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Neat facts about the Pyramids

Camel in front of the Great Pyramid

  • The shaduf is a pole pivoted into the ground with a stone weight hung from one end and a bucket hung form the other. It was used to transport water from the Nile.
  • Nilometers were horizontal notches marked into the rocks along the river at regular intervals. These were used to estimate the crop yields and officials would use them to determine taxes.
  • The Egyptian calendar had three seasons: Inundation, Seed and Harvest. If the pyramids were in fact built, they most likely would have been built during Inundation when the Nile flooded, so that farmers were free to build. 
  • Hieroglyphics were the Egyptian’s “picture-script”. They consisted of pictographs (symbols are drawn as pictures of what they actually represent) and phonograms (symbols representing a specific sound). 
  • The Rosetta Stone was discovered with three languages appearing on it: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and demotic (the Egyptian common language). By using the Greek at the bottom of the stone and the hieroglyphics at the top, the demotic language could be deciphered. 
  • Mummification is the Egyptian process used to preserve a corpse and prepare it for the afterlife. The body was placed in natron, sodium carbonate dissolved in water, which acted as a salt bath for seventy days then completely covered.  
  • The sarcophagus was the stone coffin used in the pyramids for the mummified bodies. 
  • Each person had a spiritual double known as their ka. The ka was kept in the heart and left in the body to proceed to the next life. 
  • Mastabas were mud-brick tombs found at Saqqara.  
  • Hyksos were also known as “rulers of foreign lands”. The Hyksos gained control of Egypt around 1650 BCE.