March 31, 2008
CAIRO (Reuters) - New evidence of a sick, deprived population working under harsh conditions contradicts earlier images of wealth and abundance from the art records of the ancient Egyptian city of Tell el-Amarna, a study has found.Wait. Stop the train.
Studies on the remains of ordinary ancient Egyptians in a cemetery in Tell el-Amarna showed that many of them suffered from anemia, fractured bones, stunted growth and high juvenile mortality rates, according to professors Barry Kemp and Jerome Rose, who led the research.
The study showed that anemia ran at 74 percent among children and teenagers, and at 44 percent among adults, Rose said. The average height of men was 159 cm (5 feet 2 inches) and 153 cm among women.
"Adult heights are used as a proxy for overall standard of living," he said. "Short statures reflect a diet deficient in protein. ... People were not growing to their full potential."
Are you telling me that over 2,000 years ago in a slave culture of mystics without anything even remotely resembling a proper methodology for diagnosing and treating injury and disease, people got hurt a lot and had horrible diseases? AND they had stunted growth?! Inconceivable! Next thing you know, a study will come out that will tell us all that they didn't have cars and could not communicate by email or text messaging! How did they get to Starbucks? On a camel? HA! You must be joking me.
In seriousness, I am having a hard time not blaming any surprise around this "revelation" on the idiotic trend among liberal-minded folk to venerate the ancient past and tribal societies.
I briefly participated in a recent discussion in which someone lauded the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations -- both of which were blood-thirsty, mystic slave societies -- based on incidental characteristics like their development of roads, political offices, and the concept of zero. (As soon as they threw that out there, I knew I was wasting my time.)
Listen: as far as I'm concerned, a small portion of pity goes out to anyone who had to live prior to the internet. And if I think about it very hard, I am already QUITE impatient for a cure for HIV and cancer, the internet in my brain, a teleporter, and a jet pack.
If we were still restricted to living in mud huts and riding around on animals for transportation, I would be completely pissed off about it.
Posted by: mchance27 at March 31, 2008 10:29 AM (eh9MR)
Posted by: Inspector at March 31, 2008 07:12 PM (Vb/PQ)
My favorite part: "You are the Failboat of history, Egypt. You FAIL at civilization. Your whole society? Doing it wrong."
Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at March 31, 2008 07:24 PM (ErOeR)
Their society wasn't completely impractical. They domesticated the cat. . . which they then venerated as gods.
Oh wait, I guess that does fit the pattern.
But, the only useful thing that does come from the Egyptians is their records which give us a clue about the what may have been happened before the end of the Greek dark age.
Posted by: Andrew Baker at March 31, 2008 09:06 PM (FePMz)
That Sphynx thing? To the casual observer it may look like it was made from stone, but in actual truth it is made of FAIL.
Posted by: Inspector at March 31, 2008 10:11 PM (yST62)
The Sphinx really is made of fail, though. The head is all the wrong size. It looks thoroughly phoned in.
Posted by: Qwertz at March 31, 2008 10:42 PM (oXrE3)
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