One of the most famous civilizations of the Ancient World was Egypt. The history of this kingdom totals about 4 thousand years. People were able to adapt to life in the river valley of the Nile. Here, on fertile and warm lands, man built his civilization. It has become very significant for history.
The ancient pyramids still amaze our imagination today. Egyptian masters mastered the production of glass and faience, there was a letter, mathematics, art, medicine, astronomy. In the XVIII-XIX centuries, a strong interest in the era that led to the emergence of such a science as Egyptology.
Today tourists go to this country not just to relax on the shores of the warm Red Sea, but also to touch the famous monuments of antiquity. And the riddles of Ancient Egypt continue to stir the minds of researchers.
Most of us know about this civilization, not even from popular science films and publications, but from art and entertainment. As a result, we have established stable myths about Ancient Egypt, which is the time to debunk.
Ancient Egyptians communicated with aliens.
Many people do not believe that such large-scale creations as pyramids could be built by ordinary people, without the use of advanced techniques. They say that the Egyptians were helped by aliens. At least, it demonstrates quite a lot of evidence of the contact of this civilization with the alien. Some TV programs specifically focus on this in order to attract the attention of the viewer. The evidence is inconclusive. Scientists say that the Egyptians were skilled engineers, which allowed them to create large-scale objects without outside assistance. The triangular shape of the pyramid was the best for the massive tomb construction. Unusual figures in frescos, according to Egyptologists, have a completely mundane explanation.
Pyramids were built by slaves.
Pyramids themselves are a source of myths and mysteries. The enormous scale of these facilities implies the corresponding labor costs. It is quite logical that for this, slave labor should be used, and not hired labor. Who will voluntarily go to such an infernal construction? So the myth appeared that the pyramids were built by slaves. In fact, recently were found the burial of the builders, these people were buried not far from the pharaohs and with honors. It is quite logical that slaves had no right to this. Most likely, the pyramids were built by free workers who lived nearby in their settlements. These people were eating well, their diet included meat and beer. And no one beat them with whips, as shown in most movies about that era. A large-scale project inspired neighboring communities, allowing them to take pride in participating in the construction of the pyramid. And the labor productivity of hired workers has always been considered higher than that of slaves. Their attraction was trivial.
The Egyptians came up with hieroglyphics.
We know the writing of Ancient Egypt by hieroglyphs. It seems that exactly there and came up with such letters. However, scientists believe that the hieroglyphs came to the country together with tribes of invaders from Western Asia. And these artistic symbols were not used at all for curses or magic spells. With their help, historical events were mainly recorded and inscriptions were made on the graves.
The mummies still have their hearts preserved
The famous Greek historian Herodotus wrote a lot about mummification. He suggested that the hearts of mummies remain unchanged. In fact, in the process of preparing the body for such a ceremony, hearts were left to either the richest or most influential people.
Together with the pharaoh buried and his servants.
The researchers found the tombs of two eccentric rulers of the First Dynasty, along with which their servants were buried. It was believed that they would accompany the deceased in the afterlife and help him. As a result, many Egyptologists began to believe that this tradition was accepted in the country. And it touched all three hundred pharaohs. However, archaeologists debunked this myth.In fact, later rulers were buried with small statuettes, which were supposed to serve as assistants in the afterlife.
The tombs were cursed.
This myth is replicated by many movies. Those brave souls who dared to disturb the deceased pharaohs were threatened with a curse. The most revealing case was the story that happened with Howard Carter and the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Of the team of researchers in 58 people, eight died within 10 years after the discovery. This gave rise to the myth that the tomb was cursed. This theory is partially based. The fact is that on the walls of the tombs there was a fungus, which could lead to a number of deaths. But most of them were random, they would have happened, even if the researchers did not get into the tomb. And the age of the majority of the deceased was already advanced.
Cleopatra was beautiful.
Cleopatra was considered the main beauty of the Ancient World. Her lovers were the most influential men of that time. This gave rise to the myth of its irresistibility and beauty. However, the portraits of the Egyptian queen, created during her lifetime, showed that Cleopatra had masculine features. In the existing standards in the West, this woman can not be considered as a beauty in any way. Cleopatra had a big nose, a prominent chin and thin lips. This image does not correspond in any way to what was shown by Elizabeth Taylor in the famous movie. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to belittle her dignity – Cleopatra was smart and charming. Perhaps, that’s why she managed to win men’s hearts.
Cleopatra was an Egyptian.
And although her queen is firmly associated with Ancient Egypt, in fact she was of Greek origin. Cleopatra was a representative of the Ptolemaic dynasty, ruling Egypt during the Hellenistic era. This family was a descendant of one of the generals of Alexander the Great. Cleopatra became the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. After a military defeat from the Romans and her suicide, she gave her country into the hands of the Romans. So Egypt became the province of a new empire.
The Egyptians had a cult of death.
Huge Egyptian pyramids were built as places for rest of the dead. In the tombs rich gifts were left, funeral rites were complex, and mummies were embalmed at times to two weeks. It’s easy to believe that the Egyptians were literally obsessed with the cult of death. The fact is that many items that could be preserved for thousands of years, lay in tombs and have to do with death. In fact, the ancient Egyptians enjoyed life, it found an attitude even in burials. The objects placed in the tombs were intended for the life of the dead in a new, other world. And even drawings on the walls show scenes of life. We see how the Egyptians engaged in agriculture, hunted and caught fish.
The library of Alexandria was burned by the Arabs.
According to the legends, when the Arabs conquered Egypt in 640, Khalif Omar ordered the burning of all the books in the famous library. It was said that this heat went to heating the saunas, the heat from the books was enough for six months. However, historians doubt the veracity of this myth. The fact is that the written evidence of this story appeared only at the end of the 12th century. If the case was really so, then why did not anyone write about it for 500 years?
We already know everything about Ancient Egypt.
Many people believe that a person has already got all the information in their hands to make a complete picture of that ancient civilization. It seems that Egyptology has nowhere to develop. In fact, today and again, fascinating discoveries are being made which give new information about Ancient Egypt. For scientists, the mummification process remains a mystery, with the help of modern technologies on the basis of the remains of the ancients it is possible to draw new conclusions about their life and health. An example of such impressive discoveries is the “Solar Boat”, found recently and extracted from the Great Pyramid at Giza.It is believed that this vessel was supposed to allow dead pharaohs to help the sun god Ra in his eternal struggle with the demon of darkness, Apep. According to legend, every night Ra sits on a solar boat, fighting evil, and at dawn the triumphant deity travels through the sky, lighting up the whole earth.
Pyramids were not decorated.
It is known that in the interior of many ancient Egyptian tombs there were colorful hieroglyphics. But for a long time it was believed that inside the pyramids there was no decoration and decoration. In the Great Pyramid, a secret door was discovered, behind which hieroglyphs were found. These structures themselves seem simple and strict. But today there is evidence that some of their parts, such as internal columns, were once red or white. So it’s not just a heap of stones, as they seem now. The tombs of the pharaohs were made to be the most impressive structures in ancient Egypt. The pyramids were covered with smooth white limestone, it was polished until it became dazzlingly bright in the sun. Some of the parts of such a shell can still be seen on the Great Pyramid. The rest of the elements were removed centuries ago. Contemporaries wrote that the pyramids reflected both lunar and sunlight. They could be seen from afar even at night. If this was not enough, the castle stone at the very top of the pyramid was decorated with gold or electrum (an alloy of silver and gold).
Ancient Egyptians look the same as their modern kinsmen.
There is an opinion that the people of Egypt has changed little over the centuries. In fact, the appearance of modern residents of the country was influenced by migrant flows, numerous occupations and wars. Here came Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Turks. Of course, the descendants of those ancient Egyptians live here, but one should not judge them on the basis of the appearance of modern inhabitants.
In Ancient Egypt, all art is the image of characters going somewhere.
It is a fairly common myth that ancient Egyptian art was limited to stylized figures looking to the side, as if they were walking somewhere. In fact, there are a lot of naturalistic and beautiful images of animals and people that testify to the artist’s observation and his other view. Art in ancient Egypt was highly developed and reached incredible artistic heights, which we still can not appreciate today. Masters created on various materials: on glass, obsidian, gold, in tombs besides paintings were sculptures and papyri. And there are examples of how an artist with humor approached his work. On some, the picture is literally turned upside down. For example, cats from ancient Egyptians could graze geese.
Nose of the Sphinx repulsed the troops of Napoleon.
A popular legend says that for a millennium the Sphinx resisted all adversities until Napoleon’s troops came here. It happened during the Egyptian campaign in 1798-1801. They say that the soldiers trained in shooting and shot the famous stone colossus with his nose. Nevertheless, there are records proving that the nose of the Sphinx was lost earlier. Egyptians who visited Egypt often sketched and sketched the Sphinx. Drawings of Frederick Louis Norden, made in 1738, prove that the figure did not have a nose even then. This allows you to remove the charges from Napoleon, who in general was born in 1769.
The Jews were slaves of the Egyptians.
This statement seems quite logical, but it was born of the Bible. Historians, on the other hand, have no evidence that the Jews were enslaved by the Egyptians. And there are also no signs of severe oppression. Yes, and the catastrophes described in the Bible left no trace. Trusting the same records of the Egyptians is worth it, since they described in some detail their life and the history of the country.
The name of the country Egypt was born in this country.
The very word “Egypt” has Greek roots. Local residents called their country “ta-kemet”, which means “black earth”.In this case we are talking about fertile soil. The Egyptians called the “Red Land” a desert. The first Greeks, who got into the country, began to call it by the name of Memphis, Hikupta or Aigyptos.
Pharaoh was the king of the country.
Pharaohs played a special role in the life of Egypt. They were not just supreme rulers, but also supreme priests. It was believed that these persons are gods descended to earth, and after death they will continue their life. The Egyptians believed that the first pharaoh was the god Ra.
All the pharaohs had many wives.
There were no specific rules that established the number of Pharaoh’s wives. For example, Akhenaten was very fond of his only wife. The pictures show how the family spend time together. Together with him, my wife went to the temple and received ambassadors. But Ramses II had five wives, each of whom carried the title of “great royal wife.” In addition to them, this pharaoh had many more concubines.
All the pharaohs were buried in the pyramids.
Ancient Egypt is famous for its pyramids. But their erection was a long and costly affair. So the large stone pyramids were built only in the heyday of the kingdom. Then began to build less durable buildings of clay bricks, and then completely and completely bury the pharaohs in tombs carved into the rocks.