But thats not what cultural continuity is That would be political continuity. And I don't even see a continuity here, because modern Egyptians are only taught about the pharaohs in the past hundred year.
Who is defining what is Egyptian culture and what not? I have been two times in Egypt and everytime it struck me how people make a point that they are Eygptians and not Arabs. If cultural continuity is a question of how peope define themself, then there is little doubt that we are talking now about 5000 years of Egyptian history.
And who is to define Chinese culture? Culture and civilization are two different things. History is about writen works, and Chinese writing continuity certainly outlast those of Egypt. Even coptic language is hardly static.
Finally, lets not forget that Egypt looks back at a longer history than any other current state, so the mere mathematical possibility of change to its culture was bigger than in everyone elses case: 5000 years of existence as a state (3100 BC - 2000 AD), 3000 years of Pharaonic rule (3100 - 30 BC, with large intermediate periods of course), over 3500 years of Hieroglyphs (roughly 3100 BC - 400 AD) and over 4500 years of Egpytian as a widespread living language ( - 1400 AD) represent an even longer, continuous history than the Chinese. And who knows how different will China look like in, say, another 200 years?
I contest that, as a culture (not a cvilization), Chinese cultural continuity probably goes all the way back 10,000 years into neolithic times with symbols written on pots discovered recentely. So I'm afraid cultural continuity is a very subjective term. And you can argue your mouth dry who is the earliest because the definition of a culture is very vague. But as a continuous civilization, China is certainly longer.
Of course, nothing wrong there, but a European would rather put the emphasis on the spoken language.
Again, language is part of culture, but not civilization. If you want to use language that way, why not use symbols for China, Chinese pictographic symbols are discovered earlier than those of Egypt.
Edited by Queen, 23 February 2006 - 11:14 PM.