In 1858, explorer John Hanning Speke claimed that Lake Victoria, which he found, was the source of the White Nile.
  59. The ancient Egyptians may have been the first people to raise cattle.
  60. Ancient Egypt had three female pharaohs. The greatest of these was Hatshepsut, who ruled from 1473-1458 BC.
  61. The giant Sphinx guarding the three pyramids of Giza is thought to represent king Khufu’s son, pharaoh Khafre (Khefren). Sphinxes are generally believed to have been built to protect tombs.
  62. Life according to the ancient Egyptians came into being when Earth (Geb) and Sky (Nut) were born from Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture) the children of Atum-Ra, the Sun god, who represents goodness, light, and energy. For the Egyptians, creation was a daily event, repeated at every sunrise and sunset.
  63. In communal assemblies in ancient Egypt, women wore cosmetic cones on their heads filled with scented oils that slowly dripped onto them, acting as today’s perfumes. Apart from that, they applied a lot of oil on their bodies to prevent wrinkles and skin cracks in the sun and sandstorms.
  64. The ancient Egyptians kept an accurate record of the Nile floods that scientists could use to better understand current precipitation patterns. In fact, historians and climatologists use them to relate climate change to social upheavals, linking droughts and other climate disruptions in the Ptolemaic era of more than 2000 years with political upheavals.
  65. The ancient Egyptians only wrote consonants, not vowels, in their words. Therefore, no one knew exactly how their tongue sounded. When Egyptologists read hieroglyphs aloud, they often add i sounds to make consonants easier to pronounce and hear.
  66. The Greeks called the Egyptian script symbols hieroglyphs, meaning sacred carving (hieros: sacred; glufe: carving), because they found them carved into the walls of temples and other holy places.

Medieval Age

  1. Although there is a popular notion that Napoleon’s forces ripped it off by shooting in the nose of the Great Sphinx at Giza, Sketches of the Great Sphinx at Giza, made in 1737, show that this did not happen more than 60 years before Napoleon arrived in Egypt. The only person who damaged it was the Muslim sufi Sa’im al-dahr, who was hanged in 1378 for Vandalism (damaging the art monument). According to rumors, he did not approve of “carved idols”. The Great Sphinx is the largest monolithic statue in the world.

New Era

  1. King of Britain and Ireland, Charles II (1630-1,685), rubbed mummy powder on his skin to absorb his glory.

Modern Age

  1. In memory of the role Facebook played in the 2011 Egyptian revolution, an Egyptian father named his newborn daughter Facebook.
  2. There are 5 million Facebook users in Egypt, which is higher than any other Middle Eastern country. As of 2009, Egypt has 20,136 million internet users, ranking 21st in the world with this number.
  3. Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world.
  4. The official name of Egypt is the Arab Republic of Egypt.
  5. About 90% of Egyptians are Muslim (mostly Sunni), 9% Coptic, and 1% Christian.
  6. The Egyptian flag is similar to the flag of Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The flag consists of 3 strips (red, white and black) of the Arab Freedom flag (1952 Egyptian Revolution) and the white one has the “golden eagle of Saladin”. On the Egyptian flag, black symbolizes oppression; red symbolizes the bloody struggle against oppression; white symbolizes a bright future.
  7. Literacy rate is 83% for Egyptian men; for women it is 59.4%.
  8. Egypt receives an average of one inch (2.54 cm) of rain per year.
  9. Egypt has a population of 82,079,663 as of July 2011, making it the 15th most populous country in the world. 99% of its population lives in about 5.5% of the country.
  10. Tourism makes up 12% of Egypt’s workforce.
  11. Life expectancy in Egypt is approximately 72.66 years, and Egypt ranks 124th in the world with this number. Life expectancy for men is 70.07 years and for women is 75.38 years. Monaco has the highest life expectancy in the world at 89.73 years. America, on the other hand, ranks 50th with a life expectancy of 78.37 years.
  12. The fertility rate in Egypt is 2.97 children per woman, making it the 66th highest fertility rate country in the world. Niger ranks first with 7.60 children per woman. The USA ranks 124th with 2.06 children per woman.
  13. Egypt is the 29th largest country in the world in terms of area. Covering an area slightly larger than 3 times the US state of New Mexico, Egypt has a surface area of 1,010,408 km2.
  14. The 2011 Egyptian revolution began on January 25. The Egyptian protesters focused on the lack of freedom of speech and free elections, the brutality of the police, the corruption in the government, high unemployment, inflation, and the still continuation of the state of emergency law. An estimated 800 people were killed and over 6,000 injured during this time. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned from his post on February 11. The Egyptian revolution set in motion other revolutions in Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Libya and Bahrain.
  15. Egypt’s Nile River is the longest river in the world with a length of 4,135 miles (6,670 km). The English equivalent of the word Nile is derived from the Sami word nahal, which means river. The ancient Egyptians called the river iteru, meaning “great river”. The Nile is the longest river in the world and flows through 9 countries today.
  16. One of the world’s largest dams was built in Egypt in 1971 to contain the annual flooding of the Nile: the Aswan Dam. Unfortunately, because the rich soils that make the normally dry Egyptian soil fertile accumulate in Lake Nasser after the construction of the dam, farmers have to use one million tons of fertilizer every year.
  17. The Copts are the largest Christian community in Egypt and the Middle East. Because Christianity was the main religion of Egypt between the fourth and sixth centuries, the word Coptic actually meant “all Egyptians”.
  18. In France, outside the Louvre, stands a glass pyramid as a tribute to the ancient Egyptians and their amazing world.
  19. Only 150 years ago, Americans and Europeans believed that mummies had great healing powers. They grinded them into powder and used them as medicine against all kinds of diseases.
  20. In 2011, archaeologists discovered a giant statue of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III (Tutankhamun’s grandfather). It is one of the largest statues ever found and was first discovered and re-hidden in 1923.
  21. One of the two obelisks built by Pharaoh Tutmosis III and named after Cleopatra because it was placed at the entrance of the door of the temple built by Cleopatra in Alexandria, has suffered more damage from pollution and weather in the 125 years in New York, where it was erected, than in the thousands of years it was in Egypt.
  22. Some people blamed the mummified nun on display in the British Museum carried by the unfortunate ship on the sinking of the Titanic luxury cruise liner in 1912.
  23. In the catacombs of Tuna el-Gebel village on the border of Egypt’s Western Desert, scientists have unearthed more than 4 million stork-like Egyptian crane mummies.
  24. The bandages on the mummy of Ramses II were publicly opened in just 15 minutes in June 1886. His body was infected with fungi and bacteria that actually caused him to slowly decompose. In 1975, scientists used gamma rays to disinfect it. It is now stored in a container that prevents bacteria from living.
  25. If the Great Pyramid (with a volume of 28.32 cubic centimeters) had been cut into 30.48 cm cubes, it would have reached the number of circumnavigation of the Moon almost 3 times.
  26. Pyramid power or pyramidology (a belief system based on the occult significance of the Egyptian pyramids) refers to the belief that they have supernatural powers. For example, in 1959, Czech occultist Karel Drbal received a patent for the idea that they could sharpen blunt razors (Cheops Pyramid Razor Sharpener). Gloria Swanson (1899-1983), an American motion picture, theater and television actress, was sleeping with a miniature pyramid under her bed, as she reportedly chilled every cell in her body sweetly.
  27. The Egyptian Ministry of Health outlawed female genital mutilation in 1996, except in emergencies. However, this legal loophole has created an uncertainty that keeps the removal of the clitoris in reality still widespread. The situation ceased to exist in 2007 with the decision that the ban was extended to everyone.
  28. In 2016, Oxford University found that the oldest woven dress in the world was found in the Tarkhan necropolis of Egypt. It is 5,100-5,500 years old.
  29. All known tombs of Egyptian kings have been looted by robbers except for the tomb of Tutankhamun (reigned 1333-1323 BC), which the tomb’s discoverer claims was robbed twice. When this place was discovered in 1922, it was filled with priceless items of fine craftsmanship.
  30. Scientists believe that the symbol of the ankh, which in Ancient Egypt was considered the key to the afterlife and the union of male and female, is the origin of the much later Christian cross.
  31. Following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, on March 9, 2011, the Egyptian army forced some female protesters not only to take a maiden test, but also intimidated them with charges of prostitution.


Important Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt



  • Amun: God of the sun and air, associated with fertility. Sacred animals of this god are goose and ram.
  • Anubis: It is the Ancient Egyptian god of mummification and the afterlife, protector of lost souls and the helpless. It is depicted as a black canine, a jackal-dog hybrid with pointed ears, or as a muscular man with the head of a jackal.


  • Bastet: It is the ancient Egyptian goddess of home, domesticity, female secrets, cats, fertility and childbirth. It was first depicted as a tigress and later as a cat.


  • Hathor: Isis is an ancient Egyptian goddess who was formerly associated with Sekhmet but eventually accepted as the primordial goddess from which all the others are descended. It is depicted as a cow-headed woman with cow-ears or simply as a cow.
  • Horus: First of all, it is the ancient Egyptian sky god who named the following two gods: Horus the Great, the last born of the first five gods, and Horus the Minor, son of Osiris and Isis. He is depicted as a hawk-headed man wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt with the Sun disk on it.


  • Isis: Wife of Osiris; protector of the pharaohs, goddess of healing and magic. Her veil (hijab) is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for both her name and her throne.


  • Montu: God of War. It was represented as a man with a falcon’s head, wearing a crown of two plumes with a double uraeus (rearing cobra) on his forehead.


  • Neith: Goddess of hunting and war. Its symbol is a shield with two crossed arrows on it.


  • Osiris: God of the dead and Geb’s son and eldest child. It is the sister and husband of the goddess Isis. It is often depicted as a mummy holding the kingdom’s hook and flail. On his head he wears the white crown of Upper Egypt flanked by two plumes of feathers. Sometimes shown with ram horns. The skin is depicted as blue, the color of the dead, and black, the color of fertile soil, or green, representing resurrection.


  • Ptah: Creator god in ancient Egypt. Maker of objects, protector of craftsmen, especially sculptors. It is represented as a mummy-shaped man wearing a skullcap and a short, straight false beard.


  • Re: Also known as Ra. It is the supreme deity, represented as a falcon-headed man crowned with a sun disc and the sacred serpent (uraeus).


  • Seth: Seth, meaning force in ancient Egypt, is the god of chaos, destruction, confusion, evil, anger and storm. It has an undefined and curved animal head, tall square-topped ears and an erect arrow-like tail.


  • Thoth: It is the god of writing, accounting and everything intellectual. It is associated with the Egyptian crane and the baboon. It is also depicted with a moon disc head sitting on the top of the crescent above its Egyptian crane head.


Translated by Yalçın Ceylanoğlu


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *