King Tut is getting around a lot these days via traveling exhibitions. I’m talking of course about Tutankhamen, the boy king of ancient Egypt.
I know a bit more about him from having seen his personal effects and mummified remains in an exhibition in Tucson the other day. The many artifacts on display were reproductions, including jewellry, chariots, weapons, oil lamps, and many statues representing icons and idols. Two of the statues portrayed scribes – individuals who plied a much respected profession in Tut’s time. These writers could be identified by the softness of their hands, having never had to do a lick of menial work in their lives.
The beautiful cuneiform script used in Egyptian writing appears on scrolls and greatly enhances the splendor of the artifacts I viewed yesterday – as well as narrating the old stories and traditions.
Scribes/artists have been our links to the past from cave art through to the sacred writings of the Qu’ur an and the radiantly illuminated manuscripts of medieval times.
As I write today’s post, on a digital tablet, I can imagine I have countless curious writers of the past looking over my shoulder, scratching their heads, and perhaps coveting my iPad.
In one sense, a writer is a chronicler, a person who records stuff, often in chronological order. But more than a mere stringer of words, phrases and sentences, a writer can also function as a powerful, inspiring and moving communicator (as in the pen is mightier than the sword).
No matter if nearly antiquated pens and styli have been replaced by cursors and keys.