Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Below are some photos of a few of the more important pyramids that lie not too far from Cairo along with a few exhibits from the Egyptian Museum.

I took loads of photos of many other ancient Egyptian temples which can be seen on either side of the Nile all the way up to the Sudanese border almost a thousand kilometres away, but unfortunately most of these have been lost.

Zoser’s step pyramid at Saqqara when constructed in 27th Century BC (almost 5000 years ago!) was the largest structure ever built

The Red Pyramid at Dashur, some 40 kms from Cairo was built by Cheops’ (he of the great pyramid of Giza fame) father and is only 10m smaller than it’s more well known counterpart. However, it has the much greater advantage of being more isolated and much quieter. I only had a few guardians for company and wandered into its very heart on my own.

The Bent Pyramid also at Dashur was also built by Cheops’ dad. It would be the largest of all had they continued at the original angle, but for some unknown reason the slope changes half way up. As you can see it is even quieter here than at the Red Pyramid and the security guard on view has little to do all day but try to avoid the baking sun by sitting under his shade.

What the tourists all come to see – the pyramids at Giza. You can actually get away from the crowds quite easily. In fact in common with quite a few locals (rich ones it must be said) I used to hire a horse from the nearby stables and go riding out across dunes. What these photos don’t show are the sprawling suburbs of Cairo trying to edge into view on the right.

Egyptian Cavalry

Egyptian Museum

For me the most famous item in any museum in the world. King Tut’s death mask. I went to the museum a few times and I almost always had it to myself, just sitting there staring out from a simple glass case.

I’m not sure whether this counts as ancient Egypt or modern Cairo – the statue of Ramses II outside his railway station. NB In 2006 it was moved away from the pollution and grime of Cairo’s streets to the new museum by the Giza pyramids.

Many many miles south of Cairo on the shores of Lake Nasser lies the amazing Abu Simbel temple. Unfortunately I only have this photo of my time there.

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