There were very few societies in the ancient world more cherished than the Egyptians. After all, the ancient Egyptians played an important role in the development of modern systems of mathematics and medicine.

Their architectural techniques were also the envy of other societies back then, especially with the construction of pyramids, obelisks, and temples.

From its unification around 3100 BC to the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, ancient Egypt was one of the most technologically advanced civilizations in the entire world for nearly 30 centuries long.

From the monumental pyramids built during the reign of Old Kingdom to the expansive military aggressions of the New Kingdom, this ancient society has become a major subject of study among historians and archaeologist from every corner of the globe.

Most information about ancient Egyptians are immortalized in the walls of monuments, buried deep underground beneath massive pyramids, as well as objects and artifacts covered with complex alphabet consisting of more than 700 hieroglyphs.

Many of the ancient records that have been recovered from archaeological sites provide a somewhat clear picture of wealthy intelligent society with all sorts of accomplishments far ahead of its time.

Ancient Egyptians’ richness of culture, complexity of architectural approach, and dynamics of life were all signs of sophisticated civilization highly respected by all its allies and adversaries.

But behind the wonders and glamour, however, the everyday life of ancient Egyptians – both royalties and their subjects – were filled with all sorts of bizarre moments, beliefs, and practices that today’s modern societies would consider “unconventional” to say the least.

Here are 10 truly disgusting facts about life in ancient Egypt.

10 Head Lice Was Far From Uncommon

Based on pictures and records, ancient Egyptian’ artworks invariably are filled with images of people with shiny black hair; expect in association with foreigners, no other color was depicted.

That being said, consistent imagery does not always suggest that everyone in ancient Egypt possessed perfectly raven-black hair. Most likely the imagery informs us about the ideal standard of beauty in the society.

As a matter of fact, total removal of body hair was customary for both men and women in ancient Egypt. Shaving the head might serve multiple purposes: having no hair would be more comfortable in the hot climate of the region and the absence of hair made cleanliness easier to maintain.

Another clear purpose was that shaved head meant no lice. What have been uncovered from ancient tombs were not just mummies of royalties along with their glittering treasures and artifacts, but also the remains of head lice. Instead of trying to get rid of head lice with medicines or specialized combs, people of the ancient Egypt found more practical method to deal with the irritating insects by removing the hair entirely.

9 Women Get Flashed More Often Than You Think

Ancient Egyptians held solemn assemblies many times within a period of one year, probably because they believed and worshiped more than 2,000 deities.

They had gods for just about everything from household chores to natural disasters. Each god had its own power and responsibilities so that one life could be kept in good balance. Among all the assemblies they had on a regular basis, one of the most festive occasions took place at the city of Bubastis for Bast (Artemis in Greek mythology).

Men and women sailed together toward the city in many boats; there were songs, dances, and clapping along the journey. Along the river bank of the city, the men on the boat would often cry aloud and jeer at women in the city; some even went as far as standing up and pulling up their garments too.

During the festivals, people drank more wine of grapes than they did throughout an entire year. While in modern societies the laws against catcalling are either obscure or kind of mess, it is still much better than what happened in ancient Egypt.

8 King Tut Was Buried Or Mummified With An Erect P*nis

There were many pharaohs of the ancient Egypt, but none is more popular and bewildering to the modern world than King Tutankhamun. Not only that he began his reign at very young age of 10 and ended his rule at 19 when he died, but also because of all the unusual mummification practices his tomb displayed.

For one, he was mummified without a heart. It was actually not unusual for a mummy to be buried without the important organ, but traditionally the heart was replaced with an artifact known as heart scarab.

Another peculiarity was the thick layer of black liquid that covered the King’s mummy and coffins, presumably the component that caused the king to catch fire in his burial chamber. Furthermore King Tut’s p*nis was mummified erect at 90-degree angle.

All those anomalies suggest that the King wanted to resemble Osiris – the god of the underworld – as best as he could possibly manage. Osiris had black skin color; his heart was cut to pieces and buried by his brother Seth. As for the erect p*nis, it was an attempt to evoke Osiris’ regenerative power.

7 Bizarre Birth Control Method

Birth control was a marvel invention of human ingenuity. There have been a plethora of contraception devices introduced throughout human history all around the world, but the methods (or devices) used by ancient Egyptian women were probably the weirdest of them all.

We have to say that ancient Egyptians were smart, sometimes with strong tendency to be overly creative with just about everything including birth control method.

Ebers Papyrus, a medical note of herbal knowledge in ancient Egypt society, describes a variety of contraceptive ingredients for examples acacia root, honey, and even inserts soaked in donkey’s milk or worse, crocodile dung. As for the men, onion juice applied to foreskin was a recommended method.

Apparently those were considered effective forms of contraceptive practices, probably because the inserts and the onion juice led to all but s*xual intercourse. And when you had no s*xual intercourse, there was close-to-zero chance of pregnancy.

While it was not clear how popular such methods were, one can easily imagine that staying celibate was a much better choice than inserting an animal’s fecal matter to the genital and covering it with onion extract.

6 The Fear Of Necrophilia Was Real

Embalming was a necessity in ancient Egypt. It was a prerequisite for the soul – that left the body when a person was deceased – to return and ensure a rebirth. In other words, the preservation of dead body was the only way for ancient Egyptians to get accepted into the afterlife.

Similar to the process at modern funeral homes, however, families and friends of the deceased person were given several price packages for the mummification treatment. The “budget package” was somewhat more practical: embalmers inserted an oil mixture into the body, filling the entire torso cavity. And then they stopped all the body’s orifices, and left the mixture to work its purpose for several days.

After a day or two, the orifices were unstopped to let the oil mixture flow out along with liquefied remains on internal organs. On the other hand, the body of an Egyptian royalty or anyone that belonged to the upper class was treated more carefully. Embalmers carefully removed each organ so everything could be preserved along with the outer body.

If the deceased person was a woman of upper class, or the wife of a man of a considerable social status or rank, the body was not given immediately to embalmers.

In many instances, the body had been left to decay for about three or four days before it was delivered to embalmers. It was a common practice to prevent the embalmers from abusing dead women’s bodies. Some suggest that necrophilia actually existed in ancient Egypt, so it was not just paranoia, but a measure to prevent a reoccurrence.

5 Obese Pharaohs

Scientists believe that having an excess layer of fat under the skin must be an advantage for early humans, during the period when they were hunters and gatherers.

In times when food was scarce, an overweight person had better chance of survival. In societies long before today’s, being fat also used to be celebrated. An overweight person was pictured as successful with excess of wealth and the need to do minimum (if any) manual labor. Apparently the same thinking process could be applied to ancient Egyptians too.

Visual arts of ancient Egyptian society often depict pharaohs as thin slender muscular figures, but this was not always the case in real life. Similar to the image of shiny black hair, the pictures of trim and statuesque rulers were the ideal standards.

Popular diet among royalties in the ancient Egypt consisted of more-than-moderate amount of sugar from beer, wine, and bread. Some studies even show that the lifestyle resulted in excessive waistlines among the royal families. Examinations of mummified bodies indicate that many Egyptian rulers were overweight and unhealthy; some even suffered from diabetes.

One of the most notable examples was Queen Hatshepsut. Living in the 15th century BC, this powerful woman was often depicted as athletic and slim, but historians believe she was actually bald and obese.

CT scan revealed that the queen was a 50-year-old fat lady, probably suffering from diabetes, and balding in front yet the hair on the back of her head grew really long. Also with black and red nail polish, her overall appearance would look like today’s Goth.

4 Laxatives On A Regular Basis

Also found in the Ebers Papyrus, ancient Egyptians were accustomed to have purgatives for three days every month. There is a piece of advice in the medical note that says, “Do not eat unless you have appetite for food” but most seemed to ignore the well-intended and science-backed suggestion.

To clean the intestines, ancient Egyptians physicians would often prescribe castor oil; the same medicine was even used to treat diarrhea. It may sound strange, but made sense assuming the purpose was to hasten the expulsion of whatever disease that caused the diarrhea in the first place.

Egyptians formulated the enema when they observed the bird Ibis filling its beak with water and then injecting the water through its anus to clear its intestine. It was a strange way to come up with an idea of a remedy for a disease, but it didn’t matter as long as the medicine worked well.

3 Proctologist Was Referred To As “Shepherds Of The Anus”

Ancient physicians were often jacks-of-all-trades; they were familiar with various types of health conditions, but not capable enough to actually provide efficient treatment methods. The ancient Egyptians had a different story as evidence suggests that many doctors had specialized fields of study.

Each physician was healer in one specific part of human body and type of disease. In other words they had today’s equivalent of dentists, optometrists, and proctologists among others, although they used different names back then.

If dentists were known as doctors of the tooth, proctologists were referred to as Shepherds of the Anus. The names sound a bit gross in the modern world, but in ancient Egypt society the term “anus” covered the entire lower gastrointestinal tract below the stomach.

2 Fertility Tests Of Unmatched Peculiarity

Both the contraception method and fertility test in ancient Egyptians were far from flattery. To test if a woman would bear child, a doctor would put a clove of garlic or onion inside the woman’s v*gina and let it sit overnight. If in the morning her breath smelled like either of the aforementioned herbs, she would be able to bear children.

The scientific foundation was that women’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes were all connected; unobstructed pathways across those orifices, hence the bad breath, suggested fertility.

1 They Thought Men Also Had Menstruation

In the 1990s, one or more of the specimens found responsible for causing schistosomes were endemic in parts of Southwest and East Asia, Central and South America, and all countries in Africa. The disease infected more than 200 million people worldwide.

Some of the highest schistosomiasis rates in the world exist in the Nile River, which also provides water for nearly all agricultural outputs in Egypt. A common symptom of the disease, especially when the parasites affect the urinary system, is blood in urine.

It wouldn’t be too surprising that the same kind of symptom were also observed by the ancient Egyptians. Unfortunately the passing of blood through the urinary tract by young boys was considered normal part of growing up instead of an anomaly that deserved further investigation. In fact, it was seen as good thing that indicated fertility among late teenager or young adult male.

Continue Reading


Send this to a friend