Sunday, December 27, 2015

Pope watches as two investigators examine St Peter's obelisk 'The Obelisk Prophecy'



Vatican Press handout photo (Pope denouncing destruction of cultural heritage)
Egyptian obelisk, St Peter's Sq.


(Excerpt from The Obelisk Prophecy - our investigators, Egyptologist/Museum curator Jennefer and Antiquities policeman, Jon, examine the Vatican obelisk) 

Flocks of believers, and the questioning, descended like pigeons on St Peter’s Square.

Many visitors were fearful, Jennefer noted, casting anxious eyes at the clouds of dust up above.

This was the Vatican, yet it put her in mind of Vesuvian Pompeii, the sky laden with disaster.

Jennefer caught up with her investigative partner who was busy circling the Vatican’s four thousand year old Egyptian obelisk that stood mounted on bronze lions and rose eighty-three feet into the dusty sky.

“What are you doing?” she said.

“I’m trying to tell the time.”

Jon followed a curve of pale travertine blocks set in the cobblestones like the hub of a wheel that fanned out in radiating lines.

“You have a watch, don’t you?” she said.

“We’re standing on one. This square is actually a vast sundial, the obelisk acting as the giant gnomon casting a shadow.” He stopped. “Even with this dust, I can tell it’s almost midday. Or perhaps midnight.”
“Midnight?”

“For the world, that is. Ironic that an ancient Egyptian obelisk is counting down the days to the end of civilization.”

She’d forgotten about the square’s role as a sundial, concentrating on the obelisk’s ancient past rather than on its present utility. It belonged to an unknown pharaoh from around the fifth dynasty, she recalled, and had travelled a great deal before its arrival here.

“I’ll tell you something else that’s ironic,” Jon said. “This circle around the shaft of the obelisk is a symbolic vagina. Those in the know are amused that there’s an act of copulation going on right in the heart of celibate city.” He pointed to the Pope’s balcony. “The Pope looks beatifically over it every time he addresses the throng from up there.”

She frowned.

They were trying to crack a code to stop a world calamity and he was cracking jokes.

But it was more than that. She felt uneasy to think that they were both standing on a marker of time inexorably measuring the hours, reminding her of the urgency of their investigation.

A count down to the end of civilization, he’d said.

The dust-laden sky made it look like the end.

The red dust haze turned St Peter’s Basilica, its cupola, and the embracing arms of Tuscan colonnades around the square into historical sepia that added to the place’s powerful sense of mystery.

“This obelisk is peculiar in being uninscribed,” she said, “which sadly doesn’t reveal many secrets to us.”

“Maybe we’re looking in the wrong place.”

“Meaning?”

He pointed up at a metal globe perched beneath a cross on top of the obelisk.

“What about the secret up there? That hollow globe. Great hiding spot. Legend tells that originally the globe held Julius Caesar’s ashes. But when they moved the obelisk here from an earlier site in Rome, they opened it and found the missing phallus of Osiris instead... no, just kidding. Only dust inside. And no mummy dust, either. Just plain old dust, like the stuff blowing in the sky.”

“Not very helpful, Jon. We’re looking for answers. What can we learn here?”

They learnt something sooner than expected - that their close inspection of the monument had been observed all the while by two burly shadows in black that now appeared unexpectedly at a few minutes past midday on the sundial.

“We wish to hear an answer too,” the one man spoke in an accent that sounded midway between Italian and… German? “You will come with us, please.”

Jennefer blinked in surprise at the two new arrivals. Fair men in black suits.

Swiss, maybe. Swiss guards in plain clothes?

Had their inspection of the obelisk brought them out of the shadowy heart of the Vatican palace?

“Have we broken some cardinal rule?” Jon said, pretending flippant unconcern at the intrusion.

“The Holy Father is hoping that you have learnt something from this monument that will help the world.”

That’s when it seemed to Jennefer that the sun stopped in the sky, just as the sun-god Ra’s boat sometimes paused in the heavens in Egyptian mythology.

Even the crowds of people in St Peter’s Square seemed to freeze, growing as still as the obelisk.

The Holy Father.

“His Holiness is waiting to see you.”

“Jesus,” Jon said.

“Not exactly. Merely Our Lord’s representative on earth,” one of the men said with a glimmer of a smile.

An audience with the Pope?

What next..?

Friday, December 18, 2015

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Einstein

Should it take an Einstein to realize this?
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”



Can't get to Egypt right now? Then let 'enthralling Egypt' in adventure fiction get you there

See this...

Egypt Tourism  Commercial


Can't go to Egypt right now? Then join an independent Egyptologist in a series of investigative thriller adventures - Amazon Kindle fiction that brings Egypt "Compellingly to life". 

Nile village from a cruiseboat

Goodreads review

Come with Anson Hunter, fiction's renegade alternative Egyptologist and seeker of danger from the ancient past, on a journey of adventure, action and discovery.

Fiction's Egyptologist Anson Hunter takes various fringe groups to Egypt as a convenient cover for his investigations...

"Egypt is one of the characters..." Esoteric Book Review.
SEE AUTHOR ROY LESTER POND on AMAZON KINDLE

New York, London, Paris, Rome... all power centres with Egyptian obelisks... THE OBELISK CONSPIRACY

One obelisk is the key to stopping catastrophe. NEW adventure thriller on AMAZON KINDLE

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Egypt's unfinished obelisk lay trapped in the stone like a submarine in the polar ice. THE OBELISK PROPHECY



The Unfinished Obelisk. THE OBELISK PROPHECY Egypt adventure thriller





Granite quarry, Aswan, Egypt




The unfinished obelisk lay trapped in the stone in an ancient quarry. 

There was something both lethal and impotent about its appearance, like a nuclear submarine stuck in the polar ice. 

A solitary man walked on its surface, swaying as if on a deck in a storm. Swirling grains of dust whipped up by winds buffeted him. 

‘A monumental catastrophe,’ he thought. ‘Literally.’

Two thousand tonnes of smoothly shaped, elongated stone, its bottom side still lying attached to the red granite bedrock. 

One day, thousands of years ago, something had gone wrong at this quarry, a site of patient, human-borne erosion of the stone by stonemasons cutting out and shaping a colossal block, not with the aid of machines, powered jackhammers and diamond carbide saws, but balls of dolerite, a stone harder than granite, expending only the energy of their hands, muscles, sinews and their sweat as they rained blow after endless blow into the deepening grooves around the stone until it sounded to the workers’ deafened ears that the thuds were the heartbeats of mother earth herself.

Then an overseer gave a cry. Trembling, he pointed at the stone. It was a finger of doom. 

Disaster! 

A crack had rivered through the sublime monolith being fashioned for Queen Hatshepsut.

News spread in a buzz through the site. From the throats of the workers there arose a sound of swarming, like a giant hive of bees mourning the death of a queen. 

The workers downed tools and the heartbeat of their labours ceased... 






Tuesday, December 15, 2015

10 BOOK OPENERS to get you into your next 'enthralling Egypt' fiction read



THEY INTERCEPTED him as he came out of Baltimore-Washington Airport, two men wearing suits and an air of officialdom like a brisk cologne. 

“Mr Anson Hunter, the British Egyptologist?”



The Hathor Holocaust

AN EMAIL arrived at his hotel, giving him an address in South Kensington and a caution:

‘Come alone. Take care you are not followed. Change trains or taxis.’ It was a message from a mysterious young woman who had ambushed him on a train to London.



The Ibis Apocalypse
“SORRY ANSON. Your search for the stela ends here.”
The voice of the woman funneled down the underground passage, the echoes fluttering off the stone like startled bats. Anson Hunter, alternative Egyptologist and theorist, felt a chill as the words reached his ears. It was caused as much by the emotional separation in her voice as by its distance.

Rising of the Nile Gods
SUNBOAT RA sat at the Nile quay in a burning haze of lights like a cake festooned with candles.
Two lumbering shadows broke out of the night, arriving like gatecrashers at a party. Covered trucks, they pulled up hard and figures jumped out.Anubis. Isis. Osiris. Sobek. Maat. Thoth. Horus. Nephthys.

Egypt Eyes 
WHAT HAPPENED in the Temple of Isis today?
I stepped straight out of the dimly lit sanctuary and into a meaty hand that clamped around my mouth. The hand muffled my gasp as I was yanked aside. 

The Forbidden Glyphs 
THE ARCHAEOLOGIST Anson Hunter plummeted, tumbling uncontrollably into darkness.
Was it a tomb shaft he was plunging down, he thought, feeling the darkness rip past his body?

The God Dig
Egyptian tour guides will tell you that it’s good luck to walk in a complete circle around the Step Pyramid of Saqqara.
It’s even luckier if you’re able to run, Anson Hunter thought after two bullets in quick succession spat dust from the ground at his feet  

The Egyptian Mythology Murders 
A female mummy from ancient Egypt lay outstretched inside a hospital scanning machine.
The British Museum had brought the mummy to St. Thomas’ Hospital for a non-invasive examination of the body beneath its wrappings.
“We’ll begin by doing the head and neck in two millimetre slices. I’m just relieved that nobody will have to give this patient the bad news that she’s terminal.

The Obelisk Prophecy
Life, pulsating life!
It came from above, like a scattering of falling stars.
On the desert surface, archaeologists dragged a ground penetrating radar unit in a grid pattern, passing over the exact spot where, aeons before, priests had dragged a coffin on a sled to a secret underground tomb.
 

                         The Pharaoh Plagues
This graffito text appeared scratched in urgent letters across the wall of an ancient Egyptian tomb.
 WARNING!
ANCIENT GLOBAL THREAT
METEORITE-BORNE CONTAGION
ABANDON DIG ZONE
X Lucas.
False door was a trap.

Giulietta, the excavation team leader and a university Egyptologist, was alone in the tomb when she found it.
Her bedrock belief in science and accepted reality crumbled at that moment like the plastered wall in front of her eyes...
 


Read on... just some of the titles at Roy Lester Pond Amazon Kindle and Paperback

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Adventure fiction that opens up the archaeological secrets of Egypt.


OPEN UP YOUR IMAGINATION...The Roy Lester Pond fiction collection on AMAZON KINDLE

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ancient Egypt mystery and archaeology thrillers TO GO

See the fiction collection from ROY LESTER POND on AMAZON KINDLE

THE ORIGINAL TUT MASK WITH NEFERTITI'S FACE?

 
My visualisation of what the original 'Tut' golden mask may have looked like. Which one do you prefer?


If Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves and others are right and the golden face plate of Tutankhamun was welded onto a different funerary mask base (Nefertiti's), then this may well be what the original looked like.

Even more sublime?

What do you think? 

(A little Photoshop virtual archaeology!)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Nefertiti Nightmare. (The elephant in the tomb.)


Was her walling up an act of spite?
Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves estimates that 80 percent of Tut’s burial treasures originally belonged to a woman (Nefertiti).
That raises the question – did that leave anything much for her? To me, it's the 'elephant in the tomb.'
If Tut’s treasures were appropriated from Nefertiti, what can we expect to remain in her tomb? Was she stripped of valuables?

Or did even worse occur? One hopes her remaining burial goods weren’t destroyed in an iconoclastic rage by the newly reinstated Amun forces who may have thought “let’s wall up the heretical wife of that Akhenaten!”
They probably wouldn't have dared harm her body. She was a  royal, after all. And a woman - and the Egyptians were uneasy about angering the female dead.
Immurement is the name of the practice, popular in classical and mediaeval times - except this time a dead woman would have been shut away.

Just a nightmare, as I said. 

Please let it be just that. 


FOOTNOTE: The practice of a pharaoh’s tomb goods (and statues) being appropriated by a succeeding pharaoh is of course well attested. Rameses II was its greatest exponent and made it a national sport. In a sense, kings saw nothing wrong with this.

As a new pharaoh, you were all pharaohs, the living tradition of the role. (Rather the same way Americans view ‘The Presidency’ as something separate from past presidents or the incumbent.) 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Ancient Egyptian heaven" - you can take it with you on your Kindle, iPad or smart phone

Excerpt from THE GOD DIG in the Egypt adventure series with fiction's renegade Egyptologist Anson Hunter


“We know the ancient Egyptians had a firm conviction that you could take it all with you when you died, provided your worldly goods were placed in your tomb with you," Anson said to her. "Food, wine, furniture, games, weapons, treasures... They believed that the afterlife would be a continuation of life on the Nile, only better, but with the same sorts of challenges.

"Now imagine if we died and woke up in the next world to learn that they were right - only the ancient Egyptians owned any stuff. The rest of us arrive empty-handed. Mind you, not many ancient Egyptians retained their worldly goods for long with the systematic depredation of tomb robbers and of archaeology.

But picture this…”




“… It's the Field of Reeds and a man is running plish, plash, plish  in the shallows of the riverbank in the dawn mist.

We are born alone, we die alone and we arise again alone and he is alone now, peering through the mist for another sign of life after death.

Reeds whip against his legs and body. Do scaly crocodiles lurk in here? Surely not. These are the fields of Aaru, not the menacing underworld that he has just passed through. That guardian-haunted journey of gateways, passages and passwords of the night still cling to him like a nightmare does to the newly awakened and he puts on a spurt to distance himself further from it.

Yet he longs for a weapon to defend himself.

Something. A rock. Even a stick in case he has to fight off an unknown terror.

His instinct for protection tells him to be afraid, yet he wonders what he should ever have to fear in this place. Then he recalls that here in this realm of the Field of Reeds men walk among the gods and demigods.

He hears a cracking voice that seems to bend the reeds like a breeze with its force.

“Who enters the reeds? And what riches and offerings do you bring with you?”

‘Riches?’ he thinks.

He is a poor man, a tomb guard, and he went to his grave with only a basket of food, his spear and a jar of beer, which he left behind when he ran out of the open tomb mouth to emerge into the dawn of another world.

Almost too late, he sees a figure standing in the mist like a statue. It is a giant, grim-faced being wearing a skull gap and a tightly fitting gown.

A neter, or god. Or perhaps a demi-god.

The air thins and chills and he smells a curious odour like burning gum. The perfume of divinity. The entity wears a thin curled beard and holds the symbol of a god in his hand. An axe like a flag on a long pole.

The running man drops to his belly and lies still in shallow water, plunged into shock and cold, amid a crowd of bending reeds, their acid-green pungency filling his nostrils.

“Bring wealth and you will be served,” the cracking voice said. “Bring no wealth and you must serve. You can run as they all do to escape eternal servitude, but you will be hunted down.”

What does this mean? That to those who have will be given and to those who have not, what little they have shall be taken from them?

Not paradise, but eternal servitude!

This does not seem like a fitting reward for one who has been justified by Osiris in the Hall of Judgement.

Is having a soul free of guilt not enough to earn rest and eternal bliss? Does he have to buy paradise?

“So you choose to hide and run?” the unseen god thundered. “Then the demigods will come after you. Men and women with serpent heads. Lioness women. Jackal men. And you have nothing to protect yourself with because you are one who has brought nothing... ”

‘I still have my spear back there in the tomb,’ he thinks. ‘Shall I return for it?’

No. He’s come too far now.

Better to crawl in a wide circle around the being and keep going.

There must be other tombs, other new arrivals that have brought things too. A spear. Bow and arrows. A sword.

And gold - that might be useful in this place.

Other tombs.

He is shocked by his own thoughts. Is he going steal grave goods from a tomb in heaven?

He remembers the words that he recited to Osiris in the Negative Confession:

I have wronged none…

I have not stolen.

I have done no evil.

He has sworn these things before the Judge of the Dead in order to enter the Field of Reeds and now he is planning to commit the very sins he denied.

Is it his fate to become a tomb robber in heaven...?”


"And the Oscar/Ptah for creative Egyptian fiction writing goes to..."

Reckon there's more than an echo of the ancient Egyptian creative god Ptah in Hollywood's Oscar, don't you think? (Except, maybe Oscar works out a bit more.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AND... KINDLE EGYPT FICTION READING FOR PRETEENS THIS HOLIDAY





Do your kids or grandkids love ancient Egypt?
See the Egypt adventure fiction selection for my younger readers (written as ROY POND).
Or revisit the charm of ancient Egypt for the young at heart.

AMAZON KINDLE

THE IBIS APOCALYPSE

Strange. Just as the Book of Thoth turns up in the reign of Rameses, so does Moses and the Plagues of Egypt.

Anson Hunter, fiction's renegade Egyptologist and archaeologist, has a controversial theory about a son of Rameses. 
 
Discover the secret in THE IBIS APOCALYPSE (Amazon Kindle)