Archaeologists working in Egypt have discovered a harbor on the Red Sea that was used for international trade.
The excavation at Mersa Gawasis has revealed traces of an ancient harbor. It’s long been known that the Egyptians traded down the coast of Africa, but the location of their embarkation was unknown. A famous carving at Deir el-Bahari, the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, shows an ocean-going vessel like the one pictured above and scenes a land with thatched huts and exotic items for sale such as ivory and giraffes. Inscriptions identify the land as Punt but don’t mention where it is. Archaeologists have speculated that it was in the Horn of Africa, either in Eritrea or Djibouti, or where the modern unrecognized states of Somaliland or Puntland are today.
The first recorded voyages to Punt started in the reign of the Pharaoh Sahure, who ruled from 2487-2475 BC. Regular trading missions were sent out for centuries to buy exotic items for Egypt’s elite. Queen Hatshepsut’s famous engravings of Punt date to around 1490-1460 BC.
Scholars have traditionally been doubtful of the Egyptians’ ability to make long sea voyages. Further excavation at Mersa Gawasis may change this view and open up new possibilities for Egyptian influence on other ancient cultures. While the excavations at Mersa Gawasis are not yet open to public view, Deir el-Bahari is a popular attraction and you can wonder at the scenes depicting the mysterious land of Punt for yourself.
[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
Traveling through Africa is always an adventure, but a British man, fresh from a stint in the Peace Corps, has found a way to add even more excitement to a journey through the wildest continent on Earth.
Last week, Kyle Henning set out on a journey that he has dubbed as Low2High: Africa. His adventure started at Lake Assal, located in central Djibouti, which has the distinction of being the lowest point in Africa at 508 feet below sea level. From there, he got on his bike and has started an 1864 mile long ride that will pass through six countries, eventually ending up in Tanzania at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. If all goes according to plan, Henning will then trek to the Kili’s summit, which is the highest point on the continent at 19,340 feet.
While this sounds like a fantastic way to visit East Africa and make one of the world’s great treks on Kilimanjaro, Henning isn’t doing it purely for the adventure. The young man is also hoping to raise funds for the New Day Children’s Center in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The center provides food, clothing, and education for children that would normally be left to fend for themselves on the city streets. Henning has set a modest goal of raising £2,500 (roughly $4000) and as of this writing he has already managed bring in about £888.
You can follow Kyle’s trekking and cycling adventure on his blog, where he is already sharing stories and photos from the road. While he’s been traveling for more than a week already, he still has a long way to go, and plenty to see and do. Judging from his early entries however, he seems to be having the time of his life meeting locals and seeing the landscapes. Can we ask for anything more out of our travel than that?
[Photo credit: Kyle Henning]
Sometimes it is just fine to giggle like a little kid when you see a funny sounding name.
In this lineup of 10 destinations, you’ll find names that are funny, disturbing or just plain hilarious.
You will need a sense of humor to appreciate these places, because if you don’t, you’ll just think I’m a sick and twisted individual who needs professional help.