Egypt: The Fundamentals of the Pyramides

Egypt: The Fundementals of the Pyramides

The fundamental motive of the pyramid is the funeral mound. A small upheaval above the natural level of the ground results of itself from the earth displaced by the bulk of the buried body. Our present practice of interment clearly illustrates this. Increased dimensions elevate the mound to an independent monument.

Many nations, some of a high degree of civilization, have contented themselves with such imposing hills of earth over the grave,–tumuli, which, from the manner of their construction, assumed a conical form. Others placed the mound upon a low cylinder, thus better marking its distinction from accidental natural elevations.

The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians rejected the cone entirely, and formed, with plane surfaces upon a square plan, the highly mon- umental pyramid. Peculiar to the former people are the inclined sides which give to the pyramid its absolute geometrical form, as opposed to the terraced structures of Chaldaea.

The sand of the desert ebbed and flowed fifty centuries ago as constantly as in our time, when the sphinx, after being uncovered to its base, has been quickly hidden again to the neck. Rulers, unwilling that their gigantic tombs should be thus submerged, were obliged to secure to them great height, with inclined and unbroken sides, upon which the sand could not lodge.

Nile River Under the Egyptian Blue Sky

Nile River Under the Egyptian Blue Sky

The changeless blue of the Egyptian sky, the strictly regular return of all the natural phenomena connected with the Nile, that wonderful stream of the land’s life, are entirely in accord with the fixedness of Egyptian civilization in all its branches.

Though the high state of advance which we first find in Egyptian art, three thousand years before the Christian era, must necessarily have been preceded by less perfected degrees, it is wholly impossible to perceive such stages of development in any of the monuments known. After Egypt had attained a certain height of civilization, its history, during the thousands of years known to us, shows none of those phases of advance or decline, of development in short, to be observed in Europe during every century, if not during every decade.

The Egyptian completed buildings and statues begun by his remote ancestors without the slightest striving for individual peculiarity. He commenced new works in the same spirit, leaving them for similar execution by his great-grandchildren. Numberless generations thus dragged on without bequeathing a trace of any peculiar character and ability. It is only by the cartouches of the kings in the hieroglyphic inscriptions that it is possible to separate the dynasties, and to group into periods of a thousand years or more, works of art which seem from their style to belong to one and the same age.

What gigantic revolutions have affected the civilization of Europe during the fourteen centuries elapsed since the overthrow of the Roman Empire, and how slight are the appreciable changes during the nearly equal number of years of the ancient dynasties of Memphis–the period of the pyramids, or again of the Theban kingdom–from the seventeenth dynasty to the rule of the Ptolemies!

Great Pyramids: The symbols sacred to the Sun-God

Great Pyramids: The symbols sacred to the Sun-God

The Egyptians had many gods, but there were two whom they worshiped above all others. The sun, which shines so gloriously in the cloudless Egyptian sky, was their greatest god, and their most splendid temples were erected for his worship. Indeed, the pyramid is a symbol sacred to the Sun-god. They called him Re (pronounced ray). The other great power which they revered was the shining Nile.

The great river and the fertile soil he refreshes, and the green life which he brings forth–all these the Egyptian thought of together as a single god, Osiris, the imperishable life of the earth, which revives and fades every year with the changes of the seasons. It was a beautiful thought to the Egyptian that this same life-giving power which furnished him his food in this world would care for him also in the next, when his body lay out yonder in the great cemetery of Gizeh, which we are approaching.

But this vast cemetery of Gizeh tells us of many other things besides the religion of the Egyptians. As we look up at the colossal pyramids behind the Sphinx we can hardly grasp the fact of the enormous forward stride taken by the Egyptians since the days when they used to be buried with their flint knives in a pit scooped out on the margin of the desert. It was the use of metal which since then had carried them so far. That Egyptian in Sinai who noticed the first bit of metal lived over a thousand years before these pyramids were built. He was buried in a pit like that of the earliest Egyptian peasant.

The Seven Wonders of the Antique World and Middle Ages

The Seven Wonders of the Antque World and Middle Ages

The Seven Wonders of the World Of Antiquity:

(1) The Pyramids of Egypt.
(2) The Gardens of Semiramis at Babylon.
(3) The statue of Zeus at Olympia, the work of Phidias.
(4) The Temple of Diana at Ephesus.
(5) The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
(6) The Colossus at Rhodes.
(7) The Pharos of Egypt, the Walls of Babylon or the Palace of Cyrus.

The Seven Wonders of the World Of the Middle Ages:

(1) The Coliseum of Rome.
(2) The Catacombs of Alexandria.
(3) The Great Wall of China.
(4) Stonehenge.
(5) The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
(6) The Porcelain Tower of Nankin.
(7) The Mosque of St. Sophia at Constantinople.

The palace of the Escurial has sometimes been called the eighth wonder, a name which has also been given to a number of works of great mechanical ingenuity, such as the dome of Chosroes in Madain, St. Peter’s of Rome, the Menai suspension bridge, the Eddystone lighthouse, the Suez Canal, the railway over Mont Cenis, the Atlantic cable, etc.

Ancient Egyptians and Their Nile River Beliefs

Ancient Egyptians and Their Nile River Beliefs

The Egyptians believed the earth looked like a pancake. In the center flowed the Nile River. They thought that around the Great Circle was the ocean. They also believed the sky was flat like the earth and that it was held up with four poles so that the air could flow between the earth and the sky.

Hapy was the god of floods. He was always dressed as a boater or fisherman. He carried a platter of wheat, barley, dates, and flax.

The Nile River begins in the mountains of Africa and flows north to the Mediterranean Sea. It flows through thousands of miles of desert. After thousands of miles the river has many waterfalls and rapids called cataracts. At the delta the Nile calms down. It branches into many small streams before flowing into the Mediterranean.

Every summer the Nile flooded the river valley. After three months the water would recede leaving behind a thin, rich layer of silt.

The Nile was the fastest way to travel through Ancient Egypt. Traveling on the Nile River was an easy task for the Egyptians. The currents flowed north. Boats could let the currents carry them to their north destination. When the boat wanted to return south, the winds carried them southward. When the winds were not blowing the Egyptians used paddles or long poles to move them forward.

Most of the boats were made from giant papyrus reeds tied together. The royal family and the priest had wooden boats made from cedar wood. It came from Syria. The large wooden boats owned by the royal family were more than 100 feet long. Cargo boats carried granite, cattle, and food to people along the river. These were pulled by teams of men with many sets of oars. When the wind died down the men had to tow the boats along the river with long ropes from the banks.

Traders used the Nile for transportation. They would carry products such as coffee beans, wheat, or furs. Traders bartered to gain the best deals.

The Seven Wonders: The Pyramids of Giza

The Seven Wonders: The Pyramids of Giza

The Giza Necropolis stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers’ village and an industrial complex.

It is located some 9 km (5 mi) inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids were popularised in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today it is the only one of the ancient Wonders still in existence.

Egypt: The People of Cairo

Egypt: The People of Cairo

Men-folk gather together to smoke shisha, drink tea, and talk business. Praises to Allah abound as they greet one another with kisses to each cheek. Women’s kohled eyes gaze coolly from behind their flowing, traditional garb, while others prefer to team headscarves, or hijah, with modest western-style clothing.

Appropriately bejewelled with faces immaculately made up, it becomes clear that the inhabitants of Cairo are a well-heeled lot. Tourists wanting to make a good impression would do well to remember their hair brush and pay extra attention to their footwear: flip flops are definitely not the go in the Egyptian capital.

Attitude towards Foreign Tourists in Cairo

Unlike places in the world such as India where it’s virtually impossible to wander down the streets as a tourist without being heckled or propositioned by locals and touts every few yards, it is possible to explore the city of Cairo on foot whilst being largely and refreshingly over-looked. And if vendors do approach a traveller, particularly in market areas and other tourist hotspots, it’s in a much less aggressive manner and they respectfully walk away once they have heard the word ‘no’.

But don’t be fooled by any initially cool exterior. Though there is a certain pride and dignity that characterises the Arab people, Cairo provides the perfect backdrop for experiencing Egyptian culture, as the open-hearted locals are always keen to share their stories with willing participants, let visitors sample their way of life, share their meals and other such hospitality.

This attitude is explained by one Egyptian tour guide, Sabry, as being that the Egyptians know the importance of tourists to their economy thus take care to be as helpful and courteous as possible. Not only that, a tour guide for instance, will take his role very seriously, seeing tourists as being entrusted into his care by Allah. Thus he will go out of his way to ensure their safety.

Taking advantage then, of this generally friendly attitude towards foreign travellers by exploring areas of the city on foot such as the winding back streets of Islamic Cairo or the oldest part of the city, Coptic Cairo, can be an excellent way to discover otherwise unseen corners. If you do get lost, there will always be someone eager and willing to point you back in the right direction.

A Cairene Brand of Humor

The same generosity manifests itself as a distinctive sense of humour that natives of Cairo delight in springing upon visitors. The Egyptians themselves will tell you they love a good joke. Don’t be surprised if the endless amounts of sweet tea you are offered at a local shop whilst getting your camera de-sanded also includes being shown clip upon clip of “Funniest Home Video” style fair on somebody’s computer. Your host will be bemused if you are not laughing at the blind-folded little girl about to be kissed on the lips by an orangutan, or the unfortunate audience member who got sat on by an elephant.

Bassam, (a name which means ‘smiley’ in Arabic), is a young man who embodies the Egyptian zest for life. He runs a local souvenir shop and explains that life can be hard in Egypt. He works eighteen hour days and wages are low so why not take every opportunity to find something to smile and laugh about?

So the next time you find yourself enjoying the fragrant breeze over the Nile as feluccas float by and you are tapped on the shoulder by a local passerby who wants to show you footage of ‘Spain’s Worst Bullfights Gone Wrong’ on their mobile phone, see it as a heart-felt gesture by a people ever ready to share of their warmth and good humour.

Egypt protesters in world news increases travel risk

Egypt protesters in world news increases travel risk

The Christian Science Monitor reports that tens of thousands of protesters in Egypt braving tear gas and water cannons, were converging on Tahrir Square in central Cairo and protests were taking place across the country. Similar scenes were played out in hundreds of mosques in Cairo, Alexandria, and the gritty industrial towns of the Nile Delta.

As a result the recent protests Canadian department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has recently updated the travel advisory for Egypt. Canadians traveling to Egypt should exercise a high degree of caution due to occasional demonstrations and protesters, high levels of criminal activity and violence throughout the country, and the threat of terrorist attacks.

According to recent world news reports from Egypt, major demonstrations have been announced and they are likely to be well attended. The week of January 30, 2011 has seen serious civil unrest as a result protesters in many parts of Egypt with reports of large scale arrests, property damage, injuries, and several deaths from injuries sustained during the protests. Access to some areas may be restricted due to increased security measures and police presence on the streets.

Canadians, in particular those visiting or living in urban areas of Egypt, are advised to avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings of protesters and to follow the advice of local authorities. Canadians are advised to exercise caution and restraint, and to avoid unnecessary travel in the later hours of the day and at night.

Will travel insurance cover you while traveling to Egypt?

At this time the Government travel advisory is only a warning and not a recommendation not to travel. Therefore your medical travel insurance policy should cover you when traveling to Egypt on holiday. It is advisable however, to check with your travel insurance provider before traveling to Egypt to see if your policy will be valid based on your specific travel itinerary.

These travel advisories can change at any time, so it is important to check the Government web site before traveling. Your travel insurance policy may cover you, but understand the risks traveling to Egypt due to the current situation.

If you decide to travel to Egypt, do not become a protester, stay away from demonstrations and large gatherings of people, public buildings or other sites which may become the focus of protester demonstrations, such as Tahrir Square in Cairo. You should exercise caution, and observe instructions given by local security authorities and tour operators.

Egypt may be an endless playground for you

Egypt may be an endless playground for you

If you are looking for a holiday contrary to custom, but want to enjoy a relaxing, sun filled and exciting holiday, Egypt is certainly a reasonable option for you!

With it, the lines of participating in the beautiful north east coast offering both summer sun and winter in Egypt is increasingly popular throughout the year, and it only be a 7 hour flight from UK Kingdom makes holiday destination in Egypt an easily accessible and perfect.

If you are looking for the sun, the desert climate will certainly be in the hotel and you won, AOT need help finding a place to sunbathe! With most of the country being covered with sand, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to basking in the sun.

Egypt offers obviously a bit of history simply outstanding for you to explore. Valley of the Kings in Luxor, with tombs, temples and statues, Cairo, the pyramids of the participant and the world famous museum holds some of the most famous treasures on earth, and the beauty of nature in the country of origin former life, the Nile Valley with it, flora and fauna AO.

If you love diving, Egypt will be an endless playground for you with its abundance of coral reefs and clear waters filled with fish clean the most spectacular. The year-round sunshine beaches has created a marine life, you can look at AOT nowhere else on the planet.

El Gouna is a beautiful network of islands that are separated only by shallow lagoons of blue light, each island has a small number of beach Äúhuts, the AU that are more like a five star hotel room on stilts. Water sports, horseback riding and eat and drink and is easy to find in this area and it makes it a perfect honeymoon or vacation for couples.

Nearby on the main field, there is a 18 hole golf course and a karting circuit in real size, so if you fancy a bit of a break from all the relaxing you Äôll do they offer an excellent excuse for a little fun.

If you are wanting to do really really far from everything, there is an area called Hurghada has many hotels on the seafront in front of small wrecks sting of the turquoise sea and small islands scattered in the distance. This area is known to be quiet, calm and relaxed. You need to do some travel for an action packed day, but if you want to hide away from the rat race to the fullest extent, Hurghada is an excellent choice for you.

From Cairo to Jerusalem

From Cairo to Jerusalem

Our adventure began in front of the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. Five of us were trying to figure out how to get to Jerusalem, our next stop on our mini- tour of Egpyt and Israel.

Of course, we could have taken a plane and been there in a couple of hours, but we found out there was a bus route that goes to Israel with a stop at historic Mount Sinai.

I was not sure how this would work out, but we all agreed it would be a fun ride, so off we went.

Many tourists go to Mount Sinai, a holy place for both Jews and Christians, but apparently most don’t get there the way we went.

The passengers on board our bus were mostly locals. Some of them worked in Cairo and were going back to their homes in the Sinai desert’s towns.

After an hour of rough riding on the busy and bustling roads of Cairo, we reached the desert – it was flat and white during the first miles, and then became hilly with shades of black and brown.

At our first stop, I bumped into what has to be the dirtiest sink in the Middle East. It was covered in so much black grease and dust, that one could barely imagine that it had once been white.

Our driver, non- talkative at first, finally told us that although he drove in the Sinai desert road everyday, he was still moved by the beauty of the long stretches of rocks and sand.

Religious tradition has it that the Hebrews fled Egypt to Israel through the Sinai desert, with their children, animals and all the belongings they could carry along. It is difficult to imagine entire families and tribes walking across the scorching sun of the Sinai desert.

It was hard enough going the 195 miles from Cairo to Mount Sinai in a bus. But we made it in time for some sleep, and were up at 2:30 a.m. to hike to the summit of Mount Sinai in time for sunrise.

Along the way, people offered to rent us camels, but I was up for the real experience – a three-hour hike in the mountain wearing flip flops! Which by the way, I do not recommend.
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