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EGYPT

Land of the Pharaohs

Issue #2 March 2011

Horus The Egyptian Falcon God

Let’s Discover New Egypt

Daily Life In Ancient Egypt EGYPTIAN FOOD

Civilization of Ancient Egyptians

History of Giza

Khufu's Inside Story ABU SIMBEL

Hurghada

COBRA SNAKE

EGYPT NILE CRUISES

AKHENATEN


EGYPT Land of the Pharaohs Chairperson

Islam Salh Editor-in-Chief

Marwa Saad Sales Manager

Karim Salh Art Designer

Osama Moharem Translation

Dina Mohamed Nada Zaki Editor Staff

Sandy Khalil Nehal Sabaa Sarah rabea Rehab yousry Printing

WebSite : www.egyptlandofthepharaohs.yolasite.com E-mail : Egyptlandofthepharaohs@gmail.com FaceBook : facebook.com/pages/egyptlandofthepharaohs

Ancient

Egypt is one of the most fascinating of the ancient civilizations. Even today, the manner in which modern Egypt has melded with the ancient world is positively astounding. One cannot help but notice that the pull of the ancient world is still very much a part of modern cities such as Cairo and Alexandria.


Civilization of Ancient Egyptians 06

History of Giza 08

Daily Life In Ancient Egypt 10

Dearest Readers

Travel back in time to a place that has left its imprint and impact on humanity forever. Discover the ancient metaphysical civilization of Egypt whose dvanced knowing and technologies continue to baffle our conservative scientific community today. A visit to this awe-inspiring destination is to journey into immortality. At no other period of known history has a civilization left behind so many clues and riddles that could answer mankind's deepest searching of today. Seven thousands years ago, the ancient Egyptians waged a war against time and mortality. Today, humanity can look at this awesome and ancient civilization and proudly declare victory.

Love you all, Islam Salh

Horus The Egyptian Falcon God 14

Khufu's Inside Story 18 COBRA SNAKE 19 THE MOSQUE OF AMR IBN ELAAS 20 THE CHURCH OF SAINTS SERGIUS 22 BACCHIAS IN FAYOUM 24 ABU SIMBEL 26 EGYPT NILE CRUISES 32

Hurghada 34

EGYPTIAN FOOD 36 EGYPTIAN MOVIES 38


Civilization of Ancient Egyptians

Many

individuals share thoughts and ideas about the civilization of ancient Egyptians. The civilizations of ancient Egyptians are unique and interesting to say the least. Who doesn’t enjoy sitting down to read some good information about the civilization of ancient Egyptians? It seems that humankind today has learned a lot from the civilization of ancient Egyptians. Ancient Egypt was a civilization that was made along the lower part of the Nile River in the north. The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for nearly three millennia and ended upon the conquest of Alexander the Great. Women, men and children played a vital role in the civilization of ancient Egypt. In addition, a big part of the civilization was water. Dark soil was deposited by the flood of the Nile River and that is why Egypt was known as “the black land.” There have been recent studies that show the Egyptians are related to the North African regions. The kings of the ancient Egyptian times were called Pharaoh’s. The pharaoh’s reigns went between 3000 BC and 30 BC. For a number of different reasons, the Egyptian government imposed taxes on the people in Egypt. During the ancient Egyptian period, there was no type of currency; therefore, taxes were paid by work. The type of work that would be done all depended on the person. Every individual that lived in Egypt was expected to pay the tax by doing work for the public for at least a couple of weeks out of the year. Some of the work that was done involved mining and digging canals. A rich noble was able to hire a not so wealthy individual to do their tax.


During

the ancient Egyptian times, there was the ever so famous hieroglyphic, which was a writing system. Hieroglyphics are known for being the earliest writing system in the world. Until the introduction of Christianity, the Egyptian magicians and the Egyptian priests used spells and magic. In ancient Egypt, there have been a few changes that have been noticeable. For instance, 2580 BC was the Great Pyramid of Giza. Ancient Egypt is one of those times where you would just have to be there in order to fully grasp and understand the knowledge. No one living today is able to describe fully the civilization of ancient Egypt as it truly was. All we are able to do is go by the records that were left behind by the Egyptians and make our own comprehension out of them.


H

istory of

Giza


Standing at the base of the Great Pyramid, it is hard to imagine that this monument—which remained the tallest building in the world until early in this century—was built in just under 30 years. It presides over the plateau of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, and is the last survivor of the Seven Wonders of the World. Five thousand years ago Giza, situated on the Nile's west bank, became the royal necropolis, or burial place, for Memphis, the pharaoh's capital city. Giza's three pyramids and the Sphinx were constructed in the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, arguably the first great civilization on earth. Today, Giza is a suburb of rapidly growing Cairo, the largest city in Africa and the fifth largest in the world. bout 2,550 B.C., King Khufu, the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty, commissioned the building of his tomb at Giza. Some Egyptologists believe it took 10 years just to build the ramp that leads from the Nile valley floor to the pyramid, and 20 years to construct the pyramid itself. On average, the over two million blocks of stone used to build Khufu's pyramid weigh 2.5 tons, and the heaviest blocks, used as the ceiling of Khufu's burial chamber, weigh in at an estimated nine tons. How did the ancient Egyptians move the massive stones used to build the pyramids from quarries both nearby and as far away as 500 miles? This question has long been debated, but many Egyptologists agree the stones were hauled up ramps using ropes of papyrus twine. The popular belief is that the gradually sloping ramps, built out of mud, stone, and wood were used as transportation causeways for moving the large stones to their positions up and around the four sides of the pyramids


Daily Life In Ancient Egypt For the most part ancient Egypt houses were constructed using materials that were handy and plentiful. This meant that the design of houses in ancient Egypt varied little, even among the wealthy. This makes it very easy to imagine what Egyptian houses look like. Wood was extremely scarce, almost non-existent in ancient Egypt. The two construction materials that the ancient land of Egypt seemed capable of producing in multitude was sand and papyrus reeds; with some stone quarries.

Therefore, for the most part, the majority of ancient Egyptian houses were constructed of mud brick. Ancient muddy houses in Egypt were made by first mixing a compound of mud and straw. The mixture could then be formed into bricks that were allowed to bake and dry under the hot Egyptian sun. While the mud might be plentiful, it was not particularly sturdy.

In a very short amount of time, usually just a few years, an ancient Egyptian house constructed of mud brick would begin to deteriorate and crumble. Ancient muddy houses in Egypt were primarily constructed and lived in by the commoners on the lowest social strata in Egypt, who could afford little else.

Ancient Egypt Houses


In Egypt ancient houses constructed by the wealthy nobles were much different than those built by commoners. Those who could afford to do so built their ancient Egypt house of stone taken from stone quarries. Ancient Egypt houses constructed of stone were much sturdier and solidly built. The wealthy could afford to fill their homes with far more luxuries than poorer families. In Egypt ancient houses built by wealthy families, were likely to contain tiled floors and beautifully painted walls. While ancient Egypt houses built by commoners and nobles might have differed in many respects, in many others, they were quite similar in order to survive the burning heat of the Egyptian climate as comfortably as possible. Almost all ancient Egypt houses were constructed with a flat roof. Not only did this most likely make the construction process simpler, but the flat roofs also offered a welcome respite from the burning Egyptian sun. Families often lounged, ate and slept on the roofs of ancient Egypt houses. Another similarity in a typical ancient Egyptian home and houses was the presence of a hearth. Even in wealthy ancient Egypt houses, there was a need for a hearth in order to prepare food. Due to the arid climate of the Egyptian nation, it is not likely the hearth of a house of ancient Egypt, although quite common, would have been needed for heating. The abundance of furniture was not common in most ancient Egyptian houses, due to the lack of wood. The most common furnishings were three legged stools and chests; even in wealthier Egyptian homes.


Queen Cleopatra History of Cleopatra

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt is the most well known

of all the ancient Egyptian queens. Cleopatra was born in Alexandria in 69 B.C. during the reign of the Ptolemy family to Ptolemy XII. Cleopatra appears to have been a popular name in the family, as her mother bore the name as well as an older sister, making the new daughter Cleopatra the Seventh, although she is rarely referred to as such. Cleopatra and her family were not Egyptian, but rather Macedonian, descended through a general of Alexander the Great. Cleopatra would become the first ruler of her family who could actually speak the Egyptian language. In keeping with ancient Egyptian tradition, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt married her then 12 year old brother. The marriage was not truly legitimate, however and considering the young age of her new husband and co-inheritor of the throne, Cleopatra rule Egypt independently and as she wished. This lasted for only three short years before Cleopatra received the same fate as her father and was exiled, along with another younger sister. Her 15 year old brother and husband remained to rule Egypt. Cleopatra escaped to Syria, however she did not intend to give up without a fight. The events that soon followed are quite legendary.

Cleopatra's brother, Ptolemy, became involved with a bitter war between Julius Caesar, and a former friend, Pompey. Ptolemy took sides with Caesar and had Pompey killed, hoping to curry favor with the Roman leader. The plan backfired on him. Julius Caesar was so enraged by the murder of Pompey; he immediately took control of the Egyptian palace and ordered Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Ptolemy to present themselves to him. The history of Cleopatra is one that has been the subject of novels and movies and is filled with deception, intrigue and romance. The historical biography of Cleopatra suggests she obtained the throne of Egypt through some rather violent means. When her father was briefly exiled following a rebellion, an older sister took the throne. Following their father's return and reclaim of the throne, the sister was put to death. The second of the three women in the family to carry the same name, Cleopatra VI, died around the same time as well; although the cause remains a mystery. This left Cleopatra the Seventh as the oldest child in her family, with a brother who was several years younger. About four years later, their father died and Cleopatra took control of the throne. She was only about 17 years old at the time.


Queen Cleopatra had been encamped just on the other side of the Egyptian and Syrian border. When she received the

news that she was to enter Egypt and report to Caesar, she astutely realized she would be easy prey for supporters of her brother's regime. In a scene that has been replayed in countless movies, Cleopatra allowed herself to be smuggled into Egypt in a rug. The affair between Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Caesar is thought to have begun when she was presented to him, wrapped in the rug. For more than 3 years the couple enjoyed a scandalous affair and Cleopatra gave birth to a son. Following the birth of the child, she joined Julius Caesar in Rome, but quickly departed when he was killed, fearing for her own life. Absolute chaos ensued in the Roman Empire following the assassination. One of the three men poised to take the throne of Rome, Mark Anthony ordered Cleopatra back to Rome for questioning. Once again displaying her political savvy and intelligence, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt made plans to seduce Mark Anthony. She donned the garb of Venus, the Goddess of Love and was completely successful in her attempt to seduce her would be inquisitor. Of all the costumes Egyptian Cleopatra has been portrayed in, this is the most famous. The full costume of Cleopatra, dressed as Venus, is vividly remembered when Elizabeth Taylor wore a reproduction in her famous portrayal of the queen. The film was so successful in memorializing the queen and her seductive costume, that historical Cleopatra costumes have remained popular ever since.


The World of the ancient Egyptian Gods

Horus The Egyptian Falcon God Horus the Egyptian falcon god is often associated with the "Eye of Horus'; a symbol that is prominent throughout Egypt even until modern times. This symbol was found on the mummy on King Tutankhamen. Perhaps the most well known version of the Horus mythology involves the birth of Horus following the death of his father. In this tale, Horus' parents are Osiris and Isis. Osiris was slain by his adversary and brother, Seth, prior to the birth of Horus. Later he was believed to have avenged the death of his father. The war that ensued as a result of Horus' attempts to avenge his father lasted for eighty years, with mutual casualties occurring between the two ancient Egyptian gods. In one scenario, Seth even tore an eye from Horus. It is believed that this incident led to Horus' association with his one eyed symbol. Other versions and variants of Horus the Egyptian falcon god continues to be prevalent throughout Egypt, depending on the point in history and the location. Harmakhet is one of these many variations and is represented by a sphinx. Harpokrates is the version of Horus that is commonly associated with the deity that avenged the death of his father Osiris, at the hands of Seth. Like many other ancient Egyptian gods, Horus also became combined with the deity Ra. This version is known as Ra-Harakhte. Unlike most Egyptian gods goddesses who were worshipped at specific cult centers in Egypt, Horus seems to have enjoyed immense popularity throughout the Egyptian nation. Throughout the history of the Egyptian nation there are many references in mythology to several different Egyptian gods known as Horus; not just Horus the Egyptian falcon god. The first of these ancient Egyptian gods known as Horus appears in the early days of the Egyptian kingdom. It is believed that the first Horus, sometimes referred to as Horus the Elder, was a falcon god and creator god.


In the earliest stories regarding this deity, he was thought to be the son of Ra and that the

eyes of the first Horus were the sun and the moon. In later stories, references to a Horus Egyptian falcon god indicate he was the son of Geb and Nut. The most popular version regarding one of the many Horus deities states he was in fact the son of Osiris. Horus as Many Egyptian Gods Horus may have been known in many forms, but he was always associated with the same symbol; that of the falcon. In almost all variations, Horus was known as the patron saint of the existing pharaoh. In fact, the pharaoh was often referred to as the 'Living Horus'.


Egyptian Symbols the wordNot all symbols represented single letters; some pictures represented words. The symbols that make up the alphabet in Egyptian hieroglyphics are sub-divided into categories including phonograms and ideograms. Ideograms were used to write the words they represented. An example of an ideogram would be a picture of a woman that actually looked like a woman and represented the word 'woman'. Phonograms were used to spell out the sound out the words they represented and they usually had no relation to the word they were sounding out. As a result, symbols could be both ideograms and phonograms and the reader would need to determine the context of the 'sentence' in order to find out which word was intended. To indicate whether a symbol represented a complete word or merely a sound scribes would place a straight line after .


Khufu's Inside Story King Khufu, who is also known

by the Greek name Cheops, was the father of pyramid building at Giza. He ruled from 2589 - 2566 B.C. and was the son of King Sneferu and Queen Hetpeheres. Dates Built:

c. 2589-2566 B.C.

Total Blocks of Stone: over 2,300,000

Base: 13 square acres, 568,500 square feet, or 7 city blocks. The length of each

side of the base was originally 754 feet (230 m), but is now 745 feet (227 m) due to the loss of the outer casing stones.

Total Weight: 6.5 million tons Average Weight of Individual Blocks of Stone:

2.5 tons, the large blocks used for the ceiling of the King's Chamber weigh as much as 9 tons.

Height:

Originally 481 feet (146.5 m) tall, but now only 449 feet (137 m).

Angle of Incline: 51 degrees 50' 35“

Construction Material: limestone, granite

WARNING upon entering Khufu: The 1908 edition of Baedeker's Egypt warns "Travelers who are in the slightest degree predisposed to apoplectic or fainting fits, and ladies travelling alone, should not attempt to penetrate into these stifling recesses.�


COBRA SNAKE The Cobra is the most feared of all poisonous snakes. Cobra De Capello is Portuguese for ‘Hooded Snake'. At an average length of six feet, with a brownish skin, glaring eyes, darting tongue, hissing breath and spoon shaped hood, it rates as one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. It is a silent, stealthy hunter feeding on insects, lizards, frogs and small mammals, such as rats and mice. The Cobra snake favours warm, dry regions where water is readily available. As the cobra grows it sheds it skin. The cobra's venom glands are essentially modified salivary glands, through which the cobra injects its victim. Even given its dangerous properties the Cobra still remains the favourite of snake charmers. Death from cobra snakebite is one of the oldest fates of mankind. In ancient Egypt every ‘healer’ was required to know the repertoire of spells for conjuring the poison of every serpent. Pharaoh would often wear a representation of the wide hooded Cobra on his crown as an emblem of royalty. From this position the cobra was said to be able to defend the king. In the ‘Book of the Dead’ the Cobra snake is seen as the symbol of Earth. Whilst the Ouroborus sign (below) shows a snake swallowing its own tail bringing together both circle and serpent, which represents the round of existence.


THE MOSQUE OF AMR IBN EL-AAS This is the first and oldest mosque ever built on the land of Egypt. Erected in 642 AD (21 AH) by Amr Ibn al'As, the commander of the Muslim army that conquered Egypt, the mosque is also known as Taj al-Jawamie (Crown of Mosques, al-Jamie'al-Ateeq (the Ancient Mosque) and Masjid Ahl ar-Rayah (Mosque of Banner Holders).

The mosque is said to have been built on the site of Amr Ibn el-As's tent at Fustat, is the oldest existing mosque, not just in Cairo, but the entire African Continent. Located north of the Roman Fortress of Babylon, it is actually on the edge of Fustat, the temporary city founded by Amr, and was an Islamic learning center long before El-Azhar Mosque. It could hold up to 5,000 students.

The mosque was originally built on an area of 1,500 square cubits, overlooking the Nile. The initial structure was quite simple; with walls bare of any plaster or decorations, but without niche (miharb), minaret or ground cover. It had two doors on the north and two others facing Amr's house.

The mosque area remained unchanged until 672 AD (53 AH), when Musallama alAnsari, Egypt's ruler on behalf of Caliph Mu'awiya Ibn abi-Sufian undertook expansion and renovation works for the mosque. Walls and ceilings were decorated and four compartments for "muezzins" (callers for prayers) were added at the corners, together with a minaret, while the mosque ground was covered with straw mats.


The last structural amendments in Amr Mosque were made during the rule of Murad Bey under the ottoman era, in 1797 AD (1212 AD). Because of the collapse of some columns, the interior of the mosque was demolished and rebuilt. As a result, eastern arcades were repositioned so as to be perpendicular to the miharb wall. Accordingly, arches were extended across windows. Two minarets were built and are still extant. Amr Mosque was not merely a place of worship but also served as a court for settling religious and civil disputes. Moreover, teaching circles were organized either for general religious preaching or teaching lessons in Quran sciences, jurisprudence and Prophet Muhammad's Tradition (Hadith) as well as letters. The mosque incorporates elements of Greek and Roman buildings, and has 150 white marble columns and three minarets. Simple in design, its present plan consists of an open sahn (court) surrounded by four riwaqs, the largest being the Qiblah riwaq. There are a number of wooden plaques bearing Byzantine carvings of leaves, and a partially enclosed column is believed to have been miraculously transported from Mecca on the orders of Mohammed himself. There are many other ancient legions related to the Mosque.

In 698 AD (79 AH), the mosque was demolished and expanded by Abdul-Aziz Ibn Marwan, Egypt's ruler. Once again in 711 AD (93 AH), the mosque was demolished by Prince Quran Ibn Shuraik al-Absi, Egypt's ruler. Upon the orders of Caliph al-Waleed Ibn Abdul-Malek, the mosque area was enlarged, a niche, a wooden pulpit (minbar) and a compartment and copings of four cloumns facing the niche were gold-coated. The mosque had then four doors to the east, four to the west and three to the north. Under the Abbasid state, successive additions and repairs were introduced. In 827 AD (212 AH), Abdullah Ibn Taher, Egypt's ruler on behalf of Caliph al-Ma'moun ordered an equivalent area to the north to be added to the mosque, thus bringing its total area to its present level of 13,556,25 square metres. (112.3m x 120.5m). However, the Fatimid period was the gold era for the mosque, where gilted mosaics, marble works, a wooden compartment and a moving pulpit were introduced and part of the niche was silvercoated.


THE CHURCH OF SAINTS SERGIUS The Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (Abu Serga) is a 4th century church and today is considered to be the oldest of Cairo's Christian churches. It is dedicated to two early martyrs and traditionally believed to have been built on the spot where the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and the infant Christ, rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. They may have lived here while Joseph worked at the fortress.

Hence, the church is of significant historical importance, and in fact, it is where many patriarchs of the Coptic Church were elected. The first to be elected here was Patriarch Isaac (681-692) It is the episcopal church of Cairo, and it was the episcopal See of Misr (the district of Old Cairo) that replaced the former See of Babylon. Many bishops of the See were consecrated in the Church until the reign of Patriarch Christodulus (10471077). The church is dedicated to Sergius and Bacchus, who were soldier-saints that were martyred during the 4th century in Syria by the Roman Emperor, Maximilan. The building was probably constructed during the 5th century. It was burned during the fire of Fustat during the reign of Marwan II around 750. It was then restored during the 8th century, and has been rebuilt and restored constantly since medieval times.


AND BACCHUS (ABU SERGA) However it is still considered to be a model of the early Coptic churches and its basilican style is easily recognizable. This church resembles religious structures in Constantinople and Rome. It has two aisles with a western return aisle (a passage at the west end of the church), along with a tripartite sanctuary that measures 17 x 27 meters and is 15 meters high. Within the sanctuary is an altar surmounted by a wooden canopy supported by four pillars. On the east wall of the sanctuary rises a fine, semi-circular tribune with seven steps. There was probably a khurus, a transverse room preceding the sanctuary, in front of the sanctuary but which no longer exists.

n much the same style as the Hanging Church, two rows of six columns each separate the aisles from the nave. Eleven of these unique columns, with faint painted decorations of probably apostles or saints, are marble, while one is of red granite. While the pulpit was replaced by a copy of the ambon (a pulpit) in the church of Saint Barbara, some of the older wooden pulpit now reside in the Coptic Museum in Cairo, while a few others are in the British Museum. Also, the oldest wooden altar in Egypt was found in the church, but it too is now in the Coptic Museum.

However, the sanctuary iconostasis, a screen separating the sanctuary from the rest of the church on which icons are usually displayed, is a beautiful work of art which probably dates to the 12th or 13th century. The several panels are inlaid with ivory and ebony, and covered in a wonderful relief that features arabesque designs. The apse is encrusted with strips of marble and decorated with mosaics. There are some wooden panels within the church that are of earlier date, and depict fine scenes of saints on horseback, the Nativity and the Last Supper. There are any number of other relatively old icons that date, perhaps, to the 17th century. They show various scenes depicting the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary and some of the saints.


The

name of the ancient ruins of the Ptolemaic (Greek era) village of Bacchias (Bakchias) are located at Kom Umm al-Atl (Kom al-Atel, Umm al-Atel, Kom el-Asl) in the Fayoum. The name Bacchias is likely derived from Bakchos, one of the names of Dionysos, who was particularly venerated by the Ptolemies. The ancient village is located on the northeastern edge of the basin, not far from the larger town of Karanis (Kom Oshim). It is located along one of the Fayoum's most scenic routes just into the desert, where it was originally situated by a caravan road from Memphis to Medinet Fayoum (Arsinoe during the Ptolemaic Period).

He site was visited by Petrie in 1889-90 but it was B. P. Grenfell and D. G. Hogarth (later joined by A. S. Hunt), excavating here for seven weeks in 1896, that identified it with Bacchias on the basis of the papyri found on the site. Among other things, like papyri and domestic objects, they found three jars filled with 4,300 coins. According to Grenfell and Hogarth, the site had not been much disturbed at that time "owing to its distance from cultivated land". In 1993, an Italian Egyptian team from Bologna and Lecce site began excavating at the site, and there work appears to be ongoing as of 2005. Although the site was almost destroyed by looters, many prehistoric tools were found by the first investigation and new streets and building were unearthed by the second.

BACCHIAS IN FAYOUM


Bacchias

was probably founded in the third century BC, and abandoned around the fourth century AD. It contained about 700 homes from which archaeologists estimate the population to have been around 3,000. The earliest attested settlers were Greek cavalrymen. The entire archaeological area covers about 340,000 square meters. The site is almost always deserted and one is usually free to roam at will through the ancient buildings. The village was dominated by the local temple, with houses on three sides and an open space on the east. The best part of the town lies to the north and west of the temple, both on the lower ground and on the southern face of the high ridge. Bacchias has never been fully excavated, although the Italian team working here uncovered the stone structure of the village temple which was, of course, dedicated to a form of Sobek In fact, according to some scholars, the Temple was actually dedicated to a pair of crocodile brothers. They were Soknokonnis and Soknobraisis. Their names, respectively, mean "Sobek lord of Bacchias" and "Sobek lord with the terrible mouth". Soknokonnis is attested from the Ptolemaic Period onward, while Soknobraisis is only found during the Roman Period.


ABU SIMBEL

Perhaps after the Giza pyramids, or coincident with them, the great temple of Abu Simbel presents the most familiar image of ancient Egypt to the modern traveler and reader. When the conservation efforts to preserve the temple from the soon-to be built High Aswan Dam and its rising waters were begun in the 1960s, images of the colossal statues filled newspapers and books. The temples were dismantled and relocated in 1968 on the desert plateau, 200 feet above and 600 feet west of their original location. Abu Simbel lies south of Aswan on the western bank of the Nile, 180 miles south of the First Cataract in what was Nubia. The site was known as Meha in ancient times and was first documented in the 18th Dynasty, when Ay and Horemheb had rock-cut chapels hewn in the hills to the south.

Ramesses II, called "the Great," built seven rock-cut temples in Nubia. The rock-cut temple of Ramesses II on the west bank of the Nile at Abu Simbel is the greatest of these. This temple was not seen by Europeans until J.J. Burckhardt discovered them in 1813. The temple, called Hwt Ramesses Meryamun, the "Temple of Ramesses, beloved of Amun," was begun fairly early in Ramesses’ long reign, commissioned some time after his fifth regnal year, but not completed until his 35th regnal year. The massive facade of the main temple is dominated by the four seated colossal statues of Ramesses. These familiar representations are of Ramesses II himself. Each statue, 67 feet high, is seated on a throne and wears the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Each is taller than the famed Memnon Colossus at Thebes, and all are sculpted directly from the rock face. The thrones are decorated on their sides with Nile gods symbolically uniting Egypt.


Burckhardt said of the first face on the left that it "was the most expressive, youthful countenance, approaching nearer to the Grecian model of beauty than that of any ancient Egyptian figure I have seen." An ancient earthquake damaged the statues. One is demolished from the waist up. Between the legs and on each of their sides stand smaller statues of members of the royal family. The smaller statues of relatives were probably, for the first southern colossus: Queen Nefretari by the left leg, the king’s mother, the great wife of Seti I, Muttuya by his right leg, and Prince Amenhirkhopshef in front. For the second southern colossus, Princess Bent’anta stood by the left leg, Princess Nebettawyby the left, and one unnamed female figure, probably that of a lesser royal wife named Esenofre. The family statues at the first northern colossus were, Queen Nefretari, Princess Beketmut and Prince Riameses in front. For the second northern colossus, there were Princess Merytamun, Queen Muttuya and Princess Nofretari.

Beneath these giant sculptures are carved figures of bound captives. The forecourt or terrace which fronted the temple contained two tanks for the ablutions of the priests. On the northern side of this terrace stood a small sun-chapel, and on the south, stood a chapel of the god Thoth. Above the entrance, a figure of the falcon-headed sun-god Ra is shown worshipped by flanking images of Ramesses. The rebus figure of Ra contains the prenomen of Ramesses II, or Userma’atre: the falcon headed god Ra has next to his right leg the glyph showing the head and neck of an animal, read User, and the goddess at his left leg is ma’at. At the top of the temple façade is a row of baboon statues in adoring attitudes, said to welcome the rising sun. A stela at the southern end of the external terrace is called "the Marriage Stela," and is a copy of the record of one of Ramesses II’s diplomatic triumphs, his marriage to a daughter of the Hittite king Hattusilis III. Within the temple a series of chambers becomes increasingly smaller as the floors of the rooms rise noticeably.


There were many pharaohs that ruled in Ancient Egypt and all tried to leave an eternal legacy.

Of the many mighty pharaohs that ruled only a few have actually accomplished such a goal. Those that have achieved the status have done so through luck as most the tombs have been destroyed or robbed. This unfortunate fact has left many holes into Egyptian life and culture—we can only image how a pharaoh and his people lived their lives. Amenhotep IV – better known as Akhenaten was Egypt’s most Profound pharaoh to rule Egypt. He led Egypt in a direction that would tag him ―The Heretic Pharaoh.‖ He brought forth new ideas mainly in religion and art that would leave a lasting impression on the world. Unlike most pharaohs, Akhenaten presented himself in a way that would lead to controversy and would shock the world and his culture. We invite you to take an indepth look at Akhenaten and discover for yourself the man that would lead Ancient Egypt with much mayhem during his reign and thereafter.

To really understand Akhenaten, you must go back to Tuthmosis IV when the city of Thebes became the main habitat for Egypt. Its foremost god was Aten and was created during this time. Aten was the solitary god set up by Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) to be the main deity. Amenhotep IV eventually changed his name to Akhenaten. The new name took on the meaning ―He who is of service to Aten.‖

FAMILY

Akhenaton's parents were Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. His wife was Nefertiti who was probably a distant relative. The Couple had six daughters named Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten-tasharit, Neferneferure, Meketaten, Merytaten, and Sotepenre. Also present in the family are two unknown members in Akhenaten’s family. They are Smenkhkare (successor of Akhenaten) and Tutankhaten who was later renamed Tutankhamen. As a young child Akhenaten was raised in a traditional Ancient Egyptian manner and observed religious rituals to the god Amon. In Thebes, Amon was the god that was elevated to the highest position. In time, Akhenaten turned his focus and beliefs to another deity called Aten. (Aten is the sun god and was taken into battle with Tuthmosis IV and later taken by Akhenaten). Soon after becoming pharaoh of Egypt, Akhenaten discarded his royal name and loyalty to Amon. He turned away from old priests and began the cult of the sun disk -- the Aten. Akhenaten acknowledged that Aten was the single god except Re, the sun god. He claimed he was the only person able to converse with his god. This only caused an absence of priests and he soon came to ban those that remained. He banned the worship of Amon and closed down sacred temples. Akhenaten’s wife’s name Nefertiti was also changed to ―Nefer Nefru Aten‖ meaning ―Beautiful is the Beauty of Aten.‖ The couple then moved out of Thebes to a new capitol called Akhetaton. Everyone from the old capitol moved to the new constructed capitol including the court and artisans


THE NEW CAPITOL

Amarna was erected in 1353-1335 B.C. in honor of the god Aten. (Amarna is the modern name for the city called Akhetaton) It had more naturalistic styles and the art portrayed natural scenes and life-like figures. The couple raised many extraordinary buildings and conducted sophisticated ceremonies in the temples and palaces. His new capitol attacked the cults of other deities in Egypt, especially Amon. Sites of Amon were desecrated and any evidence of worship to this god destroyed. Akhenaten even had his father's cartouches destroyed because it had Amon’s name encrypted upon it. This continued to outrage the people of Egypt and left the population uneasy and angry. Most of the cities in Egypt were deprived of their estates and plantations. Corruption fell upon the temples and soon they were dependant on the city of Akhetaton.

ART

The art during the Amarna period had made a colossal change. People were portrayed as they were. Unlike most pharaohs, Akhenaten portrayed himself less god like and more human. This new style of art was portraying people in everyday lifestyles and sometimes with minute details. Bek was Akhenaten’s main artist during this period. The disfigured pharaoh showed an almost strange elongation of the head, large breasts, swollen stomach, and the diminutive splayed legs. He looked more feminine then masculine. Not only did Akhenaten show his naturalness but also the surroundings around him. His paintings were detailed and unique in that they showed naturalism along the Nile River. The scenes of the time period showed the river engulfed with vegetation and wild animals. Pharaohs in earlier periods showed themselves as being well proportioned and taller then their subjects. Akhenaten, on the other hand, was depicted as being at equal level with his surroundings that showed him in inappropriate scenes. Such scenes included him kissing his daughters and sitting with his wife in a family oriented manner.


THE END OF AKHENATEN’S REIGN

During the 12th year of his reign, Queen Tiy joined Akhenaten in his city. She brought with her a princess named Baketaten (Later Baketamon). Akhenaten soon provided her with housing and constructed a temple in honor of her. Nefertiti was no longer a favorite to Akhenaten and she soon disappears from the time period. Historians are puzzled as to why and where she left. Her daughter soon took her place and held the duties her mother once did. His daughter was then replaced with Ankhesenpaaten. He soon found anther queen who was named Kiya and might have been from the Mitanni heritage. At around the eighteenth year of his ruling Akhenaten died. Everything was destroyed and demolished soon after his death. His mummy has never been found. Everything was ravished and destroyed upon his death.


EGYPT NILE CRUISES

A first time visitor to Egypt who wants a classical (pharaonic antiquities) experience would do well to book a Nile cruise. Of course modern airlines shuttle tourists to the southern region of Egypt, but historically the Nile cruise was really the only way to visit the temples and tombs located along this stretch of the river. It is still a popular means of visiting upper Egypt and has many advantages to other means of travel.

First of all, it is very nice to unpack and once and have your hotel travel with you, rather then the hectic routine that accompanies the stop and go itineraries of air and land tours. But besides the more relaxed mode of travel, there are other significant advantages. Nile cruises often visit a wider variety of antiquities along the banks of the river. But equally important, they also allow the tourist to gain a prospective of the rural Egypt, where people live much the same way they did even thousands of years ago, in mud brick homes, tending their fields with wooden plows and moving produce via donkey. It is a wonderful experience to sit on a shaded deck of a floating hotel, sipping an iced beverage while watching 5,000 years of culture slowly drift by nile cruises may very considerably.


But typical Nile cruises are either three, four or seven nights. The shorter tours usually operate between Luxor and Aswan, while the longer cruises travel further north to Dendera, often offering day tours overland to more remote locations. Therefore, a fairly complete 14 day tour of Egypt might include several days around Cairo, seeing the pyramids, museums and other antiquities, a short flight to Abu Simbel in the very southern part of Egypt surrounding a seven day Nile Cruise.

The usual cruise is aboard a Nile cruiser, often referred to as a floating hotel. Indeed, the better boats have most the accommodations of a land based hotel, including small swimming pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, nightclubs, good restaurants, stores and even small libraries. Depending on what one is willing to pay, rooms may be very utilitarian and small, or larger then some land based hotel rooms.


Egypt's Party Town Hurghada

Since the 1980s, Hurghada has become the principal bathing resort on the Red Sea, visited by American, European and Arabs. Holiday villages and first class hotels provide excellent aquatic sport facilities. What used to be a small fishing village is now a fully developed resort that stretches for about 40 km along the Red Sea shore, attracting package holiday tourists mostly from Europe, notably Russians, Czechs and Germans. Many restaurants, bars and shops, small pubs and internet cafes are available all over Hurghada. Mobile internet in Egypt (covered perfectly in Hurghada and all around Red Sea) is available for low rates from the three major mobile networks; Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat. You may need to check the coverage in your current stay. Known as a party town, with its many clubs, life in Hurghada begins at night. Nearly every hotel has its own disco. The most famous ones at the moment are "Calypso" and "Papas Beach". Renowned for belly dancing, Arabic and Nubian folklore, is "Alf Leila Wa Leila" ("One thousand and one nights"). It is a big openair area, which offers a bit of everything.

Hurghada has become an international center for aquatic sports like windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming and, above all, snorkeling and diving. The unique underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world, justifiably famous among divers. The warm waters here are ideal for many varieties of rare fish and coral reefs, which may also be observed through glass bottom boats. The city provides a gateway to prime diving sites throughout the Red Sea. Its central location provides favorable access to very famous dive sites. In addition, Hurghada is known for providing access to many uninhabited offshore reefs and islands. The waters around the islands are popular with divers from all over the world because of the chance to spot several kinds of sharks, including hammerheads and oceanic whitetips

Hurghada


TOUR ATTRACTIONS: The main reason to visit Hurghada is for the beautiful Red Sea, excellent for diving or snorkeling. If you aren't licensed to dive, it is often possible to snorkel and see incredible coral reefs and hundreds of varieties of tropical fish just 10 meters from the beach. Again, either your hotel will have dive escorts on site, or they can arrange a scuba diving expedition with guides. In late March, the water is still quite cold (21 Celsius), so a wet suit is necessary, and even snorkeling in a bathing suit is too cold after about 10 minutes. It is also windy in late March; sustained 20 MPH are common. Make sure your beach resort hotel provides wind screens on the Beach.

TO DO: Hurghada offers many activities not to be found anywhere else on Earth. Quad-biking hundreds of miles into the Sahara desert for tea with a Bedouin tribe, then camelriding across Biblical plains to see remote and ancient wonders; diving and snorkeling around a vibrant and colourful coral reef; boat trips to the unpopulated Big and Little Gifton islands; swimming in the warmest and saltiest sea in the world (the Red Sea is more saline than even the Dead Sea); good shopping; excellent and varied cuisine from across the world. Those new to Egypt will find Karkaday (a drink made from an infusion of hibiscus, served hot or cold and reputed to have many health benefits) and Chi (local version of tea, usually served in a glass) offered everywhere. Both are delicious, and will usually come replete with a smoke on a "sheesha" pipe, known in the West as a "Hookah". Sheesha's are used for smoking molasses tobacco in various flavours, with the smoke passing through water before inhalation through a long tube attached to the bowl. Although they may resemble a device used to smoke illicit substances in the west, (i.e, a bong), sheesha contains nothing illegal.


EGYPTIAN FOOD

Beans come in all sizes, shapes and colors. They are found in all parts of the world and provide an inexpensive protein source for a vast number of the world’s population. Known as a "powerhouse" food by nutritionists, beans are low in calorie while being very rich in their nutrient content. TAMIYYA (or Falafel) – Bean Cakes * 2 cups skinned white broad beans * ½ cup fresh dill leaves * ½ cup coriander leaves * 2 onions* * 10 garlic cloves* * ½ cup parsley leaves * 1 small leek, stalk only * 1 teaspoon cumin * ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or chili pepper powder) * 1 teaspoon baking soda * 1-2 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional) * Cooking oil ( I used canola oil) * salt


Fava beans are broad beans (spp: Vicia faba), and the word comes from the Latin, faba, meaning, broad bean. In reality, there are both small and large broad beans. If you find fava beans in the produce department of your grocer, you will see a large, no, really a huge green pod, much larger than your standard green bean (haricot verte.) They also come in bags of dried beans, which are dark reddish brown in color with a very dark, short, stripe on them. Dried, shelled beans are also available in bags and are pale yellow in color. Large broad beans are used for Tamiyya, or seasoned, fried bean patties, which is our recipe choice for the month. Small fava beans are used in the very popular Fuul Medamis, which we will have a taste of next month. Tamiyya is a classic local Egyptian dish. While known in other parts of the Mediterranean as falafel, it is very commonly served as part of the mezze or appetizer course in Egypt. You will also see it served as a main course, as the "hamburger" of the Middle East, in a pita round with lettuce and tomato. As a different sort of recipe challenge, I decided to have a taste test with my family, serving first Tamiyya made from a commercial mix, from Egypt, that was purchased at Sindibad’s Import Co. in Rochester, NY. The package contains finely ground or powdered broad beans with seasonings. Water is added, patties are formed by hand and the patties are then fried. And the vote? My family gave it a thumbs up, no recount necessary. Later that evening I prepared my dried, shelled beans by soaking them, anticipating making tamiyya from scratch the next day. And so, the next day, Sunday actually, I begin to prepare my tamiyya. I found myself up to my elbows in beans. While the homemade tamiyya was even more satisfying to the family than the pre-packaged kind, I found myself in need of a meat grinder. My initial grinding of the beans and seasonings in my food processor was woefully inadequate, as my patties fell apart during the frying process. Before I got too far into this project, I put the mixture through my food processor a second time, resulting in a finer mince. The patties then stayed together during frying. The vote this time around? A resounding two thumbs up!


Below

is a list of films that have an Egyptian theme. (Some more loosely than others!!) We do not profess that this listing is complete, as we have included only what we consider to be the most popular Egyptian based films. Even though we are aware there were numerous films made before the 1930's, with an Egyptian theme (mostly black and white silent movies) we decided to start with this 'International' era of movies.

1932 USA The Mummy. (Universalpictures)

1933 USA The Ghoul.

Starring Boris Karloff. Directed by Karl Freund. A mummy accidently brought back to life, tries to do the same to his long lost love, an ancient Egyptian princess.

Starring Boris Karloff. Directed by T. Hayes Hunter. A Professor returns as a walking corpse to seek revenge on those who refused to carry out his dying wish , namely that he be buried with an ancient Egyptian jewel, The Eternal Light.

1934 USA Cleopatra.

Starring Claudette Colbert. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story of Cleopatra and her fateful romances with Julius Cesear and Mark Anthony.

E G Y P T I A N M O V I E S


Issue # 2

I s

s t i l l

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k n o w n

ALEXANDRIA


EGYPT Land of the Pharaohs

AMENHOTEP III


AKHENATEN