convivial scholarship

Goofy HieroglyphsBy the time I heard these lines, I was in love with the author:

So when and where did all this [civilization] begin? Did the idea spread outward from the original center to other societies, or did it occur independently in various parts of the world? If it did occur only once, where was the cradle of civilization?

The problem of Diffusion versus Independent Invention is still being debated by scholars, and also by people whose scholarship is, to put it nicely, goofy. The latter believe in a single source, but they don’t agree on what it was. Some give the credit to the hypothetical geniuses of the lost continent of Atlantis. However, the most popular current theory favors visitors from outer space. I don’t want to get started on this, because it makes me lose my temper.

Barbara Mertz, Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt


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