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Ancient Egypt Facts for Kids

1. Hieroglyphs

 The Ancient Egyptians developed their own form of writing: hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphs were pictures or symbols that represented words, sounds or ideas.

They were used on temples and tombs to tell the story of an Egyptian’s life and death. They were carved into stone and wood, but they were also painted onto papyrus.

The Ancient Egyptians used over 700 hieroglyphs.

2. Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh. He was known as the Boy King because he was just 9 years old when he became the ruler.

His tomb in the Valley of the Kings was discovered by English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 and is considered one of the most important archaeological finds in history.

His tomb contained a huge amount of treasure, including a solid gold coffin and the famous golden mask of Tutankhamun.

3. The Pyramids

Pyramids are huge structures that the Ancient Egyptians built as tombs for their pharaohs. There are over 100 pyramids still standing in Egypt today.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest wonders of the world and one of the only remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The pyramids were made of stone and there was a passage leading to the burial chamber at the bottom of the pyramid.

4. Pharaohs

Ancient Egypt was ruled by pharaohs, who were considered to be gods on Earth.

Their roles included protecting the people from other gods and goddesses who might harm them. They had power over life and death, which meant that everyone had to obey them or risk punishment from the gods.

Tutankhamun and Cleopatra are two of the more famous pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

5. Gods and Goddesses

Gods and goddesses played an important role in Ancient Egypt. Some of them were good (like Ra, who protected people from evil spirits) and others were evil (like Set or Sekhmet, who wanted to destroy humans).

There were also many other gods and goddesses that played different roles in life: Bastet was a cat-headed goddess of fertility; Anubis was a god who watched over the dead.

Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses often had a human body and an animal head.

6. Obelisks

Obelisks were often used in Ancient Egypt as grave markers for pharaohs and other important people. They were also used to mark important places such as temples and palaces and were often decorated with hieroglyphs.

An obelisk is a tall, four-sided stone pillar with a pointed top.

Some real examples of Ancient Egyptian obelisks can be seen in cities such as London, Paris and Rome.

7. The Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799, allowed experts to translate hieroglyphs for the first time because it had the same text written in three different languages: Hieroglyphs, Demotic script (a simplified form of hieroglyphs), and Greek (the language spoken by most Europeans at that time).

It allowed scholars to finally translate hieroglyphs into other languages.

8. The Afterlife

The Egyptians believed that life after death was very important.

They created elaborate burial procedures that involved mummification, where they preserved a body by removing internal organs, drying the body and wrapping it in linen.

Pharaohs were also buried with treasure and even mummified pets to help them in the afterlife.

9. The Calendar

The Ancient Egyptians used a calendar based on the phases of the moon. In fact, they were the first people to use a lunar calendar, which is still in use today.

They developed a 365-day calendar with 12 months, each month having 30 days.

They added five extra days at the end of each year to make up for the extra quarter-moon they missed out on.

10. Mummification

Mummification was an important part of Egyptian culture: they believed that they could live forever if their bodies were preserved after death.

The organs were removed from the body in the process, with some being placed inside canopic jars.

The mummy was wrapped in layers of linen, then placed inside a stone sarcophagus (a coffin), before being buried inside large tombs. The whole process took 70 days.



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