Sunday, November 12, 2006
photos from egypt week 1
Driving on the street in Cairo, you can see the pyramids in the distance. The rich Cairo citizens want to buy flats with a "pyramid view".
Brian (my friend and ex-coworker from Microsoft) is friends with an archaeological team. Here he is with one of the archaeologists, when we went to their dig site.
The team carefully sifts through every basket of sand they excavate.
They disagree with the common theory that the pyramid workers were slaves. They found a number of cow bones, suggesting the workers were fed beef.
The archaeologist tent looks just like in the movies.
In the tent.
Lobby of the fanciest hotel in Cairo. We didn't stay here; just came in to withdraw money from the ATM (which turned out to be broken).
Felucca (small sailboat) ride on the Nile.
The rest of our group arrived in Cairo.
The inside of a 800-year-old mosque.
Brent and Julie posing in front of a sarcophagus.
Dan looking out of a carved window, at the Cairo street below.
Mingjing at lunch in the Hilton.
Me with strawberry juice, mango juice, and Turkish coffee.
Then I improved on this by getting a single fruit drink with all the juices layered together.
An early step pyramid. They didn't figure out how to build the gigantic smooth pyramids all at once. They took it ... one step at a time. Pun intended.
This reminds me of the last day in Cairo, driving during dusk. We passed a cylindrical tower, and several people commented on how phallic the building was.
"I've seen more phallic things," I said.
"But mostly on people, right?" Dan said.
Hypostyle grid of columns. It was similar to the Lord of the Rings underground hall where Gandalf runs away from the balrog.
Luxor temple at night.
Andrew looking very much like my imagination of a Caucasian traveler to Egypt from 1850.
Avenue of the Sphinxes. The Luxor mayor decided to increase tourism, so he dug up a field where he suspected sphinxes were buried. In so doing, he overturned the soil. By the time archaeologists rushed to the scene, the soil layering was lost. It is impossible to tell the time period for pottery shards and tool fragments found in the jumble, or to re-create the context of which piece laid next to which other piece.
To top it off, they didn't even find sphinxes in the field.