After discussing Egyptomania in class, and the craze that post-Napoleon Europe had for all things related the ancient Egypt and the pyramids, I couldn’t help but think about how often ancient Egypt still comes up in today’s pop culture and how so many years after the discovery of the pyramids and the tombs, it still holds people’s fascination.
Once a week I tutor two first graders at a local elementary school and recently we started reading some books together. When choosing what book to read first, I layed out about ten “Magic Tree House” books and asked them each to pick the top three they wanted to read. They both immediately picked the one titled “Mummies at Midnight” as their first choice. I asked them why they both choose that book and if they knew anything about mummies already and they went talking on and on about how much they both loved Egypt. They talked about the pyramids, and Cleopatra, and the Nile, and how mummies were just wrapped up dead people, and one of them even mentioned sarcophaguses. At first I was shocked that these two six year olds knew so much about ancient Egypt, but then I thought about how present the ancient Egyptian culture is in today’s world.
You don’t have to look hard to find traces of ancient Egypt in today’s pop culture. Think of “The Mummy” movie series and all the money they brought in at the box office, or all the trick- or -treaters that show up at your door dressed as little Cleopatras or toilet paper mummies, or even the history channel shows that have my grandma convinced aliens built the pyramids and the curse of King Tut is real. Still not convinced on ancient Egypt’s relevance in today’s culture? Watch Katy Perry’s music video for her song “Dark Horse”. Countless other examples of references to ancient Egypt can be found in many other movies, television shows, books, and even children’s cartoon.
I don’t believe this craze will go away anytime soon. As out technology advances and we are able to make more discoveries about ancient Egypt and their way of life, it will stay relevant in the news; people’s fascinations will be renewed and encouraged. To us in the modern world, the ancient Egyptian culture of gods, and kings, and worship of the dead seems like something out of a fantasy novel and we can’t help but be intrigued.