As part of my holiday in Egypt in 2016 we visited Beni Hasan (which has tombs set high in the cliffs) and the Speos Artemidos (where Hatshepsut built a temple claiming to’ve brought order from the chaos of the Second Intermediate Period).

See the photos here:

These photos are from the outside areas of these sites, and one thing I was fascinated by here (as I so often am in Egypt) was the juxtaposition between the desert and the cultivation. The way you can stand up in the cliffs on dusty stone and see lush greenery so close to you.

4 years after this visit to Egypt I attended a talk by Dr José Ramón Pérez-Accino where he talked a bit about how the people of Egypt thought about their landscape. He noted the contrast of the order of the square-edged fields with the chaotic desert, which you still see today.

Thinking about it like that makes a lot of sense of the way that distinction of order vs. chaos is so fundamental to Egyptian thought. All around them are square-edged fields that bring them life and all good things, with the untamed and hostile desert always within sight.

Looking Across the Nile

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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