Friday, April 15, 2016

I confess, I am an Egyptaholic

Since I already divulged one of my big geek interests last week, I thought I would just go ahead and get this one out there, too. I mean, as long as you're confessing, you might as well confess everything. You guys are cool with that, right? This totally public internet blog is surely just as sacred and secret as a confession booth. No one could possibly see this. We're in a safe place here.

Ok, here goes: I am an Egyptaholic. I have a weird obsession with Egyptology. Yep, I love ancient Egypt. It's true. Man, that feels good to get off my chest.

Now, don't start quizzing me about the different dynasties and and kingdoms and the years they covered. I can't quote all the minutiae. I know the basics: Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom. God of the underworld: Osiris. Sun God: Ra. Goddess with a head of a cat: Bastet.

But I've never actually taken a class in ancient Egypt or Egyptology (oh, but if I could go back to school and redo it ... ). I have watched almost every documentary available on Netflix about Egypt's history. I've also read too many books to count about ancient Egypt. Both straight history and historical fiction. (I love Michelle Moran's historical fiction books, Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, and Cleopatra's Daughter. Seriously, if you like historical fiction and Egypt, then these are your books. It's not just me, right?)

A couple of my favorite Michelle Moran books from my personal bookshelf.

I even have my very own favorite Egyptologist. I mean, doesn't everyone? Just me? Ok. Well, her name is Kara Cooney, and she is pretty amazing. You should totally follow her on Facebook just to see all the interesting articles she posts. (Side note: a friend once asked me, "So, I see you like a lot of things about Egypt on Facebook. What's that about?" I had to then sheepishly explain my obsession. I sounded like a total dork, I'm sure. Just like I do here. Ahem.) Unfortunately, Cooney's documentaries are no longer on Netflix, but she did write an awesome book called The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt. I devoured it. Seriously, so interesting. I highly recommend it.

Now, in addition to the girl crush I have on Kara Cooney, I have one on everyone's favorite Presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin. I had the pleasure of going with my dad to a reading she did in Kansas City a couple years ago. It was awesome. One day, I hope to get a similar picture to the one below with Kara Cooney signing my copy of her book. Fingers crossed for that day.

Eeek! I was so stupid excited this night. Since, I already admitted I was a dork. Let's just fully embrace it here. If anyone asks, my dream dinner party would totally be me, Kara Cooney, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Michelle Obama. I mean, I doubt I would be able to utter a word, but it would be epic nonetheless.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I can explain why I love ancient Egypt quite as much as I do. In my genealogy post, I wrote about my love for world history, and I suppose this obsession goes along with that. The whole history of Egypt just captures my imagination and won't let go. Think about it. This civilization began in approximately 3150 BC. That's more than 5,000 years ago. Five thousand years. FIVE THOUSAND. Can you even comprehend that? Here in the U.S., we think a building built in 1900 CE is old. Our country is not even 250 years old, yet. We've got 4,750 more years to reach the span of Egypt.

Ancient Egypt existed way before Jesus walked on water. Way before the Romans built the Colosseum. Way before the Kardashians ruined the selfie. Egypt has been around a long time, people.

A benefit of being an ancient civilization situated in a desert climate is that a lot of things managed to survive through the ages. Those dry, hot conditions tend to help with that. Having so many surviving tablets, papyri, temples, etc., feeds the imagination. "The more you know" and all that. It helps put you in the 5,000-year-old sandals of those ancient Egyptians as they walked on the banks of the Nile.

Maybe I would be just as obsessed with the aboriginal population of Australia if we could find as many surviving artifacts describing their ancient lives. Who knows? Oh, we'd also need a Rosetta Stone. Yeah, that helps us understand quite a bit.

So, one of the exciting things happening in Egyptology right now is the theory circulating that King Tut's tomb was not originally made for him. Nicholas Reeves, a British archaeologist, published a paper last year theorizing that another chamber may lay behind the walls of the famous Tut tomb. And, that when Tut died so young, he was hastily placed in a pre-existing burial chamber. Many are hoping that Queen Nefertiti's tomb is the one that lays beyond the walls. Teams have been painstakingly scanning the walls and analyzing the data for the past couple months. It's all very exciting. You know, for me. And other Egyptaholics like me. I am anxiously awaiting an announcement about the conclusion of these scans and analysis like a normal person would wait for what, a movie release? A sports trade announcement? I don't know.

Anyway, this may seem like a random topic for a post. I mean, how many geeky obsessions can I possibly confess to on one blog? If we're keeping a tally, it's kind of high, and I'm slightly embarrassed. But, here's the exciting thing that is happening soon that actually made me think to write this post: a speaker is coming to JCCC to give a presentation called, "Unlocking the Great Pyramid." Can you believe that I'm going to go? Oh yeah. I'm obviously excited. Will I be one of the very few people in my age demographic? Probably. But, I'm getting used to it. I am a dork at heart, that's clear. I should just accept it and embrace it. So, here goes.

I am an Egyptaholic and proud of it.

See you guys at the lecture?

Oh well, more Egypt for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment