For those who wonder where the timeline of humanity begins, this is it. The earliest evidences of mankind have been tracked down to this North African country, affirming its significance in history through the ages. For a history nerd like me, I have always been fascinated by how every element of life came to be and while we have not (and may not, anytime soon) discovered the answers to the origin of the world, analysis of Egyptian history provides the most bracing revelations.
With the discovery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, which were then deciphered through the Rosetta Stone, we, as a collective kind, were able to receive information regarding the systems of agriculture, government, religion and culture of the ancient world. That, to me, was as astonishing achievement for which I would like to thank the country of Egypt through this piece. These points of interest are not only attractive tourist locations, a treat for the eyes but there are historical landmarks that we are fortunate to have sustained over the eras.
Giza Pyramid Complex, Cairo
One of the most recognizable structures of the world through the ages, the pyramids have been standing strong, for themselves and for mankind. As the only wonder, of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to still be in existence, we can not only confirm their genuineness as timeless monuments but marvel at their construction that was carried out over 4500 years ago. As if creating buildings in this day were not hard enough, the amount of man power that was required to help build the pyramids without any of the modern tools and machines is mind-boggling on its own.
It is believed that these pyramids were constructed as tombs for the emperors; this brings a somewhat mysterious yet divine edge to their existence. To learn about the history of these pyramids, they can enter inside and roam around the Grand Gallery, the King’s Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber and more.
Great Sphinx of Giza, Cairo
As a complimentary structure to the pyramids, the Great Sphinx of Giza is a step above the pyramids in terms of complexity and detail weaved into the statue. The Sphinx is a mythical creature that’s supposed to have the face and head of a human and the body of a lion, balancing the humane yet animalistic nature of mankind. Its face is believed to represent that of Pharoah Khafra, however there are no concrete explanations nor theories as to why, how and for what purpose the monument was made.
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This not only keeps the mystery alive for future generations but solidifies the idea that some things in history, as grand as they might be, will never be solved. Some say that its position in relation to the pyramids imitates the stars in the sky. Some say that it was a shrine for solar worship. However, we can nevertheless appreciate its regal shape without excavating the depths to its extant formation.
Yet another ancient set of incredible structures. Karnak consists of decayed temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings. It was part of the ancient city of Thebes and is the second-oldest religious site in the world, after the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
To think that humans inhabited the land and conducted their religious rites around these temples so many thousands of years ago sends chills down my spine; we might see it as a well-maintained, fascinating historical site but the people of those eras prayed here. These temples include the Precinct of Amun-re, Precinct of Mut and the Precinct of Montu. They also contain some of the best models of pagan art and culture.
Amidst the love for the ancient sites, we should not forget the majesty of the city of Cairo itself. It holds some of the most exemplary Islamic architecture, from the Mosque of Ibn Tulun to the grand Al-Azhar University, simply walking along Islamic Cairo would familiarize any individual to the wide diversity of Islamic architecture that are embodied in the multitude of mosques, tombs, madrasas and such in the city. The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is the oldest mosque to retain its original form. The Citadel of Cairo captivates anyone who wishes to explore the various roots of a city.
Nile River Delta
Regarded as the longest river in the world, it was a crucial foundation for the development of Egyptian civilization. Now bracketed by tall buildings, bright lights and bridges, it was once the only source of livelihood as it provided ground for agriculture and water for fishing and other activities.
The Nile Delta is also where the Rosetta Stone was discovered, a key to understanding ancient language and culture. I’d personally recommend anyone travelling through Egypt to take a cruise along the Nile and explore the most delightful sights of Northern Africa.