EGYPTIAN INVENTIONS WE STILL USE TODAY

13 Things that Egyptians Were the First to Create

Egypt has a glorious past, it’s people descended from a civilization that was once the most intellectually and technologically advanced in the world. Because we all sometimes need a reminder, here’s a quick round-up of successful inventions that were created by Egyptians before any other civilization.

Eye makeup (eyeshadow and eyeliner) – 4000 BCE

 

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Egyptians were among the first to popularize the use of eye makeup. Some of the earliest makeup palettes date back to an estimated 5000 BCE, the most common colors being green (made out of malachite, a green carbonate of copper) and black (made out of galena, an ore of lead).

 

System of writing (pictographs) – 3200 BCE

 

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Composed of around 500 symbols, Egyptian hieroglyphics date back to 3200 BCE and represented the first writing system based on illustrated representations of words or sounds.

With the exception of Mesopotamian cuneiform, which emerged independently around 3200 BCE, the innovation of writing in Egypt predated other civilizations’ advancement by thousands of years. The next civilization to invent writing would be the Chinese in 1200 BCE.

 

Papyrus paper – 3000 BCE

 

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Made from the papyrus plant indigenous to the banks of the Nile river in Egypt, ancient Egyptians were the first among all civilizations to use these thin, paper-like stationary for writing. By 1000 BCE, papyrus papers were being exported out of Egypt for use all over West Asia as they were more convenient than clay tablets.

 

365 day calendar – 4000 BCE

 

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Ancient Egyptians originally used a calendar year of 360 days, split into 12 months of 30 days each. It wasn’t until around 4000 BCE that they added an extra 5 days to keep up with the solar calendar, for a total of 365 days. In 238 BCE, Egyptians even invented the leap year. The 365-day calendar, including the leap year, is still in use in most parts of the world today.

 

Ox-drawn plow – 2500 BCE

 

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The banks of the Nile were once fertile agricultural sites, where ancient Egyptians would grow wheat and a variety of vegetables. The ox-drawn plow made irrigation much easier and farming much more lucrative.

 

Breath mints

 

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Sadly, ancient Egyptians did not have the best teeth in the ancient world (likely due to the sand residue left in food products by rock grinders), as evidenced by the presence of rotting teeth and terrible tooth abscesses in the mouths of mummies. To cover the smell, Egyptians became the first civilization to invent breath mints, which were originally pellets made out of cinnamon, myrrh, frankincense and honey.

 

Shaving and haircuts (the clean-cut look)

 

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In ancient Egypt, hair removal for both men and women was an established custom in society. Body hair was associated with barbarianism and uncleanliness, whereas being clean and well-groomed was a sign of sophistication. When the Romans invaded, they looked down on the practice as they believed that body hair was a sign of masculinity, and a man without body hair must be somehow disabled.

 

The pin-tumbler door lock – 4,000 BCE

 

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A hollowed-out bolt in the door is connected to pins that can be manipulated with the insertion of a key. These locks were much more advanced than those invented years later in Rome, which were built into the door and much easier to pick.

 

Toothbrushes and toothpaste – 5000 BCE

 

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Ancient Egyptians may have had bad teeth due to the rock debris in their food, but at least they tried to take care of themselves. They were the first to used toothbrushes and toothpaste (made from eggshells and ox hooves) to clean their teeth as a regular ritual.

 

 

Reed pens and black ink – 3200 BCE

 

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Not only were ancient Egyptians the first to invent papyrus paper and writing, they were also the first to invent black ink and popularize the use of reed pens. The ink was made from water, soot and vegetables gums.

 

Wigs

 

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Wigs were used widely in ancient Egypt by both men and women as either a fashion statement or to hide baldness. They were originally made from human hair and later from date palm fibers.

 

 

High heels – 3500 BCE

 

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The first images depicting the use of high heels in Egypt date back to 3500 BCE. High heels were typically worn by nobility, both male and female, while common people would walk barefoot. The only exception were butchers, who’d wear high heels in order to walk over pools of blood from animal carcasses.

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BrigitteNEFERTARI

 

 

 

 

 

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EGYPT’S DAILY LIFE – MARKET DAY

EVERY TUESDAY AND SATURDAY IT’S  MARKET DAY IN QARANA, A SMALL VILLAGE ON THE WEST BANK  ……….AND DON’T  WORRY  — EVERYTHING IS ORGANIC!!!!

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HOUSEWIVES ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE THE SAME – CRITICAL AND CHOOSY!

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NO TOMATOES HAVE EVER TASTED BETTER – RIPE AND JUICY IMG_0624-2

 

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IN THIS PART OF THE MARKET YOU CAN BUY A CHICKEN OR DUCK – YES THEY ARE ALIVE AND YOU TAKE THEM HOME ALIVE – AND THEN IF YOU WANT TO EAT THEM – WELL…….

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EGYPT’S DAILY LIFE = HOUSING

 

IMG_0587-2The Pyramids and temples had architecturally something in common, but the houses standing side by side along the Nile on the West Bank near Luxor today  – DON’T!

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EGYPT’S DAILY LIFE – TAKING A BATH

WHO NEEDS A BATHROOM WHEN YOU HAVE THE NILE?

Man taking his daily bath in the Nile near Luxor

Ready to take a daily bath – is anybody coming?

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Brigitte

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PICTURE OF THE DAY – DAISIES

DAISIES GROW EVERYWHERE …….HERE THEY ARE HUGGING THE TREES IN THE WINTER PALACE HOTEL IN LUXOR – EGYPT

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Egypt2253   Brigitte

 

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EGYPT’S BURIAL GROUND FOR MILLIONS OF ANIMALS

A fascinating article about a new discovery of animal burial tombs is reported around the world, but maybe you have not read it yet?

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During routine excavations at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University have uncovered almost 8 million animal mummies at the burial site.

Studies on their bones revealed that those dogs are from different breeds but not accurately identified yet.

“We are recording the animal bones and the mummification techniques used to prepare the animals,” Ikram said.

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Archaeologist Salima Ikram examines the mummified remains of an adult dog in a wall niche

Studies on the mummies, Ikram explains, revealed that some of them were old while the majority were buried hours after their birth. She said that the mummified animals were not limited to canines but there are cat and mongoose remains in the deposit.

“We are trying to understand how this fits religiously with the cult of Anubis, to whom the catacomb is dedicated,” she added.

Ikram also told National Geographic, which is financing the project, that “in some churches people light a candle, and their prayer is taken directly up to God in that smoke. In the same way, a mummified dog’s spirit would carry a person’s prayer to the afterlife”.

Saqqara dog catacomb was first discovered in 1897 when well-known French Egyptologist Jacques De Morgan published his Carte of Memphite necropolis, with his map showing that there are two dog catacombs in the area.

However, mystery has overshadowed such mapping as it was not clear who was the first to discover the catacombs nor who carried out the mapping, and whether they were really for dogs.

“The proximity of the catacombs to the nearby temple of Anubis, the so called jackal or dog-headed deity associated with cemeteries and embalming makes it likely that these catacombs are indeed for canines and their presence at Saqqara is to be explained by the concentration of other animal cuts at the site,” Nicholson wrote on his website.

“These other cults include the burials of, and temples for, bulls, cows, baboons, ibises, hawks and cats all of which were thought to act as intermediaries between humans and their gods.”

Despite the great quantity of animals buried in these catacombs and the immense size of the underground burial places, Egyptologists have focused on the temples and on inscriptional evidence rather than on the animals themselves and their places of burial.

The mysteries behind De Morgan’s mapping were unsolved until 2009 when this team started concrete excavations at the cemetery in an attempt to learn more about the archaeological and history of the site.

“Results at the first season showed that De Morgan map has substantial inaccuracies and a new survey is under way,” Nicholson said.

“The animal bones themselves have been sampled and preliminary results suggest that as well as actual dogs there may be other canids present. Furthermore the age profile of the animals is being examined so that patterns of mortality can be ascertained.”Salah Mousa

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Brigitte

Is this dog visiting his ancestors? I photographed him in the Saqqaua area where the tombs were found

Is this dog visiting his ancestors? I photographed him in the Saqqaua area where the tombs were found

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 EGYPT’S DAILY LIFE – CROSSING THE NILE

THE QUICKEST WAY TO GO FROM THE EAST BANK OF THE NILE IN LUXOR, WHERE THE FAMOUS TEMPLE OF KARNAK IS LOCATED – ATTRACTING THOUSANDS OF VISITORS EVERY YEAR – TO THE WEST BANK TO VISIT HE VALLEY OF THE KINGS IS BY BOAT –  THERE ARE LOTS AND LOTS OF SMALL TOY-LOOKING MOTOR BOATS AND ONE PUBLIC FERRY.

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IMG_8100-2THE LITTLE BOATS ARE OPERATED BY THEIR OWNER AND IT IS ADVISABLE TO AGREE ON A PRICE BEFORE YOU BOARD – OF COURSE THE PRICE DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU GO AND HOW GOOD YOUR NEGOTIATION SKILLS ARE.  JUST  CROSSING THE RIVER SHOULD COST NO MORE THAN 10 Egyptian pounds ($2)

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THE FERRY IS MOSTLY USED BY LOCALS AND IT IS  ABOUT 15 CENTS – TOURISTS PAY 70 CENTS.  I PREFERRED TO TAKE  THE FERRY; IT MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS PART OF  EGYPT’S DAILYL IFE!

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scan0002-2                                    Brigitte

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