In the April edition of the National Geographic magazine, I read a story on the ‘boat graves’ of Aha, an Egyptian ruler of the 1st dynasty.
“Arranged like a fleet moored at a wharf, mud-brick graves hold 5,000-year-old planked boats – the oldest ever found. Awaiting royal command, the vessels were likely meant to transport supplies to the next world and to enable the king to tour his realm in death as he had in life.”
The article explained that these fully functional boats had been used to “travel up and down the Nile in a powerful display of wealth and military might”, and after the ruler’s death they had been brought into the desert, which made “quite a statement of royal power and prestige.”
As I read the article, I was filled with wonder thinking of the length those Egyptians went to bid farewell to their dead Kings. A few hours later I switched on the TV and saw images from the elaborate funeral of the Pope, a funeral reported as “one of the biggest in history”.
How little Man has changed in 5000 years.