Ancient Egypt is one of the most interesting places in the historical record.
The obsession the ancient Egyptians, life after death, the great pyramids and the Golden treasures, and a lot of information that they left behind in the great works, captures the imagination of people for thousands of years.
However, under the touch of mysticism and historical greatness is Ancient Egypt, which was not always the most fun place to live. Their justice system was often unfair and cruel, medical practice was sometimes terrifying, and their devotion to the gods often came to frenzy.
10. An outbreak of cholera was once caused by the use of wrapping paper made from bandages of mummies
There was a time when it was considered fashionable all that was connected with Ancient Egypt. Mummies were imported into Europe, to deploy them at parties, and a large number of mummies have been illegally exported from Ancient Egypt. It’s true that mummies were so many that no one felt for him reverential respect — even at that time; they were given very little historical significance.
For this reason, to produce bandages from mummies was not only cheap, but sometimes worth it and cheaper than paper. One enterprising businessman from the United States in the early 1900-ies decided that it is possible to save money in the production of wrapping paper for products, and imported the old brown funeral linen shroud, in order to make this work. Unfortunately for him, his plan failed when people began to get sick with cholera, and the use of burial shrouds for wrapping products was prohibited.
9. Sometimes servants were killed to bury them with their dead masters
Some had heard about the legends that the servants of pharaohs and other important individuals in the history of Ancient Egypt is often killed through ritual ceremonies and were buried with the dead, that they might serve them in the afterlife. Today, many will tell you that all this is pure Egyptian mythology, but the truth is that it is actually much more disturbing. Although the practice of ceremonial killing them and laying in the tomb was closed only in the end of the era of Ancient Egypt, the servants of the offering of sacrifice was once an integral part of their society.
Although those who were sacrificed thus not necessarily felt that they were killed. The ancient Egyptians had a complicated relationship with death, they were obsessed with the idea of continuation of life after death. In a sense, they were much more obsessed with life than death. Those servants who were sent to death and buried with their masters, was considered privileged, because they were allowed to follow the imperious figure in the afterlife to serve there. But surely still it was stressful to know that your fate depends on the accidental death of the man you work for.
8. In Europe, the mummy is widely used in food as medicine
For most people, cannibalism is literally the worst taboo that you can imagine. The thought of eating human flesh, even in circumstances in which no choice is something that will instantly turn the stomach of most people. Even when it comes to cases such as what happened with the group Donner (Donner party), when settlers from Illinois under the leadership of John. Donner, cut off from the world by snow in the mountains, was taken to extremes and eating those who have died, people are talking about it in whispers and with horror from the prospect to face such a monstrous decision.
However, in the years 1600-1700 Europe embraced the madness, when people ate various parts of human flesh in an attempt to cure various diseases. It started with those who have crush in pieces the mummies and added them to the tincture, claiming that it could cure all types of illnesses, but over the fact that people began to eat the blood, to cure diseases related to by blood, and even pieces of crushed skulls to treat diseases of the brain.
Although today most people consider cannibalism filthy, there was a time when in Europe the eating of the remains of the other men was considered absolutely normal practice, besides good for health.
7. Someone who is not revered the Sun God, sacrificed
In Ancient Egypt, a violent crime was rare, but one of the most horrific crimes that could be made, were considered as any form of insult or disrespect to the Sun God. The person who was hurt (vandalism) or robbed a Church, or in any way has been convicted for a crime against the God of the Sun, is usually sentenced to be burned alive. This punishment was used against only those who committed the greatest crimes, and were usually accompanied by ritual sacrifices to the gods. While the ancient Egyptians rarely practiced human sacrifice, it was one of the exceptions.
While burning alive quite painful from the beginning, it was considered the most horrible death of all the ancient Egyptians because of the ritual significance of this action. They firmly believed in the preservation of the physical body in life after death, and believed that the destruction of physical flesh of man by burning leaves him no chance in the afterlife. While the gods were still technically able to intervene to help the person, it was a terrible punishment I could imagine a believer of the ancient Egyptian society.
6. Egyptian police beating confessions out of people was a common practice
In Ancient Egypt was a well organized system of laws and groups that, in essence, acted as police, but this does not mean that everything is always actually was true. As the old European society, the ejection force of recognition from the people was very common. In fact, essentially this was the standard practice. Conventionally, in order to get recognition from people, beat them with sticks, often on the soles as torture, known as “bastinado” (bastinado).
Those from whom he wanted recognition, not only admitted what he did, but he told us where everything can be hidden all that they had stolen and handed over all his associates. These people could also then beat to establish the identity of any other partners. Unfortunately, as in many imperfect legal systems will never be possible to determine the number of innocent people probably punished for crimes because they were forced to admit that he didn’t do. Unfortunately, false confessions under torture are incredibly common, because people are willing to do almost anything, as long as the torture is over, if it is sufficiently painful.
5. People who violate the law, considered guilty until then, until he proves his innocence
One of the cornerstones of the modern legal system is the principle of the presumption of innocence — a person is innocent until, until proven guilty. This is one reason why many people have long touted the Western legal system where, at least, the person receives a fair and very speedy trial, and where he knows that the system does not admit his guilt even before he is given a chance to defend himself. And while in Ancient Egypt was quite an advanced legal system, this they lacked.
In their legal system the defendant’s guilt was assumed from the beginning, and the evidence of his innocence fell on the shoulders of the accused. While the judges always do everything possible to be objective, beating was common, to prove guilt (as we mentioned earlier), and are likely to be applied to the accused party, despite the fact that she could be innocent. I could beat even witnesses if the judges thought it necessary to obtain additional information about the case. Although there is no evidence that the ancient Egyptians regularly abused the system, falsely accusing each other, it seems, the system was much greater benefit for those who abuse it, than were to be for the innocent.
4. Sometimes the guilt of a person accused of any offence, was determined using the magic Oracle
In the last days of Ancient Egypt, the clergy began to establish greater control over the daily lives of the Egyptians and the decisions of the rulers. The influence and power of the priests against ordinary citizens has increased steadily every year, and soon they began to consult much more than before. Those who were in power knew much more than he asked the priests because it was believed that they had the opportunity to contact and obtain the support of the gods, and could potentially affect a large number of people performing their orders.
This meant that in the last days of Ancient Egypt the priesthood was involved in the court case. They brought the statue of the Sun God and laid before him a papyrus with different answers for important decisions — usually in court it was two documents, deciding on guilt or on innocence. The statue was supposed to turn face to the right of the papyrus, showing the will of the gods. Of course, this gave the priests the ability to manipulate the movements of the statues and on the merits to decide court cases based on his own opinions and whims. Unfortunately, this meant that many of the ancient Egyptians, being in court, depended on the whim of the fraudster, the one who believed the polls, but who probably knew very well that everything he says is perceived as the will of the gods.
3. The adoption of measures for the prevention of pregnancy was a horrible sight
Today, to avoid unwanted pregnancy, people who are not ready at this time to procreate, use contraceptives. And, as many of you know, birth control has existed for thousands of years. Scientists have evidence of the use of condoms lambskin in ancient times and the Romans, they say, used to protect plants as often because of this they completely disappeared. However, most of these methods were quite reasonable ways of preventing pregnancy, especially compared to those that were used by the ancient Egyptians.
In Ancient Egypt believed that a mixture of the greater part of the honey with the addition of crocodile dung, which is then daubed the vagina was the main method to avoid pregnancy. For some reason they decided that this is an effective spermicide, although in reality this further increased the likelihood of becoming pregnant. Although it is clear that they believed that it works as a method of contraception, based on their knowledge of the time, it is still scary to imagine how often they had to spread crocodile dung on the most intimate parts of the body.
2. The death penalty in Ancient Egypt was rare, but extremely violent
Life in Ancient Egypt could be quite hard, and beatings, as we have already mentioned several times earlier, was as method of obtaining confessions, and a common punishment. However, while many people know that Ancient Egypt can be rather strict, in terms of punishment of criminals, like most of the ancient world, they were meaningless against the death penalty.
Although such punishment existed in the law, it has been used very, very rarely. In fact, there was even a period of time about 150 years, when in Ancient Egypt for crimes death penalty is not officially sanctioned. However, when someone committed a fairly serious crime, such as murder or treason, the death sentence to which he was sentenced, was pretty brutal. Although previously mentioned that burning alive was the punishment for serious crimes against the gods, there were other forms used for the death penalty that were so painful and awful: beheading, drowning, and even impalement.
1. The legend of the curses of mummies of Ancient Egypt continue to haunt the minds of scientists
Countless legends and stories talk about the idea of the curse of the mummies, and understanding that goes deeper than many think. Even before the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb has already appeared stories about the revenge of the mummies, whose remains were disturbed. However, the most popular legend says that 26 people participated in the opening of the tomb, and then everyone began to die under mysterious circumstances — including the leader of the expedition, which very quickly died of blood poisoning.
The study of the tomb revealed mold spores, but nothing that is considered especially dangerous — the mold was not dangerous enough to harm the man who was in the room for a short time.
Some speculated that perhaps there was a strange disease, leading to blood poisoning, but most scholars have rejected this version, indicating that it is not tenable, given that only 6 out of 26, had to the tomb, died soon after opening it. However, while there is no logical evidence for the existence of curses, it does not mean that the ancient Egyptians did not practice. Many tombs are on the perimeter of the various characters, cursing those who disturbed the remains lying in them, in the hope that they attack evil animals such as lions or snakes, or even the gods themselves will punish them.
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