Archives for February 8, 2020

The Great Sphinx and Egyptian Museum

From the pyramids in a suburb of Cairo, Egypt, we went to see the adjacent Great Sphinx, a limestone statue of a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a man, thought to represent King Khufu. It is 240 feet long and 66 feet high. The idea is that the combination of a lion’s body and a man’s head is to show that the king is both strong and wise.

From the Great Sphinx we then traveled this afternoon to the famous Egyptian Museum which is packed with 120,000 items thousands of years old. Sherif and Mark were our guides all day. They are standing with their wives in front of the huge statue of the Pharaoh who is thought to be the one who hardened his heart to Moses’s commands: “Let my people go.”

Most impressive was the display of King Tutankhamun, the young king who ruled Egypt 1334-1325 B.C. and took the throne at age eight or nine. As with other kings, he was buried in a pyramid with thousands of treasures and trinkets, which they intended for him to use in the afterlife. The difference is that the tomb raiders that ransacked other pyramids never found this one. It was discovered in 1922 and has given archeologists and historians a greatly expanded view into Egyptian history.

Camel Ride

All around the pyramids men are selling souvenirs and rides. Mary took a picture of a camel passing by, and the man turned back and said, “Come here. Stand by my camel. Take a picture.” Before we knew it, we were on the camel, and the camel was standing up. Mary hung on the post, and I hung onto Mary! We felt like we would be catapulted off the front! After Mary got off, the man pushed my sun hat back and started wrapping his turban around my head, and told the camel to stand again.

Visiting the Pyramids

This morning we went to see the Egyptian pyramids, which are more than impressive. In all, there are 80 pyramids in Egypt. The three largest make up the Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo. Some are so old, that they would have been built before Abraham lived, and he probably would have seen them. The Great Pyramid is the tomb of King Khufu, and it was built 4,560 years ago. It is 455 feet high and the length of each side of the base measures 756 feet.

Sherif and Marian, Mark and Rosie, Mary and I were privileged to visit the three most famous of these impressively engineered structures. So many ancient people had to focus all their time and energy on survival, but the Egyptians had the Nile River nearby, so they had ready sources of food and water. Thus, they had time and energy to devote to inventions and expanding their knowledge. Until today, however, no one can fully explain how they built these amazing structures.