Monday, August 22, 2005

Calling on Cleopatra

A travel article about visiting Cairo, and visiting different aspects of heritage and culture. "The Egyptian Museum, which houses over 120,000 objects of Pharoanic and Greco-Roman origin, took me back to history lessons at high school. Also in store were tales from the crypt! Mummified rulers now lay well preserved in their air-conditioned `afterlife.' An entire section of the museum is dedicated to treasures archived out of the 'jinxed' tomb of Tutankhamun by the famed British archaeologist, Howard Carter. One wonders whether the spirit of this ill-fated boy-king is disturbed by the presence of nosy tourists. As an anachronism of sorts, Pharaohs and gods such as Horus stare down on 21st-century denizens from carvings on public buildings and statues erected on parks. Brands are still named after Cleopatra and Egyptian gods. The one-hour journey to the historic sites of Saccara and Memphis gave a bird's eye view of pastoral Egypt. Mud houses, lush farms and sunflower fields dotted the landscape. Policemen in white uniforms ushered tourists towards King Zoser's tomb at Saccara. Led Zeppelin's rock classic `Stairway to heaven' came to mind as we approached the Step Pyramid — another reminder of ancient Egypt's obsession with death". See the article for more.

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