S: EGYPT -- November 2010
BC: EGYPT 2010
FC: Created by Cathy Booth-Smith | EGYPT
1: November 3 Cairo -- Coptic Churches and the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali November 4 Aswan -- Philae Temple, Unfinished Obelisk, Elephantine Island, Kitchener Island, High Dam, and Felucca ride. November 5 Nile -- Kom Ombo Temple, Edfu Temple, Nile cruising with sight-seeing, and locks at Esna. November 6 Luxor -- Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari, Colossi of Memnon, and the Karnak Sound and Light Show November 7 Luxor -- Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple November 8 Cairo -- Pyramids at Giza, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, and Nile Dinner Cruise with belly dancing and whirling dervish show | EGYPT November 3 to November 8, 2010 | I dedicate this book to my husband, Roy. Thanks for accompanying me on this great adventure. Your good humour and support truly made this a "Trip of a Lifetime" for me. | All photographs are original works by the author, Cathy Booth-Smith, unless expressly stated otherwise.
3: The Great Sphinx of Giza stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile. It is the largest monolithic statue in the world and one of the most recognized icons of ancient Egypt. Even today there is still much debate about the true origins and the age of the Great Sphinx of Giza. The three small pictures on this page are of drawings made by travelers in 1698, 1775 and 1867. The picture at the top-left is of a painting by Jean Leon-Gerome, called, "Bonaparte Before the Sphinx." Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sphinx_of_Giza on May 14, 2011
4: Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church also known as the Hanging Church, (El Muallaqa) is one of the oldest churches in Egypt. The history of a church on this site dates to the 3rd century AD. It's name comes from its location above the gatehouse of a Babylon Fortress, in Coptic Cairo (Old Cairo); its nave is suspended over a passage. (pictured on the facing page) | Hanging Church | The Hanging Church is the most famous Coptic Christian church in Cairo, as well as possibly the first built in Basilican style. After the Arab invasion of Egypt during Pope Christodolos's tenure, in 1047 AD Cairo became the fixed and official residence of the Coptic Pope. Today that office is held by Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria.
5: The nineteenth century facade with twin bell towers (on the facing page) is seen beyond a narrow courtyard decorated with modern art biblical designs (above.) | You are looking down at a glass floor. The passage, over which the church is suspended, can be seen through the glass. | Biblical Designs
6: Mosque of Muhammad Ali (above.) The Citadel is sometimes referred to as Mohamed Ali Citadel because it contains the Mosque of Muhammad Ali (aka Mohamed Ali Pasha), which was built between 1828 and 1848. Spellings: Muhammad and Mohamed accepted. | The Citadel, or hill-fortress, built by the forced labour of foreign Christian-Crusader prisoners.
7: The Saladin Citadel of Cairo is a medieval Islamic fortification in Cairo, Egypt. The location, on Mokattam hill near the center of Cairo, was once famous for its fresh breeze and grand views of the city. It is now a preserved historic site, with mosques and museums. The Citadel was fortified by the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) between 1176 and 1183 CE, to protect it from the Crusaders. Only a few years after defeating the Fatimid Caliphate, Saladin set out to build a wall that would surround both Cairo and Fustat. This Ottoman mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816. There are two other mosques at the Citadel, the 13th/14th c. hypostyle Al-Nasir Muhammad Qala'un Mosque from the early Bahri Mamluk period, and the 16th c. Mosque of Suleyman Pasha, the first of the Citadel's Ottoman-style mosques. The Citadel also houses four museums: The Al-Gawhara Palace museum, the Carriage Museum, the National Military Museum, and the Police Museum. | Mosque of Mohamed Ali Pasha at the Citadel of Salah Al-Din
11: Aswan, formerly spelled Assuan, is a city in the south of Egypt, and the capital of the Aswan Governorate. It stands on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract and is a busy market and tourist center. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine. Aswan is one of the driest inhabited places in the world; as of early 2001, the last rain there occurred seven years earlier. As of 6 April 2010], the last rainfall was a thunderstorm on May 13, 2006. In Nubian settlements, they generally do not bother to roof all of the rooms in their houses. The is much to see in Aswan. Here is a partial list: Philae Temple. Aswan Museum of Antiquities, Kitchener and Elephantine Islands, the High Dam, Lake Nasser, Unfinished Obelisk, Mausoleum of Aga Khan, and Felucca trips. Nile cruises travel between Aswan and Luxor 179 kilometres north west. The cruise ships typically take 3 or 4 days to make the trip. Most overnight in either Aswan or Luxor and spend the remainder of the time stopping at Kom Ombo, Edfu, and passing by Esna via the locks. | Above: the Nile river with the Tombs of the Nobels on the hill in the background.
12: MS Beau Soleil Nile Cruise Ship The ship measures 240 feet by 47 feet
13: Cathy and Roy Galabeya Costume Egypt Theme Night
14: Philae Temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis. Philae, the modern day name, is Greek in origin. The ancient Egyptians called the island "P-aaleq", which amongst other definitions has the dual meaning of "end" and "creation". The temples at Philae were built over an 800 year period, with much of the construction completed in the Roman period.
15: Today, Philae Temple is located on Agilkia Island in the Nile River. The temple was dismantled and rebuilt in its current location. The original Philae Island location was flooded after the building of the Aswan High Dam. It had previously been partly flooded, for over half a century, as a result of the building of the original Aswan dam. In 1960, UNESCO started a project to save the buildings on Philae island from the destructive effect of the rising water levels of the Nile. Every building was dismantled, resulting in 40,000 carefully itemized units. The temple was then transported to higher ground on the nearby island of Agilkia, about 500 metres away. Philae is remarkable for the singular effects of light and shade resulting from its position near the Tropic of Cancer. As the sun approaches its northern limit, the shadows from the projecting cornices and moldings of the temples sink lower and lower down the plain surfaces of the walls, until the sun reaches its apex. The vertical walls are then overspread with dark shadows, forming a striking contrast with the fierce light which illuminates all surrounding objects. | Philae Temple, near Aswan, on the island of of Agilkia. The first pylon is seen at the far right. | Philae Temple, the first pylon as viewed from the approach to the temple, from the south.
16: Greco-Roman columns form the two colonnades at Philae Temple. The capitals feature bundled papyrus stalks with lotus blossoms.
17: The first structure that you encounter is a small kiosk, dedicated to Hathor and erected by pharaoh Nectanebo I (380 -362 BC), who was the first king of the Thirteenth and last dynasty of Egypt. (left) The kiosk originally had 14 columns of which only six remain. The double stairway that led to the kiosk has been taken away by the Nile. Next you encounter the two colonnades that lead to the Temple of Isis. (below) The first pylon of the Temple of Isis is located at the end of the two colonnades.
18: Ancient Egyptian Iconography | Philae was built by Pharaoh Ptolemy Xl. He is depicted here, on the right, making offerings to the gods.
19: Isis iconography After she assimilated many of the roles of Hathor, Isis's headdress is replaced with that of Hathor: the horns of a cow on her head, with the solar disk between them. She was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature. | Horus iconography Horus is depicted as the falcon-headed god. He is the son of Isis and Osiris. The Pharaoh as Horus in life became the Pharaoh as Osiris in death, where he was united with the rest of the gods. New incarnations of Horus succeeded the deceased pharaoh on earth in the form of new pharaohs. | Osiris iconography He is classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharoah's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. | Isis-Hathor icon by Jeff Dahl, 28 December 2007. Horus icon by Jeff Dahl, 26 December 2007. Osiris icon by Jeff Dahl, 19 December 2007. Used by virtue the WikiMedia Commons license.
20: The goddess Isis Isis was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife, as well as the matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden. She also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis was the goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility. At times Isis and Hathor had the same headdress, as depicted in the photograph at the left. In tombs Hathor is depicted as the "Mistress of the West," or the afterlife. The goddess Isis (mother of Horus) was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Over-arching Sky. The four children of Geb and Nut are: Osiris, Seth, Isis and Nephthys At Philae Temple her worship persisted until the sixth century, long after the rise of Christianity, and the subsequent suppression of paganism. On the island of Philae, the cult of Isis and Osiris continued up until the 6th century AD.
21: The god Osiris Osiris is considered to be the oldest son of the Earth god Geb, and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. Osiris is usually identified as the god of the Afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He is classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. The crook is thought to represent Osiris as a shepherd god. The symbolism of the flail is more uncertain, but it is commonly suggested that it is a shepherds whip or fly-whisk. Osiris is represented in his most developed form of iconography wearing the Atef crown, which is similar to the White crown of Upper Egypt (but with the addition of a feather at each side.) Trajan's Kiosk, a hypaethral temple constructed by the Roman emperor Trajan. It's one of the largest Ancient Egyptian monuments standing today at the island of Agilkia by the Temple of Philae.
23: Trajan's Kiosk (left) stands within the complex at the Temple of Philae. This 15-x-20 metre kiosk is 15.85 metres high; its function was likely "to shelter the bark of Isis at the eastern banks" of Philae island. Its four by five columns each carry "different, lavishly structured, composite capitals that are topped by 2.10-metre-high piers" that were originally "intended to be sculpted into Bes piers, similar to the birth houses of Philae, Armant, and Dendera although this decoration was never completed. | The structure is today roofless, but sockets within the structure's architraves suggest that its roof, which was made of timber, was constructed in ancient times. Three 12.50 metre long trusses, "which were inserted into a ledge at the back of stone architecture, carried the slightly vaulted roof."
24: ASWAN HIGH DAM The dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970. The Old Aswan Dam, or Aswan Low Dam, was first completed in 1902. Both projects aimed to increase economic production by regulating the annual river flooding and providing storage of water for agriculture, and later, to generate hydroelectricity. Both have had significant impact on the economy and culture of Egypt. The Old Aswan Dam was built at the former first cataract of the Nile, and is located about 1000 km up-river and south-southeast of Cairo. The newer Aswan High Dam is located 7.3 km upriver (south) of the older dam. Before the dams were built, the River Nile flooded each year as water flowed northward down the valley from its East African drainage basin. These floods brought high water and natural nutrients and minerals that annually enriched the fertile soil along the floodplain and delta; since ancient times, this made the Nile valley ideal for farming. Because floods vary, in high-water years the whole crop might be wiped out, while in low-water years widespread drought and famine occasionally occurred. As Egypt's population grew and conditions changed, both a desire and ability developed to control these floods, and thus both protect and support farmland and the economically important cotton crop. With the reservoir storage provided by these dams, the floods could be controlled, and the water could be stored for later release. The Aswan High Dam is 3,830 metres long, 980 metres wide at the base, 40 metres wide at the crest and 111 metres tall. At maximum, 11,000 cubic metres per second of water can pass through the dam. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan_High_Dam on May 14, 2011
25: Aswan High Dam, looking north | Lake Nasser reservoir, Aswan High Dam, looking south-east | A view from the vantage point in the middle of High Dam, looking towards the "Lotus Flower" tower, by sculptor Ernst Neizvestny | Aswan High Dam, satellite view
26: UNFINISHED OBELISK The unfinished obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk. It is located in the Northern Quarrystone quarries of ancient Egypt, in Aswan (Assuan). It is unknown which pharaoh created this structure. It is nearly one third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If it had been completed, it would have measured about 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons or 2.3 million pounds. Archaeologists speculate that it was intended to complement the so-called Lateran Obelisk which was originally at Karnak and is now outside the Lateran Palace in Rome. All the quarries in Aswan are now an open-air museum and are officially protected by the Egyptian government as an archeological site. Much of the red granite used for ancient temples and colossi came from quarries in the Aswan area. Around these quarries are many inscriptions, many of which describe successful quarrying projects. The Unfinished Obelisk still lies where a crack was discovered, as it was being hewn from the rock. It would have been the worlds largest piece of stone ever handled. Tools left by it's builders have given us much insight into how such work was performed. Nearby is the Fatimid Cemetery that includes number of domed and vaulted square buildings that date back to the 10th century AD. The tombs probably housed the bodies of local governors from that time. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfinished_obelisk, May 10, 2011
27: The Unfinished Obelisk would have been the largest in Egypt. Photo by Olaf Tausch, 2009-03-29. License: WikiMedia Commons | The quarry at Aswan was the source of red, grey, and black granite which was used all over Egypt to build obelisks and monuments. | The ancient quarries of Aswan are located along the Nile, in the city of Aswan. The unfinished obelisk is found at the northern quarry. | Aswan was the ancient city of Swenet. Aswan is Egypt's hottest inhabited city. At present, the quarry area is an open-air museum.
28: Aswan Botanic Island Kitchener's Island Kitchener's Island (now locally known in Arabic as Geziret an-Nabatat, which translates as "island of plants") is a small, oval-shaped island in the Nile, at Aswan, Egypt. The island was given to Lord Kitchener as a thank-you for his services in the Sudan Campaign (1896-1898). With the aid of the Ministry of Irrigation, Kitchener rapidly transformed the small (approx. 750-meter-long) island into a paradise of exotic trees and plants and carefully planned walkways. It later passed into the hands of the Egyptian government. Kitchener's Island is one of two major islands on the Nile in the vicinity of Aswan. The other one is Elephantine. Excerpt from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchener%27s_Island on May 14, 2011
30: Feluccas on the Nile at Aswan
31: Nubian felucca Captain
32: The Tombs of the Nobels | Fatimid Cemetery Aswan, near the Unfinished Obelisk | Nile Cruise ships, docked in tandem
33: A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in the protected waters of the Red Sea and particularly along the Nile in Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails. Lateen refers to a triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast, and running in a fore-and-aft direction. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateen and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felucca | Aswan feluccas in the foreground with the tower of the Movenpick Hotel, on Elephantine Island, in the background.
34: A feluccca ride is a must when visiting Aswan.
35: Feluccas and motor boats transport tourists to the sights of Aswan.
36: Elephantine Island Aswan Antiquities Museum Artifacts dating back to pre-dynastic times have been found on Elephantine Island. The museum opened to the public in 1912 and features Nubian artifacts saved during the construction of the Aswan Dam. In 1990 a new extension was added displaying findings discovered on Elephantine Island itself, like utensils, weapons, pottery and mummies. As an island, it was also easily defensible. In fact, the ancient town located in the southern part of the island was also a fortress throughout much of it's history. At one time, there was a bridge from the mainland to the island. One of the main attractions is the Nilometer. Another major attraction is the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. Elephantine is Greek for elephant. In ancient times, the Island as well as the southern town, was called Abu meaning elephant. It is believed that the island received it's name because it was a major ivory trading center. The large boulders near the island resemble elephants bathing in a river and this too has been suggested as the origin of the island's name. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan_Museum
38: KOM OMBO TEMPLE The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple, built during the Ptolemaic dynasty, in the Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its 'double' design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along "with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands)" The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis. The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC) at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII (51-47 BC), who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls. The scene on the inner face of the rear wall of the temple is of particular interest, and "probably represents a set of surgical instruments." Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by Coptic Christianity, who once used the temple as a church. All the temple buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893. Near Kom Ombo, almost 50,000 Nubians who were displaced by the creation on Lake Nasser now live in "New Nubia". It encompasses 47 village units whose geographic relationship to each other approximates that in "Old Nubia." Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kom_Ombo, May 10, 2011
39: The crocodile god Sobek
40: KOM OMBO TEMPLE | Royal Cartouche | Pharaoh Ptolemaios XII and the falcon god Horus | Geb, primeval divine king of Egypt, and father of Osiris
41: KOM OMBO TEMPLE | Horus in falcon form
42: EDFU TEMPLE The Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu. It is the second largest temple in Egypt after Karnak and one of the best preserved. The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BCE. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. In particular, the Temple's inscribed building texts provide details [both] of its construction, and also preserve information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation. There are also important scenes and inscriptions of the Sacred Drama which related the age-old conflict between Horus and Seth. Edfu was one of several temples built during the Ptolemaic period, including Dendera, Esna, Kom Ombo and Philae. Its size reflects the relative prosperity of the time. The present temple, which was begun "on 23 August 237 BCE, initially consisted of a pillared hall, two transverse halls, and a barque sanctuary surrounded by chapels. The building was started during the reign of Ptolemy III and completed in 57 BCE under Ptolemy XII. Over the centuries, the temple became buried to a depth of 12 metres (39 ft) beneath drifting desert sand and layers of river silt deposited by the Nile. Only the upper reaches of the temple pylons were visible by 1798, when the temple was identified by a French expedition. In 1860 Auguste Mariette, a French Egyptologist, began the work of freeing Edfu temple from the sands. The Temple of Edfu's archaeological significance and high state of preservation has made it a centre for tourism in Egypt and a frequent stop for the many riverboats that cruise the Nile. Extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Edfu on April 17, 201
44: The Temple at Edfu features a statue of the god Horus as a falcon.
46: The River Nile cruise from Kom Ombo to Edfu
48: AL-DEIR AL-BAHARI TEMPLE The Temple of Deir el-Bahari, literally meaning "The Northern Monastery", is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. Mentuhotep II, the Eleventh Dynasty king who reunited Egypt at the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, built a very unusual funerary complex. His mortuary temple was built on several levels in the great bay at Deir el-Bahari. It was approached by a 16-metre-wide (150-ft) causeway leading from a valley temple, which no longer exists. The relative locations of the three temples at Deir el Bahari are: Hatshepsut's temple is on the left, Tuthmosis III's temple in center, and Mentuhotep II's temple on the right. The mortuary temple itself consists of a forecourt, enclosed by walls on three sides, and a terrace on which stands a large square structure that may represent the primeval mound that arose from the waters of chaos. As the temple faces east, the structure is likely to have been connected with the sun cult of Re and the resurrection of the king. Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut The focal point of the Deir el-Bahari complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies", the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect to Hatshepsut (and believed by some to be her lover), to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun. It is largely considered to be one of the "incomparable monuments" of ancient Egypt. Extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_el-Bahari on April 18, 2011
50: There are three layered-terraces reaching 97 feet (30 m) in height. Each level is articulated by a double colonnade of square piers, with the exception of the northwest corner of the central terrace, which employs Proto-Doric columns to house the chapel.
51: These terraces are connected by long ramps which were once surrounded by gardens. The layering of Hatshepsut’s temple corresponds with the classical Theban form, employing pylon, courts, hypostyle hall, sun court, chapel, and sanctuary.
52: AL-DEIR AL-BAHARI TEMPLE
53: AL-DEIR AL-BAHARI TEMPLE
55: Colossi of Memnon
56: Karnak Sound & Light Show Luxor, Egypt
58: THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS The Valley of the Kings in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years -- from the 16th to 11th century BC -- tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and the powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (modern Luxor), within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. With the 2006 discovery of a new chamber (KV63), and the 2008 discovery of 2 additional tomb entrances, the valley is currently known to contain 63 tombs and chambers (ranging in size from a simple pit to a complex tomb with over 120 chambers), and was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, and a number of privileged nobles. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of that period. Almost all of the tombs seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still provide an idea of the opulence and power of the rulers of that time. The Theban Hills are dominated by the peak of al-Qurn, (pictured top-right, next page) known to the Ancient Egyptians as ta dehent, or 'The Peak'. It has a pyramid-shaped appearance, and it is probable that this echoed the pyramids of the Old Kingdom, more than a thousand years prior to the first royal burials here. Its isolated location also resulted in reduced access, and special tomb police (the Medjay) guarded the necropolis. Photography is now forbidden within the tombs themselves. Any photos relating to the Valley of the Kings are from the WikiCommons, and are used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Source Wikiedia, April 22, 2011http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_the_Kings
59: The most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings, is KV62 which is that of Tutankhamun, the boy king, also known as King Tut. The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, of Tutankhamun's nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage. It sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun's burial mask (pictured below) remains the most popular symbol. In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that Tut was the son of Akhenaten (mummy KV55) and Akhenaten's sister/wife (mummy KV35YL), whose name is unknown, but whose remains are positively identified as "The Younger Lady" mummy found in KV35. ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Exhibits of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world. Cathy first viewed the burial mask as part of The Treasures of Tutankhamun Exhibit (1972-1981) in November of 1979, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Cathy's father Richard Booth, who at that time worked for Scarboro Movers, was directly involved in the high-security transportation of the treasures during their time in Toronto. Recently, in the spring of 2010, Cathy and daughter Colleen attended the Tutankhamen: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, ON. The 2010 exhibit didn't include the burial mask, but it featured 130 artifacts or nearly twice the number displayed in 1979. Many had never been shown in North America. During this trip to Egypt, Roy and Cathy saw the burial mask on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Paintings (right) in the tomb of Ramesses III aka KV11 are superb, making this tomb one of the most frequently visited. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_the_Kings, 4-22-2011
60: KARNAK TEMPLE Karnak Temple (Complex) comprises a vast mix of ruined temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings, most notably the Great Temple of Amun and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Ramses II (ca. 1391–1351 BC). Sacred Lake is also part of ths site. It is located near Luxor, some 500 km south of Cairo, in Egypt. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut ("The Most Selected of Places") and the main place of worship for the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad, with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex takes its name from the nearby modern village of el-Karnak, some 2.5 km north of Luxor. The history of the Karnak complex is largely the history of Thebes and its changing role in Egytian culture. The city of Thebes does not appear to have been of great significance before the Eleventh Dynasty. Major construction work in the Precinct of Amun-Re took place during the Eighteenth dynasty (c. 1550-c. 1292 BCE) when Thebes became the capital of the unified Ancient Egypt. The Eighteenth Dynasty is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt. One notable feature of Karnak, is the Hypostyle Hall in the Precinct of Amun-Re, a hall area of 50,000 sq. ft. (5,000 m2) with 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows. Of these, 122 columns are 10 meters tall, wit the other 12 at 21 meters tall with a diameter of over three metres. Thutmose I erected an enclosure wall connecting the Fourth and Fifth pylons, which comprise the earliest part of the temple standing in situ. Construction of the Hypostyle Hall also may have begun during the eighteenth dynasty, although most new building was undertaken by Seti I and Ramesses II. Almost every pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty added something to the Karnak temple site. On the walls of the Cachette Court, Merenptah commemorated his victories over the Sea Peoples. Hatshepsut restored the original Precinct of Mut, the ancient great goddess of Egypt. She had twin obelisks, at the time the tallest in the world, erected at the entrance to the temple. One still stands, as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk on Earth; the other has broken in two and toppled. (opposite page) Excerpt from WikipediA on April 21, 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karnak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighteenth_dynasty_of_Egypt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hypostyle_Hall,_Karnak
61: The second obelisk erected by Hatshepsut, which has broken in two and toppled, is pictured below:
63: The outer wall, on the north side of the Hypostle hall, is decorated in raised relief, and was mainly Seti I's work. The reliefs on this northern wall (above) mainly depict scenes of Seti I (father of Ramesses II) in battle. Sacred Lake (below) is also part of the Karnak Complex. The lake is 129 X 77 meters and was used for ritual navigation. It used to be surrounded by storerooms and the living quarters for the priests.
64: The tallest surviving ancient Egyptian obelisk (below, top-left) on Earth. The avenue of ram-headed sphinxes or criosphinges (below, top-right) leading to the first pylon at Karnak were built by the Ethiopian kings around 656 BC. The Colossal statue (middle, bottom) may be of Ramesses` favourite wife Nefertari, with Ramesses daughter Bint-Anath by Istnpfret standing between her legs. There is still controversy surrounding the identity of these two statues.
66: LUXOR TEMPLE Luxor Temple, founded in 1400 BCE, is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the ancient city of Thebes, known today as Luxor. The --southern sanctuary-- the temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Chons. It was built during the New Kingdom with the focus on the annual Opet Festival, in which a cult statue of Amun was paraded down the Nile from nearby Karnak Temple. The statue of Amun then stayed at Luxor for a time with its consort Mut, as a celebration of fertility. The oldest parts of the temple still standing today are the baroque chapels, just behind the first pylon. They were built by Hatshepsut, and appropriated by Tuthmosis III. The main part of the temple - the colonnade and the sun court - were built by Amenhotep III, with a later addition by Ramesses II. He built the entrance pylon, and the two obelisks (one of which was taken to France, and is now at the centre of the Place de la Concorde) and Ramesses II also linked the Hatshepsut buildings with the main temple. To the rear of the temple are chapels built by Tuthmosis III, and Alexander. During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor_Temple on May 12, 2011 | Four Baboons worship the Rising Sun at the foot of the remaining Obelisk at Luxor Temple
67: First Pylon Luxor Temple
68: Top, left to right: Luxor Colonnade of Amenhotep III, Courtyard of Ramesses II, statues of Ramesses II and Nefertari Bottom, left to right: the court of Amenhotep III, Colussus of Ramesses in front of the colonnade, the Mosque of Abu Haggag
70: The Colonnade of Amenhotep III, at Luxor Temple, has seven pairs of 52 foot (16m) high columns
71: Our Group in the Courtyard of Amenhotep III at Luxor Temple | Left to right: Mayling, Fergus, Sandra, Wolfgang Don, Roy, Margaret, Joan, Noreen, Linda, our Egyptologist Hamid , and John Abscent from the photo: Cathy , Penny and Abha
72: Roman mural decorates the walls of an inner court. Alexander the Great converted this baroque chapel into a shrine. Its carved walls depict Alexander as a pharaoh.
73: The Colonnade of Amenhotep III, at Luxor Temple.
74: In 1937 the Alsatian mathematician, philosopher and Egyptologist, R.A.Schwaller de Lubicz began a fifteen year, on-site study of the great temple complex of Luxor. Assisted by a highly trained team of surveyors and architectural draftsman, he precisely measured, analyzed and recorded every stone, column, passageway, chamber, inscription and statue in the temple complex. His findings, published in the Temple of Man, call for a total reexamination and reinterpretation of the entire body of Egyptological theory. Yet, by and large, the seminal work done by Schwaller de Lubicz has been ignored, even abused, by the contemporary Egyptological community. The reasons for this are not hard to find. Schwaller de Lubicz had profoundly confronted the prevailing archaeological theories concerning the development, mathematical sophistication, religious symbolism, and total culture of the ancient Egyptians. To understand the significance, indeed the radical nature, of what he has done it is important to recognize two matters. First, that the currently popular 'scientific' notions concerning the origin, timing, order and locality of the development of the earliest civilization are little more than theories - tentative assumptions given the appearance of authority by the elitist posturing of the academic community - based upon less than two hundred years of piecemeal archaeological study. And second, that those two hundred years of study were profoundly influenced by the arrogant belief of the European Age of Enlightenment that modern civilization represents a great advance, especially philosophically and mathematically, over ancient civilizations. | Schwaller de Lubicz challenged these notions by showing that the Dynastic Egyptians possessed mathematics superior to that of the Pythagorean Greeks, whom they preceded by more than 1500 years, and that of the Europeans, whom they preceded by more than 3000. Furthermore, he has demonstrated that Egyptian culture represents a great doctrine in which science, religion, philosophy and art were altogether fused into one grand and extraordinary synthesis equaled no where else in the entire ancient or modern world. Most contemporary Egyptologists become quite uncomfortable when the research of Schwaller de Lubicz is mentioned. They cannot find fault with the absolute precision of his measurements and scholarship, yet they refuse to see beyond the biases of their 'modern' Eurocentric programming to grasp the astonishing brilliance of Egyptian culture. Readers interested in the studies of Schwaller de Lubicz will find a good introduction in the excellent book Serpent in the Sky by John Anthony West. Built upon the site of a small Middle Kingdom temple, much of the present temple of Luxor was constructed by the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III (reigned 1391 - 1353 BC). A stunningly beautiful double colonnaded court was added by the 19th Dynasty pharaoh Ramses II (reigned 1290 - 1224 BC). The enormous asymmetric complex, over 800 feet long, was built in stages to a design unique in sacred architecture; it is constructed upon three separate axes, and every wall, colonnade and hall is rigorously aligned to one or another of these three axes. | Additions made a thousand years later by the last of the Egyptian-born pharaohs, those made a few years later by Alexander the Great, and even those of the Romans, were all aligned according to the original axes, showing that the architectural guidelines ordering the temple were handed down through the generations. These three different axes, skewed as they are, seem to defy logical explanation, yet Schwaller de Lubicz saw within them a deliberate expression of harmony, proportion and extraordinary symbolism. While it is too complex a subject to discuss here, Schwaller de Lubicz found in the temple of Luxor a record of the Egyptian's understanding of the cosmic laws of creation and the manner in which spirit becomes manifest as matter. One of his central insights was that the various sections of the human body are incorporated into the proportions of the temple itself (see illustration below), and in the proportions of the various sculptures and wall carvings. John Anthony West writes: "Because there is nothing in our society that remotely corresponds to a Temple of Luxor, it is difficult to understand why Egypt should have exercised such infinite pains and genius on what is ultimately a symbolic gesture. It is even more difficult for us to understand the uses to which it was put and the effect it must have had on those exposed to it." West suggests that "the Temple is in the nature of a magic rite, extending over two millennia, designed to evoke in the beholder an understanding of creation and creative power." | Excerpt from Sacred Sites, Places of Peace and Power on April 22, 2011, http://sacredsites.com/africa/egypt/luxor.html | Controversy
75: Vista from the Court of Amenhotep towards the Great Colonade Luxor Temple
76: GIZA NECROPOLIS The Giza Necropolis is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, located on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers' village and an industrial complex. It is located about 9 km (5 mi) inland from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids, which have always loomed large as emblems of ancient Egypt in the Western imagination, were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today it is the only one of the seven ancient wonders still in existence. The Great Pyramids consist of the Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu), the somewhat smaller Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) a few hundred meters to the south-west, and the relatively modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinos) located a few hundred meters farther south-west. The Great Sphinx lies on the eastern side of the complex. One of the current beliefs among Egyptologists is that the head of the Great Sphinx is that of Khafre. This is contradicted by some, among these is Frank Domingo, a forensic scientist in the New York City Police Department and an expert forensic anthropologist. He used detailed measurements of the Sphinx, forensic drawings and computer imaging to conclude that Khafra, as depicted on extant statuary, was not the model for the Sphinx's face. Along with these major monuments are a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "queens" pyramids, causeways and valley pyramids. Khufu’s pyramid complex includes a Valley Temple, now buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman. Khafre’s pyramid complex consists of a Valley temple (sometimes referred to as the Sphinx temple), a causeway, a mortuary temple and the King’s pyramid. From this temple only the basalt pavement remains. Menkaure’s pyramid complex consists of a Valley Temple, a causeway, a mortuary temple, and the King’s pyramid. The Sphinx dates to the reign of Khafre (this is also contested.) A chapel was located between its forepaws. During the New Kingdom Amenhotep II dedicated a new temple to Hauron-Haremakhet and this structure was added onto by later rulers. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giza_Necropolis on May 12, 2011 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sphinx_of_Giza on May 14, 2011
77: Khafre's Pyramid appears larger than the adjacent Khufu Pyramid by virtue of its more elevated location, and the steeper angle of inclination of its construction – it is, in fact, smaller in both height and volume. Khafre's Pyramid retains a prominent display of casing stones at its apex | The Great Sphinx of Giza
78: Cathy standing before the Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis.
79: On the left is picture is of a camel rider who wanted a Baksheesh (tip) after I took this picture of him, and his camel. He went away empty-handed, because after spending a week in Egypt we were all-tipped-out! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The pyramid of Khafre, like the Great Pyramid built by Khafre’s father Khufu, was built with a rock outcropping as its core. The pyramid has a base length of 215.5 m (706 ft) and rises to a height of 136.4 metres (448 ft) (originally 471 ft). The Pyramid is made of Limestone blocks (weighing more than 2 tons each). The slope of the pyramid rises at an 53 degrees 10' angle, steeper than its neighbor, the Pyramid of Khufu. The pyramid sits on bedrock 10 m (33 ft) higher than Khufu’s pyramid which, in addition to its steeper slope, makes it appear to be taller. | Roy at Giza (right) standing before the Pyramid of Khafre, also known as the Pyramid of Chefren. It`s the second-largest of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza and the tomb of the fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khafre. The Pyramid of Khafre is built of horizontal courses. The stones used at the bottom are very large, but as the pyramid rises, the stones become smaller, becoming only 50 cm (20 in) thick at the apex. The courses are rough and irregular for the first half of its height but a narrow band of regular masonry is clear in the midsection of the pyramid. Casing stones still cover the top third of the pyramid, but the capstone and part of the apex are missing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giza_Necropolis
80: ~ | The sides of all three of the Giza pyramids were astronomically oriented to be north-south and east-west within a small fraction of a degree. Among recent attempts to explain such a clearly deliberate pattern are those of S. Haack, O. Neugebauer, K. Spence, D. Rawlins, K. Pickering, and J. Belmonte. The arrangement of the pyramids is disputed as a representation of the three middle stars in the Orion constellation, as hypothesized in the Orion Correlation Theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Correlation_Theory
82: Roy on the basalt-paved causeway to the Mortuary Temple of Khufu A young tourist on a typical camel ride
83: The Sphinx at the Giza Plateau is one of the best recognized icons of ancient Egypt. Side view of the sphinx (top), Cathy and Roy with the sphinx between them in the distance (above) and the seting for the evening sound and light show (left) with the sphinx and pyramids in the background.
84: THE EGYPTIAN MUSEUM The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, located in Cairo, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It houses 120,000 items, with a representative number of items on display and the remainder in storerooms. No photography is permitted inside the museum. Therefore, all interior pictures shown on the next page are from the WikiCommons and used under GNU license. King Tutankhamen Unlike many tombs discovered in Egypt, that of King Tutankhamen was found mostly intact. Inside the tomb there was a large collection of artifacts used throughout the King’s life. These artifacts ranged from a decorated chest, which was most likely used as a closet or suitcase, two ivory and gold bracelets, necklaces, and other decorative jewelry, to alabaster vases and flasks. The tomb was also home to many weapons and instruments used by the King. Although the tomb held over 3,500 artifacts, the tomb was not found completely intact. In fact, there had been at least two robberies of the tomb, perhaps soon after Tutankhamen's burial. The best known artifact in King Tutankhamun’s tomb is the famous Gold Mask, which rested over the bandages that were wrapped around the King’s face. The mask weighs in at 11 kg (24.5 pounds) of solid gold, and is believed to represent what the King’s face really looked like. The Gold burial Mask is housed in the Gold Room of this museum. Pharaohs The remains of many famous Pharaohs are stored in the Egyptian Museum. One of these is Pharaoh Ramses III, who was an extremely skilled warrior. On the first floor there are artifacts from the final two dynasties of Ancient Egypt, including items from the tombs of the Pharaohs Thutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II, Hatshepsut, and the courtier Maiherpri, as well as many artifacts from the Valley of the Kings. Source: Wikipedia, April 22, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Museum All information here was current during our November 8, 2010 visit.
85: There are two main floors in the museum, the ground floor and the first floor. On the ground floor there is an extensive collection of papyrus and coins used in the Ancient world. The numerous pieces of papyrus are generally small fragments, due to their decay over the past two millennia. Several languages are found on these pieces, including Greek, Latin, Arabic, and the Ancient Egyptian writing language of hieroglyphs. The coins found on this floor are made of many different metals, including gold, silver, and bronze. The coins are not only Egyptian, but also Greek, Roman, and Islamic. This has helped historians research the history of Ancient Egyptian trade. Also on the ground floor are artifacts from the New Kingdom, the time period between 1550 and 1069 BC. These artifacts are generally larger than items created in earlier centuries. Those items include statues, tables, and coffins (sarcophagi).
86: Nile Dinner Cruise in Cairo with belly-dancing and whirling dervish show. | Whirling Dervish Show
87: Whirling Dervish Show