Session 4: Chapters 15 - 18

On page 188, Nimrod tells the children about the Terracotta Army that was unearthed in 1974 in the city of Xi'an, central China

The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 in the eastern suburbs of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province by local farmers drilling a water well 1.5 miles east of Lishan (a mountain). This discovery prompted archaeologists to proceed to Shaanxi Province, China to investigate. The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art buried with the First Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang, Shi Huang means the first emperor) in 210-209 BC (he declared himself the first emperor of China in 221 BC to the end of his life in 210 BC). Their purpose was to help rule another empire with Shi Huang Di in the afterlife. Consequently, they are also sometimes referred to as "Qin's Armies." Mount Lishan is also where the material to make the terracotta warriors originated. In addition to the warriors, an entire man-made necropolis for the emperor has been excavated.
According to the historian Sima Qian (145-90 BC) construction of Terracotta1.JPGthis mausoleum began in 246 BC and involved 700,000 workers. Qin Shi Huang was thirteen when construction began (he specifically stated that no two soldiers were to be made alike, which is most likely why he had construction started at that young age) . Sima Qian, in his most famous work, Shiji, completed a century after the mausoleum completion, wrote that the First Emperor was buried with palaces, scenic towers, officials, valuable utensils and 'wonderful objects,' with 100 rivers fashioned in mercury and above this heavenly bodies below which he wrote were 'the features of the earth.' Some translations of this passage refer to 'models' or 'imitations' but in fact he does not use those words. Recent scientific work at the site has shown high levels of mercury in the soil on and around Mount Lishan, appearing to add credence to the writing of ancient historian Sima Qian. The tomb of Shi Huang Di is under an earthen pyramid 76 meters tall and nearly 350 square meters. The tomb remains unopened, in the hope that it will remain intact. Only a portion of the site is presently excavated.

Qin Shi Huang’s necropolis complex was constructed to serve as an imperial compound or palace. It comprises several offices, halls and other structures and is surrounded by a wall with gateway entrances.
It was also said as a legend that the Terracotta Warriors were real soldiers, buried with Emperor Qin so that they could defend him from any dangers in the next life.
Terracotta_pmorgan3.jpgThe terracotta figures were manufactured both in workshops by government laborers and also by local craftsmen. The head, arms, legs and torsos were created separately and then assembled. Studies show that eight face molds were most likely used, and then clay was added to provide individual facial features. Once assembled, intricate features such as facial expressions were added. It is believed that their legs were made in much the same way that terracotta drainage pipes were manufactured at the time. This would make it an assembly line production, with specific parts manufactured and assembled after being fired, as opposed to crafting one solid piece of terracotta and subsequently firing it. In those days, each workshop was required to inscribe its name on items produced to ensure quality control. This has aided modern historians in verifying that workshops that once made tiles and other mundane items were commandeered to work on the terracotta army. Upon completion, the terracotta figures were placed in the pits in precise military formation according to rank and duty.
The terracotta figures are life-like and life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The colored lacquer finish, individual facial features, and actual weapons and armor from battle used in manufacturing these figures created a realistic appearance. The original weapons were stolen by robbers shortly after the creation of the army and the coloring has faded greatly. However, their existence serves as a testament to the amount of labor and skill involved in their construction. It also reveals the power the First Emperor possessed, enabling him to command such a monumental undertaking as this.

Statue of Akhenaten in the Cairo Museum

Page 189-
The figure standing in front of them had a long face, narrow almond shaped eyes, thick lips, a dropping jaw, a long swan-like neck, sloping shoulders, a large pot belly, and the most enormous thighs the twins had ever seen.

"John, Philippa, I'd like to introduce you to Akhenaten," said Nimrod, pointing at the great black figure standing before them

"Akhenaten. Also called Amenhotep the Fourth. King of Egypt of the Eighteenth Dynasty, who reigned over Egypt, three thousand five hundred years ago."


On page 189-- Nimrod mentions the Egyptian gods and goddesses that were banned when Amenhotep (Akhenaten) become king.
Isis: She was the daughter of Geb and Nut, and is considered to be one of the most famous goddesses ever, being the goddess of motherhood and fertility. She was Osiris’ wife, and was the twin sister of Nephthys. She is depicted with a throne on her head, and had been honored as an incredible sorceress, and her powers were used to accomplish such things as discovering Ra’s secret name.

Anubis is the Greek name for a jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian mythology. In the ancient Egyptian language, Anubis is known as Inpu, (variously spelled Anupu, Ienpw etc.) . The oldest known mention of Anubis is in the Old Kingdom pyramid texts, where he is associated with the burial of the king. At this time, Anubis was the most important god of the Dead but he was replaced during the Middle Kingdom by Osiris.
He takes names in connection with his funerary role, such as He who is upon his mountain, which underscores his importance as a protector of the deceased and their tombs, and the title He who is in the place of embalming, associating him with the process of mummification. Like many ancient Egyptian deities, Anubis assumes different roles in various contexts, and no public procession in Egypt would be conducted without an Anubis to march at the head.

thoth.1.jpg Thoth was the god of writing, wisdom, learning, and the moon. He invented writing, magic, hermetic arts, music, medicine, astronomy, geometry, surveying, drawing and writing. He had eight children one of them was another god named Amon, he also had a wife named Ma'at, his head was shaped like ibis. His symbols were reed pens, writing palette, baboon, and ibis. Thoth was the creator of the universe. He invented arithmetic, astronomy and writing. He also wrote for the gods. He recorded just about everything that was known. Thoth wrote many religious books such as The Book of the Dead (If you believe in Egyptian mythology). His brother was Seshat. Thoth was also called Tehuti.

Seti is in the middel between Osiris on the left and Horus on the right

Set or Seti is the Egyptian god of chaos, evil, war, storms, deserts, and foreign lands who kiled his brother Osiris.

The representation of Aten (sun worship) introduced by Akhenaten is found in the symbol shown above. A golden circle with several hands reaching down to bestow blessing on the individual. In the lower part of the circle the symbol of life is shown. Some versions of the circle show several hands and sometimes with the symbol of life in each hand (again, showing life being granted). Not all versions of the Aten symbol have the same number of hands.

Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten, second from the left is Tutankhamun who was the son of Akhenaten.
(or Aton) was the disk of the sun in ancient Egyptian mythology, and originally an aspect of Ra. He became the deity of the monotheistic — in fact, monistic — religion Atenism of Amenhotep IV, who took the name Akhenaten. The worship of Aten seemed to stop shortly after Akhenaten's death. In his poem "Hymn to Aten," Akhenaten praises Aten as the creator, and giver of life.

Rosetta Stone: On page 193, Nimrod explains to the twins about the Rosetta Stone and Thomas Young
The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact which was instrumental in advancing modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphic writing. The stone is a Ptolemaic era stele with carved text made up of three translations of a single passage: two in Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and Demotic) and one in classical Greek. It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the French in 1799 at Rosetta and contributed greatly to the deciphering of the principles of hieroglyph writing in 1822 by the British scientist Thomas Young and the French scholar Jean-François Champollion. Comparative translation of the stone assisted in understanding many previously undecipherable examples of hieroglyphic writing. The text on the stone is a decree from Ptolemy V, describing the repeal of various taxes and instructions to erect statues in temples. Two Egyptian-Greek multilingual steles predated Ptolemy V's Rosetta Stone: Ptolemy III's Decree of Canopus, 239 BC, and Ptolemy IV's Decree of Memphis, ca 218 BC.
The renaissance translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs in the early 1800s promulgated the immediate three-language translation of the tri-lingual Behistun Inscription in cuneiform scripts, by scaffolding work on the cliff-wall face, before the mid-1800s. Both hieroglyphs and cuneiform were starting a translation revolution, as were the physical sciences of describing fossil evolution.
The Rosetta Stone is 114.4 centimetres (45.0 in) high at its highest point, 72.3 centimetres (28.5 in) wide, and 27.9 centimetres (11.0 in) thick. It is unfinished on its sides and reverse. Weighing approximately 760 kilograms (1,700 lb), it was originally thought to be granite or basalt but is currently described as granodiorite of a dark pinkish-gray color. The stone has been on public display at The British Museum since 1802.

Ramesses II: one of four external seated statues
On page 193 --Uncle Nimrod tells the children that he Hussein Hussaout may have unearthed the Egyptian stele that will help them decipher the Netjet Tablet, which was discovered by his father in the 1950s. The Netjer Tablet was said to contain important clues at the whereabouts of some ancient royal tombs, including Akhenaten and Ramses II.

Ramesses II (also known as Ramesses The Great and alternatively transcribed as Ramses and Rameses *Riʕmīsisu; also known as Ozymandias in the Greek sources, from a transliteration into Greek of a part of Ramesses' throne name, User-maat-re Setep-en-re)[was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as Egypt's greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh. His successors and later Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor."
He was born around 1303 BC and at age fourteen, Ramesses was appointed Prince Regent by his father Seti I. He is believed to have taken the throne in his early 20s and to have ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC for a total of 66 years and 2 months, according to Manetho. He was once said to have lived to be 99 years old, but it is more likely that he died in his 90th or 91st year. If he became Pharaoh in 1279 BC as most Egyptologists today believe, he would have assumed his throne on May 31, 1279 BC, based on his known accession date of III Shemu day 27. Ramesses II celebrated an unprecedented 14 sed festivals during his reign—more than any other pharaoh. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings; his body was later moved to a royal cache where it was discovered in 1881, and is now on display in the Cairo Museum.
Ramesses II led several expeditions north into the lands east of the Mediterranean (the location of the modern Israel, Lebanon and Syria). He also led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein.
The early part of his reign was focused on building cities, temples and monuments. He established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and main base for his campaigns in Syria. This city was built on the remains of the city of Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos when they took over, and was the location of the main Temple of Set.

On page 206. The twins, Mr. Groanin, Creemy, and Mr. R set out to find Nimrod. The twins wish for a Ferrari, but end up with a pink Ferrari with Range Rover larger all-terrain vehicle wheels.
: ) Which car would YOU rather drive?

Ferrari 575 M Maranello
Range Rover

Freud's Sofa
Freudian Slip: On page 213, Mr. Groanin mentions that when Baksheesh slipped and said "HE" and then "IT," this may have been a freudian slip on his part.

A Freudian slip, or parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of some unconscious ('dynamically repressed') wish, conflict, or train of thought. The concept is thus part of classical psychoanalysis.
As a common pun goes, "A Freudian slip is when you mean one thing, but you say your mother (another)."
Was is it merely a slip of the tongue or is that what Baksheesh really meant?

Western Desert:

egypt-v-055_2.jpgThe Western Desert covers about 700,000 square kilometers (equivalent in size to Texas) and accounts for about two-thirds of Egypt's land area. This immense desert to the west of the It spans the area from the Mediterranean Sea south to the Sudanese border. The desert's Jilf al Kabir Plateau has an altitude of about 1,000 meters, an exception to the uninterrupted territory of basement rocks covered by layers of horizontally bedded sediments forming a massive plain or low plateau. The Great Sand Sea lies within the desert's plain and extends from the Siwa Oasis to Jilf al Kabir. Escarpments (ridges) and deep depressions (basins) exist in several parts of the Western Desert, and no rivers or streams drain into or out of the area.
Limited agricultural production, the presence of some natural resources, and permanent settlements are found in the other six depressions, all of which have fresh water provided by the Nile or by local groundwater. The Siwah Oasis, close to the Libyan border and west of Qattara, is isolated from the rest of Egypt but has sustained life since ancient times. The Siwa's cliff-hung
Oasis in the Western Desert
Temple of Amun was renowned for its oracles for more than 1,000 years. Herodotus and Alexander the Great were among the many illustrious people who visited the temple in the pre-Christian era.
The other major oases form a topographic chain of basins extending from the Faiyum Oasis (sometimes called the Fayyum Depression) which lies sixty kilometers southwest of Cairo, south to the Bahariya, Farafirah, and Dakhilah oases before reaching the country's largest oasis, Kharijah. A brackish lake, Birket Qarun, at the northern reaches of Al Fayyum Oasis, drained into the Nile in ancient times. For centuries sweetwater artesian wells in the Fayyum Oasis have permitted extensive cultivation in an irrigated area that extends over 1,800 square kilometers (694 square miles).

Eastern Desert

BIGred-sea-hills-eastern-desert.jpgThe Eastern Desert is the desert east of the river Nile, between the Nile and the Red Sea. It extends from Egypt in the north to Eritrea in the south, and also comprises parts of Sudan and Ethiopia.easterndesert24.jpg

On page 216 Groanin recites this poem to the twins. He notes that Shelley is one of the greatest poets who ever lived.

Click on the camel above to hear the poem read aloud


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
--- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Glossary of terms from poem--

trunk: person's body without legs, arms or head
trunkless: without trunk
visage: face
wrinkled: slightly folded; creased
sneer: contemptuous or mocking smile

"Ozymandias" (pronounced /ˌɒziˈmændi.əs/[2]) is a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley, published in 1818. It is frequently anthologized and is probably Shelley's most famous short poem. It was written in competition with his friend Horace Smith, who wrote another sonnet entitled "Ozymandias"
In addition to the power of its themes and imagery, the poem is notable for its virtuosic diction. The rhyme scheme of the sonnet is unusual and creates a sinuous and interwoven effect.
The central theme of "Ozymandias" is the inevitable decline of all men, and of the empires they build, however mighty in their own time.
Ozymandias was another n
The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum thought to have inspired the poem
ame for Ramesses the Great, Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt. Ozymandias represents a transliteration into Greek of a part of Ramesses' throne name, User-maat-re Setep-en-re. The sonnet paraphrases the inscription on the base of the statue, given by Diodorus Siculus as "King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works." Shelley's poem is often said to have been inspired by the arrival in London of a colossal statue of Ramesses II, acquired for the British Museum by the Italian adventurer Giovanni Belzoni in 1816. Rodenbeck and Chaney, however, point out that the poem was written and published before the statue arrived in Britain, and thus that Shelley could not have seen it. Its repute in Western Europe preceded its actual arrival in Britain (Napoleon had previously made an unsuccessful attempt to acquire it for France, for example), and thus it may have been its repute or news of its imminent arrival rather than seeing the statue itself which provided the inspiration.
Among the earlier senses of the verb "to mock" is "to fashion an imitation of reality" (as in "a mock-up"),[8] but by Shelley's day the current sense "to ridicule" (especially by mimicking) had come to the fore.
The sonnet celebrates the anonymous sculptor and his artistic achievement, whilst Shelley imaginatively surveys the ruins of a bygone power to fashion a sinuous, compact sonnet spun from a traveller's tale of far distant desert ruins. The lone and level sands stretching to the horizon perhaps suggest a resultant barrenness from a misuse of power where "nothing beside remains".
This sonnet is often incorrectly quoted or reproduced . The most common misquotation – "Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" – replaces the correct "on" with "upon", thus turning the regular decasyllabic (iambic pentameter) verse into an 11-syllable line

The New Oxford Book of English Verse: Click on the book to travel to and read about this poetry anthology.Oxford.jpg Groanin mentions that the Ozymandias' is in this poetry anthology.
The Oxford Book of English Verse most commonly means the Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900 edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, an anthology of English poetry that had a very substantial influence on popular taste and perception of poetry for at least a generation. It was published by Oxford University Press in 1900; in its india-paper form it was carried widely around the British Empire and in war as a 'knapsack book'. It sold close to 500,000 copies in its first edition.
In 1939, the editor revised it, deleting several poems (especially from the late 19th century) that he regretted including and adding poems published up to 1918.
The second edition is now available online.
Various successors have subtly differentiated titles.

In chapter 18, Creemy and the twins return with an excavator, a tata-hitachi to unearth Nimrod from Akhenaten's tomb

Scorpion: A Scorpion acts a seal/guard on the door to Akhenaten's tomb -- p. 229

Scorpions are found in the warmer regions of the world and this includes southern Europe. They are not restricted to desert regions, as is often supposed, but can be found in forests too. However, since they are largely nocturnal they spend most of the day under logs or deep in the leaf litter and so are not readily seen. They vary in length from 13 - 180 mm. Two of their most striking features are their pincers and their sting, see Figure 1. The pincers are used to grip and manipulate their prey, mainly insects and spiders, which are stung. The venom is inserted into the victim via a sting at the end of the 'tail'. Although most scorpion stings are only painful to humans a few species are more dangerous, and may be fatal, especially to children and elderly people.

Rabat_Tour_Hassan_Mausolee.jpgOn page 233 -- Philippa mentions the word that escaped from the dying scorpion -- "rabat."

Rabat (Arabic الرباط, transliterated ar-Rabāṭ or ar-Ribāṭ), population 2 million (2007 estimate), is the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. It is also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region.
The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, Rabat's bedroom community. Together the two cities with Témara account for a population of 2 million. Unfortunately, silting problems have diminished the city's role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain relatively important textile, food processing and construction industries; some are from sweatshop labor by major multinational corporations (see Salé).
In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat the second most important city in the country after the larger and more economically significant Casablanca.

One page 232 -- Mr. Rakshasas notices that there are none of the heiroglyphic references to Osiris -- the god of the afterlife, who would appear on the tomb of an Egyptain who believed in the usual gods.

Osiris was not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He is described as the "Lord of love", "He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful" and the "Lord of Silence". The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death — as Osiris rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals.

On page 235: Nimrod comments on the headdress worn by Akhenaten in the hieroglyphs in his tomb.

In Egyptian mythology, Wadjet, or the Green One (Egyptian w3ḏyt; also spelt Wadjit, Wedjet, Uadjet or Ua Zit and in Greek, Udjo, Uto, Edjo, and Buto among other names), was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep, which became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet, House of Wadjet, and the Greeks called Buto, a city that was an important site in the Predynastic era of Ancient Egypt and the cultural developments of the Paleolithic. She was said to be the patron and protector of Lower Egypt and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and patron of all of Egypt with the "goddess" of Upper Egypt. The image of Wadjet with the sun disk is called the uraeus, and it was the emblem on the crown of the rulers of Lower Egypt.
As the patron goddess, she was associated with the land and depicted as a snake-headed woman or a snake—usually an Egyptian cobra, a poisonous snake common to the region; sometimes she was depicted as a woman with two snake heads and, at other times, a snake with a woman's head. Her oracle was in the renowned temple in Per-Wadjet that was dedicated to her worship and gave the city its name. This oracle may have been the source for the oracular tradition that spread to Greece from Egypt

Often shown as a rearing cobra, she was a protector of the pharaoh, ready to strike and kill his enemies. She was also depicted as a woman-headed cobra, a winged cobra, a lion-headed woman, or a woman wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. She was often shown together with Nekhbet who was in an identical form - as a snake or woman - or paired together with Wadjet as a snake and Nekhbet as a vulture.

On page 236 -- Mr. Rakshasas wonders whether the lost djinn were being held in canopic jars.
Canopic jars of Neskhons, wife of Pinedjem II. Made of calcite, with painted wooden heads. Circa 990-969 BC. On display at the British Museum.
Canopic jars
were used by the Ancient Egyptians during the mummification process to store and preserve the viscera of their own for the afterlife. They were commonly either carved from [lime] stone or were made of pottery. These jars were used by Ancient Egyptians from the time of the Old Kingdom up until the time of the Late Period or the Ptolemaic Period, by which time the viscera were simply wrapped and placed with the body. All the viscera were not kept in a single canopic jar, but rather each organ was placed in a jar of its own. The name 'canopic' reflects the mistaken association by early Egyptologists with the Greek legend of Canopus.[3][4]
The jars were four in number, each charged with the safekeeping of particular human organs: the stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver. The design of these changed over time. In the Old Kingdom the jars had plain lids, though by the First Intermediate Period jars with human heads (assumed to represent the dead) began to appear.
This practice continued up until the time of the New Kingdom, though by the late Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt the human heads were replaced by heads associated with the four sons of Horus, who were also the gods of the cardinal compass points. Each god was responsible for protecting a particular organ, and were themselves protected by companion
goddesses from harm.

On page 243: Nimrod refers to the djinn's spirit as his "Neshamah."
Neshamah (Hebrew) [from nasham to breathe]
(I'm not sure whether this is the correct reference. Maybe Mr. Kerr can let us know.)

Used in the Kabbalah as an equivalent for the highest principle of the human constitution -- not so much the purely abstract atman, as the highest duad atma-buddhi -- rendered spirit or sometimes spiritual soul. Often mistaken as meaning the vital principle in the human body

external image grey_loader.gif
, which is properly rendered by the Hebrew hai. The mistake arose because the neshamah is spoken of as the breath of God, hence it is properly called the divine afflatus.

On page 244: Nimrod tells the children that in order for the twins to understand the out of body experience, they would need a degree in "physics."

Physics (Greek: physis – φύσις meaning "nature") is a natural science; it is the study of matter and its motion through space time and all that derives from these, such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the world and universe behave.
Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of astronomy] Over the last two millennia, physics had been considered synonymous with philosophy, chemistry, and certain branches of mathematics and biology, but during the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century, it emerged to become a unique modern science in its own right. However, in some subject areas such as in mathematical physics and quantum chemistry, the boundaries of physics remain difficult to distinguish.
Physics is both significant and influential, in part because advances in its understanding have often translated into new technologies, but also because new ideas in physics often resonate with the other sciences, mathematics and philosophy.
For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism or nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products which have dramatically transformed modern-day society (e.g., television, computers, domestic appliances, and nuclear weapons); advances in thermodynamics led to the development of motorized transport; and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus.

1206562050946125710nicubunu_Mouth_with_tongue.svg.hi.pngOn page 247: Baksheesh tells Nimrod and the twins about Palis, the foot licker.
( I am not certain whether Mr. Kerr pulled from this as a resource:
This section taken directly from:
"Persian Beliefs and Customs" by Henri Masse. HRAF New Haven, ©1954.
The palis (licker of feet) attacks a man when he is asleep in the desert and licks the soles of his feet.... Once it was duped by two muleteers from Isfahan who, when they were caught in the desert at night, slept foot to foot and covered with the mantles. The palis circled around them in vain and finally went away, saying: "I have explored 1,033 valleys, but I have never seen a man with two heads."


On page 248: Baksheesh tells how his father, Hussein, hid him in a sarcophagus.
Sarcophagi were most often designed to remain above ground, hence were often ornately carved, decorated or elaborately constructed. Some were built to be freestanding, as a part of an elaborate tomb or series of tombs, while others were intended for placement in crypts. In Ancient Egypt, a sarcophagus formed the external layer of protection for a royal mummy, with several layers of coffins nested within, and was often carved out of alabaster.
Sarcophagi – sometimes metal or plaster as well as limestone – were also used by the ancient Romans until the early Christian burial preference for interment underground, often in a limestone sepulchre, led to their falling out of favor.

333px-Egypt.Giza.Sphinx.02.jpgOn page 251: Nimrod tells the twins that the French Ambassador is a keen student of Egyptology.

Egyptology (from Egypt and Greek -λογία, -logia. Arabic: علم المصريات‎) is a major field of archaeology, the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an Egyptologist.

250px-Crab_Nebula.jpgand Astronomy.

Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.

On page 252: Nimrod mentions that he will spread the word about having found the casket of the lost djinn of Akhenaten. One of the places he mentions is the Cairo Hilton. Yes, there is a Cairo Hilton and...

Click on the hotel to visit the hotel. Maybe we can take a class trip there one day. : )
Located on the banks of the River Nile, the Ramses Hilton hotel is a stunning destination in the heart of Cairo. Take in views of the Nile and the Pyramids from this Egypt hotel's 36th-floor Windows on the World restaurant. Relax by the outdoor pool or enjoy coffee and pastries at the Garden Court Café. The Ramses Hilton hotel boasts a British-style pub, an Indian restaurant, a shopping Galleria and Executive Lounge.

Only 45 minutes from Cairo International Airport, the Ramses Hilton hotel is 5 minutes from the Egyptian Museum and within easy reach of famous Cairo attractions. Let the staff at this Cairo hotel arrange a day trip or organize transport to the surrounding region. Do business in one of 8 meeting rooms or celebrate in the ballroom for up to 600. Work out in the gym or indulge in a soothing Jacuzzi at the Health Club.

A Groppi's....
Giacomo Groppi (1863-1958), left, a poor pastry chef who left Lugano for Alexandria, and his son Achille (1890-1949).


From cakes to mosaics
"Mosaic with maenad mask": a glass mosaic, 4cm by 4cm, dating from the first century BC (Antikenmuseum Basel)
Achille Groppe was a Swiss coffeehouse owner in Cairo with an eye for both mouth-watering confectionary and sparkling Egyptian antiquities. For the first time, Groppi's unique collection – which includes a golden goblet used by King Farouk – is on display at the Antikenmuseum Basel, the city's leading museum for classical and Egyptian antiquities. Many of the 160 objects in the "Köstlichkeiten aus Cairo" (Delicacies from Cairo) exhibition have never before been shown in public. "Between 1920 and 1940 this was the most important private collection in the world – not only for glass but also for Egyptian art," exhibition curator André Wiese told swissinfo. To learn more about this click on the


180px-Bauchtanz_Chryssanthi_Sahar.jpgand Alibhai's Belly Dancing Club. Belly dance is a Western term for a traditional Arab dance genre known as raqs sharqi (Arabic: رقص شرقي‎; literally "oriental dance") or sometimes raqs baladi (Arabic: رقص بلدي‎; literally "dance of country", and so "folk" dance). It is also sometimes called "Middle Eastern Dance" or the "Arabic Dance" in the United States, "danse du ventre"[1], or by the Turkish term Çiftetelli (τσιφτετέλι). Native to the Middle East, and now popular worldwide, belly dance takes many different regional forms, both in costume and dance style, indicating that distinctive dance moves may have been transported to these regions and incorporated with local dance styles.

On page 252: Nimrod tells the twins that he will set a trap for Iblis with the casket of Amenhophis III

Amenhotep III
(sometimes read as Amenophis III; meaning Amun is Satisfied) was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1386 to 1349 BC or June 1388 BC to December 1351 BC/1350 BC after his father Thutmose IV died. Amenhotep III was the son of Thutmose by Mutemwia, a minor wife of Amenhotep's father.
His lengthy reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendor, when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and international power. A 2008 list compiled by Forbes magazine found Amenhotep III to be the twelfth richest person in human history. When he died (probably in the 39th year of his reign), his son reigned as Amenhotep IV, later changing his royal name to Akhenaten.