I have always had this thing for the Egyptians. Actually, I adore all history, but the people of long-ago Egypt especially caught my attention, still does.
Many years ago, when televised, history-based documentaries, were seldom offered on the networks, I found one. It was on Saturday mornings, and I arranged my Saturday chores so that I might never miss it. The program covered many timelines but in particular was the story of Egypt, the pharaohs, the Pyramids, and ancient Egyptian burial practices.
I mean I was enthralled.
One Saturday morning, as I sat with my nose five inches from the screen, my youngest son, Kelly, walked through the living room. He stopped momentarily to take a look at what had my devout attention. Then he said, "You really are weird."
Yes, I really am weird.
The few minutes Kelly watched, was the part about Canopic Jars or storage jars, some of which were shaped similar to mystical objects, like gods of the realm or (I think) curious animal images. The jars had a very important and specific use. Traditionally four jars were included with the mummified burials: one each for the stomach, intestines, lungs and liver.
So yes, I had gotten to that part of the documentary and my son, Kelly, made an observation. Yep! His Momma was weird. So, I have proof.
But my attention is not only for Egyptians, although I will add one more concern. I worried concerning their diet, especially the people who spent their entire lives building the Pyramids. I wondered if they only had the flat bread cooked in brick ovens as have been found at their places of habitat.
Now I rest easy on that account. You see in recent years archaeologists found remains of onions at these sites. Yes! The people had onions with their bread, and we know they had beer ("heket"). There was an abundance of beer for both adults and children. So, I have moved on from that.
During the last 25 years or so I have worked my way through the American Revolution, Native American history, especially the great Choctaw Chief Pushmataha, also the American Civil War, the Mexican American War, most of the English royalty prior to the invasion of the Vikings and beyond, WWI and WWII histories, and most recently I have dipped into the Russians.
But there is nothing to compare with Mississippi history, deep and longing, persevering, kind-hearted with hopeful attitudes. I mean we just keep-on-keeping-on.
The last twelve years I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) with Meridian history. As many of you know, I am the Director of Rose Hill Cemetery Costumed Tour presented each last Saturday in September. During these years, the Rose Hill Company has enjoyed immense popularity as thousands come out for the event.
Therefore, I announce my next muse. As a partnership with City of Meridian and Rose Hill Company, I will direct a downtown historic walk. It is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. until sundown (5:45 PM). It is free, excellent for all ages, a teaching tool so bring the children.
Watch for a press conference on Monday, Jan. 24 for more information.
So yes, I am weird, but I have found that weird is good, most of the time. Kelly knew.
Anne McKee is a proud, native Meridianite and Mississippi historian. She is the author of “Remembering Mississippi” and “Historic Photos of Mississippi.” Anne is known as a Mississippi Storyteller and as well the Director of Rose Hill Cemetery Costumed Tour. See her website: www.annemckeestoryteller.com