What could be a more perfect place for inspiration when designing Ancient Egyptian t-shirts than Cyprus? Well Egypt perhaps, but on our summer holiday I still found time to design our new range of Egyptian-inspired tops! It helped that we found this amazing bar near our house which was filled to the brim with Ancient Egyptian art (I'm sure it was all authentic...). So, sitting there sipping a Keo surrounded by hieroglyphics and statues of Anubis I got sketching! I also found out some surprising facts about Ancient Egypt which I was doing my research:
- There were more than 700 different hieroglyphs in the Egyptian alphabet.
- If you unwrapped the bandages of an Ancient Egyptian mummy they would stretch for 1.6km.
- Beer was the national currency in Ancient Egypt. Pyramid workers were paid 1 gallon (4 litres) of beer per day.
- There were more than 2,000 different Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses ranging from gods of fertility and luck to those who were in charge of beer, digestion and partying!
- Cleopatra wasn't actually Egyptian, she was a Greek Macedonian!
- Pharaohs were mostly fat, unlike the idealized portraits we see in Ancient Egyptian art. Their diet consisted mostly of beer, wine, bread and honey and they were also prone to diabetes. One example of this was Queen Hatshepsut who was actually obese and balding, contrary to the depictions on her sarcophagus.
- There are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt
- Toilets were found in many Ancient Egyptian tombs.
- Ancient Egyptians hunted hippos, it's thought that a bite from a hippo could even have caused King Tutankhamun's death as it would explain the horrific injuries he was embalmed with: his chest wall and heart were missing - something which was radically different from other burials.
- Cats were worshiped as gods in Ancient Egypt and most households had cats as pets to bring good luck. When their cat died the owner would shave off their eyebrows in mourning.
Surprising eh? Anyway, here are some more pictures of the incredible Sfinx bar, and you can see some of my designs below. I'd love to know what you think of our new Ancient Egypt t-shirts!