wukhet (wukhet) wrote,

In The Beginning

At the end of August, I heard about a TV series that was canceled before it ever aired, called "Hieroglyph". It was to be set in pharaonic Egypt, with a thief being used by the Pharaoh as some sort of detective or agent or something.

The concept excited me. I loved ancient Egypt and had studied - in an amateurish way - its history. I managed to finagle some of the ancient yeast from some bread dug up at an archeological site and still have that starter (I named it Onuri-Ufa - but that's another tale!). I learned about the cooking of the region - because I like to cook.

But my involvement pretty much ended with making parchment and baking bread and cooking food from the different eras (or Kingdoms) of Egypt.

Until I saw the news about this canceled-before-it-was-born TV series.

And my imagination was fired.

See, I read Barry Hughart's Number Ten Ox trilogy and loved, loved, loved it. I especially loved Master Li.

Imagine an Egyptian Master Li...

Pharaohs and Egyptian nobility would be scarce. In MY story, it would be about the average people, facing the various invasions and incursions in Egypt. I did some research, spoke to my Egyptologist friend (and I'll speak to her lots more), and decided the best era would be the era of the invasion of the Sea Peoples. I thought at first I'd choose Hatshepsut's era, but really, that was a peaceful time and not lots of story materials there.

But the beginning of the invasions of the Sea Peoples seemed a good time. Most of the Middle Kingdom seems suitable, I just have to narrow it down to a nice 50 year segment.

In doing research, I moved away from a Barry Hughart style story (the myths and tales of Egypt are nothing like that of China) and moved more towards a Downton Abbey type story. That era of Egypt is remarkably like the end of the Victorian Era, with WWI looming, and the lessening of the feudal structure of society.

So, researching the eras of the Ramesses pharaohs and Seti will bring together the lives on an Egyptian Nome, the Nomarch, his staff and servants, the villages, farms, and vineyards. The history of the times will bring the characters and stories, and this blog is about that journey, about the research and the creation of a story I'm tentatively calling "Khemet".

Some of my research will appear here, and maybe even story snippets, scenes, vignettes, character sketches, background materials.

It should be fun!
Tags: downton abbey, egypt, egyptian story, fiction, history, hughart, khemet, nomarch, ramses iii, research, seti
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