Review of ‘The Entheomycological Origin of Egyptian Crowns’

As someone who lurks on internet pages devoted to Egyptian archaeology it is possible to brush against the less attractive side of the fan club … repeatedly …  It is equally possible to find another academic in a discussion with a member of this club. This is basically how I came across the magic mushroom theory about ancient Egyptian crowns.

On this occasion a friend of mine wanted back up in a ‘lively discussion’ about mushrooms and they were aware that we are keen mycologists in our recreational time.  The outcome of that inauspicious experience was my deciding to read this paper.  And then, after the trauma counselling, to wonder why no-one who was qualified to do so had shot this shoddy piece right out of the water … in writing.

Which brings me to the ‘Entheomycological Origin of Egyptian Crowns’ by Stephen Berlant, ‘independent researcher’.

This paper was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2005, but this in a way should come as no surprise.  As no self respectin…

Sitchin’s rocket in the tomb of Amenhotep-Huy

If you had ever wondered how I came to be writing cranky blog posts debunking memes on the internet, and for that matter, critiquing old art history publications, it is a slightly organic process for me.  I often use the internet for research and I research Near Eastern iconography, which naturally now and then involves searching for images or publications.

After resolutely excluding Pinterest from searches I quite often also come across links to pseudo-science posts that make uninformed claims about ancient art.  Rather than have a complete meltdown, or shun the internet entirely, I write these responses.  It is surprisingly relaxing, my partner sorts stamps, I sort blog posts, in a manner of speaking.

Today’s example comes from 2015 when I was searching for images from the tomb of Amenhotep (he preferred to be called Huy) for an article I was writing on Meroitic iconography.  I was hoping for a few good photos that I could draw to illustrate the motif of monkeys on date palms.  Instea…