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Questions tagged [ancient-egypt]

Questions pertaining to Ancient Egypt are concerned with the civilization that existed in Northeastern Africa from around 3100 BCE to roughly 400 BCE centered along the Nile River. This civilization was responsible for the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and was the precursor to modern day Egypt.

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83
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3answers
20k views

How would a 16-year-old girl from Cleopatra's era curse?

For one of my novels, I need to learn how Egyptian 16 year old teenagers spoke to each other on a daily basis. I did some research online but I have trouble to understand what languages peoples were ...
63
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6answers
20k views

What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria?

Of course we'll never know for sure, but do historians have some reasonable ideas about what knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Serapeum of Alexandria, when it was destroyed by the Decree ...
51
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4answers
17k views

Why do the pyramids show less erosion than the Sphinx?

Traditional Egyptology maintains that the Great Sphinx was carved around the same time that the Great Pyramid was constructed. I am relatively new to Egyptology but it seems clear that the base of the ...
50
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5answers
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How did they cook on ancient ships?

In ancient times, ships would often be at sea for extended periods of time. During this time, I'm assuming they must have done some form of cooking, otherwise they would have just eaten cold, pre-...
30
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2answers
7k views

Were Egyptian Pharaohs literate?

This video says scribes read letters to the king as the king was not literate. Can anyone comment on this
30
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1answer
4k views

Is there any evidence that Cleopatra and Caesarion considered fleeing to India to escape the Romans?

In a book, Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal, I saw a claim made by the author which says that Cleopatra and her son Caesarion wanted to flee to India to evade Roman arrest. Sanjeev Sanyal ...
30
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3answers
2k views

What is the historical basis for the Exodus?

As a sideline to the question How Long Did the Belief in the Egyptian Sun God Ra Last?, the comments have become a long discussion on the historicity of the Exodus. Rather than have pages of comments ...
23
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3answers
5k views

Did the Ancient Egyptians understand the importance of the brain?

I remember hearing recently that new research has suggested that the ancient Egyptians did not view the brain as a useless organ, and had a reason for disposing of it in the manner they did. I can't ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Did Egyptians circumnavigate Africa in three years during Nekau's reign?

I read in an old High School-level History book* that during the reign of Nekau (or Necho II), during the Saita Period, someone called "Hamon" circumnavigated Africa in three years. However the book ...
20
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6answers
6k views

What kind of labor was used to build the Egyptian pyramids?

Most people believe the pyramids were built with slave labor (or at least it seems that way). This notion is perpetuated by movies; the building of the pyramids often evokes images of ancient ...
20
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1answer
434 views

What names did the ancient Egyptians give to different stages of their history?

The Egyptians, at least the most enlightened, had a relatively accurate idea of a large part of their past. It is striking to see how Manetho knew pharaohs from 2,500 years before his time when other ...
19
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4answers
927 views

What is the layout of Ancient Egyptian pyramid shafts?

I'm investigating proposed alignments between pyramid* shafts and constellations for a video project, and for it, I need to know shaft angles and directions, the directions with respect to true North ...
18
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1answer
4k views

Why did the Middle Kingdom stop building pyramid tombs?

In the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians built pyramids to serve as tombs for their pharaohs. In the Middle Kingdom, they dug in the cliffs in the Valley of the Kings. What is the reason for them changing ...
17
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6answers
11k views

Did Akhenaten's religion influence early Judaism?

There were some claims, for example in the 1st 2 chapters of Moses and Monotheism by Freud, that early Judaism was basically a spin-off of Akhenaten's religion. There are indeed some remarkable ...
17
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4answers
5k views

Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization? [closed]

Which country is recognized or documented as having the first prominent civilization? After reading so many articles, I couldn't determine which country should be acknowledged as having the oldest ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Why is there a big gash in the side of the Pyramid of Menkaure?

Why is there a big gash in the side of the Pyramid of Menkaure? If you look at a picture of the pyramid, on the side where they have the entrance to get inside, above that there is a 100 yard long ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Did the Ptolemaic Egyptians know how old the Pyramids were?

By the beginning of the Ptolemaic dynasty, the Pyramids of Giza were already some 2200 years old. Significant cultural differences separated the Hellenistic Ptolemies from the Old Kingdom. Were the ...
15
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1answer
1k views

When did the Egyptians stop wrapping their dead in bandages?

I'm curious as to when the Egyptians stopped wrapping their dead in thin strips of fabric and transitioned to burial shrouds. Any historical speculation as to the reasons for this transition would be ...
15
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1answer
278 views

How exactly were beer/bread made in Ancient Egypt?

I'm writing a novel set in large part in Ancient Egypt and am incorporating many tasks of everyday living into the narrative. The one I'm stuck on is the making of bread and beer (which were ...
15
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2answers
545 views

What is the band beneath Nefertitis crown?

I'm sure I read somewhere that the yellow band at the bottom of the crown was a sweatband and not part of the crown itself. Is this true? Would this be linen that is wrapped around the forehead and ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Comparison of Ancient Greecian and Egyptian schools and methods of studying to modern day

I've been watching some documentary that stated that our modern schools are used to make people submit to authority and think in a linear way. Just to make us good workers. And I wonder - What was ...
13
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2answers
1k views

What do we know about the organizational structure of the Library of Alexandria?

The Royal Library of Alexandria is estimated to have had over half a million documents and house about 100 scholars, according to this article. This would suggest a fairly decentralized archiving ...
13
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2answers
16k views

Do any Egyptian hieroglyphics mention the ten plagues?

Is there any evidence of the ten plagues in Hieroglyphics or is that a legend?
13
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2answers
512 views

References or accounts in historical Egyptian literature about the Exodus

In the Bible, there is a long treatise about the miracles that had forgone the Exodus, the Book of Genesis details these. Then there are the dealings between Moses and Pharaoh, the magic fight of ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Roman era clothing (Egypt + Carthage)

In 2014, it is 2000 years ago that Emperor Augustus died. To celebrate this, we are doing a huge project (Historical Walking Dinner) in which we re-enact certain groups of the Roman population in that ...
12
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2answers
3k views

What is this ancient Egyptian material called “maklalu”?

I read this passage in a book, "A coloured linen maklalu-material, for one royal dress for the king. A total of 12 linen garments...” It was a gift from Queen Nefertari of Egypt to the Queen of ...
12
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1answer
767 views

DNA results of Amarna dead?

In the Egyptian city of Amarna, archaeological expeditions have revealed numerous graves of people who appear to have worked very hard while being malnourished. One recent article on the subject says ...
12
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1answer
931 views

Was there an export industry of papyrus from ancient Egypt?

While researching the orphism question I came across a mention of the Derveni Papyrus. While its content is highly interesting, I got curious as to how a papyrus showed up in 4th century BCE Macedonia ...
12
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3answers
1k views

How extensive and developed was the ancient Kushite (Nubian) horse trade?

In 1997 there was a fascinating paper published called The Horses of Kush by Lisa A. Heidorn in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies which summarized some finds about the popularity of horses from Kush ...
12
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1answer
853 views

Are there known completely sealed chambers in Egyptian pyramids?

According to new measurements, there likely is a large hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid (Paper). There is already speculation about its contents, with people looking at religious sources the ...
11
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1answer
577 views

Were the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphs ever discovered really found in Qustul in Ancient Nubia?

In a comment posted on an answer to the question, 'Does modern scholarship accept an Ethiopian origin for Egyptian hieroglyphs?', the user that posted the question wrote: "The oldest kingdom in ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Were Roman emperors officially considered kings of Egypt?

On this statue of Augustus (image is from Wikipedia), he is depicted wearing the traditional dress of Egyptian pharaohs: I wonder whether Roman emperors were officially declared kings of Egypt or not,...
11
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2answers
1k views

Is there a relationship between the Pelasgians and Sea Peoples?

Wikipedia describes the Pelasgians as follows: all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures before the advent of the Greek language. And that these people where seen ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Does modern scholarship accept an Ethiopian or Nubian origin for Egyptian hieroglyphs?

Diodorus Siculus made the claim that the Hieroglyphs were actually an Ethiopian script, which was held sacred by the Egyptians and was learned and transmitted only within the priestly families of ...
11
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2answers
490 views

Why are some Pharaohs depicted wearing the red or the white crowns even after the unification of Egypt?

We know that the red "Deshret" crown was used by the Pharaohs of Lower Egypt (Or in occasions related only to Lower Egypt), and the white "Hedjet" crown was used by Pharaohs of Upper Egypt (Or in ...
10
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2answers
4k views

Are the pyramids too old?

In Robert Temple's 1 book "Egyptian Dawn", the author exposes a series of problems with Egyptology that he found while exploring Egyptian temples and ruins. When he applied a technique called surface ...
10
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1answer
6k views

What is the origin of the Flower of Life symbol?

I have been collecting resources and tracing the history of the Flower of Life geometrical symbol, since it contains great properties of many kinds: While the oldest occurence in Abydos, Egypt has ...
9
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1answer
19k views

What was the average height in Classical Greece?

This is a follow-up for Average height of Ancient Roman Men and Women? : I'm curious what was the average height and build of men & women citizens of Greek states (Athens, Sparta, etc) in 7th-...
9
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1answer
738 views

Was there public resistance to Queen Hatshepsut's reign in ancient Egypt?

Queen Hatshepsut ruled as pharaoh over ancient Egypt from 1479-1458 BC. From what I can tell, she was a highly successful pharaoh, both in wartime activities early on in her reign and later in ...
9
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1answer
594 views

How old is the Egyptian winged disk? Is it Assyrian?

I assumed that the Winged disk was brought to Egypt by the Assyrians, and used prolifically during the Amarna period. However, I read on Wikipedia and elsewhere that it's known since the Old Kingdom, ...
9
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1answer
292 views

How were artisans trained in Ancient Egypt?

I would like to know how artisans like potters and blacksmiths were trained to specialize in their trade in ancient civilizations. In particular, I am interested in how this was done in ancient Egypt. ...
9
votes
1answer
176 views

What is the earliest recorded example of an extradition treaty or law?

While reading a news article on someone being extradited from overseas to face justice in the U.S. it started me thinking about the history of the extradition process. Wikipedia and The History Vault ...
8
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3answers
3k views

What were the Ethiopians doing in Xerxes' army?

What were the Ethiopians doing at Thermopylae? From Book III, paragraph XXV: Having viewed all, the spies departed back again. When they reported all this, Cambyses was angry, and marched ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Is there a majority viewpoint for the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization?

This article on the end of the ancient Egyptian civilization posits four different points at which the civilization ended: Is it the definitive end of native Egyptian rule (at least until the 20th ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Why weren't the Egyptians attacked on sight in the ancient Battle of Megiddo?

In 1457 BC, Thutmose III and his army had to pass the mountains to reach Megiddo. He had three passes he could go through, one in the North, called Jokneam Pass, and another pass in the South, called ...
8
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2answers
459 views

Did Archimedes spend time in Alexandria, Egypt?

We know that Archimedes was a native of Syracuse , Sicily and that much of his scientific and inventive works were conducted in this particular Eastern Sicilian city during the 200'S BC/BCE. However, ...
8
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2answers
1k views

How much Ancient Egyptian survived into modern Coptic & Egyptian Arabic?

The Egyptian spoken language has evolved dramatically due to influences from the many foreign powers who ruled Egypt over the ages. Coptic is an Egyptian language with strong influences from Greek, ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How long did belief in the Egyptian sun god Ra last?

According to Wikipedia, Ancient Egyptian belief in the sun god Ra started sometime before 2500 BC. In that Wikipedia article, it also states, "The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire put an end ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

What was the primary source Brugsch used to argue for Egyptian monotheism?

There is a theory held by some that Ancient Egypt had a degree of monotheism (A certain Emmanuel de Rougé even going as far as saying, in 1839, "The Egyptian religion is a pure monotheism, which ...
8
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1answer
775 views

Was classical Alexandria really this brutal and class-segregated?

"The Perniciously Persistent Myths of Hypatia and the Great Library" by David Bentley Hart in the journal First Things claims that while Hypatia was indeed murdered by a mob of angry Christians, this ...