"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Romer's Egypt

06 Apr 2002

Who: John Romer

What: Romer's Egypt: A New Light on the Civilization of Ancient Egypt

Where: Quinto Bookshop. Charing Cross Road, London.

When: 10 April 2000

Why: It's John Romer. He has done a number of television series on Ancient Egypt -- "Ancient Lives", and "The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World" come to mind. And a series called "Testament" on the history of the bible. Fabulous stuff. He is a bit romantic in his presentation, but his enthusiasm and deep love of the material never fails to come across.

Contains both a picture of the Narmer palette (p.54), and what is now one of my favourite pictures from Egypt -- the caption reads "Colossal statues of Amenhotep III standing amid the flood waters of the last inundation. Western Thebes, 1966." And there they are -- the Colossi at Memnon, up to their plinths in water. The thing I love about this image is that it was taken the last time the Nile flooded. After 1966, the Aswan dam stopped the annual floods which the Ancient Egyptians relied on to renew their fields. This picture marks the end of the inundations around which they ancient's planned their calendar and their whole lives. This thing that has happened for thousands of years has now been stopped by the Modern Egyptians so that those statues will not see water again in the foreseeable future.