5 Things You Never Knew About Ancient Egypt

Posted on December 10, 2021

I’ve always been super interested in Ancient Egypt. You wanna know why? It’s full of secrets and mysteries! There are a few things that really surprised me about Ancient Egypt when I studied it last semester. Here are the most interesting, weird facts about Ancient Egypt that you probably were totally unaware of:

1. Only the rich people were mummified

Image Credit: Ttatty from discovermagazine.com

Yes, that’s right! Only the elite bothered to mummify themselves. They believed that in order to wander around the afterlife, you had to be bound in a “human shape”, otherwise you would just end up a pile of mush. Do you wanna know what’s funny about this? The poor people who were buried in the hot, sterile desert sand actually retained their shape while the bodies of the elite, who were in contact with rags and raw fibers, rotted away. So…who’s the winner here? 

2. Men and women were actually pretty equal

Image Credit: public domain

Would you believe it if I told you that women were allowed to do more in Ancient Egypt than they did in mid-1800s America? Women of Ancient Egypt were allowed to own and sell property, could live alone, raise their own children (if divorced) and were expected to represent their husbands in matters of business. That’s what I call progress. 

3. The Pyramids were not built by slaves

Image Credit: memphistours.com

I know what you’re thinking….so, was it aliens then? For now…no, but one of the strange aspects of Ancient Egypt is that there are almost no depictions of the pyramids being built, which is why “who built the pyramids” is still such a mystery. According to archeological evidence though, the pyramids were built by skilled workers who were paid well and given proper food and water throughout the day. Look at that construction, you need to be qualified to build something like that!

4. Cleopatra wasn’t that beautiful

Image Credit: huffpost.com

When you look at her coins, which show her face in profile, she isn’t that beautiful, No one can be totally sure what she looks like as there are no written accounts of it, but someone from the ancient times did say that her charm was in her personality. 

5. Egyptians had famously bad teeth

Image Credit: Mandal from realmofhistory.com

If you think England has it bad, take a look at Ancient Egypt. Apparently the bread that Ancient Egyptians ate would often have sand and small pebbles in it (#desertproblems) which over time, would wear down on the teeth. To offset this issue, the Egyptians used toothbrushes made of twigs and a toothpaste made from ox hoof powder, ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice. Not exactly minty fresh…but it worked! 


So that’s all I could find for weird Ancient Egypt facts. It honestly just makes this civilization even more magical and mysterious!

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