14 Mysterious Ways of Life the Ancient Egyptians Practiced

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For the near to 30 centuries that it existed for- the Egyptians were far ahead of their time, as historians agree and thus have given us invaluable contributions in many spheres of life without us even noticing it. They were considered the stalwarts of ingenuity and innovation at the time and displayed the most evident signs of civilization progress due to the natural longevity of the civilization at large.

Many of these discoveries and inventions cross our eyes every day, and we fail to recognize the grit, blood and sweat that were sacrificed under the unforgiving Egyptian sun to make all of them possible.

While these range from utilitarian devices and concepts to basic necessities that laid the basis to modern day education, the Egyptians have made their mark right about everywhere in our lives and it is time to give fruitation to the genuine effort imparted by them to take modern day living to the heights it is now in.

Besides, many of the developments that took place in this world actually were birthed inside the bosom of the Egyptian civilization! And no we do not mean the Mummy movie franchise. Those were just terrible.

So here are 12 ways in which the Egyptians unknowingly gave us the greatest gift of knowledge back when man still lived under the shadow of a whip and the looming shadow of beheadings. Read on and feel the impact of ancient Egypt on life today!

Glass

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Glass can be found in great abundance in nature, however, concrete proof of people using it for crafts and decorations dates back to the Egyptian civilization. As far along as 3500 BC, both the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations were using glass to make small glass beads.

Following this, the Egyptians went on to incorporate glass further into their crafts, making glass vases that date back to 1500 BC. Ancient Egyptians also initiated research on different glass techniques, experimenting with complex techniques like making red glass.

 

Toothpaste

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As it turns out, we need to thank the Egyptians for sparing us with the torture of having to survive a conversation with someone who has a terrible case of morning breath. Egyptians have the honor of being the first to invent toothpaste, exponentially improving the oral hygiene of everyone that followed.

The Egyptians were so involved in maintaining dental health that some people have been found buried with their toothbrushes. Moreover, a recipe was found in writing. A dentist followed through with this recipe and claimed that the concoction made his gums bleed but his mouth felt decidedly cleaner afterwards.

 

Door locks

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While the door lock was actually invented by the Mesopotamians, a huge chunk of the credit goes to the Egyptians for perfecting them into the doors we use today. They largely worked to improve the general structure into making it more user friendly. The way the Egyptians made doors is very similar to the doors we use today, except those were made of materials like brass or wood.

Learning from Egypt, other countries followed suit and everyone adopted door locks. Not only did they make buildings more secure, but getting a lock was also cheaper than hiring a guard.

Dental bridges

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The practice of dentistry took root (puns?!) in Egypt. Doctors in ancient Egypt were masters of oral hygiene. Modern doctors have examined Egyptian mummies and found complex dental procedures done on a vast majority of them. One of the most commonly found alterations are dental bridges to fix dental structure.

Surgery and surgical tools

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Egyptians made immense progress in the field of medicine. They hold the honour of being the first to venture into the field of surgery and manufactured the first ever surgical tools. Made out of bronze, these surgical tools were intricately crafted and made to remove threats like cysts and tumors. While they never performed the intense surgical procedure surgeons perform today, Egyptian research paved the way to make surgery what it is today.

Medicine journals

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Before the advent of Egyptians into the world of medicine, people normally treated ailments with herbs and animal parts. However, Egyptians revolutionized medicine by recording methods and procedures that worked, formulating medicinal journals with recipes of medicines. Some of the oldest medicinal logs that have been found are from the Egyptian era. Several logs have been found relaying crucial medicinal information dating back to the prime of Egypt.

While most of the medicinal knowledge back then relied on supernatural and herbal remedies, these journals relied on sound scientific knowledge.

Anesthesia

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For tens of thousands of years, Egyptians displayed a deep and thorough understanding of how pain medication worked. They had profound knowledge of surgery and medicine and linked it to anesthesia and painkillers. They already had deep knowledge of naturally occurring narcotics in herbs and plants like the mandrake, the poppy, water lily, lotus and cannabis. They integrated this knowledge with their understanding of medicine and started producing medicines to curb pain long before Europeans realized the power of natural pain subduers.

 

Wigs

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Given the intensity of heat in Egypt, the ancient Egyptians had to face a bit of a dilemma. The scorching heat did not allow them to keep a full mane of hair, however the scorching heat made it impossible to roam around with a bald head. This mean that they needed a way to sport hair when they wanted to, and get rid of them when they did not require them.

They essentially needed a solution that was fashion forward, did not trap as much heat as normal hair did and had the option to be taken off. The answer to all their problems was the wig of course. The wigs were either made of animal hair, or real human hair, depending on the wealth of the wearer. They came in a wide assortment of designs and colors, and were considered a fashion statement.

Paper and writing

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The Egyptians did not invent the paper that we use now, however, their discovery of papyrus is what enabled us to get here. Before papyrus, people had to carry around stones to carve words into. The Egyptians invented both the papyrus and the reed pen which enabled people to write with more ease. As the word of papyrus spread, so did it’s demand.

It made its way towards the Mediterranean and West Asia, becoming one of Egypt’s leading exports. This development, in turn, led to Europe inventing the use of parchment and China producing paper from the bark of trees. Without Egypt’s push, we might have been carrying stone tablets to this day!

Prosthetics and Amputations

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While masters of natural medicine, as can be seen from their prowess on herbs while manufacturing pain medication, the Egyptians also had a sound knowledge of surgical practices and science. They understood the need to amputate and had a thorough understanding of how to go about the surgical process of removing infected limbs.

The Egyptians did not only know how to effectively remove limbs, but also knew how to model prosthetics to mimic natural movement. By examining entombed bodies, researchers have found several links to prosthetic limbs. These prosthetics did not only work to a great extent, but also set the ground for the advanced prosthetics we have now.

Alphabet

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We don’t use the alphabet that was formed by the Egyptians, but we do follow the same idea of phonetics that they introduced. Their alphabet featured symbols, each of which represented a sound rather than a whole word.

Egyptian hieroglyphics used a symbol to denote common words, but there were 24 symbols that were used to help people pronounce foreign words. On account of being so hard to understand, people had to be trained to make sense of it.

The Egyptians then crafted a 22 letter alphabet that was completely phonetic and surprisingly like our own alphabet. This way of communicating became increasingly popular, travelling towards the Phoenicians who set the foundation for the alphabet we have today.

 

Mathematics

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The Egyptians were phenomenal at mathematics. The earliest discernible records of geometry originate from Egypt and were used to calculate the area of lands. The Egyptians also had profound knowledge of mathematical operations, forming easy to understand methods to compute answers. Egyptians also introduced the concept of fractions that we use to this day.