2022 marks the centennial of one of the greatest archaeological finds in modern history – the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. It was discovered by chance in the world-famous Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile opposite Luxor.
Although many people today refer to the wives of ancient Egyptian kings and female Egyptian pharaohs as queens, in ancient Egypt all the people surrounding the king (pharaoh) were referred to by their relationship to him/her. This was not meant to diminish a woman’s role per se, it was simply because all royal titles emphasized the individual’s relationship to the powerful king.
“This I have actually seen, a work beyond words. For if anyone put together the buildings of the Greeks and display of their labours, they would seem lesser in both effort and expense to this labyrinth… Even the pyramids are beyond words, and each was equal to many and mighty works of the Greeks. Yet the labyrinth surpasses even the pyramids.”
The lives of ancient Egyptians were inextricably intertwined with magic. It was present in everything from religion to politics, and from birth to death. Magic was such a prevalent force that in the early third century AD, the Christian theologian and philosopher Titus Flavius Clemens, better known as Clement of Alexandria, declared that: “Egypt was the mother of magicians.”
A perplexing question that often arises is: why did our ancestors undertake chthonic journeys into the deepest bowels of the earth to express themselves through art against the uneven walls of the darkest caves? Why not paint rock art in more accessible locations?
The Burney Relief is considered one of the most important works of art from the Ancient Near East but continues to be a subject of debate to this day.
Differing from typical Egyptian mummies from around 4000 BC – which would have had their organs stored separately in canopic jars— the mummified remains of a man were discovered in a prehistoric tomb and found with his digestive system intact. Luckily for the researchers, they could even see what his last meal was: a simple soup of barley, green onions, and tilapia.
What do you think about when you are about to visit the Great Pyramid, one of the most iconic ancient monuments in the world? The answer, as you traverse the uneven bedrock towards its elevated location, is its extraordinary size. However big you imagined it to be, it is never enough to fully appreciate its enormous size.