5 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ANCIENT EGYPT
The Egyptian culture has fascinated many people and historians. The enigmatic and alluring vibe of Egyptian pyramids, the stories, the paintings and their rituals attract many people. Not all of us are lucky enough to actually visit Egypt and soak its mystery in but what we can do is provide you with some very interesting facts about ancient Egypt to stimulate your imagination.
Cleopatra was not a conventional beauty
Cleopatra, the last queen of ancient Egypt managed to create a larger than life appearance and looked like a goddess. She was the woman, most men could only dream of. It may sound manipulative, but she controlled the hearts and minds of many influential men like Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. One would expect such a seductress to be the epitome of beauty. But most accounts described as a woman with extremely sharp features which were not essentially pretty. She had a strong personality and all her clothes along with the elaborate makeup made her look exotic. She was not the usual feminine beauty.
Makeup was a big thing in ancient Egypt
Makeup was a very important aspect of the portrayal of Egyptian culture. It was not meant for just women. Both the genders used makeup for it was believed by them that makeup has healing properties. The eye makeup was usually green or black in colour and made from lead and copper carbonate. Essential oils extracted from flowers and seeds were used by the royalty. Such cosmetics were believed to have magical powers as well.
Women and men had equal rights
Well, almost. Women could work outside their homes and earn for their families. They could also inherit property. The status provided to women was much more independent of male domination. Different kinds of work were not restricted to just men or just women. In fact, women could be kings too!
Not every Egyptian was mummified
Mummification, as mysterious as it sounds, was not a very common procedure. It was a time consuming as well as expensive process which would last for several days. It involved drying the corpse and covering it carefully in bandages. Therefore, the royals could afford it. The commoners were simply buried in pits. However, the Egyptians believed in the concept of a life after death. Hence they tried to retain the human body even after death by mummifying it. When a body was mummified, its internal organs (except the heart), such as the brain and intestines were removed.
The Great Pyramid was not built by slaves
The first thing that comes to one’s mind when thinking of Egypt is the great pyramid. So we might think that it was built by too many slaves who toiled day in and day out, under the harsh sun, just like the movies show us. But evidence suggests that it was built by around 6,000 permanent workers and the others were temporary. They were fairly compensated for their services as well.