Egyptomania – Past but still present?

This week we learned that Napoleon, whom I have a curious obsession with, traversed to Egypt and that when all the madness started. Napoleon’s obsession the Middle East started when he was a child. He was overjoyed when he pitched the idea to France’s minister – saying that the take over of Egypt would allow France to cut off Britain’s’ access to India. After Napoleon had won the battle, he rewarded his troops by arranging entertainment and tours of the pyramids! Egyptomania! When the whole world became obsessed with Egypt. Of course Napoleon brought biologists, geologists and all the “–gists” known to mankind at the time in order to document the fascinating and mysterious world of the past and present. Who knew that a city of the dead could be so lively? Napoleon’s attempts to perverse the past helped us see what the pyramids of Giza looks like 200+ years ago and birthed “Egyptology,” a well respected field of study at the time. After Napoleon, the obsession with Egypt didn’t stop there! Egyptomania birthed tourism; suddenly the wealthy class came flocking to see this curious culture preserved in stone. I’m not sure that we have ever stopped with our curiosity with Egypt though. There are ample movies and literature on ancient Egypt and it’s culture. Heck, we even have rollercoaster rides modeled after the movie, the “mummy.” Society has taken this obsession and run with it, for over 200 years. I think the fascination is rooted in the fact that this ancient society has constructed these amazing colossal pyramids without our modern day technology. There are ongoing studies trying to unlock how ancient Egyptians have moved the pyramids stones – some weighing 2.5 tons! A study published in May of 2014 concluded that the Egyptians must have gotten the sand just wet enough to stiffen the sand so that it stays put when the pyramid stones are being pull over them. There is real science behind these theories but not all theories about the pyramids include real science. Some of these theories have been twisted from several conspiracy plots. The most recent conspiracy scandal was just reported the other day – 2 German men some how got special permission to enter the inner chambers of The Great Pyramid of Giza (Khufu’s pyramid to be specific). Once inside, these men smuggled out several artifacts turning to prove an “alternative” history. Sadly, these kinds of stories pop up all the time. Desperate people trying to prove desperate ideas like aliens building the pyramids.

In the end, we will never be uninterested in a culture that worshiped the gods, the dead and have only been captured in hieroglyphics in stone.