Roger L. Simon

"Born In Arizona, Moved to Babylonia..."

In further pursuit of things Ancient Egyptian, Sheryl and I took our history-obsessed seven-year old daughter Madeleine to the reupped King Tut Show at the Los Angeles County Museum this morning. Our reservation was for nine a. m. but the early hour didn’t stop the exhibition from being mobbed. The two most popular events these days seem to be King Tut Shows and Harry Potter signings.

tutopen200.jpgI admit I’m not much of a Potter fan, but the boy king of the Nile never ceases to fascinate me. His death at age 19 remains an intriguing mystery. Back in ’68, I think, the theory, based on an x-ray, was that he had been bludgeoned at the back of the head. But that has been recently debunked by a CT scan.

This time through the Tut memorabilia, I paused at a display explaining an interesting role in history played by the boy king. He overturned the religious views of his immediate predecessor Akhnaten, a sun worhsipper who is often described as the father of monotheism. Tut brought back the supposedly-superstitious polytheism of Seth, Osiris, et al. I have a suspicion, however, given what people do in the name of religion during our time, that it is not quite that simple.