“…as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold – everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment – an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by – I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?’ it was all I could do to get out the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things.”
― Howard Carter,
Tutankhamun – This was one of the last places I visited. Because we were not allowed to take photos in the Tomb of Tutankhamen, or anywhere in this section of Valley of the Kings, I have borrowed some stock photos to give this place some context.
King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered by Howard Carter on November 4 1922. It took him over five years to find the tomb and it was discovered actually by chance and just as Mr. Carter was getting ready to pack up and move on from this area. King Tut’s tomb has been one of the most important discoveries in the field of archaeology based on the fact that we were able to discover the diet from that era, developmental markers, how mummy’s were preserved, and the lifestyle of the elite from that era. DNA revealed the family history. It was a mystery for centuries and it was assumed that this young king had been murdered. Mystery resolved and it appears, though we can never know for certain, that this young king actually died of natural causes. It is still difficult to process and understand some of the cultural understandings, or misunderstandings. It was a fascinating glimpse into the beliefs of just one ancient society.
The Curse of King Tut
To me the story of the discovery of the Tomb and the “curse” rumors that followed this discovery was more interesting to me than looking at the tomb itself. Legends of a “Pharaoh’s Curse” ran rampant after the tomb was discovered. It was said that anyone who disturbed the sleep of the ancient rulers would be cursed. After Tut’s tomb was found, 12 members of the original discovery group died within seven years after the opening / finding of the tomb. Lord Carnarvon, the person who financed the search, died within a year of the tomb opening. Dozens of others, including the daughter of Carnarvon, died in mysterious ways after the opening of the tomb. Mahdy, the man who approved the exhibit going to Japan, was killed by a car while leaving the Cairo museum. After being associated with the tomb, or tours, or anything related to Tut, storms raged, people died, rumors escalated. The truth is, in our modern era, most of the deaths are easily explained and many of the deaths happened decades after the discovery. Further, Howard Carter, the man who was in charge of the search, discovery and recovery lived for a couple decades after the finding.. so much for curses. However, it is fun to assume that all the deaths were really related to the discovery.
Denial aint just a river in Egypt. – Mark Twain
The Nile cruise brought us from Aswan to Luxor. We were able to visit Karim, the Unfinished Oblisk, The Valley of the Kings, Edfu Temple, Philae Temple, Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple, Bit Rahina Museum, a variety of markets, take carriage rides, and see and experience the enormity of ego that must have existed among the old kings, queens, and pharaohs.
Uper Egypt was chosen to build the massive temples because the belief was at that the after-death journey would be easier to take from the higher regions. Luxor was decided to be the best place with the Nile River passing through its eastern and western banks. Every single inch of this location seemed to have a story or legacy and you can read the story plainly on the walls, the grounds, the entire inch of land. It was one of the biggest open museums I have ever witnessed.
I would highly encourage anyone who has the ability to do it, go and visit this amazing country. It’s small enough to go from one end to another in 4-7 days. The people were friendly, the stories intriguing, and the visions of extreme ostentatiousness astounding.
I hope you are enticed to visit with my little nibble of Egypt through photos.
Egypt was big and beautiful, ostentatious, friendly, quirky, amazing, and full of history. It would be difficult not to feel the sacredness and culture that existed in this country. I have huge hopes that the kind and friendly folks I met in this expansive desert will find ways to move forward and regain an economy that will help to preserve the history of this place. I am glad I went when I did because it was not crowded and we were treated great. I hope that many more will come and study the walls, the temples and the tombs that are so freaking big you can hardly imagine.
Thanks for stopping by.
Other interesting posts can be found on these links: Ostentatious, Giant, Ancient, Sacred, Treasure, Culture, Chiseled, Leaders, Adjective, Ouch, yellow night, showing off, being human, specters, pyramid street, Ancient, Fab 50, abacus, size matters, princess, prompt row, fog, personal space, poignant, scared, land, tombs, good father