Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Egypt continued...IV Karnak Temple Complex

Here we have the Karnak Temple complex, which is the largest temple complex in the world.
Karnak Temple is found in the heart of Upper Egypt in the city of Luxor or called Thebes in the ancient days and is located on the east bank of the Nile River. 

Most likely, Moses, one of the great prophets of the Old Testament spent much of his early life here in Thebes. Ramses II is thought to be the Pharaoh during the time of Exodus, and Thebes acted as 
Ramses II's capital city.  

The oldest parts of the temple complex date back to the Middle Kingdom age which is roughly around 2040-1700 BC. The ram-headed fertility god, Amun, was the focus of worship at this temple. 

The columns soared 5-7 stories high...it was amazing. They also say that back in the day, the whole hall was roofed. 

This Egyptian hypostyle hall is also the architectural origins/ancestor of the Roman/Christian basilica. 



Anna Daines amidst the great hypostyle hall

The obelisk that Hatshepsut erected. She is mentioned in my previous posts (about her mortuary temple).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Egypt continued...III The Nile

I'll start off this post with a night shot of the Nile river with the Luxor Temple on the top left corner. I think I already posted this pictures earlier, but I'm going to post it again because its one of my favorites.

Here are more pictures of our boat ride on the Nile at night. You can see the Luxor Temple lit up in orange.

The Luxor Temple is located on the banks of the Nile River on the east side. Luxor, anciently known as Thebes, was once a capital of the Kingdom and thrived with economic activities.

Another one of my favorite pictures. An Egyptian sunset with camels.

Lauren R., the Allens (who tried to get all of the Jeru kids married to each other every change they got) and Richie B. sporting their scarves they scored for a super deal after our camel ride.

This is Ahmad, my camel tour guide. I think my camel's name was Elvis. Other camels had funny names like Ferrari...Ahmad and I talked our whole camel ride even though his English was very limited. He taught me a lot of new Arabic words! Super good kid.

Countryside we took our camel ride through.

Here's Jeremy P. aka J-Perk/Massagya...looking flyyy


Our procession

It was the perfect afternoon under the hot Egyptian sun.

All the workers waiting to give rides to the huge group of Americans.

The Nile itself was dirty, but the surroundings were beautiful.

Ancient Egypt depended heavily on this river for its development and thriving.

Yes, if you didn't already guess, we sailed on the Nile, and I got to steer the sail boat.

Kaylie T. + Alli B. = Awesome girls.

Beautiful Saturday afternoon in Luxor Egypt. In the morning we had our sacrament meeting in a party hall of the hotel. Chairs were set up as chapels usually are, and pita bread like bread was used for the sacrament bread. If I remember right, James G. and Jane N. gave the talks that day. I also had the opportunity to sing a musical number with Jon R. Kali C. and Anna D. It was one of the most powerful and spiritual sacrament meetings I had ever attended. There really is something about a group of saints meeting together, oft, to worship our Heavenly Father in a country where you are the minority of the minorities.

Egypt continued...II

If I'm not mistaken, tourism is one of the biggest industries that fuel Egypt. Thus, the industry is somewhat controlled and directed by the government. If I remember right, we had a tour guide wherever we went at all times in Egypt, and that was because the tourism bureau requires visitors to have tour guides at all times. This also helps create jobs for many people like this man who was our tour guide for the whole time we were in Luxor. He was great. Been tour guiding for about 30+ years...I think.

Hot sunny day in the valley of the Kings. Actually, it was REALLY hot. I thought I was going faint at the valley of the Kings because it was so hot.

Fresco like paintings on the wall with symbols representing the sun-god Amon-Ra.

I'm not sure how correct I am if I said these were frescos, but they were something similar to frescos on the walls...brilliant colors shown above even after thousands of years. Can you imagine how amazing the place looked when they first finished it?

Hieroglyphics on one of the pillars in the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

Amazing mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut located near the Valley of the Kings where the famous King Tut's tomb with untouched treasures were found. I wasn't able to get pictures at the Valley of the Kings because they didn't allow cameras if I remember right.

This Mortuary temple is dedicated to the Sun-god, Amon-Ra, and was placed at this location where a natural pyramid exists at the top of the mountain. (Seen at the top center of the photo above)

Queen Hatsepsut was the fifth reigning pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egypt. A lot of the records and engravings that records her reign as pharaoh was destroyed after her death, so they have a hard time recovering information about her, but she was supposedly successful in deceiving everyone in Egypt in thinking that she was a man as most other pharaohs were.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Egypt continued...

This is our plane ride from Cairo to Luxor which is Southern Egypt or also called Upper Egypt or Kingdom in the olden days because the Nile river actually flows in the direction of south to north toward the Mediterranean sea. Jesse McLean is doing his thing.

Ancient wall carvings at the Step Pyramid of Zoser. Located in Memphis, Egypt. (Saqqara)
The colors are so vivid even after thousands of years.

Ancient Hieroglyphics
I think we were posing as the Pharaoh and the queen? Behind us is the roofed colonnade entrance to the burial complex for the step pyramid and other things.

This pyramid of Zoser in Saqqara built during the 27th century BC, is considered to be one of the first pyramids in the world, and also one of the first large stone constructed building. This pyramid consiste of several mastabas (a flat roofed, square or rectangular Egyptian tomb) built on top of each other.

Most of the guys...not all of them though

This guy showed us how papyrus was made...then this whole store ripped everyone off. They were really cool papyrus though.
I couldn't zoom out enough so I had to tilt the angle to get all of the pyramids

Represent BYUH

After about an hour of taking pictures and exploring the pyramids up close, we drove up to a near by hill to get a overview of the three greatest pyramids in the world.

That's how big they were. Miss all these faces. Adri, Kate the Jew, and Bryan Oats from left to right.

Had to include a jumping picture at the pyramids of Giza. Each block of stone was SO HUGE. It is truly a wonder how they put these pyramids together.

I don't know if the picture does justice but looking up at the pyramids at this angle was amazing.

I have dreamed of going to the pyramids in Cairo for as long as I can remember. I remember making sure to catch any kind of shows on TV about them. This is the biggest of the three of the Giza pyramids, the Pyramid of Khufu. If you look closely you will see a big hole or dimple at the bottom of the pyramid. That's where tomb raiders blasted a hold using explosives to forcefully enter the pyramid and raid it. It is also the entrance used today for tourists to go in to the chambers inside.

Inside was really hot and humid, and there was nothing there but an empty sarcophagus. The stone structure was impecable in its artisanship. The space between two stones that made up the walls of the main chamber was so tight and perfectly fitted, that they were barely noticeable. To see and experience all that I had seen on TV growing up was a dream come true.

Loads of people lining up to get tickets to get into the pyramid. Only 200 tourists are allowed to enter the main chambers of the pyramid of Khufu. Most of our BYU students got to go in. We got there early in order to get in line for our tickets, but the concept of being in line is non existent in Egypt. There were SO many people trying to cut in line we had to create a barricade, box out, do whatever we can to keep our places in line. This was one of the few times we were actually told to be rude and stand up for ourselves, otherwise other people will cut in line and you won't get a ticket to go in the pyramids. It seriously got pretty intense. There were people yelling at each other...we told people that they didn't belong in that part of the line to go back to the end of the line. A fun experience.