Monday, September 10, 2012

In the Valley of the Kings (7 Nov 2008)

As much as my imagination is tickled by the idea of the curse of a mummy, I don't really hold any belief in the power of that kind of supernatural mumbo jumbo over me (if things like mummy's curses indeed exist, I believe they are trumped by a protective Heavenly Father who I know is watching over me). But I did watch a tv special one time that investigated the science behind the mummy's curse, and it found that Howard Carter may have been killed by bacteria in Tutankhamun's tomb. So I was not totally without trepidation when entering the Valley of the Kings to see some of these tombs for myself...almost, because how many tourists enter these tombs each year and nothing ever happens to them? (following photo courtesy of Belynda Azhaar)
So anyways, yesterday we visited the Valley of the Kings (admission was 50 Egyptian pounds each), seeing Ramses I, Tuthmosis III, and the tomb of Tawosret, from which she was later evicted by her successor Sethnakht. I wanted to see Seti I, but it's closed the public, and Ramses III, which was being restored, and Ramses VI, but that was an extra charge. I had no interest in Tutankhamun's tomb. The book said it was mostly unfinished, and besides which, I'd seen just about everything but Tut himself in the Egyptian museum, so I could skip it, in light of the extra admission.
Anyways, the tombs were pretty fricking incredible...stiflingly hot from so many tourists coming down and breathing in them, but then, what was I but another tourist? If none of them were able to come, neither would I have been admitted. And it was worth it to see the beauty of the paintings, which had been sheltered from the elements and shone with much of the beauty that they had when first completed. The large stone sarcophagus was still in the tomb, and you could shine your flashlight in to see that they'd even carved the inside. How funny, in our modern thinking, to make things of such exquisite beauty, just to shut them away (hopefully) forever? It also makes you realize how incredibly colorful the temples - such as the funerary temple of Seti I, which we visited afterwards, both by a taxi we hired for the half day - once were.
We did some shopping later, a little more patient with the obnoxious shopkeepers today - and I bought a galabeya that I'd seen in another shop, for $20 less than they had asked. It was a good day. Today I read and Belinda prepared herself for the lesson she's taking when we get back to Cairo, and tomorrow is more tombs and temples, this time again on a bike, before heading back to Cairo.

No comments:

Post a Comment