Unabomber weighs in on ancient Egyptian dwarf-worship

Letter to the Editor, New York Review of Books, Vol. 52, No. 12, July 2005

In “Survival of the Smallest” {NYR, March 10], István Deák writes on page 22: “In ancient Egypt, dwarfs were often venerated like gods.” Deák here is discussing pathological dwarfs. However, Paul Schebesta, Die Bambuti-Pygmäen vom Ituri (Brussels: Institut Royal Colonial Belge, 1938, Vol. 1, pp. 5–11), argues persuasively that the “god-dancers” venerated by the ancient Egyptians were not pathological dwarfs at all, but pygmies from the African rain forest. Schebesta cites, inter alia, a letter of the pharaoh Pepi II or Phiops II (Sixth Dynasty) which seems clearly to support this view.

Theodore John Kaczynski
Florence, Colorado

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