Recent Posts by Manouchehr

Giza Sound and Light Show

You sit in front of the Sphinx on padded chairs with the three pyramids in the background. Then the music starts and the narrator tells the story of Egypt from as the Sphinx saw it from the dawn of civilization to modern time.  It's a great spectacle with lasers, spots, and cinematic scores reminiscent of…
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The Tear in Hathor’s Eye

Across the Nile from Karnak are the Valley of the Kings and mortuary temples.  This is where we visited Hatschepsut's temples at Deir El-Bahari.  Hatschepsut died relatively young after a 20-year reign.  From her temple you can see Karnak Temple in the distance, but strangely you cannot see Karnak temple when you stand directly in the…
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The Opet Festival

Medhat told us about one of the Old Kingdom's major celebrations, Carnival and Easter of the ancients so to speak: The Opet Festival. This festival was a reenactment of the regeneration of Amun-Re with Mut and Khonsu. It began usually in the second month of the Egyptian calendar, Akhet II after the Nile flooded the…
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The Karnak Temple Religious Theme’s Astronomic Angle

Today our Egyptologist and guide Mehdat who I would like to introduce with this entry showed Alan Green and I the Temple of Karnak and the Luxor Temple in Luxor.  Here is Mehdat standing next to the legendary Famine Stele where he took me a couple of days ago...a place very few tourists ever get to…
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Oldest Astronomical Device In The World

If you drive about 100 kilometers into the western Egyptian desert from Abu Simbel in the south of the country you come to a very ancient settlement which began in about 9,000 B.C. There, the world's first star and sun clock was discovered in 1974.  The site is called Nabta Playa. Pre-historic cattle farmers used to…
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The Mysterious Pyramid of Khufu’s son Djedefre

Today, we got special access to a lonely pyramid on a high elevation overlooking the entire Delta including all pyramids in Giza, Abusyr, Dashur, and Lisht...the strange pyramid at Abu Rowash attributed to Khufu's direct throne heir, Djedefre. Strangely, Djedefre's pyramid, which he called "starry tent", has no roof.  Was it designed that way or…
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Tomb of the Pyramid Builder

Our guide Issam showed us an underground tomb on the east side of the Great Pyramid in which was laid to rest a man who was involved in the building of the Great Pyramid at the time of Khufu (Cheops).  The inscriptions on the west wall of this tomb were simply breathtaking...and sure enough there is the cartouche of Khufu.....sieve, chick, snake, chick, surrounded by an oval frame.  Then, below you see a bird and the letter "t". This stands for "akhet" which means the glow at the horizon before dawn and below these two symbols you see "mr" which is the determinative (contextual) sign for pyramid.

Further below is the sign for libation (the pouring of liquid in memory of a deceased) and presumably the lighting of incense, though the latter I am not sure of.

Some pyramid researchers have doubted that the Great Pyramid was built by Khufu or even during the Old Kingdom.  This, despite the fact that there are several cartouches containing the name Khufu in the relieving chambers above the King's Chamber, the so called quarry marks made by the workmen who hewned the stones. Specifically, the most famous of these is in Campbell's chamber and has become subject to great controversy as to its authenticity. Some claim it is a forgery made by those who first opened these spaces in the 19th century. Others say the cartouche is real.  Either way, in one of the builders' tomb no more than 300 feet away from the Great Pyramid (indicating he was a higher level construction worker), we have independent evidence that the Great Pyramid was constructed during the same time as Khufu was king and these inscription look very real as you all can see.

 

The True Age of the Sphinx?

Some of you may have watched this recent Smithsonian production on the the true age of the Sphinx: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/videos/the-pharaoh-who-found-the-sphinx/21494 In this documentary, five theories are presented: The Sphinx is much much older (~10,000 B.C.) than the Giza Pyramids and started out as a giant stone lion and was later "defaced" by one of the kings…
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