Ancient Egypt – Esna

The ram god, Khnum, was thought of as responsible for the creation of mankind, which he made from the mud of the Nile on his potter’s wheel. The temple located at Esna is a tribute to him. Khnum is a very ancient deity dating back to the Old Kingdom, and was closely associated with creation and the annual flooding of the Nile. He is typically …

Ancient Egypt – Saqqara

Saqqara is the location of the famous Step Pyramid, the grandfather of all pyramids. The Step Pyramid is the oldest stone structure known in the world and is also home to an immense necropolis, or cemetery. It has been speculated that this is where many of the people involved in constructing the pyramids were laid to rest. When Djoser, one of the earliest Egyptian Pharaohs, first …

Cairo the capital of modern day Egypt

Now the capital of modern day Egypt, Cairo is a hub in the junction of three major continents – Asia, Africa and Europe. The largest city in Africa, Cairo is home to 8 million people (about one-tenth of the Egyptian population), most of which are Muslim. The Triumphant City, Cairo, known officially as Al-Qāhirah is one of the world’s largest cities and promises many sites …

Ancient Egypt – Giza

When one thinks of Egypt, almost without fail, the pyramids come to mind. They symbolize the power and success of the ancient civilization. Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the pyramids are the only wonder that still remains. The pyramids were born out of the early era of the Egyptian civilization, known as the Old Kingdom (3000 BC- 2150 BC), the 4th dynasty …

Ancient Egypt – Kom Ombo – the Double Temple

Kom Ombo is the only ‘double temple’ from ancient Egypt. So named because it combines two architectural styles: modern by ancient Egypt’s standards, as well as representing two different gods simultaneously. It combines the Ptolemaic and the Roman period to commemorate the crocodile god Sobek, and the hawk god Horus. There is a main axis along which the two temples were symmetrically built. The layout …

Ancient Egypt – West Thebes

West Thebes is most certainly a formidable location in Egypt. Tombs here are dug out of the valley, within a labyrinth of rock faces. The pharaohs hoped they would remain protected in death within the Valley of the Kings. Pharaohs had abandoned the idea of erecting pyramids to be kept in after death and wanted to find an inconspicuous way to hide their remains. One …

Ancient Egypt – Abu Simbel Temple of Rameses II

The famous rock cut of Rameses II towers over the edge of the Nile in another postcard Egypt moment. Rameses II ruled in the New Kingdom from 1279 BC- 1213 BC. A spectacular edifice, it had to be relocated in the 1960s because of concern that the dam that was being renovated in Aswan, downstream, would flood it in its old location. This process was …

Ancient Egypt – Edfu

This temple took over 180 years to build and was a late addition as far as the ancient civilization was concerned. Constructed between 237 BC and 57 BC during the reigns of six Ptolemies, its style is thought to be typical of the Ptolemaic period, which marked the beginning of the end of the ancient Egyptian civilization (the Greco-Roman period). This temple is thought to …

Ancient Egypt – Philae

The temple devoted to the goddess Isis was located on Philae, an island, but in the 1960s, was threatened (like a few other temples) when the British proposed to develop a dam to control the flow of water in the Nile. To save the temple, an additional dam was built around the temple in 1972, in the hopes of preventing water from coming in, while …

Bioluminescence: Livings lights, Earth’s Own Aliens

In order to see as many living lights as possible we are beginning our dive after dark. The light show we will witness is visible light made by living creatures also known as bioluminescence. Fireflies are bioluminescent. So are a few other land dwellers, like some earthworms, centipedes and fungi. But on land, bioluminescence is rare. By contrast, in the oceans, bioluminescence is very, very …

Facts about Florida Panther – Puma concolor coryi

Mistakenly perceived as a threat to humans, livestock and game animals, the panther was persecuted and hunted to near extinction by the mid-1950’s. The U.S. Department of the Interior listed the Florida Panther as endangered in 1967 and congress passed the endangered species act in 1973. As the human population expanded, panthers began to lose more and more habitat (living space).  Now the Florida Panther faces …

Panthers from Florida and conservation

The panthers from Florida once roamed the southeastern United States. Now, the few panthers left in the wild are confined to remote cypress swamps in southwestern Florida. The panthers are the most endangered species of mammal in the U.S. It’s estimated that there are fewer than 100 left in the wild. These last panthers live in the tip of Florida, south of Lake Okeechobee. They’re …