How much do you know about Ancient Egypt?

HISTORY

Jaclyn Lavine

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The following 35 questions will prove whether or not you really listened during history class! With pyramids, mummies and more, Ancient Egyptian civilization is an interesting and popular period to study. Prove your history buff status by taking this quiz! Then challenge your friends and see if they can top your score!

What material was used to make paper in Ancient Egypt?

Papyrus was made from the pith of a papyrus plant, which grows along the banks of the Nile River. While papyrus was most notably used for writing, it was also used in the construction of sandals, baskets, rope and reed boats.

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What is the correct order of Egyptian society, from highest to lowest class?

Pharaohs were humans that were elevated to gods. Following the pharaoh in the social hierarchy were the priests. Then came the vizier, who helped the pharaoh with such tasks as collecting taxes. Scribes worked alongside the vizier. At the bottom of the ladder were farmers and slaves.

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What is the Rosetta Stone?

Discovered in 1799, the Rosetta stone is a large stele inscribed with three different scripts. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian - hieroglyphic and demotic - and the bottom is in Ancient Greek. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone was the key to decoding Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

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What is a mastaba?

Before there were pyramids, ancient Egyptians buried their pharoahs and other nobles in royal tombs that were rectangular, with sloping sides and a flat top. Commoners continued to be buried beneath mastabas long after pyramids came into favor for royals.

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What was King Menes' greatest accomplishment?

King Menes was the first ruler responsible for uniting Upper and Lower Egypt. The unification of Egypt under Menes marked the dawn of Egyptian civilization.

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What is a step pyramid?

Before there were pyramids and after there were mastabas, ancient Egyptian royalty were buried in step pyramids. The first step pyramid consisted of six stepped layers of stone and was the tallest building of its time.

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What was the main purpose of a pyramid?

The purpose of a pyramid was to bury the mummified remains surrounded by everything his soul would need in the afterlife. The pharaoh wouldn’t be buried and forgotten. Instead, the cult of the dead king would continue long after his death, and treasures were added to his pyramid on a regular basis.

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Where did Egyptian civilization develop?

Like many other civilizations, Ancient Egypt was developed along a river. The Nile river offered fertile ground, as well as transportation.

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What were the rulers of Egypt called?

The word “pharaoh” means great house or high. The pharaoh was a human man, elevated to a great house or position as a god.

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Who was the first female pharaoh?

Hatshepsut was the first and only female pharaoh. Others came before, including Merneith and Sobeknefru, but Hatshepsut was the first to rule with complete authority and she was often depicted as a male. Hatshepsut came to the throne in 1478 BC. She is lauded as one of the most successful pharaohs.

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What river flows through the desert in North Africa?

Ancient Egyptian civilization would have never existed without the Nile River. The fertile land on which the Egyptians built their bustling cities and civilization came from the Nile.

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What system of writing did the ancient Egyptians use?

The Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics to write. Before this, they used pictographs. Hieroglyphics can represent sounds, objects or ideas.

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What were the ancient Egyptian nobles buried in?

Pharaohs and other nobles were buried in sarcophagi. They were created to remain above ground and were inscribed with images of the afterlife.

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What is a ziggurat?

Some experts believe that the ancient pyramids of Egypt were influenced by the ziggurats of Mesopotamia. Ziggurats were massive raised structures that looked like the later step pyramids of Egypt. They were most often used as shrines, as opposed to burial sites.

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Who was Jean-Francois Champollion?

Jean Champollion was a French scholar and the person responsible for deciphering hieroglyphics. While Egyptian hieroglyphs had been known to scholars for centuries, none had been able to decipher them. Using the Rosetta Stone and the work of some of his rivals, Champollion cracked the code.

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The Nile River is often dangerous because of what?

While the Nile River provided fertile land and nurtured the birth of a civilization, it is also very dangerous. Cataracts, which are shallow areas with obstacles, made it nearly impossible for boats to travel in or out of Egypt. The Nile has six major cataracts.

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The Great Pyramids are one of the great Wonders of the Ancient World. How many Great Pyramids are there?

The are three pyramids that make up the Great Pyramids. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three and was built for Khufu. The somewhat smaller pyramid is called the Pyramid of Khafre, and the most modest of them all is the Pyramid of Menkaure.

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Which were the most important cities in ancient Egypt?

In the Old Kingdom, the most important city was Memphis. During the Middle and New Kingdoms, the city of Thebes was the epicenter of Egyptian civilization.

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What symbol represented the unification of upper and lower Egypt?

The double crown represented the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. The crown is a combination of the White Crown from Upper Egypt and the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. The crown was created when Menes united both parts of Egypt.

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Ancient Egyptian history is divided into what periods?

The Old Kingdom began with King Menes and is also known as the “Age of the Pyramid Builders.” The Middle Kingdom is known as the “Golden Age,” and the New Kingdom is known as the “Imperial Age.”

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How were the intestines stored after mummification?

Intestines were stored in a canopic jar. Four jars were used in total: one each for the intestines, liver, lungs and stomach. The heart, which held the spirit of the deceased, remained in the body.

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What typically decorated the lids of canopic jars, used to store organs?

Canopic jars were typically topped with the likenesses of gods. Imsety, with a human head, topped the jar that contained the liver; Qebehsenuef, with a falcon head, guarded the intestines; Duamutef, the jackal-headed god, topped the jar that contained the stomach; and Hapy, with a baboon head, watched over the lungs.

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What were the two stages of mummification?

The first step of mummification was embalming. During embalming, organs were removed, except for the heart. The body was washed with palm wine and spices, then cured in natron, which is a salt mixture. During the second stage, the body was wrapped in linen strips.

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Who was the earliest known architect in history?

Imhotep was the first known architect in history. He was one of the officials of the Pharaoh Djoser and was responsible for designing the Pyramid of Djoser.

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What is the Valley of the Kings?

Also called the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings, the Valley of the Kings was a part of the city of Thebes. The Valley of the Kings is the burial site of all the pharaohs of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties.

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What is the king's great wife?

The pharaoh had many wives, but the great wife had the most power. The pharaoh may have other lesser wives and concubines to help produce heirs, but the great wife was sometimes wed for diplomatic purposes.

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The Ancient Egyptians were polytheistic. What does this mean?

Polytheistic religions honor multiple gods, rather than just one. Ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods, including Amun, Horus, Anubis and Ra.

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What is senet?

Senet is a board game, popular in Ancient Egypt. A long board was painted with thirty squares, and pieces were moved according to rolls of the dice or throws of special sticks.

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Why were the tombs of the pharaohs filled with treasures?

The journey into the afterlife was long and arduous. The ancient Egyptians equipped each pharaoh with everything he might need, including his companions and slaves.

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What was the purpose of building a pyramid?

The ancient Egyptians built pyramids to house the bodies of the deceased pharaohs, along with items they might need. These massive tombs were constructed so they would stand the test of time.

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What is an obelisk?

An obelisk is a four-sided pillars carved from stone, topped with a pyramid. In Ancient Egypt, obelisks stood at the entrances of temples. They were normally engraved to commemorate an event or to honor a god.

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What is a sphinx?

The heads of these giant figures were normally designed to look like a pharaoh or a god. The Egyptians built sphinxes to guard important areas, such as temples or pyramids.

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How many gates of the underworld would the spirit of a pharaoh have to walk through?

There were twelve gates of the underworld. Each gate was guarded by two gods and a serpent. In order to pass each gate and enter the hall that lay beyond, the pharaoh would need to successfully name the two gods and the serpent who guarded the gate.

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What is King Tut's full name?

Probably the son of Nefertiti and Akhenaten, King Tutankhamun is one of the most famous pharaohs. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings at age 19.

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Who was the last ruler of Ancient Egypt?

The beautiful Cleopatra was the last ruler of Ancient Egypt. The story goes that Cleopatra killed herself with snake venom when she heard of the death of her lover, Marc Antony of Rome.

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