One in ten young adults believe the Pyramids of Giza were built by aliens, and that the Ancient Egyptians had mastered time travel, research has found. A study of 2,000 adults also found that 21 percent, of 18-34-year-olds, believe the Pyramids of Giza were built in alignment with the stars – despite no evidence of this.
And 17 percent believe the myth that there is a hidden maze below the paws of the Great Sphinx.
It also emerged 56 percent of all adults polled admit they know “next to nothing” about Ancient Egypt.
Just six percent are aware the era lasted 3,000 years – with 26 percent of those aged 18 to 34 under the impression it was no more than a century.
Meanwhile, 21 percent of adults weren’t sure that Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, was a real person – and 48 percent don’t know that cats are associated with this time period.
The study was commissioned to mark the launch of Total War: PHARAOH, with SEGA Europe Limited and Creative Assembly teaming up with historian, Bettany Hughes, to open the “Ancient Legacies of Egypt” exhibition at The Outernet London.
It features sand sculptures made by Sand In Your Eye – including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Great Sphinx of Giza, and a bust of Ramesses III, each weighing in at 800kg, and standing 1.7 metres tall.
Bettany Hughes said: “Ancient Egypt was such a fascinating period in history.
“This new research clearly underlines how people passionately want to learn more about such an intriguing era, which has captured the hearts and minds of historians for centuries.
“I hope the “Ancient Legacies of Egypt” exhibition, with its intricately detailed recreations of architectural masterpieces, will inspire visitors to discover more about Ancient Egypt.”
The study also found only 32 percent of adults can confidently name any of the key landmarks built in Ancient Egypt.
And 10 percent claimed to have never heard of the Pyramids of Giza, while eight percent aren’t familiar with the Great Sphinx.
It also emerged 89 percent don’t know it took the Ancient Egyptians 20 years to build the Great Pyramid.
And 41 percent were unaware that the only surviving structure of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu.
Meanwhile, as many as 71 percent don’t know Tutankhamun, arguably the most famous pharaoh from Ancient Egypt, was just in his late teens when he died.
And most (56 percent) aren’t aware the young pharaoh’s tomb was found in the 20th Century.
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But while 52 percent know British archaeologist, Howard Carter, is credited with the discovery, 48 percent have no idea Tutankhamun’s tomb was found in the Valley of the Kings.
Nearly a quarter (24 percent), of 18-34-year-olds, think it was discovered in the Great Pyramid, while five percent think it was found at the bottom of the river Nile.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 79 percent of adults think it’s “important” to be knowledgeable about history.
Ancient Egypt (39 percent) is the era they’re most interested in, followed by World War I (33 percent) and World War II (33 percent).
Todor Nikolov, game director for Total War: PHARAOH, said: “We chose Ancient Egypt as the next chapter in our historical strategy series because it remains one of the most iconic periods in the history of humankind.
“Thousands of years after its downfall, its breath-taking architecture, charismatic leaders, and epic tales of warfare, remain some of the most alluring to have ever existed.
“During development, our team fell in love with Ancient Egypt as we uncovered so much about life at the time, especially how the different leaders waged war and left their mark on history.”
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