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Decartes once said that Travelling gives you the opportunity to meet people

from other civilizations and other centurieswhich, I my view, seems to be a


blessing for the modern man. We have been given the possibility to start our
journey in space and then, by resorting to our imagination, continue it in time.
Modern man tends to break the borders of both past and future. Undoubtedly,
there seems to be an endless desire to imagine and understand the unknown.
Even though time machine hasnt yet been invented, we can still discover the
past by travelling round the world and tracing the footsteps of our ancestors.
Unless we have yet noticed, past surrounds us everywhere: in the landscape
manufactured by humans, in the buildings and temples designed to either carry
out everyday rituals or to worship ancient Gods. All over the world great
civilizations were born, developed and disappeared, but the traces left represent
a still living proof of their glorious existence.
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of eastern North Africa, concentrated
along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country
of Egypt. The civilization united around 3150 BC[1] with the political unification
of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh, and it developed over the next
three millennia. The success of ancient Egyptian civilization stemmed partly from
its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River Valley. The predictable
flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops,
which fueled social development and culture. The many achievements of the
ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques
that facilitated the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks. A
newfound respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period led
to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of
its cultural legacy, for Egypt and the world.
Egyptian society was highly stratified, and social status was expressly displayed.
Farmers made up the bulk of the population, but agricultural product was owned

directly by the state, temple, or noble family that owned the land. Artists and
craftsmen were of higher status than farmers, but they were also under state
control, working in the shops attached to the temples and paid directly from the
state treasury. Scribes and officials formed the upper class in ancient Egypt, the
so-called "white kilt class" in reference to the bleached linen garments that
served as a mark of their rank.
Moreover, Egyptians believed that a balanced relationship between people and
animals was an essential element of the cosmic order; thus humans, animals and
plants

were

believed

to

be

members

of

single

whole.

Animals,

both domesticated and wild, were therefore a critical source of spirituality,


companionship, and sustenance to the ancient Egyptians.
Beliefs in the divine and in the afterlife were ingrained in ancient Egyptian
civilization from its inception; pharaonic rule was based on the divine right of
kings. The Egyptians believed that every human being was composed of physical
and spiritual parts or aspects. In addition to the body, each person had
a wt(shadow), a ba (personality or soul), a ka (life-force), and a name. The
heart, rather than the brain, was considered the seat of thoughts and emotions.
After death, the spiritual aspects were released from the body and could move at
will, but they required the physical remains (or a substitute, such as a statue) as
a permanent home. The ultimate goal of the deceased was to rejoin
his ka and ba and become one of the "blessed dead". The ancient Egyptians
maintained an elaborate set of burial customs that they believed were necessary
to ensure immortality after death. These customs involved preserving the body
by mummification, performing burial ceremonies, and interring, along with the
body, goods to be used by the deceased in the afterlife. Wealthier Egyptians
began to bury their dead in stone tombs and, as a result, they made use of
artificial mummification, which involved removing the internal organs, wrapping
the body in linen, and burying it in a rectangular stone sarcophagus or wooden
coffin.

The Valley of the Kings, less often, "Valley of the Gates of the Kings") is
a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th
century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of
the New

Kingdom.The

area

has

been

focus

of archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth


century, and its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest. In
modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of
Tutankhamun (with its rumours of the Curse of the Pharaohs[7]), and is one of the
most famous archaeological sites in the world. The 1922 discovery by Howard
Carter of Tutankhamun's intact tomb received worldwide press coverage. It
sparked

renewed

public

interest

in ancient

Egypt,

for

which

Tutankhamun's burial mask remains the popular symbol. Exhibits of artifacts from
his tomb have toured the world. His original name, Tutankhaten, means "Living
Image

of Aten",

while

Tutankhamun

means

"Living

Image

of Amun."

Tutankhamun was nine years old when he became pharaoh and reigned for
approximately ten years. In historical terms, Tutankhamun's significance stems
from his rejection of the radical religious innovations introduced by his
predecessor and father, Akhenaten. Tutankhamun was one of the few kings
worshiped as a god and honored with a cult-like following in his own lifetime.
Egypt seems to give you a strange feeling of identity, the kind of identity we all
seem to find when touching ancient stones that connect us to the past and at the
same time preserve the key to the gates of our future.