Through the deserts of Egypt

My mom, becoming a history teacher just a couple of years ago, has taken interest in buying various history books be it brand new or second-hand. Whatever the state of the book is though, I find it very informative and full of pictures just the way my mom likes it. She likes the books (if possible) to contain lots of images because it makes understanding easier and I too realize that with these, I get to visualize the event or the place itself as if I am there as well. Upon returning to my home, I saw that her collection has grown and this has caused me to start reading them. History is and will always be interesting because it tells of stories passed through the ages. And I like good stories. The factual facets of every topic does not bore too as it adds to my knowledge. It always pays to know some trivia. It makes you appear very smart especially when in conversation. Haha!

So indeed, I began my reading yesterday choosing the book titled Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris. I was attracted by the design cover with its golden background and a colorful bird, perhaps a winged falcon, with three red stones – one on its head, and the other two underneath his claws. It was a fictional story about a woman named Emily Sands who wished to find the tomb of Osiris. So she took on an expedition with a couple of others to Egypt, visiting many of its significant places before going to the location where the tomb of Osiris was believed to be at. However, the journal was never finished for she and her team disappeared strangely. Her niece, Joanna Sutherland, handed her journal to editors who then published it. Sounds believable and exciting right?



Well it was for me and I excitedly read on through the colorful pages, reading Emily Sand’s stories and the knowledge she had gained as she travelled through Egypt. Each page was creatively made because it was interactive as you can open certain flaps to uncover more facts about Egypt, touch a sample of mummy cloth, and even play an Egyptian game called Senetwhich I still do not completely understand now. In the end, you see an envelope filled with bookmarks and postcards of Egypt as if you had actually been there yourself, journeying along with Ms Sands.Today, I began reading The Visual Dictionary of Ancient Civilizations and discovered some more tidbits of information I did not find in Egyptology. It was about the four canopic jars where a mummy’s innards were to be placed. Incidentally, these jars were actually the figures of the sons of Horus who is the son of Osiris, the most important god for the Egyptians. There was Duamutef the jackal-headed for the stomach, Imsety the human-headed for the liver, Hapy the baboon-headed for the lungs, and Qebehsenuef the falcon-headed for the intestines. It really makes me wonder why they do not keep the brains when it contains all the memories of the dead pharaoh. Or why not the heart since it is also a vital part of the person?



After reading all these, it brought me back to my memories of going to the Egyptian exhibit back in Taiwan during Christmas Eve. Inside, I was able to see the coffins and the mummies themselves though I am not so sure if they were simply replicas. They looked real enough to me but how would I know when I have not seen a real mummy in my life. I also saw mummified cats, falcons, and little crocodiles which made me really see how they value even animals. Then there were the canopic jars. They fascinate me thinking it would be cool to own one. I saw much more than that but it was unfortunate the taking photos were not allowed. If it was, I would have taken a photo of each and every single thing I saw. At the end of the exhibit, I bought a hieroglyphics stencil, a set of bookmarks with all of Egypt’s major gods, and a papyrus bookmark for my mom. My aunt has one too.

Really though, I think it would be more wonderful if I were to go to Egypt and see the great pyramids myself. Then I would take my mom and together, we would tour the various sites of the country from north to south. Ah, dreams are wonderful. Hopefully, someday that dream will be a reality. I guess watching Brendan Fraser kick some mummy-butt and Imhotep’s scary face has glamorized what Egypt is all about. In reality, it would be a long journey through the desert under the hot sun. Who wants that?  On the other hand, it would seem like an adventure visiting one of the richest civilizations ever established. With that, the answer is a no-brainer.

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