The Way Things Used To Be

My visit back in January to the Explorers Club with an Atlas Obscura contingent was followed by a walk through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum. Yes, it was rather cold for the park (and today it was just as cold, when is spring?), but there are charms of visiting the dormant Manhattan oasis. For example, the Bethesda Fountain (shown above) was drained and you could walk to the middle and look up at the angel. And she seemed to be looking down at you.

We walked through the more wild part of the park, known as the Ramble, where the paths are more winding. And more conducive to getting lost. The map function on my iPhone is a lifesaver. We also stopped by the Belvedere Castle and eventually made our way to the Met, where we got a glimpse of the way things used to be.

The Met has an amazing collection of models of Egyptian life from the tomb of Meketre at Thebes, which date to somewhere around 1990 BC. It’s amazing to be able to look into the past through these miniatures, which were created to reflect what was then contemporary. Above you can see two people caring for cattle.

And here’s a charming one of, um, a slaughterhouse. With a pretty graphic depiction of a poor cow getting its throat cut, the blood being collected. I’m not sure why the guy on the left is being so threatening with the spear.

There was also a lovely model of a garden, with a little pond surrounded by sycamore trees. Of course, that’s the picture that didn’t turn out. So you get livestock butchering instead.

It seems you would not have wanted to be a cow in ancient Egypt. Here is a statue from the same tomb where a women appears to be carrying severed pieces of an unfortunate creature on her head. And her stare is the thing of nightmares. Actually, I can say with certainty that I’ve never had a dream that took place in ancient Egypt. I am the truly unfortunate creature. Why is there not more time traveling in my dreams? Because I try to do it too much in my waking hours?

Here is one last highlight from our short visit to the Egyptian galleries: an incredibly ornate deer crown. Or diadem with gazelle and stag heads, if I am to be accurate. Either way, I would love to have this for daily wear. I can’t think of anything it wouldn’t go with. You know, I don’t own ANY diadems. This is a problem.

So there you have a few highlights to check out next time you are at the Met. Despite having visited many times, I hadn’t sought out the smaller Egyptian works, drawn away always to the impressive Temple of Dendur.

It seems we’ve returned again to winter, alas. Sorry for the slow down in content. I wasn’t feeling great in February and a lot of my activities for that month were meeting friends in bars and going to parties, which don’t make for particularly riveting blog posts, although they are a perfect winter activity.

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