Ancient Egypt in popular culture
No ancient culture draws more people in than ancient Egypt – clearly, other mediums agree!
Almost everyone on the planet has heard of the ancient Egyptian civilisation and all the glory surrounding it. Ancient Egypt was the most prolific civilization in the Mediterranean world for almost 30 decades.
During this fascinating period, a grand civilization just continued to expand. Of course, only the pharaohs and the wealthy side of ancient Egypt got to experience the truly spectacular and fantastical elements of the time.
Hieroglyphics, gods, architecture, fashion and the general culture continue to impress and intrigue people even today. Modern society has been obsessed with ancient Egyptian culture for centuries with the term Egyptomania coined after Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign to Egypt. It essentially means that people went mad for Egyptian culture and it only increased as we understood more about the culture. One of the biggest discoveries of the 20th century included uncovering Tutankhamun’s tomb which kickstarted Tut-mania across the world.
Ultimately, this hype for ancient Egypt led to a rise in the culture being depicted in popular media. Naturally, it began with art and literature but grew to movies and further mediums as technology developed. By the turn of the millennium, there must’ve been at least thousands of different depictions of ancient Egypt across the world.
Naturally, the music world could not ignore the captivating draw to ancient Egypt with many different artists being inspired to create songs and music videos. Through the past few decades, so many songs have told stories within the context of ancient Egypt.
The Bangles released a song called ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ that is all about walking like ancient hieroglyphics. Music videos such as ‘Remember the Time’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Dark Horse’ by Katy Perry were designed to replicate ancient Egyptian tombs with the set and actors dressed up to fit the theme. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like an Egyptian Pharaoh?
The setting of ancient Egypt has always been used in strategy games series such as Civilization and Age of Mythology. In Civilization Revolution, you can play as Cleopatra or other famous historical figures to develop your civilization in a turn-based strategy game.
Perhaps the most famous depiction in video games come from action games such as Tomb Raider or Assassin’s Creed Origins. Most of the Tomb Raider games see Lara Croft exploring different tombs in search of treasure and fighting monsters. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Tomb Raider: The Osiris Codex are primarily focused on ancient Egypt and nothing else. Ultimately, there is still so much left undiscovered in this ancient society, and these games give players the power to experience an extension of the culture themselves.
Arguably one of the most popular themes within the online slot community, ancient Egyptian slots have dominated the market. With a focus on the decadence and glamour of the ancient Civilisation, online slots are centred around a Pharaoh or a deity.
They are undeniable staples within the slot community and add loads more excitement to the experience. Of course, combining the thrills of Egypt with the chance to win cash prizes is appealing to most people. What a better way to entice people to play than showcasing the majesty of ancient Egypt?
Different forms of media have romanticised many different pharaohs and leaders within Ancient Egypt. The most notable one of these has to be Cleopatra, the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Her reign and relationships have been depicted in many Hollywood films with some of the most notorious being Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra, Gabriel Pascal’s Caesar and Cleopatra and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra.
With so many scandals and theories, it’s no surprise that this became a focus for movies. Of course, there’s the other side of ancient Egypt in movies that follows a more supernatural take. A genre consisting of mummy movies soon found its home and became iconic. From Boris Karloff as the terrifying mummy to Christopher Lee in the Hammer Film Productions, it became apparent that ancient Egypt just set the perfect stage for movies.