Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why Did I Die?

I was 25 years old when it was time for me to go on to the afterlife. You may think that this was a young age, and for your time it is. The people of Ancient Egypt only have an average lifespan of 29 years, although some could reach 50. There were many diseases we could get that infected our lungs. Breathing in sand and dust all day was difficult, and many times the water made us sick.1 We also didn’t have the same medicine as you do today. The medicine now is much better and more advanced. There were doctors in Ancient Egypt, and they did know how to do some things such as set broken bones or apply a bandage, but we didn’t have antibiotics, which make you feel better, like there are now.
But anyway, last year I was taken in an ambulance to the hospital where a doctor did a CT scan on me. A CT scan lets the doctors see what’s inside of my wrappings. From this procedure they found out many new and interesting things about what my life might have been like and when I lived. They also found out that I had died from a cancerous bone tumor on the side of my leg. This would have made if very painful for me to walk. If I walked at all, I had a very bad limp. I can tell you that I probably didn’t even know what was wrong with my leg, only that it hurt a lot. There were no x-ray’s then, so there was no way to take a picture of the inside of my leg to see what was wrong. With the medicine now, something like this could be cured. The CT scan revealed many other interesting things about my life and my culture. I’ll share them all with you in the next entries.
1Streissguth, Thomas. (2001). Life in Ancient Egypt. Lucent Books, Inc.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How Did I Get to the Cazenovia Public Library?

In 1890, a very generous and wealthy Cazenovia resident named Robert James Hubbard established the first permanent home for the library. He then took a Grand Tour of Europe and the Middle East, with the intent on purchasing a mummy and other Ancient Egyptian artifacts for a museum within the library. In 1894, Mr. Hubbard went to Cairo, Egypt, the whole time documenting his trip in a diary. While he was there he purchased me, a mummy cat, and a few other objects that are on display. I cost him 20 British Pounds, which was today’s equivalent of about $2000. I should tell you that today a person cannot go to Egypt and buy a mummy. But anyway, I was then shipped back to the United States (for another $2000 by Wells Fargo Co.), to the library where I was placed in a glass case on the second floor. I was received with quite a welcoming, too. A “Mummy Tea” was given, with the price of 10 cents per person, which raised $35. At that time, that was a lot of money. During the “Mummy Tea” people came dressed very fancily to celebrate my arrival and they ate small treats and drank tea.
I remained on the second floor for 104 years! Now, as you may know, I currently reside in the wonderful Egyptian Room on the first floor of the library. Throughout this entire time, while I was upstairs and now that I’m downstairs, whole families of people have been coming to see me. Take for example Betsy Kennedy, the Library Director. Did you know that when she was a little girl, her father used to bring her to the museum to visit me? Now she’s all grown up!