130 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
  • 78.8k
90 votes
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Why do the pyramids show less erosion than the Sphinx?

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 ...
  • 96.3k
66 votes

Were Egyptian Pharaohs literate?

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 ...
64 votes
Accepted

How did they cook on ancient ships?

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 ...
  • 76.5k
53 votes
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Is there any evidence that Cleopatra and Caesarion considered fleeing to India to escape the Romans?

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, ...
51 votes

Are the pyramids too old?

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 ...
  • 28.4k
34 votes
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How to explain the apparent discrepancy in the use of papyrus vs. clay tablets between Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia?

Most certainly we see mainly survivorship bias. Other factors play a certain minor role, but the durability of clay tablets, especially when fired, are most important. Cuneiform was developed on clay, ...
  • 78.8k
31 votes
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Did Egyptians circumnavigate Africa in three years during Nekau's reign?

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 ...
29 votes

Why did the Middle Kingdom stop building pyramid tombs?

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)....
27 votes

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

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, but "no definitive ...
25 votes
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Were the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphs ever discovered really found in Qustul in Ancient Nubia?

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 ...
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23 votes
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What is this ancient Egyptian material called "maklalu"?

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 ...
  • 76.5k
22 votes
Accepted

Why has the khopesh never been used since ancient Egypt?

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, ...
21 votes

How did they cook on ancient ships?

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 ...
  • 103k
21 votes

Did Egyptian civilization start from North to South or vice versa?

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 ...
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19 votes
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What is the primary source evidence for the theory that the African Ancient Egyptians are not black Africans whose origin is sub-Saharan Africa?

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 ...
  • 76.5k
19 votes
Accepted

Were women allowed to study at the Library of Alexandria?

SHORT ANSWER There is much uncertainty on details but it seems that some female scholars did have access to at least some parts of the library. It is unlikely, though, that anyone - male or female - ...
18 votes

Where can I find reliable primary sources written by Ancient Egyptian laborers?

We actually have a lot of good evidence written by workers from that period. The bulk of that evidence comes from the workers' village of Deir el-Medina which housed the men who built the tombs in the ...
  • 76.5k
18 votes

What were the Ethiopians doing in Xerxes' army?

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 ...
18 votes
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Just how fanciful is Egyptology?

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 ...
  • 76.5k
17 votes
Accepted

Did Akhenaten's religion influence early Judaism?

In general, I would be very wary of claims that Akhenaten's religion was a significant influence on early Judaism. There is, however, one very famous link that is often claimed between Akhenaten and ...
  • 76.5k
17 votes

What is the historical basis for the Exodus?

I'll summarize what the Jewish Study Bible, 2nd edition says about the subject. This material is from the introduction to Exodus and two essays: "The Religion of the Bible" and "Archeology and the ...
17 votes
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Is there a relationship between the Pelasgians and Sea Peoples?

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 ...
  • 96.3k
17 votes

When did the Egyptians stop wrapping their dead in bandages?

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 ...
  • 17.5k
17 votes

How did Egyptian Pharaohs get their title?

The short answer is: "No, there is no evidence of this in historical records". The word, 'pharaoh' [pr aA] is first attested in the First Dynasty, about 3150 BCE. It means 'great house', ...
  • 76.5k
16 votes
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Earliest story?

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 ...
  • 111k
15 votes

What do historians infer about the world view of the ancient Egyptians based on the prophecy of Neferty?

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 ...
14 votes
Accepted

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

The Wikipedia article on Egyptian Temples has a rough estimate as to when the last temple of the Old Egyptian Religion, The Temple of Isis at Philae, was closed - as early as 456 if one goes by ...
14 votes
Accepted

Can history shed any light on the "secret arts" of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents as claimed by Exodus 7:11-12?

Westcar Papyrus According to the World History Encyclopedia there are ancient Egyptian writings named the Westcar Papyrus and regarding magic and miracles dating as far back as approximately 2040 BC. ...

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