Mythbusting Ancient Egypt

If your education is anything like mine, you learned a lot more about ancient Egypt from movies and Sunday school than you ever learned in history class. Along the way, you may have picked up some lore about the pharaohs and the fabulous artifactual legacy they left behind that just isn’t true. Mental Floss is here to set us straight on some common misconceptions about Egypt. For example, there is a story handed down that Napoleon Bonaparte shot off the Sphinx’s nose. Or ordered cannon fire to that end, anyway. I’d never heard that one, but it’s not true. We do have other, more plausible explanations for the missing nose.

Another misconception about the Sphinx is that its body has always been visible. Not so. The body was actually covered in sand for an indeterminate period of time—likely thousands of years—until the 1800s. Despite attempts, it wasn’t until archeologist Selim Hassan dug it out in the 1930s that it was fully visible in modern times.

The painting above is from 1801, which shows the Sphinx buried in sand, but the appearance of the nose is based on speculation. Read more on the Sphinx, and five other debunked myths about ancient Egypt at Mental Floss. You can also see the list in a video if you prefer.

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Source: neatorama

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