Hieroglyphics and the timelessness of ancient Egypt

Well, almost a month has gone by since I came back from Egypt. It reminded me of Maze in many ways, mostly because of the enigmatic architecture and the way it blends so well into its surroundings. It would be hard to imagine those temples anywhere else after you see them in person. The truth is that as much as we have unearthed from ancient Egypt, not that much is truly known. We are limited by the artifacts and sparce written content from both the region, and the accounts of travellers. A reoccuring theme in Egypt’s history was the erasure of previous dynasties by the current one. The intension of the temples was to be resiliant in the face of change, war, progress, and the elements.

The basic ancient Egyptian ideology was: We are here today, and gone tomorrow. What have you done to be remembered?

Unfortunately the style of their art hardly changed. The rule of Akhenaten, the rebel king, was the only glimmer of differentiation from the traditional, rigid Egyptian style. This is truly the only shortcoming of their legacy. We can only be thankful that anything remained till now.

I mean look at this damn building. It’s basically the entrance to Maze. It looks nothing of the ancient world at all, but instead like the side entrance to Robart’s Library.

While it’s easy to see the modernity of these structures, their age is showing and increasing fast. Cairo is a highly populated city, and they do quite well for such a dense place, but it’s not working for the relics. The polution and din is taking its toll. While it’s disappointing to see these monuments degrade over time, one must only remember that they’ve existed this long, they have a long way to go still. It just sucks that modern times bring a highly concentrated form of pollution that makes things harder to restore.

In many ancient cultures a lot of things survive, in Egypt this was not the case; the buildings and tombs are some of the last remnants of this civilization. Both the Cairo and Alexandria museums contained sparce objects of the past, except of course the famous ones excavated in the 1800’s, Tutenkamun, etc. Everything else was ransacked and pillaged during the 2000-3000 years it’s been around. We’re lucky there’s anything left at all, really.

The clash of cultures doesn’t take away from the experience either. Although mostly muslim, the contemporary people have a deep respect and are proud of their history and ancient religion. They hate zealotry as it hurts their tourism. As hospitable people, this hostility towards ISIS and its ilk is common among northern African countries.

Room 17

There are many “rooms” in Egypt, within the temples, you can feel how old they are. In some cases, Christians seeked refuge in them and carved crosses over the other designs.

In addition, some of the graffiti at the temples was quite amusing. One fellow scribed his name on a pillar, “B. Mure”, after which someone else scribed underneath,”…is an idiot”. You can see why being a puzzle person might be fun here!

Is there anything else Maze related I can talk about? Sure, there are a lot of hats in ancient Egypt, signifying power and control. The kings’ hats were bowling pin shape, so that’s Maze related…

The crown of Isis (the goddess, not the terrorists) was literally a throne. I mean, how cool is that? For a 3000-year old << a e s t h e t i c 美 学 >> that is pretty rad. The bowling pin was the crown of Upper Egypt, while the thrown was the crown of Lower Egypt. Combined into the power of Voltron, the pharoah would rule both lands.

Birdfinder fans here it is. A falcon wearing a hat. The priests changed the hat depending on what time it was and told the peasants that the gods had changed the hats. How charming.