From iconic Hollywood films to modern-day fashion, the influence of Ancient Egypt can be seen all around us.
History of Ancient Egypt
Over the years, Ancient Egypt has had a profound influence on pop culture. From the early days of cinema to modern-day video games, this great civilization’s legacy appears throughout popular media.
It’s no wonder that early filmmakers were interested in Egypt since, at the start of the 20th century, countries like Germany and England were conducting archaeological studies there. One of the earliest examples of Ancient Egypt influencing pop culture can be seen in the 1917 film “Cleopatra,” based on the Shakespearean play of the same name. This film was one of the first feature-length films ever made and was a huge box office success.
Figures like Cleopatra have also been paramount in the fashion world, as many designers and make-up artists have chosen to recreate her iconic look with a modern twist. In gaming, the pharaoh queen has also been an essential character in video games like Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
It’s safe to say Ancient Egypt has played a crucial role in shaping modern sensibilities. Below are a few categories where the Nile civilization still shines bright.
Ancient Egypt in Film
From its beginnings, the film industry has been fascinated with Ancient Egypt. For one, the pyramids, temples, and hieroglyphics are visually stunning. The ancient civilization also has many amazing stories and legends to tell.
As mentioned earlier, Ancient Egypt was often in the news at the turn of the last century since it was a famous archaeological site. Today, Egypt continues to be a land of rich culture and civilization. Ancient Egypt in film reflects that same sustained curiosity from outsiders and it has remained one of cinema’s most beloved genres.
Many films reflect the West’s curiosity about this ancient civilization. One of the earliest films ever made, “The Mummy” (1932), was a historical epic about an Egyptian mummy who is awoken by archaeologists rummaging through his tombs.
More recently, films like “The Prince of Egypt” (1998) and “Gods of Egypt”(2016) have used the country as a backdrop for action and adventure. Whether it’s a historical epic like “Cleopatra” (1963) or a fantasy adventure like “The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010), there’s always something new to explore in this rich and fascinating culture.
Ancient Egypt in Video Games
Ancient Egypt has been a popular video game setting for many years. Some early examples include games like Pyramids of Ra and Tutankhamun, both released in the 1980s. Since then, many more games have been set in Ancient Egypt, ranging from small indie titles to massive AAA releases.
One of the most popular games set in the fabled land is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Origins. The game is set in Egypt during the Ptolemaic period and features a detailed and accurate recreation of Egyptian culture and history. Other popular games set in Ancient Egypt include Age of Empires III, Pharaoh, and Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile.
On the other hand, adventurer games like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider have also used Ancient Egypt as a reference. Players often have to search through tombs and collect artifacts in these games, absorbing the fascinating world of the pharaohs as they go. Additionally, online gaming developers have used both Ancient Egypt and adventurer titles to inspire online slot games. Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead uses Ancient Egypt as a backdrop while also borrowing from Lara Croft-style stories. The game has five reels and ten pay lines and is best-known for its expanding wilds.
Ancient Egypt continues to be a popular setting for video games due to its rich history and culture. The popularity of games set here shows no signs of slowing down, with several new releases planned for the coming years.
Ancient Egypt in Pop Music
Ancient Egypt had a significant influence on pop culture, particularly pop music. One of the most famous examples is The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” which topped the charts in 1986.
Music producer Liam Sternberg got the idea for the song while watching people on a ferry. Trying to maintain their balance, the producer claimed that their poses were similar to the images found in Ancient Egyptian paintings.
A more modern example might be Katy Perry’s music video for her song “Dark Horse.” The music video is set in Ancient Egypt, with pharaohs coming to impress her. As an all-powerful goddess, Katy Perry uses her powers to control the pharaohs and get what she wants.
Of course, those are just a few top hits with Ancient Egyptian themes, but there are more including songs by Michael Jackson and Space Cowboy.
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