River Nile and western mountains of Luxor in Egypt (ancient Thebes)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
River Nile and western mountains of Luxor in Egypt (ancient Thebes)
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The temple was founded around 2000 BCE and for the next 2000 years, almost every pharaoh build, demolished, extended and maintained this temple. Today, the ruin is by far one of the most magnificent ruins of the world. Below you see the facade of the temple. Upon entering, you walk down a long avenue of sphinxes and enter through a large pylon which is the gateway into the temple.This image is from flickr and is shot by the user Yi-Chen.
Most Egyptian temples are build from the same "master-plan". There is a row of features, that you'll find in most temples. One of those features is the pylon, fronting every temple. This one in Karnak is huge. You can see niches as well as windows in the pylon. Long, thin flagpoles were placed in the niches and they were tied up from the windows so that they would not break. Usually, a pylon is decorated with reliefs of various gods and goddesses and pharaoh smiting enemies in front of the gods. But the pylon in the Karnak Temple was never finished, so it has no decorations. Below is an image of one of the most famous features in the Karnak Temple: The great columned hall.
The hall was build by the pharaohs Sety I and his son Ramesses II. It is impossible to show an image or to describe just how enormous this hall actually is. It is a virtual forest of columns, more than 100, some of them more than 20 meters high. In ancient times, the hall had a roof and it symbolised the plants, the fertility, along the Nile. Some of the relief on the columns are very pretty, like you can see on the image below.
The duck and the sun disc spells Sa Ra, meaning Son of the Sun God Re. Immediately in front and behind the Sa Ra-glyphs, you can see the cartocuhes (name-rings) of pharaoh Ramesses II. The glyphs then means: Ramesses II is the Son of Re (but then again all pharaohs were sons of Re anyway).
The temple, like every other temple, also had a Sacred Lake, where priests could purify themselves before attending to rituals. You also needed obelisks, long, thin stone-poles pointing towards the sun and inscribed with whatever name of the pharaoh who gave the obelisk to the temple.
Karnak Temple was called Ipet-Isut in ancient times. That means "Most Select of Places". Today, this ancient holy ground is still a very select place, visited by thousands and thousands of tourists every day. But it is so huge that it rarely feels crowded. Or at least you can always find a spot where, if you really strain your ears, you can still hear the footsteps of priests and workers echoing down through the millenia ;o) And there is so much more to be said about this temple, that it will end up being a very, very long post if I do not stop now.
Wikipedia has a decent article here and the Tour Egypt website describe the temple here. You can see my flickr images from the temple here.
For the coming two weekends I'll actually be in Egypt, so no Egyptology Weekend, as I will not be able to be online every day.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The teaser is from p. 61 of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, and it is by far the best book I have read in a very long time. I am not finished yet, though, but am sitting here wondering why the heck I haven't gotten around to read it before now, since I have owned it for more than a year.....
Monday, February 16, 2009
The image above shows Anubis preparing a mummy. The image is a tomb-painting and has been photographed by flickr-user pjwar.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Silent Prey by John Sandford 1/4/04
One of my not-so-good-reads from 2004: Lucy Sullivan is getting married by Marian Keyes.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
This weekend I have decided to write a bit about the vizier Ramose.
Some of the scenes painted on the walls in his tomb has been painted though. Those are the paintings showing the funeral procession of Ramose. On the first image below, in the middle you can see men carrying chests on their shoulders. In them, all the things Ramoses needed for his afterlife were stocked. And also notice the man with a chair on his shoulders. He is holding a scribe's palette in his hand. Basically, Egyptians believed that they would be born again in a netherworld which had many similarities to the earthly life. And in this netherworld, they would need the same items, not to mention food and drink, in order to survive in the netherworld and not "die the second death". One way of getting what you wanted in the netherworld was to have your family offer those things on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, another way was to bring a lot of stuff with you in your tomb and a third way was to have those items painted on the walls of your tomb. Magically, those things painted or carved on the walls would come "alive" in the netherworld, should your family forget their duties (and they probably did, at least over time), and thus grant you whatever you needed for all eternity.
Naturally, a person as important as Ramose, he would also have professional mourners at his funeral procession which you can see on the two images below.
Looking at the timeline, we are in what Egyptologists, Archaeologists and Historians call The New Kingdom, Dynasty 18. The New Kingdom is the period which spans from circa 1539 - 1075 BCE. 18th Dynasty (circa 1539 - 1292 BCE) is the first dynasty (a dynasty usually covers an unbroken line of a single ruling family, but there are loads of exceptions to that rule) of The New Kingdom.
Ramose was in office between circa 1390 - 1336 BCE
If you want to search the net for more about Ramose, then his tomb has number TT 55. TT stands for Theban Tomb.
For an outline of Egyptian history, I recommend The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt by Ian Shaw (ed.). It can be purchased in a cheap paperback version and can also be found used many places.
All images are from my own flickr-photostream and the set called Tomb of Ramose. To see all my images from that tomb, click on the link.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
The rules are simple:
Please avoid spoilers!
Monday, February 02, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Image of man and wife on an ushabti-box from a tomb.
What are our passions outside of books and blogging? First of all, I am questioning myself, do I even feel passionate about anything at all...? Passionate is such a big word. But then again, I do know that I do not have to take the meaning literally and that if I translate it to something like "what are your other interests" it applies (and appeals) more to me. I can see the gap between being passionate about something and having an interest in something. But taken literally, I am not red-hot with passion over anything. But I am interested in a lot of things, and definitely, I feel more interested in some things over others. And there are of course things which I am very interested in and spend a lot of time doing or thinking about. Surely.
So okay, here goes!
Travel is one of my great interests as well as travel-writing. I feel at home in many places around the world and have travelled since I was 6 years old, where my parents took me and my two siblings on a month long journey to Italy and Greece. I have spent a year of my life living in USA and about a year (totalt) living in Egypt. And USA and Egypt are my fave places to travel. I have written two guidebooks on Egypt (in Danish) and several travel-related articles both online and in "real" papers and magazines. I am very passionate (oops, there it was, the word...) about that. Some of my fave destinations are (in random order): San Francisco, New Orleans, Luxor (Egypt), Cairo (Egypt), Berlin (Germany) and Chora Sfakion (Crete). Blue door in Chora Sfakion
San Francisco seen from Alcatraz
I spend a lot of time on http://www.tripadvisor.com/ where you can find all sorts of travel-related stuff.
Photography is another interest I have. I am by all means a complete amateur. I am NOT saying this in order to have all of you claim the opposite. I truly am. I have no idea whatsoever about the right lightening, white-balance, ISO or any other technicalities, I am a point and shoot-kind of photographer. I do want to become a better amateur though and have contemplated taking some serious lessons. I am quite sure I would learn a great deal and also learn to take better pics. I am also the proud owner of a fancy Canon-camera, and many of it's features are wasted on me. Oh....I am passionate about NOT photoshopping my images. I may twist an image so that the horizon is in sync or remove red eyes. I may also crop an image or do other minor stuff with the images. But the extreme photoshopping I see around some online photography-pages, well, that doesn't do it for me. As far as photography goes, that is cheating.
I post a variety of my photos on flickr. There are some tremendously good photographers also posting images there, but basically it is amateur heaven.
Egyptian man Ahmose. Part of statue with his mother
Egyptology. Actually, I am about to receive my MA in Egyptology with a thesis, which I will deliver during the late spring this year. I have studied for many years, but took a lot of years "off " after my Bachelors in order to work. Last summer I stopped working at the art museum where I had worked for 5 years in their Dept. of Egyptian Antiquities to finish the MA-degree. But I am still doing guided tours at the museum though. And I also got myself another job as I found it difficult just to sit at home writing the thesis. This has meant that instead of completing in 6 months it will take me 12 months, but the end is near, and I am looking forward to that and to receive the degree. Anyway, I have lived in Egypt as well while studying and worked there as a guide, but that is some years back now. I go there at least once a year, sometimes more. I am mostly interested in the old stuff, but over the years I have also gained an interest in the modern life and world. There are literally tens of thousands of websites out there about Ancient Egypt and all but perhaps a couple of hundred (maybe even less) are worth your while. The rest are....well, crap.
Softdrink from Fizzy Thoughts and I share a great interest in travel.
I guess that is it ;o) I also like fashion, pop-culture, art, urban/street art, American History and food! All images above are from my own flickr-photostream.