Chapter 19 - A Trip Downriver
Here are some of the animals and plants encountered by Danny and Katy on their trip downriver.
The Nile crocodile is a dangerous animal. It no longer lives north of the Aswan Dam, but in ancient times it was common in many parts of Egypt. Most of the time it appears very sluggish, but it can swim quickly and leap out of the water to make a sudden, deadly attack. It can even run fairly quickly over land, but only for a very short distance before it is exhausted.
The Egyptian vulture is the bird used for the hieroglyph for 'a' (actually not an a, more of a glottal stop).
It is sometimes known as Pharaoh's chicken, because it looks like a scruffy chicken (supposedly).
It was an ibex, not an oryx!
The lotus plant was an important symbol to the Egyptians. The lotus (which came in blue or white form) stood for Lower Egypt. It was used to make perfume, and lotus flowers are often painted in tomb or temple scenes.
Two common types of fish found in the Nile and eaten by the Egyptians are shown here - the Tilapia, and the enormous Nile Perch.
Senusret I (also known as Sesostris) was a pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. He lived about 1971-1926 BC, that is, about 500 years before Hatshepsut. He was the second ruler of the 12th dynasty. He came to power after his father Amenemhat I was assassinated, and this event is part of one of the most famous Egyptian stories, The Tale of Sinuhe. He built a famous white chapel at Karnak, and added onto most of the other main temples. At Heliopolis he built a temple to Re-Atum (the inspiration for the temple in my story), with two obelisks. He also conquered parts of Nubia to the south, and was eventually buried in a pyramid near El Lisht, now in poor condition.
Right: cartouche of Senusret's throne name, Kheperkare
(you can just about see it on the belt of the statue)
According to one version of Egyptian religion, Atum was the god who came into being before heaven and earth were separated. He rose up from Nun, the waters of chaos, to form the primeval mound. His name means 'the all'.
Atum's children, Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture), became the parents of Geb (earth) and Nut (sky), and their children were Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth. Later in Egyptian history he was joined to the sun god Re and became Atum-Re or Re-Atum. According to the myth, when Atum wept, and his tears hit the ground, they turned into men - and so people were created.
Right: Atum-Re, from tomb of Nefertari
The inner sanctuaries of temples had shrines, usually made of stone, in which the statue of the god was kept. Another word for these shrines is 'naos' (a Greek word).
The picture shows the naos from the Temple of Edfu (built in the Ptolemaic period, over 1000 years after Hatshepsut). In front is an altar for offerings, or for resting the sacred barque on.