Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ancient Romantics

Imagine laying to rest surrounded by colorfully paintings Gods and angels and beautiful hieroglyphics verses and underneath a blue starry sky.

Such were the amazingly well preserved tomb paintings in El Kurru. El Kurru is located near the town of Karima, about 4 hours drive north of Khartoum. It was one of the royal burial ground for ancient Nubian royal family, dated back to 850 BC. In the area there are around 30 pyramids, perhaps more. However they deteriorated and reduced to piles of rock by the elements and looters through the centuries. So it was truly miraculous and precious, descending into the tombs to discover the surviving fresco paintings in the burial chambers. There are only 2 tombs available for visit nowadays, the Tomb of Tanwetamani, pharaoh of the XXV Nubian Dynasty, and the Tomb of Qalhata, mother of Tanwetamani. The walls were decorated with colorful images of pantheon of the Egyptian Gods, with so much careful details, as well as the hieroglyphic text. The ceiling of the chamber was literally covered with stars in bright red and yellow, against the beautiful blue sky.

That was what amazed me the most, the colors of the blue starry sky remains through the years, remarkably vivid, vibrant and captivating, especially the bright hue of blue. And laying beneath the stars, even in death, such a romantic notion.

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