Hopkins In Egypt Today

Moalla Entrance   Jeremy at Moalla
Admiring the Wall Paintings at Moalla

On our Friday excursion we are visiting three sites. The first stop only about 30 km south of Luxor on the east side is Moalla, region of ancient Hefat where a great local lord named Ankhtify was buried around 2150 B.C. With architectural links to both the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period, the tomb of Ankhtify contains within it rows of columns that were used as decorative surfaces. Much of the inscriptional material is on the columns, including an autobiography of the local lord, and ritual allusions for the burial are also placed on them, perhaps indicating movements within the tomb at the time of funerary ceremonies. Jeremy does quick reading of the columns looking for famous passages, while others admire the lively and somewhat non-canonical wall paintings.

In the Tomb of Pahery at Elkab

Our second stop today is Elkab, where we have been on several occasions over the last six years. In the tomb of Pahery, Sarah, Adam, Dina, Jeremy, and Fatma study the highly detailed and painted wall reliefs of this tomb completed in the time of Thutmose III. We are joined today by an old friend and colleague of Betsy's, Cynthia Sheikholesalami, who is on a school break from teaching at American University in Cairo . The tombs at Elkab are of New Kingdom date and several belong to family of the local rulers in the 18 th Dynasty.

Entrance to the Shrine at Elkab   Fatma Looking at Wall Paintings
Kent Looking at Hathor Columns

We also visited the bark (boat) shrine completed by Amenhotep III just to the east of Elkab. It is located at the entrance of the Wadi Mia and venerated Nekhbet, the vulture goddess of Elkab in a form called, "Lady of the Opening of the Valley" - a reference to the Wadi that led to the gold locations in the eastern desert. Fatma looks at the painted scenes, while Kent admires the Hathor columns with their stylized wig shapes.

Pylon at Edfu
The Group at Edfu   Inside the Temple at Edfu

Our third stop of the day is the remarkable temple of Edfu built during the Ptolemaic dynasty between the mid 3rd and later 1st century B.C. The great smiting scenes on the front pylon have strangly changed little in the three thousand years since Narmer's artists made his palette in Hierakonpolis - just 15 km from here. The Egyptian school vacation is bringing thousands of Cairo visitors to the south, and it's great to watch Egyptian families enjoy and learn about their history - they have so much of it!

Reliefs from the Pylon at Edfu   Adam, Sarah and Kent Posing at Edfu

Okay, this was entirely a setup photo with Adam, Sarah, and Kent staring at the Edfu pylon. Betsy was left to do photos today, because Jay was busy elsewhere, and she did forget to do a sufficient amount with the group in them. Hence the pose. But the relief she caught in the first court looks really good!

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