Friday, April 03, 2009

Aswan, Granite, Temples

Aswan is the source of the granite used in all the ancient Egyptian temples. (It's about a two hour flight between Aswan and Cairo--which gives you an idea of the distance the large blocks were transported). We visited a quarry for pink granite--really beautiful stone. Ancient Egyptians started quarrying an obelisk and quit when they found flaws in the rock.

Quarrying was done by knocking small pieces of granite off to get a larger (or very large) block free. They also made holes and packed it with dry wood, then used water to make the wood expand.

Visited the Temple of Philae in Aswan--it was on an island that was partially flooded by the first (British) Aswan dam. It was moved to a higher Island.
Cruising down the Nile you notice a haze on the horizon. This seems to be a combination of blowing sand and pollution.On our way down the Nile (to the north), we stopped at Kom Obou--a temple dedicated to two gods--Haroeris and Sobek.

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