September 8, 2018

THE COLOSSI OF ABU SIMBEL

Three hundred kilometers south of Aswan right in the middle of the Nubian desert close to the border of Sudan, stands this humongous stone temple dedicated to the Egyptian god Ramesses. Rising 21 meters (that’s about 7 stories), the four enthroned statues of Egypt’s greatest pharaoh-god who was described as “a powerful lion with claws extended and a terrible roar”, sat in silence gazing into eternity while facing the sun that rose in the east. I think the primary purpose in building this was to instill awe and fear in the hearts of his enemies, the Nubians who were living at the farthest southern periphery of his empire.   Centuries…

June 19, 2018

THE THREE PYRAMIDS IN GIZA

Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. This triumvirate has stood still for what seems to be since time immemorial on the Giza Necropolis a few kilometers outside present-day Cairo. Still as magnificent and mysterious as when they were first built some 4,500 years ago, they are a sight to behold. The largest one, Khufu (Cheops), built in 2560 BC stands at 146 meters tall and was for some 3,500 years the tallest structure on earth. The second one, Khafre (Chephren) is smaller at 136 meters but looks taller because it is slightly elevated and has part of its smooth casing still intact at the tip. The more modest one in size, Menkaure…