Top 10 BIGGEST Secrets & Mysteries of Ancient Egypt
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Top 10 BIGGEST Secrets & Mysteries of Ancient Egypt

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Conspiracies are one thing, but these are actual mysteries. For this list, we'll be looking at the unexplained historical events, objects, and locales about or related to ancient Egypt that still puzzle historians to this day. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 BIGGEST Secrets & Mysteries of Ancient Egypt.

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Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 BIGGEST Secrets & Mysteries of Ancient Egypt

Conspiracies are one thing, but these are actual mysteries. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 biggest secrets and mysteries of ancient Egypt.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the unexplained historical events, objects, and locales about or related to ancient Egypt that still puzzle historians to this day.

#10: The Ancient Kingdom of Punt

Ancient Egypt’s skill at building has left behind evidence of other contemporary civilizations whose own longevity was considerably more short-lived. One such example is the kingdom of Punt, the exact location of which has remained unknown, despite being often mentioned in Egyptian writings. What is known is that Punt traded exotic animals and goods with Egypt. Recent findings have helped narrow the location down, as DNA comparisons with a mummified baboon may indicate that Punt was located somewhere between present day Ethiopia and Eritrea. Still, even this is speculation and the true location may never be known.

#9: The Lost Egyptian Labyrinth

Ancient Egypt featured many marvelous constructions, and while the most famous are the ones that survive to this day, the most enduring ones may not have been the most impressive. Numerous ancient historians and researchers have described a labyrinth that once existed in Egypt. This maze was consistently described as being several stories tall, with hundreds of rooms, under a roof made of a single massive block of stone. Although one possible location at Hawara has been identified underground, archaeologists have yet to fully explore the structure, so the labyrinth’s existence remains unconfirmed.

#8: The Pyramid of Djedefre

Everyone’s familiar with the Great Pyramids of Giza, but Ancient Egypt had several lesser known pyramids as well. One such megalith was that of the pyramid of the pharaoh Djedefre. Located north of Giza, Djedefre’s pyramid is actually in ruins. According to records, the pyramid was meant to be the highest, though not the biggest one of all. Its position on a hill added to its height. Why it now stands in ruin is a matter of some debate. Was it destroyed, either by invaders or Djedefre’s own people, or merely unfinished? In either case, it remains a mystery.

#7: The Etruscan Mummy

Most mummies are wrapped in plain bandages, but one unusual example discovered in Alexandria, Egypt was actually encased in a book made of linen strips. Even more bizarre, the book was written, not in Ancient Egyptian, but Etruscan, an extinct language once spoken in what is now Italy. Very little of the language is known today, so no one knows exactly what the book says, although some have speculated that it may be a religious calendar, given the few words that can be translated. The mummy is thought to actually be a tailor’s wife from the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, but why she was wrapped in a foreign text is still unknown.

#6: The Unidentified Queen

2015 saw the discovery of an Egyptian Queen of the 5th Dynasty in a tomb found close to Cairo. Inscriptions on the walls indicate that she was the “wife of the king,” and “mother of the king,” which implies that her son ascended to the throne. The queen has been labeled as Khentkaus III or Khentakawess III, as her name is inscribed in her tomb. While it’s believed that she was the wife of Pharoah Neferefre and the mother of Pharoah Menkauhor, given that she was found near tombs devoted to those rulers, her true identity is not confirmed.

#5: The Great Pyramid’s ‘Hidden Chamber’

The pyramids of Ancient Egypt are arguably the most famous relics of the civilization and none more so than the pyramids of Giza. The Great Pyramid has long been a locale of fascination for researchers, though for nearly a century, no new chambers were found within it. Recently, a scan of the structure revealed what may be a hidden chamber within the massive megalith. What this chamber’s purpose might have been, why it was designed to be inaccessible, and even if it really exists at all are questions still to be answered.

#4: The Great Sphinx of Giza

There are several mysteries relating to Egyptian sphinxes we could talk about, such as the partial one located in Israel. Still, none of the statues of the fascinating mythological creatures have fired imaginations to quite the degree as the Great Sphinx of Giza. Fundamental questions still remain about the Sphinx, including who precisely built it, when exactly was it constructed, its purpose, and its relation to the nearby pyramids. Many theories about it abound as well, such as that its face was carved down from a larger one. Its mysteries may remain for some time too, since the Egyptian government is focused more on preserving it than uncovering its secrets.

#3: The Vanishing of Queen Nefertiti

Despite a bust of her likeness making her one of the recognizable figures of ancient Egypt, many mysteries still abound about Nefertiti, such as whether she may have ruled Egypt alone following the death of her husband, Akhenaten. For many years, it was believed she simply vanished from the historical record during the pharaoh’s 12th year reigning. However, recent research shows further evidence of her presence after that. Even so, archaeologists have been unable to locate her tomb, leaving her death just as mysterious as her life.

#2: How King Tut Died

If Nefertiti is the one of the most famous Ancient Egyptian women, the pharaoh Tutankhamun is one of its most well-known men. Though speculation about a curse surrounding his tomb abounds, perhaps the biggest mystery involving the young king was how he died. Only in his late teens at his time of death, King Tut appears to have suffered from a host of genetic defects and conditions, which may have contributed to his early demise. In addition, evidence suggests he was also suffering from malaria. A few organs were not located in his tomb, leading some to conclude he died away from home, possibly in battle. We’ll likely never know for sure.

#1: How the Pyramids Were Built

The pyramids are literally one of Ancient Egypt’s biggest mysteries. Everything about them has been subject to intense debate, research, and speculation, especially their construction. How the colossal structures were constructed with the materials and technology available at the time has been a mystery for centuries. Conventional wisdom has long held that slaves built them, yet even this has recently been challenged, with many insisting they were skilled laborers who received compensation. Another recent theory holds that the massive stones were moved through wetting sand to reduce friction. Given how long their construction has been debated, we don’t see this mystery being solved any time soon.