Egyptomania: Why An Ancient Culture Holds Our Fascination

Monday, November 18, 2013

egypt, sphinx, egypt, pyramids, cairo A group of tourists pose for photographs in front of the Sphinx at the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt (Ed Giles/Getty)

What's behind our enduring fascination with all things ancient Egypt?

After 30 years of studying pharaohs, mummies, pyramids, and other artifacts of ancient life along the Nile River, Bob Brier, senior research fellow at Long Island University has a few ideas. It's a bit of escapism, a bit of exoticism—and more than a bit of admiration for a people and culture that has managed to achieve a kind of immortality. 

Brier's new book is called “Egyptopmania: Our Three Thousand Year Obsession with the Land of the Pharaohs.”  He joins The Takeaway to explain why Westerns are so fascinated with ancient Egypt.


Bob Brier

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]


After hearing that, "Egyptians are not descendants from the Pharaohs", I too did a double take. Could they be so different than most every man, or even more-so for egotistical descendants of the gods ~ gods' gift to women? I'd bet if their DNA was traced you'd find lots of Egyptians are carrying sprigs of those old Pharaohs DNA.

Nov. 19 2013 01:27 PM

It is not true that the Egyptians are not descendant from the Pharaohs. The Copts or the Christians of Egypt are descendant from the Pharaohs and the coptic language is the last form of the Ancient Egyptian language and it is being used today in the Coptic mass every Sunday in Coptic churches allover the world.

Nov. 18 2013 06:54 PM

this is tight. stuff about the ancients is the best when it's fact based.

Nov. 18 2013 09:44 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.