Friday, April 15, 2011

Rural Gods III: The Empire of Bubbahotep

Posted by Picasa

The Emperor Bubba-Hotep

His historic empire* stretched from Maryland to Missouri. Some say it still does.

He and his sons and brothers and nephew-sons and cousin-daughters took to their legions of gravesites and sacred groves an assortment and volume of grave goods and offerings seen nowhere else.

Any attempt to sink a fence post, trench an asparagus bed, bury an ex-sheep, cut firewood, clear brush or delve an ancient manure pile becomes an archaeological investigation nearly guaranteed to be stopped dead by Bubba-Hotep's barely-submerged treasures. Every ravine of Appalachia is replete with his sacred tithes, the mystical middens into which sacrifices were tipped in the conviction that they'd "go away" if dumped "down the crick."

His artifacts are glass shards, bedsprings, steel roofing, mysterious and shapeless chunks of corroded sheet metal, ominous and rusted steel drums, bricks, shingles, angle-iron and machine parts, whole implements, rotting timbers, blasted fragments of clay pigeons, cat skeletons, tractor tires, broken cinder blocks, the occasional near-complete vehicle, and wire.

Fence wire -- smooth, barbed, woven, welded -- was the signature medium of his court craftsmen. Embedded in tree trunks, sagging from tree to post to ground, stretched at tripwire height through the woods, heaped and tangled amid the brambles and vines at the edge of pastures waiting to ensnare any mower deck or horse's hoof that dares profane the sacred site.

Our farm woodlot is privileged to host an especially hallowed monument, the Convertible of Bubba-Hotep's Favorite Nephew.

Teams make new discoveries every day; most recently, a wire hoard that rivals the Sutton Hoo treasure.

Being the third in a series of revelations concerning the powerful deities who govern rural life. Iconography by the inimitable Kelly Bahmer-Brouse.


* Many thanks to Friend o' the Blog Linda Kaim for introducing us to the Empire of Bubba-Hotep and its artifacts.


  1. I am envious of the Hotep Chariot. All we were able to resurrect was the wooden box of a stock transport, surely used for the hauling of the Hotep's fine nubians and swine. A rear axle was unearthed several yards away and still adorns the gated entry to our only usable training field.

    The ubiquitous wires that the chief archaeologist recently uncovered are a conundrum; they start and end in the same location, separated only by about a linear foot, but are immobile and resistant to our attempts to remove them.

    "We believe they represent the Hotep dynasty's attempt to begin an underground sanctuary akin to the Lost City of Atlantis. It is hoped that we will uncover more untold riches of the Hotep dynasty" reports Peter LoCaccio, chief archaeologist of the LoCaccio-Kaim dig site in Westminster, Maryland.

    At least for as long as we have the damn dumpster anyway...

  2. Many Bubbahotep relics have been found in California as well. Their empire was apparently more widespread than anthropologists and historians have surmised.

  3. Those half-buried espresso machines and piles of discarded SIMS and obsolete cell phones are the physical culture of a different empire.

  4. Very good point. It's a complex record of multiple cultures. But during SAR searches and trainings in California we encounter a lot of ancient Bubbahotep barbed wire, sheet metal, glass shards, chariots, and Budweiser religious icons. I have not encountered any ancient thrones, but perhaps that's because the power center for the Bubbahotep Empire was centered in the eastern part of the continent.

    I lost one of my cell phones in the field during a SAR mission, thus adding my own artifact to the archeological record.

  5. This made me smile, not least because of Kelly's delightful illustration.

  6. There are mystical sites found in New Jersey, in rural areas close to the River of Delaware.

    Household pottery, no doubt ritually broken into sharp edged shards, now deter incautious diggers. Glass fragments in various hues (brown and green are the most common) are also unearthed.

    Studies based on the amalgam of oil cans (empty) and oil filters (used) have lead to theories concerning a priesthood of nighttime (or possibly moonlighting) auto mechanics.

  7. You know that Bubba-Ho-Tep is a movie, right?

    Bubba-Hotep's empire also stretches down to Louisiana, if my grandma's area is any indication.


I've enabled the comments for all users; if you are posting as "anonymous" you MUST sign your comment. Anonymous unsigned comments will be deleted. Trolls, spammers, and litigants will be shot.