The Queen Nobody Wants to Meet
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The queen nobody really wants to meet.
One of the trips we took was to the temple of Queen Hatshepsut. And what a lady she turned out to be! This is all according to the Egyptologist guide we had, and I have no reason to doubt him at all. So now I want to see if you to keep up with this.
Once upon a time (in a land far away, and a long long time ago) the Pharaoh of Egypt married. And in due course, he and his wife had a son, (a lovely little lad). And they lived happily for several years. The queen had a cousin.... a lady, and her relationship to the queen's son was that of an aunt. In time (as with all fairy tales, stuff happens, and this is no exception), the queen became ill..
So the king ruled for the next few years and like his queen before him, became ill; (heard this somewhere before haven’t we?). And again all the best physicians in the land could not get him better. So finally, and sadly he too passed away leaving his new queen and his son who was still only a young lad of about eleven. Now in the land of Egypt, the rule was that the first son would inherit the crown. Women were still second class citizens and not allowed to rule! So Mum (who was a scheming, conniving lady put on her thinking cap and came up with an ingenious ... no miraculous wonderful idea! Not wanting Egypt to be ruled by a youngster...
lady decided to divorce him! But that’s not the end of this story. No... she also decided in her infinite wisdom that he should not remain single, but should marry one of her daughters by another man, and had all the necessary arrangements put in place. The ceremonies duly took place. Both of them! The divorce.... and the marriage. So the young lad who started off with an aunt... who became his step mother..... then his wife suddenly had a new mother-in law. So it must come as no surprise that on the death of this woman Hapshetsup he methodically went about tearing off the heads of all her statues...
Another fascinating temple we went to was the one in Karnak. There is simply only one word for it... colossal. I know the word comes from the Greeks, but this is really gargantuan. I don’t know how large an area it coves, but took two thousand years to complete. It has pillars full of hieroglyphics that are so huge in girth that it would take at least twenty men with their arms outstretched and holding on to each other to go round just one of these pillars. In fact, in one of the James Bond films they used this as a set. I can’t remember exactly which film, but they had the character 'Jaws’ running across the tops of these pillars. One of the most fascinating bits of
information actually carved into one of the walls were pictures of several men with lots of hieroglyphs all round them
All too quickly the week passed, or should I say sailed by. Kitchener Island was planted with hundreds of trees by Lord Kitchener who had been sent out by the British Government to go to the rescue of General Gordon in Khartoum. He failed in his attempt, and as a tribute, planted all the trees. Then there were the vendors who arrive by boat and literally take their lives in their hands paddling right up to the large boats entering the lock at Edfu. Using make-shift planks as oars tied to the sides of their little rowing boats with thin rope. The boats laden with all sorts of
tourist tut. “Hello... Hello Mister,” they shout as they unfurl a towel spreading their arms as widely as they can while displaying their wares. Then... quickly folding it up again...
I think in the end you can get ‘templed out’. Especially with all the information coming right at you. A fascinating land. And one I am really please we went to see. I think the biggest question I have though, and ending on a serious note is:- how does an ancient civilisation, schooled in the arts of building fine monuments that have lasted thousands of years; with mathematicians
able to work out fantastic stuff; doctors with medicines; astronomers; the inventors of written language... and I can go on and on. My question is this.... this country seems to have stopped evolving and is still living in biblical times... and the question is why? What happened to stop this country in its development?