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Tut, tut, those hedonists

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 23:46 IST

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The ruins of a temple in Luxor in Egypt point to a discovery that could be the ultimate excuse for any teenager facing the music the day after a night out. Archaeologists have found evidence that way back in 1470 BC — in other words, much before today’s parents were yesterday’s teenagers — Egyptians would take part in great festivals the point of which would be to partake in sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, or at least, sex, alcoholic concoctions and pyramidal rock formations. Any doubts about the ancient youngsters not making a Woodstock out of their lives have been dispelled by evidence of a drinking ritual and naughty graffiti.

John Hopkins University’s Betsy Bryan, who has been leading an excavation effort at the Temple of Mut since 2001, reported that the ritual involved everybody — except a few designated teetotallers who were required to ‘drive people safely home’ — getting plastered. The fun and frolic also involved “travelling through the marshes”, the ancient Egyptian equivalent of the contemporary “getting behind the bushes” or “settling down in the backseat of the car”.

While recent evidence has linked Boy-King Tutankhamen with a drinking habit, the rule of Queen Hatshepsut was where ‘it was at’. All this, of course, pushes back the Summer of Love quite a few centuries before it finally hit the West.

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