Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Encounter at Giza (Part 1)

I trust the next stop in our travels needs no formal introduction.  The Pyramids of Giza are as recognizable around the world now as they were as when Herodotus wrote of them in the fifth century B.C.  The Egyptians established the Giza Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile, where the sun sets, as they were prone to do with sites of a funerary nature.  The plateau houses the following:

- Three pyramid complexes (that of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure)
- The Great Sphinx
- Workers' village (Rather than employ slaves, as Biblical literalism would suggest, most construction in Egypt was carried out through the employ of a labor tax.)
- Industrial site
- Cemeteries
- The Solar Boat museum

We arrived from Cairo early in the day, before the tourists filled up the place.  At that moment, only a few visitors had begun trickling in.

"This is it, Polly," I said, stretching my arms out to embrace the view in front of me.  "The pyramids themselves were looted long ago, but perhaps nearby is the finest haul of gold Egyptology has ever produced.  Think of Howard Carter—that could be us."

"If there's treasure around here here, I'll smell it!" Polly replied enthusiastically.

Before we could proceed any further, I sensed something sinister, as if the Evil Eye had set its gaze upon me.

"You shant find any gold here, Heinrich."  From behind, a distinctly English voice uttered my name with obvious contempt, as if it physically pained its owner to speak it.  "By now, this place has certainly been picked clean by such unsavory sorts as yourself."

That last statement was accompanied by a spray of spittle upon the back of my neck.  I quickly turned around, only to find myself nose-to-nose with none other than former British consular agent and amateur archaeologist, Frank Calvert.

"Nien, it can't be!" I cried.  "You're supposed to be dead!"

"The same could be said for you, Hiney....

How did he get here???
 ...Finally, after all these years, we meet again."

To be continued.

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