Interesting Ancient History Facts You Definitely Didn’t Learn In School

Cool Facts
4 min readJul 12, 2020
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Turns out school doesn’t teach us all we need to know about ancient history. Beyond the well-known — the pyramids, kings, and wars that fill our textbooks — the history of our world is full of incredible stories, societies, and lives that most of us will never hear about.

When we think ancient, the first thought that comes to our head is unsophisticated or backward. But, what history has to say is completely opposite. Sure, the ancient people, at times, had strange traditions and rituals with strange laws and rules, but there was also advanced innovation and technological intelligence that never ceases to astonish us. So here are a few facts about ancient civilizations, some of which are just plain weird while the others are utterly sophisticated and cultured.

1. Shake On It

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The tradition of greeting another person by shaking hands dates at least as far back as the Ancient Greeks. One column at the Acropolis even shows the Greek goddess of marriage, Hera, shaking hands with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena.

2. In ancient Egypt, men could take time off from work to care for menstruating wives and daughters.

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The workmen were well-provided for and there is evidence to suggest that they would take time off to care for their wives and daughters when they were menstruating.

Women in ancient Egypt had greater rights than in any other civilization of the time. They could own land, initiate divorce, own and operate their own business, become scribes, priests, seers, dentists, and doctors. Although men were dominant and held the most important positions in society as a general rule, there is ample evidence of positions in which women had authority over men.

3. Rome Invented the Shopping Mall

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