Why the Egyptians Only Had Sex In The Summer?
Why the Egyptians only had sex in the summer: Researchers find key time for conception was in July and August to coincide with the Nile flo...
Ancient Egyptians primarily had sex in the summer, new research reveals.
The most popular time for love-making was July and August meaning that 20 per cent more babies were born in March and April than in other months.
As a consequence, most deaths among women of childbearing age also occurred in these months.
Archaeologists working at a cemetery in the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt excavated 765 graves and were able to establish the month of each person’s death because the graves were all pointed towards the rising sun.
Live Science reported that they uncovered the graves of 124 babies that had died 18 to 45 weeks after conception – putting these two pieces of information together enabled the researchers to piece together the most popular time for love-making.
The findings are particularly surprising because in other ancient Mediterranean cultures fewer babies are thought to have been conceived during the hot summer months because the heat lowered libido and possibly affected sperm count.
It is thought that in ancient Egypt beliefs about fertility and the Nile flood may have been responsible for the baby booms.
The residents of the Dakhleh Oasis believed that the river was the key to their land’s fertility and the floods occurred during the summer months meaning that there were widespread celebrations.
The researchers believe that the peak in spring births continued until the 1920s or 30s.
In contrast, conception rates fell to annual lows in January and this is believed to have been because Christian believes required abstinence during Advent and Lent.
Additionally, it is thought that early Egyptian Christians were encouraged to avoid sex on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Finally, it is believed that some form of contraception must have been in use and it is thought that recipes including crocodile dung were so unpleasant that they put people off intercourse altogether.