Holy shit!Posted: January 13, 2014
Egyptologists have been pumped for this moment ever since the discovery of the Kahun Papyri.
That’s of course in the collection of Flinders Petrie.
He described Egypt as “a house on fire, so rapid was the destruction” and felt his duty to be that of a “salvage man, to get all I could, as quickly as possible and then, when I was 60, I would sit and write it all.”
And what happened to Flinders’ head, you wonder?
When he died in 1942, Petrie donated his head (and thus his brain) to the Royal College of Surgeons of London while his body was interred in the Protestant Cemetery on Mt. Zion. World War II was then at its height, and the head was delayed in transit. After being stored in a jar in the college basement, its label fell off and no one knew who the head belonged to. It was identified however, and is now stored, but not displayed, at the Royal College of Surgeons of London.
Was Flinders related to Australia explorer Captain Matthew Flinders, you wonder? Yes, is the answer, he was his grandson.
Please please Wikipedia tell me Flinders was an unambiguous hero I can get behind without reservations:
Petrie remains a controversial figure for his pro-eugenics views and opinions on other social topics…
Petrie was a dedicated follower of eugenics, believing that there was no such thing as cultural or social innovation in human society, but rather that all social change is the result of biological change, such as migration and foreign conquest resulting in interbreeding. Petrie claimed that his “Dynastic Race”, in which he never ceased to believe, was a “fine” Caucasian race that entered Egypt from the south in latepredynastic times, conquered the “inferior” and “exhausted” “mulatto” race then inhabiting Egypt, and slowly introduced the finer Dynastic civilization as they interbred with the inferior indigenous people. Petrie, who was also affiliated with a variety of far right-wing groups and anti-democratic thought in England and was a dedicated believer in the superiority of the Northern peoples over the Latinate and Southern peoples, derided Budge’s belief that the ancient Egyptians were an African people with roots in eastern Africa as impossible and “unscientific”, as did his followers.
Oh well. I doubt Sobekhotep was a peach either.