2007-07-15

Listen Like Thebes


These are the Colossi of Memnon(erroneously identified by Greek travelers in antiquity) in Egypt; the only remnants of a temple commemorating Amenhotep III.

The Greeks named them after Memnon, the legendary hero killed at the Trojan Wars, who each morning called his mother Eos, the Dawn goddess.


After an earthquake, the statue to the right began to "sing" every morning at dawn, producing a light moaning sound most likely related to rising temperatures and evaporating dew. In "The Sphinx," Oscar Wilde wrote:

"Still from his chair of porphyry gaunt Memnon strains his lidless eyes Across the empty land, and cries each yellow morning unto thee."

Hearing the song was thought to bring good luck and the colossi began to attract pilgrims from across the ancient world.The singing stopped in 199 when Emperor Septimius Severus 'fixed' the damaged statues.

On the 27th of June this year, a mummy found long ago in a tomb in Egypt (by Howard Carter) was positively identified by DNA from a tooth as that of Hatsheput, the strongest and most powerful female Pharaoh, ruling in 15th century B.C..

I became obsessed with Hatsheput because of a book a found on an airplane as a kid. I devoured CHILD OF THE MORNING countless times and read everything I could find on this early female hero. My eyes will be glued to the screen tonight as Discovery airs their special on The Secrets of the Lost Queen of Egypt. More here in a NY Times article you have to be registered to read.

3 comments:

Steven said...

Wow. I've been there. Most extraordinary trip I've ever taken. If you have a chance, go to Egypt. The gigantic size of everything was supposed to leave you awe-struck when it was originally built. It works. The Colossi, for instance, are huge. The fencing at the lower right hand corner is waist high. Anyway, can't say enough about the place.

MatthewGulfstramV/Matthew said...

hmmm.

arabisraelites said...

Egyptians were ancestors of all Israelites and of course there were no white Egyptians.
Anthropology.. scriptures and DNAPrint.. science n the bible

http://arabisraelites-egypt.blogspot.com/