Sacred Places: Abu Simbel, Egypt An exploration of how and why places become invested with SACREDNESS and how the SACRED is embodied or made manifest through ART and ARCHITECTURE In 1257 BCE, Pharaoh Ramses II (1279-13 BCE) had two temples carved out of solid rock at a site on the west bank of the Nile south of Aswan in the land of Nubia and known today as Abu Simbel. Long before Ramses II, the site had been sacred to Hathor of Absek. The temple built by Ramses, however, was dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte. The sacred area, marked out as a forecourt and bounded on the north and south sides by brick walls, occupied a place between the sandstone cliffs and the river. The rock-cut fa açade of Ramses' temple represents the front of a pylon in front of which are four colossal seated figures of Ramses. The Main Hall, Abu Simbel The actual interior of the temple is inside the cliff in the form of a man-made cave cut out of the living rock (cf. The Innermost Shrine, Abu Simbel Bibliography:
Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus) The Bibliotheca (Ancient Greek: Βιβλιοθήκη, Bibliothēkē, "library") is a compendium of myths and heroic legends, arranged in three books, generally dated to the first or second centuries AD. It was known traditionally as the Library of Apollodorus, but the attribution is now regarded as false. The Bibliotheca has been called "the most valuable mythographical work that has come down from ancient times". An epigram recorded by Photius expressed its purpose: It has the following not ungraceful epigram: 'Draw your knowledge of the past from me and read the ancient tales of learned lore. Look neither at the page of Homer, nor of elegy, nor tragic muse, nor epic strain. Seek not the vaunted verse of the cycle; but look in me and you will find in me all that the world contains'. The brief and unadorned accounts of myth in the Bibliotheca have led some commentators to suggest that even its complete sections are an epitome of a lost work. The first mention of the work is by Photius.
Colossus of Rhodes The Colossus of Rhodes, as depicted in an artist's impression of 1880. Siege of Rhodes In the late 4th century BC, Rhodes, allied with Ptolemy I of Egypt, prevented a massive invasion staged by their common enemy, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. Construction The construction began in 292 BC. The Colossus of Rhodes as imagined in a 16th-century engraving by Martin Heemskerck, part of his series of the Seven Wonders of the World. To you, o Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus, when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Modern engineers have put forward a plausible hypothesis for the statue construction, based on the technology of those days (which was not based on the modern principles of earthquake engineering), and the accounts of Philo and Pliny who both saw and described the remains. The base pedestal was at least 60 feet (18 m) in diameter and either circular or octagonal. Sources
Nabta Playa Note approximate location circled near bottom. Early history Nabta Playa calendar in Aswan Nubia museum Although at present the western Egyptian desert is totally dry, this was not the case in the past. Also in the late 7th millennium BC, but a little later than the time referred to above, imported goats and sheep, apparently from Southwest Asia , appear. High level of organization Archaeological discoveries reveal that these prehistoric peoples led livelihoods seemingly at a higher level of organization than their contemporaries who lived closer to the Nile Valley. The people of Nabta Playa had: Findings also indicate that the region was occupied only seasonally, most likely only in the summer period, when the local lake filled with water for grazing cattle. Careful comparative research indicates that the indigenous inhabitants may have a significantly more advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics than previously thought possible. Recent research Notes
Stonehenge Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury Henge. It is a national legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008 indicates that Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. The dating of cremated remains found on the site indicate that deposits contain human bone from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug. Etymology Early history Plan of Stonehenge in 2004. Stonehenge 1. Folklore
Lucy the Elephant Elephant hotel redirects here. For the National Historic Landmark located in Somers, New York, see Elephant Hotel. Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by James V. Today, Lucy is a tourist attraction. 1800s In 1881, the U.S. Lafferty brought real estate customers up a narrow spiral staircase from within the elephant's body to the howdah, where he could point out real estate parcels available for sale. Lucy's head shape identifies the building as an Asian Elephant, and its tusks as a male. The structure was sold to Anton Gertzen of Philadelphia in 1887 and remained in the Gertzen family until 1970. Lafferty built at least two more elephant-shaped buildings, though neither survives. 1900s Over the years, Lucy had served as a restaurant, business office, cottage, and tavern (the last closed by Prohibition). By the 1960s, Lucy had fallen into disrepair and was scheduled for demolition.
Abu Simbel temples The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic) in Nubia, southern Egypt. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. History
Norse mythology An undead völva, a Scandinavian seeress, tells the spear-wielding god Odin of what has been and what will be in Odin and the Völva by Lorenz Frølich (1895) For the practices and social institutions of the Norse pagans, see Norse paganism Norse mythology, or Scandinavian mythology, is the body of mythology of the North Germanic people stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. Most of the surviving mythology centers on the plights of the gods and their interaction with various other beings, such as humanity and the jötnar, beings who may be friends, lovers, foes and/or family members of the gods. Norse mythology has been a discussion of scholarly interpretation and debate since the 17th century, when key texts were brought to the attention of the intellectual circles of Europe. Sources Numerous further texts, such as the sagas, provide further information. Mythology
Pan-American Highway The Pan American Highway from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, with selected official and unofficial routes shown through the U.S.A. and Canada. The Pan-American Highway (Portuguese: Rodovia / Auto-estrada Pan-americana, Spanish: Autopista / Carretera / Ruta Panamericana) is a network of roads measuring about 48,000 kilometres (30,000 mi) in total length, except for a rainforest break of approximately 100 km (60 mi), called the Darién Gap, the road links almost all of the mainland nations of the Americas in a connected highway system. According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world's longest "motorable road". However, because of the Darién Gap, it is not possible to cross between South America and Central America by traditional motor vehicle. Jake Silverstein, writing in 2006, described the Pan-American Highway as "a system so vast, so incomplete, and so incomprehensible it is not so much a road as it is the idea of Pan-Americanism itself".