We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.
123

Alexandria is sometimes called the New York of the ancient world. That means you might very well use almost any ancient old-world language you like, as the people were incredibly diverse. But the History of Alexandria shows a few 'preferred choices': Ethnic divisions The early Ptolemies were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three ...


90

The Giza pyramids originally had a white outer shell of polished limestone. In other words, what you are seeing is not the eroded remnants of the original surface, but rather the underlying structure behind the casing stones. To get a sense of the past splendour of these monuments, look at the remaining stones in the upper portions of the Pyramid of Khafre. ...


66

First, a few general observations: The time period covered here is more than 3,000 years and we know very little about many of the Pharaohs. Also, there were different scripts which evolved over time and one has to consider that a pharaoh may well not know the language used by scribes for international diplomatic communication. This would appear to be the ...


61

That's a good question. As far as we know, most ancient voyages didn't venture that far from land. Ships like the Bronze Age Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya shipwrcks are thought to have been coastal traders. They simply plied their trade around the coast of the Mediterranean, probably never getting far out of sight from the shore. This would mean that they ...


51

Robert Temple has zero credibility in archaeology. He's written multiple ancient-astronaut books, one of the quotes on his web page about his books is from an author of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, and his page about Egyptian Dawn includes these points: Exposing faked evidence which has been credulously accepted by the Egyptological community. ...


45

The source for Sanjeev Sanyal's account is most likely Plutarch. In his Life of Anthony, Plutarch wrote: Caesarion, who was said to be Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar, was sent by his mother, with much treasure, into India, by way of Ethiopia. There Rhodon, another tutor like Theodorus, persuaded him to go back, on the ground that Caesar invited ...


44

Italian author Lucio Russo in his book "Forgotten revolution" argues that a large part of the scientific knowledge of Hellenistic world has been lost. I find his arguments very convincing. Exact sciences in the modern sense of this word originated in Ptolemaic Egypt and other Hellenistic states, and reached very high degree of development. Few first class ...


31

While researching for this question, I found more details about what could be this (possible) adventure. Necho II hired a fleet of Phoenicians, who supposedly sailed from the Red Sea around Africa back to the mouth of the Nile in in three years. The voyage was related by Herodotus as a complete circumnavigation of Africa in his History: According to ...


29

The Sumerians are widely credited with being the first real civilisation on Earth, beginning in around the 5th millennium BC. Cities and agricultural communities existed before this time, but are generally not considered to have constituted a civilisation. The Sumerians, who were situated in modern-day lower Iraq and Kuwait, are widely believed to have ...


26

Per the Wikipedia article: At the end of the twelfth century al-Malek al-Aziz Othman ben Yusuf, Saladin's son and heir, attempted to demolish the pyramids starting with Menkaure's pyramid. The workmen who Al-Aziz had recruited to demolish the pyramid found it almost as expensive to destroy as to build. They stayed at their job for eight months. They were ...


26

SHORT ANSWER Pyramid-building declined (in size and quality) during the 5th and 6th dynasties (c. 2450 to 2175 BC) of the Old Kingdom after reaching a peak during the 4th dynasty (c. 2575 to 2450 BC). We don't know for certain why this decline happened, but the economic cost of such large projects and a lessening of central authority were probably the main ...


23

The oldest hieroglphs The earliest known Egyptian hieroglyphic writing so far discovered was found in tomb U-j at Abydos, dating to about 3250 BCE. The tomb was excavated in 1988 by Günter Dreyer and his team, and the results published in Umm el-Qaab I: das prädynastische Königsgrab U-j und seine frühen Schriftzeugnisse. They concluded that tomb U-j was ...


23

tl;dr muklālu isn't actually an Egyptian word. It is a transliteration from the Akkadian cuneiform. A muklālu was an item of clothing worn by the Hittite rulers. It was probably a shawl, cape, or hood, and we have sources stating that it could be either red or blue. The coloured-linen 'Maklalu-material' mentioned in the passage was simply the material ...


22

The short answer is no. Although the origins of hieroglyphic writing are disputed to some extent, modern scholarship leans towards the idea that it developed independently in Egypt, and "no definitive determination has been made as to the origin of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt". In Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of ...


20

Rations on ships during the age of exploration were typically of a type that would require little or no cooking. They included things like "hardtack" (unleavened bread), and salted meat, that could be stored for months without spoiling. Salted meat was "boiled" which required less fuel and lower temperatures than regular "cooking" (212 F vs. 400 F). The "...


19

Maybe your source was National Geographics. However, it completely fails at explaining where this theory comes from and which facts speak in its favor (it prefers to present it as a fact). This BBC article does only a marginally better job, it lists some evidence but one is bound to ask whether a different interpretation of the same evidence wouldn't have ...


18

Judaism was long a Henotheist religion, ie it believed there was many gods, but claimed the Yahweh was the foremost and most powerful of these gods. It is generally believed that Judaism became monotheistic, claiming that other gods did not exist at all, during the Babylonian exile, (1, 2) probably influenced by Zoroastrianism. These events are in the 6th ...


18

The origins of the Ancient Egyptians remains very much an open question. The latest DNA study that I'm aware of suggests that Ancient Egyptian populations may have more common ancestry with populations in the Near East and Europe than with those in Sub-Saharan Africa. That said, the available evidence is limited and future research may change our ...


18

From the Oxford English Dictionary (1928): Ethiop ... The Ethiopians are mentioned by Homer as a people dwelling in the far east and far west; in later Gr[eek] the name was applied chiefly to the inhabitants of Africa south of Egypt, but also to people of swarthy complexion from other parts of the world. Under the heading for Ethiopian it ...


17

The direct answer is that in modern Egyptian geographical terms, they came from central Egypt. In ancient historical terms, from "Upper Egypt". First off, I need to address a misconception in the question. Modern Egyptians mostly speak Arabic, but the Egyptian language spoken by the Ancient Egyptians was not Semitic. It was part of another branch of the ...


17

You do need to be careful when studying Ancient Egypt, since there are some very ... questionable and ... selective ... interpretations available. In addition, some work by earlier authors (for example Wallis Budge) has been superseded by more recent research. As Budge's Wikipedia page observes: "... since his day both translation and dating accuracy ...


16

TL;DR: Roughly around the 3rd century AD, because Christianity. Here is an article that briefly describes the historical development of ancient Egyptian mummification practices, including their decline. In the Late Period and Ptolemaic Period (525-30 B.C.), the technical proficiency of the embalmers began to decline. During the Roman occupation of ...


16

The khopesh was a solution to the limitations of bronze as a sword material. Bronze swords can't be too long because they break. Bronze is more brittle and less flexible than iron. For this reason, bronze swords were used only as secondary weapons. The Greek xyphos was only used when the doris (spear) broke and some hoplites never trained with it. The ...


15

There is no evidence at all for any of the biblical stories involving Egypt. There is also overwhelming evidence that the origin of the Israelites is indigenous. There is no indication of a takeover as described in the Bible for example. As for the plagues themselves, although there is one papyrus describing a series of disasters they do not fit with the ...


15

After the spread of Christianity, the Ancient Egyptian religion faded away. The last Egyptian temple was closed in the 6th Century AD by Byzantine emperor, Justinian. Although the old religion 'died' at the beginning of the middle ages, it still exists in different variations today. The most popular one is Kemetism, an Egyptian neopagan religion which wants ...


15

Hieroglyphic writing systems generally were all initially used to record the accomplishments of kings in a very simple way. The problem they have is that true literature requires using a lot of the language, and logographic systems are really only extensible by adding a new symbols, or tacking other types of systems onto them. To tell an actual story with ...


14

The Peleset was one of the Sea Peoples to invade Egypt during the reign of Ramesse III in the fifth and eighth years. They have been identified with the Biblical Philistines ever since the works of Jean-François Champollion in the early 19th century. Like the Sea Peoples in general however, there is no real, firm evidence. The Peleset (Egyptian Prst/Plst) ...


14

There's various interpretations of Neferti that Historians have argued about over the years. Simpson considered it to be essentially a propaganda pamphlet aiming at legitimizing and drumming up support for the newly established Twelfth Dynasty, the first King of which was Amenemhat I and that "Ameny true of voice" is supposed to refer to him. (Amenemhat was ...


13

The reason to remove the brain wasn't because it was "useless", but because it was among the first tissues to decay. From http://si.edu/encyclopedia_si/nmnh/mummies.htm The first step in the process was the removal of all internal parts that might decay rapidly. The brain was removed by carefully inserting special hooked instruments up through the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible