Abydos in Egypt–does this look “lost” to you?
I love archaeology. I’m fascinated by the distant past. So when I saw a headline that proclaimed “7,000-year-old Lost City Found” by Egyptian archaeologists, naturally I hastened to read the story ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/egypt-lost-city-found-luxor-a7435206.html ).
Hmm… Egyptian history has long been written up as starting sometime around 5,000 years ago, so 7,000 is quite a long extension of it. Also, “Abydos” is a well-known ancient site nearby–as well as a town by the same name in Asia Minor. So “Abydos,” the name given to the lost city in the headline, was never actually “lost.” Maybe just misplaced.
We are also told that Egypt’s tourist industry, since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and all that business with the Muslim Brotherhood, has taken a terrible hit. This discovery is expected to give it a much-needed boost. Hmmm… again.
In all periods of history, there have always been groups of people who did not partake of civilization, even as there are today. I’ve been coming around to the opinion that the “cave men” that we think we know so much about were really just people who weren’t part of any civilization–and that whatever civilization might have coexisted with them has been largely erased by the passage of thousands of years.
I’ve always wondered how what we call “civilization”–with buildings, writing, government, etc.–got started in the first place. If it’s “wired in” for us, why did it take so long to appear? And if it’s not, why did it ever appear at all?
The Bible tells us that the descendants of Adam, once they were expelled from Eden, lost little time in getting cities built, creating a civilization that was wiped out in the catastrophe of the Great Flood. Another civilization arose after the flood, only to be knocked down when God confused human language when they built the Tower of Babel.
So civilization comes and goes, and the ages roll on over its remains. Stuff only lasts so long. And then we’re puzzled when we discover something like Potbelly Hill in Turkey, or that wooden tablet full of indecipherable writing dredged up from a pond in northern Greece after 7,000 years at the bottom–discoveries that upset our preconceptions of the ancient world. Maybe this discovery in Egypt is on the level, and our preconceptions will take another hard knock.