1. Cleopatra was not Egyptian
Along with King Tut, maybe no figure is more famously related with ancient Egypt than Cleopatra VII. However while she was born in Alexandria, Cleopatra was really part of a protracted line of Greek Macedonians initially descended from Ptolemy I, considered one of Alexander the Nice’s most trusted lieutenants. The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt from 323 to 30 B.C., and most of its leaders remained largely Greek of their tradition and sensibilities. In truth, Cleopatra was famous for being one of the first members of the Ptolemaic dynasty to truly speak the Egyptian language.
2. The ancient Egyptians solid one of the earliest peace treaties on record.
For over centuries the Egyptians fought towards the Hittite Empire for management of lands in modern-day Syria. The battle gave rise to bloody engagements like 1274 B.C.’s Battle of Kadesh, however by time of the pharaoh Ramses II neither side had emerged as a clear victor. With each the Egyptians and Hittites facing threats from different peoples, in 1259 B.C. Ramses II and the Hittite King Hattusili III negotiated a famous peace treaty. This agreement ended the conflict and decreed that the 2 kingdoms would aid one another within the occasion of an invasion by a third party. The Egyptian-Hittite treaty is now acknowledged as one of the earliest surviving peace accords, and a duplicate may even be seen above the entrance to the United Nations Security Council Chamber in New York.
3. Historic Egyptians liked board games.
After a protracted day’s work along the Nile River, Egyptians often relaxed by taking part in board games. A number of completely different games were played, including “Mehen” and “Dogs and Jackals,” but maybe the most well-liked was a game of chance known as “Senet.” This pastime dates back so far as 3500 B.C. and was played on a long board painted with 30 squares. Every player had a set of pieces that were moved along the board in response to rolls of cube or the throwing sticks. Historians still debate Senet’s exact rules, but there’s little doubt of the game’s commonity. Paintings depict Queen Nefertari taking part in Senet, and pharaohs like Tutankhamen even had game boards buried with them in their tombs.
4. Egyptian women had a wide range of rights and freedoms.
While they could have been publicly and socially viewed as inferior to men, Egyptian women enjoyed a great deal of authorized and monetary independence. They might buy and sell property, serve on juries, make wills and even enter into legal contracts. Egyptian women didn’t typically work outside the house, but those that did often obtained equal pay for doing the identical jobs as men. Unlike the women of historical Greece, who have been successfully owned by their husbands, Egyptian ladies additionally had the right to divorce and remarry. Egyptian couples had been even known to barter an ancient prenuptial agreement. These contracts listed all the property and wealth the girl had brought into the marriage and guaranteed that she can be compensated for it in the event of a divorce.
5. Egyptian workers had been known to prepare labor strikes.
Even though they regarded the pharaoh as a kind of living god, Egyptian workers weren’t afraid to protest for higher working conditions. Probably the most well-known instance came within the 12th century B.C. throughout the reign of the New Kingdom pharaoh Ramses III. When laborers engaged in building the royal necropolis at Deir el-Medina didn’t receive their common payment of grain, they organized one of the first recorded strikes in history. The protest took the form of a sit-in: The workers merely entered close by mortuary temples and refused to leave until their grievances have been heard. The gamble worked, and the laborers had been ultimately given their overdue rations.
6. Egyptian pharaohs were often chubby
Egyptian art commonly depicts pharaohs as being trim and statuesque, however this was most likely not the case. The Egyptian food regimen of beer, wine, bread and honey was high in sugar, and research show that it may have carried out a number on royal waistlines. Examinations of mummies have indicated that many Egyptian rulers were unhealthy and chubby, and even suffered from diabetes. A notable example is the legendary Queen Hatshepsut, who lived in the fifteenth century B.C. While her sarcophagus depicts her as slender and athletic, historians believe she was truly overweight and balding.
7. The pyramids were not constructed by slaves
The lifetime of a pyramid builder certainly wasn’t straightforward—skeletons of workers commonly show signs of arthritis and other ailments—but evidence suggests that the large tombs were built not by slaves but by paid laborers. These ancient construction workers were a mix of skilled artisans and momentary fingers, and a few seem to have taken nice pride of their craft. Graffiti discovered near the monuments suggests they typically assigned humorous names to their crews like the “Drunkards of Menkaure” or the “Friends of Khufu.” The concept slaves constructed the pyramids at the crack of a whip was first conjured by the Greek historian Herodotus within the fifth century B.C., however most historians now dismiss it as myth. While the traditional Egyptians were actually not averse to keeping slaves, they appear to have mostly used them as field fingers and domestic servants.
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