March 16, 2012

Last day with Ancient Egyptian Pyramids | Travel To Egypt Story

Even today, it is not too unusual for one to find, while walking in the sand, fragments of the past life, shards of a bygone age. When visiting these places, I would often walk with my eyes cast down, searching the sand around my feet. Although I never found anything of significance, I heard of someone who found what appeared to be part of a woman’s necklace this way. It is likely that a number of these fragments were dropped as thieves made their getaway, carrying out their plunder under the cover of night. The restless, constant movement of the sands would soon bury from view the articles they dropped, and they remain undiscovered until that same movement of the sand reveals them once again. I found the image of these plunderers, been a number of mysterious deaths among the people who investigate the ancient ruins of Egypt, deaths for which there is no apparent logical explanation. Some are attributed to the Curse of the Pharaohs.

Ancient Egyptian Pyramids
The first victim of the curse is considered to be Lord Carnarvon, an English nobleman who was a member of the party excavating the tomb of Tutankhamen. The tomb was discovered in 1922, and in the following year, Lord Carnarvon was stung on the cheek by a mosquito while at the site in the Valley of the Kings. The bite turned septic and resulted in his death by blood poisoning. The story goes that at the moment of his death the entire city of Cairo was plunged into darkness by a sudden power failure. The idea of a curse seems to have been actually generated by the English mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who, writing of the incident, remarked, “His Lordship’s death may possibly have been the result of elements laid down by the priests of Tutankhamen, to protect the Pharaoh’s tomb.”

Since the death of Lord Carnarvon, there have been about twenty people connected with the excavations whose deaths, in road accidents, by suicide or assassination, have been linked to the curse. Some people claim that at the entrance to the tomb of Tutankhamen there is a notice with the warning: “Anyone touching the tombs of the Pharaohs is likely to invite sudden death.”

Of course, there are many who scoff at the idea of a curse. Leonard Cottrell, an English archeologist and commentator, temporarily ended the argument when he wrote that the three most important people connected with the excavation of the Tutankhamen’s tomb, including Howard Carter, the man who actually discovered it, all survived to live completely normal lives. After a considerable lapse of time, however, the controversy flared up again with the recent death of Emery. It is possible that Egyptians simply enjoy events draped in the cloth of mystery. But today, with so many mysteries still unsolved by modem science, people may retain an incomprehensibly strong feeling of morbid curiosity about such things and a belief in the existence of a world of malevolent spirits. Supporting my theory is the popularity of books and movies dealing with the occult, particularly the demonic occult. For instance in the mid- 1970’s, movie-goers flocked to theaters to be scared by such films as The Exorcist and The Omen.

No less thrilling than the pyramid fields and hillside tombs, complete with the story of the curse of the Pharaohs, is the great labyrinth of Fayum. The Fayum is located to the west of the Nile, about one hundred kilometers south of Memphis. The labyrinth was a great palace built by King Amenemhat III, a ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty (2000—1785 B.C.). Visiting the Fayum in the fifth century B.C., Herodotus expressed his profound amazement at the wonder of the labyrinth: “I have seen the labyrinth with my own eyes, but its wonder defies description, not all the mansions and monuments in all of Greece, if gathered together, could compare in terms of magnitude, in labor and cost to the labyrinth of Fayum. It exceeds the Pyramids.”

This labyrinth, as its name implies, is a vast complex of over 3,000 rooms stretching both above and below the ground, joined by a maze of passages, a veritable honeycomb. Yet the words of Herodotus tell only half the story, for apparently, he was only allowed to see the upper rooms.

The part of the labyrinth that was above ground has long since crumbled away to dust, but it is believed that the underground passages still exist somewhere under the lush green of this oasis. On June 3, 1974, it was announced that the tomb of a Pharaoh, estimated to have been built around 2000 B.C., had been discovered fifteen meters below the surface. The tomb contained numerous artifacts along with a magnificent stone sarcophagus inlaid with gold. Excavation was started at once, and it is possible that as progress is made part of the underground chambers of the labyrinth, which have so long remained hidden, will once again come to light.

Al Fayyum Lake
Fayum, and the area immediately surrounding it, is below sea level and is the oasis closest to the Nile. It is on the west side. There, a number of flourishing agricultural settlements are gathered around Lake Qaroun, and the flavor of figs and chickens from this region is delicious. Fayum is also a prosperous rose-growing center, producing quantities of rose oil for domestic use and for export. When the roses are in bloom, they scent the entire region with their gentle perfume.


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