After the fiasco at Giza, we decided to ditch the boys and continue on down to Saqqara
(about a 30 minute drive from Giza). It was the best decision I made all day. As soon as you leave Cairo, all you see is GREEN GREEN GREEN. It's beautiful. People are out working in their fields and water buffalo laze about in the shade. It's so scenic.
I absolutely loved Saqqara. There were less people around and we got to tour some tombs that aren't open to the public. We saw the tomb of the Musician, tomb of the Butcher and the tomb of the Brothers/Manicurists (more on that later). Anyone who worked for the King got to be buried in a tomb along the causeway that leads to the King's tomb. So even the King's manicurist got a pretty sweet tomb. I guess the King's fingernails still needed tending to in the afterlife.
Two happy kid-less parents. Thanks, Mama De!
Here's a tomb that's been uncovered.
Our guide explaining how the hieroglyphics indicate that this tomb contains two men who worked as manicurists for the king. It's quite unusual for a single tomb to contain two bodies. He explained that the men were likely "brothers, twins or homosexuals." It's unknown.
And here's Clark using an iPhone app to translate the hieroglyphics. What a nerd. I love it.
Words can not describe how cool these tombs are. It's incredible that they still exist, the fact that the PAINT is still intact... blows my mind.
The women are shown in a lighter yellow shade because they stayed mostly indoors. The men are a darker shade of red because they worked outdoors.
The walls of the tombs are covered floor to ceiling with scenes of everyday life. Above, a cow gives birth. The man on the left is playing music to soothe the cow.
The scene above shows some men transporting gold. The dwarf in the middle was the only one trusted to carry the gold because his short legs prevented him from running off with it!
This one's for Clark, a court scene. The old man on the top left is being hauled into the judge for not paying taxes. He probably infringed on someone's patent too.
In the Musician's tomb you can see images of him as a child, a young man, an adult and eventually an old man. Scenes from all aspects of his life adorn the walls. You kind of feel like you know him a little bit.
And then you get to meet him! It's incredible. His mummy looked like a big block of stone. His legs were swollen from elephantiasis and he was short (he died when he was only 18).
It's a little hard to tell, but in the center you can see a sketch of a scene that was never finished. The butcher died before his tomb was completed and they had to rush his body in and seal it up. They didn't want his soul wandering around looking for his body.
This is the causeway, it led to the King's tomb and had the tombs of his servants on either side.
The roof of the causeway was lined with stars! So pretty.
And thousands of years ago the night sky was PAINTED blue. Can you see the traces of paint? Incredible.
I really fell in love with the stars and night sky. So creative.
I heart Saqqara.
I do not heart graffiti on ancient monuments. Grrrrrrrr.
More photos of Saqqara here