Sunday, February 3, 2008

Egypt visit

Those of you who hit my blog regularly must be wondering what must have happened to me during the past two weeks! I was away touring Egypt! Why Egypt of all the countries? This is because Egypt has the earliest written evidence of history. This goes back to 5,000 years! It was fascinating to see it firsthand.
But the sight of the huge pyramids, the secret passage to the burial chamber and the goodies that were left behind, the mummification process of preserving the dead, the colossal temples, all done 1000 to 4000 years B.C, was exciting and also depressing. Exciting because of the human ingenuity that was involved in performing these engineering feats in those times and depressing because of the immense suffering it must have caused to the hundreds and thousands of human slaves who worked at these sites.
How do we leave behind evidence of what we were so that posterity will know? Do we have to build huge temples and graves? Is there any need at all to leave the traces of our existence? Why should death preoccupy out present life so much as it did during the days of Pharaohs who spent their lives in creating these and stocking them with worldly goodies only to be looted later?

1 comment:

Mohan said...

Indeed, the absurd pomposity of it all makes for much reflection. What do we say of the archaeologist's vocation, then?
The insignificance of the individual is all too apparent when one stands by the roadside in a locality not one's habitat. The world goes on, and nary a look from the passers-by - let alone a thought.
All the same, as human beings we like to celebrate our existence and believe that it is reason for commemoration and drawing the attention of others.
So, we will announce our names, our positions, our professions, our pedigree (wherever we can!). And erect monuments and memorials.