It's all relative, mummy

Some combinations are pretty much irresistible. Like with me, it would be movies and Egypt. So there I was watching a fairly recent release at the cinema. And something just didn't quite feel right.

I know these are supposed to be fun, shallow movies, but one thing did stick out. I thought I saw the Scorpion King go running past a pyramid. Mmm. That's interesting. Said Mr Scorpion was doing his stuff about 600 years before those large 4-sided 3-dimensional triangles were even built.

It's a bit like watching King Henry's VIII's youngster, Elizabeth and seeing the lovely Cate B go hurtling past the Melbourne Cricket Ground and hanging a left into Punt road.

Pedantic? Almost certainly. But it did remind me of my own trip to Egypt. I had gone there blissfully unaware (spin doctor talk for completely and utterly ignorant) of the real history. In my mind it was, you know, Pyramids, Cleopatra and King Tut. Never realising I had just spanned over 2000 years with one small, dismissive sentence.

As I studied more, people began to ask me why I was so fascinated by The Land of the Pharaohs. Besides their achievements per se, it was also the span of the civilisation that intrigued me.

To put it into perspective, I created a simple table. I started with the accepted rise of Egypt (Scorpion King) and made this Year 0. It would be interesting to draw parallels with our 'modern' civilisation, so I added another column with what had happened at the equivalent time from Year 0. For the modern world I chose 0 AD as Year 0.

I ended with the fall of Egypt, arguably when Nero took over, not long after Cleopatra.

Ancient Egyptian Event

"Modern" Equivalent

3150 BC

'Scorpion King' - Narmer?


0 AD: Christianity Starts

Bureaucracy begins


Old Kingdom starts


2643 BC

First Pyramid ('Step Pyramid')


Buddhism starts

2560 BC

Great Pyramid


Middle Kingdom starts


~ Battle of Hastings

New Kingdom Starts


~ Columbus

1334 BC




Ramesses II


US Civil War

51 BC



over 1000 years from now

41 AD



How about that. A civilisation that lasted over 3000 years. In the equivalent world, Cleopatra would not be around for another 1000 years from now. Y3K anyone?

Copyright © 2004 David Sidwell (Artwill Services) Back to Freelance Writing