According to historians, the practice of adopting children originated in ancient Egypt. Children were considered an extremely important part of family, and if a couple could not conceive, they would adopt.
Egypt is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Historians believe that farmers settled along the banks of river Nile (the longest river in the world) around 5000 BCE. Pharaohs ruled Egypt for more than 4,000 years, and their reign ended in 31 BCE when the Roman empire invaded Egypt. Nile played an important role in shaping up Egyptian history.
The Egyptians celebrated life and death with the same amount of zest. For example, the birth of a child (especially a female child) was considered a blessing. These ancient people strongly believed in the concept of afterlife. This is the reason they mummified bodies of their deceased and placed jars of honey and exotic foods near them, so that they would not starve in the afterlife. Here are more such interesting facts about the ancient Egyptian civilization.
- A pharaoh would always cover his hair with a crown or a headdress, called a nemes. (the striped cloth headdress made famous by Tutankhamun's golden mask.)
- Pepi II of Egypt kept several naked slaves around him and smeared their bodies with honey to prevent flies from landing on his head.
- Out of all the pharaohs, Ramesses II (1279-1213 BCE) is often considered the greatest. He ruled the country for almost 60 years and fathered over 90 children. He had eight official wives and 100 concubines.
- Internal conflicts contributed to the rise of two kingdoms along the banks of the river Nile. King Menes (Narmer) unified these two kingdoms known as Upper and Lower kingdoms. No wars were fought on the Egyptian land for more than 100 years after this unification.
- Both Egyptian men and women wore makeup. Eye paint was commonly applied, and green (made from copper) was used by women, while black (made from lead) was worn by men. These people believed that eye paint protected them from harmful sunrays.
- We all know that the practice of antibiotics didn't begin till the start of the 20th century. Early Egyptians used folk medicine, such as moldy foods or soil, for treating various health ailments.
- Life for kids in the erstwhile kingdom of Egypt was very different. Because of the hot weather, they were not allowed to wear clothes until they reached their teens. For the same reason, men wore skirts while women wore dresses.
- It is still not known who destroyed the nose of the famous Sphinx. Historians have found sketches of the Sphinx without the nose which were dated in 1737 BCE. This means that the nose was broken around 60 years before Napoleon invaded Egypt and 180 years before the onset of World War I.
- In the temples of ancient Egypt, the pharaoh was crowned as the chief of the temple and was supposed to carry out duties of a high priest. However, this was not possible due to the pharaoh's various other responsibilities, and chief priests used to step up and perform his duties.
- The first Egyptian pyramid was built around 2600 BCE. It was surrounded by a 34-feet tall wall and had 15 doors in it, of which only one opened.
- Brains of the bodies were removed while mummifying them. Also, from soldiers' bodies, one nostril and the intestines would be removed and were placed in jars.