I was on the midnight train to Georgia. Except it was only 9:10. And it was going to Luxor. But otherwise, it was totally the same.
That said, what an incredible experience. The mummies were unbelievable! They’ve still got their hair, even good old (very old) Ramses II, who seemed to have treated his white hair with a yellowing agent, reminding me of the time Diana’s daddy, our branch president’s hair inexplicably turned lemony… I found myself wondering a lot, both yesterday and today, if the ancient Egyptians, in their goals of immortality, could have conceived of their bodies and creations still being here, mostly intact after, in some cases, 5000 years. They could reckon a day, a year, a dynasty, but lacking (as far as we know) a written history prior to roughly their invention of it, could they imagine an “eternity” as long as 5000 years?
Another thing that boggled my mind – perusing the Ptolemaic and late period sarcophagi and mummies, which were decorated in the Roman style, a phrase I’d read in Lonely Planet leapt to mind, about Hathor being identified with the Greek goddess Aphrodite. How cool that ancient peoples could be introduced to each other’s deities and say, “Oh yeah, we know her, we just call her a different name.” Of course, conquerors in more recent times have done the same with holidays and such, but it seems like we’ve lost the art. When was the last time you heard a Christian say to a Muslim, “Oh, yeah, I know all about Allah, but we don’t have a name for Him. We just call Him God. Did you know He had a son? His name is Jesus. Oh, you’ve heard of Jesus? That’s pretty cool.”