January 12th, 2012

rosicrucian -  egyptian dancers

A good day at Ye Olde Egyptian Museum

As I continue my internship at the Egyptian Museum, I have slowly been taking over segments of the school tour. Today, I gave the Gallery A talk on mummification, which is always a fun subject because the kids just eat it right up. The first time I did OK, but the kids kept whispering to each other and looking away, and it threw me off my game.

The second tour was much better, albeit harder in its way. The kids were quiet and well-behaved, but the parents had some...unusual questions. For example, we were standing in front of a statue of Sekhmet, goddess of the desert wind, and had the following conversation:

Woman: Where did it come from?
Me: The original's in the British Museum-
Woman: No, where did it come from?
Me: Well-
Woman: I mean, who made it?
Me: It was found in a temple, so it was probably commissioned by priests-
Woman: WHO MADE IT???
Me: Egyptians? Sculptors?
I feel relieved...at least we're done with that awkward conversation.
Woman: But where did it come from?
Me: ...
Woman: Like, why did they think of a god with an animal head? They couldn't have seen it. Who was the first one to do that, and why?

This devolves into a fifteen minute discussion of the origin of religion and how Egyptians could have possibly originated these ideas, a dialogue far outside the knowledge base of myself and my fellow docent, although we did the best we could based on what we knew of cultural anthropology.

At the end of that tour, one of the other adults may have felt sorry for us, or maybe we just rocked the school tour lectures, because she gave us each a tip of $5.00, which was pretty freakin' awesome since we don't get paid a cent for our time. Huzzah for nice parents!