Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pyramids of Egypt

Great Pyramids in Egypt

Over the years I have been fascinated with pyramids. My first was seen in the late 70’s while in Egypt at the world famous great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza.
A dear friend of mine, who was born in Lebanon, had always wanted to go the land of his birth. He was not a seasoned traveler and asked if I would allow him and his wife to join me on a trip I was preparing.
We had flown into Cairo after darkness from London and were taken to Giza and checked into a nice Swiss owned hotel. Since we had traveled by air for two days our body clock was off so I woke up before sunrise and decided I would take a walk. While sitting to rest, the sun began to rise behind me and the rays shown through a row of trees between me and some usual structures. The longer I stared the more they began to take shape. It was a row of pyramids
This was my first time to view them and I was overwhelmed by the size of these ancient wonders.
Suddenly, the older gentleman slowly came up behind me and I turned to look at him and he was crying. He was rejoicing to look at things he had only read about or been told by his parents over the years. We viewed them together with great interest.
Later that day we learned the closer one to us was the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. I learned that day it was the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that survives substantially intact. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2551 BC. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.
The next day were visited some ruins in the area of Memphis, Egypt, about 12 miles south of Cairo. According to Herodotus, Memphis was founded around 3100 BC by Menes, who united the two kingdoms of Egypt.
We viewed a number of items there including an open-air museum. This museum has many Ancient Egyptian statues on display, the most notable one being the 33ft Colossus of Ramesses II, held in a small indoor building on the site.
On the way back to our hotel were saw the tomb of Zoser (His official name was Netjerykhet) who had also been a Pharaoh during a period when little is known about the kings of Egypt in the old Kingdom. It had been designed by the first named architect, Imhotep, around the twenty-seventh century B.C. This first Egyptian pyramid consisted of six mastabas (of decreasing size) built atop one another. The pyramid stood over 200 feet high, and was clad in polished white limestone.
Around the structure were statues of Egyptian gods and of Zoser himself with family members. Zoser is seen in a life size throne. Beneath the pyramid is an underground structure of unusual size with galleries and about 400 rooms. The whole site has been called, “a vast city of the dead.”
Later we saw the painted limestone statue of Zoser in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which is the oldest known life-sized Egyptian statue.
At every pyramid one is stuck with the size of the foundation to support its height. We can take a spiritual message from this as the Bible says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. “-- 1 Corinthians 3:11

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