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Interesting Facts: Ancient Egypt

With intriguing pharaohs and amazing accomplishments in construction, the ancient Egyptians certainly provided the world with a collection of interesting facts. In this article, you will learn more about hieroglyphics, pyramids, and mummification.

Hieroglyphics

The ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics as their form of written communication. Depending on the type of information involved, the Egyptians relied on three main kinds of hieroglyphics. The most common type was referred to as hieroglyphics, and it was used mostly for ceremonial events. It displayed a more pictographic type of writing.

The hieratic type was a faster way of writing that used more lines and squiggles over the pictorial approach. The demotic type of Egyptian writing was a form that appeared later in years. It expressed a more phonetic approach. Hieroglyphics were also associated with different forms of language, including an alphabet, determinative, and phonetic signs. The Egyptians additionally had their own system of abbreviations and ideograms as well.

Pyramids

Serving as tombs for the ancient Egyptians, pyramids are one of the most common associations with the civilization. Constructed for pharaohs to lay in the afterlife, the pyramids were also meant to honor the ruler inside. Pyramids have been the subject of many mysteries, including the methods and techniques used to build such massive structures in a time that did not have the advancement in today’s technology. It took many stones to construct a pyramid, which was always positioned on the west side of the Nile, which was considered the land of the dead.

An interesting fact about the pyramids is that the Egyptians built many fake chambers to fool robbers looking to raid the tombs. Pyramids were treasure chests of goods waiting to be discovered. The pharaoh was buried with everything they believed they would need in the afterlife, including food, pets, favorite games, and anything they liked when they were alive.

Mummification

When you picture a mummy, one of the first images to emerge is probably the bandaged vision of the undead. The ancient Egyptians used the method of mummification to preserve the bodies of their deceased. The process involved an embalmer that would make a cut in the side of the body and remove all of the organs , with the exception of the heart. With the help of a hook shaped tool, the brain was actually removed through the nostril.

The embalmer would then cover the body in a substance called natron, which would assist in the drying out of the body. This part of the process would take 70 days to complete. After the body was dried out, the embalmer would stuff the body with a combination of sawdust, ashes, and salt.

The organs were either wrapped or placed back into the body, or they were stored in canopic jars. Before the body was tightly wrapped with cloth, the embalmer would apply cosmetics to the face and attach artificial hair to the dried out corpse. When the body was wrapped in layers of many cloth strips, it was then positioned in a sarcophagus that was then transferred to his or her designated pyramid.