Photographer's Note


It is said that "Man fears time, yet time fears the Pyramids!" Those colossal edifices, linked inextricably to Egypt, date back to the "Old Kingdom," 4500 years ago.

In 1997 I had been giving lectures on Egyptology on the ‘Silver Wind,’ a ship belonging to the Italian-owned Silverseas Cruise Line. The cruise had commenced in Mumbai, India, visited Dubai and Aden, before entering the Red Sea (from there, it went on to Haifa, Cyprus and Istanbul). When the ship visited the Egyptian Red Sea port of Safaga, an announcement was made regarding a “Silver Seas Experience” — a surprise shore excursion for all the passengers to the storied ruins of Luxor, Karnak, the Valley of the Kings and the Tomb of Queen Hapshetsut. The 300+ passengers on board were transported 3 hours each way by a convoy of buses for an overnight excursion to the site in Upper Egypt, which is, of course, a misnomer. The Nile flows north to the Mediterranean from Upper Egypt in the South to Lower Egypt in the North.

The New Kingdom, centered around Luxor and Karnak (or ancient Thebes), dates back to over 3000 years ago. The extraordinarily well preserved hieroglyphic carvings seen here decorate a monumental slab at the entrance to the temple dedicated to the trio of Gods Amun, Mut and Chons in Luxor. The carvings depict scenes of the military victories by the armies of Ramses —most significantly in the Battle of Kadesh against the Hittites from central Anatolia (as it was, this was a somewhat dubious claim; history does not reveal Ramses’s victory, but more likely that a stalemate occurred in the battle). Originally six colossal statues of Ramses flanked the main entrance to the temple complex — four of them seated, and two standing, but only the two seated have survived. Visitors can also see a 25 meter (82 ft) tall pink obelisk carved of granite, originally one of a matching pair (in 1835 one of the two obelisks was taken to Paris, and erected in the center of Place de la Concorde). The remaining obelisk and one of the seated colossal statues of Ramses were seen in a pair of photographs, Fisheye on Luxor and Luxor in Silhouette, posted last year in February and October, respectively.

This photo was shot with a 35-70 mm Nikkor lens, mounted on a Nikon N-90. I used a circular polarizing filter and Kodachrome-64 slide film. Recently I scanned this slide for posting at Trekearth. In lieu of a tripod, I used a low wall to steady the camera.

Warm regards to my Trekearth friends.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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