2018-06-21 12:19:37date was

Sign in

Cairo Gossip Login Area

Connect with:
  • Inventions You Didn’t Realise Date Back to Ancient Egypt


    Yes, we know the Pharaohs were responsible for the creation of the written word, papyrus and one of the Seven Wonders of the World – yadda, yadda, yadda.  However, those aren’t the only things that originated in Ancient Egypt.

    Behold, eight things you didn’t realise our forefathers basically invented.

    Pregnancy Tests


    The earliest known pregnancy test dates back to 1350 BC in Ancient Egypt. Women would urinate on wheat and barley seeds and if either sprouted, it meant they were pregnant. They even believed that if the wheat sprouted faster, it meant you were having a girl, whereas if the barley sprouted first it would be a boy.
    In 1963 a study reproduced this test and found that it was 70% accurate at predicting pregnancy! The scientists hypothesised that the test worked because the higher levels of estrogen in pregnant women’s urine promotes seed growth (pun not intended).



    Some of us would be lost without a way to mark important dates and schedule things according to the time of year, but for the Pharaohs, a calendar meant the difference between feast and famine. Without a calendar, Ancient Egyptians had no way of knowing what time of year the flooding of the Nile would occur, and hence their crops were at risk; so they came up with a three-season calendar based on the 12-month lunar cycle that marked the time for inundation, growing and harvest.

    Black Eyeliner


    Eyeliner dates as far back as 4000 BC and was first invented by the Pharaohs. The mixture of soot and galena (a mineral) not only served a cosmetic purpose, but also protected their skin from the sweltering sun. 
    The black eyeliner was worn by both men and women alike, and was considered a sign of status.

    High-Heeled Shoes


    That’s right – early depictions of high-heels can be seen on ancient Egyptian murals.  In these murals, nobles wore these shoes to set them apart from the rabble, which were usually barefoot.
    As with eyeliner, high-heels were worn by both sexes. Butchers also sometimes wore them in order to avoid the blood of their slaughter.

    Breath Fresheners


    Bad breath is usually a sign of poor dental health. However, unlike us, the Pharaohs didn’t consume sugary soft drinks and food; the stones they used to grind flour to make bread introduced a lot of sand and grit to their diet, which in turn damaged the enamel of their teeth and led to infections. In an attempt to mask the resulting odour, the Ancient Egyptians combined frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon & honey and shaped the mixture into little pellets that they could suck on like lozenges.



    In further attempt to combat the effect of their gritty diet on their teeth, the ancient Egyptians created a form of toothpaste made from ox hooves, ashes, eggshells and pumice. 
    Along with the Babylonians, they’re also credited with inventing the first toothbrushes, which were fashioned from frayed wooden twigs (getting splinters in your gums has gotta hurt).



    In Narmoutheos, a settlement 90km south of Cairo that dates back to the Roman occupation period, archaeologists have discovered a room containing a set of lanes and a collection of balls of various sizes. Unlike our modern bowling where the objective is to knock down pins at the end of the alley, Ancient Egyptian bowlers stood at opposite ends of the lane attempting to roll balls of different sizes into the centre hole and knock their opponent’s ball off course.

    Door Locks


    You can rest assured that no one will walk in on you whilst you are in the bathroom, and you’ve got the Pharaohs to thank for it. Ancient Egyptians invented a security system in which a hollowed-out bolt in the door was connected to pins that were manipulated by a key; when the key pushed upwards on the pins, they slid away from the bolt-shaft.
    However, these keys were much larger and heavier than the ones we use today – the biggest ones were about 0.6 meters long!

    That’s all well and good, but you’d think they’d have invented sunscreen, for Amun’s sake.

    By Salma Thanatos Rizk