Sunday, March 29, 2009

As promised Giza PLUS cartouches

Click on the above link
In 1799 a French Officer at Fort Julien in el-Rashid in Egypt uncovered a granite rock carved with three scripts: hieroglyphs, popular Egyptian, and ancient Greek. The slab was the key to deciphering hieroglyphs - later it was called the Rosetta Stone after a local town. Scholars examining this stone called the oval enclosures "cartouches" from the French for the paper rolls or cartridges used to hold the powder for muskets, since the enclosures resembled these rolls.
A cartouche is an ancient Egyptian design, first known as a shen. The shen or cartouche, dating back some 5,000 years, is a hieroglyphic rope looped and tied at the bottom, forming a closed circle. The encircling rope symbolizes eternity with no beginning or end, often enclosing a sun, indicating the king’s rule over the cosmos. The shen is seen in many ancient Egyptian artifacts, often grasped in the talons of various avian gods, hovering protectively over a ruling king.

Around the close of the 3rd Dynasty, (circa 2575 BC) Huni used a cartouche to enclose his sovereign name. Over time the cartouche became vertically elongated to hold the cuneiform glyphs of longer royal names. A double-cartouche was sometimes used to display the royal name alongside the given, or birth name. Egyptians believed that writing down a name was important, or the soul risked being lost after death. This might explain why the cartouche appears on many royal sarcophagi.

The cartouche was such a powerful symbol that Tuthmosis III (1504 BC - 1450 BC) dictated his entire burial chamber, as discovered in the Valley of the Kings, be cartouche-shaped, along with his sarcophagus. Temple inscriptions from the Greco-Roman Period also show the cartouche holding names of gods, such as Osiris and Isis.

Today anyone can enjoy the royal blessing of a custom cartouche with his or her name in hieroglyphics. A cartouche can hang from a necklace, bracelet, or can be purchased as earrings. Custom cartouches come in many styles in both gold and silver.

Needless to say the females in our family now have one, although they have not received them YET!

Among the major tourist sites, there is only one considered to be “The major” and on top of any list - The Pyramids of Giza. Our Security Guard “Rambo” such a nice gentleman as well as our key through many security checkpoints!
There are three main Pyramids here, which were built in the 4th Dynasty (circa 4650 B.C). The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt were built as tombs for Kings (and Queens), and it was the exclusive privilege to have a Pyramid tomb. However, this tradition only applied in the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Today there are more than 93 Pyramids in Egypt; the most famous ones are those at Giza.
The outer covering of this pyramid was originally very pure white limestone which would have shone like gold in the sun. It was robbed away for use in building the modern city of Cairo in the Middle Ages. The white limestone coating is preserved only on the top of Chefren’s (Kafre's) pyramid.
Going into the inside
The Giza necropolis, situated in the immediate vicinity of the southwestern suburbs of modern Cairo is probably one of the most famous ancient sites in the world.
Yup we were REALLY there!
Many pictures of a really awesome place.
Giza after a sandstorm wow!
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a reclining lion with a human head that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile, near modern-day Cairo, in Egypt. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 m (241 ft) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and 20 m (65 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the third millennium BCE.[1] The Great Sphinx faces due east and houses a small temple between its paws.
Solar Boat In a pit by the Great Pyramid, archaeologists discovered a boat made of cedar wood, 142 feet long and 20 feet wide. After being built, the boat was dismantled into 1224 pieces and buried. The individual boards were not put together by nails or pegs, but holes in the boards allowed the boards to be sewn together with rope. This was a very effective method since wood expands when it is placed in water. In many cases, boats were buried on all four sides of the pyramids. They were probably intended for the pharaoh to be able to sail in any direction from the pyramid. You can see that museum in the next picture, the white building. Sadly there was no time to see this.
Khafra or Khafre (Greek Χεφρήν, Chephren) *ḫāʕaf-riʕu) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the Fourth dynasty, who had his capital at Memphis. According to some authors he was the son and successor of Khufu, but it is more commonly accepted that Djedefra was Khufu's successor and Khafra was Djedefra's. Khafra's two chief wives were Queen Meresankh III whose mastaba tomb is located at Giza and Queen Khamaerernebty I who was the mother of his successor, Menkaura.
Related Websites
The Pyramids Survey at Giza (Waseda University) Investigation of the pyramids and Sphinx using scientific technology to avoid any destruction to the site.
Excavations at Giza (University of Chicago, Oriental Institute) A report on Mark Lehner's excavations in Areas A, B and C, with site diagrams and pictures.
History of Giza (NOVA Online) A concise description of the history and construction of the pyramids.
Pyramids of Ancient Egypt (Tour Egypt) A good general description and chronology of the pyramids, with nice pictures and diagrams, as well as links to specific information about the pyramids of Cheops (Khufu), Chephren (Khafre) and the pyramid complex of Menkaure.
Giza Introduction (Egyptian Monuments) Good overview of Giza with links to more information regarding the pyramids, tombs, Sphinx and solar boat museum, illustrated with great pictures.
The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh (Sir Flinders Petrie) An electronic version of this book recounting the most significant survey ever conducted of the Giza plateau.
Pyramids and Environs (Bluffton College) A collection of photos with descriptions with links to an Egypt index which includes photos of the Sphinx, the Valley Temple of Khafre and the funerary boat.


Lilli & Nevada said...

This is fabulous and what great history you have told, wish i had the time to look at all the websites,i love stuff like this

Jenny said...

Wow! This part brought back 24 year old memories. I couldn't go in the pyramids because I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter. I'm so jealous! The site is much better looking now. I read through the years about the improvements and the new discoveries using sonar. Mabruke to the Egyptians! (congratulations)

I was walking around the big plaza just gazing in awe at the pyramids when a drunk (high on hashish?) camel owner tried to get me to go for a ride. While I wasn't fat then, I was visibly pregnant and carried all of it forward. Many thought I was due that day. The police office could barely contain himself trying to get the drunk and his camel off the pristine plaza. (No animals allowed at all to prevent doodoo droppings.) We soon became an attraction. I don't know if they were laughing bec/ the guy was wasted or if they were imagining how a pregnant lady with my belly size was going to actually make it onto the camel. Fortunately, the police office saved me, and I never had another opportunity to ride a camel.