There’s this concept called six degrees of separation, not to be confused with the game (called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon) that arises from the idea that the world is now so interconnected that we can be linked to anyone or anything in six steps or less.
Well, the Discovery Channel is big on Ancient Egypt, particularly Ramses II, Tut and the Amarna bunch (Akhenaten, Nefertiti, etc.). I’m sure that the Discovery Channel and Siemens are or have been in bed with Zahi Hawass because Discovery Channel gets access to film all kinds of stuff, and the CT scanner and DNA lab that Siemens set up for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo are always being filmed, with the Siemens logo always in the shot. I know because I’m interested in Ancient Egypt (and have been since a child) and I watch all their programs. Zahi Hawass also features prominently in these programs since he has been the head honcho of the Department of Antiquities — which is why I often refer to them as “The Zahi Hawass Show.” The latest of these somewhat breathless and melodramatic offerings (complete with “reenactors” of whichever royal personages happen to be pertinent). They’re always narrated by earnest, utterly serious types, and the narration tends to be a bit overheated. You don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s their latest offering, entitled “Nefertiti Revealed.”
So, what connects the first paragraph above to the second? As I’m watching “Nefertiti Revealed,” it occurred to me –there is just one degree of separation between the famous bust and me. I saw it (as well as a joint exhibit of Amarnan artifacts on loan from the Museum at Cairo) in the Aegyptishes Museum when I lived in Berlin. I can also connect myself to any episode of “The Zahi Hawass Show” in two steps — my BFF used to work at the Carnagie Museum in Pittsburgh, on their Egyptian exhibit, oddly enough, and met Hawass at a reception related to its opening. A bit of a rush to see artifacts on TV that you’ve seen for real.