Egypt is a country located in Africa close to the Nile River. Its history dates back thousands of years and has shaped modern times today. When it comes to Egypt, Cleopatra, the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx come to mind. However, there are also many items that are being used today that actually come from Ancient Egypt that we should be thanking the Egyptians for.
Pen and Paper
What would we write on if not for the Ancient Egyptians who discovered the use of paper, which they called papyrus? This dates back to 4,000 BC and was made of woven reeds that were pounded until a thin sheet was produced.
Alongside the invention of paper was the invention of the pen. Before, the writing instruments used were bones, sharp or pointed rocks or metal sticks. With the use of papyrus, a pen was eventually devised, which allowed for more control in writing.
The Written Language
It is also the Egyptians that we credit the written language for, since they devised Hieroglyphics in the form of sculpted symbols and pictures.
Hairpieces were first recorded during Egyptian times. People would shave their heads due to the hot weather and instead don on wigs made of beeswax. Only the laborers and priests remained bald.
Women today love their shoes but the Egyptians as far back as 3,500 BC already thought to wear high heels. This fashionable item was worn by the higher classes and was seen as a mark of distinction.
Ancient Egyptians used the sun to tell the time by inventing the sun clock. This allowed the people to divide the day between the morning and afternoon period. The shadow of the sun cast on the obelisk moved as the day progressed.
Not content with just using the sun to determine the hours of the day, the Egyptians also invented a clock using water, or a water clock. The first water clocks date back to some time around 1400 BC, though the water clock is attributed to Amenemhet. A funnel-like device made of stone allowed water to drip from a tiny hole at the bottom of the device. The water was collected in a receptacle that had 12 columns on the side to mark the hours. As the hours progressed, the water level would also rise.
This delightful game played by children has its origins in Egypt. In Ancient times, Egyptian children would play with large hoops made of dried grapevines. It was either pushed in the ground and around the roll on the floor, or worn at the waist. Eventually, this was picked up by the English in the 14th century, who called it hooping. The term hula was the influence of the Hawaiian Islands, when the British soldiers sailed there and saw the similarity in movement between hooping and hula dancing. Finally, in the 1950’s, an Australian company started manufacturing the wooden rings, which were later changed to plastic material by an American manufacturer.