Egypt
October 2000
The Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, ca. 2800 B.C.
The Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, ca. 2800 B.C.
The obligatory "I was there" shot on the Giza Plateau.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu, ca. 2565 B.C.
The Sphinx and the Great Pyramid.
Jeff of Arabia. "No Prisoners!!!!"
"How do I get off this thing?"
A home in a Nubian village near Aswan.
The Nile near Aswan.
Our group leader Ray, with Yousef, the three-year-old dervish son of Mohammed, our local Nubian guide.
The botanical gardens on Kitchener's Isle, near Aswan.
The botanical gardens on Kitchener's Isle, near Aswan.
The Nile near Aswan.
At the home of the owner of the felucca (sailboat) we've chartered, we meet his son Mohammed. Too shy to try his English on us, he hands us a note. "My name is Mohammed. I am ten years old. My favorite sport is football."
The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, on the shores of Lake Nasser, south of Aswan. Built by Ramesses II in the 13th Century, B.C., it was cut into pieces and reassembled on higher ground in the 1960s to prevent its inundation by the lake waters rising behind the Aswan High Dam.
Detail of Abu Simbel.
The Small Temple at Abu Simbel, dedicated to Ramesses II's wife, Nefertari.
Indiana Tucker.
The Temple of Philae, on an island in the Nile near Aswan, is dedicated to Isis. Most of the construction was carried out by the Ptolemys, between 250 B.C. and 100 B.C. The temple remained in use until about 500 A.D.
Philae.
Philae.
A felucca on the Nile. We spent a day and a night on a felucca, sailing down the Nile from Aswan to Kom Ombo.
A felucca.
The first mate of our craft, the Nile Present.
The busy dock at Kom Ombo.
The temple at Kom Ombo, built in Ptolemaic times, and dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god.
Detail of Kom Ombo.
Some of the paint is still fresh, despite the passage of over two millennia.
The temple ruins at Kom Ombo.
The Temple of Horus at Edfu, built between 237 B.C. and 57 B.C.
The inner sanctum at Edfu.
Horus, the bird god.
Tour buses have finally been banned from the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, to prevent the valley from filling with diesel fumes every day. These little trolleys take visitors into the valley, though they seem incongruous.
The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, near Luxor, ca. 1475 B.C.
As at Kom Ombo, the paint is still remarkably fresh inside Hatshepsut's mortuary temple.
The Colossi of Memnon, statues of Amenhotep III, ca. 1375 B.C.
Time has taken its toll on Amenhotep III.
Rams line the entrance to the Temple of Karnak, in Thebes (modern Luxor).
Early morning at Karnak. The complex is the product of many generations' work.
Karnak.
The Hypostyle Hall at Karnak, begun by Ramesses I, continued by Seti I, and completed by Ramesses II.
An obelisk at Karnak.
Karnak.
Reconstruction efforts at Karnak.
The Nile waterfront at Luxor, dominated by the Temple of Luxor.
A pier at Luxor.
Rusty ferries carry passengers from Luxor to the West Bank of the Nile.
The Temple of Luxor at dawn. The temple was largely built by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, between 1350 B.C. and 1200 B.C.
The Temple of Luxor.
The Temple of Luxor. This processional avenue once extended over two miles to the Temple of Karnak.
The Temple of Luxor.
The Temple of Luxor.
The Temple of Luxor.
Head of Ramesses II at the Temple of Luxor.
The Temple of Luxor, the minaret of a more modern mosque in the background.
The Bent Pyramid of Senefru, ca. 2575 B.C. Its builders began with a steep angle, but discovered that it was structurally unstable, and had to change to a more shallow angle about halfway up.
Most of the casing on the Bent Pyramid remains intact.
The Red Pyramid of Senefru in the empty desert at Dahshur. Dating to about 2550 B.C., it's the first true pyramid built in Egypt (i.e., without stepped sides, like Djoser's pyramid, or bent sides, like Senefru's earlier effort).
The north side of the Red Pyramid provides access to its interior.
The meter-square passageway that leads down into the heart of the Red Pyramid. Duck-walking down this 65-meter-long passage guarantees sore leg muscles the next morning.
The Alabaster Mosque in Cairo, a.k.a. the Mosque of Mohammed Ali, is virtually brand-new, having been completed in 1857.
The ceiling of the Alabaster Mosque.