Kaddee’s Cairo Chronicles

April 4, 2008

Lucky Girl

Filed under: BONUS! — Kaddee @ 6:46 pm

4 April 2008

Frequently one has opportunities thrust upon them, merely by chance, right-place right-time, connections, whatever.

I realized today that I have had a number of these while in Egypt, that seemed “normal” due to the circumstances, but really aren’t. I’ll eventually catch up with posting some of them, but I’ll start with today.

Jack is doing some weekend volunteer computer work for the Giza Plateau Mapping Project / Ancient Egypt Research Associates. This group is under the direction of Mark Lehner – “THE GUY” when it comes to the Sphinx and much of Giza Plateau over the last 30 years.

Mark Lehner showing how the sedimentary rock “dips” in the region of the Sphinx

Today, Mark did a “Giza Quarries” tour for the group members – and I was able to go along (Thank You, Jack!)! We walked the site, by each of the three main pyramids and looked at “each hole for each pile” (quarry for pyramid).

Mark showing us the “Hole” for the pyramid of Khufu (not in shot)

We were out walking hiking (hard) for about 3 hours, in the midday heat (I think it was about 25 or 27 deg. C and brilliant sun). During the entire tour, Mark Lehner was striding off in different directions, explaining over his shoulder what he and other eminent archaeologists/Egyptologists think, or thought, or were completely wrong about at some point, in regards to the geology, carving of the blocks and building of the structures. It was incredible!

Mark IN one of the lateral channels used for carving out the large foundation blocks
Mark indicating the square “lever sockets” used to “snap” the stone blocks out of the formation – note the lateral channel just to the right of the line of lever sockets

I won’t look at the plateau and its features the same way EVER again. Whole vast areas of “uninteresting waste” now have meaning in the history and building of the necropolis temples. Even after all the tourist trips to Giza – today made me slack-jawed all over again.

I am a lucky girl (I won’t discuss my intense jealousy at the last one of these tours that Jack got to go on – WITHOUT ME! You’ll have to read about that on Jack’s blog)


  1. Ohhhh…I am sooooo envious of your experience that my stomach is cramping up just thinking about it. Congrats to you and Jack both for having made these connections. The idea of doing trips with informed guides like that is just too, too cool.

    Thanks for providing some photos and sharing your experiences. (I’ll save all the “you bastard” comments for Jack. :-)

    Think Peace,
    - Alan

    Comment by alanf — April 4, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

  2. We are REALLY lucky. And, PLEASE save the “Bastard” comments for Jack – he deserves them more than I do! :)

    Comment by Kaddee — April 4, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  3. WOW! You are indeed a lucky girl! It really is true what they say about “who you know”. I am hoping that in the not too distant future you will be able to share with me first hand what you learned from Mark. Fingers crossed that I’ll be seeing you both soon.
    Hugs, Joanne

    Comment by Joanne — April 9, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

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