Reviving the Wakanda Spirit in Africa

 


Credit: Black Panther/ Marvel Studios.

You are in Wakanda now. Thanos will have nothing but dust and blood.

Wakanda , officially known the as Kingdom of Wakanda , is a small isolationist landlocked country located in Africa , surrounded by mountain ranges and a thick forest.

Map of Wakanda from Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1 (December 1983).
Art by Don McGregor.

 

As essential as the allure of the character the Black Panther is, the Kingdom of Wakanda, the fictional African city from which he hails, is just as meaningful to many of those attending. Wakanda is a hidden African city, never conquered by Europeans, with the world’s only source of Vibranium and more technologically advanced that the rest of the world. It is alleged the source of the Vibranium is a meteor strike and that the meteor contained the Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Stones integral to the plot of Avengers: Infinity War.

Why Wakanda Forever Is Bigger Than ‘Black Panther’

 

Let’s visit the old Egypt

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa , concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology ) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer ).

The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age , the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age .

An old Egyptian Map.

Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East , after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians , the Achaemenid Persians , and the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great . The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander’s death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra , it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system , the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes , religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.

The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the
quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks ; a system of mathematics , a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature , and the earliest known peace treaty , made with the Hittites. Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy.

The pyramids of Giza are among the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of ancient Egypt.

Old Kingdom

The great pyramids of Gizah

Major advances in architecture, art, and technology were made during the
Old Kingdom , fueled by the increased agricultural productivity and resulting population, made possible by a well-developed central administration. Some of ancient Egypt’s crowning achievements, the Giza pyramids and Great Sphinx , were constructed during the Old Kingdom. Under the direction of the vizier , state officials collected taxes, coordinated irrigation projects to improve crop yield, drafted peasants to work on construction projects, and established a justice system to maintain peace and order.

Middle Kingdom

The kings of the Middle Kingdom restored the country’s stability and prosperity, thereby stimulating a resurgence of art, literature, and monumental building projects. Mentuhotep II and his Eleventh Dynasty successors ruled from Thebes, but the vizier Amenemhat I , upon assuming the kingship at the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty around 1985 BC, shifted the kingdom’s capital to the city of Itjtawy , located in
Faiyum . From Itjtawy, the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty undertook a farsighted land reclamation and irrigation scheme to increase agricultural output in the region. Moreover, the military reconquered territory in Nubia that was rich in quarries and gold mines, while laborers built a defensive structure in the Eastern Delta, called the “Walls-of-the-Ruler “, to defend against foreign attack.

In 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt with little resistance from the Persians and was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer. The administration established by Alexander’s successors, the Macedonian Ptolemaic Kingdom, was based on an Egyptian model and based in the new capital city of Alexandria. The city showcased the power and prestige of Hellenistic rule, and became a seat of learning and culture, centered at the famous Library of Alexandria . The Lighthouse of Alexandria lit the way for the many ships that kept trade flowing through the city as the Ptolemies made commerce and revenue generating enterprises, such as papyrus manufacturing, their top priority.

Young people are the drivers of Africa’s economy and future. With eleven million youth expected to enter Africa’s labor market every year for the next decade, now is the time for urgent action to build and nurture the region’s human capital.

The above information was culled for motivation and for the propagation of change in the future of Africa’s youths, policy makers, and civil society to collectively focus in solving the Africa challenges , aspirations, and actions taken to help build the human capital of areas of digital transformation to building human capital, Africa’s development future, prepare for Africa’s digital future and developing the potential of the continent’s next generation.

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Nigerian e-passports

The Machine Readable Passport, MRP, used by Nigerians before the coming of the Obasanjo administration was produced locally by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC, popularly called MINT. The MINT is the Nigerian Government’s official currency and other security documents printer but the NIS stopped to issue the MRPs to Nigerians after the launch of the e-passport in 2007.

When the Nigerian former President Olusegun Obasanjo paid a state visit to Malaysia in 2003 and visited Iris Corporation office where he witnessed a demonstration of the production of the e-passport, he was impressed by the security features of the e-passport. Instead of Obasanjo to return home and upgrade MINT to produce E-passport for Nigerians, he invited Iris Corporation to spearhead the implementation of Nigerian e-passport and ISTL was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission on 20th May 2003 to help the country produce the e-passport. With that, ISTL entered into a Public-Private Partnership, PPP, with the Federal Government for the upgrading of Nigerian passport to e-passport.

Since then, Malaysia has been responsible for producing the Nigerian e-passports until this year when MINT signed MoU with ISTL to domesticate the production of international passports (e-passports), in which the e-passports will be printed locally.

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Creating something out of nothing in Indonesia

In Bojong Menteng subdistrict, Bekasi, West Java, the local residents collaborate with authorities to turn a lake into an aesthetically pleasing and affordable tourist spot, in which one does not need to pay to enter the lake area except for bamboo rafts which are available for rent and cost 70Udisability for adults and 35US cents for children above 3 years old while infants and people with disabilities, they are free.

 

Most of the visitors were women and their children, who walked about the rafts as their mothers took pictures, taking selfies at the gazebos and piers and by the lake’s main sign, which is made of recycled plastic bottles.

 

On of those things, I found passionate about Indonesians is that they can create something out of nothing regards wealth creation, their mind is similar to Chinese even one of the names I called my wife is “Chinese woman, “she looks more of a Chinese but she is a Javanese (the largest ethnic group in Indonesia).

  

The number of visitors on average varied from 500 on weekdays to 1,000 on weekends. There are a lot of similar initiatives across Indonesia, which have created jobs for the locals, likewise, a riverside village was turned into an amazing rainbow village in Malang, which attract both foreign and local tourists. This was initiated by students.

 

 

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Ibom Air is now operational

 

 

It’s a welcome development, that the Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, launched a Nigerian regional airline. Governor Emmanuel is owning Akwa Ibom state workers’ salary arrears and pensioners’ entitlements or refuse to pay the new national minimum wage of N30,000 then this Nigerian regional startup “Ibom Air” will be a misplaced priority.

Moreover, this initiative should have been a joint venture either with local or foreign investors due to our history of political interference and poor management of state-owned enterprises, likewise, the joint venture would have assisted the Akwa Ibom government to save money, though a joint venture has disadvantages, but then it offers several advantages to its participants. A joint venture increases productivity and generates greater profits, even it gives access to new markets and distribution networks.

Last year, Ethiopian Airlines and DHL Global Forwarding signed an agreement to form a joint venture company. DHL-Ethiopian Airlines, Logistics, in which Ethiopian Airlines assume a majority stake in the joint venture and will provide regulatory and operational support as DHL Global Forwarding establishes air, ocean, and road freight connections between Ethiopia’s main trade hubs and the rest of the world. All the best to Ibom Air.

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Examining Nigeria-Indonesia tourism and hospitality sectors

 

 

It is not such a secret anymore that Indonesia is regarded as one of the most emerging markets throughout the world. It deserves to be called so due to its major role in South East Asia’s economy and there are so many things amazing about Indonesia.

One of the amazing facts about Indonesia is that, most companies provide good customer service, I have never had a bad customer experience in Indonesia but have had several bad experiences with the government agencies even I am going through one now, regarding my clients’ calling visa. Indonesian government agencies are corrupt like their Nigerian counterparts.

Last month I made a hotel reservation for my Nigerian clients, who are coming to Jakarta for B2b meetings, we supposed to have the meetings this week, but Indonesian immigration still holds on their calling visa and we have to wait until they approve it. Since when have reserved hotel rooms, have been receiving remind messages from the hotel and Sunday morning I received a phone call from the hotel to confirm our arrival time, but I told the lady to cancel the reservation and she wasn’t angry or upset, she just said I should send an email to cancel the reservation. I reserved the rooms without using a credit card and I didn’t pay an advance deposit, it’s just free.

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Uganda Airlines set to  begin operation soon after 18 years

Ugandan state owned airline is set to start commercial flights by July, and two more bombardier planes are to be added to the fleet later this year. After President Yoweri Museveni has received two Bombardier CRJ900 jets from Canada at Entebbe International Airport.

Due to the arrival of the new planes, with the words Ugandan Airlines on the sides of the aircraft marks the official comeback for the East African country’s national carrier, which  was grounded since 2001.

The government of Uganda has hope that, the revival of the national carrier will help the economy and boost tourism.

 

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THE GREAT GIZA

The Great Pyramid of Giza from Ancient Egypt has always demanded awe and recognition from us ‘mortals’, and rightly so. The incredible architectural specimen was built in around 2560 BC and held the record for the world’s tallest structure for a whopping 3,800 years with its then-impressive height of 481 ft (146.5 m). But before we get into figures and statistics, the Great Pyramid is generally believed to be constructed as a mortuary monument for Khufu (or Cheops in Greek), who was the second Pharaoh from the Fourth Dynasty. And, in spite of such ‘monumental’ projects, the one portrait of this mysterious ancient king (with a myriad of conflicting accounts of his life) survives from only a tiny 3-inch ivory figurine that was discovered in the early 20th century.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built for the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu (or Cheops), and was completed around 2560 BCE. It is part of a complex of 3 large pyramids in the Giza Necropolis located in modern Cairo, Egypt. The Great Pyramid is the largest of the three pyramids, and it is part of its own smaller complex that also contain 3 small pyramids that were built for Khufu’s wives.

SOME EVIDENCE & THEORIES SUGGEST THAT 20,000 WORKERS OVER THE COURSE OF 20 YEARS BUILT THE GREAT PYRAMID

It took approximately 20 years to complete, and several theories are debated by scholars as to how it was built and by whom. Some theories point to slave labor, but it seems more plausible that Egyptians themselves lent their efforts, working during the times of year when the Nile was flooded and their farm work would not have been possible. It would have been a sort of civil service.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was probably completed in 20 years, and as such was a part of Khufu’s necropolis complex that also consisted of large temples and smaller pyramids. Later on, the compound was expanded with the inclusion of the two other big pyramids of Khufu’s successors – Khafre and Menkaure; and the extended spatial scope is now known as the Giza pyramid complex (which had a huge wall enclosure that was known as the Wall of Crows).

As for the mind-boggling figures associated with the Great Pyramid itself, the structure rises to a height of around 455 ft – the tad reduced scale being due to soil erosion and the loss of the pyramidion, which was the uppermost capstone of the structure. In spite of the slight reduction in dimensions, the monumental giant has a base area of around 570,000 sq ft (equivalent to almost 10 American football fields) and a gargantuan volume of 88 million cubic ft (or 2.5 million cubic m) that accounts for an extraordinary 5.9 million tons of mass. This massive scope was achieved by the use of a whopping 2.3 million stone blocks (ranging from 2 to 30 tons) – that comes to an average of 800 tons of stones being installed each day, with 12 stones being precisely placed every hour! Few of these stones (especially, the ones used in the inner chambers) weigh more than 50 tons, and yet they were transported to the site from Aswan, which over 500 miles away.

The Precisely ‘Imprecise’ Dimensions –

Given such a vast scope of the construction process, and that too in an epoch which was more than 4,500 years ago – one would be inclined to think that the monument might be a bit on the surmised side with inaccurate measurements and unscientific geometry. Well, in that case, that someone will be wrong! In terms of construction, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built on an artificially flattened site that deviates from a perfectly horizontal plane by just a minute 2 cm. Even the aforementioned base edges of the structures account for an almost perfect square, thus making the corners nigh impeccably right-angled to each other.

And, perhaps the most impressive feat of all – the four sides of the pyramid are almost immaculately oriented with the four cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West. In fact, the North-side alignment misses the magnitude of exact preciseness by just a tiny fraction of a degree (which equates to 3/60th of a degree of error).

Interestingly enough, the base of this ancient structure is not an exact square. The figure we are talking about equates to only 5.5-inches (or 14.1 cm) of error. So when compared to the entire measured dimension of the western side, which is somewhere between 755.833 and 756.024 ft, this slight overlook by the ancient Egyptian architects rather exemplifies the scope of accuracy presented by the Great Pyramid. Simply put, the margin of error is only about 0.07 percent, which (just about) prevents the base of this monument from being a ‘perfect’ square.

Construction – Ramp or Hydraulic (or Both)?

There are a few conjectures when it comes to the enigmatic construction process of the Great Pyramid of Giza. One of the oft-mentioned ones pertains to the ramp theory, which simply puts forth the scenario that the massive structure was built by raising ramps (or mounds) all around it. Essentially, according to this hypothesis, once the foundation was laid, makeshift ramps were constructed around the core structure to haul and position the stone blocks on top of it. As the structure gradually rose in height, the ramps were raised higher to accommodate the building blocks.

However, the problem with this theory (which often leads to it being discredited by some engineers) relates to the required angles of these ramps and a heavy-duty crane mechanism (that the Egyptians probably didn’t possess). As Egyptologists Bob Brier and Hoyt Hobbs explained –

The problem [with ramps] is one of physics. The steeper the angle of an incline, the more effort necessary to move an object up that incline. So, in order for a relatively small number of men, say ten or so, to drag a two-ton load up a ramp, its angle could not be more than about eight percent. Geometry tells us that to reach a height of 480 feet, an inclined plane rising at eight percent would have to start almost one mile from its finish. It has been calculated that building a mile-long ramp that rose as high as the Great Pyramid would require as much material as that needed for the pyramid itself – workers would have had to build the equivalent of two pyramids in the twenty-year time frame.

There is also an internal ramp theory put forth by Jean-Pierre Houdin, a French architect – and it basically describes how the top two-thirds of the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by using an internal mound, while an external ramp was used for setting up the lower parts. However, this hypothesis also doesn’t explain the logistical nightmare of moving up super-heavy stones and scores of workers up the ramps at the unfeasible angles.

This brings us to the hydraulic power theory which simply suggests that it was water (or combination of the water table and ramps) that allowed the ancient Egyptians to hoist the stones up. For this hoisting process, they might have made use of the shadouf (a counterweight mechanism) that pulled the stones up once they were pushed by hydraulic power from below through the interior of the pyramid. Incredibly enough, this would also account for the numerous shafts within the Great Pyramid (that were possibly used as water passages). Furthermore, one should also note that the water table is pretty high at Giza even in our present times – so much so that rising water inside the underground Osiris shaft was a concern for 20th-century scholars.

No Kingly Remains Inside the Great Pyramid?

Relating to the first point, it still remains a mystery as to why the Great Pyramid of Giza (with its ‘nigh’ fanatical austerity and accuracy) was constructed in the first place. Most Egyptologists believe that it was the grand tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu, but oddly enough the historians have still not been able to find any remains of a person or a mummy inside the intricate halls and chambers of the Great Pyramid. According to anecdotal sources, the sarcophagus of presumably Khufu was discovered in early 9th century AD by the Arabs, who forced their way into the King’s Chamber. All they found was just an understated, unadorned yet hollow granite box that was entirely empty (supposedly – without any evidence of previous disturbance).

At the same time, from the historical perspective, it should be noted that the interior of the Great Pyramid was indeed a scene of robbery since ancient times. In fact, it is highly probable that the Great Pyramid (and its rich ‘contents’) had been looted even during the Egyptian New Kingdom Period (circa 1570-1069 BC) when the Giza necropolis was relegated in favor The Valley of the Kings near Thebes.

As for the sarcophagus, the slightly notched ‘stone coffin’ was roughly-hewed from a solid block of granite, which alludes to an immense drilling force required for the hollowing out activity. Later studies have shown that this herculean task was achieved by using hard jewel components and a vertical drilling force of over 2 tons. However, the plain nature of the heavy coffer antithetically contrasts with the embellished specimens of (still empty) sarcophagi found in other parts of the pyramid.

 Air-Shafts For Dead People?

In the earlier entry, we mentioned something about the King’s Chamber – which is a rectangular enclosure that runs 17 ft on the North-South axis and 34 ft on the East-West axis and is located almost centrally inside the Great Pyramid itself. This 592 sq ft chamber rises to a height of almost 20 ft and is peculiarly connected to two narrow vent-like channels – each extending from the north and the south side walls. These shafts were long believed by Egyptologists to be air-vents that brought a fresh supply of air inside the intricately positioned enclosure.

However, nowadays this assumption is dropped by experts in favor of the vents serving a more ritualistic or even an astronomical purpose (as mentioned in Pyramid: Beyond Imagination by Jackson and Stamp). For example, the south-facing shaft supposedly pointed to the star Al Nitak (Zeta Orionis) in the constellation Orion, during the period of 25th century BC (note – this idea is sometimes dismissed as pseudoarchaeology). Delving into a meta-analysis, Orion was associated with the Egyptian God Osiris. Still, the conjecture doesn’t really solve the mystery of one of the arrangements of the shafts, since this particular channel follows a dog-leg path that would have surely obstructed the direct sight of the stars.

 Great Pyramid of Giza – The ‘Glassy Star’

In a short film made by the Smithsonian Channel, Jacquelyn Williamson, a Harvard University Egyptologist, gives us details on how the ancient craftsmen and artisans carved and finished the humongous blocks of limestone that are also known as ‘casing stones’ for the Great Pyramid of Giza. These slanting yet flat-topped blocks were primarily used for the external facades of the monumental structure. And, according to the documentary, the stone surfaces were almost polished to perfection with a range of abrasives like sandstone, brick, and fine sand – in a process not only requiring time and effort but also refined skills of craftsmanship.

The end result of such high levels of polishing yielded immaculately smooth surfaces that were incredibly shiny beyond reckoning. And, considering that there were limited pollution and smog circa 2500 BC (as opposed to our contemporary times), the Great Pyramid of Giza must have been an otherworldly magnificent spectacle during the time of its completion – with ethereal, glass-like facades basking in the glory of the effulgent sun. Quite poetically and rather aptly, the Ancient Egyptians called the Great Pyramid of Giza by the name of ‘Ikhet‘, which simply translates to ‘Glorious Light’.

 The ‘Anti-Robbery’ Mechanism 

 

This mechanism in question, as described by Egyptologist Mark Lehner, the head of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), originally comprised an array of blocks and grooves that are inconspicuously hidden beneath the walls of the Great Pyramid of Giza. According to the virtual reconstruction (showcased by the Science Channel in their Unearthed series), these components were meticulously laid down after the king’s remains were housed inside the chamber. So once the pharaoh was successfully interred inside his designated King’s Chamber (that is if this was the objective of the Great Pyramid), specially-made granite slabs slid down the grooves created by specific projecting structures, thus securing the pathway to the chamber.

Three bigger granite blocks were also fitted down the other end of the pathway, which blocked the access from a lower angle. And this entire structural scope of the ‘inner-sanctum’ was further accompanied by a bevy of solid limestone blocks that accounted for around 260-ft thick walls. Simply put, the ancient Egyptians went to great engineering lengths to possibly shield the passage to the King’s Chamber from future tomb robbers. But as we mentioned earlier in the article, unfortunately, the looters may have still made their way into this ‘inner sanctum’, possibly even during the ancient times itself (around a millennium after the pyramid was completed).

 The World’s Oldest Intact Ship!

 

Marine-based contrivances are probably the last thing to expect when viewing and admiring the sandy wastes of the Giza complex. However, in 1954, archaeologists did stumble across a 153 ft (47 m) long boat made from Lebanese cedar; and it was enclosed inside a sealed pit situated at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Known as the Khufu Ship, the marine-craft was laden with grave goods that were intended for the long journey of the deceased’s afterlife. In essence, it was envisaged as a ‘solar barge’, a ritual vessel that would carry the reinvigorated spirit of the Pharaoh across the heavens with the sun god Ra as his ‘mate’.

Other boat specimens have also been found buried inside the complex, with presumably similar ritualistic purposes of afterlife journeys. However, the Khufu Ship still remains the largest and the oldest of these discovered specimens, with its whopping 2,860 sq ft area. In fact, the monstrous ‘artifact’ is actually the world’s oldest intact ship from antiquity, with the preserved remains still proudly displayed at the Giza Solar boat museum.

The Crew and Logistics 

 

The sheer size and impressive scale of the Great Pyramid of Giza stand testament to the organizational skill and effort of the ancient Egyptians. And according to most academics, the incredible project, overseen by the vizier (who was usually tasked with the royal architectural endeavors) probably involved paid labor, as opposed to slaves (since no such evidence is found in the literary records). These laborers – numbering in thousands, possibly comprising seasonally-employed peasants, were gathered from the various parts of the Egyptian realm, and they were accompanied by batches of skilled craftsmen and builders. According to some academic estimates, the men were divided into zaa (division) of 20,000 laborers who were further organized on basis of hierarchy and their skills. Multiple such zaa possibly worked throughout the years to complete the massive undertaking.

Interestingly enough when it comes to the logistical side of affairs, in 2018 itself, researchers from the Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) were able to identify two 4,500-year old houses near the Giza Pyramids – corresponding to the time when the Pyramid of Menkaure (the smallest of the three pyramids) was under construction. These structures, located in the ancient port at Giza, were built for officials who looked after the supplies needed in the area.

The houses were built near a series of quarters known as the galleries. These galleries housed a government-sanctioned paramilitary force at Giza, possibly comprising over 1,000 men. In other words, the officials were probably posted at Giza to look after the requirements of these troops and by extension that of the workers involved in the construction of the Giza pyramids. Suffice it to say, their jobs were anything but easy. According to an estimate made by Claire Malleson, an archaeobotanist with Ancient Egypt Research Associates, over 870 kgs (1,900 lbs) of emmer wheat was needed on a daily basis to sustain the force stationed at the galleries. We also know from ancient logbooks that around 4 liters of beer (in its gruel-like form) were assigned daily to individual laborers working on the Great Pyramid (that preceded the Pyramid of Menkaure by less than a century).

The Potential Solution of the Autumnal Equinox – 

Now in spite of the incredible feat of civil engineering that is the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptologists and other scholars in the field are still not sure how the ambit of preciseness was achieved by the ancient Egyptians. But an archaeologist might just have solved the 4500-year old puzzle – Glen Dash, who is also an engineer, has reckoned that the ancient architects used the fall (or autumnal) equinox for not only the Great Pyramid but all the major pyramids of Giza and the one at Dashur. He said –

The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc or one-fifteenth of one degree. All three pyramids exhibit the same manner of error; they are rotated slightly counterclockwise from the cardinal points.

It should be noted that there are numerous hypotheses put forth by scholars and researchers when it comes to the alignment factor of these pyramids, with some of the conjectures based on the pole stars and others based on the sun path and shadow. Even equinox measurements were also considered by a few experts, though their assessments were relegated due to the presumed inaccuracy of the conditions. However, Dash has proven that autumnal equinox could have indeed played a crucial role in determining the alignment of the pyramids.

To that end, his experiment utilized a rod known as a gnomon that was placed on a wooden platform on September 22, 2016, thus coinciding with the day of the autumnal equinox (on this day the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun’s disc, and the length of day and night tend to be equal). The positional change of the rod’s shadow was then tracked throughout the day, and it was found to move along a smooth curve trajectory. A straight line between two points on this curve nearly presented the east-west alignment, in a method known as the Indian circle (as pictured above). Quite intriguingly, there is a degree of error in the counter-clockwise direction in this procedure, and the similar degree of error is also found in the alignment of the aforementioned pyramids.

On the literally brighter side, according to Dash, the technique would obviously require a more-or-less sunny day, a conducive weather pattern that is usually found at the Giza site. The ancient Egyptians were also aware of the annual date of the autumnal equinox by counting forward 91 days after the summer solstice. And moreover, this method seems to be relatively straightforward and uncomplicated, which would have made it ideal for massive construction projects. But unfortunately, while the hypothesis is sound, archaeologists still don’t possess any actual physical evidence of the alignment method used by the ancient Egyptians.

Honorable Mention – The ‘Red’ Sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Giza might be dwarfed by the trio of pyramids, but the limestone specimen with its human head and lion body still remains the world’s largest monolithic statue, and also our planet’s oldest known monumental sculptural piece! To that end, the statue measures 241 ft in length, 63 ft in width and an impressive 66 ft in height. And, as expected from the cryptic ambit of the pyramids, historians are still not sure of the actual builder of the Sphinx – with hypotheses ranging from Khapre, who was Khufu’s son (this being the official conjecture put forth by Egyptologists), Khufu himself, to a lesser known pharaoh known as Djedefre, who was Khapre’s half-brother. Such questions are aptly complemented by another crucial query – what actually was the purpose of the Sphinx?

In any case, most archaeologists concur on the assumption that the facades of the Sphinx were originally plastered over and then painted in a deep red color. And, on an interesting note, in front of the Sphinx is a stele (an erect slab of granite), which records the enigmatic experience of Pharaoh Thutmose IV. According to the account of this Dream Stele, after a great hunt, Thutmose fell asleep at the feet of the statue and had a dream that asked him to clear all the sand from the sculpture, and as a wish, he would be offered the throne of Egypt. Historical events do seem to follow that prophecy, and apparently, the monument even became a place of pilgrimage during the ancient times.

Sources : REALMOFHISTORY.com

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