When Bigger is Better

The Sphinx

The Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

Nothing says power, superiority, importance, command like size. The bigger, the better when it comes to religion, government, or a combination of the two.  Ancient Egypt was one of the first civilizations to demonstration the power represented in size.

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Favorite Places

Variations on a Theme: Places

This week’s WordPress challenge asks us to identify a favorite place to which we return when we can. Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge, at Dutch Goes the Photo, also wants us to identify favorite places. I don’t have a specific favorite place I can select.  I have moved around the US during my working career, and I don’t return to many of the places I visit when I travel. So I have selected some of my favorite buildings and monuments to which I would return if I could. Architecture does speak to me.

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WPC: Weathered

The Face of Time

The Great Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

The Great Sphinx sits on the west bank of the Nile, just to the southeast of the pyramids at Giza. While the Sphinx is considered the oldest monumental sculpture in Egypt, its exact date of construction is unknown. Modern Egyptology dates the Sphinx to the Old Kingdom,  during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BCE). The head of the Great Sphinx is believed to portray Khafre (also Khefren or Chephren), the builder of the second largest pyramid of Giza. The Sphinx is carved into the limestone bedrock of the Giza plateau, which also served as the quarry for the pyramids and other monuments in the area. The body appears uneven because wind and sand erosion have damaged the softer layers the native limestone between the base and the head. Even during ancient times the Sphinx had begun to weather as it was buried to shoulder height in the desert sands. The first documented attempt at clearing the site was about 1400 BCE, during the reign of Thutmose IV (1401–1391 BCE), when workers managed to dig out the front paws. Sporadic efforts at excavating continued over the millennia until the entire Sphinx was finally cleared between 1925 and 1936. Attempts (not all successful or appropriate) have been made to repair and stabilize the stone base and rock cut body. Some sections have been restored with blocks of stone.  For an interesting discussion of the varying theories of the origins and dating of the Sphinx, check out The Great Sphinx of Giza.

WPC: Weathered

K’lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Overshadowed by the Past

Giza, Egypt

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Abu Simbel 

Built by Ramses the Great, Abu Simbel was disassembeled and raised above the water levels when the Aswan High Dam was built inthe 1960s. There are two temples, one for Ramses, the other for his wife Nefertari. Nefertari pictures first. I can’t figure out how to change order on my phone.

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