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Cave of Swimmers

In the 1930s, Hungarian raider, aviator, and desert explorer László Almásy discovered a cave with unique rock drawings from about 8,000 years ago at the Hadabat al-Jilf al-Kabir plateau. It depicted people swimming but the stony hills in the southwest of Egypt are in a completely inhospitable area — there are no human settlements here because there are practically no water intakes. The cave was then called The Cave of Swimmers. 1)

Anthony the Hermit

St. Anthony the Great, also called Anthony the Hermit, is the patron saint of all Christian nuns and monks, and it is to him that the monastic movement is attributed. The saint, who lived between 251 and 356, came from a fairly wealthy family living in Lower Egypt. After the death of his parents, he sold their property and went to the desert, where for several decades, until his death, he lived in a cave, leading a very ascetic life. When he died in 356, his followers built a monastery dedicated to him about 1.2 m from the cave. 2)

Temple of Hathor

The best-preserved temple from ancient times in all of Egypt is located in the central part of the country, in the village of Dandarah, situated on the Nile. In the time of Pharaoh Cheops (XXVI century BC) a center of worship Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of heaven, was created here. 3)

Siwa Oasis

The Siwa Oasis, located in the northwest of Egypt, almost right on the border with Libya, is one of several sites being considered for determining the resting place of Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander of Macedon. 4)

Pharaoh with a passport

In the 1970s, the condition of the mummy of the pharaoh Ramses II on daily display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo deteriorated so much that it had to be restored. The Egyptians did not have the means to do so, so they reached an agreement with the French authorities, who offered to subject the mummy to comprehensive conservation at the Parisian Museum of Man. Since French law required that every person entering France (alive or dead) must have a passport, the Egyptian side issued a travel document to the pharaoh, who had been dead for over 3,000 years. It was accompanied by a picture of the mummified face of Ramses II, listed his date of birth as 1303 BC and his occupation as “(deceased) king.” 5)

The term "Pharaoh"

The term “Pharaoh” was not used until about 1200 BC. The term “pharaoh” is the Greek form of the Egyptian “pero” or “per-a-a-a,” which was a designation for a royal residence and means “Great House.” The first monarchs of Egypt were not known as pharaohs but as kings. 6)

No Egyptian word for queen

In ancient Egypt, all rulers were called king, regardless of gender, because there was no Egyptian word for queen. 7)


Tutankhamun's fame derives almost exclusively from the discovery of his tomb in 1922. One of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century, “King Tutankhamun,” as he was known after the discovery of his spectacular burial site, reigned for only 10 years and died at the young age of 20. 8)


To build his new city in honor of the god Amarna, Akhenaten brought 20,000 men (some of them were said to be children!) to the site and forced them to continue working until quite a few of them died. Bones found in the city cemetery suggested that more than two-thirds of the men had broken at least one bone while they worked. Akhenaten also starved his workers and if anyone tried to escape, he had them killed. 9)

False beards

The Pharaohs always had a beard. In most cases, it was an artificial beard. In real life, most Egyptians were shaved, but the pharaohs, even the women, wore artificial beards. Usually, the beards were twisted into a large braid. 10)


Egypt's currency is the Egyptian pound, which is divided into 100 piasters. There are bills in circulation in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1 pound, as well as 50 and 25 piastres. 11)

Mount Saint Catherine

The highest point of Egypt is Mount Saint Catherine located on the Sinai Peninsula. At the foot of the mountain is the monastery of Saint Catherine. 12)

Flag symbolism

The rectangular flag of Egypt consists of three horizontal stripes of red, white, and black. A golden eagle of Saladin is placed in its central part. The red color at the very top refers to the revolution in Egypt, it is to signal that these events “breathed life into the country”. The white color heralds a bright future for the country. The third stripe in black is meant to recall the dark days in Egypt's history before the revolution. The central part features a golden eagle of Saladin (named after Sultan Saladin) holding a ribbon with the name of the country (Arab Republic of Egypt). 13)


Egypt gained its independence on February 28, 1922. 14)


Historically, the Egyptians worshiped over 1400 different gods and goddesses, the most important of which was Ra - the Sun God. They believed that the Earth is in the shape of a flat circle, and the most important river for them - the Nile - flows right through its center. 15)

Statue of Liberty

Now a symbol of New York City, the Statue of Liberty was originally intended to stand in the Suez Canal. It was to be a symbol of Egypt Holding Fire for Asia. The idea was not realized due to opposition from the ruler of Egypt. 16)


Cats in Egypt were held in high esteem, even for accidentally killing a cat, the punishment was littering. When an animal died, its “owners” went into heavy mourning and shaved their eyebrows. 17)


Both women and men in ancient Egypt used makeup. 18)


Baksheesh is a type of tip derived from Islam, which instructs the faithful to share their wealth with the poor. The pretext for its transfer is a symbolic help, such as a vendor for haggling with the price, use of the toilet, or simply hotel staff. 19)

egypt.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/09 03:46 by aga