Ancient Egypt

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Inside the Pyramids, ancient Egyptians built a series of burial chambers, ventilation shafts and passageways. The Pharaoh's sarcophagus was placed in the king's burial chamber. The ancient Egyptians believed that a part of the Pharaoh's spirit remained with his body after death and so they buried with him anything that he might need in the afterlife including gold, favorite objects and pottery.

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  • How long did it take to build the Great Pyramid?

    Q: How long did it take to build the Great Pyramid?

    A: The Great Pyramid of Giza took between 20 and 30 years to build. It was built for the Pharaoh Khufu and was finished in about 2560 BCE, making it over 4,500 years old. It is near two other Pharaohs' pyramids, as well as being part of its own complex, with three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives.
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  • Who led the Israelites out of Egypt?

    Q: Who led the Israelites out of Egypt?

    A: Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. The book of Exodus says that the Lord had Moses lead the people of Israel. Moses used a staff to split the Red Sea, so they could pass through safely.
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  • What did ancient Egyptian pharaohs wear?

    Q: What did ancient Egyptian pharaohs wear?

    A: Most times, ancient Egyptian pharaohs wore fine linen aprons or kilts, known as a shendyt. To display their power, prestige and association with the gods, pharaohs wore different clothes than the nobles and common people. First found in the 4th Dynasty, these kilts were covered with fine accordion pleating and wrapped counter-clockwise around the king's body. On their feet, pharaohs wore elaborate sandals made of feathers.
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  • What items or tools were used to mummify people in Ancient Egypt?

    Q: What items or tools were used to mummify people in Ancient Egypt?

    A: The items or tools used to mummify people in Ancient Egypt were hooks, linens, salt, resin and a coffin. Mummification was a long process reserved only for those in the upper level of society.
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  • What are the ten plagues of Egypt in order of occurrence?

    Q: What are the ten plagues of Egypt in order of occurrence?

    A: The ten plagues of Egypt were blood, frogs, gnats and lice, flies, diseased livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the death of the firstborn. The plagues occurred when the pharaoh would not let the Israelites go into the wilderness to celebrate their religious rites. Moses attempted to convince the pharaoh by turning his staff into a snake, but when court magicians repeated the transformation, the pharaoh was unconvinced.
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  • How many pyramids are there in Egypt?

    Q: How many pyramids are there in Egypt?

    A: There are over 100 pyramids in Egypt, and the majority are located around the city of Cairo, including the famous pyramids at Giza. One notable exception to this is the pyramid at Abydos in southern Egypt.
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  • How long did it take to build the Great Sphinx?

    Q: How long did it take to build the Great Sphinx?

    A: There is inconclusive evidence as to when the Great Sphinx of Giza was carved and how long it took. The most commonly accepted theory is that it was carved in place around 2500 B.C.E, during or after the reign of the Old Kingdom pharaoh Khafra (also known as Khephren).
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  • How long did it take to build a pyramid?

    Q: How long did it take to build a pyramid?

    A: Egyptian pyramids often took 10 years or more to complete. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Great Pyramid at Giza was built in 20 years by 100,000 workers and was meant to be a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu.
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  • Why was the Nile River valley good for farming?

    Q: Why was the Nile River valley good for farming?

    A: For centuries, four million tons of nutrient rich silt were deposited on the farmland forming the floodplain of the Nile River Valley, making the soil an ideal growing medium for plants to provide food for the people living in the surrounding area. While flooding was beneficial to farming, it brought other difficulties, and in 1889, the first Aswan Dam was built to bring flood control.
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  • How did the ancient Egyptians build their houses?

    Q: How did the ancient Egyptians build their houses?

    A: The ancient Egyptians built their homes from mud bricks. They gathered mud from the banks of the Nile, mixed it with straw and formed the bricks in molds. They allowed the bricks to dry, stacked them and covered the home in plaster. The use of wood was uncommon due to the scarcity of trees.
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  • What did the Egyptians put in their tombs?

    Q: What did the Egyptians put in their tombs?

    A: Egyptian tombs were often filled with tools, amulets, jewelry and other everyday items. These items were intended to help facilitate the transition from death to the afterlife.
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  • What language did the ancient Egyptians speak?

    Q: What language did the ancient Egyptians speak?

    A: Ancient Egyptians spoke Egyptian, an Afro-Asiatic language. The language originated around 3400 B.C. and continued, in various forms, until the Arab conquest in the 7th century. The national language in modern Egypt is Egyptian Arabic.
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  • What is inside a pyramid?

    Q: What is inside a pyramid?

    A: Inside the Pyramids, ancient Egyptians built a series of burial chambers, ventilation shafts and passageways. The Pharaoh's sarcophagus was placed in the king's burial chamber. The ancient Egyptians believed that a part of the Pharaoh's spirit remained with his body after death and so they buried with him anything that he might need in the afterlife including gold, favorite objects and pottery.
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  • Why was Cleopatra so famous?

    Q: Why was Cleopatra so famous?

    A: Cleopatra is an iconic figure of ancient Egypt for a variety of reasons, according to BBC History. She was the last queen of ancient Egypt, formed alliances with Roman leaders and took her own life in a final act of defiance against the Roman Empire.
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  • What physical feature allowed ancient Egypt to flourish?

    Q: What physical feature allowed ancient Egypt to flourish?

    A: The existence of the Nile River delta, in addition to the Mediterranean Sea, made Egypt a viable and formidable civilization in ancient times. The Nile River flooded regularly, providing people with a large strip of land that could be farmed. The river flows all the way through Egypt, so it was also an easy method of travel.
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  • Where did King Tut live?

    Q: Where did King Tut live?

    A: King Tut lived in Armana, Egypt, where he ruled as pharaoh during the 18th dynasty. Known as "the boy pharaoh," his enduring notoriety came from his reign and the discovery of his valuable tomb.
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  • Why is the Great Sphinx so important?

    Q: Why is the Great Sphinx so important?

    A: The Sphinx is important because it is one of the earliest and largest ancient Egyptian carvings. It is also famous because no one knows exactly when it was carved. There is no concrete information about why it was carved or its significance.
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  • What was Cleopatra famous for?

    Q: What was Cleopatra famous for?

    A: Cleopatra was the queen of Egypt and the last of the dynasty of Macedonian rulers, but she is best known for her romantic relationships and military alliances with Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Cleopatra not only ruled Egypt but also influenced Roman politics during a crucial period. Her legend also consists of tales of her exotic beauty and powers of seduction, although these are unverified and likely romanticized.
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  • Why did they make mummies?

    Q: Why did they make mummies?

    A: Ancient cultures made mummies for religious reasons, according to the British Museum. The Egyptians began mummifying their dead around 3500 B.C. but took almost a thousand years to perfect their technique. The earliest completely preserved Egyptian mummies were created around 2400 BC. These are called anthropogenic mummies because they were intentionally created. The British Museum states that many older corpses were naturally preserved by burial in hot, dry sand pits.
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  • When did Tutankhamen die?

    Q: When did Tutankhamen die?

    A: Tutankhamen, commonly known as King Tut, died in Egypt circa 1323 B.C., but the exact date is unknown. In 1922, archaeologists discovered his tomb, which contained his mummified remains and thousands of artifacts.
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  • What crops did the ancient Egyptians grow?

    Q: What crops did the ancient Egyptians grow?

    A: Ancient Egyptians grew a wide variety of grains, vegetables and fruits. The yearly flooding of the Nile River provided plenty of fertile ground for growing wheat, barley and flax as the main crops. Onions, leeks, dates and figs are some examples of vegetables and fruits grown.
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