Wolfgang Praegler & Gudrun Mirbach-Praegler
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Photos of the Week
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23 years ago: The pyramids of Giza and Sakkara
      In      1999,   we   were   travelling   through   Egypt,   and   marvelling   at   the   ancient   monuments,   the   pyramids   of   Giza,   just   like Napoleon did, when he conquered Egypt in 1789 and told his army: „5 millennia are looking down at us“       Pyramids   that   were   meant   to   be   tombs   were   built   on   the   west   side   of   river   Nile.   West   was   the   side   of   the   dead,   because   the sun   went   down   here.   In   the   East,   there   was   the   settlement   of   the   living   people.   The   most   famous   and   biggest   pyramid   is   the one   of   pharaoh   Cheops,   reigning   around   2,600   B.C.   One   of   his   sons   was   Pharaoh   Chephren   around   2,550   B.C.   Mykerinos,   I turn, was the son of Chephren and grandson of Cheops, ruling around 2,520 B.C. Simply put, this is a kind of family grave. Pyramid of Cheops: The biggest one ever, 230m wide at the base and with a height of 147m Pyramid of Chephren: 215m at the base and with a height of 143m Pyramid of Mykerinos: The smallest one, measuring 103m at the base with a height of 66m       Originally,   the   pyramids   had   a   smooth   cladding. At   the   upper   part   of   the   Chephren   pyramid,   this   is   still   visible.   Most   of   these smooth stones were stolen in the course of time and used for house construction.      A   bit   south   of   Giza,   at   Sakkara,   we   can   see   the   oldest   pyramids. Around   2,700   B.C.   pharaoh   Djoser   had   a   step   pyramid   built by   his   master   builder   Imhotep.   Stepless   sides   of   a   pyramid   were   instable   during   this   period. The   step   pyramid   has   6   steps   with a   base   length   of   118m   and   a   height   of   62m.   It   was   a   very   common   custom   for   high   ranked   officials   and   priests   to   build   their own   rock   cuttombs   near   the   graves   of   the   pharaohs.   Near   Sakkara,   we   entered   such   grave,   the   Tomb   of   Master   Ti,   from around 2,400 B.C.       A   Sphinx   is   a   mystical   creature   with   a   beastly   body   and   a   human   head.   Mostly   a   lion,   but   sometimes   a   ram.   In   Egypt,   a sphinx is male, whereas a Greek sphinx is female.
We see the Sphinx in front of the pyramids of Cheops and Chephren The body of the Sphinx is 73m long, and the head is 20m high In past centuries, the Sphinx was used as a training target for cannon shots From the east, the megacity of Cairo is expanding towards the pyramids A view from the base of the Chephren pyramid to the Cheops pyramid The mighty Cheops pyramid The Chephren pyramid still has a smooth surface at the top Here the smooth covering stones are still preserved Now we are looking at the small pyramid of pharaoh Mykerinos The hole was the result of a blast by tomb raiders a long time ago We are nearing Sakkara now, and from far we can see the famous step pyramid The step pyramid of pharaoh Djoser is much older than the Cheops pyramid We are entering the rock cut tomb of „Master Ti“ in Sakkara Down in the rock cut tomb, we can see a narrow corridor leading to the chamber tomb Each grave has such a „False Door“, which shows the soul of the deceased the way out Many guests and servants are coming to the funeral, carrying lots of food as presents We can see scenes of daily life like farming, threshing grain, stock farming