Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Alexander The Great? Yeah, He's Buried In.....Broome"

A great story of the bush pub tale variety, does it matter if it's not true?

"We just got onto the subject of Alexander The Great's tomb, and he said, 'They'll never ever find it, no matter where they look, because Alexander the Great is buried in Broome, in Western Australia'....

"Approximately 50 years ago, some guy went into a cave in Broome and he saw some inscriptions in there and they looked like ancient Greek.

"He reported it to the government, then the government went and saw it and they confirmed there were some inscriptions there.

"....he defined the inscriptions as saying, in ancient Greek, 'Alexander the Great'.

"The government did say to him at that time, 'You didn't see this, OK, this never happened'."

"Nobody ever, ever suspected that Alexander could have died in Broome..."

Great story.

In primary school, there was a big map of the world on the wall. While we were being taught that Europeans didn't reach Australian shores until the 16th century, at the earliest, I'd look at that map, at the way you could pretty well paddle a canoe (with land stops for food, water, rest) from the Middle East to just above Darwin, and think "Bullshit." If you could make that journey in a canoe (and some have), why couldn't mariners a thousand or two thousand years ago have made the same trip?

Many years later I met an old Aboriginal man in Katoomba who said that he been told ancient stories of visitors who worshipped the sun being shipwrecked at different times on both coasts, perhaps four thousand years ago. The visitors, supposedly from Egypt, and the local Aboriginal tribes exchanged gifts and traded rock carving and hieroglyphic making techniques. Some of the Egyptians died here, others built ships and left again. And some who left, returned.

Years later again, an Egyptologist at the British Museum listened to this tale and said while there was next to no proof that such meetings actually did happen, centuries of Egyptian history is lost to us, wiped away by revisionists, looting and decay, particularly from the centuries when sun worship was at its peak.

The fact that we cannot find proof now does not mean such encounters did not happen. If Egyptians did meet Aboriginals three thousand years ago, it also would help explain why the ancient Egyptians and some Aboriginal tribes had the same name for the sun, 'Ra', and shared some very similar funereal rights and mummification practises.

And then there's the boomerangs found in the tomb of Tutankhamun :