Sunday, February 12, 2012
The Renegade Egyptologist Anson Hunter...on the night of THE ANUBIS INTERVENTION
What did my eyes see that night?
A luxurious cruise had suddenly turned into a passage through hell, the boat taken over by armed invaders wearing the golden masks of Egypt’s gods and goddess, animal-headed men carrying automatic weapons, and snake-slender women. I couldn't make sense of it. I kept trying to escape, making dives back to the security of the normal before returning to the shocking surface of events. Egypt had turned on me, on all of them, an entire boatload of Egyptologists, and had invaded their lives like a malignancy. I wanted air. Give me air to breathe. It was something the soul begged the gods for in the Book of the Dead. Was this malignancy going to kill all of us? Why was this happening? Egyptology would never recover from the death of the men and women in this room. Quite a choice, I thought bitterly. Give away a great discovery or let the entire profession die, including my friend Melinda, the only mainstream academic in Egyptology who respected my skills. All of my life I’d loved the shadows of Egypt, I thought, respected the power of unseen forces from the ancient past, heka or Egyptian magic and curses, and maybe this was my curse now, to find the answer to a great mystery only to lose it again. But what if I were wrong? Then I would come under the gun. I took one last look around the room at the faces of the world's greatest Egyptologists. They seemed dispossessed, I thought. I have lost a hope and they have lost a trust. This attack on them inside the community of their own discipline was a shocking violation. How could Egypt be doing this to them? I saw the disbelief that only a passion turning against its possessor could provoke. There was a lot to be said for the lonely life of the field archaeologist, I thought. Gather people together and trouble invariably collected with them. At that moment I felt a twinge of guilt about my harsh judgement of mainstream Egyptologists over the years, particularly in my blog. These men and women loved the distant days of ancient Egypt with the same passion I did. They had given their lives to it. Did they deserve to die for it too? Melinda will die if I don't do something right now. The man in the jackal-dog mask was steady, ready to pull the trigger. He wanted to make another example. I must make my negative confession. Now...