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  • Regardless of how many dusty mummies you've

  • watched Brendan Frazier blast apart with a shotgun, odds are

  • you have no idea what ancient Egypt was really like.

  • So it might surprise you to learn

  • that everyday life in the time of the pharaohs

  • was pretty modern in a lot of ways.

  • Today, we're exploring what everyday life

  • was like for ancient Egyptians.

  • Education and medicine were remarkably sophisticated,

  • and men and women enjoyed an equality

  • under the law that wouldn't be seen

  • in other societies for centuries to come.

  • But before we get started, make sure you subscribe

  • to the Weird History channel.

  • Now, let's go to Egypt.

  • In addition to being the primary source of water

  • for crop irrigation and clothes making,

  • the Nile River was basically the interstate in ancient Egypt.

  • Both the lower and upper class alike traveled along it

  • in simple skiffs and wooden boats

  • to get from place to place.

  • It was also used to transport the heavy stone blocks used

  • to build the pyramids, and to ferry the bodies of dead nobles

  • in elaborate funeral processions.

  • But rather than having to keep an eye on their speed

  • and watch for state troopers, the Egyptians

  • had to constantly be on guard against hippo and crocodile

  • attacks.

  • The Pharaoh Menes was killed by a hippo while traveling

  • on the Nile, and it's been suggested

  • that a hippo may have maimed King Tut in a similar attack,

  • leading to his premature death.

  • Insert Hungry Hungry Hippos joke here.

  • Beer making was first recorded 18,000 years ago

  • in ancient Egypt.

  • Like my uncle Gilbert, Egyptians loved beer.

  • Beer was considered a staple meal, which

  • is why both children and adults drank it,

  • and wages were paid in brewable grain.

  • That said, beer in ancient Egypt wasn't

  • like the stuff you order by the glass at the local pub.

  • It was more like a thick, sweet soup,

  • with a lower alcohol content so you

  • could have a bowl or two for dinner

  • without getting into a drunken fistfight with a hippo.

  • Despite what you may have assumed,

  • ancient Egyptians practiced a number

  • of advanced medical fields, including

  • dentistry, gynecology, surgery, and even autopsy.

  • Although, maybe that last one isn't too surprising to anyone.

  • Medical procedures were a mix between medical treatment

  • and religious ceremony, but weren't

  • restricted to the upper class.

  • Health care was apparently available to everyone,

  • including slaves.

  • And hygiene was a big deal in ancient Egypt,

  • because the Egyptians had realized that walking around

  • with a three inch layer of sweat ripened filth clinging

  • to your skin was a Petri dish for disease.

  • As a result, they bathed constantly,

  • using soap made from salt and animal and vegetable oils,

  • and it was commonplace for both men and women

  • to completely shave off all their body hair, even

  • the hair on their heads.

  • The Egyptians also made fragrances.

  • Perfumes brewed from lily, myrrh,

  • and cardamom were common, and they

  • may have even created the first deodorant

  • using a mixture of citrus and cinnamon.

  • We call that scent breakfast.

  • Despite the undeniable anatomical knowledge

  • the ancient Egyptians possessed, they

  • hadn't figured out everything about the human body.

  • They believed that the mind was located in the heart, or ibb,

  • and that all thought originated from it.

  • The heart was also thought to be the seat of intense emotions

  • like love, sadness, and bravery, a belief

  • shared by almost every culture.

  • As for the brain, the ancient Egyptians clearly

  • didn't think much of it, because it was simply

  • thrown in the trash during the mummification process.

  • Maybe they thought it was just skull filling.

  • The judicial system in ancient Egypt

  • was split between two courts, the Kenbet and the Great

  • Kenbet.

  • The lower Kenbet basically dealt with misdemeanors,

  • while the Great Kenbet was reserved for serious crimes

  • like robbery and murder.

  • Typically the pharaoh's vizier ruled over each case,

  • with ultimate judgment coming from the pharaoh himself.

  • But in especially complicated cases,

  • the courts would defer to the wills of the oracles.

  • Or, since the oracles never bothered to show up,

  • the statues of the oracles.

  • In these cases, both the prosecution

  • and the defense teams would write out their arguments

  • on a slip of paper and place them

  • on opposite sides of the street.

  • Whichever direction the statues appeared to lean more towards

  • was declared the winner, and the defendant

  • was judged accordingly.

  • That is the most elaborately arbitrary system of justice,

  • ever.

  • As we mentioned earlier, gynecology

  • was a medical field present in ancient Egypt.

  • But much like the heart and brain debate,

  • the ancient Egyptians hadn't quite worked out all the kinks

  • yet.

  • They knew that sex led to childbirth,

  • but they believed the womb was connected

  • to the alimentary canal, the path that

  • carries the food from your mouth to your anus.

  • So in order to test whether or not a woman was fertile,

  • a clove of garlic was inserted into a woman's hoo hoo.

  • And if the garlic could be smelled on her breath,

  • it meant she was able to bear children.

  • If the garlic couldn't be smelled,

  • that meant there was some kind of blockage, or obstruction,

  • and kids were out of the picture.

  • While garlic is a fine ingredient in penne pasta,

  • we cannot recommend its use in this scenario.

  • Board games were a popular pastime in ancient Egypt,

  • and easily the most popular one was a game called Senate.

  • Senate was played on an elongated, chess-style board,

  • with each player rolling dice or throwing

  • sticks to move the pieces.

  • Senate was so popular that paintings

  • of Nefertari playing the game have been discovered

  • on ancient temple walls.

  • Archaeologists have yet to discover evidence

  • of anyone playing Hungry Hungry Hippos, that game just hit too

  • close to home.

  • In modern cultures, male infants are circumcised at birth.

  • But in ancient Egypt, it was seen

  • as more of a rite of passage into manhood,

  • and as such, it wasn't performed until much later.

  • There are temple paintings depicting priests performing

  • the procedure on boys and their mid-to-late teens,

  • in case you were wondering whether or not nightmares

  • existed in ancient Egypt.

  • History is unclear about the cultural significance

  • of circumcision in ancient Egypt.

  • For instance, most pharaohs were circumcised,

  • but the procedure was also done to humiliate captives and mark

  • slaves.

  • Confusing.

  • Makeup was ubiquitous in ancient Egypt.

  • Men were not afraid to dip into the mid-2000s Pete Wentz

  • catalog to wear some pretty amazing eyeliner.

  • The eye makeup was made from grinding lead ores

  • into a substance called kohl, to produce what was essentially

  • lead paint.

  • The makeup used by ancient Egyptians

  • was high in nitric oxide, which boosts the immune system

  • and helps fight off disease.

  • So the eyeliner might have had the added effect

  • of protecting the eye from infections,

  • while hopefully balancing out that whole lead poisoning

  • thing.

  • Temples in ancient Egypt were true community centers,

  • in that they acted both as places of worship

  • and as depositories for the nation's wealth.

  • That meant for most of the period

  • each temple was also a granary.

  • Remember earlier when we said that people were paid in beer?

  • That's partially because beer is delicious,

  • but mostly because money just didn't exist yet.

  • Coinage didn't appear in Egypt until much later,

  • which meant grain was the currency everyone used.

  • Administrators at each temple would dole out grain

  • accordingly, to pay everyone's wages, with a low income

  • job bringing home about 10 loaves of bread

  • and two jugs of beer.

  • Despite living next to one of the mightiest