Friday, February 19, 2016


Apart from our archaeological activities, there is much to experience day to day in the wonderful land of Egypt. The natural environment is lovely and the Egyptian people are truly hospitable.  Here are a  few images of some of the things we experience while not working in an ancient royal cemetery:


Cats are numerous in Egypt and generally tolerated.  This fellow seems to be related to Charlie Chaplin.

Erik shares lunch with one of the locals who are regular visitors at outdoor restaurants.

Donkeys assist in many chores.  Surprisingly, we have yet to see any camels
which were once a common sight in western Luxor.

There is a donkey pulling this cart at great speed....too fast, in fact,  to capture his gallop.
The cart, though, is quite interesting as it carries a huge metal container of cooked fava beans, a
favorite Egyptian breakfast item.  They can be served on the street straight from the pot!

Sturdy and intimidating water buffaloes ("gamoosa") can be found in many villages.
The are NOT to be messed with.

A small friend...a gecko...found crawling on a wall in our apartment.


A rare glimpse of Denis, our usual photographer, here enjoying dinner at the
home of our boatman, Gilan.

Erik receiving a lesson in head-gear tying from Hussein the scarf vendor.
Paul Buck is teaching two on-line classes while in Egypt.  It's time-consuming but a
real treat for the students. Here he is broadcasting live from the Valley of the Kings.
(In this case, he is pointing his camera down a tomb shaft.)

Don Ryan loves to explore remote parts of the desert where the terrain is both rugged and beautiful.

We often take a small motor boat across the Nile to visit places on both sides of the river.
This is our boat, appropriately named "Hatshepsut," and with the Norwegian flag at its bow.

We work six days a week, Saturday through Thursday.  After hours, or on our free day on
Friday, we often visit many sites, ancient and modern, to be found in the Luxor area.  Here is
the intriguing memorial temple of the 19th dynasty ruler, Seti I.
Two of us trekked out to a small Coptic (Egyptian orthodox Christian) monastery in the desert.
Egypt is an Islamic country with an approximately 10% Christian minority.

Coptic monasteries and churches are typically beautifully decorated with art and icons representing
Biblical events and recognized saints.

This morning, Erik and Paul went on a journey in a hot-air balloon which floated over several prominent sites of antiquity on Luxor's west bank.  The aerial views are spectacular and here can be seen the memorial temple of the great pharaoh, Rameses II, and the stark contrast between modern agriculture and the remains of the past.  (Photo by Erik Johannesson.)

As seen nightly from the balcony of our apartment, the Theban Mountains are artificially lit
to provide a dramatic setting.  The Valley of the Kings is situated just behind the far cliffs.


  1. Fun to see the sights beyond the sites!

  2. Wow. The view from that air balloon is stunning!

  3. Your unofficial views are as interesting as your official excavation glimpses. Thank you! I chuckle every time I see the cat pixs, oh yes, delightful natives.
    28 March 2016 Thank you for your presentation at the University of Montana --The Greatest Discoveries You've Probably Never Heard Of-- it is always a thrill to be privy to your insights here in Missoula.
    Until your 4th presentation....