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King Tut’s Cats


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Last week I told a little about our visit to the King Tut Exhibition in Atlanta, focusing mainly on the Atlanta part of the experience. I needed more time to gather my thoughts as to what to write about what we saw at the exhibition. Today I'm ready to share more about the exhibit itself, with a different focus yet. We were not permitted to take pictures in the exhibit, and so I had to do some searching to find some online that I could use in this post.

I enjoy learning about history, but I must admit that history classes or classes with a heavy emphasis on history were always among my least favorites in high school and college. I enjoyed learning about how life was, how people interacted, and about how historical events unfolded, but I simply could not get all the names and dates down and retain them for testing purposes. I guess my mind gravitated more to the social and cultural side of history.

That being said, you might imagine why I found the King Tut exhibition fascinating. To be sure, there were all kinds of names and dates for which I was thankful not to be held responsible - I even commented in front of a table of all the lineages how thankful I was not to be a professor of Egyptian history! But greater yet for me were the artifacts and the explanations of why those artifacts were there.

I was amazed to see how advanced they were, even hundreds of years B.C., although the use of B.C.E. ("Before the Common Era") was ubiquitous in the exhibit. They even had stone toilet seats! (Today's Chinese society could take some lessons from the ancient Egyptians!) Here is a picture of some of the artifacts found in King Tut's tomb:

picture of artifacts from King Tut's tomb

It was interesting to see simple things like stools, tables, and chests similar to what we might have today. The styles and ornamentation were different, of course, but still some of the basic forms and functions were the same as today's. In addition to common, everyday objects, though, we saw beautiful and intricate jewelry, like this pectoral with a scarab:

picture of pectoral with scarab

Many objects from King Tut's tomb are not allowed in displays outside of Egypt, like his mummy itself. Here's a picture of it:

picture of Tut mummy

picture of Tut coffinette

We saw an interesting object called the Canopic Coffinette of Tutankhamun. It's a miniature coffin (about 16 inches long) that was used to store Tut's liver. We saw the coffinette, but not the liver which undoubtedly had to stay in Egypt. A picture of the coffinette is on the right.

Those of you who know my wife Becka and me or who have been a reader for long know that we are cat people. (Ever wonder what the little =^..^= =^..^= is when I sign off my blog posts? It's to represent our two cats.) Something that we noticed in the Tut exhibit was how often we saw representations of members of the cat family, be it lions, panthers, or even house cats. Here's a picture of one of the chairs:

picture of Tut chair

If you look closely, you will see that the feet of the chair are feline feet, something common to many pieces of his furniture. Here's a picture of a bed where the cat motif is less subtle:

picture of Tut bed

Here's a picture of a statue of King Tut on the back of a panther:

picture of Tut on panther

picture of running black cat

From what I found online, Egyptians domesticated cats about 4,000 years ago. The first domesticated cats in Egypt were more than likely used for warding off snakes and chasing rodents. Egyptians treated cats very well, almost considering them as spiritual intermediaries. The Egyptian cat was considered a sacred animal, apparently having the run of the place. Actual mummies of cats were buried by the thousands in special cemeteries. Additionally mummified cats have been found in various Pharaohs' tombs. Here's a picture of some cat mummies:

picture of cat mummies

Ancient Egyptians used bronze statues of cats in their temples to communicate with the gods. Inscriptions surviving on some of these statues reveal the different types of requests made to the gods by the person dedicating the statue, such as a long life or good health.

In the exhibit there were many statues of sphinxes. According to Wikipedia, a sphinx is a zoomorphic mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head, but occasionally as a lion with the head of a falcon, hawk, or ram. Here's a picture of a sphinx statue similar to the ones we saw at the Tut exhibit:

picture of sphinx statue

With their great love for morphs, the ancient Egyptians would just go crazy over what we can do today with images. Here are several pictures I received recently that are morphs of members of the feline family with other animals - puts a whole new twist on "what do you get when you cross an X with an X?"

a sphinx-like panther-ape

picture of morphed animals

a polar-tiger

picture of morphed animals

a kanga-lion

picture of morphed animals

a cat-squirrel

picture of morphed animals

That poor creature would have to be conflicted, knowing how much our cat Adelaide hates squirrels!

If you would like to learn more about the history of the finding of King Tut's tomb, here's a link to a site with lots of history and pictures - http://www.crystalinks.com/tutstomb.html

quotation...

"Don't put your eggs in the basket of temporal kingdoms." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.


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Atlanta! Tut Tut!


It must be Christmas vacation because we took a day-trip to Atlanta! Last year it was to visit the Georgia Aquarium - here's a link to that post - http://blog.ivman.com/the-atlanta-aquarium This year it was to visit the King Tut exhibition.

picture of King Tut banner

The exhibition was quite interesting and held some amazing artifacts. I plan to do another blog post about it next week. Today I'm just going to post one of my favorite reads about the city of Atlanta.

Guide to ATLANTA, GEORGIA (pronunciation is: lan-uh, JAW-jah)

picture of Atlanta

This is for anyone who lives in Atlanta, who has ever lived in Atlanta, has ever visited Atlanta, ever plans to visit Atlanta, knows anyone who already lives in Atlanta or knows anyone who has ever heard of Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta is composed mostly of one way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over when you reach Greenville, South Carolina.

All directions start with, "Go down Peachtree ... " and include the phrase, "When you see the Waffle House...." except in Cobb County where all directions begin with, "Go to the Big Chicken."

Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Place, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Run, Peachtree Trace, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Commons, Peachtree Hills, Peachtree Battle, Peachtree Corners, Old Peachtree, West Peachtree, Peachtree-Dunwoody, Peachtree-Chamblee, or Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Atlantans know only their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions, they will always send you down Peachtree.

Atlantans do not believe in turn signals. You will never see a native signal at a stop light, to change lanes, or to merge. Never.

Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. That's all they drink there, so don't ask for any other soft drink ... unless it's made by Coca Cola. And even then, it's all still "Coke."

Gate One at the Airport is 32 miles away from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch. The doors on the trains in the airport do not reopen like an elevator if you stick your hand out. And they hurt.

It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on.

The Chamber of Commerce calls it a "scenic drive" and has posted signs to that effect so that out-of-towners don't feel lost ... they're just on a "scenic drive."

The 8 a.m. rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. The 5:00 p.m. rush hour is from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning and lasts through 2:00 a.m. Saturday.

Reversible lanes are not understood by anybody, especially those who live in Atlanta. Stay out of these lanes unless you are looking for a head-on collision.

Outside of the perimeter, "Sir" and "Ma'am" are used by the person speaking to you if there's a remote possibility that you're at least 30 minutes older than they are. In the suburbs, "Sugar" is a more common form of address than "Miss." So is "Sweetpea." "Honey" is always used by Waffle House waitresses.

Ponce de Leon Avenue can only be pronounced by a native, so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. (The Atlanta pronunciation is "pahnss duh LEE-on.")

The falling of one rain drop causes all drivers immediately to forget all traffic rules; so will daylight savings time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

If a single snowflake falls the city is paralyzed for three days and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. If there is a remote chance of snow, all the grocery stores will be sold out of not only milk, bread, and eggs (like all other true Southerners, Atlantans must sit around the house eating French toast during threats of snow), but also bottled water and toilet paper. And if it does snow, people will be on the corner selling "I survived the blizzard of 2 - - -" T-shirts.

If you're standing on a corner and a MARTA bus stops, you're expected to get on and go somewhere.

It is always Smog Alert Day.

Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta's version of Old Faithful erupts.

Construction crews aren't doing their job properly unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.

Never buy a ladder or mattress in Atlanta. Just go to one of the interstates, and you will soon find one in the middle of the road.

Atlanta's traffic is the friendliest around. The commuters spend hours mingling with each other twice a day. In fact, Atlanta's traffic is rated number one in the country. You will often see people parked beside the road and engaged in lively discussions.

Atlantans are very proud of our race track, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city on the Interstates, hence its name. Actually, I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta and has a posted speed limit of 55 mph (but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as "The Watermelon 500."

Don't believe the directional markers on highways. I-285 is marked "East" and "West" but you may be going "North" or "South". The locals identify the direction by referring to the "Inner Loop" and the "Outer Loop". If you travel on Hwy 92 North, you will actually be going southeast.

Georgia 400 is the southern equivalent of the German Autobahn. You will rarely see a semi-truck on GA-400, because even the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized-SUV-wielding housewives racing home after a grueling day at the salon or the tennis match to meet their children at the school bus coming home from their college prep preschools.

The pollen count is off the national scale for unhealthy, which starts at 120. Atlanta is usually in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. All roads, vehicles, houses, etc. are yellow from March 28th to July 15th. If you have any allergies, you will die there.

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Before ending this post, I want to share a picture I took in the souvenir shop at the end of our tour of the King Tut exhibit. The souvenirs ranged from cheesy little cheap trinkets to expensive items, all based on things we'd seen in the exhibit. One of the items that caught my eye was this:

picture of King Tut tissue box cover

It's a lovely tissue box cover!

Becka's blog is one week old, and my wife has already had almost 300 unique visitors. If you haven't stopped by to check it out yet, I hope you will soon.

Have a great weekend!

quotation...

"You have to prize respectability less and rescue more because that's what the Lord Jesus is all about." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

You can say what you want about the South, but you don't seem to hear of anyone retiring and moving to the North!


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