Do you think Ancient Egypt is overrated?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,281
Brassicaland
It sometimes, gold apart, seems a bit modern Scandinavian in the way it is stylish and utilitarian, for instance many items could be packed away for transport and then reassembled, a bit like Ikea. I also think they used a lot of pillows. Some of the unused coffins in KV63 were packed full of high quality plump pillows, and I think the arms of all their chairs are too high to be of any use without the seat being heavily padded out with pillows.
It reminds me of contemporary furniture as well.
These are cushions or pillows?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,348
Crows nest
It reminds me of contemporary furniture as well.
These are cushions or pillows?
I don't see much to differentiate them. Usually a pillow is oblong and is used on a bed, while a cushion is square and used in a chair. The image I had in my mind was what was found in KV63, which were oblong and described as pillows. In some languages the same word is used, for instance in German it is kissen, and the discoverer of KV63 was the late Otto Schaden.
 
May 2018
84
On earth.
I'd very much agree. Even on the scale of civilizations in Africa, I find Egypt overrated, and the fact that it dominates over other African civilizations (yes, I'm calling egypt "African", guess what continent it was on, and it's not like it wasn't built by local egyptians) in the study of history saddens me.
As mentioned before, part of this boils down to Egypt simply being better preserved than many other civilizations around the world, both in extensive written records that survive to this day and have been translated, a luxury not afforded to many other African civilizations, like Mali, who has thousands of books untranslated, or Kush and Alodia and Makuria and Notobatia, whose records remain undeciphered from some dead written script, and also in their buildings, which still stand to this day, whereas the cities of less fortunate civilizations such as Kanem Bornu have uh... degraded to say the least.
The combination of these factors, and probably Napoleon aswell have led to an extensive romanticizing of Egypt. Oh well.
 
Mar 2017
855
Colorado
I'd very much agree. Even on the scale of civilizations in Africa, I find Egypt overrated, and the fact that it dominates over other African civilizations (yes, I'm calling egypt "African", guess what continent it was on, and it's not like it wasn't built by local egyptians) in the study of history saddens me.
As mentioned before, part of this boils down to Egypt simply being better preserved than many other civilizations around the world, both in extensive written records that survive to this day and have been translated, a luxury not afforded to many other African civilizations, like Mali, who has thousands of books untranslated, or Kush and Alodia and Makuria and Notobatia, whose records remain undeciphered from some dead written script, and also in their buildings, which still stand to this day, whereas the cities of less fortunate civilizations such as Kanem Bornu have uh... degraded to say the least.
The combination of these factors, and probably Napoleon aswell have led to an extensive romanticizing of Egypt. Oh well.
Your hypothesis is that because we have an overwhelming amount of detailed information about something, the things we don't know so much about must therefore be more important?

I'll buy "certainly worth investigating." I don't think you can rate something on lack of knowledge about it.

Are you talking about Kush scrolls before the Egyptian conquest? After they kicked out the Egyptians, they adopted much of their culture ... including modifying their writing style. I think Kush hieroglyphs have been deciphered.
 
May 2018
84
On earth.
Your hypothesis is that because we have an overwhelming amount of detailed information about something, the things we don't know so much about must therefore be more important?

I'll buy "certainly worth investigating." I don't think you can rate something on lack of knowledge about it.

Are you talking about Kush scrolls before the Egyptian conquest? After they kicked out the Egyptians, they adopted much of their culture ... including modifying their writing style. I think Kush hieroglyphs have been deciphered.
My point here is that other African civilizations should have higher priority in terms of study, if that makes any sense.
For example, ancient Greece is nice and all, but what if all of the study of European history was fixated virtually exclusively on that, with a couple of footnotes saying that "Yeah, Britain, Spain, Mormons, Norse, Byzantines happened too". This is how I feel the rest of Africa is viewed in relation to Egypt (Egypt obviously being Greece in this hypothetical.) Greece was nice and all, but what about the entire REST OF EUROPEAN HISTORY? The fact is that we do have alot of the information ripe for picking, but no one is doing said picking.

Is this fair to all of the other peoples whose history is being snubbed out? No.
Does it help us to figure out the history of africa as a continent? No.
Does it help people understand that no, Africa was not a continent filled with stone age tribes? No.

And no, I'm referring to Meroitic, the late ancient/medieval nubian script. I mean this in a completely inoffensive way, but you've only helped to demonstrate my point of "egypt-centrism" in the study of African History by not being aware of this (or maybe, I've over extended here and you simply don't care for medieval history in general).

This will probably be my final edit here, but even that comparison of Egypt to ancient greece is inherently flawed.
While ancient greece was essential in the founding of modern european culture as a whole, I can't apply the same statement to ancient egypt. While it may have held significance in the culture of countries on the Nile valley, that's about as far as it goes with any real significance.
This honestly makes the study of other regions in africa excluding ancient egypt all the more important.
 
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May 2015
1,299
Germany
As mentioned before, part of this boils down to Egypt simply being better preserved than many other civilizations around the world, both in extensive written records that survive to this day and have been translated, a luxury not afforded to many other African civilizations, like Mali, who has thousands of books untranslated, or Kush and Alodia and Makuria and Notobatia, whose records remain undeciphered from some dead written script
The administrative languages of *Nobatia were Greek and Coptic, while the administrative language of Makuria was Old Nobiin, which was deciphered a century ago.
 
Oct 2013
5,879
Planet Nine, Oregon
Egypt is studied and valued disproportionately for a number of reasons. It has had a role in the development of world civilization; it was a major superpower in the Bronze Age, had a big influence on Greece and Rome, Judeo-Christian religions, and had world-class architectural and artistic achievements.
 
May 2018
84
On earth.
The administrative languages of *Nobatia were Greek and Coptic, while the administrative language of Makuria was Old Nobiin, which was deciphered a century ago.
You're right, the script itself was deciphered (we know what characters correspond to what sounds); its the language that the script was used for that remains untranslated. My bad. Point still stands though, we have untranslated texts from medieval nubia.
 
May 2015
1,299
Germany
No, the language itself is also, for most part, deciphered. Perhaps you are confusing Old Nobiin with Meroitic? The Meroitic language, like Alodian Nubian, is indeed still undeciphered.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
My point here is that other African civilizations should have higher priority in terms of study, if that makes any sense.
For example, ancient Greece is nice and all, but what if all of the study of European history was fixated virtually exclusively on that, with a couple of footnotes saying that "Yeah, Britain, Spain, Mormons, Norse, Byzantines happened too". This is how I feel the rest of Africa is viewed in relation to Egypt (Egypt obviously being Greece in this hypothetical.) Greece was nice and all, but what about the entire REST OF EUROPEAN HISTORY? The fact is that we do have alot of the information ripe for picking, but no one is doing said picking.
Ancient Greece was a lot more important to the development of modern society than the ancient Germans, or ancient Estonians or Finn's, which is why we spend more time studying them. You study what is most important to explain how the world got to where it is, and, no.disrespect to the Poles or Russians intended, the ancient Poles, Russians were just not as important as the ancient Greeks. You can't study everything, so you concentrate on the most important things, unless you are a specialist.

Ancient Egypt was more important to the history of most of us than what was happening in Nigeria at the time, and other places of Africa. Directly, or indirectly, Egypt had an influence on world history that these other African places did not.

However, you make a very valid point. While Egyptian history may be important, it shouldn't be studied to the exclusion of the rest of Africa.

Is this fair to all of the other peoples whose history is being snubbed out? No.
Does it help us to figure out the history of africa as a continent? No.
Does it help people understand that no, Africa was not a continent filled with stone age tribes? No.
Yes it is fair, because we study history not so to figure out the history of other people, but our own.and the state of the world. Egypt plays a bigger role in that. To fully understand why we use English instead of Yoruba for international air traffic, you need to understand how Western Civilization developed, and Egypt plays a significant role in that, which is one of the reasons we study Ancient Egypt. Yes, the history of Zimbawe is very interesting, and worthy of study, but we only have so much time and resources, and what was happening there in ancient times did not have the same kind of effect on world history as ancient Egypt. If I had to choose, and most do, I would pick ancient Egypt to study.

But if we are to understand the world's second largest continent, we do need to study more than Egypt. It is not fair to study only Egypt, and ignore the rest of Africa. If you azking that we should study Egypt a little less, and the rest of Africa more, then I can agree with that.

And no, I'm referring to Meroitic, the late ancient/medieval nubian script. I mean this in a completely inoffensive way, but you've only helped to demonstrate my point of "egypt-centrism" in the study of African History by not being aware of this (or maybe, I've over extended here and you simply don't care for medieval history in general).

This will probably be my final edit here, but even that comparison of Egypt to ancient greece is inherently flawed.
While ancient greece was essential in the founding of modern european culture as a whole, I can't apply the same statement to ancient egypt. While it may have held significance in the culture of countries on the Nile valley, that's about as far as it goes with any real significance.
This honestly makes the study of other regions in africa excluding ancient egypt all the more important.
Actually, ancient Egypt did influence the ancient Greeks and therefore modern Western Civilization. Not as much as the Greeks directly, but some. According to Plato, the story of Atlantis was told to him by an Egyptian Priest, and much of the imagery of the Virgin Mary came from the imagery of the Egyptian goddess ISIS. The alphabet is believed.to have been developed by Semites working for the Egyptians who were inspired by Egyptian writing. The Nsibidi writing is very interesting, but it wasn't as important to the history of world.writing scripts as Egyptian.

We do need to study the rest of Africa more. How can we understand all the conflicts going on in Africa if we remain completely ignorant of it's history outside of Egypt? I agree, that perhaps we should dwell a little less on Egypt, not ignore it, but spend more time on the rest of Africa.
 
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