Home     Events     Store     The Center     The Founders     Gallery     News     Contact Us     Join Us

Ancient Egyptian Wisdom ... Daily Practice

Sunday, May 2, 2010

King Tut Unwrapped: A Critique

In November 1922, English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Since the discovery much information about Tut’s life has been a mystery. In February this year previously unknown information about Tut was unveiled which culminated with a two part program that aired on The Discovery Channel. While the discoveries presented were quite enlightening, much of it is still questionable while additional information is desirable.

The program had several objectives including establishing who were the parents and grand parents of Tutankhamun, identifying the cause of his death, and providing new details on his reign. Overseeing this production was Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. To ascertain all the desired information Zahi and his team investigated various tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. Two to four DNA samples were taken from several mummies, Tut being the first of them. By matching several DNA markers, the researchers were able identify Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye as Tut’s grandparents, and an unidentified mummy as Akhenaton who they also confirmed as Tut’s father. A third mummy was identified as his mother but her name still remained anonymous.

Further DNA analysis also identified genes specific to malaria parasites in Tutankhamun and three other mummies. The research team “infer(ed) that Tut suffered from a vascular bone necrosis, a condition in which poor blood supply weakens or destroys an area of bone, plus malaria.” CT scans of the mummies also concluded that Tut’s royal family didn’t suffer from a hormonal disease which gave them a feminine or androgynous appearance. This idea was assumed due to the depictions of the family in art from their time period.

While these discoveries are a welcomed bit of education, many issues still weren’t addressed in the investigation. For one, the ethnicity of the mummies was never addressed. There DNA studies revealed so much vital information about the Tut family, however, their racial make up was left out of the picture. It is indisputable and irrefutable that the ancient Kemites were indigenous African people. However, throughout the program several reenactments of the Tut family and other Kemites were portrayed by people of Arab descent. At certain points in the program while Zahi is investigating the tombs, the drawings on the walls around him clearly depict the people of the land as being African.

Now, there are several ways to prove that the ancient Kemites were African people. For one all the major golden ages of dynastic Kemet were initiated by kings who originated from the south in Upper Kemet closer to Nubia. There is no way for one to argue that Arabic people originated in the South of Kemet, closer to the heartland of Africa. Another way to prove the ethnicity of the Kemites is to collect as many pictures of all the rulers of the four golden ages, and sit them and their family members side by side. It will be clear to the eye that these people depict the phenotypical traits of African people. A third way to prove the race of the Kemites is to show that there is a cultural, political, linguistic and spiritual unity between it and all other kingdoms in Africa. The combination of these three points and others prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, the ethnicity of the Kemites.

Furthermore, Arabic people didn’t gain control of Kemet until 651 A.C.E. when they invaded the land. It was then that the cultural and racial make-up of Kemet changed. This era ushered in an influx of Arabic people from Southwestern Asia. It is thus quite baffling that Zahi Hawass and the producers of his program did not present the ancient Kemites as African people. However, this is what happens when a people don’t know their history or lack the means to present it to the masses. Noam Chomsky says, “He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.”

From this assertion we can understand how devastating it is for African people to not be identified as the creators of one of the greatest civilizations in history. Without the world universally recognizing Kemet as an African nation creates a negative perception of African people and a misinterpretation of the culture. Many Egyptologists from other cultures in studying ancient Kemet come to wrongful conclusions about various aspects of the nation. One example of this is the assumption stated earlier that the Tut family had an androgynous appearance. Individuals who are truly knowledgeable of the culture understand that such depictions were purely symbolic. This bit of information I learned myself from attending guided tours of Kemetic exhibits with the Center for the Restoration of Ma’at at the Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum here in New York City.

Jabari Osaze (DjedenMa'at Aten-Ra) and the late Dr. Asa G. Hilliard both do impressive jobs of explaining symbolism in Kemetic culture. The writing and art of this civilization is purely metaphorical and convey messages and lessons for the people of the land to learn from. If one conducts a study of Akhenaton and his reform of Kemet’s spiritual system, it will be easy to understand how his philosophy influenced the art at that time and what message he was trying to convey.

It is therefore essential that the rightful owners of Kemet’s legacy reclaim it so they may properly present it to the world. The Center for the Restoration of Ma’at is committed to this effort. The Center will conduct at least two tours of the Tutankhamun Exhibit currently at New York City's Discovery Time Square Exposition in order to provide an African centered explanation of who Tutankhamun was and the mystery surrounding his death. In closing I will state an ancient Kemetic proverb, “To know means to record in one's memory; but to understand means to blend with the thing and to assimilate it with oneself.” Thank you for reading.

Sources:

Begley: King Tut's DNA Reveals a More Manly Pharaoh: http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2010/02/16/begley-king-tut-s-dna-reveals-a-more-manly-pharaoh.aspx

The Master Keys to the Study of Ancient Kemet: http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/kemet.html

Kemetic Chronology: A Summary: http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/Baffour-chart.pdf

3 comments:

Marc said...

(BOOK OF OUM WAY) This Book Will Teach You
How to Achieve the Best Possibility and many things about our World and Universe. “Click The Link Below”
http://oumway.com/book_of_oum_way/book_of_oum_way_home_page.htm

Marc said...

(BOOK OF OUM WAY) This Book Will Teach You
How to Achieve the Best Possibility and many things about our World and Universe. “Click The Link Below”
http://oumway.com/book_of_oum_way/book_of_oum_way_home_page.htm

Marc said...

(BOOK OF OUM WAY) This Book Will Teach You
How to Achieve the Best Possibility and many things about our World and Universe. “Click The Link Below”
http://oumway.com/book_of_oum_way/book_of_oum_way_home_page.htm