The Comforts of Anonymity

passer by~ Shanghai alley

passer by~ Shanghai alley

Anonymia, Greek for nameless, the state of us urban dwellers to each other. This suggests that our names define us and and who we have become in so many different ways. Being a stranger in the big city can be so comforting to those of us who opt for this lifestyle. We can be who we want to be if we choose to; those that don’t know us cannot fix us with their preconceptions, and this gives us room to grow and to change if we are so inclined.

Yes, it might be time for a name change…

Day 25~ March 25th~ Egypt

egypt then and now~ two men near one of the 'Colossi of Memnon' in Luxor

The Colossi of Memnon are shrouded with mystery and lore. One of these 2 massive 18 meter statues is known since ancient history to ‘sing’ at dawn. It is supposed to emanate a sound like the string of a lyre breaking at the early morning hours. The phenomenon was first reported by the Greek historian Strabo who claims to have personally heard it around the year 20BC.  These statues stand marking the entrance to Amenhotep’s temple and are said to depict his person.

The strangest thing to me about these statue and other megalithic sites I have seen in Europe (Carnac, Avebury, Stonehenge) is the fact that the stones that made them were firstly incredibly massive and secondly, they were transported across long distances in ways that we still do not comprehend. We always assumed that the ancients were inferior to us with their lack of technological know-how, but were they really? The large one-piece stones for these statues were quarried about 420 miles (675 km) away from where they stand and were moved to Thebes where they have been for at least the last 3400 years. This is a massive undertaking that amazes me and forces me think that we know so little about Egypt.

Day Seven~ February 7th~ Lebnaon

castle walls detail at Byblos~ Lebanon

As a small child our first family home and school were in the city of Byblos. It is daunting to think that the city I grew up in is in fact the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world! 

Byblos is said to have been founded by El, the god of Phoenicians, but archaeological evidence of settlements dating back around 7000 years was found on the site of the city. Byblos(Greek for Papyrus) is the name that was given to the city by the Greeks around 1200 BC due to its importance in the papyrus and cedar wood export in the region, especially to Egypt. Egypt had very close ties with Byblos and about 60 letters were found in the Amarna tablets in Egypt that were written by the king of Byblos requesting aid from Akhnaten, the Egyptian Pharao, in matters of war.

On this site the famous sarcophagus of Ahiram, King of Byblos was excavated.

I adore the history of Lebanon and just the thought that most of it remains a total mystery, makes me tingle!

sarcophagus at Byblos