Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tutankhamen Speaks - Sample Sunday

Sample Sunday brings you an excerpt from the short historical Tutankhamen Speaks. 

Dear _________,
    Long ago the old texts of Ancient Egypt alluded to a scroll in which King Tut spoke to the people from beyond the tomb. Many archeologists put this down to an incorrect translation of the ancient Egyptian texts. Others swore to accuracy of the translation. None of that mattered though because the scroll in question could not be found. Scholars labeled it a hoax, something that never existed. It was ludicrous to imagine someone speaking from the grave. They were wrong on both accounts.
    While helping to clean out a basement room in the Cairo Museum after the Arab Spring, I found an old scroll wrapped in linen and stuffed in a box. Upon further examination of said scroll, I decided to translate it myself, being, as you know, an expert in Egyptian hieroglyphs and scripts. What I found convinced me that this was the missing scroll of Tutankhamen’s voice from the grave.
    The condition of the text varies from well-preserved to hardly able to read. In several instances, large chunks of the text were totally eroded away. Some entries had only a beginning sentence or two while others had no ending. It was the details given that convinced me that King Tutankhamen did indeed speak from beyond the tomb, from the Land of Everlasting Life. But I will leave you to decide for yourself. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If you agree with me, I urge you to publish what I have sent so that the world can see this important time-altering work.

Yours Sincerely,
S. L. Wood

Author/Editor’s Note:

    Several years ago I met the Egyptian scholar S.L. Wood at a lecture on the state of Egyptian antiquities in the 21st century. We talked over dinner about our fascination with and love of ancient Egypt. Over the intervening years, I received emails apprising me of items of significance he had come across. You see, Wood spent his hours in museum basements, not in the field. “Treasures,” he told me, “are hidden deep in the basements of museums around the world.”
    One day a package arrived from him. His accompanying letter (part of you’ve already read) explained what he had sent. Blown away by what I read, I’ve followed his wishes and published his find for the world to read and marvel about.
    I’ve edited Wood’s translation of Tutankhamen’s words into chapters giving the translation more of a story format. This was done entirely for the reader’s enjoyment.
    As Wood stated in his letter, pages of text were either missing or damaged. In instances where what remained ignited my interest, I have included those.
    Here’s hoping you will enjoy this rare peek into the life of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh King Tut!

Tutankhamen Speaks
(Stories from my Life)

Father and Me

    Do you have favorite memories from your childhood that you can’t bear to let go, that immediately transport you back to that time and place you will remember forever and forever? I have two that happened on the same day.
    I was six years old and barefoot in the middle of winter. This I remember because the sand and stones did not burn blisters on my feet. My hands could touch the granite blocks in the square without recoiling like a snake does when its rest is disturbed in the heat.
    That morning I remember waking up to a shrill noise echoing off the walls in my chamber and down the halls.
    My half sister Ankhesenpaaten came running into my bedroom.
    “Tutankhaten, Tutankhaten, you must get up!” [ed. note: I have chosen to use ‘aten’ to show the time of the Aten worship, and ‘amun’ to show the return to Amun’s worship.]
    “What is that noise?” I asked, struggling to put on my tunic as she entered.
    “It is an elephant! One the generals brought it this morning as a gift for father.”
    “An elephant? Wherever did he find one?”
    “I don’t know. Come quickly, or we shall miss it!” she shouted back as she ran out of the room.
    I followed her down the hallway, the sound building the closer we got to our father’s receiving room. Rushing into the arched entrance lined with pictographs of the Aten, my father’s god, our bodies froze, our eyes not believing what we beheld. 
    In front of our father stood the biggest animal we had ever seen.
    “Tutankhaten, do you see it? Do you believe such a magnificent creature is here, in our palace?” Ankhesenpaaten was breathless after the rush down the hallway, but it didn’t stop her from running on about the elephant.
    And it was magnificent!
    It stood there, its smooth gray skin dripping sweat. The enormous legs and feet shifted nonstop in agitation. Ears as big as me flapped nervously as its head, too small in proportion to the body, swung back and forth, its tiny eyes seeking a way out. At the front of the head was its long trunk framed by the biggest horns I had ever seen.
    Suddenly, the trunk arched and stretched. The noise that had wakened me now blasted out of that trunk and threatened to deafen all in the room, including Ankhesenpaaten and me.
    Our father stood and motioned at the door. He was also saying something, but no one could hear a word.
    A man, who I didn’t see before, appeared from the other side of the animal. He dressed in the desert white gown worn by those who made the plains of sand their home. He touched the gray beast on the left side. The animal ceased that horrible noise, turned around, and followed the man out the door. That was when I saw the tail. What a funny addition to such a large animal! The tail was puny, short, and sickly looking. If the head of this animal was too small for the enormous body, then the tail was woefully out of place. It was too short to be of any use flicking away flies and gnats and couldn’t even reach halfway up the body.
    I looked questioningly at my father. Noticing me, he nodded his head in the direction the creature had gone. Then he did a strange thing. He held out his hand to me.
    I can’t remember another time that he ever exhibited such affection toward me. Usually he reserved that for my half-sisters. Ankhesenpaaten squeezed my arm and gave me push in Father’s direction.
    A grin spread across my entire face. I might have even skipped to him. I know my heart was skipping.
    Placing my tiny hand in his, his strong but delicate fingers wrapped around mine. A smile even touched his lips as he gently tugged on my arm.
    Hand-in-hand we walked out of the palace and into the pleasant Egyptian winter sunlight in full view of all his subjects who had also heard the deafening noise and had gathered to view the strange animal. Ankhesenpaaten followed at father’s heels not attempting to hide the smile on her face.
    This day was the day that my father the Pharaoh Akhenaten acknowledge me as his rightful heir to the throne of Egypt. Me, Tutankhaten. However, this is not the main reason I remember this day.

Thank you for reading.  

Tutankhamen Speaks is available only on Amazon.


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