Tag Archives: Egypt

Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities

Yesterday afternoon I took my daughter Morgan and her fiancé Jack to see Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibition displays treasures recovered from two powerful ancient Egyptian cities, Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, that were sunk into the Mediterranean  in the 8th century AD.

Previously known only by scattered mentions in ancient writings, no physical trace of their splendor and magnificence had been found until maritime archaeologist Franck Goddio and his European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) made the discovery and lifted their secrets up from the depths.

IEASM’s ongoing underwater excavations have fundamentally changed our understanding of the cultures, faiths, and history of Egypt’s Mediterranean region. This exhibition features a staggering array of objects from these excavations, supplemented by treasures from museums across Egypt.

Photo set and video below.

 


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Gods of Egypt Betrayed

This is Set. Does this look like Gerard Butler to you?  Is Gerard Butler the first name that pops into your head when you think about the right actor for the job?

Here we go again.  As usual, Hollywood thinks that actual mythology — despite the fact that it’s thousands of years old and still influencing culture the world over — isn’t good enough.  It has to be improved upon, punched up, super-sized and apparently bleached.  And so, rather than exploring the actual myths, in the upcoming film Gods of Egypt, we will instead follow the exploits of a human boy trying to put Horus back on his pedestal.  Or something.

Yawn.

And, what’s more, this human boy and all of the “gods” he will be interacting with (save one token magical negro) will be portrayed by white actors.

Yack.

I’m so disappointed with director Alex Proyas, who stunned me with The Crow (’94) and Dark City (’98).  Sure, he really mucked up I, Robot (’04) and but bit off more than he could chew with Knowing (’09).  But he was born in Alexandria for Pete’s sake, and I’ve seen what he can do when he’s on point.

Well, at least I’m not alone in my distaste — here’s a taste of the backlash.  And here’s the trailer.  Prepare to be so revolted that you actually have to press a hankie to your nose and swallow.

If I was casting this movie, these would be my picks:

Edi Gathegi as Set (he’s superb as Solomon on “Blacklist”)

Amr Waked as Horus (loved this guy in “Lucy”)

Emmanuelle Béart as Hathor