Friday, January 3, 2014

OK, the pyramids aren't actually in Cairo (they're in Giza), and neither is this stuff

South of Cairo and Giza is the original official capital of Egypt, Memphis.

I'm sensing a trend here.  Amman used to be Philadelphia, Memphis is in Egypt.  We like to think that U.S. town names are so original but really they all come from somewhere.  True, most are from a small village here or there in England, but just as our people are a melting pot of backgrounds it naturally fell that the city names would follow suit.  It takes people to name cities after all.

So, there's Ramses II lying on the ground.   He's way popular partially because he had so many statues of himself around and so many of them survived the past thousands of years.  This one laying down was big and finely detailed from the dagger in his belt to the cobra on this crown.  Quite impressive actually.

The museum in Memphis is quite outdoorsy.  Which makes the great state of these statues even more impressive.

Impressive, yes.  That doesn't mean we don't have a bit of irreverency in all of us.

Another statue of Ramses II.  Quite a bit smaller than the crashed one.

After Memphis we traveled a little further to Saqqara and the oldest dated pyramid still standing.  Off in the distance you can see some other random pyramids (because I don't know anything about them) that dot the Egyptian Sahara.  How crazy is that?  Imagine trundling along on a stinky camel and then, pop, pyramid.  Crazy.

Back to Saqqara. Honestly, it wasn't all that impressive in person.  The fact is, what's believed about this pyramid is that the pharaoh that wanted it didn't know how to build one (obviously... being first and all) so he had a little one built.  Decided it wasn't big enough and had an addition put on.  Still not big enough, extended a step, added another layer.  Still not big enough, etc.  To the point that he's not even buried in his pyramid because with all the additions and not really knowing how to build a pyramid, his burial chamber collapsed and he was buried about 100 yards off to the side.  In a big pit.  No worries though, his slaves are still buried all around him.  He had his priorities straight.

There's cool stuff all over Egypt and we got a taste of some the standard visitor fare.  Well worth it, so go when you get the chance.

More tomorrow...

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