The worst happens when certain ancient facts are tucked away far in a corner, and nobody talks about them anymore. This is when the historical lens through which we look at the world changes — the way we look at the past changes. Let’s discuss three of such ancient Egyptian facts that people don’t mention anymore.
1. Ancient Egyptians rode donkeys not camels
Though Egypt was covered with deserts, camels were not used as a means of transport — almost unknown — until the fall of the Egyptian Empire. Rather, donkeys were preferred. There were significantly fewer roads or well-defined pathways through which people could walk.
The lack of roads pushed the dependence on the transport of goods and people via the Nile River. In 2300 B.C., channels were built in the river to trade with the other African states. By 1700 B.C., horses and chariots were introduced that connected the Egyptian Empire.
2. Mummification was NOT common in Ancient Egypt
Whenever I think about Egypt, their infamous, almost terrifying mummies pop into my head.
The muddy, tightly wrapped carcasses are what makes Egyptian history all the more alluring. They mummified bodies because, according to Egyptian mythology, only those who have well-preserved ‘previous life’s bodies’ get permission to move on to their next life.
However, if you think of it, mummifying dead bodies — be it animals or humans — would have been a very costly and tedious process and thus would have been limited only to the affluent members of society. These mummies were then preserved in giant tombs. While most of the ancient Egyptian culture — the poor couldn’t afford to put their bodies through this process and therefore were simply buried in the sand.
3. Ancient Egyptians invited the dead to meals
Along with the mummified bodies, the ancient Egyptians also placed a lot of treasures in the tombs. They even prepared food in hefty amounts for their dead. The tombs were built to allow their family members to visit them regularly and leave the mummy with new offerings each time.
These ancient people believed that the food and drinks they leave for their dead are first ‘spiritually consumed’ by their God Ka, after which they themselves could consume those offerings. They even celebrated their ‘reunion’ with the dead during the ‘beautiful festival of the valley’ or ‘feast of the valley’. During this, they spent their nights in the tombs with their ancestors, feasted, and partied.
What are some other such facts you know about the ancient Egyptians? Do let us know in the comments section.