Ancient Egypt gave the world countless inventions we still use today. They were an advanced society concerned with personal care and discovered innovative ways of staying comfortable in the harsh desert climate. While some aspects of ancient daily life may seem strange today, many are still practical, like dentures! Let's take a look at 10 amazing facts about ancient Egypt.
1. Career path: Professional mourner
Imagine your career as a professional mourner in ancient Egypt. Yep! That could have been your career path. Professional mourners smeared their bodies with dirt, wailed to the gods, beat their chests, and pulled their hair. Egypt was a society of order and balance, but death was an exception for wild displays of emotion and grief.
2. Beer for breakfast
Breakfast consisted of beer and bread for both adults and children. While beer and wine were consumed in preference to water as it was full of unsafe bacteria. Ancient Egyptians drank beer all day long.
3. Beauty: Everyone wore eyeliner
Both men and Women wore makeup, perfume, and wigs. Ancient Egyptian lined their eyes with black kohl to prevent bacteria and reduce the sun's glare. Egypt's perfumes were highly prized, and they believed it brought them closer to the gods. Wigs were worn for religious and festive occasions.
4. Hair & Hygiene
Personal care was a mainstay, and both men and women shaved their heads for hygienic and religious reasons. Children had had their heads shaved except for a lock of hair on the side. It was called the sidelock of youth and was cut off during a coming-of-age ceremony.
5. Turn on the air conditioner!
Ancient Egyptians invented one of the earliest known air-conditioning techniques. They hung wet strips of the reed plant in the windows, and when the wind moved through, it provided a cool breeze. How innovative!
6. Where are my pants?
Children did not wear clothes until around puberty. The harsh desert climate is no joke!
7. Ancient, but how ancient?
The Pyramids of Giza are so old; they were considered ancient during the reign of Queen Cleopatra! Cleopatra embraced the gods, religion, language, and traditions of ancient Egyptians.
8. Surgery & penicillin...
Ancient Egyptians practiced surgery and invented various surgical instruments. They were so advanced that they used moldy bread (penicillin) to treat infections!
Cats were considered sacred creatures that the gods took form in. Any cat in the village could be the feline goddess Bastet! Ancient cults dedicated to Bastet have been discovered with countless mummified cats - offerings to the goddess.
10. A trip to the dentist
The ancient Egyptians are credited with inventing and popularizing the first dental bridges, which replaced missing teeth. Dentists threaded thin gold wires around & through a replacement tooth, and attached the wires to other teeth - amazing!
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