Ancient Egypt Q&A

The Egyptians were one of the most advanced civilizations in the world, starting from around 3100 BC until they were conquered by the Romans in 30 BC.

The Biggest Pyramid of All

Egyptian Pyramids
Egyptian Pyramids (Photo by: David McEachan)

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for King Khufu. It is the biggest of all the pyramids and stands at 137m (it was 9.5cm taller before it became eroded). It is estimated to weigh around 6.5 million tonnes. According to, the base of the pyramid is 230m² (almost the size of 10 football fields), and you’d have to climb 203 steps to reach the top. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – and the only one still stands!

There are many theories about the building of the pyramids, with some even calling them aliens structures. But the Egyptians actually used basic tools and machinery, as well as tens of thousands of workers to construct them.

Did you know? There is a long theory that an ancient library, called the ‘Hall of Records’, exists beneath the Sphinx. In the 1990s, some excavation was done to see if it was true, but nothing was found, except for some naturally formed caves and tunnels.

Why does the Sphinx have no nose?

Sphinx Statue In Egypt
Sphinx Statue In Egypt (Photo by: Rene Asmussen)

This giant 20m high statue, called the Sphinx (also the Great Sphinx of Giza), was built in the Egyptian  desert 4,500 years ago. His job is to protect the Khafre pyramid at Giza. With the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion, he is one of Egypt’s most well-known sculptures. What is  remarkable is that he was carved from one giant limestone rock. One noticeable missing feature  is the nose. No one is quite certain what happened to it. Some speculate that it was blasted off  by canon fire when Napoleon attacked, but drawings of the statue before those times showed  him without a nose. The most popular answer is that he was vandalized by a man who took offence to local peasants making offerings to the Sphinx way back in 1378.

Can you solve the Sphinx’s riddle?

Greek legends say that Sphinx would eat any travelers who passed and could not correctly answer this riddle:

What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?

In the heroic tale of Oedipus, he gives the correct answer, and the Sphinx dies.

What is your answer


What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?

The answer is ‘man’. As a baby, you crawl on all fours, As an adult, you walk on two legs, and, when you are old, you use a walking stick.


What was the journey of dead?

Ancient Egyptians believed that, when you die, your soul had to go through a journey so that it could be judged by the gods. If your soul passed and was deemed good, then you got to have a happy afterlife. If not, you were eaten by a monster… How good you were could be judged by the weight of your heart. The lighter your heart the better, because  a ‘bad’ heart would be weighed down by evil deeds.

What did ancient Egyptians do for fun?

Senet Egyptian Board Game
Senet Egyptian Board Game (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

They loved board games! Many paintings show people playing a game called senet. We cannot be sure of the rules, bit it was played with a long board painted with squares. Players move by throwing dice or sticks. Queens and pharaohs played, and Tutankhamun was even buried with board games in his tomb.

What pets did Ancient Egyptians keep?

Ancient Egyptians loved animals and were one of the first civilizations to keep them as household pets. They liked cats, as they were linked to the goddess Bastet. Others kept baboons, dogs, hawks and even lions. Many of these pets were so beloved that they were mummified and buried with their owners.

What is a mummy really?

Egyptian Mummy
Egyptian Mummy (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

Ancient Egyptians would preserve the bodies of the dead, because they believed the body needed to be undamaged, or else the spirit would suffer in the afterlife. They went through quite a process to mummify a person. In fact, it took around 70 days! They would dry the body out using salt and then use tree sap and oils to varnish it. Then came the bandages – they would wrap the body (hence the way you see mummies in movies) and decorate them with jewellery and a mask that looked like the person’s face. After that, the mummy was placed inside a coffin (or several coffins, if the person was rich).