August 10, 2017

"A 100-foot statue depicting a Chinese deity was covered with an enormous sheet this weekend in East Java Province, Indonesia..."

"... after Muslims threatened to tear the colossus down amid mounting ethnic and religious tensions across the country," the NYT reports.
The Islamist campaign against the statue, a depiction of the third-century general Guan Yu, who is worshiped as a god in several Chinese religions, began online and soon spread to the gates of a Chinese Confucian temple in Tuban, near the Java Sea coast, where the figure was erected last month.

On social media, Muslims assailed the statue as an “uncivilized” affront to Islam and the island’s “home people,” and a mob gathered this week outside the East Java legislature in the city of Surabaya to demand its destruction.
How did such a statue get erected in the first place? Here are the demographics of the province of East Java. Ethnicity:
Javanese (80%), Madurese (18%), Indian (10%), Chinese (2%)
Religion:
Islam (96.36%), Christianity (2.4%), Buddhism (0.6%), Hinduism (0.5%), Confucianism (0.1%), Kejawen also practised
Is it about wealth and foreign influence? The NYT article says Muslim Indonesians are afraid "that as Beijing becomes more dominant in the region — exerting financial and military influence — ethnic Chinese will profit at the expense of Muslims."

Look at the photograph of Guan Yu. The military general as god is holding a sword so huge that it's sticking out from under the enormous sheet. The Times quotes the Indonesia director for Human Rights Watch, who criticizes the Muslims for using a "hostile interpretation" of the Quran to argue that the statue shows "that China is dominating Indonesia." But why put up a statue other than to say something?

One of the Muslims who's opposing the statue is quoted saying: "Actually we can allow them to build the statue, just not as high as it was and it should be in the temple, not outside... We are tolerant."

Why didn't that argument get made before the huge thing went up? Reading about the Guan Yu statue made me remember writing about colossal statues in the past. From a post I wrote in 2014:
Let's realize that throughout history statuary has been used to intimidate people. What's all that ancient Egyptian sculpture about if not to cow people into abject submission?



Think of all the Lenin and Stalin statues. And how about Saddam Hussein's despicable "Victory Arch"?

That post wasn't about a big intimidating god-warrior like Guan Yu, but about a life-size sculpture of a man stumbling forward in his underpants. That sculpture — "Sleepwalker," by Tony Matelli — upset some Americans at Wellesley College. They didn't throw a big sheet over "Sleepwalker," but they did put orange safety cones and yellow "caution" tape around him.

ADDED: Remember when the U.S. Department of Justice spent $8,000 on a big old drapery to cover the half-nude "Spirit of Justice" statue after photographers seemed too interested in framing Attorney General John Ashcroft with the looming breasts over his head?

62 comments:

Roughcoat said...

Almost as bad as working for Google.

CWJ said...

Then what's to be made of Mt. Rushmore? Intimidation? Inspiration? Stauee of Liberty?

gspencer said...

"On social media, Muslims assailed the statue [of another religion] as an “uncivilized” affront to Islam and the island’s “home people,” and a mob gathered"

A Muslim mob gathered? What will happen next is so predictable.

Yet Islam and Muslim practices still can't be criticized?

Meade said...

Covering up can result in tenting which draws prurient attention.

Roughcoat said...

What's all that ancient Egyptian sculpture about if not to cow people into abject submission?

It was not used to cow people into abject submission.

CWJ said...

Obama gets halos. Ashcroft got boobs. Even trade.

SDaly said...

The Chinese are a wealthy, powerful minority in many Asian countries. People equate them to how pre-war Jews were viewed in Europe.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Apparently, Ashcroft had nothing to do with the curtains; although the explanation certainly sounds suspicious. Reportedly, Ashcroft had no problem with the nudity/statue but was tired of photographers taking photos of him with it in the background.

Wikipedia's partial accounts reads:
"In 2002, under John Ashcroft, curtains were installed blocking the statue from view during speeches. The curtains were first used on a rental basis during the administration of Dick Thornburgh. Justice officials long insisted that the curtains were put up to improve the room's use as a television backdrop and that Ashcroft had nothing to do with it. Ashcroft's successor, Alberto Gonzales, removed the curtains in June 2005.
On May 7, 2007, National Journal's "Inside Washington" column reported that it was Monica Goodling who ordered drapes to be placed over the partially nude Spirit of Justice statues during Ashcroft's tenure as Attorney General. At the time, the department spent $8,000 on blue drapes to hide the two aluminum statues, according to spokesman Shane Hix."

David Begley said...

So what do Muslims think of Bucky Badger and Herbie Husker?

Michael K said...

"The Chinese are a wealthy, powerful minority in many Asian countries. People equate them to how pre-war Jews were viewed in Europe."

Yes. There have been anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia for decades.

The same phenomenon is seen in east Africa with Indians. Gandhi was an Indian lawyer in Africa.

David said...

"Muslim Indonesians are afraid "that as Beijing becomes more dominant in the region — exerting financial and military influence — ethnic Chinese will profit at the expense of Muslims."

Ethnic Chinese have been profiting at the expense of just about everyone for thousands of years, especially in that part of the world. It's one of the things that the Chinese are really good at.

traditionalguy said...

A mere 100 foot tall Totem is nothing to fear. The Muslim guys are just jealous that they cannot erect one.

Darrell said...

They shouldn't have let the first Muslim in to begin with.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

While stationed in Japan I was taking college classes at night. (You can go a long way towards getting a degree in the military if you want to.) One of the professors told the class a story of being out in a car with a ethnic Chinese gentleman in some third world country in Asia, I forget which one, when they were stopped at a road block by some people from the majority ethnicity of the country during a time of heightened ill feeling towards the local Chinese. Rioting, burning of businesses, etc. However, luckily the Chinese guy was an avid golfer and for that reason had a tan. That's pretty rare in Asia. So the people at the road block assumed that he was a manual laborer and that made him a "good" Chinese and they let them go.

Quaestor said...

It was not used to cow people into abject submission.

Correct. Pharaonic Egypt was a remarkably peaceful culture and virtually free of slavery, in spite of what Jews, Christians, and Muslims are taught. The Pyramids were not built by hundreds of thousands of slaves toiling for decades. Every piece of hard archeological evidence points to massive building projects in Egypt being carried out by volunteer labor by free men whose motivation was primarily religious.

However, some colossal statues like those of Ramses II at Abu Simbel were erected at sites that were quite remote from the major population centers of the New Kingdom period, which suggests their purpose was not strictly religious. Abu Simbel may have been built to intimidate the less sophisticated cultures of Kush and Nubia.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The Pyramids were not built by hundreds of thousands of slaves toiling for decades. Every piece of hard archeological evidence points to massive building projects in Egypt being carried out by volunteer labor by free men whose motivation was primarily religious.

My understanding is that the current thinking is that the construction was done when the men weren't needed in the fields. And that nearby graves for the workers show careful and respectful burial, not the sort of thing that would be done for slaves. Analysis of the bones shows that the work was literally back breaking though.

Bob Boyd said...

My first thought was about the destruction of ancient art like in Afghanistan, but this isn't a historical relic. When I saw the picture I had to admit, I wouldn't want that horrible thing looming over my town either.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The Egyptian Pharoahs job was governing a culture of amazing abundant agriculture done by an army of workers on the strip of irrigated Nile Floodplain. The dilemma was what to do with the farm workers to keep them from wandering away or from fighting among themselves over women and status over the 4 months each year when their intense labor was finished until the next flood arrived.

Enlisting them into teams for building monuments to the God who made the Nile flood come back made perfect sense. So that was what they did

exhelodrvr1 said...

Flee the erections!

Quaestor said...

...nearby graves for the workers show careful and respectful burial...

Prevailing theory holds that the workers hoped to earn burial on the sacred site by their efforts. Recent documentary evidence suggests that construction work on the Great Pyramid was not seasonal, but proceeded throughout the year, which in turn implies that many laborers on the site had no other occupation other than construction work. One piece of evidence concerns deliveries of fresh produce to the workers' mess hall which would not have been available during the Inundation. Previously egyptologists believe construction work was done during the Nile high water months when the fields were inundated and therefore idle. During those periods the available food was stored from previous harvests. Evidence of fresh food consumption by Pyramid workers is inconsistent with the seasonal labor theory.

Bad Lieutenant said...


David said...
"Muslim Indonesians are afraid "that as Beijing becomes more dominant in the region — exerting financial and military influence — ethnic Chinese will profit at the expense of Muslims."

Ethnic Chinese have been profiting at the expense of just about everyone for thousands of years, especially in that part of the world. It's one of the things that the Chinese are really good at.
8/10/17, 8:20 AM


Superficially, if you were to replace Chinese with Jews in the above, I would regard it as an extremely illiberal remark.

I wouldn't claim to know details but I would assume that the Chinese due to their natural characteristics were able to prosper in these environments, and as they were a minority I question the degree of recourse to sharp practices. Some people just get jealous of others' successes especially when they don't understand them.

Hagar said...

Javanese (80%), Madurese (18%), Indian (10%), Chinese (2%) = 110%

Bad Lieutenant said...

Buwaya will no doubt have the true word on this.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

...if not to cow people into abject submission?

Suppose the Hindu minority were to erect a huge bovine statue...

Bob Boyd said...

That thing is uglier than a mud fence.
If you want to look at Guan Yu all the time, get a little one and stick him your dashboard.

The statue should be collapsed with explosives. It's going to get blown up anyway. Might as well do it in a controlled fashion so no one gets hurt.

There. Problem solved.

Quaestor said...

For some reason of all the gods and ancestor spirits of the Chinese, Guan Yu seems to rate HUGE in the monument department. A 100-foot statue of the venerable general is rather picayune is comparison to this 190-foot behemoth.

And how about this one?

And this one?

Bob Boyd said...

"Suppose the Hindu minority were to erect a huge bovine statue..."

Or the people from Minnesota...

Achilles said...

Giant Muslim mob? Pfft!

Wait until the HOA hears about this!

buwaya said...

1. Old native prejudice vs Chinese - even to massacre, recently
2. Muslim chauvinism, stronger recently
3. Recent pressure from China created a nationalist reaction, even in Chinese Singapore.
4. Clueless Chinese. I swear these guys are often afflicted with Aspergers. They are a vulnerable alien minority dealing with touchy natives. Seeing through others eyes is not their skill set.

You guys all got it anyway. I am no expert on Indonesia really.

Most of this is seen all over SE Asia, or points 1 and 3, and very often 4.

Part 3 I saw a great deal of. What struck me was the universal meme in Luzon, up and down the coast for where we travelled from beach to beach for 150 miles. From provincial governors and billionaires to street vendors and little children the word was the waters before us were now the "West Philippine Sea", and no longer the South China Sea. This is unofficial.

If some Chinese were to raise great patriotic statues on the Philippine coast there would be a reaction there too.

Bob Boyd said...

I never met a Minnesotan I didn't like, but not in my back yard.

http://c8.alamy.com/comp/A83KGP/giant-statues-of-paul-bunyan-and-babe-the-blue-ox-guard-the-entrance-A83KGP.jpg

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Recent documentary evidence suggests that construction work on the Great Pyramid was not seasonal, but proceeded throughout the year, which in turn implies that many laborers on the site had no other occupation other than construction work.

I was not aware of that, thanks for the info. It certainly makes sense that some of the workers would be skilled and not seasonal. Those stones didn't dress themselves and farmers aren't going to have that kind of skill.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

If it lacks a building permit, it should come down. Rule of law.

The Voice of America article on the subject says "...the local government failed to issue a building permit.... 'But because there is an internal conflict in terms of management of the temple as a foundation,' no IMB was issued."

"Failure" implies an intent or obligation. Seems that the temple foundation, not the local government "failed" here. Bad writing, VOA.

https://www.voanews.com/a/in-east-java-statue-of-chinese-god-stirs-controversy/3977124.html

Ann Althouse said...

"Correct. Pharaonic Egypt was a remarkably peaceful culture and virtually free of slavery, in spite of what Jews, Christians, and Muslims are taught. The Pyramids were not built by hundreds of thousands of slaves toiling for decades. Every piece of hard archeological evidence points to massive building projects in Egypt being carried out by volunteer labor by free men whose motivation was primarily religious."

Tell me more about the political leanings of the present-day Egyptologists. Are we dealing with some sort of critical race theory revisionism?

Just a question. Your description sounds so revisionistic: "Egypt was a remarkably peaceful culture and virtually free of slavery..."

Anyway, peace can be achieved by totalitarian domination. And technical slavery may unnecessary when everyone other than the dominating class is under control. "Voluntary labor by free men..." I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd like to know how one sees that in the stone.

The idea that "hard archeological evidence points" is funny, because human beings, living in the modern world, are interpreting the archeological evidence. Are the stones "pointing" or are people looking at the stones and seeing what they want to see? Speak to me of the intentions and desires of the modern human beings. Don't edit out these intermediaries.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

We have our own problem with Confederate statues in this country. As the Book says, let he who is without iconoclasm place the first satchel charge.

Angel-Dyne said...

"The Times quotes the Indonesia director for Human Rights Watch, who criticizes the Muslims for using a 'hostile interpretation' of the Quran to argue that the statue shows 'that China is dominating Indonesia.'

Leave it to an NGO spokesman to provide a quote that doesn't even make sense. (Assuming the quote was not completely buggered up by the reporter.) But the assumptions implicit in the nonsense are more interesting than the straight content. Reality is pressing in on poor globalist NGO utopians, and I guess the exhausting efforts to deflect it can lead to a lot of mental confusion.

There appear to be two "simple facts of the world we'd rather not face" here:

1) The "market-dominant minority" Indonesian Chinese have dominated the Indonesian economy for a long time, with the attendant native/market-dominant minority conflicts common to every such arrangement anywhere in the world. With the economic ascent of China, Chinese economic dominance will only increase; an increase in us/them line-drawing and tension is entirely predictable. Nor is the Indonesian reaction entirely irrational - no matter how capable a dominating "outsider" group is, they're not doing you any good if they're working strictly in their own interest, and those interests are at odds with your interests.

1) A huge Islamic country (once considered the most easy-going and tolerant of Islamic nations) is becoming more and more fundie and intolerant. This is a predictable response to the forces of globalization. (Astute people passing through Indonesia at the time of the currency crisis probably saw this coming.)

But ever-greater globalization is an unqualified good, and ever-increasing cultural diversity is an unqualified good, everywhere. Right? Also, there are inherently good versions of religion (the kind that recognize the unqualified goodness of the unqualified good things mentioned above) and inherently bad ones (the ones that don't recognize those things). There's a hell of a lot of religion in Indonesia, so resistance to the unqualified goods must just be the result of people's "hostile interpretations" of the stuff in their holy books. And that can be fixed with educational out-reach programs on how to correctly interpret one's holy book. Please donate to our NGO!

P.S. That's a hideously tacky and ugly statue and I can sympathize with anyone wanting to burn it down, whatever their motives.

mockturtle said...

I'm sure the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson atop the tower at Trafalgar square intimidates both Londoners and visitors alike.

mockturtle said...

CWJ asks: Then what's to be made of Mt. Rushmore? Intimidation? Inspiration? Stauee of Liberty?

Sure, the Statue of Liberty is really saying: "Keep out, you huddled masses! We don't want your kind. I'll torch you if you come any closer!"

mockturtle said...

Guan-yu will be known as 'Guano'-yu after the birds use it for target practice.

buwaya said...

These mighty statues (and all sorts of other symbolic art) resonate differently with different cultures. The message is usually intended for a particular culture. Should that culture change, or be replaced by a different people, fines statuae ( please correct my Latin).

Trafalgar Square probably means something entirely different to much of the current population of London, a totem of a competitive race and master-class.

Given enough time, and assuming that it is not quite enough time for the new Londoners to acquire some fondness for the familiar, or at least to learn to appreciate the charm of foreign ancient things, as with Cleopatras needle, the population may well erase it, as the Taliban did the Buddhas of Bamiyan. They did that because there were no Buddhists there to oppose them, as there may be no Englishmen in London.

Roughcoat said...

Althouse:

Concerning learning about life in ancient Egypt, I suggest you pay a visit to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago -- where I am employed and where I will be delivering a paper on chariot warfare and the Battle of Kadesh in a few weeks at the annual Hittitology conference.

Several of the world's top scholars in ancient Egyptian studies are on the faculty.

As for "Tell me more about the political leanings of the present-day Egyptologists. Are we dealing with some sort of critical race theory revisionism?"

Present-day Egyptologists lean, politically, every which-way. We are not dealing with race theory revisionism.

I'll commit a fallacy here and argue from authority.

Feste said...

... and then, there's Trump Tower.

mockturtle said...

Given enough time, and assuming that it is not quite enough time for the new Londoners to acquire some fondness for the familiar, or at least to learn to appreciate the charm of foreign ancient things, as with Cleopatras needle, the population may well erase it, as the Taliban did the Buddhas of Bamiyan. They did that because there were no Buddhists there to oppose them, as there may be no Englishmen in London.

Sad but true, buwaya! The demographic suicide Europe is committing will ensure that no such totems remain to remind us of England's glorious history.

Paddy O said...

"Every piece of hard archeological evidence points to massive building projects in Egypt being carried out by volunteer labor by free men whose motivation was primarily religious."

A true worker's paradise!

Paddy O said...

The idyllic experience of workers who perform arduous manual labor out of love for their god is not limited to ancient Egypt.

Ambrose said...

That must be some sheet.

Roughcoat said...

Slavery was ubiquitous in the ancient world (and the modern world too, for that matter, but that's another subject) but it varied widely in form and severity. In ancient Egypt mass chattel slavery was eschewed. The workers of ancient Egypt who built the cities, monuments, etc. were in fact freemen who were paid for their labor. Most scholars in the field agree on this point. And when I say "most" I am talking the vast majority. The racial/racialist angle is no longer under considered a serious topic of study; the advent of DNA archaeology put the ki-bosh on it. The Kemetic peoples were not black. In fact they were light-complected if they stayed out of the sun, which noblewomen were at pains to do, white skin being a sign of high birth and social status. Throughout their long history the Egyptians were scrupulous in their graphic arts in portraying black Africans as, well black Africans, and Egyptians in white or flesh-colored tones verging to red because of the color of the paint. In the New Kingdom the aristocracy had significant Indo-European bloodlines due to intermarriage with the Mitanni and other IE noble houses in the region. It was not until very late in the history of dynastic Egypt that a black African dynasty briefly ruled the Land the Kem.

Balfegor said...

That is a very blingy statue of Guan Yu. I know he's traditionally depicted with the red face, but in the three man team of Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei, I always thought of Liu Bei as the "normal" one, with Zhang Fei (who fights with the spear) broad, ruddy (drunk), and loud, and Guan Yu (who fights with the sword) taller and more dignified. The gigantic statues is a new thing to me -- I don't think there's much of a tradition of monumental statuary in China -- and it probably is an example of newfound Chinese assertiveness. Old-fashioned Chinese cultural chauvinism expressed in Western modes.

As many commenters have already remarked, anti-Chinese prejudice is widespread in Indonesia, and there have been lots of race riots aimed at killing the Chinese in Indonesia. It's a little surprising, frankly, that the article doesn't call out that important context, but instead allows one of their quotes to imply that anti-Chinese sentiment is only just becoming strong, as opposed to having exploded into violence multiple times in recent memory, prompting large numbers of Chinese Indonesians to flee the country.

Roughcoat said...

Anti-Chinese sentiment was awfully strong in Malaya in February 1942 when the conquering Japanese set in motion the so-called Sook Ching. The result was over 100,000 ethnic Chinese being murdered by the Japanese who were in many instances assisted by native Malays. That was 75 years ago.

Sebastian said...

Let's see. 1. Why did this get erected in this first place? 2. Why should there be a big Chinese statue in a majority-"Javanese" area? 3. The Chinese are coming! 4. Aren't big statues meant to intimidate? 5. Wait, we do it too! It's just like the Ashcroft boob thing!

Seems like I'm missing something. What could it be?

Michael K said...

"The workers of ancient Egypt who built the cities, monuments, etc. were in fact freemen who were paid for their labor."

I've seen some excavations of their houses and the inscriptions. It's pretty interesting.

I suspect the theory of off season labor is correct plus the worship of the dead.

buwaya puti said...

Every place in Java is majority Javanese, unless you define the location very, very tightly, as in a quarter of a city.

Everybody does it too. Usually when they are the majority, or are running the place. When they aren't in power or the majority, things can get sticky.

I don't think it is the Muslim thing really. This would be controversial in my most definitely non-Muslim hometown these days.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hmmm. So from a freedom of expression standpoint am I supposed to care about the feelings of the population or not?
I mean, this post seems to express surprise that the big imposing statue (sending a message opposed by much of the public there) was "allowed" in the first place. That seems to imply a recognition that the public has--and maybe even should have--a veto over expression they find troubling (distasteful, intimidating, etc).
Certainly that's how things work in most places!

I remember a few years ago, though, when there was a furor over a large mosque being built near the former WTC site, and I'm pretty sure the consensus was that people who objected to that being built were all stupid terrible backwards racists...that any objection to the building going up was intolerable. Freedom of expression, you see, plus only an idiot would be intimidated by a building (or towers, or statues, etc). Islamaphobia, straight up.

So shouldn't the same analysis apply here? Shouldn't we be on the side of the minority who want the statue?

Shane said...

Alternate headline: "Muslims demand new statue to the The Klan because they are offended by old 100 foot statute of 1800 year old Chinese god/general."

Anthony said...

I have to admit, the giant crossed swords over the highway is some kind of awesome.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I really enjoy the statue blogging. Maybe the majority Muslims should put up a statue of their own to present an alternative teaching, while leaving the Chinese deity? Whoops; their religion forbids statues (for the most part). Maybe the Aga Khan, head of a minority within the Shiite minority of Muslims, can come up with a museum and some art work. He has apparently supported some sustainable industry and at least one school there. He is known for celebrating and curating Muslim art and architecture.

Darcy said...

I miss John Ashcroft. What an incredibly decent man.

My husband called his office asking him to come speak to the Broncos team about his faith while he was AG. He immediately got a call back saying he would be delighted. He gave a very well-received talk and turned down a jersey with his name on it.

It was upsetting how hated he was by lefties. But that was nothing compared to today's hatred. Sigh.

buwaya said...

There are laws and there is prudence.
For all I know there is no Indonesian law against this.
But even so the Chinese community leaders (and they certainly exist) should have prevented this as it leads to communal frictions.

In most countries minority groups tend to have an informal but often an officially recognized leadership structure. The old way was multiculturalism meant parallel societies, interacting only at some customary points but not in others. Usually business-only but limited social contact. It gets complex.

Indonesia is not the US, even if one leaves Islam aside.
Its their culture and society, for them to run their way.

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote: I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd like to know how one sees that in the stone.

It's not the stone, it's the bone. There are hundreds of known burials on the Giza plateau, and there probably there many thousands that have not survived. These burials contain the remains of Egyptian commoners who though not embalmed like the members of the ruling class were nonetheless interred with charms and prayer chits (fired clay tokens with incised ritual prayers) indicating that they were buried with some reverence and that they believed in the Egyptian afterlife cult. The condition of the bones, particularly the vertebrae, show changes consistent with arduous manual labor of the sort one would likely experience building a pyramid.

Hard archeological evidence consists mainly of what people make and what they write. What the Egyptians made were monuments — temples and tombs for the most part. What they didn't build were palaces and fortifications, at least not during the Old Kingdom period. Though the pharaohs were buried in monumental tombs and with elaborate ceremony in life it does not appear they lived in palatial dwellings. The first Egyptian palaces that are clearly such date to the Amarna period, which was a very exceptional epoch of Egyptian history. Contemporary civilizations such as the Hittites, the Mycenaeans, and the Akkadians fortified their cities with strong defensive walls. They built walls because walls were needed.

War was endemic in the ancient Near East, but not in Egypt. While it is true that a few very famous pharaohs were warrior kings, Thutmose III and Rameses II particularly. most were not. The vast majority of Egyptian rulers never fought. Egypt had good natural defenses and as a culture, they were not aggressive. Ancient Egyptians did not practice large-scale slavery for perhaps many reasons, but the most convincing is the general absence of war-making in their history. Without war there a few captives. Without captives, there are few slaves.

Roughcoat said...

War was endemic in the ancient Near East, but not in Egypt.

You're wrong. Organized warfare in ancient Egypt from the pre-dynastic era through the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom (and, especially, the two Intermediae Periods) was no more less endemic than it is now, which is to say . . . it was endemic. Just about every year since time immemorial the Egyptian armed forces, usually commanded in person by the king, sallied forth from the Nile Valley to chastise various external enemies. Not infrequently tribal peoples conducted forceful migrations into Kem and had to be ejected by force. In the long Intermediate periods warfare was constant and the internal circumstances were anarchic and violent. Warfare was constant during the period of Hyksos domination in the north. The New Kingdom rulers were especially bellicose. Thutmose III, for instance, conducted 17 campaigns in 17 consecutive years. Even the youthful and short-live Tutankhamun waged war on Egypt's enemies. I don't know where you're getting your information, but your sources are flawed.

officiousintermeddler said...

Apparently, a 100-foot statue of Guan Yu is puny by Chinese standards. This is a truly awesome statue:

http://www.boredpanda.com/giant-war-god-statue-general-guan-yu-sculpture-china/

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