Saturday, February 14, 2009

Egyptians were preoccupied

Egyptians were preoccupied with continuity and permanence for several reasons. Theirs was a culture of change. With the Nile flooding every year, they would have been forced to repair and rebuild anything along the world’s longest river. Flooding would have deposited nutrient rich soil along the banks of the Nile, but also would have clogged everything in their irrigation system. This would have been a blessing and a nuisance.

There would also have been change in their leadership and individual lives as their life span would have been so short. This would have caused chaos without strong leadership. By having a ruler that was considered divine, there was continuity. Each ruler was considered a god in his own right.

Permanence was something they sought with their architecture. It would have provided for work for the people but would have required great expenditure of resources. It would have been a two-way street, in that they were constantly in need of laborers and also crops to feed them. This would have led to need for more laborers. The Pharaoh would need to possess vast wealth to ensure his legacy.

The kingdom would need a religion that preserved both the body and soul. By doing this, they developed both continuity and permanence. They would have a feast every year at the tomb of their departed. This feast would include music, dance and a meal. There would have been wine and other things to celebrate them. Some religions believe they stay connected to their dead this way.

1 comment:

Stephanie Lewis said...

Good to bring up their ever-changing lives. Do you think our lives in the present-day change more than theirs? I think our modern western culture is very divorced from an intimate relationship with death and dying having built buildings to put the sick and dying in, and keeping the mess of it out of the public sphere. I think death was much more a reality before modern medicine and hit closer to home more for people.