Egypt Facts: 55 Fascinating Facts About Egypt

Last updated on August 14th, 2018

24. Remember Cleopatra, the scandalous yet powerful last ancient pharaoh who married her younger brother? She was Greek. Yes, indeed, both to her being Greek and having married her brother.

25. The incestuous act by Cleopatra and her kid brother was not an abomination in ancient Egypt. When a woman was next on the royal line, she was supposed to marry her brother to help her in her royal duties and to ensure she stays put and loyal to the royal family.

26. Back to the seductive queen Cleopatra, even the grim reaper had to submit to her allure, when she decided to die on her terms. Death by the poisonous asp, making the end of the ancient pharaoh lineage.

About Egyptian inventions and discoveries

27. If you thought makeup was discovered or even perfected by the modern woman, you couldn’t be far from the truth. Egyptians, women, and men alike wore stunning shapes and shades of makeup referred to as khol. The makeup was not just for beauty but also for protection from sun rays as well as healing powers. (Some interesting facts about the sun)

28. Games? Oh yes. The Egyptians played their version of dice by using sticks in place of dice and even a game of chance called the senet dating back to 3500 B.C

29. Another amazing fact about Egypt is that the beer was such a favorite drink of the ancient Egyptians that even the dead got the opportunity to get drunk through beer offerings.

30. The Egyptians first writing system called hieroglyphs was by 3,300 BC. Over 700 Egyptian hieroglyphs have been recorded.

31. Initially, Egypt was known by several names such as Kemet, Deshret, and Hwt-ka-ptah. The Greeks, probably unable to pronounce it correctly change the Hwt-ka-ptah to Aegyptus. Go, figure the origin of Egypt.

32. Ever wondered where the idea of 365 days, 12 months year started? the ancient Egyptians again beat the rest of the world to it and were the first to adopt the idea.

33. And yes, these smart ancients invented the clock, too!

34. Of inventions, the ancient Egyptians beat modern civilization to making the first toothpaste. They made the toothpaste from ashes and ox hooves powder mixed with burnt eggshells and pumice.

35. Despite their long silky hair, the ancient Egyptians shaved their hair and instead wore weaves woven with human hair for the rich and wool and vegetable fiber for the poor.

36. Have a problem with bed wetting? Take it from the ancient Egyptian peasants who carried around a bag of bones from a mouse to cure the bed-wetting affliction.

37. The earliest peace treaty ever forged was by, yes, you guessed right, the ancient Egyptians. The treaty was between King Ramses II and King Hattusili of the Hittites in 1259 B.C.

38. The earliest workers rights protest was staged in ancient Egypt during the reign of King Ramses III, in the 12th century B.C.

39. Forget the athletic and slender representations of pharaohs. Mummy evidence shows that most pharaohs were overweight and perhaps diabetic. Ask the 15th century B.C Queen Hatshepsut mummy.

40. The latest evidence shows that the pyramids were built by the Egyptians and not slaves as earlier recorded. We have the 5th century B.C. Greek historian, Herodotus to thank for the slave myth, or is it?

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41. The ancient Egyptian physicians practiced specialization as early as 450 B.C. I know, hard to believe.

42. The use of moldy substances to cure infections by ancient Egyptian physicians suggests an early knowledge of antibiotics.

43. Ancient Egyptians could as well be the first people to keep animals as pets. Who wouldn’t love to keep and revere an incarnated god in the house?

44. Evidence from Egyptian ancient tombs suggests that modern-like toilets were in use in the old.

45. Ever heard of a 5,000-year-old dress? Well, I have, and it was found lying in an ancient Egyptian tomb.

46. The mystery of the lost city of Heracleion was finally solved after the city was found buried under the sea, 1200 years later.

47. Ancient Egyptians knew the comfort of a pillow. Only, theirs was made of stone.

48. Perhaps we would not be gushing over exquisite engagement or wedding rings were it not for the ancient Egyptians said to have invented the tradition.

49. We mourn the death of our pets by giving them a decent burial. The ancient Egyptians mourned their revered cats by shaving their eyebrows clean.

50. Another surprising fact about early Egypt is that Christianity was the dominant religion of Egypt.

51. Built between 2558-2532 BC, the great Sphinx of Giza is the world’s largest monolith statue.

the great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza. Image credit – britannica.com

52. The mystery behind the sphinx’ missing nose and beard has fueled a series of theories and myths. An AD 1378 myth has a Sufi Muslim cleric hanged for vandalism after he destroyed the Sphinx’ nose in a fit of fury over the peasant offerings to the Sphinx.

53. Egypt is home to one of the world’s largest dam, Aswan high dam, built to contain the raging waters of the world’s longest river, the Nile.

54. The 2011 Egyptian revolution left as around 800 people dead, culminating in the dramatic resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

55. And out of the 2011 ashes rose Facebook Jamal Ibrahim, a name given to a daughter by a father grateful for the role Facebook played in the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Egypt – country at a glance

Independence day28 February 1922 (from UK protectorate status)
Capital CityCairo
(30°2′N 31°13′E)
Largest CityCairo
(30°2′N 31°13′E)
Total area1,001,450 sq km
Population97,041,072 (July 2017 est.)
Official LanguageEgyptian Arabic
BordersGaza, Sudan, Libya and Israel.
Literacy rate73.8%
CurrencyEgyptian pound (EGP)
ReligionIslam and Christianity
Life expectancy73 Years (2017)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatedesert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
Terrainvast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, rare earth elements, zinc
Agricultural land3.6%
Birth rate29.6 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate4.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratio1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Literacy rate73.8%
(2015 est.)
National holidayRevolution Day, 23 July (1952)
National anthem"Bilady, Bilady, Bilady" (My Homeland, My Homeland, My Homeland)
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentAbdel Fattah el-Sisi
Prime MinisterMoustafa Madbouly
National symbolsgolden eagle, white lotus
National colorsred, white, black
GDP - per capita (PPP)$13,000 (2017 est.)
Industriestextiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, light manufactures
Exports$23.53 billion (2017 est.)
crude oil and petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals, processed food
Imports$53.02 billion (2017 est.)
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
DemonymEgyptian
Calling Code+20
Internet country code.eg
Time ZoneEET (UTC+2)
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedJuly 11, 2018