Our glorious history is full of interesting mysteries and secrets. To expand your knowledge on Egypt, here are 6 surprising facts you never learnt at school:
1. The “Statue of Liberty” Was Intended For Egypt
The Statue of Liberty’s creator Fredric Auguste Bartholdi, wowed by Egypt’s great pyramids and monuments, approached Khedive Ismail in the late 1860s with a plan to build a huge lighthouse for the entrance of the Suez Canal called the “Statue of Progress”. So lady Liberty was supposed to be our welcome ma’am at the Suez Canal, but for the lack of financial means, the Americans snitched it from us! But no one can deny it; Egypt was the inspiration for the statue.
2. Gypsy Is Shorted For Egyptian
The term gypsy is often attached to anyone leading a nomadic life, who traditionally lives by seasonal work, touring trade, and fortune telling. When they first appeared in England in the sixteenth century they were wrongly believed to have come from Egypt, so they called them Gypsy, as short for Egyptian.
3. Cairo Was Once The Most Beautiful City In The World
In 1925, Cairo won the title of the most beautiful city in the world, even though European cities like Berlin, Paris and London were also competing. At the time, Egypt was still superior in its charm. Well, at least we can say we did it for once, now we can die a happy nation.
4. The Tradition Of Exchanging Wedding Rings Is Our Idea
The first example of wedding rings exchanged between a wedded couple were found in ancient Egypt. We viewed the circle as a symbol of the everlasting life and the ring served to signify the never-ending love between the couple.
5. Cleopatra Was Greek not Egyptian & She Wasn’t Beautiful
Cleopatra lived in Egypt, but was a descendant of one of Alexander the Great’s generals. That would obviously make her Greek.
There are also some contemporary chronicles and art works which suggest that history and Hollywood got Cleopatra wrong, and that our historical ravishing queen wasn’t the timeless beauty icon we all thought she was. A tiny 2,000 year old silver coin hidden in a bank vault, went on display at Britain’s University of NewCastle ; it indicated that Cleopatra’s beauty might be a Hollywood fiction. She had a shallow forehead, a long pointed nose, narrow lips and a pointy chin!! But still she was intelligent and charismatic no question about it; she ensnared both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
6. We Invented Bowling & Board Games
Love to bowl and roll with your pals? Well, so did the Ancient Egyptians!! Remains of balls made of porcelain or even plastic have been found among artifacts in ancient Egypt, indicating that these were rolled along the ground rather than thrown due to their size and weight.
Another popular Ancient Egyptian game was ‘Senet’, it’s a throwing sticks game to see how many squares to move your piece forward on the board.