"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Whatever Happened In Ancient Egypt

06 Apr 2002

Egyptian carving

Walk Like An Egyptian (Photo: CKIRIE)

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto offers a number of not-for-credit programs in the after-hours. Anyone can take them; all you need is a free evening and a fist full of dollars. But they're Canadian dollars, so that's not so bad. Whatever Happened In Ancient Egypt was about the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, taught by Gayle Gibson, Egyptologist and storyteller extraordinaire. Every Tuesday night, we would look at slides, hear tales of antique lands and kings, and take tours through the ROM's Egypt and Nubia galleries. Fabulous.

One night, we got to touch 3000 year old shwabtis, maces, mirrors, and a wooden ear. All the real things, all from Egypt. Seriously neat stuff, considering that it was all so old, and yet hadn't been dropped or smashed, or just plain lost. How many of my own personal possessions have had a fate like that, and none of them are much over 30 years old.

After class I'd drop by my mother's place and regurgitate as much as I could remember, telling broken stories about royal intrigue, embalming, and some more recent tales of British soldiers -- but I said I wouldn't spread those further.

Related Sites

The Royal Ontario Museum
The Society For the Study of Egyptian Antiquity
Egypt Online