Another day, another card (or two). Today I have two cards from private Postcrossing swaps, received in June/July 2014 from Hungary (I think) and Finland, showing some ancient Egyptian artworks.


First, from Finland, a wall painting depicting hieroglyphs and I-don’t-know-what, because there is no description on the card of what is happening or where this painting is from. Not even a hint. Certainly does not seem to be a good time they are having.

The stamp on the card is ridiculously cute, though:


And second, a mummy mask from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Hungary.


This card was sent by Karo, who writes that they visit the museum several times a year, so I can make a good guess that they sent the card from Hungary, though I no longer have the envelope it was sent in.

I was very interested in ancient Egyptian culture growing up, mostly because as a very young kid, I was obsessed with cats. Cats were the greatest and most important thing to preschool-age me, and obviously any culture that worshipped cats also deserved my full attention. But, I didn’t learn my favorite ancient Egyptian fact until well into adulthood, when we visited an exhibit on mummies that came to our local science museum a few years ago (the Mummies of the World exhibit, which hilariously has a trademark on the word “Mummyology”).

So, back in the day, Egyptian pilgrims would buy mummified animals as offerings when they visited temples. This spawned a huge industry devoted to raising, killing, and mummifying the sacred animals, and apparently, the actual raising, killing, and mummifying part was too much work. We’ve discovered that lots of these didn’t actually have mummified remains in them at all. We don’t know whether people knew that they were getting and it was really about the symbolism, or if this was just a huge ancient scam, but I find the idea that it was someone’s job in ancient Egypt to make and sell real fake mummies to be very amusing.