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The ancient Egyptians loved a good joke...
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:07 am 
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Author Topic: Ancient Egyptians Were Jokesters
ausar
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posted 03 June 2004 03:53 PM
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Ancient Egyptians Were Jokesters
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20 ... print.html
June 2, 2004 ?A recent series of lectures on ancient Egyptian humor
given by a leading historian reveals that people thousands of years
ago enjoyed bawdy jokes, political satire, parodies and cartoon-like
art.
Related evidence found in texts, sketches, paintings, and even in
temples and tombs, suggests that humor provided a social outlet and
comic relief for the ancient Egyptians, particularly commoners who
labored in the working classes.

The evidence was presented by Carol Andrews, a lecturer in Egyptology
at Birbeck College, University of London, and former assistant keeper
and senior research assistant in the Department of Egyptian
Antiquities at the British Museum.

Andrews was unavailable for comment. Scott Noegel, who helped to
arrange one of the lectures and is president of the American Research
Center in Egypt's (ARCE) Northwest Chapter and is an associate
professor in the Department of New Eastern Languages and
Civilizations at the University of Washington, told Discovery News
that ancient Egyptian humor consisted of at least five basic
categories.

They included political satire, scatological and vomiting humor,
jokes concerning sex, slapstick, and animal-based parodies.

For satire, Noegel explained that commoners would make fun of leaders
by showing pharaohs in an unflattering manner. For example, some
leaders were depicted unshaven or "especially effeminate."

Drawings of defecating hyenas and drunken, vomiting party guests are
among the existing examples of scatological humor, while the sex-
based jokes consisted of "innuendoes and outright erotica," he said.

Slapstick comedy included drawings that showed people suffering
unfortunate accidents, such as hammers falling on heads, or
passengers tipping out of boats.

The ancient Egyptians had a special fondness for animal humor, given
the many examples of sketches on papyrus, paintings, and other
drawings, according to Noegel.

He said, "(The images show) ducks pecking at someone's buttocks,
baboons and cats out of control, animals riding on top of other
unlikely animals, baboons playing instruments, and animals drinking
and dining."

One papyrus shows a mouse pharaoh, gallantly posed in his chariot
pulled by two dogs, speeding towards a group of feline warriors. Yet
another papyrus depicts a lion and an antelope playing a board game.
The lion lifts a game piece as though in victory, while the antelope
falls back in his chair.

"From everything that I've seen and heard, I believe that their sense
of humor was very similar to our own," said Vincent Jones, who
organized one of Andrews' lectures this week, and is president of the
ARCE Georgia Chapter.

Jones told Discovery News that he attended another recent lecture by
Guillemette Andreu, curator of the Louvre's Egyptian collection. He
said Andreu presented a list of Egyptian excuses as to why people did
not come into work. The top three were illness, getting married, and
sorry, but I am building a house now.

"It was funny to learn that people have been creative at getting out
of work for thousands of years," Jones said.

Humor was not limited to the mundane. A drawing on the wall of the
temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri shows an obese "queen of Punt"
in front of a tiny donkey. The inscription for the sketch reads, "The
donkey that had to carry the queen." The drawing gained popularity
and was copied, cartoon-style, many times from the original.

The land of Punt, which historians believe might have been the area
that is now Libya or Ethiopia, held near-mythical status for
Egyptians in the ancient world. Animal skins and other exotic goods
came from Punt via trade routes. Historians also think that Bes, the
ancient Egyptian god of humor, infants, home life, song, and dance,
originated in Punt.

While the Egyptians built no temples to honor Bes, shrines for the
chubby, bearded dwarf with uncombed hair were placed in many homes.
The ancient Egyptians believed that anytime a baby smiled or laughed
for no reason, Bes was in the room making faces.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:00 pm 
Prince/Princess
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LOL, that is interesting. It reminds you that Ancient Egyptians even thought they lived 1,000 of years ago were just like us.No,they did not have TVs or Planes or Phones or Electronic , but they had Emotions just like us.

~(Love,Hate,Sadness,Joy,Jealousy,Etc.)~


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:39 am 
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Hahaha. That article was cute. I'd really like to see some of these images.

I can think of a few examples of this humour myself:

in tel-el Amarna there were a few little "political" drawings depicting the royal family as monkeys.

And then in the one quarry, there was a drawing on the wall of Hatshepsut having sex with her advisor.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 3:45 pm 
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Lol! I've recently came accross that article. It's really very intersting. I would personally like to see some of the images though. :D


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Re: The ancient Egyptians loved a good joke...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:21 am 
Pharaoh
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Osiris II wrote:
Ancient Egyptians Were Jokesters


Cool Osiris II thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:01 pm 
Pharaoh
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I found this picture the other day that had what looked like 10 scribes sitting and writing and it took me a while to see that they were typing onto laptops lol. It wasnt from Ancient Egypt :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:10 pm 
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PharoahKel wrote:
I found this picture the other day that had what looked like 10 scribes sitting and writing and it took me a while to see that they were typing onto laptops lol. It wasnt from Ancient Egypt :D



:lol: LoL, When I firsted started reading your post PharoahKel and you said you saw scribes sitting and typing on laptops.I was like I knew the Ancient Egyptians were smart ,but not that smart to be able to see into the future or somthing or make laptops.But when I read the end I understood what you meant. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 5:49 pm 
peasant
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Ahmmmm...strange that I'd mention this topic to an Andrew in the spring and now Carol has finally come foreward with it.
Anyhoot, I'm glade to see Seb/Geb has finally reached out to those whom have been too serious about egyptianology to have a funny bone. Seb/Geb is known tobe a Cackler in the Book of the Dead. A Cackler having a loud silly laughter from inconsequent talk such as a joke.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:46 pm 
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lol, this is a fun article, if it haddn't looked intresting enough to read i probablly wouldn't have read it


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:13 pm 
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Ah, I remember seeing this article a while ago - it's pretty cool!

For anyone interested, there is a big book covered in gold colored paper and adorned with a big plastic red jewel, entitled Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris. The book isn't really a "book" so much as a collection of data and a glamorized version of Egyptologist Emily Sand's logbook. The book has a load of information in it, like origins of the pyramid, meanings of the different headdresses, what canopic jars were used for, etc. all with sections to fold out, scrolls to unravel, etc.

Well, there's a part in the book that describes the ancient Egyptian game of Senet (it even comes with a little gameboard and playing pieces!).

Seeing as games are typically associated with children, the page also includes a glib on "The Satirical Papyrus".

Quote:
This impressive painting on papyrus from Thebes shows animals doing all sorts of strange things - wolves herding sheep, a crow guarding some cherries, and a gazelle playing Senet with a lion. Some people think this may very well have been the first ever "children's book". It is about 3,000 years old!


Anyhoo, there is a place (in the same book, methinks), that describes Senet as a sort of "chase", as a lion would chase the gazelle (notice the connection? :wink: )

note >> if the image doesn't load, or it shows the crappy AngelFire logo, fret not! Simply right click the x or logo, click Properties, and you can highlight the URL from there!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:56 pm 
Pharaoh
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PsyPharaoh,
I'm familair with the book. My 8 yr old son got it for Christmas. It is a pretty cool book.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:09 pm 
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Ah, cool :)
Way to drag me down - I thought I was finally growing up, and you tell me I've endulged myself with the same book as someone less than half my age? :wink:

Oh, I had forgot to mention in my post - the image does show part of the gameboard of Senet, but what I had intended to scan was the little papyrus cartoon up top. There were requests to see examples of the Egyptian humor, so .. that's the only one I know of.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:06 am 
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Doesn't matter. I'm 17 and I bought the book for myself :D
I also bought Dragonology. Awesome books!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:19 am 
Pharaoh
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Sorry PsyPharaoh,

My intention was not to drag you down. My son has quite a library! He is an avid reader. I honestly think at age 8 he has read more books than I have read in my 32 years! This book is one of many books that he has on Ancient Egypt. I started teaching him hieroglyphs a few months ago. He knows the alphabet and can read most if not all of the cartouches of the 18th-19th dyansty pharaohs, nsw.t b.t an s3 Re names.

He also has the Dragonology book. He got the biggest kick out of deciphering the coded runes.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:40 am 
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Oh, I know - it was just my feeble attempt at a sarcastic humor :)

That's very impressive, what your son has accomplished! Pretty soon, he could be overshadowing even you! ;)


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