Archive for Luxor
EasyJet services to and from Egypt have been disrupted by a dispute over fuel, with flights to the UK from Luxor, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheik delayed overnight.
The budget carrier announced it would change its fuel supplier immediately after passengers at Sharm el-Sheik were told their flight was delayed due to unpaid bills.
EasyJet insisted it had no outstanding invoices. The carrier only recently expanded its services to Egypt by adding flights to Luxor.
It confirmed three flights were disrupted overnight – from Luxor to Gatwick, Hurghada to Gatwick and Sharm el-Sheik to Luton. EasyJet reported delays to some departures today.
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an ancient road lined with sphinxes in the southern city of Luxor.
It is the first time archaeologists have revealed the road’s actual route, even though it is mentioned in many ancient texts.
The road reportedly led from the temples of Luxor north to the temple of an ancient goddess called Mut in Karnak.
The Egyptian government says 12 sphinxes were found along the road and were inscribed with names from the last dynasty of pharaohs, from around 360BC.
Most of the sphinxes were missing their heads.
Ancient Egyptians used the road once a year for religious processions.
Egypt is now working to excavate the road’s entire length.
They say it was heavily damaged during Roman times by the construction of more roads and houses on top of it.
Source: ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/15/3067160.htm?section=justin)
Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced on Wednesday the discovery of a 2,800-year-old burial chamber which belongs to a priest named Karakhamun from 25th Dynasty (755 B.C.).
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Culture, the chamber was uncovered during conservation and restoration work on the west bank of Luxor by an Egyptian-American expedition.
“The restoration work of this tomb is part of a much larger project known as the South Asasif Conservation Project (ACP), which contains nobles’ tombs from the New Kingdom, as well as the 25-26th Dynasties,” Hosni said.
“The burial chamber was found at the bottom of an 8m deep burial shaft, Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said.
Hawass said that the chamber is in very good condition and contains beautifully painted scenes, adding that its entrance is decorated with an image of Karakhamun and the ceiling is decorated with several astrological scenes, including a depiction of the sky goddess Nut.
The leader of the expedition, Dr. Elena Pischikova, said that the tomb of Priest Karakhamun was discovered in the 19th century in an unstable condition. It continued to deteriorate, and only parts of it were accessible to visitors in the early 1970s. Later it collapsed and was buried under the sand.
No visit to Egypt is complete without time in Luxor, home to Ancient Egypt’s Golden Age. Egypt’s seat of power from 2,100 to 750 B.C., Luxor is sometimes referred to as “the world’s largest open-air museum.”
During the height of the dynastic era called The New Kingdom, the city’s population reached 1 million. For those key 400 years — from 1567 to 1085 B.C. — Egypt’s power and wealth, and its tremendous cultural achievements, were unrivaled throughout the world.
Everything about life in Ancient Egypt rotated around religion. Take government. The pharaoh, who ruled, was held to be a living god. And the ruling caste was populated by powerful, learned priests whose roles expanded well beyond religion as we think of it. They served as doctors, architects, astronomers, policymakers and more.
Karnak Temple is arguably antiquity’s greatest shrine. It covers more than 100 acres and took more than 1,300 years to build. The celebrated centerpiece of Karnak, the so-called Hypostyle Hall, alone takes up 60,000 square feet. It contains 134 stone columns, each 80 feet tall and 33 feet in diameter. The sight of gigantic stone slabs forming the ceiling of this hall held our little band in awe as we stood below them and tried to imagine ancient engineers tackling the challenge of placing them so perfectly.
Karnak comprised a stunning array of temples, chapels, pylons and obelisks. Eighty thousand men worked there as priests, guards, administrators, servants and laborers. Buried under sand in the dry Egyptian climate for more than 1,000 years, it is among those sites along the Nile that have miraculously survived more or less intact. Even bright colors found on temple columns and walls date from the original construction more than 3,000 years ago.
A mile-long path, once lined on both sides by uninterrupted rows of sphinx statues, leads to Karnak’s satellite site, Luxor Temple. While smaller and more compact than Karnak, Luxor Temple is no less majestic. One enters by an 82-foot-high granite obelisk and three gargantuan, breathtaking statues of Ramses II wearing his signature headpiece and triangle-shaped skirt. Once paired with Luxor’s obelisk was its sister obelisk, which in 1829 was moved to Paris to become the famous centerpiece of the Place de la Concorde.
We were happy to have a full day to visit the sprawling temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor, and another full day to cross over to the west bank of the river to explore the legendary Valley of the Kings.
The valley is, in fact, a labyrinth of concealed passages tucked into a zone of myriad canyonlike formations. Here, the tombs of pharaohs were carved into cliffs below a mountain closely resembling a pyramid. The pyramid form had by then become a critical feature of proper pharaonic burial, not least to link the ruler’s body and spirit back to its source, the life-giving sun.
Earlier pyramids, such as those of Giza, had attracted ancient tomb-raiders. But the Valley of the Kings offered a natural “mountain pyramid,” as well as nooks and crannies where rich treasures, buried with the pharaohs to accompany them into the afterlife, were less likely to be discovered by thieves.
In the end, few tombs escaped cunning robbers — most of the excavated prizes, including those in the tomb of the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun, best known as “King Tut,” are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Most of the tomb walls present scenes from the Book of the Dead, whose mix of magic spells, warnings and prayers was used to prepare the dead for their journey through the underworld and into the afterlife. But scenes of the pharaohs as living, historic people add arresting layers of intimacy in these narrow, subterranean spaces.
Carved into a major cliff on the west bank is the extraordinary mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt’s great female pharaoh.
It is an imposing series of multicolumned terraces that rise from the desert floor to meet the mountainside. Daughter of one pharaoh, and widow of another, Queen Hatshepsut successfully ruled Egypt for 21 years. Although other women of Ancient Egypt reigned as regents, essentially holding power until a male ruler was equipped to take the throne, Hatshepsut was the only female to rule as an actual hereditary pharaoh.
The most astonishing artworks in Hatshepsut’s temple are not those of rulers or famous members of their entourage. Lovingly painted are countless species of birds and fish encountered by the queen’s court on Nile expeditions. These lively scenes shimmer with delicate details and brilliant colors, reminding us that ancient artists observed life on the Nile with remarkable skill and undeniable delight.
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