Out of all of the archaeological sites and cultures we have discussed over the course of the semester, the one that fascinated me the most was Ancient Egypt. Our discussion of Ancient Egypt encapsulated so many topics, ranging from the pyramids and the Sphinx, to pseudoarchaeology. I think my interest stems from the wide range of topics we discussed because I was previously unaware there was so much information. It was interesting to finally learn about what Egypt is iconically known for: it’s ancient pyramids and sites.
The pseudoarchaeology lectures stuck out to me especially, probably due to the fact that most of these so-called theories had zero evidence to back them up, or the evidence was entirely fabricated. The two men with PhDs, John Anthony West and Dr. Robert M. Schoch, are particularly confusing. These people are well-educated, yet they choose to believe in outlandish made up stories. And what’s worse, they take time to draw these absurd conclusions to “prove” why their theories are correct. Like what nut job thinks aliens actually built the pyramids? Or that they were built by the lost city of Atlantis and there’s a secret library of documents housed inside? Pyramidiots is the most accurate nickname for these sort of people. These theories also completely discredit the people, the Egyptians, who actually built the pyramids. The ethnocentrism surrounding this topic is maddening and infuriating.
I also learned a great deal concerning these topics. I didn’t know the Valley of the Kings was so extensive, and had so many burial chambers within it. Another fact I found intriguing was that the chambers varied in sizes and shapes. Some were very small with only one or two rooms, and others had several rooms and passageways. I also thought it as mind-blowing that new discoveries are still being made. The discovery of King Tut’s tomb was found only after people believed The Valley of Kings was completely exhausted of tombs. It just goes to show that there is more than meets the eye and there is always more to discover.
Egyptomania is still alive and well today, and for good reason. These enormous stone pyramids are astounding, and people continue to have an interest in them and why they’re there. Egyptomania may not be as prominent as it was many years ago, but the fascination is still apparent. I would enjoy traveling to Egypt and seeing all of the archaeological sites we discussed.