October 2002 Trip
Day 7 (Part 1)
Egypt Tour Day 2 (Part 1)
Friday, October 18th, 2002

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So, here we are on the first full day in Egypt. Before we get on with today's agenda first some housekeeping things and a very short course in very early Egyptian history.

The map to the left will appear from time to time to show where I am in Egypt. There are many names on this map but the important ones to this trip have been made larger to assist in the identifying the locations.

The trip started in Cairo just to the left of this text and continued by flying to Luxor about midway down. The Nile cruise started here and sailed south to the various locations with the larger labels to Aswan. After several days there the cruse returned back to Luxor stopping in the same places. I then flew back to Cairo and on the last day took an extra excursion to Alexandria. Got to spend an extra day in Cairo due to weather in England (fully explained later).

The background colour of these Egypt pages is supposed to look something like sand (it's a bit to dark on my monitor but it's the best I could do). Sand is something there is no shortage of in Egypt.

Now for a bit of early Egyptian history. This version is based on the version contained in a book called Art and History of Egypt: 5000 years of Civilization by Bonechi Press of Italy. For copywrite reasons I can't use their words or images but here is the gist of their version of history. In this version it is said that in the Paleolithic era there was a land bridge from Italy to Tunisia via Malta. Sometime between 10,000 and 8000 BC this all sank (due to some unknown cataclysm) and there was a great climate change. The Nile river began to follow its present route around this time. Many different peoples traveled through this area during this period. The period this trip mostly covers starts around 4000 BC and goes up to several 100 years BC. Egyptians seem to think their history begins with the realm of Osiris.

Osisis did many great things for Egyptians such as how to deal with the yearly Nile floods, working with metals, and grow food amongst many other achievements.After completing this he went off to Mesopotamia to do the same thing. On his return his brother Seth killed him and dismembered him and scattered his part all around Egypt. Isis, Osiris's wife was so grieved by this that she went and collected his parts and a miracle was caused by Isis's tears and he was brought back to life. After this there was another child called Horus and Osiris ascended into heaven. The reference book doesn't tell us this part of the story but tour guide Ahmed said that she found all of Osiris's parts but his private one!!!! There was something about it being eaten by a fish in the Nile and that's way it was never found. Horus grew up and after quite a battle defeated Seth and took up his fathers cause. Nobody really knows but some people think that the famous Sphinx in Giza is actually a monument to Osiris. Apparently there is no known link between the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid a short distance away.

There are many other twists and turns but Osiris seems to be the most important. The other important thing to know at this point is the definition of Upper and Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt is the area south of the Sphinx and Lower is north of the Sphinx. Upper Egypt goes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sphinx (approximately 150 K) taking in the Nile delta. It was heavily populated and the hub of activity. Lower Egypt goes from the Sphinx to Aswan in the south, distance of greater than 1000K. This area was sparsely populated and consisted of only a very narrow area on each side of the Nile. Many of the trade goods that Upper Egypt needed came from Lower Egypt and the Nubian territories  to the south of Aswan via the Nile River.

There are many other personalities, such as the Pharaohs Ramses's 1 through 9 with number 2 as the important one, and Tutankhamen. There is  Nefartari and Nefertiti etc, etc, etc..... The most important ones you will hear more about as we go along.

On to Day 7 Part 2

Created November 28th and December 1st, 2002.
Final Edit December 20th, 2002.