Interesting facts about Egypt

egypt flag

Egypt is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of
Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

The official name of the country is the Arab Republic of Egypt.

It is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red
Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west.

The official language is Modern Standard Arabic.

As of 1 January 2017, the population of Egypt was estimated to be 94,538,320 people. It is the most
populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria
and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the world.

It is the 29th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 1,010,407 square kilometers (390,120 square miles).

Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt. The city’s metropolitan area is the largest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area.

cairo

The entire country lies within the wide band of the Sahara Desert. Therefore, most of Egypt’s terrain is hot, dry desert, which covers about 95% of the country’s surface.

Despite covering only about 5.5% of the total area of Egypt; the Nile Valley and Nile Delta are the most important regions, being the country’s only cultivable regions and supporting about 99% of the population.

The Nile River extends across Egypt from south to north for roughly 1,600 kilometers (992 miles). With a total length of 6,853 kilometers (4,258 miles), the Nile is the longest river in the world.

river nile

Egypt has 2,450 kilometers (1,522 miles) of coastline on both the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Mount Catherine is the highest point of Egypt, with an altitude of 2,629 meters (8,625 feet).

Mount Sinai also known as Mount Horeb or Gabal Musa, is a 2,285-meter (7,497 ft) high mountain in the Sinai Peninsula. It is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai, which is considered a holy site by the Abrahamic religions. Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus and other books of the Bible, and the Quran. According to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition, the biblical
Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

mount sinai

Egypt has 7 UNESCO world heritage sites.

The Giza pyramid complex is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers’ village and an industrial complex. The pyramids, which have historically loomed large as emblems of ancient Egypt
in the Western imagination, were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.

giza pyramid complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. The complex is a vast open-air museum, and the second largest ancient religious site in the world, after the Angkor Wat Temple of Cambodia. It is believed to be the second most visited historical site in Egypt; only the Giza pyramid complex receive more visits.

karnak

Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in
the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was constructed approximately 1400 BCE. The temple is one of the best preserved of all of the ancient monuments with large amounts of the structure,
statuary and relief carvings still intact.

luxor temple

Abu Simbel is a temple complex, originally cut into a solid rock cliff, in southern Egypt. The two temples which comprise the site (The Great Temple and The Small Temple) were created during the reign of Ramesses II (c. 1279 – c. 1213 BCE). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments”, which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).

abu simbel

The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers.

valley of the kings egypt

Saint Catherine’s Monastery lies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of an inaccessible gorge at the
foot of modern Mount Sinai in Saint Catherine at an elevation of 1550 meters (5,085 feet). The monastery is Greek Orthodox and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the UNESCO report and website hereunder, this monastery has been called the oldest working Christian monastery in the world – although the Monastery of Saint Anthony, situated across the Red Sea in the desert south of Cairo, also lays claim to that title.

Saint Catherines Monastery

Tucked away amid the modern urban area of Cairo lies one of the world’s oldest Islamic cities, with
its famous mosques, madrasas, hammams and fountains. Founded in the 10th century, Historic Cairo
became the new centre of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century. In 1979, the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Historic Cairo a World Cultural Heritage site.

historic cairo

Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, emerging as one of the world’s first nation states in the tenth millennium BC.

The dynastic period started with the reign of Egypt’s first king, Narmer, in approximately 3100 BCE,
and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE.

pharaoh

Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of
writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government.

The pyramids were built as burial places and monuments to the Pharaohs and their families. To date,
over 130 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt.

The afterlife was incredibly important to the Egyptians. It was very important to ancient Egyptian religious beliefs that the human body was preserved. A method of artificial preservation, called
mummification was developed by the ancient Egyptians. Mummification was a complicated and lengthy
process which lasted up to 70 days. They believed that they had to preserve their bodies as mummies so
they could use them in the afterlife.

egyptian mummy

The Egyptologist James P. Allen estimates that more than 1,400 deities are named in Egyptian texts,
whereas his colleague Christian Leitz says there are “thousands upon thousands” of gods.

Cats, known in ancient Egypt as “Mau”, were considered sacred in ancient Egyptian society.

Ancient Egypt’s most iconic treasure is the great golden face mask of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. It is the death mask of the 18th-dynasty Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. He ruled Egypt as pharaoh for 10 years until his death at age 19, around 1324 B.C. The mask was discovered by Howard Carter in 1925 in tomb KV62 and is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

golden mask of the pharaoh tutankhamun

Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. It combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters.

Both Egyptian men and women wore make-up. The eye-paint was usually green (made from copper) or black (made from lead). As well as offering protection from the sun, the Egyptians believed make-up had magical healing powers, too!

The Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cats.

The Ancient Egyptians used 12 months of exactly 30 days, with 5 days of festivities at the end to add
up to 365.

The World’s Oldest Dress was found in Egypt and it is 5,000 years old!

The Ancient Egyptians respected dwarfs, and did not see them as having a physical handicap, according
to a study by US researchers.

An Egyptian father named his newborn daughter “Facebook” to commemorate the role Facebook played in the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Her full name is Facebook Jamal Ibrahim.

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