Ancient Egypt was a fascinating period in history. We've got everything you need to know right here, plus some super fun facts.
Doing a project about ancient Egypt or just want to learn more? Then read some interestingfacts about antiquityEgypt.
The first peoples to settle on the banks of theder Nilthey were hunters and fishermen. They got there about 8,000 years ago. What a super long time!
They quickly learned how to plant crops, raise animals, build villages and cities, build boats, and navigate the mighty river.
There was no money back then, so they traded goods and food with their neighbors. Around 3000 BC the ancient Egyptian civilization was born.
Initially, the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were separated and around 3100 BC. They gathered under a mighty king.
reislater they were called pharaohs. These kings built huge temples, pyramids and other monuments, many of which you can still see today.
Under their new pharaoh, they began to conquer new lands. This did not last long, however, around 1000 BC. again divided into smaller parts and the kingdom was no longer the mighty force it was.
They were attacked and their territories were taken by some neighbors who managed to defeat them.
31 BC BC, fromromansconquered Egypt and, as if things couldn't get worse, later came under the control of Muslim warriors. They never had a strong nation for long.
Muslim warriors founded the capital - Cairo - and ruled for several centuries. But there were even more problems when the British invaded and conquered Egypt in 1882. You certainly weren't very lucky, were you?
The British stayed until 1952, when Egypt was finally declared independent in 1952. That's a long time to be under the rule of different nations.
Things got better from there for this great nation, which actually became one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations in world history.
This went on for over 3000 years, from 3150 B.C. to 30 BC Finally - a country to call your own.
The country was ruled by so-called dynasties, and these were the families in power, and they passed leadership from one pharaoh to another.
There were over 30 dynasties that ruled. Sounds like a lot, but it's actually been over 3,000 years, so each dynasty ruled for about 300 years.
This is just to give you an idea, but it is clear that some dynasties ruled for shorter periods and others for longer periods.
Ancient Egypt was divided into three great kingdoms, namely the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. This was a time when they practically ruled the world with their great power and wealth.
Your best friend – the Nile
The Nile was an exceptionally important part of life and the people of ancient Egypt lived along the river for many years.
That oneFlowit was incredibly his greatest source of wealth. When the Egyptians mastered the art of irrigation and were able to use the Nile's water, they became wealthy from their bountiful harvests.
These were some really smart people. The Nile gave them food, soil, water and, of course, a way to travel.
Every year around September the river would experience massive flooding, but this proved to be to their advantage as the soil became richer - allowing them to produce even more food.
The three most important crops were wheat, flax and papyrus.
Wheat— this was the main food they ate, and from it they made bread. They sold a lot of their wheat which helped them become the rich nation they were.
linen– linen fabric for clothes was made from it.
Papyrus– was a plant that grew on the banks of the Nile. They used it for a variety of things including paper, baskets, rope and sandals.
They also made building materials from the river. They used mud to make bricks, which were then used to build houses, walls, and other buildings.
They also mined limestone and sandstone from the hills along the banks of the Nile.
What was life like in ancient Egypt?
If ever there was a nation with a rich culture, it was ancient Egypt. Their culture was filled with a mixture of government, religion, art, and literature, among other things.
Government and religion were strongly linked. Pharaohs ruled the land and were also considered gods.
There were people called scribes who were very important in the administration of the country and were considered very powerful. Why? Well, they were the only people who could read and write and they helped run the country.
People had various professions such as farmers, artisans, soldiers, scribes, and priests and priestesses.
The Egyptian Army
The Egyptians were predominantly peasants and not true fighters, but they eventually realized that an army was really necessary considering how often they were conquered.
They learned to build chariots and assembled their strong armies.
From then on, Egypt began to keep its armies together. During the New Kingdom period, pharaohs often led armies into battle, conquering much of the surrounding land in the process.
Thus began the mighty reign of the Egyptian Empire.
They used bows and arrows, spears, axes and short swords to fight. They also made brilliant chariots that carried two men with strong horses pulling them.
One drove the chariot and controlled the horses, while the other soldier fought with a bow and arrow or spear.
The Pyramids and the Treasury
Pyramids are world famous and all powerful pharaohs were buried in these huge pyramids or in secret tombs. To help themselves in the afterlife, they believed they should be buried with treasure.
Well that's pretty cool as archeologists managed to find some really impressive artifacts and tombs. This helped us to understand this great civilization even better.
The Egyptians strongly believed in an afterlife and that humans had two important parts: a "ka" if they were alive and a "ba" which was like a soul.
If these two parts were united in the afterlife, the person would live in the afterlife. Wow, this is interesting. That's why the Egyptians tried to preserveBodyand mummified people.
There are about 138 pyramids. Some of them are huge, like the Pyramid of Cheops, also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
When it was built it was over 480 feet (almost 150 meters) tall! That's as tall as St. Paul in London. Wow. It was the tallest man-made structure for over 3,800 years and is one of the seven wonders of the world.
It apparently consisted of around 2.3 million blocks weighing 5.9 million tons. It is estimated that this pyramid consists of 2.3 million blocksRochaweighing 5.9 million tons.
The pyramids would be built very, very slowly. The Great Pyramid of Giza took 23 years to build. No wonder, considering the weight of these stones and the height of the pyramid.
It is believed that around 20,000 workers were needed for its construction. Great.
There are a few theories about how the pyramids were built, but no one knows for sure.
How do you think they were built?
The Valley of the Kings of Egypt
After about 1500 BC Pharaohs stopped building pyramids for burials and instead buried them in the Valley of the Kings.
There are more than 60 here, which are heaps of different sizes; Some are a big hole in the ground, while others were massive with over 100 underground chambers.
The treasures in these tombs were stolen thousands of years ago. But there are still works of art on the walls, which in turn help us to understand the lives of pharaohs and other leaders.
However, a tomb was discovered that still contained many treasures and was still intact.
Can you guess whose tomb it is? Well, it was none other than Tutankhamun's tomb which is now the most famous in the Valley of the Kings.
Unfortunately, most of the tombs were looted thousands of years ago and the treasure was stolen or removed by thieves.
However, there are works of art on the walls that allow archaeologists to learn a lot about the lives of the pharaohs and other leaders who were buried here.
The only tomb discovered with much of the treasure and tomb still intact was that of Tutankhamun.
The tomb was filled with fantastical things, including the mummy of King Tutankhamun, a golden mask and a huge golden inner coffin. The tomb had several chambers, which shows how important it was.
Well, that's interesting. The curse of King Tutankhamun's tomb has long been a mystery. People believed bad things would happen or death would happen if they went in there. But we don't think this is true. You?
There are still some ancient mummies of some pharaohs. Both Tutankhamun and Ramses the Great have been preserved and can be seen in museums. That would be a cool thing.
The Great Sphinx
Did you know that a sphinx is actually a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human's head? They built sphinx statues to protect areas like tombs and temples.
You may have heard of the Great Sphinx of Giza as it is by far the most famous. It is one of the largest and oldest statues in the world. Archaeologists believe it was around 2500 BC. it was carved.
The Great Sphinx is huge! It is 241 feet long (about 70 meters), 20 feet wide (about 6 meters) and 66 feet high (20 meters).
The eyes alone are 6 feet (almost 2 meters), the ears are over 3 feet (almost 1 meter) and the nose would have been almost 1.5 meters long before it was cut off.
There is also a legend about the Sphinx. Once built, it looked a little shabby for the next 1000 years. The whole body was covered with sand, and only the head was visible.
Apparently, a young prince named Thutmose fell asleep near the head. He had a dream and was instructed to restore it and he would become the pharaoh of Egypt. So he did, and you know what? He became the pharaoh.
Important Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
There were many gods and goddesses. Let's take a look at the main ones.
On him- Ra was the sun god and the most important god of the ancient Egyptians. He was designed as a man with a hawk's head.
Isis– Isis was the mother goddess. It was believed that she would protect and help those in need. She was designed as a woman with a throne-shaped headdress.
Osiris- Osiris was the ruler of the underworld and god of the dead. He was the husband of Isis and the father of Horus. Osiris was drawn as a mummified man wearing feathered headdresses.
Horus– Horus was the god of the sky. Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. He was designed as a man with a hawk's head.
Thot- Thoth was the god of knowledge. He blessed the Egyptians with writing, medicine and mathematics. He was also the god of the moon.
Thoth is depicted as a man with the head of an ibis bird. Sometimes he was portrayed as a baboon. He probably preferred to be shown as an ibis bird rather than a baboon.
the mighty pharaohs
Many pharaohs ruled ancient Egypt, but here are some of the most famous.
Akhenaten– Akhenaton was famous for saying that there is only one god, the sun god. He ruled with his wife Nefertiti, and they closed many of the temples to other gods. He was the father of the famous King Tut.
tutanchamon– Often called King Tut today, he is famous today because his tomb was found that we read about. At age 9 he became pharaoh. He tried to bring back the gods his father had banished.
Hatshepsut– Hatshepsut, a pharaoh, was originally a regent (someone who assumes power when the true leader is too young or unable to fulfill his duties) for her son, but she took power from the pharaoh.
She also dressed like the pharaoh to enhance her power, including the crown and ceremonial beard. She was considered the greatest pharaoh and one of the greatest pharaohs in the history of Egypt.
Amenophis III– Amenhotep III. ruled for 39 years and brought Egypt back to a powerful nation. When he was chief pharaoh, the land was at peace and they could enlarge cities and build more temples.
Ramesses II– Often called Ramses the Great, he ruled Egypt for 67 years. He is famous today for erecting more statues and monuments than any other pharaoh.
Cleopatra VII–cleopatrais often regarded as the last pharaoh of Egypt. She maintained her power by forging alliances with famous Romans like Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Pharaohs built great temples to honor their gods. These temples would have large statues, gardens, monuments and a place of worship. Cities would also have their own temples to their own local gods.
The empire is coming to an end
Oh dear, around 700 BC. things started to get worse again for ancient Egypt. Once again they were conquered by other civilizations such as the Assyrian Empire and the Persian Empire.
In the year 332 BC BC it was Alexander the Great ofGreececonquered Egypt and established his own ruling family.
Then the Romans arrived in 30 BC. and Egypt became a province of Rome. The Egyptians certainly had their fair share of various lands ruling over them.
Amazing facts about ancient Egypt
The pyramids in Egypt were all built west of the Nile, as that side was associated with the land of the dead.
There were traps and curses placed in tombs and pyramids to try and keep thieves away.
King Tutankhamun's golden mask was made with 10 kilos of gold. This is too muchGold.
The bread the Egyptians ate was so thick that it wore down the teeth. Wow, so glad our bread is different today.
The common peasant woman married young, around the age of 12. Can you imagine getting married so young?
Most people bathed daily, often in the Nile. It's good that we are swimming today.
Tutankhamun was buried with a lock of his grandmother's hair.
The largest pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khufu.
Egyptian men and women wore makeup. It was believed to have healing powers and help protect the skin from the sun.
Unwrapped, the bandages of an ancient Egyptian mummy could stretch for nearly a mile. They sure liked wrapping her nice and tight.
The Egyptian alphabet contained over 700 hieroglyphs! Can you imagine learning all this?
They used moldy bread to help with infections.
They were one of the first civilizations to invent writing. They also used ink for writing and paper called papyrus.
A pharaoh kept his hair covered. It wasn't for normal people to see.
The ancient Egyptians called the rich black soil of the floods the "Gift of the Nile".
Over the last few millennia, many of the Egyptian mummies have been destroyed in interesting ways. Some were burned for fuel, some were turned into dust to make magic potions, and some were destroyed by treasure hunters. Wow.
Sometimes the mummy's mouth was opened to show that they could breathe in the afterlife.
That oneherzit was left in the body of a deceased Egyptian because it was considered the center of intelligence. That oneBrainit was thrown away because it was deemed unusable. Things can be different now.
Pepy II became pharaoh at the age of 6. He ruled Egypt for 94 years. Wow, he was young when he started and he was 100 when he left.
Famous Child Kings You Must Know
We hope you enjoyed all these interesting facts about ancient Egypt. Do you have anything to add?
Ancient Egypt was one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations in the history of the world. It lasted for over 3000 years from 3150 BC to 30 BC. The civilization of ancient Egypt was located along the Nile River in northeast Africa. The Nile was the source of much of ancient Egypt's wealth.What are 5 interesting facts about ancient Egypt? ›
- Cleopatra was not Egyptian. ...
- The ancient Egyptians forged one of the earliest peace treaties on record. ...
- Ancient Egyptians loved board games. ...
- Egyptian women had a wide range of rights and freedoms. ...
- Egyptian workers were known to organize labor strikes.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped over 1,400 different gods and goddesses in their shrines, temples, and homes. These deities were the centre of a religion lasting over three thousand years!What was ancient Egypt originally called? ›
To the ancient Egyptians themselves, their country was simply known as Kemet, which means 'Black Land', so named for the rich, dark soil along the Nile River where the first settlements began.What is Egypt famous for in history? ›
The ancient Egyptian civilization, famous for its pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, and tombs, flourished for thousands of years.Why is Egypt so important in history? ›
Egypt was a vast kingdom of the ancient world. It was unified around 3100 B.C.E. and lasted as a leading economic and cultural influence throughout North Africa and parts of the Levant until it was conquered by the Macedonians in 332 B.C.E.Where is Egypt facts for kids? ›
Egypt is a large country in northern Africa. The capital city of Egypt is called Cairo. Egypt is three times larger in land area than New Mexico/USA or is slightly smaller in size than three times the size of Germany. Egypt borders the Mediterranean Sea in the North and the Red Sea in the East.What are 3 specific things that ancient Egypt is remembered for? ›
The Egyptians kept written records using a writing system known as hieroglyphics. Egyptian rulers used the idea of divine kingship and constructed monumental architecture to demonstrate and maintain power. Ancient Egyptians developed wide-reaching trade networks along the Nile, in the Red Sea, and in the Near East.What did the ancient Egyptians eat? ›
A large variety of vegetables were grown, including onions, garlic, leeks, beans, lentils, peas, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers and lettuce. There were also fruits, such as dates, figs, pomegranates, melons and grapes, and honey was produced for sweetening desserts.How did Old Egypt fall? ›
The once-great empire was slowly brought to its knees by a centuries-long drought, economic crises and opportunistic foreign invaders. The once-great empire was slowly brought to its knees by a centuries-long drought, economic crises and opportunistic foreign invaders.
The principal creator god in Ancient Egyptian religion is the sun-god; in the Egyptian language, the word for sun is Ra, and this was one name for the sun-god, but he was also regularly called Atum, from the word tm 'complete'.Who are the big 3 Egyptian gods? ›
- 1- The Egyptian God, Ra – God of the Sun.
- 2- The Egyptian God, Osiris – God of Death.
- 3- The Egyptian God, Horus – God of Goodness & Light.
- 4- The Egyptian God, Seth – God of War.
- 5- The Egyptian God, Anubis – God of the Dead & Mummification.
- 6- The Egyptian God, Amun – God of The Air.
Ennead - The nine gods worshipped at Heliopolis who formed the tribunal in the Osiris Myth: Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Set. These nine gods decide whether Set or Horus should rule in the story The Contendings of Horus and Set.Who is the oldest god? ›
The Mesha Stele bears the earliest known reference (840 BCE) to the Israelite God Yahweh.Who was Zeus killed by? ›
How did Zeus get killed? Kratos fought Zeus furiously and managed to deliver several powerful blows, as he stated he would kill Zeus for his actions. Enraged at his defiance, Zeus unleashed his full might on the vengeful warrior in the form of a deadly electrical storm. Kratos stabs Zeus with the Blade of Olympus.Who was Ra's wife? ›
Hathor ascended with Ra and became his mythological wife, and thus divine mother of the pharaoh.Who was the first pharaoh? ›
Many scholars believe the first pharaoh was Narmer, also called Menes. Though there is some debate among experts, many believe he was the first ruler to unite upper and lower Egypt (this is why pharaohs hold the title of “lord of two lands”).What is the Egyptian Bible called? ›
This standardized version of the BD is called “Saite” (named after the “Saite,” 26th dynasty) or “Late Recension.” The last funerary papyri that can justly be called “Books of the Dead” are dated to the 1st century BCE.Who built the pyramids? ›
National Geographic. All three of Giza's famed pyramids and their elaborate burial complexes were built during a frenetic period of construction, from roughly 2550 to 2490 B.C. The pyramids were built by Pharaohs Khufu (tallest), Khafre (background), and Menkaure (front). Please be respectful of copyright.What are 2 historical facts about Egypt? ›
1) Most Ancient Egyptian pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs (rulers of Ancient Egypt) and their families. To date, over 130 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt. 2) The afterlife was incredibly important to the Egyptians.
Egyptian pyramid-building reached its zenith with the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Built for Khufu (or Cheops, in Greek), who ruled from 2589 to 2566 B.C., the pyramid was later named by classical historians as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.What is the most important Egyptian? ›
Ra. Arguably Ancient Egypt's most important god, Ra was the Creator God. He was one of the first to emerge in Egyptian mythology. Ra created Earth, Heaven and the Underworld, as well as all of the gods and living creatures that inhabit these three worlds.Who founded ancient Egypt? ›
Menes was the legendary first king of unified Egypt. According to tradition, he joined Upper and Lower Egypt in a single centralized monarchy and established ancient Egypt's first dynasty. Menes is also credited with irrigation works and with founding the capital, Memphis.What did the ancient Egyptians do for us? ›
The ancient Egyptians were pioneers in architecture, medicine and mathematics. They invented the calendar, ways to measure distances, improvements in irrigation, medical surgery and also applied their knowledge to architecture. They were experts in preserving the dead and mummification.What are two interesting facts about ancient Egypt? ›
- The Egyptians saw animals as incarnations of the Gods!
- Cleopatra was originally part of a long line of Greek Macedonians.
- Women also ascended the throne in Ancient Egypt.
- The first Ancient Egyptian unified kingdom surfaced around 3,200 B.C.
More than 5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians established an extraordinary and enduring civilization. It is a land of mysteries – the grandness of the pyramids, mummies, Pharaohs, gods and goddesses.What are 3 important Egyptian achievements? ›
Earliest known hieroglyphic writing. Walled towns and villages were built. Old Kingdom 2600 -2100 BC The Sphinx was built. Egyptians began building pyramids.What are 2 things Egyptians invented? ›
The ancient Egyptians were pioneers in architecture, medicine and mathematics. They invented the calendar, ways to measure distances, improvements in irrigation, medical surgery and also applied their knowledge to architecture. They were experts in preserving the dead and mummification.What was ancient Egypt most famous for? ›
The ancient Egyptian civilization, famous for its pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, and tombs, flourished for thousands of years.What's unique about Egypt? ›
Egypt is very famous for its ancient civilization and the monuments of the majestic pharaohs, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, the GEM (The Grand Egyptian Museum), Sakkara, and Dahshur.
Persia ruled over Egypt for 100 years. Egypt prospered under the rule of the Persian King Darius I. Darius built temples and presented himself like a pharaoh to Egypt.Who ruled Egypt for 3000 years? ›
The pharaonic period spans over 3,000 years, beginning when kings first ruled Egypt. The first dynasty started in 3000 B.C. with the reign of King Narmer.Did Egyptians count years? ›
Egyptian calendar, dating system established several thousand years before the common era, the first calendar known to use a year of 365 days, approximately equal to the solar year. In addition to this civil calendar, the ancient Egyptians simultaneously maintained a second calendar based upon the phases of the moon.