Egypt: Saqqara and Memphis
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Bright and early the next morning we were off to Memphis and Saqqara, two of the most ancient cities in Egypt. Saqqara is the home of some of the most ancient Egyptian pyramids, including King Zosar’s step pyramid and the pyramid of Unas, the last pharaoh of the 5th dynasty.
King Zosar was the fist or second king of the 3rd dynasty of the old kingdom and ruled around 2650 B.C. He ruled for 19 years, which is believed long enough for his pyramid to have been completed before his death. His pyramid is unique in the fact it was built in 6 steps . it is the only pyramid in Egypt that was constructed in this way.
Unas built his pyramid, originally called “Beautiful are the Places of Unas”, near Zosar’s pyramid in Saqqara. He ruled in the mid 2300s B.C. When he passed, the 5th dynasty came to an end, although he had two queens(Nebet and Khenut) he probably had no sons.
Ancient Memphis was founded in 2925 BCE by King Menes and was long known as the capital of Egypt and as such was the home to many of the early pharaohs including Ramses 2. Ramses is generally believed to have been the Pharaoh during the Exodus,and as a consequence, many artifacts from Ramse’s time still adorn the country side.
Wanting to get one more site in before departing for Luxor we stopped at Giza to tour the giant pyramid of Cheops, however the crowds were so great we decided to try another day. After having lunch in the Mena Hotel, it was time to head to the Giza train station for our trip to Luxor, Karnak, and theValley of the Dead.
As is the case everywhere in Egypt, the train was extremely crowded .Five of our group couldn’t get a train until the last one which left at 8:30 PM. Our tour guide decided to take the rest of the group on an earlier train, so he
left us , the younger and single crowd with his brother in charge and went on ahead .It was really a unique experience as we were able to spend some time in this tea room. The cafe had no doors, a dirt floor and the nickel glass of tea had about a half inch of tea grounds in the bottom.
We finally caught the last train out. I was pleasantly surprised, the train was
actually quite modern with excellent accommodations. A light dinner and off to bed in a semi private sleeper coach. Traveling through the Egyptian desert at a
relatively high speed we reached Luxor about 8 the next morning.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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