Sandstorm Benader die Sfinx by Giza by sonsondergang

Sandstorm Benader die Sfinx by Giza by sonsondergang


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Fișier: Sandstorm nader die sfinx by Gîza teen sonsondergang, Egipte. C Wellcome V0049386.jpg

Benadering van die Simoom, woestyn van Gizeh, van Egipte en Nubië. Litografie deur Louis Haghe na David Roberts, 1846–49. - Beskrywing op bl. 201, voorbladvoorbeeld vir Die soeke na antieke Egipte deur Jean Vercoutter, reeks "Abrams Discoveries", Harry N. Abrams, 1992.

Ikonografiese versamelings
Sleutelwoorde: David Roberts Louis Haghe

Acest -formaat kan 'n statutul de drept van die outeur sau sursa lucrării atașate aandui. As 'n normale opmaak nie, word die nodige noodsaaklikheid nie. By Commons: Licenţiere pentru mai multe informații.

  • Biblioteekverwysing: ICV No 50051
  • Foto nommer: V0049386
  • Volledige bibliografiese rekord: http://catalogue.wellcomelibrary.org/record=b1192246


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Beste historiese plekke in Afrika - Piramides van Giza

Dit was sonsondergang in die midwinter -Kaïro. Die stad met 23 miljoen siele was die kleur van die woestyn, met sy skyline met talle minarette. Ons dring deur apokaliptiese verkeer, oor 'n kwik-Nyl, deur paaie van hoë geboue in Sowjet-styl en na Giza, die antieke doderyk. Hulle draai skielik voor ons. Ongeduldig, oorweldigend. Drie monsteragtige driehoeke van klip.

'N Gestampte taxi wag op kliënte by Giza. Beeld: Justin Fox.

Ons groep het na Giza gekom vir die nag-klank-en-lig vertoning. Ons het ons sitplekke in 'n opelug-plein met uitsig oor die terrein gevind, en ons wag op duisternis. Met lasers en ligte het ons die geskiedenis van die piramides opgespoor: die stygende en dalende water van die Nyl, van dinastieë, van beskawings. Alexander die Grote en Cleopatra, Caesar en Napoleon, kyk almal met ontsag na hierdie plek.

Die monumente gloei in veelkleurigheid en het geheimsinnigheid ingesluip. Ons het geleer hoe dit gebou is en wanneer, maar daar bly soveel vrae oor. 'Die mens is bang vir tyd, maar die tyd is bang vir die piramides', lui die stem met 'n BBC-aksent oor die luidsprekers.

Die volgende oggend was ons klein groepie reisigers vroeg op vir 'n reis nog verder terug in die tyd: tot by die oorsprong van die piramide -konsep. Ons minibus ry op 'n windverwaaide, woestynparkeerterrein suid van die stad.

Elke toeris moet 'n draai kry met die Sfinx en die Groot Piramide van Giza. Beeld: Justin Fox.

Gebuig teen die wind en steekende sand, het ons die pad van Saqqara se Step Pyramid -kompleks binnegedring, opgejaag deur aanhoudende snuisteryverkopers en touts ('n situasie wat voortduur tydens ons Egiptiese reise). Saqqara was die nekropolis vir die stad Memphis en het meer as 3 500 jaar 'n begraafplaas gebly. Dit is die grootste argeologiese terrein van Egipte.

Die grootste deel van Saqqara is onder die sand begrawe tot in die middel van die 19de eeu, toe die Franse Egiptoloog Auguste Mariette sy eerste ontdekkings daar gemaak het. Die Step Pyramid -kompleks is eers in 1924 blootgestel en dit is steeds in 'n konstante toestand van herstel.

Ons het via die hypostyle -saal die begrafnisonderneming van Farao Zoser binnegegaan. Die gang was gevoer met 40 'bondelkolomme', geribbel om soos palm- of papirusstingels te lyk. Die saal het ons na die Great South Court gelei. Ons het in sonlig opgekom en na die oudste piramide ter wêreld gekyk.

Die trapvormige graf by Saqqara is die heel eerste piramide. Beeld: Justin Fox.

'Dit is waar alles begin', het ons gids, Mohamed 'Dino' Radwan, gesê. 'In die jaar 2 650 vC het Zoser sy hoofargitek, Imhotep, gevra om vir hom 'n stappiramide te bou. Dit is 60 meter lank en die hele begrafniskompleks is omring deur 'n 1 645 meter lange kalksteenmuur. '

Dino het verduidelik hoe vorige tempels uit bederfbare materiale gebou is, terwyl koninklike grafte gewoonlik ondergrondse kamers was, bedek met 'n mastaba - 'n moddersteenstruktuur in die vorm van 'n bank. Imhotep het die mastaba egter in 'n piramide ontwikkel deur steeds kleiner mastabas in trappe op mekaar te plaas ... Uit sy innovasie vloei soveel van Egipte se latere argitektoniese prestasies voort.

'Dit is waar die idee van 'n piramide gebore word,' het Dino gesê. 'Noudat u die oorsprong gesien het, laat ons die grotes weer besoek.'

Ons stap in die minibus en ry noordwaarts, terug na Giza. By die sand het die sandstorm 'n stoomkop opgebou en ons skuil agter 'n muur langs die Groot Piramide van Khufu.

Die Groot Piramide van Khufu is die oudste en grootste van die drie piramides in die belangrikste Giza -kompleks.

Dino skree teen die wind: 'Dit het 146 meter hoog gestaan ​​toe dit omstreeks 2 570 vC voltooi is. Na 46 eeue is die hoogte met nege meter verminder. Die piramide van Khufu, wat bestaan ​​uit 2,3 miljoen klipblokke en ses miljoen ton weeg, is werklik wonderlik. Die Giza -kompleks bevat drie piramides, almal grafte vir die farao's wat deur duisende werkers gebou is. Vandag staan ​​hulle as 'n huldeblyk aan die mag en organisasie van Antieke Egipte. '

Ons het voor Khufu se kolossale struktuur gestaan. Die monsteragtige, eertydse, aanmatigende en stukkende neus mettertyd, het uit die woestyn gekom as die eerste groot strukturele prestasie van die mens. Dit is nog steeds pragtig van sy gepoleerde kalksteen, gekrap met graffiti en beskadig deur aardbewings. Soos radikale idees aangaan, is dit die afgelope 4000 jaar amper nie oortref nie.

Ons dwaal rond oor die terrein terwyl die sand wat deur die storm waai, die lug in stroom. Kamele het ellendig neergedaal, 'n perd het losgebars en oor 'n duin gegalop. Selfs die snuisteryverkopers en baksheesh (wenk) jagters is onderwerp.

Dino het ons na die tweede piramide gelei, wat aan die farao Khafre behoort. Ons het by 'n tou aangesluit en 'n portaal binnegegaan. 'N Lang, klaustrofobiese gang lei af en dan op in die hart van die struktuur. Die lug word bedompig, my asem korter. Ons het die grafkamer bereik. Al sy skatte is lankal geplunder, maar die farao se sarkofaag was nog steeds daar.

Ek het gedink aan die duisende ton klip bokant my kop wat op hierdie kamer, die laaste rusplek van Khafre se mamma, neergedruk het. Ek het ook gedink aan die grootse belofte van die hiernamaals en die rykdom wat hierdie plek eens bevat het. Heetemal weg.

Die nag-klank-en-lig-vertoning van Giza bied 'n skouspelagtige reis deur die eeue, en volg die geskiedenis van hierdie beroemde webwerf. Beeld: Justin Fox.

Lighoofdig voel ek terug na die land van die lewendes en ek loop die heuwel af na die Sfinx, die ou bewaarder van die piramides. Giza se katagtige raaisel sit in sy put, uitgestrekte pote, gespierde leoniese liggaam uit klip gesny en 'n gesig waarop so baie gekyk en gewonder het.

In Arabies bekend as Abu al Hol (Vader van Terreur), is hierdie beeldhouwerk van 'n man met die liggaam van 'n leeu deur die Antieke Grieke die Sfinx genoem omdat dit lyk na hul mitiese gevleuelde monster wat raaisels opstel en iemand doodmaak wat hulle nie kon beantwoord nie. 'N Geologiese opname het getoon dat dit waarskynlik tydens die regeringstyd van Khafre uit die grond aan die onderkant van die paadjie gesny is, sodat die kop sy kenmerke uitbeeld.

Op die voorgrond was hordes selfies-gekke toeriste, wat hul telefone omhoog gehou het en opvallende posisies gehou het. Sommiges het gesimuleer om die Sfinx te soen, omhels of om sy ken te kielie. Hulle was so behep met hul Instagramming dat hulle nie die reuse mankat agter hulle kon waardeer of selfs agterkom nie. Die onverbiddelike wese het dit natuurlik al voorheen gesien en ons bly ignoreer met die minagting wat ons verdien het, net soos dit vier duisend jaar lank was.

Nadat u die piramides besoek het, moet u ten minste 'n halwe dag opsy sit om die Egiptiese museum van Kaïro te verken (toegang is R122* pp). Hierdie uitgestrekte bewaarplek huisves meer as 120 000 artefakte uit die ou Egipte (standbeelde, mummies, juweliersware, eetgerei, speelgoed), insluitend die skatte en die goudmasker van Tutankhamun. Die meeste voorwerpe word nog steeds vertoon, hoewel sommige tans na die Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, verskuif word, wat later vanjaar geopen sal word.

Beplan u reis

Ek het met egyptiese lug (kodedeling met SAL) na Kaïro gevlieg vanuit Joburg. Vanaf R7 000* terug. egyptair.com

Ek het met On the Go Tours na Egipte gereis. Die toere word begelei deur gidse wat in Egiptologie gekwalifiseer is, en verblyf is in vier- of vyfster-instellings. My nege dae lange 'King Tutankhamen'-toer was Kaïro, die Step- en Giza-piramides, die Sfinx, die Egiptiese museum en 'n Nylvaart van Aswan na Luxor. Ingesluit by die prys is agt ontbyte, twee middagetes en drie etes en alle oordragte. Vanaf R14,900* pp deel. 0800-990-311, onthegotours.com

Besoek die piramides vroegoggend of laatmiddag om die skare te vermy. Toegang is R122* (plus 'n fooi vir sommige van die museums en piramides binne). Volg die pad verby die piramides om 'n plato te bereik vir die beste panoramiese uitsig oor die terrein. Huur 'n kameel of 'n perdekar om te sien hoe die piramides uit die woestyn 'n prys ooreenkom voordat u vertrek. Pasop, die touts en snuistery -terroriste is hier huurling!

SA paspoorthouers benodig 'n visum. Ek het myne by die Egiptiese ambassade in Pretoria gekry met Visa Request (diensfooi R350*, koerier R240*). visarequest.co.za.

*Pryse kan verander

Hierdie pos is aangepas uit 'n artikel wat die eerste keer in die April 2019 -uitgawe van Gaan weg tydskrif.
Kry hierdie uitgawe →
Alle pryse korrek by publikasie, maar kan onderhewig wees aan verandering by elke onderneming se diskresie. Raadpleeg hulle voordat u bespreek of koop.


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Vreemde foto's toon 'n massiewe Sahara -sandstorm wat die Kanariese Eilande met oranje stof bedek

Die naweek het wind van 75 km / h 'n sandstorm uit die Sahara -woestyn oor die Atlantiese Oseaan op die Kanariese Eilande gewaai.

Die verskynsels word 'calima' genoem, en dit is nie die eerste keer dat dit gebeur nie. Maar op Spaanse nasionale televisie het die streekpresident, Angel Victor Torres, gesê dit is die ergste sandstorm wat hy in 40 jaar gesien het. Hy noem dit 'n 'nagmerrie -naweek'.

Saam met die ontwrigting van honderde vlugte, het die sterk wind ook veldbrande in die streek vererger. Op Gran Canaria, een van die eilande, het plaaslike verslae gesê die luggehalte is die ergste ter wêreld.

'N Plaaslike, met die naam Manuel Campos, het aan The New York Times gesê: "Ek is oud genoeg om alles van die kalima te weet, maar ek onthou dit nie so sterk nie. Alles het net rooi geword."


Giza, Memphis, Saqqara

GIZA, MEMFIS en SAQQARA: Giza is die plek waarheen die meeste toeriste (indien nie almal nie) kom terwyl hulle Kaïro besoek. Dit is die ikoniese beeld van Egipte en een van die bekendste simbole van alle antieke wonders. Die piramides en die sfinks in Giza, 'n UNESCO-wêrelderfenisgebied, gee 'n ware blik op die vroeë Egiptiese beskawing, hul lewenswyse, oortuigings en talente. As ek na iets kyk wat ou (van 2500 v.C.) letterlik vir my hoendervleis gegee het.

Die woestyn in Giza Necropolis, Egipte

Memphis is meer soos ''n opelugmuseum', soos ons toergids Haisam gesê het. Dit was die eerste hoofstad van verenigde Egipte tydens die Ou Koninkryk omstreeks 3000 vC en nog 'n UNESCO -wêrelderfenisgebied saam met die piramide -kompleks in Giza.

Die opelugmuseum van Memphis – 1ste hoofstad van verenigde Egipte

Saqqara is ook 'n nekropolis wat die eerste en die oudste piramide in Egipte huisves. Ek dink ek sal die skoonheid van die woestyn Saqqara nog lank onthou. Dit was amper sonsondergang, ons staan ​​op 'n heuwel en kyk na ander piramides in die verte. Die aanskouing van sand met piramides in die agtergrond gedurende die oomblik sal my bybly so lank as wat ek lewe ... dit was 'n onvergeetlike dag in die algemeen.

'N Ou gang om verby te gaan voordat u die Step -piramide in Saqqara bereik

Blaai af na 'Plekke wat ons besoek het' vir gedetailleerde inligting oor hierdie drie plekke.

TYD VAN REIS: Ons vlieg na Kaïro tydens ons Kersvakansie van 2012. Alhoewel Giza ongeveer 45 minute se ry van die middestad van Kaïro af is, het dit ons minder as 'n uur geneem om daar te kom as gevolg van verkeerstoestande en 'n paar padblokkades. November tot Maart is die beste tyd om Egipte te verken, as die weer mooi is en u woestynson kan geniet sonder om uit te put van hitte.

ONS HOTEL: Ons het in Cairo Moon Hotel in die hartjie van Kaïro gebly, slegs 10 minute se stap van die Kaïro -museum en die Tahrir -plein. Eerlik gesê, dit was 'n ondergemiddelde hotel met klein (vir slegs 3 mense) en eng hysbakke, groot rooimiere wat oor die vloer loop, te veel geraas laat in die nag en min ander probleme. Maar die eienaar van hierdie hotel, Mohamed, is 'n buitengewone vriendelike en hulpvaardige heer. Al die personeel hier is ook op dieselfde manier wat al die ander probleme van hierdie hotel oorkom. Mohamed het hier en daar 'n paar reise vir ons gereël, insluitend die reis na Giza.

Ons het 45 dollar betaal vir 'n privaat motor met bestuurder en 15 USD vir 'n toergids, Haisam (klik op my blad Gids as u of iemand wat u ken 'n toergids in Kaïro benodig). Vir 'n totaal van 60 dollar, dink ek, het ons baie gekry om deur Giza, Memphis en Saqqara te toer. Gelukkig was broer Haisam 'n uitstekende gids wat baie geweet het van Egipte uit sy antieke, onlangse en moderne tyd. Hy was baie nederig, saggeaard, gaaf, en uiteindelik iemand op wie ons absoluut kon staatmaak.

EET & VERKOPER: Ons stop die middag by 'n plaaslike restaurant aan die straat. Dit was meer soos 'n vinnige ophaal-shwarma tussen Giza en Memphis. Daar is absoluut geen plek om te eet of middagete te eet binne die grense van die piramides nie, ten minste het ek niks gesien nie.

Vir aandenkings het ons gesien hoe baie individuele verkopers hier en daar in Giza en Saqqara goedkoop items verkoop. Memphis het meer winkels waar u klein geskenke en iets vir u kan kry. WAARSKUWING: koop geen papirusprodukte daarvan nie, aangesien dit nie regte papiruspapiere is nie. Ons gids Haisam het ons na 'n groot vertoonlokaal van papirus, Golden Eagle Papyrus, op Sakkaraweg geneem. Dit is 'n winkel wat deur die regering goedgekeur is, en daarom weet u dat u die regte ding koop. Dit het honderde papirus -muurversierings om uit te kies, teen verskillende prysklasse en met verskillende temas. Die man wat ons gewys het, het eintlik 10 minute geneem om ons te wys hoe 'n stuk papirus uit sy bome gemaak is ... dit was absoluut fassinerend en baie leersaam vir ons kleintjies. Hier is hul telefoonnommer as u dit nodig het - +2037719585.

PLEKKE WAT ONS BESOEK HET: Ons taxi vertrek kort voor 09:00 na Giza en ons bereik die plek waar ons kamele gaan verhuur naby die ingang van die piramides omstreeks 10. Giza is die plek waar ons die meeste van die tyd deurgebring het – ongeveer 3:30 uur . Memphis is ongeveer 'n halfuur se ry van Giza af, en ek dink, ons het omtrent 'n bietjie meer as 'n uur deurgebring. Dan was ons eindbestemming van die dag, Saqqara, nog 'n halfuur se ry en weer ongeveer 'n uur lank naby die sonsondergang. Ons gids, Haisam, het ons die hele dag vermaak met al die sjarmante geheime van hierdie piramides en antieke Egiptenare.

Piramides van Giza en ons rit in die woestyn van Egipte

1) GROOT piramides van GIZA en SPHINX: Nadat ons by die stad Giza aangekom het, het ons eers na die plek gegaan waar ons ons kamele sou huur, maar 'n ander opsie was om perd te ry (maar wie sou ...?). Ons het die langste rit geneem wat ons in die woestyne geneem het, na die panoramiese plek, na die piramides en dan na die sfinks.

Hier kom een ​​van ons ritte na die piramides in Giza

Verskoon my onkunde, maar ek het die hele tyd gedink daar is altesaam 3 piramides in die Giza -nekropolis. Maar toe ons die "Panoramiese plek" naby die piramides nader, verduidelik Haisam dat daar drie hoofpiramides is wat die begraafplase is vir 3 farao's (Khufu, Khafre en Menkaure) en 6 kleintjies (3 met die piramide van Khufu en die ander 3 met die piramide van Menkaure) vir hul moeders, dogters en vroue. Panoramiese plek is 'n heuwel, vanwaar u al die 9 piramides in 'n ry kan sien. Hierdie plek het ons nie net 'n wonderlike uitsig op die Groot Piramides gegee nie, maar van hier af kan ons ook gefassineer word deur die wildernis van die woestyn. Om te sien hoe mans vinnig op hul perde ry, wit sand in die lug vlieg, lyk soos Arabiese sultans wat hul vyande in sommige Hollywood -films jaag. Ek oordryf nie, maar dit was 'n ware skoonheid wat ek van agter op my kameel geniet het.

Die Groot Piramides van Giza

Na die panoramiese terrein was ons weer op die kamele om van die piramides af te sien. Ons het dus die ou kalksteen van hierdie relikwie -strukture aangeraak, 'n paar foto's geneem en terug op die kameel na die sfinks. U kan eintlik die begraafkamer van hierdie piramides binnegaan, wat ons nie gedoen het nie. Op 'n gegewe dag sal ten minste twee van die drie groot piramides die grafkamer oopmaak vir besoekers. En u betaal afsonderlik vir hierdie besoeke.

Weer op die kameel en ons is op pad na die Sfinx. Sfinx van Giza, die grootste in Egipte, is geleë voor die middelste piramide, wat vir Farao Khafre was. Die Sfinx se liggaam is 'n kombinasie van die kop van 'n man, wat die wysheid van die mens en die liggaam van 'n leeu verteenwoordig, wat die sterkte en krag van 'n leeu beteken. Dit was ons laaste stop voordat ons ons kamele aan hul eienaars terugbesorg het en na Memphis begin ry het.

Sfinx van Giza, die grootste sfinx in Egipte

Een ding wat ek hier moet sê, is dat, as jy nog nie 'n kameel gery het nie, dit in Giza DOEN ... jy sal nie spyt wees nie. Ek kan nie die koninklike gevoel beskryf om oor die sand en na die verstommende piramides van 'n kameelrug te kyk nie, want dit loop stadig in die hartjie van die woestyn ... niks klop daarteen nie. Dit was 'n bietjie eng toe die kameel opstaan ​​of met my op sy rug gaan sit ... ek was elke keer lus om te skree. O, en om nie eers te praat van die pyn wat ek die volgende dag in my bene gehad het tydens die rit nie. Die truuk om op 'n kameel te ry, is dat jy moet ontspan en net jou liggaam met die beweging van die kameel heen en weer laat beweeg, wat 'n rukkie geneem het voordat ek gewoond geraak het. Ek het gevoel ek gaan van daardie hoogte af val en 'n been breek as ek my liggaam laat los.

Hier is 'n paar nodige inligting/voorsorgmaatreëls wanneer u Giza besoek. As u eers oorweeg om kameel/perd in die woestyn te ry, kyk dan of u hotel/toergids dit vir u kan reël voordat u in Giza aankom. U kan altyd ons gids Haisam kontak en neem as hy beskikbaar is (klik op my blad). Tweedens, huur nooit kamele as u alreeds binne die omtrek van die piramide -kompleks is nie. Baie aaklige verhale het gebeur waar hulle nie net 'n groot hoeveelheid geld van u vra nie, maar ook u geld vir 1 uur neem en u nie langer as 10 minute die kameel gee nie. Ons betaal 400 LE vir 2 kamele met 2 helpers vir ongeveer 2 en 'n half uur en 'n gratis perd vir broer Haisam, ons gids. Hou ook in gedagte dat die helpers 'n paar wenke verwag nadat u klaar is met die reis ... hulle werk baie hard om te voet op die woestyn te loop, 'n bietjie vrygewig. Die toegangsgeld vir die hoofhek na die piramides van Giza is 60 LE vir volwassenes en 30 LE vir kinders. As u een van die 3 piramides wil binnegaan, is dit 100 LE vir volwassenes en 60 LE vir kinders. Gewoonlik is die grootste piramide, "Piramide van Khufu" elke dag oop vir besoekers, benewens nog 'n kleiner. 'N Ander ding is: moenie mooi klere dra op die dag wat jy na Giza gaan nie. As u na die woestyn gaan, sal u onder die stof bedek wees teen die tyd dat u hierdie piramides en ander plekke sien. Dra 'n baie gemaklike hoed, en neem 'n paar waterbottels saam, veral as u in die somer reis. Uiteindelik, moenie probeer om die piramides te klim nie ... dit is verbode en uiters gevaarlik.

'N Ewekansige poseerder in Giza, wat later geld gevra het sedert hy vir my kamera geposeer het, en hy was die een wat aanhoudend daarop aangedring het dat ek foto van hom en sy kameel neem

2) MEMFIS OPEN-LUG MUSEUM: Dit is eerder 'n klein oop gebied om te verken in vergelyking met die uitgestrekte woestyn van Giza en die piramides. Daar is 'n omheinde gebied waar 'n enorme kalksteenbeeld van Egipte se belangrikste koning Farao Ramsey II uit New Kingdom rus. Navorsing het getoon dat dit waarskynlik die farao -koning Remses II was wat Moses uit Egipte verjaag en in die Rooi See verdrink het. Die standbeeld is ongeveer 10 meter lank en lê op sy rug. Buite is daar baie ruïnes saam met 'n paar ander kleiner beeldhouwerke van Farao Ramsey II. Die albaster sfinx, genaamd Sfinx van Memphis, in die middel van die erf is op sy oorspronklike plek vanaf 1200 v.C.

'N Kalksteenbeeld van Farao Remses II uit New Kingdom in Memphis, meen navorsers dat hy die farao -koning is wat Moses uit Egipte verjaag en in die Rooi See verdrink het

Inskrywingsgeld hier is 30 LE vir volwassenes en 20 LE vir kinders. Daar is min aandenkingswinkels aan die een kant van hierdie opelugmuseum.

'N Albaster sfinx in die opelugmuseum van Memphis, bekend as Sfinx van Memphis – ook uit die New Kingdom

3) SAQQARA NECROPOLIS: Soos ek hierbo genoem het, is Saqqara Necropolis 'n groot begraafplaas met die eerste en die oudste piramide in Egipte. Dit bevat die beroemde Step -piramide van koning Zoser of Djoser uit die 27ste eeu vC. Daar is 'n gang wat u moet verby om by die Step -piramide -kompleks te kom. Ek kan nie onthou wat Haisam gesê het nie, maar die gang is ook 'n antieke stalagtige argitektuur met baie klippilare en klein vertrekke. Nadat ons die trappe teenoor die piramide geklim het, kom ons op 'n klein heuwel, van waar ons nog twee beroemde piramides in die verte van Dahshur sien, die genoemde piramide en die rooi piramide. Gebuigde piramide is onder die Ou Koninkryk gebou omstreeks 2600 vC deur die seun van Djoser. Dit is 'n voorbeeld van 'n oorgangsvorm van piramide tussen Step -piramide en gewone gladde piramides. Aangesien die Bent -piramide nie uitgekom het soos verwag nie, is dit nooit gebruik nie. In plaas daarvan is die Rooi piramide langsaan gebou met korrekte piramidale hoeke, en dit is die begraafplaas van die koning. Dit was amper skemer en dit was magies om na die piramides van ver af in die stowwerige woestyn te kyk.

Stap piramide van Saqqara Necropolis – die eerste en oudste piramide in Egipte

Toegang tot Saqqara -piramide is 60 LE vir volwassenes en 30 LE vir kinders. Dit is ook 'n UNESCO -wêrelderfenisgebied saam met die piramides in Dahshur.

Gebuigde piramide (links agter) van Dahshur en Rooi piramide (aan die regterkant) ver, gesien vanaf Saqqara


Jy wil weet Ons reis nie om aan die lewe te ontsnap nie, maar om die lewe om ons nie te ontkom nie

Die weer loop hier soos sand deur u vingers, en u het nog steeds nie die honger van 'n klein deel van die eksotiese kultus, wat u in die geheim erken en wat u opgebou het deur die & quotBook of the Dead & quot; mistiek van die Egiptiese hiërogliewe. As u nie bang is vir die vloek van Tutankhamun, die krag van die Egiptiese amulette of die fluisterende gebede van die Heilige scarabee nie, pak dan u tasse en gaan deur die tydportaal om 'n antieke wêreld van meer as 5000 jaar aan te raak. Hoe oud ook al, die Egiptiese heelal bly steeds draai, behoue ​​soos 'n mummie toegedraai in sandverbande en in kokende warm son. Ja, die sand is warm, maar jy sal daaraan gewoond raak. U sal nie eens daaraan aandag gee as u die wonder van die wêreld in die gesig staar nie. Dit is reg en vernietig die piramides van Giza. U het die voorreg om die majestueuse graniet- en kalksteenstrukture te leer ken, om te kyk en te voel hoe die koue uit die Egiptiese grafte spruit, om die laaste oorblyfsels van marmerversierings te geniet, of om die papirus van u emosies los te laat en omhels te word van die onbekende in sommige van die oneindig lang tonnels.
'N Wenk - laat iets vir u verbeelding oor om dit lewendig te hou! Nadat u elkeen van die drie piramides in Giza en Ndash van Khufu, Hefren en Mikerin geniet het, kan u u piramidale reis in Giza voltooi met die standbeeld van die Groot Sfinx. As u altyd die fluistering en die towerspreuke van die Egiptiese konings hoor, alhoewel dit stil is, beskou dit as 'n oproep om die massiewe goue poorte van die Vallei van die Konings in die stad Luxor op te los. Alhoewel u 'n kans het om kennis te maak met 'n klein deel van die meer as 60 grafte, beteken dit nie dat dit die towerspreuk van Egipte is nie. Inteendeel, u bewussyn gaan verlore in die drywende passie van die antieke beskawing en verskyn eers weer wanneer u u historiese reis voltooi. En dit gaan nie gebeur voordat u Kaïro, die hoofstad van Egipte, besoek nie. Die eerste ding wat u aandag sal trek, is die ontelbare argitektoniese wonders.

Waar u ook al draai, sal u verstom staan ​​oor die majestueuse moskees en ou minarette, van die eeue oue afdrukke van die kulture wat in hierdie lande gewoon het. U moet sekerlik die atmosfeer van die godsdienstige tempels "Al Azhar", "Al Hakim", "Ibn Tulun", "Sinan Pasha", "Amir" en die Moskee van Muhammad Ali geniet. Ons weet dat u nie kan wag om te vra of u 'n mammie kan sien nie? Die Egiptiese museum in Kaïro het gedink aan die gril van jou. Grafte, sarkofae, klere van die farao's, Egiptiese maskers en juwele en pragtig bewaarde mummies voeg die glans toe waaroor u gedroom het van u aankoms. U moet u boek voltooi met herinneringe aan Egipte met die klipbeelde van farao Amenhotep, die Piramide van Djoser, die Citadel van Saladin, die ou vesting van Babilon en die Hangende Koptiese Kerk. As u nog tyd oor het, moet u in een van die grootste basaars ter wêreld vasval - Han El Khalil. Net hier sal u voel soos God Osiris, 'n boot vaar op die Nyl, die onderwaterryke rykdom in die Rooi See bestudeer, die sandduine skeur tydens 'n opwindende safari -avontuur of op 'n kameel ry terwyl u die eksotiese skatte leer. As u 'n ywerige aanhanger van watersport is, is Egipte u kans om 'n wêreldkampioen in vlieërs of seilplankry te word. In Egipte is daar ook 'n plek vir liefhebbers van die golwe en ongerepte strande. Haal asem en teug aan die van skoonheid, want hierdie oomblik sal een keer in u lewe 'n werklikheid wees. En as u nuuskierig is oor 'n voorsmakie van tradisionele Egiptiese kookkuns, moet u nie huiwer om ku & scaronari en falafel te probeer nie. Net om u te laat weet dat die Egiptenare speserye vergoddelik, en u die doeltreffendheid van u smaakknoppies kan ervaar deur aan hul kos te proe. Is jy gereed om te gaan?


'N Hele dag in die woestyn Giza, Memphis en Saqqara

GIZA, MEMFIS en SAQQARA: Giza is die plek waarheen die meeste toeriste (indien nie almal nie) kom terwyl hulle Kaïro besoek. Dit is die ikoniese beeld van Egipte en een van die bekendste simbole van alle antieke wonders. Die piramides en die sfinx in Giza, 'n UNESCO-wêrelderfenisgebied, gee 'n ware blik op die vroeë Egiptiese beskawing, hul lewenswyse, oortuigings en talente. As ek na iets kyk wat ou (van 2500 v.C.) letterlik vir my hoendervleis gegee het.

Memphis is meer soos ''n opelugmuseum', soos ons toergids Haisam gesê het. Dit was die eerste hoofstad van verenigde Egipte tydens die Ou Koninkryk omstreeks 3000 v.C. en nog 'n UNESCO -wêrelderfenisgebied saam met die piramide -kompleks in Giza.

Saqqara is ook 'n nekropolis wat die eerste en die oudste piramide in Egipte huisves. Ek dink ek sal die skoonheid van die woestyn Saqqara nog lank onthou. Dit was amper sononder, ons staan ​​op 'n heuwel en kyk na ander piramides in die verte. Die aanskouing van sand met piramides in die agtergrond gedurende die oomblik sal my bybly solank ek lewe ... dit was 'n onvergeetlike dag in die algemeen.

Blaai af na 'Plekke wat ons besoek het' vir gedetailleerde inligting oor hierdie drie plekke.

TYD VAN REIS: Ons vlieg na Kaïro tydens ons Kersvakansie van 2012. Alhoewel Giza ongeveer 45 minute se ry van die middestad van Kaïro af is, het dit ons minder as 'n uur geneem om daar te kom weens die verkeerstoestande en padblokkades. November tot Maart is die beste tyd om Egipte te verken, as die weer mooi is en u woestynson kan geniet sonder om uit te put van hitte.

ONS HOTEL: Ons het in Cairo Moon Hotel in die hartjie van Kaïro gebly, slegs 10 minute se stap van die Kaïro -museum en die Tahrir -plein. Eerlik gesê, dit was 'n ondergemiddelde hotel met klein (vir slegs 3 mense) en eng hysbakke, groot rooimiere wat oor die vloer loop, te veel geraas laat in die nag en min ander probleme. Maar die eienaar van hierdie hotel, Mohamed, is 'n buitengewone vriendelike en hulpvaardige heer. Al die personeel hier is ook op dieselfde manier wat al die ander probleme van hierdie hotel oorkom. Mohamed het hier en daar 'n paar reise vir ons gereël, insluitend die reis na Giza.

Ons het 45 dollar betaal vir 'n privaat motor met bestuurder en 15 USD vir 'n toergids, Haisam (klik op my blad Gids as u of iemand wat u ken 'n toergids in Kaïro benodig). Vir 'n totaal van 60 dollar, dink ek, het ons baie gekry om deur Giza, Memphis en Saqqara te toer. Gelukkig was broer Haisam 'n uitstekende gids wat baie geweet het van Egipte uit sy antieke, onlangse en moderne tyd. Hy was baie nederig, saggeaard, gaaf, en uiteindelik iemand op wie ons absoluut kon staatmaak.

EET & VERKOPE: Ons stop die middag by 'n plaaslike restaurant aan die straat. Dit was meer soos 'n vinnige ophaal-shwarma tussen Giza en Memphis. Daar is absoluut geen plek om te eet of middagete te eet binne die grense van die piramides nie, ten minste het ek niks gesien nie.

Vir aandenkings het ons gesien hoe baie individuele verkopers hier en daar in Giza en Saqqara goedkoop items verkoop. Memphis has more stores where you can get some small gifts and something for yourself. WARNING: do not buy any papyrus products from them as they are not real papyrus papers. Our guide Haisam took us to a big showroom of papyrus, Golden Eagle Papyrus on Sakkara Road. This is a government approved store, and therefore you know you are buying the real thing. It has hundreds of papyrus wall decors to choose from at various price ranges and with different themes. The guy who was showing us around actually took 10 minutes to show us how a piece of papyrus was made from its trees…thatwas absolutely fascinating and very educational for our little ones. Here is their phone number if you need it – +2037719585.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: Our taxi left for Giza little before 9am and we reached the place where we were going to rent out camels from near the entrance to the pyramids around 10. Giza is the place where we spent most of the time – about 3:30 hours. Memphis is about half an hour drive from Giza and we spent, I think, about little more than an hour. Then our final destination of the day, Saqqara, was another half an hour drive and again, spent about an hour near the sunset time. Our guide, Haisam, kept us entertained with all the charming secrets of these pyramids and ancient Egyptians all day.

1) GREAT PYRAMIDS of GIZA & SPHINX: After arriving at Giza city, we first went to the place where we were going to rent our camels from another option was to ride a horse (but who would…?). We took the longest ride which took us around the deserts, to the panoramic spot, to the pyramids, and then to the sphinx.

Pardon my ignorance, but all this time I thought there were total of 3 pyramids in Giza necropolis. But as we were approaching the “Panoramic spot” near the pyramids, Haisam explained that there are 3 main pyramids which are the burial sites for 3 pharaohs (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure) and 6 small ones (3 with the pyramid of Khufu and the other 3 with the pyramid of Menkaure) for their mothers, daughters, and wives. Panoramic spot is an up-hill site from where you can see all the 9 pyramids lined up. This place not only gave us magnificent view of the Great Pyramids, but from here we could also be fascinated by the wilderness of the desert. Watching men riding their horses fast, flying white sand in the air looked like Arabian Sultans chasing their enemies in Hollywood movies. I am not exaggerating, but it was a true beauty that I enjoyed from the back of my camel.

After the panoramic site, we were on the camels again and off to get up-close and personal with these pyramids. So, we touched the old limestone of these relic structures, took some pictures, and back on the camel headed towards the sphinx. You can actually go inside the burial chamber of these pyramids which we didn’t do. At any given day, at least two of the three big pyramids will have the burial chamber open to visitors. And you pay separately for these visits.

On the camel again and we headed towards the Sphinx. Sphinx of Giza, the biggest one in Egypt, is located in front of the middle pyramid, which was for Pharaoh Khafre. The Sphinx’s body is a combination of head of a man, representing the wisdom of human and the body of a lion, meaning the strength and power of a lion. This was our last stop before returning our camels to their owners and start driving towards Memphis.

One thing I must say here is that, if you haven’t ridden a camel before, DO IT in Giza…you won’t regret it. I cannot describe the royal feeling of looking over the sand and to the astonishing pyramids from a camel-back as it slowly makes it trails into the heart of the desert…nothing beats that. It was a bit scary when the camel got up or sat down with me on its back…I felt like screaming every time. Oh, and not to mention the pain I had in my legs the next day from that ride. The trick of riding a camel is that you have to relax and just let your body move back and forth with the movement of the camel, which took some time for me to get used to. I felt like I was going to fall from that height and break a leg if I let my body loose.

Here are some necessary information/precautions when visiting Giza. First of all, if you are thinking about riding camel/horse in the desert, see if your hotel/tour guide can arrange that for you before arriving in Giza. You can always contact and take our guide Haisam, if he is available (please click on my Tour Guides tab). Second, never, ever rent camels once you are already inside the perimeter of the pyramid complex. Lots of horrible stories have happened where they not only charge you sky amount of money, but also takes your money first for 1 hour and won’t give you the camel for more than 10 minutes. We paid 400 LE for 2 camels with 2 helpers for about 2 and half hours and a free horse for brother Haisam, our guide. Also keep in mind that, the helpers expect some tips after you are done with the trip…they work really hard walking on foot on the desert for a long time under the sun, be a little generous. The entrance fee to enter the main gate to Giza pyramids is 60 LE for adults and 30 LE for kids. If you want to go inside one of the 3 pyramids its 100 LE for adults and 60 LE for kids. Usually the biggest pyramid, “Pyramid of Khufu” is open every day for the visitors in addition to another smaller one. Another thing is – don’t wear any fancy clothes on the day you are going to Giza. You are going to desert, you will be covered in dusts by the time you are done seeing these pyramids and other sites. Wear something very comfortable, a hat, and take few water-bottles with you, especially if you are traveling in summer. Finally, don’t try to climb the pyramids…its forbidden and extremely dangerous.

A random poser in Giza, who later asked for money since he posed for my camera and he was the one who kept insisting that I take picture of him and his camel

2) MEMPHIS OPEN-AIR MUSEUM: This is rather a small open area to explore compared to Giza’s vast desert and the pyramids. There is an enclosed area where an enormous limestone statue of Egypt’s most important king Pharaoh Ramsey II from New Kingdom rests. Research has indicated that most likely it was Pharaoh King Remses II who chased Moses out of Egypt and drowned in Red Sea. The statue is about 10 meters long and laying on its back. Outside, there are many ruins along with couple other smaller sculptures of Pharaoh Ramsey II. The alabaster sphinx, called Sphinx of Memphis, in the middle of the yard is in its original spot from 1200 BC.

A limestone statue of Pharaoh Remses II from New Kingdom in Memphis, researchers believe that he is the Pharaoh King who chased Moses out of Egypt and drowned in Red Sea

Entry fee here is 30 LE for adults and 20 LE for children. There are few souvenir shops lined up in one side of this open air museum.

An alabaster sphinx in the open air museum of Memphis, known as Sphinx of Memphis – also from the New Kingdom

3) SAQQARA NECROPOLIS: As I have mentioned above, Saqqara Necropolis is a vast burial ground which has the first and the oldest pyramid in Egypt. It features the famous Step pyramid of King Zoser or Djoser from the 27 th century BC. There is a corridor that you have to pass to come to the Step pyramid complex. I can’t remember what Haisam said, but the passageway is also an ancient stable-like architecture with many stone pillars and many rooms. After climbing the stairs opposite of the pyramid, we came up to a small hill, from where we saw another two famous pyramids in the far distance of Dahshur, called Bent pyramid and Red pyramid. Bent pyramid was built under Old Kingdom from around 2600 BC by the son of Djoser. This is an example of a transitional form of pyramid between Step pyramid and regular smooth pyramids. As the Bent pyramid did not come out the way expected it was never used. Instead the Red pyramid was built next to it with correct pyramidal angles and that is the burial site of the king. It was almost dusk and looking at those pyramids from afar on the dusty desert was magical.

Entrance fee to Saqqara pyramid is 60 LE for adult and 30 LE for children. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the pyramids in Dahshur.

Bent pyramid (back on the left) of Dahshur and Red pyramid (on the right) in far distance, seen from Saqqara

Menkare

Menkaure north face The lower part of Menkaure was cased in granite

The entrance to this pyramid is in the north face, equidistant from the corners and in the fifth masonry course – so that it is several metres above the level of the pyramid-pavement, now largely hidden under mounds of rubble and dislodged blocks. The polar passage is rectangular in cross-section and, because it is only 1.2 metres in vertical height, one is forced to ‘bow low’ when entering. This passage is granite-lined to the point where it enters the bedrock and then, after proceeding a short distance, the sloping passage terminates in a sort of ‘ante-chamber’ the walls of which are decorated with typical Old-Kingdom ‘palace-facade’ panelling. (This feature is applied to the exteriors of many tombs of earlier dynasties and is thought to represent in stone the appearance of Egyptian buildings of the time).

At the far (southern) end of this ante-chamber there are three portcullises made from thin slabs of granite and now in a raised position. After passing under these the height of the passage increases to 1.8 metres (one and a half times the height of the polar passage) and becomes ‘horizontal’ (actually the floor slopes down to the south at an angle of 4°) and, after arriving at a point below the centre of the pyramid, opens into a ‘large apartment’.

Menkaure rock-cut chambers

This apartment extends towards the west and has been cut out from the living rock – there are three exits. The first lies immediately above the entrance to the apartment and leads to a passage (having the same cross-section as the polar-passage) which slopes back up towards the north-face. This second sloping passage is ‘blind’ and terminates within the masonry, and this has led scholars to conclude that there was a ‘change of plan’ in the construction of this pyramid. It is at least certain that this ‘blind passage’ was constructed first because tool-marks in the horizontal passage show that this was constructed from the ‘inside-outwards’ – therefore the lower passage system was designed and cut before the major bulk of the pyramid was built.

The second exit from the large apartment leads to a chamber to the west with a very low ceiling – this is evidently a ‘construction-chamber’ because the floor is composed of beams of granite tightly fitted together and actually comprising the roof of the ‘sepulchral-chamber’ below. How these massive granite beams were manhandled in this confined space is a mystery.

To enter the ‘sepulchral-chamber’ one passes through the third exit, situated in the middle of the floor of the large apartment. A short sloping passage leads into a chamber lined with granite and the roof beams, mentioned above, have been cut in a curve on their undersides so that the ceiling has the appearance of being vaulted. This chamber contained, at the date of its discovery, a basalt sarcophagus decorated with palace-facade panelling but this was lost at sea when it was being shipped off to Britain – whether this coffer was original we shall probably never know.

The lost sarcophagus of Menkaure

There is one last feature of the passage-system which appears almost to have been added as an afterthought. In the passage to the ‘sepulchral-chamber’ there is a short side passage, with uneven steps, which branches off to a rough-hewn chamber at a lower level. In the walls of this chamber there are six deep niches, all empty.

In conclusion, if this pyramid ever contained any original remains – mummy-wrappings, stone, pottery, or wooden objects and so on – then all evidence of them must have been removed very carefully. (Actually some coffin-boards inscribed with the name ‘MENKAURE’ were found within the pyramid but on examination these turned out to be part of an ‘intrusive-burial’ of late date).


Sunset land

ASCENDING the gateway to the other world is not, quite literally, for the weak-kneed. You have to bend in half and crawl your way first down and then up, groping the walls on the sides of the very narrow passageway. There is no stairwell, just a wooden board with slats on it to break your fall should you slip. Apart from your joints, your lungs also need to be in perfect condition to be able to draw in any oxygen molecules that might still be lingering in this alleyway. The passage is just every bit as eerie as you might have imagined dark, dingy and somewhat claustrophobic despite a diffuse light whose source is invisible. There is a faint musty smell that is mildly nauseating. The passage goes on and on, seemingly interminable, so much so that you come to believe that anytime now you will ascend to the heavens straightaway. Geen sulke geluk nie. Eventually you reach a chamber, about 10 metre long and 5 metre wide.

We are inside Cheops, the largest of the three Great Pyramids of Giza, the only ancient wonder of the world still standing, defying the ravages of time and the devastation wrought by a quaking earth that might have dislodged structures less majestic. A diffuse light from an indeterminate source lights up the cell to reveal a damaged alabaster coffin. It is open and empty as if inviting you to step into it and lie down, the nearest you can come to being a pharaoh yourself. Should you venture to attempt this, you are bound to jump out of your skin not so much out of fright, but because the cold and clammy alabaster makes your skin crawl.

The cell is bare without any murals that embellish the tombs of pharaohs in the Valley of Kings near Luxor. There are two tiny square holes on the walls. Peering into them brings you face to face with discarded plastic water bottles. Actually, these holes stretch right up to the surface of the pyramid on either side. They have been built at a precise angle to capture the rays of two specific stars in the sky. Ancient Egyptians believed that the soul of the deceased king would ascend directly to these stars through this shaft.

The Cheops pyramid, or Khufu as it is known in Egypt, was completed around 2560 B.C. to house the mummy of King Khufu, who reigned for 23 years. Recorded Egyptian history dates back to 3000 B.C., and Khufu belonged to the fourth dynasty. Early history was first recorded in Greek by Manetho, an Egyptian priest, at the behest of King Ptolemy I. Manetho culled facts and figures out of funerary temples, monuments and other archaeological records. These have been corroborated by subsequent archaeologists and historians.

A staggering 137-metre-high Khufu was built with over two million limestone blocks, each weighing 4.5 tonnes and quarried from a nearby mine in Giza on the outskirts of todays Cairo. How on earth did they lug all these stones up in an age without Komatsu cranes? Your Egyptologist guide tells you how ancient Egyptians fashioned a ramp around the pyramid as it was being built and just rolled these blocks on pieces of wood. Of course, they employed an army of slaves to do that. Khufu and his two sons, who built the other two pyramids at Giza, virtually emptied the treasury for their grandiose funerary monuments and famines stalked their kingdom soon after. No wonder subsequent rulers abandoned building pyramids and settled for less extravagant mortuary structures.

Khufus pyramidal tomb was a departure from the usual box-shaped tombs of the earlier emperors. This is because Khufu, whose mothers mummy had been stolen by tomb-raiders, was paranoid about encountering a similar fate. In ancient Egyptian belief, perfect preservation of the mummy was critical to afterlife. Mummification of royal bodies is a recurring theme in Egyptian art, sculpture and mythology. Anubis the jackal god presides over mummification. The loss of a pharaonic mummy would be a fate worse than death itself. So, Khufu commissioned Hem Iwno, the royal architect who first designed the step-pyramids of Sakkara, to build him an impregnable stone fortress where his mummy would lie safely until escorted by god Osiris and goddess Isis to join them in paradise. (It was customary for royal tombs to be constructed and completed during the lifetime of the king, under his supervision.)

The Giza necropolis, close to modern Cairo, consists of the pyramids of the fourth dynasty pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. Along with the Sphinx, they are the only surviving wonders of the ancient world.-

Where, then, was Khufus own mummy? Why was the sarcophagus empty? The guide tells you how Khufu contrived to dodge the tomb-raiders by building a secret passage deep into the entrails of the pyramid. The entrance to this chamber is in the adjacent Giza village, under the three smaller pyramids that were built beside Khufu to entomb his queen and sisters. Khufus real resting place was found accidentally in 1920 when the tripod of a photographer adjusting his camera for a shot of the Great Pyramid slipped right through the dirt and dropped 20 feet below with a faint thud. Khufus own coffin was in a crypt fortified with granite blocks, virtually impregnable except with dynamite.

There is a tiny statue of Khufu in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which was brought there from the Temple of Osiris at Abydor in upper Egypt. King Khufu may have been eclipsed by the overwhelming allure of his own pyramid, but he was an eminent emperor. There are extensive records of his life and times from his own tomb as well as those of his family and courtiers buried in the vicinity of the great monument. Adjacent is the pyramid built by Khafre, Khufus son, standing on an elevated plane and wearing a shimmering limestone crown. Originally, all three pyramids were covered in limestone plaster, which gave them a brilliance visible for miles around. Perhaps they even sported a golden crown. But the plaster was chipped away and carted to embellish mosques and palaces that were built more than 2,000 years later. The third pyramid on the site is that of Menkaure, not inconsiderable in girth, but dwarfed by its neighbour, Khufu. The three pyramids belonged to the Old Kingdom, fourth dynasty that ruled from 2625-2500 BC. There are over 110 other pyramids in Egypt scattered over the Nile delta.

Our next stop is the inscrutable Sphinx, majestically overlooking the necropolis. Called Abu al Hol in Arabic, the Sphinx was so named by the ancient Greeks, who believed it resembled a mythical winged monster with a lions body and womans head, one that killed anyone unable to solve the riddles it set. Carved at the bedrock of the causeway to the Khafre pyramid, it is believed to resemble Khafre himself. Its nose has been blown away, though, and many stories abound on the provocation for the maiming. Framed by two pyramids on either side, the Sphinx is perhaps the single spectacular symbol of all that was grand and awe-inspiring in ancient Egypt.

Impressive as they are, the three Great Pyramids pale into insignificance beside the grandeur and opulence of the necropolis on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, 679 kilometres upstream. Ancient Egyptians reserved the westerly direction for afterlife, associating death with sunset. Just as the sun reappears the next day, so would the interred monarch, albeit sapped of all his juices and desiccated to brittleness in his mummified form. Death seems to have been a pervasive theme in ancient Egypt. Exotic funerary practices and elaborate tombs painstakingly embellished may give the impression that ancient Egyptian civilisation was morbid and death-obsessed. On the contrary, this fascination with afterlife could be viewed as a life-affirming practice where death was viewed merely as a transitional state. Egyptian theology entails neither a rejection of earthly life nor a willing martyrdom in the name of an ideal paradise. Death is just another state where the social trappings of status and rank as well as material possessions continue to provide comfort and support. No other civilisation in recorded history is, perhaps, known to have celebrated death as ancient Egyptians did.

A mural in the temple of Hatseshpsut, who was the pharaoh in the 15th century B.C., the second woman in ancient Egypt to assume power.-

Approaching the Valley of Kings by road, we pass the massive Colossi of Memnon, the two statues believed to be those of the Ethiopian king and the son of the dawn goddess Eos. These statues are the only two things that remain of a flood plain that once supported a large temple complex. Not far away is the glorious Temple of Hatseshpsut, a pharaonic regent who crowned herself queen. Standing amidst a sandy wilderness, this temple is one of the finest examples of Egyptian architecture of the time.

You would be forgiven for dismissing the expansive Valley of Kings as yet another desolate stretch of desert. Not even a blade of grass grows on the barren hillsides. Had not Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, British Egyptologists, unearthed the splendid tombs in this sprawling necropolis in the first quarter of the 20th century, humanity might not have known about this incredibly vivid and most ancient royal heritage. The valley is ringed by barren hills, one of which, al Qurn, is shaped like a pyramid.

The Valley of Kings has 62 tombs that have been excavated so far, albeit long after tomb-raiders had carried away everything portable and valuable. The only tomb that was found intact by Howard Carter in 1922 was that of young Tutenkhamun who, by the age of 19, had already been monarch for nine years and had died of a mysterious disease in 1327 B.C. Even modern archaeologists almost missed this tomb, buried as it was, under the rubble from an adjacent tomb. Its presence was revealed when a donkey in Carters excavation team just vanished through loose lands into the bowels of the earth.

Though he was a relatively insignificant pharaoh, King Tut had been buried with priceless treasures such as an exquisitely engraved golden mask and cartloads of dazzling gold jewellery encrusted with precious stones, an indication of what might have been buried in the tombs of the greater monarchs like Ramses II who had ruled for 63 years. Much of his reign is considered to be the golden years of ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, these seem to have been lost forever to humanity since no one knows when these tombs were raided by robbers and where they removed their priceless contents. Fortunately, the robbers have left the tombs intact without vandalising them.

The Tutenkhamun regalia is on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. In fact, King Tuts mummy had been encased in three sarcophagi, one inside the other, and these in turn contained three coffins. The first coffin was made of gilded wood the second, of coloured glass and inlaid with precious stones the third, made of solid gold. Archaeologists also found a treasury protected by Anubis the jackal god, and containing calcite Canopic jars that might have held the boy kings liver, lungs and kidneys. The tomb at Valley of Kings now has his mummy, fairly well-preserved for someone who died 4,000 years ago. The murals on the walls retain their bright colours.

Of the 62 royal tombs that have been unearthed, only 12 are open to visitors, and of these, your ticket entitles you to visit just three. Tombs of King Tut and Ramses VI require additional tickets. But, as you would find out, they are worth every Egyptian piastre. The tomb of Ramses VI is probably the most glamorous of the lot with dazzling murals and seemingly never-ending corridors. Most tombs follow a set pattern with four passages, each symbolising a specific stage on the journey to afterlife. You pass through long passages constructed east to west, to first the Hall of Waiting to the Chariot Hall and finally to the burial chamber situated at right angle.

The tombs were decorated with pictures from the Book of the Dead with colourful scenes to guide the pharaoh on his journey. Others have scenes from the Book of Caverns, Book of Gates, Book of Heavens and Book of Earth.

A visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is indeed a chastening experience. From the fashionable footwear and garments on display to the furniture, vehicles and household objects, the stuff used in pharaonic times is not very different from what we use today in our modern homes. Only the pillow seems to have evolved from a curved wooden headrest to todays eiderdown-filled cushion. There is little doubt that the Egyptian civilisation was indeed a very advanced and refined one, on which subsequent generations spanning five millennia have improved little.

An obelisk at the Karnak temple complex.-

Our journey through Egypt takes us to other spectacular archaeological sites, too. The temples of Abu Simbel far in the Nubian desert, Philae Temple dedicated to goddess Isis in Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Karnak and Luxor, temples all on the banks of the Nile. Many of these temples bear the unmistakeable evidence of Greco-Roman influence in their architecture. You almost develop a crick in your neck, gazing at the towering columns of Karnak Temple in Luxor. Karnak is a spectacular complex of sanctuaries, pylons, pillars and obelisks, all engraved with scenes from Egyptian mythology interspersed with history and a wonderful place to get lost in the past!

Egypt has had its fair share of foreign rulers leaving their indelible mark on the lands customs, rituals, art and architecture through the ages. After a series of ethnic Egyptian and Saite kings spread over three kingdoms Old, Middle and New spanning over 2,000 years, Egypt fell to Nubian kings from 760 B.C. to 656 B.C. The Nubians were not ethnically very different from the Egyptians themselves. Persians ruled over Egypt from 525 B.C. The Macedonians led by Alexander the Great liberated Egypt from the Persians in 332 B.C. and went on to found Alexandria. The Macedonian Greeks, led by Alexanders general, Ptolemy I, invaded Egypt in 305 B.C. and held sway for three centuries, leaving their lasting mark on the architecture of the period even while assimilating Egyptian gods into the Greek pantheon. Queen Cleopatra was the last of the Ptolemies. As intelligent as she was beautiful, Cleopatra kept her hold over Egypt by marrying Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor who might otherwise have posed a threat to her kingdom. When Caesar was assassinated, she married Mark Antony. During this period, Alexandria became the centre of unparalleled scholarship and culture. Eventually, the Greeks made way for the Romans, who came in around 30 B.C. Islam came to Egypt in A.D. 640. The capital, accordingly, shifted from Memphis to Thebes (Luxor) to Alexandria to Cairo.

We wrap up our tour of Egypt with a visit to Abu Simbel on the banks of the Nile in Nubia. From Aswan, we speed through 280 kilometres of featureless desert to Lake Nasser, the largest man-made lake in the world created by the construction of Aswan High Dam. The dam was Gamal Abdel Nassers pet project to harness the Nile to feed his countrymen, conceived in an era when big dams had not yet become a bad word. Two majestic temples one for Ramses II and another for his queen Nefertari keep silent vigil over the turquoise blue expanse of the lake. The temples were relocated to the present location when the lake threatened to submerge the original temple site. At the entrance are four mammoth statues of Ramses II, one of them damaged, in a seated posture depicting him as king of this world.

After all, his reign of 66 years was perhaps the longest for any Egyptian monarch and was considered the golden era of ancient Egypt. As you enter, you find more of his statues in funerary posture hands crossed over chest and finally, in the pantheon, he is depicted as god, seated alongside Ra-Harakhti, Amun and Ptah. The sheer magnitude of the statues is stunning. Could a civilisation of such splendour and grandeur have left anything less dazzling for posterity to marvel at?


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Kommentaar:

  1. Iasion

    Dit is jammer dat ek nou nie kan uitdruk nie - dit is baie beset. Maar ek sal terugkeer - ek sal noodwendig skryf wat ek dink.

  2. Tojakora

    Ek stem absoluut met jou saam. Daar is iets hierin en ek dink dit is 'n goeie idee. Ek stem heeltemal saam met jou.



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