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Concept: Coptic language


The Ancient Egyptians wrote Calendars of Lucky and Unlucky Days that assigned astronomically influenced prognoses for each day of the year. The best preserved of these calendars is the Cairo Calendar (hereafter CC) dated to 1244-1163 B.C. We have presented evidence that the 2.85 days period in the lucky prognoses of CC is equal to that of the eclipsing binary Algol during this historical era. We wanted to find out the vocabulary that represents Algol in the mythological texts of CC. Here we show that Algol was represented as Horus and thus signified both divinity and kingship. The texts describing the actions of Horus are consistent with the course of events witnessed by any naked eye observer of Algol. These descriptions support our claim that CC is the oldest preserved historical document of the discovery of a variable star. The period of the Moon, 29.6 days, has also been discovered in CC. We show that the actions of Seth were connected to this period, which also strongly regulated the times described as lucky for Heaven and for Earth. Now, for the first time, periodicity is discovered in the descriptions of the days in CC. Unlike many previous attempts to uncover the reasoning behind the myths of individual days, we discover the actual rules in the appearance and behaviour of deities during the whole year.

Concepts: Moon, Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptians, Egyptian Arabic, Egyptian language, Coptic language, Variable star


This study was based on data for a sample of 1756 Egyptian primary school children (863 boys and 893 girls) aged 5-11 years assessed for intelligence with Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM). The results showed that boys obtained a slightly higher IQ than girls and had greater variance.

Concepts: Primary school, Primary education, School, Flynn effect, Race and intelligence, Egyptian language, Coptic language, Sex and intelligence


The curse of ancient Egyptian DNA was lifted by a recent study which sequenced the mitochondrial genomes (mtGenome) of 90 ancient Egyptians from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq. Surprisingly, these ancient inhabitants were more closely related to those from the Near East than to contemporary Egyptians. It has been accepted that the timeless highway of the Nile River seeded Egypt with African genetic influence, well before pre-Dynastic times. Here we report on the successful recovery and analysis of the complete mtGenome from a burial recovered from a remote Romano-Christian cemetery, Kellis 2 (K2). K2 serviced the ancient municipality of Kellis, a village located in the Dakhleh Oasis in the southwest desert in Egypt. The data were obtained by high throughput sequencing (HTS) performed independently at two ancient DNA facilities (Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Dover, DE, USA and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA). These efforts produced concordant haplotypes representing a U1a1a haplogroup lineage. This result indicates that Near Eastern maternal influence previously identified at Abusir el-Meleq was also present further south, in ancient Kellis during the Romano-Christian period.

Concepts: DNA, Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptians, Egyptian Arabic, Nile, Egyptian language, Coptic language


To translate and cross-culturally adapt the Skindex-16, a brief skin-disease-specific QoL questionnaire, into Arabic for Egyptians and to evaluate its measurement properties in Egyptian patients with skin disease.

Concepts: Quality, Egypt, Egyptians, Egyptian Arabic, Arabic language, Varieties of Arabic, Egyptian language, Coptic language


Little is known about Coptic migrants' chronic disease health beliefs and treatment-seeking behaviours. Interviews to explore these issues and their relationship with church membership were conducted with 15 Coptic migrants in Southern England. Obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) were most frequently identified as health risks for Coptic migrants. CVD was ascribed to stress and considered amenable to spiritual healing. Lay referral to medical practitioners who were church members was common but may devalue perceptions of family medicine. The Coptic Church functions as a community that addresses members' wider vulnerability. Central to this is the “parish nurse” role of the priest.

Concepts: Medicine, Disease, Chronic, Alexandria, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Egypt, Egyptians, Coptic language


Over many centuries, the ancient Egyptians developed a method of preserving bodies so they would remain lifelike. Mummification of bodies was originally a natural process in Egypt, which evolved to a sophisticated embalming system to preserve the individual for the afterlife. Afterwards, mummification continued to be practiced in Egypt for some three thousand years, lasting until the end of the Christian era In the Coptic necropolis of Qarara (Middle Egypt) a total of 17 mummified individuals were studied during the 2012 campaign. One of them was a 6 to 8 old-year male child, which damaged skull allowed us to see the meningeal structures covering the entire cranial vault, in absence of brain remains. This finding in a child mummy is very exceptional, as reflected in the specialized literature.

Concepts: Ancient Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Egypt, Egyptians, Embalming, Mummy, Coptic language, British Museum


Qatrania wingi is a poorly documented fossil anthropoid known only from Quarry E in the Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Depression, Egypt. This report augments our knowledge of the dental morphology of Qatrania in order to clarify its phylogenetic relationships with other early African anthropoids.

Concepts: Africa, Species, Phylogenetics, Knowledge, Teeth, Cairo, Coptic language


Antiquity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains controversial, and its origins in Americas or in the Old World are disputed. Proponents of the latter frequently refer to RA in ancient Egypt, but validity of those claims has never been examined. Review of all reported RA cases from ancient Egypt revealed that none of them represent real RA, instead being either examples of changing naming conventions or of imprecise diagnostic criteria. Most cases represented osteoarthritis or spondyloarthropathies. Also review of preserved ancient Egyptian medical writings revealed many descriptions of musculoskeletal disorders, but none of them resembled RA. This suggests that RA was absent in ancient Egypt and supports the hypothesis of the New World origin of RA and its subsequent global spread in the last several centuries.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, New World, Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptian Arabic, Ancient history, Egyptian language, Coptic language


Background - Ancient Egypt might be considered the cradle of medicine. The modern literature is, however, sometimes rather too enthusiastic regarding the procedures that are attributed an Egyptian origin. I briefly present and analyze the claims regarding orthopedic surgery in Egypt, what was actually done by the Egyptians, and what may have been incorrectly ascribed to them. Methods - I reviewed the original sources and also the modern literature regarding surgery in ancient Egypt, concentrating especially on orthopedic surgery. Results - As is well known, both literary sources and the archaeological/osteological material bear witness to treatment of various fractures. The Egyptian painting, often claimed to depict the reduction of a dislocated shoulder according to Kocher’s method, is, however, open to interpretation. Therapeutic amputations are never depicted or mentioned in the literary sources, while the specimens suggested to demonstrate such amputations are not convincing. Interpretation - The ancient Egyptians certainly treated fractures of various kinds, and with varying degrees of success. Concerning the reductions of dislocated joints and therapeutic amputations, there is no clear evidence for the existence of such procedures. It would, however, be surprising if dislocations were not treated, even though they have not left traces in the surviving sources. Concerning amputations, the general level of Egyptian surgery makes it unlikely that limb amputations were done, even if they may possibly have been performed under extraordinary circumstances.

Concepts: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptians, Egyptian Arabic, Ancient history, Egyptian language, Coptic language, Predynastic Egypt


It has often been reported that the ancient Egyptians performed tracheostomies. An analysis of this claim demonstrates it to be founded on only two depictions from the Protodynastic period (thirty-first century bc). These depictions are difficult to reconcile with tracheostomy from an anatomical point of view and can more easily be explained as human sacrifices. Considering that Egyptian surgery included only minor procedures even at its zenith during later dynastic periods, it is difficult to imagine that they would have developed such an advanced procedure at such an early date.

Concepts: Ancient Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Egypt, Egyptians, Egyptian Arabic, Egyptian language, Coptic language, Predynastic Egypt