Facts about Egypt Geography, Religion, Pyramids and History
Egypt – the cradle of civilization, the origin of mysterious pyramids and house to a portion of the world’s longest river – has many enthralling facts related to it. It is one of the few transcontinental countries of the world which span over an area of two continents. The Arabic Republic of Egypt extends from southwestern Asia to northeastern Africa. It is house to more than eighty eight million human souls. Egypt has a record of an extremely rich ancient history which makes it exceptionally fascinating. Its history dates back to the 10th millennium BCE. The country is, therefore, regarded as one of the world’s earliest nations.
Read on to discover a number of many interesting facts about Egypt.
The country of Egypt spans over an area of 1,002,000 square kilometer. To the west, it is bordered by Libya while Sudan lies to the south. Israel and the Red Sea cover the eastern border of Egypt.
- The country consists of dessert area through which river Nile flows.
- Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, is controlled by Egypt.
- In Southern Egypt, low mountains can be found in the desert while the Northern Egypt consists of the river valley.
- Cairo – the capital of the Arabic Republic of Egypt – is the Nile River Delta and is therefore in the shape of a triangle.
- Only 3.5% of the total area of the country is under cultivation.
Egypt is an Arab country with Islam as the predominant religion. Around ninety percent of the Egyptians are Muslims while the rest practice Christianity. A small portion of the population also consists of Jews and Baha’i. The ancient history of religion in the country is very interesting. Have a look at the following fascinating facts about the faith of the ancient population of the region.
- The history of Egyptian religion can be traced back to 3000 BC.
- The ancient Egyptians were polytheist and used to worship a large number of different gods and goddesses. This number exceeded fourteen hundred.
- The Egyptian gods were often represented by animals, certain elements or particular talents or powers.
- From the fourth to the sixth century, the main religion practiced in Egypt was Christianity.
- Cats were considered sacred. Killing a cat led to a serious penalty even if the crime had been committed through an accident. People used to shave off their eyebrows to mourn the death of this sacred feline creature.
- The ancient Egyptians believed in life after death. Osiris was the name of the god of the underworld who collected the souls of the dead.
The Intriguing Pyramids
The fascinating pyramids were built as luxurious tombs for the pharaohs. According to a survey carried out in 2008, the total number of Egyptian pyramids discovered to this day is 138. Read on to find out some interesting information about these wonderful historical mega structures.
- The first pyramid of Egypt was built in 2600 BC to serve as a tomb for Pharaoh Djoser. It was a step pyramid designed by the famous architect Imhotep.
- According to a Greek historian, Herodotus, Egyptian slaves built the pyramids. However, today, this information is regarded as a myth since modern historians claim that paid laborers were hired to perform the job.
- Laborers who built the pyramids used to receive their payment in the form of beer – four liters per day.
- Although famous for pyramids, Egypt is not house to the largest pyramid of the world which is actually found in Mexico.
- The Great Pyramid of Giza still contains mysterious passageways which have not been explored to this day.
- The Pyramid of Khufu is the largest pyramid found in Egypt till the present day. It is on the list of the Ancient World’s Seven Wonders.
The Formidable Pharaohs
The powerful pharaohs were the emperors of the country. They were deemed as an intermediary between the common people and their multiple gods. In fact, the pharaohs were supposed to be looked upon as partly human and partly god.
- King Menes was Egypt’s first Pharoah. He came to power in 3150 BC and ruled for sixty years.
- Egypt’s youngest pharaoh was Pepi II who became king at the age of six. He went on to become the longest ruling Pharaoh of the country with a reign of ninety four years.
- Rameses II was the only Pharaoh to earn the title “the Great”. He ruled for sixty years and was considered to be the greatest ruler ever of the Egyptian empire. He also possessed red hair which made him resemble an Egyptian god, Seth, thereby enhancing his awe among his subjects.
- The crown of the pharaohs bore an image of cobra goddesses which was thought to protect them from their enemies.
- The last pharaoh of Egypt was the famous Cleopatra VII. She maintained her power through diplomatic relations with Mark Anthony and Julious Caesar – Popular Romans.
There is a huge number of amusing facts about Egypt. The following tidbits increase the fascination associated with the country which contributes to the flourishing tourism.
- Twelve percent of the country’s workforce is employed in the tourism department.
- Egypt is the world’s thirtieth largest country with respect to the area.
- Wigs were a symbol of social status in the ancient Egypt. In reality, wigs were worn because most men and women used to shave their heads in order to avoid heat as well as lice.
- The ancient Egyptians used the name Iteru for the River Nile which means Great River.
- The first calendar of the world was developed in Egypt. It was created owing to the need to predict the flooding time of the river Nile.
Many more intriguing facts about Egypt can be found related to its history and present day culture. It is, indeed, one of the most fascinating places on the globe.