Ancient Shadows

Satyr in Shadow


Satyr’s Head, Roman, mid 2nd century CE, Marble, Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal

Join Lens-Artists Challenge #32: Shadows

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

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Message

Myth and Message

Hieroglyphics, Temple of Edfu, Egypt

The Temple of Edfu, on the west bank of the Nile, is dedicated to the falcon god Horus. It is one of the best preserved ancient Egyptian temples and the 2nd largest after the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. It was constructed in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC.  Intricate inscriptions on the walls include information on many aspects of  culture, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt.

An ongoing Edfu project to publish and translate the texts of Edfu is currently (since 2002) run by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen, Germany.  Their Edfu Project website describes the temple and discusses the importance of the Edfu texts.

“Regarding amount and content, the inscriptions that cover the walls of the Temple of Edfu are among the most important sources on Ptolemaic Egypt. They offer a wealth of information, mainly about religion, but also about political history, administration and other topics. Since some of the Edfu inscriptions transmit ideas that come from the eldest epochs of pharaonic history, they are often consulted as an aid in understanding older sources. Thus, religious concepts of pharaonic Egypt cannot be properly understood without interpreting the texts of Edfu. As a whole, the Edfu inscriptions can be taken as a compendium of Egyptian religious thought.”

Join Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Message

Color Your World 2017: Mauvelous

Mauvelous Maidens

Jennifer’s 2017 Color Your World Challenge: Mauvelous

Silent Sunday: Sphinx

Can you answer the riddle?

Sphinx, Legion of Honour Museum, Hotel de Salm, Paris, France

Sphinx, Legion of Honour Museum, Hotel de Salm, Paris, France

Fountain Series: December

Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation, Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation, Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation, (1840) Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

Fountain Challenge: December – Any Fountain

%d bloggers like this: