( I could NOT resist posting this XD ) Original article
Researchers find key time for conception was in July and August to coincide with the Nile flooding
- Ancient Egyptians mainly had sex in July and August meaning there were 20 per cent more births in March and April than in other months of the year
- Most deaths among women of childbearing age occurred in these months
- Beliefs about impact of Nile floods on fertility may explain birth patterns
- Conception rates were lowest in January because Egyptian Christian beliefs discouraged sex during Advent and Lent
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.
A Roman mosaic depicting the flooding of the Nile from the 1st century BC. Researchers say beliefs about the impact of Nile floods on fertility may explain birth patterns in the region
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.
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.
The medina district in the settlement of Al-Qasr in the Dakhla Oasis of western Egypt, where the researchers studied the skeletons of children to find the time of the year they were born
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.