A passion for passion

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Back from the past

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The trip was exhilarating and exhausting. I didn't ever adjust to the time change and was getting only 3-5 hours of sleep per night (there's a 10 hour difference in time between Redmond and Cairo).

We had a lot of fun with the group that came to tour with us. They were completely undemanding and thrilled with everything we showed them.

At Giza Dr. Lehner gave us a tour around the Sphinx and a tour of the chambers in the Great Pyramid.

In Luxor we visited four tombs in the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut's temple, and the new excavations behind the Colossi of Memnon. This is the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, mostly destroyed in antiquity. They are finding dozens of Sekhmet statues and even an enormous fragment of another colossus with a beautiful life-size statue of Queen Tiye.

We visited Karnak, Luxor Temple, and the Johns Hopkins dig at the Mut Temple. We saw two of our field school students at work at Karnak and Mut, which was very gratifying.

Our patrons had brought some of their private-label cabernet, which is lovely stuff. Another guest brought a Brunello from Rome. So along with the excellent wine, amazing antiquities, and fun company, how could it go wrong.

Our last day in Luxor, we visited Malkata, the ruins of Amenhotep III's palace and artificial lake. Field directors Ana Tavares and Mohsen Kamel, Director Mark Lehner and I walked the ruins for an hour or so. The gigantic mounds thrown up by the excavation of Birket Habu, the artificial lake, are on a scale that is hard to comprehend. It was a project nearly on the scale of pyramid-building but it gets little attention from anyone but archaeologists and geeks like me.

So now it's back to driving toward content-complete dates for FSX.

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