Can it be any plainer, can it announce itself any louder, that the more information we find out about ancient Egypt, the more bejeweled artifacts we dig out of the sand, the more ornate and elaborate buildings we can virtually reconstruct, the deeper understanding we have of their hieroglyphic language, that ancient Egyptians had to be the biggest assholes ever to walk the earth sideways? The only question is, who was stupider, their inbred half-wit monarchy, the priest classes who made up fairy tales about them or the people who spent their entire lives building grand buildings that no one but dead kings would ever get to use?
The entire point of everyday life for everyone in Egypt seemed to be to smooth the pathway of their Pharaoh into the afterlife, along with a few dozen hapless servants killed on the spot to join the king when he dropped dead, so they could be his slaves for all eternity. That doesn’t give anyone much to look forward to at all. The biggest mystery about the whole deal is why didn’t it occur to anyone to just kill the Pharaoh right off the bat to give him a good head start on his road to Heaven without all that tedious pyramid building, gold coffin carving and jewelry making, maybe use the kingdom’s wealth, resources and giant buildings for the good of everyone.
It turns out that half of the stuff written on these Pharaoh’s tombs was outright lies anyway, resume-building bullshit about conquests that never happened, ignominious defeats described as glorious victories, and florid praise of some queen that turned out to be the guy’s damned sister! Not only were these people assholes and liars, they were creepy too. They also worshipped cats. Not the cool kind either, like lions, tigers and leopards, but ordinary house cats, the kind that ignore you and hock up greasy hair balls on the sofa.
How all this translated itself in modern wisdom that Egypt was some sort of “Great Civilization” is a huge mystery. What, Attila the Hun and Hitler get to be history’s whipping boys and the Pharaohs get a pass? Much like the Third Reich, there is nothing about ancient Egypt anyone might want to adapt in order to make their own society a better place. Any volunteers to spend your whole life building a colossal tomb, and then getting slain because you were the guy who designed the secret passageways to the rooms where a king’s ransom in jewelry was buried?
Anyone think it’s a good idea to marry their sister? Or to deify your damned cat? Egypt is notable only for its longevity, and the suspicion is that they lasted so many thousands of years simple because their kingdom was a small one filled with stupid people and surrounded by a sea of burning sand that few conquerors thought would be worth their while. Alexander the Great and the Romans pretty much marched in and subjugated the place with only a handful of soldiers and harsh threats, what with most of the nation being off somewhere in the middle of the desert building yet another dreary tomb for yet another dreary inbred Pharaoh and his sister/queen and not available to defend their nation. So scratch Egypt off the list of Great Civilizations of The World.