An April 2004 trip
to Cairo by lwoodie
Quote: Having become interested in King Tutankhamun when I was 6, I had high hopes for this trip. I expected it to be the
thing of my dreams with colorful hieroglyphics, the Sphinx looking over the land, and King Ramses II in bejeweled splendor. And you
know what? I was right.
Attraction | "The Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 25, 2004
Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)
Giza Pyramids Plateau
+20 2 383 8823
Attraction | "The Egyptian Museum"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 31, 2004
+20 (2) 579 6974
Attraction | "TheTemple at Philae"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 31, 2004
The Temple at Philae
If you have not visited any other site that displays mummies, or if you have not yet seen the mummy of an animal, this small museum might be of interest. Only a cursory knowledge of the process can be gleaned, however, and you will find yourself wanting to see more. At the time of out visit, the mummy of Seti I was housed in the Luxor Museum, right across the street. Though we did not have the opportunity to see him, if you are in the area and have another hour to spare, you might want to see how the royal mummies were prepared and how well they have been preserved. For an even better example of the artistry of the ancient embalmers, visit the Egyptian Museum.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 2, 2004
The Mummification Museum
The corniche, in front of the Mina Palace Hotel
Attraction | "The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut"
The temple sits at the head of the Valley of the King’s overshadowed by the Peak of Thebes in Deir el-Bahri. As queens were generally buried in the Valley of the Queens, Queen Hatshepsut broke the mold and placed her mortuary temple and tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The reliefs depict her birth and pay homage to the sun god Amun. They also depict the queen’s journey on the Red Sea to Punt, the land of incense. The queen brought frankincense trees from Punt to decorate the front of her temple.
A row of statues stood along the first terrace that depicted Queen Hatshepsut as a woman. Those statues were destroyed in Tuthmosis III’s reign. The row of statues on the second terrace are those of Queen Hatshepsut depicted as a man with a false beard. Those statues, believed to be of someone else, were left standing.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 6, 2004
Hatshepsut Temple - Deir el-Bahri
Attraction | "The Valley of the Kings"
We saw three tombs during our visit: Ramses III, Ramses IX, and Tutankhamun.
Ramses III, possibly the grandson of Ramses II and ruler of Egypt between 1184-1153 BC, is considered the last of the great pharaohs on the throne, having waged many successful military campaigns. His tomb is promoted as the best in the valley for its color. The tomb with its reds, mustards, and cobalts were unbelievably vibrant. Every inch of the wall and ceiling was covered with hieroglyphics and pictures showing the procession of the king from life to death, escorted by the Gods Hours and Anubis.
Ramses IX ruled Egypt's 20th Dynasty from about 1125/21 to 1107/03 BC. Not much is known about this king, and his tomb was robbed of most of the antiquities. His mummy was found in the Deir el-Bahari cache alongside Seti I, Amenhotep I, and Tuthmosis II. His tomb also held many of the colorful hieroglyphics, including astronomical signs and scenes from the Book of the Dead.
Tutankhamun's tomb is surprisingly small. It is located beneath the doorway for another tomb. King Tutankhamun’s tomb went unnoticed by excavators and tomb robbers. The tomb was discovered when a worker slipped on what was the first step leading down toward the tomb. With this workers discovery, the world was introduced to the splendor of the Egyptians like never before.
Tutankhamun ruled between 1334 and 1325 BC. His tomb was far from being prepared for his death because he was an adolescent. Only the room that held his mummy has any hieroglyphics – the Hours of the Apes and the Opening of the Mouth ceremony (a ritual that is supposed to restore the senses), to name a few of the scenes. The wall is painted a brilliant mustard and the features of the king and the gods are incredibly clear. The corridor, antechamber, annex, and treasury are unadorned. The entrance to the burial chamber was originally guarded by two tall, black statues in Tutankhamun’s image – they are meant to represent his ka. The antechamber and treasury were jam packed with the things he would need in the after life: his childhood things like the sandals he wore when he was 9 years old, offerings, and the mummies of two babies – possibly his daughters.
King Tutankhamun’s mummy lay in his sarcophagus beneath four gold shrines one nested inside the other. It contained three coffins and the famous death mask. The outermost coffin was wood and gold plated. The next coffin was bejeweled with coral and turquoise. The innermost coffin was made of solid gold. King Tutankhamun’s mummy now lies in what was his outermost coffin in his sarcophagus within his tomb at the Valley of the Kings.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 15, 2004
Valley of the Kings
West Bank of the Nile in the Theban Necropolis
Now, when the morning sun rises to dry the dew, the wind whistles through the cracks of the statue, as though calling out, wailing. Because of this they were equated by the early Greek travelers with the figure of Memnon, the son of Aurora who's mother, Eos, was the goddess of dawn. To be granted a song meant that you were very much in favor of the gods. The Roman emperor Septimius Severus repaired the statues in 199 AD, silencing their son forever.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 17, 2004
Colossi of Memnon
Under the cover of night, the people painted the graves of the dead, making offering scenes that rivaled those of the kings. They didn’t carve their figures into stone as they did with the kings – probably because they did have access to the tools. But their tombs were more vibrant than the kings after so many years, with mustards and red jumping out at you from the walls the moment you step foot in the chamber.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 17, 2004
The Ancient Worker Village at Deir El Medineh
Deir El Medine
Attraction | "The Temple of Luxor"
As was everything else, the temple was, at one point, covered by sand and hidden. The mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu al-Hajjaj was built over it. This mosque was preserved when the temple was uncovered and forms an integral part of the site today.
The temple also has a relief that shows the way the temple looked in its heyday – this is the only relief of its kind on any temple walls. The Temple Amun at Karnak and the Temple of Luxor used to be connected by the Avenue of the Sphinxes.
Sun Temples of Abu Ghurab
1km North East of Sahure's Pyramid
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 18, 2004
Oak Hill, Virginia