Exploring Egyptian Pyramids
Explore Pyramids of Egypt With Your Personal
The ancient sights you've come to see are often smack-dab in the
middle of contemporary Egypt. It can
jar you. We took off for our visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza expecting to find them lone silhouettes in the
desert. Instead, they sit at the edge of the modern city. The Temple of Luxor is situated alongside the highway
through town; a guard rail runs along its one edge.
Ancient Egyptian Monuments
Don't think, though, that, because these ancient monuments are so
accessible, you might as well explore them on your own. We're not tour group types, so we wanted to travel
independently. But we engaged the services of private guides for each leg of the trip. We ventured off only twice
on our own, and, looking back, I wish we'd had the guides with us those days, too.
The great blocks of stone, still standing these centuries later, are
impressive, no doubt. But if you have a good guide, they become more than engineering and architectural feats. They
And the stories surrounding Egypt pyramids help introduce you to a
group of people who seem to have been extraordinarily adept at figuring things out. The list of what the ancient
Egyptians accomplished, developed, constructed, and invented is long.
These ancient temples even today offer unexplained
mysteries and inspire awe
from visitors to Egypt. (Image by Pixabay.com)
Egypt Pyramids Local Guide
And maybe embellished. One evening, touring the Temple of Kom Obo
after dark, our guide interrupted his interpretations of the hieroglyphs we were walking past to call up a photo on
his cell phone. The tiny image showed a wall of hieroglyphics in another temple.
"What do you see?" asked Mohmoud.
No question, the image on the phone's screen showed reliefs of a
helicopter, a military plane, and a submarine. Mohmoud had seen them for himself on the wall of this other temple,
These weren't ancient drawings that kind of resembled a helicopter
and a sub if you looked at them at certain angles. The images were clear and undeniable. Mohmoud says tests were
done to determine the age and authenticity of these raised carvings, which were proven to date from the same time
as the others surrounding them.
What to make of this? I don't know.
Egyptians were forward thinkers
Even if they didn't imagine 20th-century military paraphernalia,
though, these Egyptians from five, six, and seven millennia ago were forward-thinkers. They performed surgery,
including cosmetic surgery. Hieroglyphics and drawings show that Cleopatra (the Cleopatra; there were seven) had
her nose improved at this Temple of Kom Obo we were exploring by lamplight.
"We believe they used something similar to hashish as
anesthetic," Mohmoud offered.
They used Nilometers to measure the rise and fall of the river, thus
predicting the annual harvest and projecting the yearly tax revenues, which were based on yield. They carved
1,000-ton obelisks from single blocks of granite in Aswan, then maneuvered the 150-foot creations onto boats to be
carried down the Nile to Luxor and from there distributed throughout the country.
The ancient Egyptians constructed temples on colossal scales, carved
and painted miles of underground tombs, and, over 4,000 years, refined their practice of mummification to a level
that 21st-century scientists can't match.
They measured the 24 hours in each day using water buckets and
tracked their 10-day weeks and four-month seasons with the help of gargantuan calendars etched into temple walls.
They built the world's first lighthouse, on the Mediterranean at Alexandria, and its first stone monument, too,
still standing tall at Memphis. They played a game like chess, made wine, kept pets, and mapped the
One thing they didn't do was discover electricity. How, then, did
they light the pyramid tunnels, tombs, and catacombs they so beautifully adorned? Torches would have smoked the
walls black. One day, at the Valley of the Nobles, one of the tomb guides gave us the answer. As we descended
belowground, he positioned a mirror against a rock at the entrance so that it reflected the North African sun to
follow us. As we moved from chamber to chamber, the guide walked behind us with another mirror, which he used to
catch the light and reflect it again in the directions we gazed. The rooms and corridors brightened in turn with