Notes from Ancient Egypt: Weighing in on Joseph and the Exodus Account: Part 1

Sitting in on Bob Brier’s Egyptology lecture series for Great Courses, you learn that nations don’t war on their neighbors. They don’t conquer them. They “beat up on them.” If he said it once, he said it a hundred times. List the accomplishments of any pharaoh: he built the temples, he built the tombs, he beat up on the Syrians (or whoever).

“Beating up” is especially emphasized in Egypt, for with them, there was no place like home. Egyptians warred with their neighbors constantly—“peace was not a virtue in Egypt,” Bob says—but they never established garrisons in those conquered lands. Why—were you to die thousands of miles from home, how could you be properly mummified? And if you weren’t that, what would happen to your chances at the afterlife?

So they didn’t stay. They “beat up” their neighbors, left demands for yearly tribute, but after a while, people forget. You have to go and “beat them up again,” to remind them they had better pay—carting off “everything that wasn’t nailed down” while you were at it.

What is it with this guy? Is he from the Bronx? In fact, he is. And even though he’s a professor steeped in Egyptian honors at Long Island University, he still lives in the Bronx. (as of 1999, when he recorded these lectures). Of the supports used to raise a body so mummy wrappings could be wound beneath him—“it’s like jacking up a car,” he adds helpfully, possibly while gazing through his window at a muffler being attached to a jacked-up car). 

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(Photo by Sam LaRussa)

What would he do when he comes to Bible accounts? I wondered. He will blow them away, of course, but will he do it with respect or ridicule? He seems like a nice guy. But sometimes people with brains lose it when it comes to spiritual things.

To my surprise, he does not blow them away. He treats them with great respect and allows that they are probably true in essence. To be sure, the “external evidence” that is archeology is scant. Archaeology corroborates the Bible in many things, says Bob, but it says next to nothing about the Israelites in Egypt. However, what he calls the “internal evidence” is strong, and as an Egyptologist, he has learned how the two must be combined.

After the Old Kingdom period, during which the pyramids were built, there arose the “Hyksos,” kings who ruled from the north, the delta region. The word means “rulers of foreign lands.” Could Joseph’s family have been the Hyksos? Not much is known of the Hyksos, Brier says, they “didn’t integrate well,” Some have said they were the family of Joseph. Josephus says so. Therefore, I say so, too. I mean, someone has to correspond to Joseph and his brothers. The north is a  damp and marshy region, where archeological finds are meagre, inferior, and badly damaged. It is the dry climate to the south that preserves papyri for thousands of years.

At this point Bob Brier assigns his listeners homework. They are to read Genesis 37-50. Then he narrates the story—just who was Joseph and what was his involvement with Egypt, highlighting what these “guys” are doing and what those “guys” are doing.

There is no external evidence for Joseph, but what is the internal evidence? Does the story “hang together?” It does, he thinks. He recounts the Bible story, which ends in a tearful tale of forgiveness—Joseph sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, his quick rise in Potipher’s house, his reversal and hard times, his meteoric rise to fame upon deciphering the dream that had perplexed Pharaoh, and how those same brothers approach and bow before him decades later—he, the one now in charge of alleviating famine.

In a dream that nobody can figure out for Pharaoh until someone remembers that Joseph in prison had a knack for that sort of thing, he is brought to interpret the dream. Seven lean cows are preceded by seven fat cows. The lean ones eat up the fat ones! They are years of famine following years of plenty. During the years of plenty, preparation can be made for the years of famine. “Based upon Joseph’s interpretation of dreams, the economy of Egypt is planned for the next 14 years.”

Joseph shows what a “sharp businessman” he is during the famine period, is how Bob Brier puts it (perhaps as he is buying a used car from a sharp businessman on the corner lot). People get destitute enough that they eventually sell him their land in return for food. He makes Pharaoh very wealthy, and Pharaoh rewards him.

The ring that Pharaoh gives to Joseph—that also is how they would do it in Egypt, a ring to the “right hand man.” A signet ring. A sign of authority. When the Bible says, everybody cried out Abrek after Joseph—that’s “real Egyptian.” Somebody knew what he was talking about. He deciphers the phrase as roughly meeting ‘Let God be with you.’ (Genesis 41: 42-43)

For a long time, Bob had a problem with Egyptian priests admitting defeat in interpreting Pharaoh’s dream. They never admitted defeat in anything. But later finds cleared it up for him. There is a papyrus in the British Museum which is a book for interpreting dreams.

All dreams meant something, the Egyptians believed. They were all prophetic. The trick was in interpreting them. When you had a dream, you went to the priest to see what it meant. Everything was written down in a book. The priests didn’t “just wing it.” They looked it up in a book. “If it’s not in the book, you’re stuck,” Bob says. So Joseph‘s account has the ring of truth to it, he says. When they said to Pharaoh, We don’t know, about his dream, it just meant that nothing about fat cows or lean cows was in the book—it didn’t go there. So it wasn’t the fault of the priests, who never would have admitted a fault—it wasn’t in the book. (Genesis 41)

There’s a Egyptian inscription on Sahel Island of seven years when the Nile did not rise, resulting in famine. Another inscription shows skeletal figures of people who were not slaves. Potipher is an Egyption name. Goshen is where the brothers of Joseph settled—a real Egyptian place in the delta region. Two cities are cited with names they had at the time, and not names they would be given later. Joseph (and Jacob) are embalmed by the Egyptians and mourned for the proper period. The Joseph story is written by someone who knew Egypt, Brier states. Testifying that Hebrews did indeed come to settle in Egypt is the excavation of a classic Israelite four-room house, with its unique floor plan. A full-sized model of one can be seen at Semitic Museum at Harvard University.

“Internally, we get a feeling for the Joseph story that it fits. It’s not archaeological evidence, but the story fits.” Embalming for 40 days, mourning for 70. For a long time that was not understood, but it turns out that is how Egyptian‘s did it. (Genesis 50:3)

The Hyksos did not control all of Egypt. Instead, they coexisted with the Sixteenth and the Seventeenth Dynasty, which were based in Thebes, 500 miles to the south. Warfare between they and the pharaohs of the late Seventeenth Dynasty eventually ran the Hyksos out of Egypt. (and Bob approves of this, because the Hyksos are not “his guys”—they are not real Egyptian) Later leaders of them would be portrayed as oppressive and warlike.

A papyrus of the time, sent by the last Hyksos king to the Prince of Thebes, reads: “The hippopotami in your pool are keeping me awake at night. They have to be silenced.” What exactly does that mean? Dunno, but it’s not friendly. Inflammatory for sure, Bob says. The Prince sends an army in retaliation. How does it turn out? No idea. The papyrus breaks off. The first and the last portions of an ancient papyrus roll is often no good. The inside end is wrapped so tightly that it breaks. the outside end is on the outside where it gets knocked around a lot, torn and scuffed up over time.

See Part II, Evidence of the Exodus

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 14

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Lecture 27: What mummies tell us

“A mummy is a mummy is a mummy” to most people, Bob Brier says, but all cars are not alike—neither are mummies. They made them over thousands of years. They differ.

Early mummies of the First Kingdom aren’t very good. Bodies are encased as with statues, but not preserved. X-rays reveal they have fallen apart, bones lying at the bottom.

Hetepheres, wife of “my man Sneferu” is an exception—with internal organs that had been removed.

Great story of high-quality artifacts suddenly appearing on the antiquities market in the 1870s, so authorities figured tomb robbers had made a massive find (steal) and, sure enough, found the culprits and (eventually) tortured the location out of them.

A huge trove of mummies, the grave robbers had found. Mummies spanning many dynasties. Shipped off to the Cairo museum, where researchers learned much about mummymaking—what innovations had been made at what time periods.

One other cache of mummies found later, the tomb of Amenhotep II. That’s where Bob Brier discovered that the king had bad teeth, maybe he needed a coregent because he was incapacitated.

All Egyptians had bad teeth, on account of the sand from the grindstones that found its way into its bread.

Lecture 28: Making a modern mummy:

Cool! Bob makes his own mummy. Only he doesn’t identify the person. This reminds me of when my wife took anatomy for nursing. These bodies are donated for research, she was told. They might be someone you know. They were to be treated respectfully.

He says he did it not to make a mummy but to learn how it was done. Lots of unanswered questions after reviewing the papyri. Only way to answer them was to do one, he said.

For example, the brain coming out the nose? Bob thought you could just pull it out with a hooked instrument, but no—it is too viscous. Can’t be done that way. Instead, they—(are you sure you want to know this?)—are swished around up there further, making it more liquid, then inverted the body so as to pour it out through the nostrils.

They made bronze tools. I guess I should have known this, but didn’t. Bronze, a hard metal, results form the mix of two soft ones—tin and copper. But the knife made was not very good.

The “sharp Ethiopian stone” (obsidian) worked well for a knife. Bob says modern surgeons have gone that way—using obsidian.

They used natron (basically salt and baking soda) to preserve. (It takes 600 pounds of the stuff) Bought the frankincense and myrrh from local sites.

Now they have a control sample—they know what they did. They know what works and what doesn’t. It will help with the analysis of ancient mummies.

Herodotus’s 35 day period they figured out (too late) is the time the body has to sit after being dried with natron. It is not completely dry by then, you can still cross the hands in royal style, but Bob & crew had waited too long. They had to wrap with arms at sides.

There’s not a lot of mummies in this neck of the woods. I don’t have any original photos. The best I can do is this one of Tauchannock Man in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

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Go to Part 15

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Shishak Beats Up Rehoboam—From Egypt’s Point of View. And Why did Indiana Jones Search for the Ark in Tanis?

For 200 years Egypt was ruled by Libyans. That’s not a long period of time but its nearly as long as the history of the United States.

Head north on the Nile and turn left, Bob* gives the directions, and you will hit Libya. But you will have to traverse 200 miles of desert to get there, so we should not imagine an invading Libyan army riding that far to conquer. No, Prof Brier is sure that the Libyans that ruled were already in Egypt, in fact full Egyptians in all but ethnicity. They had been assimilated previously.

They were probably descendants of captives taken during the reign of Ramses III, Egypts last great pharaoh, Bob calls him. “One of the things he was proudest of is that he pushed back the Egyptians. The Egyptians were getting a little too populous. It seems that the Egyptians always minded when foreigners become too numerous. It was okay to have a few, but when they became a large body to be reckoned with they didn’t like that. As for example, remember the Exodus?”

Exodus 1:9-10 reads: “In time there arose over Egypt a new king who did not know Joseph.  And he proceeded to say to his people: “Look! The people of the sons of Israel are more numerous and mightier than we are.  Come on! Let us deal shrewdly with them, for fear they may multiply, and it must turn out that, in case war should befall us, then they certainly will also be added to those who hate us and will fight against us and go up out of the country.”

The captured Libyans assimilated and, in time, some turned to the military. Sheshonq I was the first of them to assume the throne after a dwindling series of impotent kings bearing the Ramses name. He married the right woman—a sure way to rise in Egypt—the daughter of Ramses XI.

Fighting is what he knew. After consolidating and appointing his sons in key positions, he look northward. Was not Judah ripe for picking? Solomon had just died, and his son Rehoboam didn’t know what he was doing. Sheshonq is the same as Shishak of 1 Kings 14:25-26. He came to conquer but Rehoboam “bought him off.”

“And it came about in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem.  And he got to take the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the house of the king; and everything he took. And he went on to take all the gold shields that Solomon had made.”

Note what he does not take, Bob says. He does not take the ark of the covenant, “the box, that held the Ten Commandments. That’s not mentioned.” A helpful footnote from movie lore: “That’s why Indiana Jones goes looking for the ark of the covenant at Tanis, in the delta, in Egypt, thinking maybe Shishak brought it back.”

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While he’s at it, Bob Brier eludidates ark: “It’s called a ark, by the way, because ark means box. That why you get Noah’s ark. It’s really a big box that floated on the water, basically.”

You know, it’s not a big point, and certainly Bob does not extrapolate on it here, but in a way it is. Artwork of Jehovah’s Witnesses invariably portray Noah’s ark as a floating box. Church artwork almost never does. To them, it is a storybook boat with bow and stern. When my wife and I stayed in the Cincinnati Best Western because we’d been hurricaned out from our original destination, that morning in the breakfast bar nearly everyone else, family groups all, were headed to the Ark Encounter across the state border in Kentucky. A huge ark replica—with bow and stern. (and dinosaurs!)

These are not people who think the ark is fairy tale, for the most part. These are people who think the Bible flood account is true. If they are willing to remold such an obvious facet of the ark, who knows what else they are willing to remold?

*Notes from The History of Ancient Egypt: Bob Brier, part 19

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 12

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Egypt 12, Lecture 23: the murder of Tutankhamen: a theory

What he next presents, he makes clear is his theory. Some agree, but it seems most disagree. This is like his theory of Athematem, the religious nut, attracting the flower children.

Why do I begin to equate Bob Brier to Maigret, who insisted upon stepping into the shoes of whatever murder victim, to get a feel for him, before arriving at a solution largely intuitive? 

Another discussion of how names mean something. I’ve let this pass many times before and remarked upon. I won’t go into it here. But like in the Bible, names are significant. Sometimes people change their name, to indicate new beliefs, often new gods they follow or wish to honor.

Johnson equals John’s son. Goldman equals man who works with or sells gold. It almost looks like the only people in history that use names just as a meaningless tag is our age. Historically they have not been that way.

Tutankhamen changes his name to Tutankhamen, to show that the old religion is coming back. No more monotheism of Athematem. He leaves the city in the desert, and comes back to thieves. [Thebes]

He was about 18 years old when he died. They can tell by molars, they can tell by bone ends, which become less Cine week [senewy] with age. They damaged the money [mummy] getting it out. At the time, before DNA knowledge, people didn’t realize the treasures that were mommies, [mummies] and weren’t as careful as they would be with gold objects.

Because his mommy [mummy] is the only one ever found intact in its tomb, they decided to leave it there. You can’t see it. It is within the sarcophagus. What is there is in the tomb as you go visit.

after Tutankhamen’s death, his widow is the sole survivor of royalty, no one left in the family. She writes the Hittite king.

They were enemies. But she says “they say you have a lot of sons. Send over one, and I will marry him andmake him king.” She ends her letter “I am afraid“. She says “never will I marry a servantOf mine.” It sounds like, Bob says, someone is forcing her to marry a commoner. Who would do that?

“That’s like the British writing to Hitler and saying “come on over “”

He presents all those discussion, not so much to say he is right, though of course he thinks he is, but his goal is to show how an Egyptologist forms a theory.

After checking it out, because he doesn’t believe it at first, the headache [Hittite] king sends a prince. The prince is murdered at the border. A government job, Bob says. This is only in the Hittite records, not Egyptian ones.

 He found the new berry [Newberry] ring in an antique with his shop. He didn’t have the money to buy it. He drew it. It showed Tutankhamen’s wife and Aye together. They were married. Was Aye the commoner Tutankhamen’s wife was afraid of? She disappears from history. Someone else bought the ring, so the question comes up:Did it even exist? It has never been heard of again.

Bob says: “it’s like a murder mystery only better!”

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A similar ring was later found. They were married, yes. It is in the Berlin Museum. Bob went to see it. But on the phone the curator did not know about it. Bob asked to speak to another curator. He did know about it. It’s because east and west Germany had just been reunited, and two museums made into one.

I’ve got to admit, Bob’s theory holds together. That guy killed him, and married his widow. But he says it’s just a theory, you shouldn’t take it as fact. He is from the Bronx, though. Bear that in mind.

Wow! Bob plans to go there himself to the tomb and check it out. He wants to excavate the mommy [mummy] again. Now they have CAT scans. Maybe stomach contents will tell him stuff . Maybe he has done these things by now. Best to check it out.

Lecture 24–Medicine

No Bob Brier will do one of what he calls his side trips, this time into medicine. Last time I think it was obelisks, how to make one, how to transport one, how to set up one.

The physicians are connected with the priest. Serving at different temples.

Writing is obviously an important invention. But for some reason the Egyptians didn’t write an awful lot of things. Not mummification. Not how to make pyramids. But they did write down their medicine.

Play toll [Plato] says Egyptians invented writing, the God toss [Toth], and it was a terrible invention. “Good old Play-Doh?” [Plato}

He says “now men will have the appearance of knowledge, but not true knowledge“. So you don’t have to have it in your head anymore. You’ve got it on papyrus, so you don’t need to know it. Apparently that’s his thought.

So there is a tradition that really important things, you don’t write down. And Plato was a student of Socrates, who never wrote anything down.

Three guards, [gods] he discusses the mall [them all], were associated with healing. You went to the temple for your healing. “It was like the clinic”

“Egypt was famous for his positions [physicians]” There are Greek inscriptions of ones who say they came, they asked the guard [god] for help, and they were cured.

Some think that Egyptian’s were so good at Madison [medicine] because they practice mummification, and that’s how you learn anatomy.

Bob himself doesn’t buy it, though. The priest and the bombers [embalmers] were of different classes. The embalmers kind of more slowly [lowly], they smelled, they reeked of chemicals.

They took all organs out through about a 2 inch opening in the abdomen, so you don’t really see too much that way. You don’t learn too much of anatomy that way.

The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. Three options given physicians  that they can say. One. This is an illness that I will treat. To. This is an illness with which I will contend. Three. This is an illness that I will not treat. Saved face for the physicians, Bob says. There were illnesses you were supposed to walk away from.

The Edwin Smith surgical papyrus has instructions for 48 types of injuries. It mostly deals with physical injuries, breaks and so forth, that you might encounter building huge pyramids, moving huge blocks.

Another papyrus outlines 800 medical treatments. Spells, poultices,

Magical spells for blindness.  For “when the gods made me see night during the day”

If you had a lame foot, wrap it in a deer skin. The deer is fleet of foot. Maybe wrapping it around your foot will make you fleet of foot like the deer.

So there were two approaches. One was clinical, and one was magical, when the calls [cause] wasn’t known.

Go to Part 13

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 9

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Queen heavy [Hatshepsut—I’ll render it right from now on] . 12 years old, royal blood. The one who married her, Todd most the second, [Thutmosis II—I’ll do this right as well, and even the other names] reigns as king for 20 years. Then talk most third [Thutmosis III—sorry] rains. [reigns]

Eventually, Hatshepsut herself begins to rain [reign] not as queen, but as king. Where’s [Wears] the false beard of authority, the hieroglyphic on her to him [tomb] reveals. Tied the beard on with chin straps.

The tallest obelisk still standing in Egypt, go to car next [Karnak] temple to see them. Hatshepsut  has them in hieroglyphic on her tomb. They weighed 250 tons. Transported by 27 barges on the Nile, quarried and S one.

The Pharaoh was always associated with Forrest [Horus], the falcon God. Hatshepsut was the female falcon. Ruled as a king, but did not hide that she was a woman.

Did Hatshepsut usurp the throne from her stepson?

The theory goes that she did, and upon her death, the stepson ruled again, became very great, and in anger he raised [erased] her name from her own tomb, substituting he, his father, and his brother.

Bob Hatshepsut doesn’t buy the theory. Had her name was a raced, [erased] but not till 20 years after the stepson began raining. [reigning] Maybe they just wanted to erase traces of a woman raining. [reigning]

Send bought [Senemut] appears, after Hatshepsut becomes a widow. Very close, were they lovers? A successful commoner, with many titles, overweight, which was a good thing in Egypt, Bob says. It means you could eat.

A pornographic relief suggest that people were talking, the workmen on break from sun, in another cool tomb, produce a porn drawing of the two carrying on. Bob describes it. Will I, on this family blog? No

Look on the kings list and you will not findHatshepsut. All traces of her erased. Maybe to cover up that one of the kings was a woman?

End of lecture 17 on Hatshepsut. Start lecture 18, on obelisk.

Obelisk comes from the Greek word for meat skewer! That’s how it gets its name.

Heliopolis, Helio, son, polis, city, is the same as the biblical On. The most obelisk ever in that city, today there is but one. And one more, if you count the one of heavy, which is wild them.be

Here Bob defines electrons, [electrum] used in the obelisk. I read it so often in the Bible. Not quite knowing what it is, it is a mixture of gold and silver.

Now Bob  Brier will discuss how to quarry and erect and obelisk. Start with granite. Aswan granite, at Egypt’s southern border.

How big were they? And unfinished one atS one [atd Aswan] weighs over 1000 tons. As big as two jumbo jets

Pounding out the obelisk, with dolomite balls, keep dropping them and they eventually chip away, it is a job probably reserved for prisoners, Bob Brier says. He’s pretty sure no one wanted the job.

Bob has used these balls. Hard work. Your lungs were filled with granite dust. And then swinging them sideways to pound out caves, so as to separate the obelisk from the earth.

Put on rollers roll to barges float them down the Nile. I don’t know. I suppose, but it’s a lot of work. No Egyptian records of this, by the way. No papyri. It is all the speculation of later historians.

After slanting it on a ramp, tie ropes to the top and pull it with “lots of guys“ to get it upright.

Now I recall the objections to theories of building the pyramids. They mostly revolve around physics, moving that much mass. Ramps supposedly would crumble under the weight. ...1/2

Nor could that weight be pushed up ramps by sheer manpower. No matter how many guys. Don’t know if Bob will come back to this topic. Maybe he has already dealt with it...2/2

Trivia question: what city in the world has more obelisks than any other? Rome. 13. Augustus moved two obelisks from Heliopolis in 10 BC.

What holds them in place? Gravity alone, Bob Brier says.

Paris has an obelisk, a gift, give it an 1830. England has two, in London, in 1877. One of them was lost at sea. Another vessel came along and claimed that, then negotiated its return. 

Bob says if he could make a feature movie, it would be the one of the obelisk coming to New York. After London got theirs, New York said they needed one too. William Vanderbilt paid for it. “Go orange [Gorringe] was a really cool guy“ says Bob Breir of the one put in charge of transport. Tons of obstacles, And he overcame them all.

Gorringe bought a transport ship cheap from the bank robbed [bankrupted] Egyptian post office, opened it up, rolled the obelisk onboard over cannonballs, contended with alcoholic Yugoslav crew.

Sailed to New York. Refused to pay outrageous landing they demanded, landed at 96 street. Transported the obelisk to Central Park, made just a block all day. Bob Brier wishes he was a kid at that time, to see it.

Bob says you should go to New York and see it in Central Park. It’s right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gorringe wrote a book about his exploits. Should I seek it out?

Bob thanks I will list [obelisks] are just as great achievement as the pyramids, but in a different way.

 

Go to Part 10

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 10

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Peace was not a virtual [virtue] in Egypt, says Bob Brier, war wars [was]. You were supposed to send an army into faraway places, conquer, and take back to Egypt everything that “wasn’t nailed down.”

King Tuthmosis III, was he off in military training while his stepmom ruled? That’s what Brier thanks [thinks], but other Egyptologist think he was just shoved aside, maybe jailed, while his mom ruled.

Now comes a discussion of the military. The chariot required three types of ward [wood], yes [ash] or something flyable [pliable] for the wheels, somethings heavy for the axle, like oak.

They broke a lot. It means traveling are made [armies] needed lots of carpenters. One guy driving on a platform, the other guy shooting from the platform. “High maintenance vehicles” Bob Brier calls them. I love that verse of Jehovah taking the wheels off the chariots as told in Exodus. Ha. As

The king would ride right up front, calling the shots. Year two of Todd Moss soul rain, [Tuthmosis’ reign] he leads into Megiddo, in Syrian Palestine. Is this the material [Megiddo] of the Bible? I think so.

Three routes into Megiddo. Two are flat and open. One is in a valley. Against common wisdom and military strategy, Tuthmosis takes the valley. He surprises the enemy, who expected him to take another way, and routes [routs] them completely.

However, distracted by taking spoil, the defeated army gets away “Because the men plundered, we had two siege this city for seven months,” the record reads.

The hut is covered, so when guys on the top are throwing down rocks, it won’t hit those under the hut. So Bob describes the rudimentary tank that Egyptian’s invented, guys underneath the hut carrying battering rams, tanked pushed or pulled by guys. (or animals?)

For the next 18 years, he marches forth to Syria every year. Why?

It is their religion that causes a constant state of war. Egyptians did not colonize. You did not want to die outside of Egypt, where you would have no one to embalm you, not be buried in sacred soil, and so would lose your chance at immortality. No one wanted to live outside Egypt.

So you conquer, tell them to send tribute. Send so much of this, so much gold, so much of that. But you’ve been gone for a year. They forget. So you have to go back, “beat them up,” and remind them.

Bob Brier is from New York, he says. So that means he knows nothing about flowers. But when Tuthmosis returns from Syria he has the flowers he’s seen painted on the walls at Karnak temple. They’re not very good drawings, Egyptologists tell Bob, who wouldn’t know otherwise.

So was he an amateur botanist?

Now a discussion of Tuthmosis,burial in the valley of the Kings. Found high up along the far boundary, after tombs of Tuth 1, II, and Queen Hapshepsut. For the first time. I begin to think it would be neat to visit that valley of the Kings.

He is “the greatest feral [pharaoh] who ever lead an army, by far“. “And they had some great ones,“ says Bob as though telling of his favorite children. You can visit Tuthmosis’ tomb, a metal walkway takes you to the entrance, because the stone steps were chiseled away, probably to protect the tomb from grave robbers.

Lecture 20 begins. The fabulous 18th dynasty rolls on. “It just gets better,” says Bob Brier. Two really good ferrules [pharoahs], and one incredible one, follow Tuthmosis III.

Four kings in a row, each reigning about 30 years. A sure sign of stability.

Big bureaucracy in Egypt, Bob says “not unlike Washington DC”. “Guys keeping track of things, guys checking on each other.” All the taxes had to be kept track of. Bob is from the Bronx. They are all “guys” to him.

Two capitals. Thebes as the religious center, and 500 miles to the north, Memphis is the administrative center.

Amenhotep III invents the first telegrams. Commemorative scarabs. One presents his commoner wife Tiye, and says you’d better respect her. Another tells of his hunting prowess. Bagged 56 bowls [bulls] in a day.

He has a name for the boat he has built his wife Tiye. It is “The Atem Gleams. A trivia question to remember for a future lecture, Bob Brier says.

Amenhotep is a builder. He builds Thebes, or Luxor, is responsible for its modern skyline, Bob says. It is the first time I’ve heard of the Luxor Temple. Luxor is one of the cheaper hotels in the game Acquire. I used to love that game. I still do enjoy it, but there are not many who play. It’s been superseded by other games, Scrabble of course, but these days also Splendor, which is shorter, and less potentially frustrating.

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And Acquire has an odd attribute—that you can think your playing well right up to the end, only to find you’ve lost. Conversely, you may think you are losing, only to find you have won. But with that caveat, it still is fun.

Amenhotep settles in Thebes. His predecessors had been in Memphis. Is he getting religious in his older years. Or likes the warmer climate for this old bones. “People go to Florida,” Bob says. Maybe Amemhotep did the same.

Amenhotep III takes his 2nd son (the first died) with Great Wife Tiye as “coregent.” Bob Brier has seen mummy with its teeth. They are so bad he thinks the guy must have been in constant pain,maybe even sedated & needed a co-regent to hold down the fort.

This second son, who wasn’t supposed to be king, “turns Egypt upside down.”

And just now—as this story is being written—comes the discovery of ancient Luxor. Said to be the biggest news since Tutankhamen’s tomb.

(Inspired by Bob, I broke out the Acquire game board the other day—I hadn’t played it in years. My opponent hadn’t played it in even longer. I am happy to report that I won. Luxor was a hotel chain in which I held majority share. I merged it into Tower, in which I also held majority share.)

 

Go to Part 11

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 8

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Joseph in Egypt. Now we’re talking.

“Based upon Joseph’s interpretation of dreams, the economy of Egypt is planned for the next 14 years.” Seven lien [lean] ones, preceded by seven fat ones during which preparation’s can be made for the Lyn [lean] ones.

Bob Brier assigns everyone homework. Tonight, read Genesis 37 through 50, the account of Joseph. Then he narrates who was Joseph and what was his involvement with Egypt.

Could Joseph’s family have been the Hyksos? Not much is known of the exhaust [Hyksos] ,Brier says.

It was the Hyksos, though, who introduced the horse and cherry [chariot] up into Egypt.

Archaeology has much to say, corroborates the Bible in many things, says BobBrier, but it says very little [or did he say nothing?] about the Israelites in Egypt.

Wherever Joseph goes in Egypt, he is called Abrek. It is enigmatic because it means nothing whatsoever in Hebrew.

Bob Brier narrates the Bible story, which ends in a tearful tale of forgiveness, he even tells where the family settled. It is Goshen. Goshen is in the delta region of Egypt.

Joseph shows what a sharp businessman he is during the period of famine. “Sharp businessman” is how Bob Brier puts it.

Jacob and bombed [embalmed] by the objections. [Egyptians] Mourned for 70 days. Jacob one of only two people in the Bible to be mummified. (Joseph the other)

Joseph, the sharp businessman, bought up all the land for feral, [Pharaoh] making feral [Pharaoh] very wealthy. But he did not buy the land that had been given to the priests.

Here in our walk we come across guys blowing mulch. It’s spring time, beautiful weather today, I’ve never seen this before. Mulch being applied that way.

There is external evidence and internal evidence, Bob wire [Brier] says no external evidence exists for Joseph, what is the internal evidence? Does the story hang together? It does, Bob thinks.

There is an ancient Egyptian story roughly paralyzing peril apparel [paralleling] the tale of Joseph accused by Potiphar’s wife, called the tale of two brothers.

The name part of her [Potipher] is Egyptian, that fits, says Bob. Calling priest from the house of life to interpret a dream also would fit, says Bob Brier.

The Egyptians believed that everyone had prophetic dreams, that all dreams were prophetic. The real trick was in interpreting them.

There is a papyrus in the British Museum which is a book for interpreting dreams. When you had a dream, you went to the priest, they did not wing it, they looked it up in a book.

Bob was long troubled that they say for the Bible record, that they don’t know, but this may account for it. The dream wasn’t in the book. No lean cows, No fat cows.

Example of the British papyrus: if a man dreams of himself with a dwarf, the interpretation: bad. The expanded version: half his life is gone, Bob thinks it is because a dwarf symbolizes half a man.

The existence of the ancient Egyptian dream book to a great extent confirms how dreams are dealt with in the Joseph story, Bob Brier says. Lean cows, fat cows, they weren’t in the dream book, which Bob says might account for why they would say ‘we don’t know.’

If it’s not in the book, you’re stuck, Barb [Bob] says. So Joseph‘s account has the ring of truth to it, he says.

In Egypt there is a tradition of a seven-year famine. Inscribed in say hill [Sahel] island, I’ll place that many and scription’s were made. [It’s the place where many inscriptions were made.]

The nail den at [Nile didn’t] rise, the reason for the famine. The feral [Pharaoh] made offerings to the guards [gods], he knew enough to do that, and then go to years of plenty. That’s how it is presented.

The Joseph story is written by someone who knew Egypt, Bob Brier  states. I didn’t know if he would blow the story off as fairytale or not. He doesn’t. He’s very respectful of it.

The ring that Farrell [Pharaoh] gives to Joseph, that also is how they would do it in Egypt, a ring to the right hand man. A signet ring. A sign of authority.

When the Bible says, everybody cried out Abrek after him, that’s real Egyptian. Somebody knew what he was talking about. He deciphers the phrase as roughly meeting let God be with you.

Internally, we get a feeling for the Joseph story that it fits. It’s not archaeological evidence, but the story fits. And bombing [Enbalming] for 40 years. Morning [Mouring]  for70. For a long time that was not understood, but it turns out that is how Egyptian‘s did it.

Next is the beginning of the new kingdom: the fabulous 18th dynasty.

Queens become very important in Egypt during this time. Two capitals, Memphis in the north, thieves [Thebes in the south. The return to use of large standing armies. All items Bob Brier means to touch upon.

Women in Egypt were more important than they were in any other country in the ancient world.

Egyptologist don’t know the rules for succession of kings in Egypt. They weren’t written down. This is because of the belief that divine order would prevail. But they more or less agree that it was by marrying the right woman, the woman with the most royalty in her veins.

Reading the meta-data for this course, I note that Bob Brier was born in the Bronx, and still lives there, as he teaches at Long Island University. He narrates like someone from the Bronx. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but he does, he’s a great storyteller, not stuffy, not follow [full of] himself.

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Amos [Ahmose] brought back hands from battle, Bob briar says. They really were a nation of accountants. How do you keep track of deaths in battle? Cut off the right hand. Of those slain.  Almonds sun [Almose’s son] becomes Amenhotep.

How many times do we hear hotel [Hotep] in those dramatizations from Jehovah’s Witnesses? Would they do it today? They do make a huge deal about artwork being historically accurate in the most minute detail.

Do you know that pipe under your kitchen sink that juts around? Bob Brier poses. It’s called an elbow joint. He uses it to illustrate the course of the Nile upstream. It’s called an S trap! What kind of a plumber is he?

Todd most the first [Thutmosis I] nails the carcass of the concord [conquered] Nubian king to the proud [prow] of his ship. When it’s Sales into sibs, everyone gets the message: you don’t mess with topmost the first. [When it sails into Thebes, everyone gets the message that you don’t mess with Thutmosis I]

Thutmosis is the first feral [Pharaoh] to be buried in the valley of the Kings. That’s the fourth development Bob Brier meant to speak of, I only listed three, I had forgotten the fourth. Reuse of the valley of Kings.

As with prior burial places, the valley of the Kings is on the west side of the Nile. The west, where the sunsets, associated with the end. There is no Egyptian word for queen. What we know as queen, they actually call great wife.

Go to Part 9

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 5

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Lecture 9-10

Oh my. The individual tweets from Egypt are coming out pretty rough. AI does a number on them. I dress them up later for the blog post, but—should I spare followers these tweets? AI somehow managed to put a Starbucks in Ancient Egypt.

I am going to rename the Pharaohs on account of AI. Not only it screws up the names, but even one or two words on either side. Sometime I can’t decipher the sentence I have tweeted. So if you read about Richard the pyramid builder, don’t worry. I’ll make it right in the blog

Or put brackets to indicate the correction.

Now Bob is talking about the Great Pyramid. And he’s about to go into conspiracy theories. Let’s see what he has to say. Incidentally the builder of the Great Pyramid was Kenny [Khufu], son of Steven [Snefaru], who built the first one

Bob relayed some stories about the pyramid, it’s magical qualities, he doesn’t buy that I had never heard myself. 

Napoleon went inside the Great Pyramid as his men marched around it. He asked to be left alone for a time. When he emerged, he was Adam.[ashen—thanks, AI] People asked him why, he would not tell them. Even on. St. Helena . He almost told someone. And then didn’t.

The Great Pyramid was built with free men, paid.Not slaves. Very little slave labor in Egypt, Bob says. The time of the Exodus was much later.

90,000 men working in three shifts.

Howard [Herodotus] the Greek historian said a Gyptian’s [Egyptians, not ‘a Gyptians’] used machines. Did he mean levers? There is no written record of how the pyramids were built. Like a trade secret.

There is a helicopter hovering 200 yards away. With a guy perched on the runner. Are they setting him down atop the power tower? I think so. Let me get it from a different angle.

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Yes. It is somehow servicing the tower. Didn’t Jehovah make flying things that are soundless? Lord, this thing is noisy!!

Oh, and in case anyone is confused, this helicopter I see while walking the dog and narrating the Egyptian tweets. I’m not saying the helicopter is in ancient Egypt.

No more than 2 inches variation of level over 2 acres. Precise, but no great need for mathematics, says Bob. Still, I am reminded of Smart Ancient Syndrome (SAS). Just once I would like to see archaeologist say, my God these people were stupid! But no, it is always about how smart they were.

Tourists enter the Great Pyramid by the robber’s entrance. It was chiseled in the ninth century. The actual entrance was unknown. Today it is known, but sealed up.

Here is a pup that just brought his ball to me on the end of a strap. Dropped it at my feet. He wants me to fling it! I do and he runs happily to fetch it. Uh oh. Now he is bringing it back.

They use core bald [“corbelling”] step ceilings to relieve the weight on pyramid ceilings. I have avoided this word because a, I wasn’t sure what it was, and B, I know full well that AI would mess it all up

It is how the upper portions of the interior rooms gradually come together in a series of step-like patterns to distribute the weight. If you were upside down, you could climb them from the top as though climbing stairs..

Two theories on how the mass of stones got so high. A long ramp. That would have been a quarter-mile. A huge undertaking in itself. Or corkscrewing around the structure as it is being erected. I think I have read massive objections to both simply

as a matter of moving that much mass. Don’t know if he will go there or not. At this point, it seems like he will breeze over them as to trivial appoint to consider.

Yes, he does not expand. But does say how you can’t get a sheet of paper between the blocks. A remarkable achievement, Bob says, and then moves on to the trick of coordinating so many people to do it. 

Oh OK. He attributes it to the power of a god-king, who can lean into people, make them do what he wants. That’s why he likes powerful kings so much. I’m not sure I buy that either. I mean, they can lean into him, but I’m still not sure with what result.

While all the other dogs run around the dog park, there are six now in total, but my old dog walks straight up to the people and stands by them. They always like him. One of them called him wise.

If I am right there Bob ignores the physical impossibility of certain feeds, or at least extreme improbability, then it is an example of how this system of things work. People become brilliant in their own fields, not worrying overmuch about how or if they link to other fields.

You really don’t get as much battery life as you think you should. No wonder they sell them by the dump truck load at Costco. The first time my batteries went dead, I didn’t recognize the problem. I had expected the narrative to slow down, as it would on a cassette tape.

Bob blows away the theories of some competing archaeologists. They’re wrong, he says. They probably are. Bob represents the majority view

Bob represents the majority view, and he has the platform for that reason, but so much of history is the victor writes the rules. How much of it is true here? He presents it all very well, but what of that verse that the rival comes through and says it all differently.

”The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.” Proverbs 18:17

The Greek archaeologists of another lecture series stated, What if you found figurines and Arches? Are they gods and temples? Or are they Barbie dolls and McDonald’s?

No, Napoleons troops did not shoot off the nose of the spanks. [Sphinx]  Napoleon would not have allowed it.. He revered history. And a prior relief of the spanks shows its nose already shut off.

One portion of the Sphinxes beard is in the Egyptian museum. Another portion in the British Museum. Egypt would like it back. Bob thinks the British would like to give it back.

But they don’t give it back due to the president. [precedent]  Give the beard back, and next thing you know, they will want the Rosetta stone back.

Almost all Egyptian tombs were west of the Nile. They even said, he’s a westerner, just as people say, ‘He’s gone south.’ Why west?  Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Ra was the sun god.

Last king of the 6th dynasty—Pepi II, is the longest ruling king in history. Ruled from a boy till his death at 98.  Bob thinks maybe that’s why the old kingdom collapsed. He is a god-king, and thus cannot be supplanted. But he is too old to lead armies. Do I buy this?

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 2

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking.

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Lecture 3:

One cute thing to get your head around is that upper Egypt is lower than lower Egypt. That’s because the Nile river flows MapWise uphill, but like all rivers flows from up to down

Egyptian gods that are female always have names ending in T. That does make things easier.

The professor mentions Isis, the Egyptian god, what the name is twice supplanted, once by the terrorist group, and once by Bob Dylan‘s cool song, best performed at Woodstock.

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Isis also is a female guard. It is a T God. But we know what S form because the Greeks got a hold of it.

Bob reaches the point of saying, in his classroom, students are all ready to kill him after he says what he is about to say. So I pause here and tweet, before seeing just what it is he says. Will I want to kill him to?

I’m sure he doesn’t mind being called Bob, either. If he did, he would not be Bob briar. He would be Robert briar.

Oh yeah. He can live. He just says philosophical questions have answers, to contrast with some who think they don’t. As an example, he says is there life after death? It has an answer, even if it is unanswerable, in his opinion.

Whoops! My bad. He says they can be answered.

 His example is, does the universe have a beginning or not? Did it come into being, or has it always existed. So far, OK. But then he says if we can disapprove one, the alternative will stand. Not according to skeptic Michael Shermer‘s heads I win tails you lose rules.

that say just I am wrong (or can’t answer everything) , it doesn’t mean you are right. I think he is just trying to stack the deck.

The beginning of Lecture 4:

So Napoleon was an OK guy the professor says. I’m sure he doesn’t mean across-the-board. Or maybe he does. That’s how it is with academics. They’re blown away by other academics. And Napoleon had some culture to him.

Napoleon is the guy, who first came up with a scheme of odd numbers on one side of the street and even numbers on the other. He got tired of not being able to find things

Ha! Now he mentions cabinet of curiosities that wealthy people used to have back then. I wrote about that, here.

Napoleon assembled a huge scientific retinal for his conquering trip to Egypt. In 1898. Very few of them knew where they were going. It was a secret. His political mission was to mess up the British, taking their colony. His personal reason was to see Egypt.

The fighting stopped for 10 minutes when Admiral Nelson blew up the French ship Lorient. Nobody could believe it. They were in shock. Nelson had navigated between the French ships and the shore, and blasted the French who had guns facing out.

After destroying the French fleet, Nelson sailed away, stranding Bonaparte. But Bonaparte took his 150 scientist and began an institute for studying Egypt.

Napoleon abandoned his army, set sail to eat to Paris, declared himself the conqueror of Egypt. The brothers know the truth, and ridiculed him. But he had started the beginnings of Egyptology. Next year next year his scientist at least the definitive volume on Egyptology.

OK, I didn’t know this, or much of anything else. The Rosetta Stone was found by Bonapartes expedition, some Egypt items went to Bretton part of the peace treaty, some were retained by the French. The French wanted to keep the result of stone that contains the key to...1/2

But the British insisted upon it. But the French had made a copy of it before hand. So they got the benefit from it too. This is the beginning of Egyptian antiquities being collected. A huge collection in Britain, and an equally huge collection in the Louvre

 

Go to Part 3

 

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 1

How much composition can you do walking the dog while listening to the Great Courses on CD? We will see. I know one thing, attempting this will improve my listening skills, which my wife will tell you are not stellar. It is enough to stop periodically and send a tweet via the phone. There is no way to rewind, and to play the entire track again is just too much—the dog will only tolerate so much inattention. So I have to catch it the first time.

This is why, in the tweets to follow, I don’t give the Egyptologist’s name. I missed it in the opening remarks. Now that I am home in my chair, I see on the CD jacket that it is Bob Brier. He is all enthused about his topic. The Great Courses professors are never duds. Only one got on my nerves a little bit, a history professor with such a passion for his subject that he seemed to present all characters within as though they were his children, some being naughty and some being nice. But once I adjusted, I was okay even with that. And you should hear the music fellow—alas, I forgot his name, but he has done several courses, showing off Beethoven! Whoa, is it ever contagious. You do come away thinking you know your Beethoven when he is done. (Granted, it didn’t take much, since I knew virtually nothing before.)

I have had to set aside Bleak House. It is 29 CDs and I was not done with it when the library wanted the set back, for someone else had put it on hold. So I reserved it for when that person was done with it, and it will just have to be a cliffhanger for now. I left off just after Bucket arrested George for the murder of the odious lawyer of whom you thought, it’s about time someone killed him. It might be George. It might be Lady Deadlock. Don’t tell me who it was. If you do, I am going to assume it was the other just to thwart you. Bleak House was another Great Courses suggestion, offered by a professor of literature, who seems to have a preference for —um— “complicated” characters, Bleak House being a “wholesome” exception to most offered fare. He says something about Esther being so nauseatingly nice that even Dickens must have wanted to kill her off a time or two.

They always spin of the credentials at Great Courses, and Bob’s is that he recently mummified a body in the Egyptian way. He has been on TV, so he probably is somewhat of a showman, and as such, he will have a Twitter account. If I find it, I will tag him once with it. Ah—here it is: #AskBobBrier—I was right. He is not one of those retiring types like the “philologicians” (his word) who love words and thus are whizzes with hieroglyphics. Nor is he a (he had a word for this but I forget) a museum type who loves to collect and study artifacts but has no interest in interacting or retrieving them.

He is probably like O’Donnell, the Professor of the Gilded Age series, who has shown on the History Channel, and who in real life (I wouldn’t know if this is true of Brier or not, at least, not yet) is intensely partisan and really hates Trump. I could be wrong, but I think historians generally do. I think the reason they do is that they get involved in their story of man ruling the earth—that’s mostly what history is, really—and they come to identify with human efforts, hoping for the noble in them, and highlighting whatever examples exist. The only way their earth will advance is if all nations “come together.” Thus, they like world bodies, they like things like the United Nations. They don’t like it when some figure says “America first,” or whatever his/her country may be. They see nothing but chaos along that road. Brier might not be one of them, for, come to think of it, he said in Lecture One that history is just a series of disasters. Therefore, he may not be so starry-eyed as are his History counterparts, so hopeful that humans will have the answers if you but give them unlimited room to try their stuff.

Probably Bob is like Ed Barnhart, who taught the Great Course on South American archeology. He was also a doer. He related how, as a boy, his mom had dropped him off to see the Indiana Jones movie, and upon seeing the caption “Somewhere in South America,” said to himself, “There’s a South America?” It began an interest in the continent, and he has discovered his very own ancient Mayan (yes, I know, Central America, but he was just getting started) city.

What a great gig to be a university professor. You get to talk about your passion all day to people who come to you and pay money for the privilege—you don’t have to go to them. And they have already acquiesced that your topic is interesting enough at least for them to be there. You don’t have to interact with poverty. You don’t see squalor. Unless you play your cards recklessly, money issues are non-existent. You get to hang out with cool people in the heady world of ideas. I like it.

The only thing that might be an issue is if you get infatuated with your students. Some of them are just awakening to to how sexuality might affect someone other than same-age, some are entirely unaware, and some know it full well and play it for all its worth. Of course, the responsibility for proper conduct will always fall on the older party, but if he is a piece of work himself, if his own life is trending towards trainwreck, and certainly if he is an opportunist, all sorts of things may happen that he will deeply come to regret in a MeToo age.

Anyhow, here goes with the tweets. It is just things that catch my attention as I am dog-walking, and I must interrupt myself now and then to hurl someone’s misguided golf frisbee back over the fence. It will be sort of like taking notes, and I may do something with it later. I haven’t quite figured out a way to separate my asides from Bob’s own thoughts. Maybe later. Sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes not. Remember that these are dictated into the phone, and then I must quickly correct AI blunders (you should see what it did to Herodotus!) I don’t usually worry much about capitalization. Everything is a bit of a rush. Here goes:

“The goal of the archaeological writer is to make the dead come alive, not to put the living to sleep.” I love it!

That ubiquitous painting of Henry the eighth isn’t anatomically correct. The artist for the braggart deliberately skewed it so as to loom more impressively over anyone who would view it.

“The Egyptian’s reduced art to paint by numbers,” the great courses professor says. Art doesn’t change for 3000 years. It wasn’t supposed to change. It wasn’t supposed to be creative. It was to reflect the way things were.

Plato  wasn’t crazy about art, because his was a search for truth, and art distorted truth. But he had nothing bad to say about Egyptian art, for that part attempted to portray truth as it was, and not interpret that.

If you expect to be spending more time in an afterlife rather than the present one, you will put more energy there. Where have I heard similar thoughts? The Egyptian tombs would be engraved with scenes of whatever the deceased enjoyed doing in the present life.

If you’re taking a trip to a unfamiliar place. And you’re not just sure what you will need. You take everything that you can. So says the great courses Egypt professor. That’s why Egyptian tombs are so packed with day today possessions.

Ha! A completely speculative account for how the uneducated people probably screwed up the great Heroditus. An illiterate tour guide probably made a story up about onions being fed to the  workers who built the graat pyramid , and Herodotus recorded it.

Since the Egyptian’s were huge into war, loved to record their victories, live to fight, would they have recorded that Jehovah cleaned their clocks at the Red Sea? Already I smell a rat.

As was spun in the book Is the Bible really the word of God? national chroniclers (media) loved to create the attractive version even if it wasn’t entirely true. Emphasized what they want emphasized, deemphasize what they wanted deemphasized. It is exactly the same today.

The Bishop of Usher worked out the begets and traced down to the year of creation. Watch later a Russian bishop extended it to month,week, day, and time of day! Much later his Russian successor probably agreed & also banned Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Isaac newton worked out Egyptian chronology in his spare time. As an escape for him. He is the one who predicts the end in 2060. Is he right? Or might it come before?

Now the great courses professor is slobbering over Darwin as the be all and end all. Darwins OK, discovered some stuff, added to knowledge, but not to the point of being the be-all and end-all.

He says the Egyptian’s first arrived from the south in Africa. One of Michener’s books said the same, but I don’t remember the title. Michener’s books are grand sagas, following a given family name through centuries, even before they were families.

If you dressed Neanderthal man up, and put him on a subway, you would not notice him. He would fit right in. So says the Egypt professor, he was not a hulking brute, he did not live in a cave. Dumbing down is not a phenomenon Just of modern times, tho it probably has accelerated.

What will this Egypt teacher do when he comes to conspiracy views on pyramids? You know, how we today couldn’t build what they built thousands of years ago. Even today human technology is insufficient. How will he handle that?

And what will he do when he comes to Bible accounts? He will blow them away, of course, but will he do it with respect or ridicule? He seems like a nice guy. But sometimes peoples brains lose it when it comes to spiritual things.

To be continued:

See Ancient Tweets Part 2.

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