Islamic Cairo is an amalgam of half a dozen
"cities" established by the dominant people of
the day: the Muslim
troops of Amr, the Umayyads, the
Ikhshidids and the
Fishawi's has been open day and night every day of the year
for over two centuries, serving mint tea, sheeshas and so on.
The Egyptian Museum: Tutankhamun Treasures
The highlight of the Egyptian
Museum is the collection of funerary impedimenta of the boy-king
(1333-1323 BC) numbers 1,700 items. On the left is Tutankhamun's funerary
wearing a nemset headdress inlaid with lapis lazuli, quartz and
obsidian. On the right is the canopic chest
with the four alabaster jars that
contained his viscera; one for each of the liver, stomach, intestines and lungs.
Pyramids of Giza
Built in Dynasty
IV (2575-2465 BC),
there are nine pyramids in all: in the
foreground three of the six Queen's pyramids;
the main pyramids from near to far are the Pyramid of Mycerinus,
the Pyramid of Chephren
and the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
Pyramid of Mycerinus
(Menkaure 2525-2475 BC) began the construction
of his pyramid, but it was finished by
his son Shepseskaf.
Intended to originally represent a guardian deity in the
shape of a lion, the Sphinx had the face of Chephren
(Khafre 2575-2525 BC).
Solar Funerary Barque
The 43-meter cedar-wood barque is the only one to have been
excavated of the five buried around
Great Pyramid of Cheops
(Khufu 2600-2550 BC). Its use is uncertain, but
hypotheses include carrying the
pharaoh through the underworld, or accompanying the sun
god on his daily journey across the heavens.
Sun Temple of Ramses II
Built by Ramses II
(1279-1213 BC). Between 1963 and 1968 the Abu
Simbel temples were moved
to new, higher location to avoid being covered by the rising waters of Lake
Ramses II Colossi
The temple is fronted by four enthroned colossi of Ramses II.
Hall is flanked by eight statues of Ramses in the Osiris position, carrying
crook and flail. The walls have scenes of his campaigns from Syria to Nubia.
Hathor Temple of Queen Nefertari
Temple of Queen Nefertari is fronted by six colossal statues of Ramses II
each accompanied by two smaller figures of their children, Princess
Merytatum and Princess
The Square Hall
The ceiling of the Square
Hall rests on six square Hathor-headed
pillars. The images on the
columns show the king and queen presenting offerings to different gods and
The Nile from Elephantine Island
Aswan sits on the Nile
River, just north of the Aswan
Temple of Isis: the Second Pylon
Originally on Biga Island, the Philae was identified as one of the burial places of
The temples were moved to Aglika
Island between 1972 and 1980 to avoid being submerged as a result of the Aswan
High Dam. The temples
over an 800-year period by
Ptolemaic and Roman rulers who sought to
identify themselves with the Osirian myth and
cult of Isis.
Temple of Isis: the Mammissi
The colonnade of the Mammissi
(Birth House), which is dedicated to the birth of Horus.
Temple of Haroeris and Sobek
dedicated to the falcon-headed god Haroeris (Horus),
the "Good Doctor," and the crocodile-god
Temple of Haroeris and Sobek: Column
Column decorated with hieroglyphics.
Temple of Horus
Built in the
Ptolemaic era, the temple
is dedicated to the cult of the falcon-headed god Horus.
Two black granite falcon statues flank the gate in the pylon,
Ptolemy IX. (ruled 116-110, 109-107, and 88-81 BC)
The Processional Way leads to the massive first pylon,
entrance to the Precinct of Amun
god of the New Kingdom.
Construction of the Precinct lasted for 1,300 years from
XII. The Way is flanked by ram-headed sphinxes, Amun's sacred animal.
The Obelisk of Hatshepsut,
who was the only woman to rule as pharaoh, is 27 meters high and
Luxor Museum: Tuthmosis III
An amazing statue of Tuthmosis
III (ruled 1479-1426 BC) carved from green-black schist.
Luxor Temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun,
his wife Mut and
their son Khonsu.
It was mostly
built by two rulers when the New Kingdom reached its
apogee: Amenhotep III
(1390-1353 BC) of Dynasty XVIII
(whose colonnade is pictured above) and Ramses II
(1279-1213 BC) of Dynasty
Hall of Amenhotep III
On the left, a 25-meter high obelisk, one of a pair; the other
was taken to France
and erected on
the Place de la Concorde. The head of Ramses II
is on the right.
Valley of the Kings
of the Kings contains the tombs of the
burials in the
"Place of Truth" date from early Dynasty
XVIII to XX.
KV 14 Tomb of Tausert and Setnakht
underwent several phases of construction for Tausert
(ruled 1188-1186 BC) as queen and pharaoh,
and is unusual in having two burial chambers. The tomb was taken over for
the burial of Setnakht
(ruled 1190-1187 BC),
founder of the 20th Dynasty, after work on his own tomb (KV
11) was interrupted due to its collision with KV
Wall paintings in the first burial hall (Room
KV 34 Tomb of Tuthmosis III
III (ruled 1479-1426 BC) was cut into the base of a water-worn cleft above
the cliff face
at the head of the southern-most wadi in the Valley of the Kings. The
burial chamber contains his sarcophagus.
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
(1472-1458 BC) was the only
woman to rule Egypt, and called her Mortuary
"Splendor of Splendors." She was the daughter of Tuthmosis
I; she married his successor Tuthmosis
Unfortunately she was widowed before bearing a son, and instead made herself co-regent with
Valley of the Queens: Tomb of Queen Nefertari
was the principal wife of Ramses II
(1279-1213 BC); her tomb is one of the most beautiful and largest ever found.
Some of the wall paintings depict scenes from the Book
of the Dead.
Habu is the Arabic name for the Mortuary Temple of Ramses III
(1187-1156 BC) of Dynasty
was the Mortuary Temple of Ramses II
(1279-1213 BC). The fallen
colossus of Ramses II was originally 17 meters tall, weighing about a thousand tons.
Feluccas are lateen-sailed
boats that may originally have been introduced into Egypt by the Romans.
Road to Mount Sinai
Road across the Sinai
from Sharm-el-Sheikh via
St. Catherine's Monastery
The origins of this Greek
date back to 337 AD when the
Byzantine Empress Helena (St.
Catherine) ordered the
construction of a chapel around the
putative Burning Bush. Believers maintain she was born in 294 AD in
Alexandria of a noble family, converted
persecuted, including an attempt to break her on a spiked wheel (hence the
name Catherine Wheel).
Summit of Mount Sinai: 7,498'
Sinai is venerated by Christians,
Muslims as the site of
God's revelation of the Ten
Sunset from Mount Sinai.