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Weird But True! -- Ancient History

Posted by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:40 PM
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Ok, here's some awesome fun weird, but true facts about the ancient world! As well as some great resources and projects! 

  Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:40 PM
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by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:41 PM
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Ever since my childhood I have been fascinated with all things relating to Ancient Egypt. I have tried for a long time to come up with a good idea for a list relating to it and this is the first (of what I hope will be many!) These facts should serve as a good introduction to Ancient Egyptian culture and society – and hopefully many will be things you did not know.


Facts 1 – 5


1. A Pharaoh never let his hair be seen – he would always wear a crown or a headdress called a nemes (the striped cloth headdress made famous by Tutankhamen’s golden mask (pictured above).

2. In order to deter flies from landing on him, Pepi II of Egypt always kept several naked slaves nearby whose bodies were smeared with honey.

3. Both Egyptian men and women wore makeup – eyepaint was usually green (made from copper) or black (made from lead). The Egyptians believed that the makeup had healing power. Originally the makeup was used as a protection from the sun – rather than for adornment.

4. While the use of antibiotics did not begin in the 20th century, early folk medicine included the use of mouldy foods or soil for infections. In ancient Egypt, for example, infections were treated with mouldy bread.

5. Egyptian children wore no clothing at all until they were in their teens. The temperature in Egypt made it unnecessary. Adult men wore skirts while women wore dresses.

by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:42 PM
Reserving my spot :)
by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Facts 6 – 10


6. Rich Egyptians wore wigs while the other classes would wear their hair long or in pig tails. Until 12, Egyptian boys had their heads shaved except for one plaited lock – this was as a protection against lice and fleas.

7. It is not known who destroyed the nose of the Sphinx (pictured above). There are sketches of the Sphinx without a nose in 1737, over 60 years before Napoleon reached Egypt and hundreds of years before the British and German armies of the two World Wars. The only person known to have damaged it was an Islamic cleric, Sa’im al-dahr, who was lynched in 1378 for vandalism.

by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:42 PM

8. Egyptian’s believed that the earth was flat and round (like a pancake) and that the Nile flowed through the center of it.

9. Egyptian soldiers were used as an internal police force. Additionally, they collected taxes for the Pharaoh.

10. In every temple in ancient Egypt the pharaoh was supposed to carry out the duties of the high priests, but his place was usually taken by the chief priest.

by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Facts 11 – 15


11. The first pyramid (The Step Pyramid of Djoser built around 2600 BC – seen above) was originally surrounded by a 34 ft tall wall which had 15 doors in it. Only one of the doors opened.

12. The women in ancient Egypt enjoyed legal and economical equality with men. Nevertheless, they never enjoyed social equality with men.

13. Contrary to popular belief, excavated skeletons show that the pyramid builders were actually Egyptians who were most likely in the permanent employ of the pharaoh. Graffiti indicates that at least some of these workers took pride in their work, calling their teams “Friends of Khufu,” “Drunkards of Menkaure,” and so on—names indicating allegiances to pharaohs.

14. When a body was mummified, its brain was removed through one of its nostrils and its intestines were also removed and placed in jars called canopic jars. Each organ was placed in its own jar. The only internal organ that was not removed was the heart, because Egyptians considered it to be the seat of the soul.

15. Ramses the Great had 8 official wives and nearly 100 concubines. He was over 90 years old when he died in 1212 BC.

by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Ancient Egyptian Civilization – History - Mummies - Pyramids

  • The old Egyptian civilization emerged in the Nile valley .It was the settlement of early farmers along the banks of the Nile river.
  • The Egyptians kings were known as ‘pharaohs’ and built burial chambers called pyramids. The best known pyramid is the famous Great Pyramid at Giza.
  • The old Egyptian society was divided into 3 classes .The 1st were the pharaohs (kings & family),the 2nd nobility(consisting of priests and high ranking government officials) and in the 3rd rank were farmers & craftsmen.
  • Both Egyptian men and women wore makeup – eye paint was usually green which was made from copper or black, made from lead. They believed that the makeup had some kind of healing power. Actually it saved them from sunlight thus giving an impression of its healing abilities.
  • For ancient Egyptians, bread was the most important food and beer was their most favorite drink.
  • In ancient Egypt, they had devised a unit of measurement known as ‘Cubit’, a man’s fore arm, about 45 cm long.
  • The ancient Egyptian art of writing is known as ‘hieroglyphics ‘meaning sacred writing. It was made of picture signs. Hieroglyphic writing was from right to left. Later on Egyptians developed a 24-letter alphabet. It was written on papyrus, a paper like material made from a tree of same name.
  • The ancient Egyptians were the 1st to have a year consisting of 365 days, which was divided into 12 months. They also invented clocks. They first devised 360 days calendar first after observing annual recurrence of floods in Nile river .Later on they added another 5 days to adjust certain myths about moon & religious festivals
  • You would wonder to know that the oldest death sentence recorded is found in ancient Egypt.
  • Also the oldest dress in the world comes from Egypt. It is 5,000 years old.
  • Ancient Egyptians had knowledge of several drugs and chemicals with which they preserved the bodies of their dead, called mummies.
  • The Egyptians believed in life after death. They mummified the dead body so that the spirits could use it as their home.
  • They put these mummified bodies into tombs with many things like tools, weapons, jewelry and even tables & chairs. Models of brewers were also left in tombs to ensure that the deceased had plenty of beer in the next world.
  • Even the slaves and attendants were also buried with the pharaohs.
  • There was a belief in ancient Egyptians that mummification ensured the dead a safe passage to the afterlife. The mummification process had 2 stages: 1st the embalming of the body with certain chemicals, then the wrapping and burial of the body.
  • When a body was mummified, its brain was removed through one of its nostrils and its intestines were also removed .Each organ was placed in its own jar. The only internal organ they did not remove was the heart, because it was considered to be the seat of the soul by Egyptians.
  • Ancient Egyptians mummified not only people but animals too. Archeologists have discovered a 15-foot- long mummified crocodile.
  • In mummification, Mud was pushed under the mummy’s skin to pad it out. False eyes could be made from onions.
by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Ancient History

Before Christ (B.C.) or Before the Common Era (B.C.E.)

4.5 billion – 1B.C. World History

Some Ancient Civilizations

Ra, Egyptian 
Sun God 
(3000–2000 B.C.)
See also Egyptian Mythology
The Great Pyramid at Giza
(c. 2680 B.C.)
Kim Storm
Stonehenge (c. 3000–1500 B.C.)
Peter F. Harrington
(582?–507? B.C.)
(563?–483? B.C.)
Confucius(551–479 B.C.)
Parthenon(447–432 B.C.)
See also Greek and Roman Mythology
Tina Diodati
(427?–348 or 347 B.C.)
Augustus Caesar
(63 B.C.A.D. 14)
Mayan Hieroglyphics
(c. 200 B.C.)
the Pantheon
Pantheon in Rome(27 B.C.; c. A.D. 118–128)
See also Greek and Roman Mythology
Elaine Ouellette

4.5 billion B.C.
Planet Earth formed.
3 billion B.C.
First signs of primeval life (bacteria and blue-green algae) appear in oceans.
600 million B.C.
Earliest date to which fossils can be traced.
4.4 million B.C.
Earliest known hominid fossils (Ardipithecus ramidus) found in Aramis, Ethiopia, 1994.
4.2 million B.C.
Australopithecus anamensis found in Lake Turkana, Kenya, 1995.
3.2 million B.C.
Australopithecus afarenis (nicknamed “Lucy”) found in Ethiopia, 1974.
2.5 million B.C.
Homo habilis (“Skillful Man”). First brain expansion; is believed to have used stone tools.
1.8 million B.C.
Homo erectus (“Upright Man”). Brain size twice that of Australopithecine species.
1.7 million B.C.
Homo erectus leaves Africa.
100,000 B.C.
First modern Homo sapiens in South Africa.
70,000 B.C.
Neanderthal man (use of fire and advanced tools).
35,000 B.C.
Neanderthal man replaced by later groups of Homo sapiens (i.e., Cro-Magnon man, etc.).
18,000 B.C.
Cro-Magnons replaced by later cultures.
15,000 B.C.
Migrations across Bering Straits into the Americas.
10,000 B.C.
Semi-permanent agricultural settlements in Old World.
10,000–4,000 B.C.
Development of settlements into cities and development of skills such as the wheel, pottery, and improved methods of cultivation in Mesopotamia and elsewhere.
5500–3000 B.C.
Predynastic Egyptian cultures develop (5500–3100 B.C.); begin using agriculture (c. 5000B.C.). Earliest known civilization arises in Sumer (4500–4000 B.C.). Earliest recorded date in Egyptian calendar (4241 B.C.). First year of Jewish calendar (3760 B.C.). First phonetic writing appears (c. 3500 B.C.). Sumerians develop a city-state civilization (c. 3000 B.C.). Copper used by Egyptians and Sumerians. Western Europe is neolithic, without metals or written records.
3000–2000 B.C.
Pharaonic rule begins in Egypt. King Khufu (Cheops), 4th dynasty (2700–2675 B.C.),completes construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza (c. 2680 B.C.). The Great Sphinx of Giza (c. 2540 B.C.) is built by King Khafre. Earliest Egyptian mummies. Papyrus. Phoenician settlements on coast of what is now Syria and Lebanon. Semitic tribes settle in Assyria. Sargon, first Akkadian king, builds Mesopotamian empire. The Gilgamesh epic (c. 3000B.C.). Systematic astronomy in Egypt, Babylon, India, China.
3000–1500 B.C.
The most ancient civilization on the Indian subcontinent, the sophisticated and extensive Indus Valley civilization, flourishes in what is today Pakistan. In Britain, Stonehenge erected according to some unknown astronomical rationale. Its three main phases of construction are thought to span c. 3000–1500 B.C.
2000–1500 B.C.
Hyksos invaders drive Egyptians from Lower Egypt (17th century B.C.). Amosis I frees Egypt from Hyksos (c. 1600 B.C.). Assyrians rise to power—cities of Ashur and Nineveh. Twenty-four-character alphabet in Egypt. Cuneiform inscriptions used by Hittites. Peak of Minoan culture on Isle of Crete—earliest form of written Greek. Hammurabi, king of Babylon, develops oldest existing code of laws (18th century B.C.).
1500–1000 B.C.
Ikhnaton develops monotheistic religion in Egypt (c. 1375 B.C.). His successor, Tutankhamen, returns to earlier gods. Greeks destroy Troy (c. 1193 B.C.). End of Greek civilization in Mycenae with invasion of Dorians. Chinese civilization develops under Shang Dynasty. Olmec civilization in Mexico—stone monuments; picture writing.
1000–900 B.C.
Solomon succeeds King David, builds Jerusalem temple. After Solomon's death, kingdom divided into Israel and Judah. Hebrew elders begin to write Old Testament books of Bible. Phoenicians colonize Spain with settlement at Cadiz.
900–800 B.C.
Phoenicians establish Carthage (c. 810 B.C.). The Iliad and the Odyssey, perhaps composed by Greek poet Homer.
800–700 B.C.
Prophets Amos, Hosea, Isaiah. First recorded Olympic games (776 B.C.). Legendary founding of Rome by Romulus (753 B.C.). Assyrian king Sargon II conquers Hittites, Chaldeans, Samaria (end of Kingdom of Israel). Earliest written music. Chariots introduced into Italy by Etruscans.
700–600 B.C.
End of Assyrian Empire (616 B.C.)—Nineveh destroyed by Chaldeans (Neo-Babylonians) and Medes (612 B.C.). Founding of Byzantium by Greeks (c. 660 B.C.). Building of the Acropolis in Athens. Solon, Greek lawgiver (640–560 B.C.). Sappho of Lesbos, Greek poet(fl. c. 610–580 B.C.). Lao-tse, Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism (born c. 604 B.C.).
600–500 B.C.
Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar builds empire, destroys Jerusalem (586 B.C.). Babylonian Captivity of the Jews (starting 587 B.C.). Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Cyrus the Great of Persia creates great empire, conquers Babylon (539 B.C.), frees the Jews. Athenian democracy develops. Aeschylus, Greek dramatist (525–465 B.C.). Pythagoras, Greek philosopher and mathematician (582?–507? B.C.). Confucius (551–479 B.C.) develops ethical and social philosophy in China. The Analects or Lun-yü (“collected sayings”) are compiled by the second generation of Confucian disciples. Buddha (563?–483? B.C.) founds Buddhism in India.
500–400 B.C.
Greeks defeat Persians: battles of Marathon (490 B.C.), Thermopylae (480 B.C.), Salamis (480 B.C.). Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta (431–404 B.C.)—Sparta victorious. Pericles comes to power in Athens (462 B.C.). Flowering of Greek culture during the Age of Pericles (450–400 B.C.). The Parthenon is built in Athens as a temple of the goddess Athena (447–432 B.C.). Ictinus and Callicrates are the architects and Phidias is responsible for the sculpture. Sophocles, Greek dramatist (496?–406 B.C.). Hippocrates, Greek “Father of Medicine” (born 460 B.C.). Xerxes I, king of Persia (rules 485–465 B.C.).
400–300 B.C.
Pentateuch—first five books of the Old Testament evolve in final form. Philip of Macedon, who believed himself to be a descendant of the Greek people, assassinated (336 B.C.) after subduing the Greek city-states; succeeded by son, Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), who destroys Thebes (335 B.C.), conquers Tyre and Jerusalem (332 B.C.), occupies Babylon (330 B.C.), invades India, and dies in Babylon. His empire is divided among his generals; one of them, Seleucis I, establishes Middle East empire with capitals at Antioch (Syria) and Seleucia (in Iraq). Trial and execution of Greek philosopher Socrates (399 B.C.). Dialogues recorded by his student, Plato (c. 427–348 or 347 B.C.). Euclid's work on geometry (323 B.C.). Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384–322 B.C.). Demosthenes, Greek orator (384–322 B.C.). Praxiteles, Greek sculptor (400–330 B.C.).
by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:45 PM

300–251 B.C.
First Punic War (264–241 B.C.): Rome defeats the Carthaginians and begins its domination of the Mediterranean. Temple of the Sun at Teotihuacán, Mexico (c. 300 B.C.). Invention of Mayan calendar in Yucatán—more exact than older calendars. First Roman gladiatorial games (264 B.C.). Archimedes, Greek mathematician (287–212 B.C.).
250–201 B.C.
Second Punic War (219–201 B.C.): Hannibal, Carthaginian general (246–142 B.C.), crosses the Alps (218 B.C.), reaches gates of Rome (211 B.C.), retreats, and is defeated by Scipio Africanus at Zama (202 B.C.). Great Wall of China built (c. 215 B.C.).
200–151 B.C.
Romans defeat Seleucid King Antiochus III at Thermopylae (191 B.C.)—beginning of Roman world domination. Maccabean revolt against Seleucids (167 B.C.).
150–101 B.C.
Third Punic War (149–146 B.C.): Rome destroys Carthage, killing 450,000 and enslaving the remaining 50,000 inhabitants. Roman armies conquer Macedonia, Greece, Anatolia, Balearic Islands, and southern France. Venus de Milo (c. 140 B.C.). Cicero, Roman orator (106–43 B.C.).
100–51 B.C.
Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.) invades Britain (55 B.C.) and conquers Gaul (France) (c. 50 B.C.). Spartacus leads slave revolt against Rome (71 B.C.). Romans conquer Seleucid empire. Roman general Pompey conquers Jerusalem (63 B.C.). Cleopatra on Egyptian throne (51–31 B.C.). Chinese develop use of paper (c. 100 B.C.). Virgil, Roman poet (70–19 B.C.).Horace, Roman poet (65–8 B.C.).
50–1 B.C.
Caesar crosses Rubicon to fight Pompey (50 B.C.). Herod made Roman governor of Judea (37 B.C.). Caesar murdered (44 B.C.). Caesar's nephew, Octavian, defeats Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), and establishes Roman empire as Emperor Augustus; rules 27 B.C.A.D. 14. Pantheon built for the first time under Agrippa, 27 B.C. Ovid, Roman poet (43 B.C.A.D. 18).
by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Longest Reign in Recorded History

Did you know that the longest reign in recorded history is associated with the ancient Egyptians, where Pepi II succeeded the throne of Egypt in 2272 BC? According to evidence, it is believed that his reign lasted for 90 years, which means that he took on the position of royalty when he was just a babe. Pepi must have been a decent ruler, as within two years of his passes in 2182BC, Egypt faltered.

A Diverse King

During medieval times, there was a holy Roman Emperor by the name of Frederick II, who was known to hold atheist beliefs. He set up a court that was quite diverse, as he brought in both Jews and Muslims and placed them on an equal playing field with Christians. He also admired Muslim mercenaries and found them quite helpful when he battled against the Pope.

Reading, Writing, and Ruling…

The Frankish Emperor named Charlemagne (742 to 814 AD) never learned how to write and although he practiced with the use of tablets, he could never really get the hang of it. Instead, he poured his energies into reading, which is what he was able to grasp. At the time, he was considered quite in a league of his own when compared to other rulers, as the skill of reading was thought beneath them, as they left this task for monks and others to complete.

A Powerful Bloodline

By the time that the French Revolution was under way, there was a single family of kings that came from one man – Hugh Capet – who ruled France for nearly four centuries. This was observed between 967 and 1328. Throughout history, there has been related branches that included the Valois and the Bourbons, who succeeded the Capets and took over the rule of France until the 19th century rolled around.

Longest-Lasting Power

In history, there have been two kings who have ruled for a period of seven decades. The first is Shapur II of the Persian Sassanids, who took power from 309 to 379 AD. His reign lasted for his entire life, as he was born into the world immediately after his father's passing. 13 ½ years later, Louis XIV of France ruled from 1643 to 1715. Additional rulers who gain a notable mention include the Holy Roman Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria who ruled for 68 years (from 1848 to 1916) and Queen Victoria, who was in power for 64 years (from 1837 to 1901).

Short Stack

Pepin the Short (the King of the Franks) didn’t get this name for nothing. The ruler who was in power from 751 to 768 AD measured only four feet six inches. However, this didn’t stop him from carrying around a sword that measured six feet long. Ironically, his wife was known as "Bertha the Big Foot."

by on May. 30, 2013 at 7:48 PM

93 Random Facts About . . .


  1. With nearly 3,000 years of rich history, Rome is often called the “Eternal City.” Though Rome dates back to possibly 625 B.C., the oldest continuously populated city in the world is widely to be considered Byblos in present-day Lebanon dating back to 5000 B.C.j
  2. Some linguistic possibilities for the origin of the word “Rome” include the Etruscan wordrhome meaning “strength” or “river.” It may also be related to the root rum meaning “teat,” referring to the wolf that suckled the twins Romulus and Remus. Another theory is that Roma was the daughter of Aeneas, a mythical founder of Rome.j
  3. Because there were apparently few women in early Rome, Romulus (c. 771-717 B.C.) kidnapped neighboring Sabine women. Most of the girls were prizes of whoever got them first, while a few of the more beautiful ones were brought to leading senators by special gangs.h
  4. Rome has a sovereign state located entirely in its city limits, the Vatican City, which is also the world’s smallest state.j
  5. Cappuccino
    Cappuccino is named after the Roman order of monks, the Capuchin, who wore a hood orcappucio
  6. The Capuchin Crypt in Rome consists of five chapels and a corridor 60 meters long—and it is decorated with the bones of 4,000 deceased monks. The coffee drink Cappuccino takes its name from this order of monks who were known by their custom of wearing a hood orcappucio with their habits.i
  7. Several religious sources claim that Nero was the Antichrist and will return as the Antichrist. Some scholars claim that the numbers 666 in the biblical Book of Revelation is a code for Nero.g
  8. Nero’s reign had many memorable moments, including killing his mother Agrippina and his wife Octavia. When he died, he said, “What an artist I die!” (“Qualis artifex pereo!”)c
  9. Some ancient Romans placed a phallic symbol over a door as a symbol of good luck and fertility, and miniature phalluses were often worn as lucky charms.j
  10. The abbreviation SPQR can be found on many Roman statues, buildings, and military standards. It stands for “senatus populusque romanus.” meaning “The senate and people of Rome.”a
  11. Rome’s population of more than a million was not matched by any other European city until London finally over took it in the nineteenth century.c
  12. Roman physicians had a wide range of surgical tools, including catheters and speculums. Many modern medical terms still have Latin roots. The knee cap, for example, is the patella, which is Latin for “shallow dish.”j
  13. In English, to “decimate” means to completely destroy. The word comes from the Latin decimare, which evolved from the practice of killing every tenth Roman soldier if they tried to mutiny.a
  14. The first-ever shopping mall was built by the Emperor Trajan in Rome. It consisted of several levels and more than 150 outlets that sold everything ranging from food and spices to clothes.j
  15. The snake was a common image in Roman art and jewelry and was believed to have powers over a family’s well-being.b
  16. Emperor Claudius’ third wife was once said to have donned blond wigs, gilded her nipples, and entered a competition with a local prostitute to see who could bed the most men in one night. Claudius had her executed.h
  17. Togas were unique to Rome and were worn by free-born Roman men as a mark of distinction. Ironically, the only women who wore togas were prostitutes because they were not allowed to wear stolas, the traditional garment of Roman women.j
  18. Purple, the most expensive dye from Murex seashells, was reserved for the emperors’ clothes or senators. It became treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.j
  19. Sometimes gladiator blood was recommended by Roman physicians as an aid to fertility.j
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