No, not Arthur -- Tutankhamun. I spent this morning with my wife and children at the Art Gallery of Ontario seeing the Tutankhamun exhibit and enjoyed myself greatly, as did my wife and daughter. My seven year-old son, however, was bored to tears, which, while unfortunate, was not unexpected. The exhibit was crowded, a situation made worse by the use of audio tour devices that encouraged people to stand around for many minutes in front of artifacts while they listened to recorded descriptions of them and their context. Consequently, it took us about 90 minutes to make our way through the exhibit, which displayed about 80 artifacts, more than half of which were from Tut's tomb. Alas, the golden burial mask that everyone associates with the pharaoh -- and that was included in the last major tour when I was a child more than 30 years ago -- was not present, its being judged too fragile ever to leave Egypt again.
As I mentioned in my post on the Romans, the Egyptians are the other ancient civilization that fascinates me and for many of the same reasons. If one is looking for exotic splendor, Egypt certainly provides it in large quantities. As a lover of pulp fantasies, Egypt pretty much establishes the template for colossal architecture, opulent royal courts, and equally rich tombs (complete with traps!) that you see in many of those stories. More precisely, Egypt is the template for antiquity itself, at least in the Western mind -- hard not to when you're talking about a civilization that encompasses three millennia of history, from the foundation of the Old Kingdom to the death of Cleopatra VII.
Of course, nowadays, whenever my thoughts turn to Egypt, they soon turn further toward Tékumel. Professor Barker's world isn't all that similar to ancient Egypt in content, but many of the setting's elements, especially its antiquity and its mystery, strikes me as somehow "Egyptian." Likewise, the way the rulers of Tsolyánu are treated and govern, the influence of the various priesthoods, and similar things all bring the Nile kingdom to mind, at least for me. Likewise, when I try to give a rough real-world analog to Tékumel, I often use ancient Egypt. The details aren't right, as I said, but at least it gives people something on which to hang their hat.
At present, there's no Egypt-equivalent in my Dwimmermount campaign world. I'm not sure there's really room for one. Still, I suspect that future levels of my megadungeon will benefit from my having seen the artifacts in the exhibit, both in terms of how I present them and in their actual contents. It'd be hard not to do this. I don't want to overstate anything, but I couldn't help but feel the immensity of history while viewing these artifacts, beautifully worked by human hands 3500 years ago. People are fond of pointing out that North American history is barely 500 years old, a drop in the bucket compared to the histories of Europe or Asia. But Egyptian history is even longer; few other civilizations can compare to it (this is not an invitation to cite them in the comments). It's heady stuff. I'm glad I had the chance to view these artifacts and even more glad that my children did, even if my son likely won't appreciate it until later.