Wednesday, June 11, 2014

OY! - I'm Running Late at 5:00 a.m. - Dreams of Egypt

There should be a law. It should be illegal to be running late at 5:00 a.m., but that's what's happening in my life. I stayed up late to watch a wonderful episode of "Secrets of the Dead" about Pharaoh Tutankhamen. Here's the blurb from PBS:

Tutankhamen's golden burial mask was such an outstanding example of
the skill of the Egyptian craftspeople at that time. When I think of the tools
that were in use to make this, I'm awestruck.

Ultimate Tut
Ninety years ago in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, the greatest archaeological find in history was made: the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb and its golden treasures. It made Tutankhamen the most famous name in ancient Egyptian history. But the real story has become shrouded in myth -- with many mysteries around the tomb unsolved to this day. This two-hour special combines the latest evidence from a team of archaeologists, anatomists, geologists and Egyptologists to build the ultimate picture of Tutankhamen. Blending 3D graphics, stylized reconstruction and action-adventure forensic investigation, the programs take a 21st-century approach to ancient history, following new scientific research and presenting fresh insights into how Tutankhamen was buried, why his tomb was the only one to remain intact and the enduring enigma around how he died.

It was totally fabulous, but I'm also completely exhausted because I stayed up later than usual. Both DH and I were yawning by the end of the show, but too fascinated to turn it off.   I allowed myself an extra hour of sleep this morning since it's my "day off", but I'll be running hard this morning. Then, once I get home from my errands, I'll be doing load after load of laundry and working on clearing up some of this massive computer backlog from my vacation. I'd like to be current once more so that I can keep up and even comment on people's journals in a somewhat timely manner.

So here are just a few minor pics of my favorite place - Egypt.  Here's hoping their new government will allow the country to once again be peaceful and celebrate their amazing heritage with the rest of the world.

The Great Pyramid and the pyramid complex outside of
Cairo is inspiring, despite the fact that the city of Cairo is
practically on the doorstep now and air pollution is becoming
ubiquitous. Check out the people and animals on the far
left for a sense of the scale of these monuments. 

At the far southern end of the country, near Nubia, is the temple of
Abu Simbel. This amazing structure built by Ramses II is a prime
example of monumental architecture, Egyptian-style. Twice each year the
sun is in the precise position to shine directly through the doorway and
illuminate statues of Ramses II, Amun Ra and Rah-Harakhty, leaving a
fourth statue, that of Ptah, associated with the underworld, in darkness. 

Not all of the Egyptian pantheon were male. This is the lovely Temple
of Isis at Philae. It is an island where the temple used to be only accessible
by boat. When the Aswan Dam was built, a construction project was
started that protected the temple from the waters and the broad
avenues and vast pillars can be accessed by foot now. 

One of the largest temple complexes in Egypt, and one of the more iconic
because of the appearance of its large columns in multiple films, is the
Temple of Karnak. Each Pharaoh added to this temple and the far end was
the inner sanctum of Amun Ra, principle god. This particular image is
by Eduard Hildebrandt from 1852 and was painted with watercolors and gouache.
(Follow the link above to see it in larger format.)

I have to get going and start my busy day, so that ends this small tour of Egypt. Have a wonderful Wednesday and see you tomorrow!

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