Friday, 17 July 2015
Probably the most famous site in Egypt, Giza has fascinated the world for millennia. Although the archaeological and historical evidence proves without a doubt that the Great Pyramid of Khufu and its companions are royal tombs built during the Old Kingdom, alternative theorists continue to argue that they were built by aliens or people from the mythical land of Atlantis. The pyramids are indeed remarkable feats of engineering: the Great Pyramid is aligned to the cardinal directions to within 1 degree of arc. However, this was within the engineering capabilities of Egypt's early kings, and there is no need to create outlandish theories to explain its construction.
Giza remained important through the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period, and on into the Late Period. Significant monuments from these later eras include a New Kingdom temple to the Sphinx and a Temple of Isis (an expansion of the mortuary chapel of one of the queens' pyramids next to the Great Pyramid).
The pyramid at Meidum is thought to originally have been built for Huni, the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, and was continued by Sneferu. The architect was a successor to the famous Imhotep, the inventor of the stone built pyramid. The collapse of the pyramid is likely due to the modifications made to Imhotep's pyramid design as well as the decisions taken twice during construction to extend the pyramid. Because of its unusual appearance, the pyramid is called el-heram
Abu Simbel is a temple complex, originally cut into a solid rock cliff, in southern Egypt and located at the second cataract of the Nile River. The two temples which comprise the site (The Great Temple and The Small Temple) were created during the reign of Ramesses II (c. 1279 - c. 1213 BCE) either between 1264 - 1244 BCE or 1244-1224 BCE. The discrepancy in the dates is due to differing interpretations of the life of Ramesses II by modern day scholars. It is certain, based upon the extensive art work throughout the interior of the Great Temple, that the structures were created, at least in part, to celebrate Ramesses' victory over the Hittitesat the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE. To some scholars, this indicates a probable date of 1264 BCE for the initial construction as the victory would have been fresh in the memory of the people. However, the decision to build the grand monument at that precise location, on the border with the conquered lands of Nubia, suggests to other scholars the later date of 1244 BCE in that it would have had to have been begun after the Nubian Campaigns Ramesses II undertook with his sons and was built as a symbol of Egypt's power.
Abydos was occupied by the rulers of the Predynastic period, whose town, temple and tombs have been found there. The temple and town continued to be rebuilt at intervals down to the times of the thirtieth dynasty, and the cemetery was used continuously.The pharaohs of the first dynasty were buried in Abydos, including Narmer, who is regarded as founder of the first dynasty, and his successor, Aha. It was in this time period that the Abydos boats were constructed. Some pharaohs of the second dynasty were also buried in Abydos. The temple was renewed and enlarged by these pharaohs as well. Funerary enclosures, misinterpreted in modern times as great 'forts', were built on the desert behind the town by three kings of the second dynasty; the most complete is that of Khasekhemwy.From the fifth dynasty, the deity Khentiamentiu, foremost of the Westerners, came to be seen as a manifestation of the dead pharaoh in the underworld. Pepi I (sixth dynasty) constructed a funerary chapel which evolved over the years into the Great Temple of Osiris, the ruins of which still exist within the town enclosure. Abydos became the centre of the worship of the Isis and Osiris cult.
The all overshadowing building in the Complex is the main temple, namely Temple of Hathor, Dendera (historically, called the Temple of Tentyra). The temple has been modified on the same site starting as far back as the Middle Kingdom, and continuing right up until the time of the Roman emperor Trajan. The existing structure was built no later than the late Ptolemaic period. The temple, dedicated to Hathor, is one of the best preserved temples in all Egypt. Subsequent additions were added in Roman times.
The Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu which was known in Greco-Roman times as Apollonopolis Magna, after the chief god Horus-Apollo.It is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. In particular, the Temple's inscribed building texts "provide details [both] of its construction, and also preserve information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation."There are also "important scenes and inscriptions of the Sacred Drama which related the age-old conflict between Horus and Seth."They are translated by the German Edfu-Project.
The modern town of Luxor is the site of the famous city of Thebes (Waset, in ancient Egyptian), the City of a Hundred Gates. It was the capital of Egypt from the twelfth dynasty on (1991 BC) and reached its zenith during the New Kingdom.It was from here that Thutmose III planned his campaigns, Akhenaten first contemplated the nature of god, and Rameses II set out his ambitious building program. Only Memphis could compare in size and splendor but today there is nothing left of Memphis: It was pillaged for its masonry to build new cities and little remains.Although the mud-brick houses and palaces of Thebes have disappeared, its stone temples have survived. The most beautiful of these is the temple of Luxor. It is close to the Nile and laid out parallel to the riverbank.The temple was built by Amenhotep III (1390-52 BC) but completed by Tutankhamun (1336-27 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC) and then added to by Rameses II (1279-13 BC). Toward the rear is a granite shrine dedicated to Alexander the Great (332-305 BC).
Memphis became the capital of Ancient Egypt for over eight consecutive dynasties during the Old Kingdom. The city reached a peak of prestige under the 6th dynasty as a centre for the worship of Ptah, the god of creation and artworks. The alabaster sphinx that guards the Temple of Ptah serves as a memorial of the city's former power and prestige.The Memphis triad, consisting of the creator god Ptah, his consort Sekhmet, and their son Nefertem, formed the main focus of worship in the city.Memphis declined briefly after the 18th dynasty with the rise of Thebes and the New Kingdom, and was revived under the Persians before falling firmly into second place following the foundation of Alexandria. Under the Roman Empire, Alexandria remained the most important Egyptian city. Memphis remained the second city of Egypt until the establishment of Fustat (or Fostat) in 641 CE. It was then largely abandoned and became a source of stone for the surrounding settlements. It was still an imposing set of ruins in the 12th century but soon became a little more than an expanse of low ruins and scattered stone.
The Pyramid of Djoser (or Zoser), or step pyramid (kbhw-ntrw in Egyptian) is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. It was built during the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by Imhotep, his vizier. It is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration.This first Egyptian pyramid consisted of six mastabas (of decreasing size) built atop one another in what were clearly revisions and developments of the original plan. The pyramid originally stood 62 metres (203 ft) tall, with a base of 109 m × 125 m (358 ft × 410 ft) and was clad in polished white limestone.The step pyramid (or proto-pyramid) is considered to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction although the nearby enclosure known as Gisr el-mudir would seem to predate the complex.
Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly established and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth Dynasty, and abandoned shortly after his death (1332 BC). The name for the city employed by the ancient Egyptians is written as Akhetaten (or Akhetaton—transliterations vary) in English transliteration. Akhetaten means "Horizon of the Aten".The area is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the modern Egyptian province of Minya, some 58 km (36 mi) south of the city of al-Minya, 312 km (194 mi) south of the Egyptian capital Cairo and 402 km (250 mi) north of Luxor.The city of Deir Mawas lies directly west across from the site of Amarna. Amarna, on the east side, includes several modern villages, chief of which are el-Till in the north and el-Hagg Qandil in the south.The area was also occupied during later Roman and early Christian times; excavations to the south of the city have found several structures from this period.
The temple of Karnak was known as Ipet-isu—or “most select of places”—by the ancient Egyptians. It is a city of temples built over 2,000 years and dedicated to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. This derelict place is still capable of overshadowing many wonders of the modern world and in its day must have been awe-inspiring.pic08For the largely uneducated ancient Egyptian population, this could only have been the place of the gods. It is the largest religious building ever made, covering about 200 acres (1.5 km by 0.8 km), and was a place of pilgrimage for nearly 2,000 years. The area of the sacred enclosure of Amun alone is sixty-one acres and could hold ten average European cathedrals. The great temple at the heart of Karnak is so big that St Peter’s, Milan, and Notre Dame Cathedrals would fit within its walls.The Hypostyle hall, at 54,000 square feet (16,459 meters) and featuring 134 columns, is still the largest room of any religious building in the world. In addition to the main sanctuary there are several smaller temples and a vast sacred lake – 423 feet by 252 feet (129 by 77 meters). The sacred barges of the Theban Triad once floated on the lake during the annual Opet festival. The lake was surrounded by storerooms and living quarters for the priests, along with an aviary for aquatic birds.
Philae is currently an island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, downstream of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, Egypt. Philae was originally located near the expansive First Cataract of the Nile River in southern Egypt, and was the site of an Ancient Egyptian temple complex. These rapids and the surrounding area have been variously flooded since the initial construction of the Old Aswan Dam in 1902. The temple complex was later dismantled and relocated to nearby Agilkia Island as part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, protecting this and other complexes before the 1970 completion of the Aswan High Dam.The island temple was built during the Ptolemaic dynasty. The principal deity of the temple complex was Isis, but other temples and shrines were dedicated to other deities such as Hathor and Harendotes. The temple was closed down officially in the 6th century AD by the Byzantine emperor, Justinian ( 527-565 AD ). Philae was a seat of the Christian religion as well as of the ancient Egyptian faith. Ruins of a Christian church were discovered, and more than one adytum bore traces of having been made to serve at different eras the purposes of a chapel of Osiris and of Christ.
The island of Philae attracted much attention in the 19th century. In the 1820s, Joseph Bonomi the Younger, a British Egyptologist and museum curator visited the island. So did Amelia Edwards, a British novelist in 1873–1874.
The modern Egyptian village of Esna, which was ancient Iunyt or Ta-senet (from which the Coptic Sne and Arabic Isna derive), was built in the area of ancient Latopolis and is the site of a major temple dedicated to the god Khnum. Under the Greeks and Romans, the city became the capital of the Third Nome of Upper Egypt. Besides Khnum, the temple was dedicated to several other deities, the most prominent of whom were Neith and Heka. This was the ram god that was worshipped through out this area and who fashioned mankind from mud of the Nile on his potter's wheel.Esna is located about fifty kilometers south of Luxor. The temple now stands in the middle of the modern town at a level about nine meters below that of the surrounding grounds. However, texts mentions that it was built on the site of a temple that may have been constructed as early as the reign of Tuthmosis III. Some blocks of the earlier 18th Dynasty structure are preserved. The present structure dates to the Greek and Roman periods and is one of the latest temples to have been built by the ancient Egyptians.
Thebes was inhabited from around 3200 BC. It was the eponymous capital of Waset, the fourth Upper Egyptian nome. Waset was the capital of Egypt during part of the 11th Dynasty (Middle Kingdom) and most of the 18th Dynasty (New Kingdom), when Hatshepsut built a Red Sea fleet to facilitate trade between Thebes Red Sea port of Elim, modern Quasir, and Elat at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. According to George Modelski, Thebes had about 40,000 inhabitants in 2000 BC (compared to 60,000 in Memphis, the largest city of the world at the time). By 1800 BC, the population of Memphis was down to about 30,000, making Thebes the largest city in Egypt at the time. By the Amarna period (14th century BC), Thebes may have grown to be the largest city in the world, with a population of about 80,000, a position which it held until about 1000 BC, when it was again surpassed by Memphis (among others).With the 19th Dynasty the seat of government moved to the Delta. The archaeological remains of Thebes offer a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height. The Greek poet Homer extolled the wealth of Thebes in the Iliad, Book 9 (c. 8th Century BC): "... in Egyptian Thebes the heaps of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes."In 664 BC, the Assyrian army sacked Thebes during their invasion of Upper Egypt.
Beni Hasan is an Ancient Egyptian cemetery site. It is located approximately 20 kilometers to the south of modern-day Minya in the region known as Middle Egypt, the area between Asyut and Memphis.While there are some Old Kingdom burials at the site, it was primarily used during the Middle Kingdom, spanning the 21st to 17th centuries BCE (Middle Bronze Age).To the south of the cemetery is a temple constructed by Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, dedicated to the local goddess Pakhet. It is known as the Cave of Artemis, because the Greeks identified Pakhet with Artemis, and the temple is subterranean.
Wadi Al-Hitan is a paleontological site in the Al Fayyum Governorate of Egypt, some 150 km southwest of Cairo. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2005 for its hundreds of fossils of some of the earliest forms of whale, the archaeoceti (a now extinct sub-order of whales). The site reveals evidence for the explanation of one of the greatest mysteries of the evolution of whales: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. No other place in the world yields the number, concentration and quality of such fossils, as is their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape.This is why it was added by the UNESCO to the list of protected World Heritage sites.The fossils found at the site may not be the oldest but their great concentration in the area and the degree of their preservation is to the extent that even some stomach contents are intact. The presence of fossils of other early animals such as sharks, crocodiles, sawfish, turtles and rays found at Wadi El-Hitan makes it possible to reconstruct the surrounding environmental and ecological conditions of the time, adding to its justification to be cited as a Heritage site.The first fossil skeletons of whales were discovered in the winter of 1902-3. For the next 80 years they attracted relatively little interest, largely due to the difficulty of reaching the area. In the 1980s interest in the site resumed as four wheel drive vehicles became more readily available. Continuing interest coincided with the site being visited by fossil collectors, and many bones were removed, prompting calls for the site to be conserved. The remains display the typical streamlined body form of modern whales, yet retaining some of the primitive aspects of skull and tooth structure. The largest skeleton found reached up to 21 m in length,with well-developed five-fingered flippers on the forelimbs and the unexpected presence of hind legs, feet, and toes, not known previously in any archaeoceti. Their form was serpentine and they were carnivorous. A few of these skeletal remains are exposed but most are shallowly buried in sediments, slowly uncovered by erosion. Wadi El-Hitan provides evidences of millions of years of coastal marine life
Posted by Funtrest at 14:04
Thursday, 18 June 2015
love story you only hear about in movies, but in this case, it’s real. California couple Don and Maxine Simpson were together for nearly 62 years before dying within four hours of each other at the age of 90 and 87 respectively.“They did a lot of amazing things” together, granddaughter Melissa Sloan told The Bakersfield Californian, ranging from living in Europe to participating in local civic groups.
Don was locally known as the longest standing member and founder of the town’s racquet club. The pair was involved with The Rotary, YMCA, and Boys & Girls Clubs among other local organizations.They shared a love of travel. It was said that Don’s jokester personality and Maxine’s properness complemented each other. On July 14th, Don fell and broke his hip which led to him contracting pneumonia. From there, his health quickly declined. At the same time, Maxine was in the later stages of cancer, growing sicker as the days passed.The family could not bear to keep them apart and they were both moved into a room with family. “We kept them together, and had their beds side-by-side,” Sloan said. “Gram woke up and saw him, and held hands and they knew that they were next to each other.”Maxine died around 7 a.m. After her body was taken from the room around 10 a.m., they noticed Don’s breathing had become more labored. He died within the hour. “When her body left the room his soul left with her,” Sloan said.Stories of love like these continue to warm our hearts. More Like This: Love, Personal Relationships
The children residing at a New York hospital got a welcome surprise on Wednesday when their favorite superheroes arrived outside their rooms to begin washing windows — heroically, of course.The superheroes were window-washers who simply decided to brighten the days of children currently living at the New York Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Two of the window washers dressed as superheroes even took a brief break from their duties to fist bump a delighted child dressed in a hospital gown.The above video shows some of the children enjoying the unexpected appearances of heroes like Superman, Batman, two Power Rangers, Spider-man, and Captain America. One of the children even let loose some infectious giggling as Spider-man made silly faces at him through the glass. The hospital’s staff also donned superhero costumes and cheered on the window washers from the sidewalks
Valentine's Day flowering cabbages gift for the one you don't really love very much
Posted by Funtrest at 15:04
The first time you see a member of this hairless, wrinkled breed, your eyes may widen in surprise. Is that really a cat? While some might look askance at hairless cats, Sphynx fanciers loudly proclaim “bald is beautiful!”
History and Origin
During the last hundred years or so, hairless kittens have spontaneously appeared in litters of otherwise ordinary domestic shorthairs. This natural, spontaneous mutation appears to be a fairly common one, since hairless cats have been found in Canada, France, Morocco, Mexico, Russia, Australia and the United States.
Pictures of the “Mexican Hairless” even appeared in Frances Simpson’s 1903 classic Book of the Cat. However, many of these lines were never developed or died out from lack of support or from breeding difficulties.
Pictures of the “Mexican Hairless” even appeared in Frances Simpson’s 1903 classic Book of the Cat. However, many of these lines were never developed or died out from lack of support or from breeding difficulties.
The first formal breeding program took place in Canada in the 1960s, when a pair of domestic shorthairs produced a hairless kitten.
In 1970 the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) granted provisional status to the “Canadian Hairless.” The next year, however, CFA withdrew recognition due to the health problems and breeding difficulties. At the time, it was believed that the gene associated with hairlessness was lethal. That line became extinct.
The Sphynx as we know it today began in 1975, when Minnesota farm owners Milt and Ethelyn Pearson discovered a hairless kitten had been born to their normal-coated farm cat, Jezabelle. This kitten, appropriately named Epidermis, was joined the next year by another hairless kitten named Dermis. Both were sold to Oregon breeder Kim Mueske, who used the kittens to develop the breed. Minnesota breeder Georgiana Gattenby also worked with kittens from the Pearson line, using rex cats to widen and strengthen the gene pool. These lines proved to be healthy. The name “Sphynx” was chosen, named after the Great Sphinx of Giza.
In 1978, Canadian breeder Shirley Smith rescued a hairless male kitten, Bambi, that she neutered and kept as a pet. Bambi’s mother, a domestic shorthair, subsequently produced two more hairless offspring. In 1983 Smith sent the two kittens to Dr. Hugo Hernandez in the Netherlands. Dr. Hernandez bred the two kittens, named Punkie and Paloma, to a Devon rex. The descendants of these cats, along with the descendants of the Pearson cats, became the foundation of today’s Sphynx. Breeders discovered that even though the hairless gene is recessive to short hair, the gene is incompletely dominant over the recessive gene governing the Devon rex coat. Crosses between the Sphynx and Devon rex helped widen the gene pool and increase numbers.
In February 1998, the Sphynx was accepted for CFA registration, a great stride for the breed. In 2000, 120 Sphynx were registered in CFA, according to CFA’s 2000 registration totals. This gives the Sphynx a ranking of 33rd out of the 40 breeds CFA accepts. Fanciers are currently working on gaining the Sphynx provisional status in CFA. Then it’s on to championship, which the Sphynx has already achieved in most other associations.
Once you get past the shock of seeing a naked cat, you’ll notice that this breed has other distinctive traits. Their ears, for one thing, look large enough to intercept satellite transmissions. Their paw pads are thick, giving them the illusion of walking on tiny air cushions. The large, lemon shaped eyes are expressive, slightly slanted, and set wide apart. The head is a modified wedge shape, with prominent cheekbones and whisker pads and a strong, well-developed chin. Medium-sized cats, Sphynx are broad-chested and hard-muscled.
The Sphynx isn’t really more wrinkled than other cats. All cats have loose, wrinkled skin; the cat’s skin is the thinnest of all the domestic animals, and also the most flexible. It’s just easier to see the wrinkles on a hairless cat.
Actually, Sphynx only appear hairless. The skin is covered with a fine vestigial covering of down that resembles the texture of chamois. Sphynx feel like warm suede to the touch. Despite the virtual lack of hair, Sphynx come in every possible color and pattern since color, like beauty, are more than fur deep. However, the exact color is sometimes difficult to determine on a hairless cat, so in the show ring no points are awarded or taken away for color or pattern.
Like the gene for long hair, the gene that governs the Sphynx’s lack of hair is recessive. In order for a cat to be hairless, she must inherit one copy of the Sphynx gene from each parent. If a cat has one copy of the hairless gene and one copy of the gene for short hair, the cat will have short hair but will carry the gene for hairlessness. When two such cats are bred, statistically one cat in four will be hairless. On the plus side, when two hairless cats mate they produce entirely hairless litters.
According to the French breed standard, the Sphynx is part monkey, part dog, part child, and part cat. While this may bring a strange image to mind, the breed does seem to have personality traits of each. To say Sphynx are lively is an understatement; they perform monkey-like aerialist stunts from the top of doorways and book shelves.
Devoted and loyal, they follow their humans around, wagging their tails doggy style and purring with affection. They demand your unconditional attention and are as mischievous and lovable as children. While the Sphynx may not be for everyone, their unique appearance and charming temperament has won them an active, enthusiastic following.
You might think a hairless cat requires no grooming. Think again. Sphynx must be bathed regularly to remove excess oil from their skin.
The sebaceous glands, located at the base of each hair follicle, secrete an oily substance called sebum. All cats produce these secretions, but Sphynx don’t have fur to absorb them. Allowed to collect, they can cause skin problems. Too, it’s no fun to snuggle with a sticky Sphynx. Because Sphynx have no ear hair, ear wax and dirt build up more quickly, so their ears must be cleaned regularly as well. Train your Sphynx to tolerate bathing when she’s young and this won’t be an ordeal. Unlike other cats, Sphynx only take a second to dry.
One might expect the Sphynx to be a good pet for those allergic to cats, but this is not the case. Sphynx refrain from shedding on your couch but can still make you sneeze, because it’s not generally cat hair that causes allergic reactions but rather an allergenic protein called Fel d1 that’s secreted via the cat’s saliva and the sebaceous glands. Sphynx produce just as much Fel d1 as any cat, and while grooming spread the protein onto their skin. In fact, without hair to absorb the secretions, Sphynx can actually cause a more severe allergic reaction in some people.
Other people can tolerate Sphynx, however, so if you’re allergic plan on spending a generous amount of time around a Sphynx before agreeing to buy.
Posted by Funtrest at 14:39