Friday, January 29, 2016

A Search Into Yesterday

“Study the past if you would define the future.” - Confucius

I've recently been preparing for an appearance in my author personae.  MY FIRST BOOK CLUB MEETING!  I'm so excited to present on my writing journey, self-publishing, and some ancient Egyptian facts. 

I thought I might share some history facts because, well, I'm a bit of a history nerd.  So what follows are some interesting tidbits I unearthed in my personal library of ancient history books.  Let's start with some of the basics.

We know things because of:
  • Tomb paintings
  • Monuments
  • Objects and artifacts recovered from archaeological sites
  • Stories others have left us
    • As the Roman Empire came to power in Egypt after 146 B.C.E. , the ability to understand the hieroglyphs disappeared
  • Sometimes building blocks were reused by other pharaohs, so these can tell the tales of two different pharaohs.  This was practiced at the Karnak Temple.

As some scenes take place in the temple of Karnak, referred to as Ipet-isut ("The Most Chosen of Places") I thought I'd share a little about the temple complex.

The Karnak Temple Complex
Is a complex is a vast open-air museum
The second largest ancient religious site in the world (after the Angkor Wat Temple of Cambodia)
It is believed to be the second most visited historical site in Egypt
Major construction work in the section of Amun-Re took place during the Eighteenth dynasty (which includes Akhenaten & Tut)
Approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings in the complex
Although destroyed, it also contained an early temple built by Akhenaten

The Karnak obelisks mentioned in "Aten's Last Queen:"
          Hatshepsut had twin obelisks erected.
          At that time, these were the tallest in the world
          Hatshepsut reigned between  c. 1478 - 1458 B.C.  The pharaohs after her were :
Thutmoses III
Amenhotep II
Thutmose IV
Amenhotep III
Akhenaten  (c. 1351–1334 BC)

  • She is believed to have been born in Waset (present-day Thebes), but probably grew up in her father's new capital city of Akhetaten (present-day Amarna).
  • The fate of Ankhesenamun is not known, but she disappears from record and Ay's second wife Tey became Great Royal Wife.
  • Born as Ankhesenpaaten, she was the third of six known daughters of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti.
  • As one of three  "Senior Princesses," she would have participated in many functions of the government and religion. 

Ankhesenamun in hieroglyphs

Ankhesenpaaten (anḫ s n pa itn)
Translation, Living for Aten

Ankhesenamun (anḫ s n imn)
Translation, Living for Amun
via Wikipedia

"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday." ~Pearl Buck

I think that's enough fun for today!  In my next post, I'll share some snippets about ancient Egyptian names and fashion facts.