Post by Robert Carnegie Post by Don Kuenz
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
On Tue, 7 Mar 2017 15:17:37 -0800 (PST), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
But most of us haven't opened up our own head,
or someone else's, to look at what's in there
and how it works. We take it on trust.
I'm not saying that we shouldn't... but I think
once upon a time, people believed that where
"they" were, in the body, was the heart.
There have also been cultures that assumed the soul, memory, and
personality were in the liver, since it's the largest organ and its
actual function is far from obvious.
The brain was thought by the ancient Greeks to regulate blood
Aristotle was famous for knowing everything. He taught
that the brain exists mearly to cool the blood and is not
involved in the process of thinking. This is true only
of certain persons.
At least one ancient Greek, a man named Hippocrates, AKA the "father of
medicine," knew all along that the brain housed the soul, memory, and
personality. Hippocrates studied at the temple of Amenhotep. Egyptians
performed surgery millennia before Hippocrates. Perhaps Egyptians
influenced Hippocrates' thoughts on the role of the brain.
Egyptian mummy preparers took great care to preserve
the brain, once they'd chopped it into bits that
could be drawn out through the nose and put into
the special storage jar... maybe more than one jar,
for all I know. Some pharaohs may have had a
larger than off-the-peg brain.
If in the afterlife the pharaoh wanted to use
his brain, it was within easy reach from the
sarcophagus. Once you managed to remove the lid.
The lid of the sarcophagus.
Except it wasn't going to be there:
In spite of this excellent start, little of importance happened in
Egypt until the Third Dy nasty, when Imhotep the Wise, architect
and chief minister to King Zoser, invented the pyramid, a new kind
of huge royal tomb built of stone and guaranteed to protect the
body of the Pharaoh and a large amount of his property against
disturbance for all time. That is to say, Imhotep the Wise originated
the idea of concealing the royal corpse and his treasure in a
monument so conspicuous that it could not possibly be missed by
body snatchers and other thieves.(3)
Of course the pyramids were always robbed of their entire contents, but
the Pharaohs went right on building them for several centuries
before they noticed the catch in this way of hiding things. Imhotep's
pyramid was not much good, really, for the steps, or terraces, were
not filled in, and it was less than 200 feet high. Snefru, founder
of the Fourth Dynasty, made a better one with smooth sides, filling
in the steps with bricks, which, unfortunately, soon fell out.(4)
Snefru is now known merely as the father of Khufu,(5) or Cheops,
as the Greeks called him(6), builder of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh,
once 481 feet high and still rising 450 feet with the top gone.
Although this structure failed as a tomb, it is one of the wonders
of the world even today because it is the largest thing ever built
for the wrong reason.(7)
3) The Egyptians believed that the body must be preserved indefinitely
in order to obtain immortality. Shows what they knew.
4) The later Pharaohs used stone for this purpose. It fell out, too.
5) Or Hwfw.
6) How the Greeks made Cheops out of Hwfw is at present unknown.
7) The Empire State Building is 1,248 feet high.
What's not in Columbia anymore..