This was originally posted on LJ on May 27, 2010
I just finished reading Mummies, Myth & Magic by Christine Mahdy, which can be found here.
The book is alright. It talks more about the history of mummies and archeology in Egypt than the mummifying process, which I must say I’m saddened about. However, it was nice to see the trends in tomb building, and mortuary practice over the years- which shows that AE was not stagnant, but did change from time to time in what they did. I also enjoyed learning the history behind archeology and mummies, but really, it’s not what I was hoping to read. It was also interesting to learn a bit about some of the pharaohs- their height, things in their mummies, and the wrong sarcophigi they were found in.
One thing I must say is that I was on the verge of getting bent/upset when I read how mummies used to be treated- ground up for medicine, turned into paper, burned, etc. It’s a shame! What a ton of information we’ve lost because people are dicks. And to think- those used to be people too. Doesn’t anyone have a heart? I question it some days.
One thing I have to add is that there is an inconsistency for me- in one of the last chapters, she talks about how Egypt has had a long history with animals. That each town had a venerated animal, and heros. That these two merged to create gods… etc. She also talks about how there were two cities- one with Heru, the other with Set, and that they fought, and that is the basis for the Contendings. I have read in at least 3 books that this was not likely to be the case- in either case. So if you do read this book, keep that in mind when reading. The author (imo) should have strove to mention that these were theories, though they’re not highly supported in what I’ve read.
In general, the book is nice, but nothing astoundingly great for me.