November 15th, 2003 – by: genkeeper
Convoy to Abydos and Dendara.
After our whirl-wind yesterday, the fun just continued. Soliman travel picked us up at our hotel, the Merry Land Hotel (where we got insanely cheap rates because we had residencey visas), and it was off to meet the 8:00am convoy up to Dendara and Abydos. The military (and we're talking 4 and 5 star generals) gathers all of the tourists in one spot, shuts down all the roads to Abydos and Dendara (located on edge of Middle Egypt), escorts them to the sites, opens the sites just for them, and then escorts them back to Luxor
. Thank you terrorists in Middle Egypt for making life so difficult for everyone, including your fellow Egyptians. There were a good 15-20 tour buses, mini buses and cars in line for this convoy. In addition, to tons of military buses, jeeps, hummers, cars, and motorcycles all around and at each end of the convoy.
Abydos. Temple of Seti I.
Both the vehicles and the men were heavy armored and laden with all sorts of weapons and grenade devices.
When the convoy started rolling a military guy on a motorcycle drove way out in front with his siren blaring to make sure that the road was clear. Military vehicles and plain-clothes cops with guns lined the street and all traffic was blocked. It took us 3 hours of high speeds of 70 or 80 mph to reach Abydos. Abydos
The Temple of Seti I at Abydos is an important structure because it contains one of the few List of Kings. What does one do when they used the military to overthrow the old Pharaoh and take over, thus putting in question their right to rule? Make a giant list of their favorite kings and add their name on at the end, tying themselves to the line of these great Kings (and the fact that a lot of the Kings weren't related and themselves took over through military coup is a small technicality).
Dendara. Temple of Hathor. Marta crawling around in secret passages.
And what happens to any lesser Kings, embarassing kings, female Pharaohs, or guys you just didn't like - they don't make the list. So, King's List are great for getting kings in the right order or finding kings that you have no record of, but they are VERY biased and have huge, intentional holes. Seti I's Kings List lists 76 Pharaohs. Behind the Temple of Seti I was the Osireion. It is thought to be a cenotaph to Osiris. Also, off in the distance one can see the Wadi where the Ancient Egyptians believed the entrance to the Afterlife lay.Dendara
Dendara is a Greco-Roman temple dedicated to Hathor. It is in great condition and has hidden, unground passageways that were found during excavations. This underground labyrinth is in pristine condition.
Then is was back to Luxor and on that jet to Cairo
for more learning how to be an Egyptologist.