Monday, July 30, 2018

Luxor in Las Vegas (Part 2)

Fig. 1 - Entranceway to the Casino
     While the outside of the Luxor hotel / Casino in Las Vegas is big and splashy, the Egyptianizing fun continues inside as well.

Fig. 2 - the heart of the deceased being weighed to see if he is free of sin
     First you enter the hotel past a statue of a Pharaoh and a couple of Egyptianizing columns (see fig. 1) as well as a copy of the scene of the heart of the deceased being weighed before Osiris (see fig. 2). I could make all sorts of comments about having your heart weighed to see if it is heavy with sin before you enter a casino (or will it be weighed when you leave the casino??), but I will refrain.

Fig. 3 - the entrance pylon that is inside the hotel
     Now you find yourself in the main lobby. There you are greeted by what looks like a copy (sort of) of the entrance pylon of an ancient temple. Statues of the king flank either side of the entrance to the casino (you can see the slot machines in the distance through the "pylon's" entrance). Also, if you look at the foot area of the statue on the right, you can see a ram-headed sphinx that looks very much like it comes from the avenue of sphinxes that connected the Karnak and Luxor temples in early times.

Fig. 4 - an obelisk with hieroglyphs that light up
Fig. 5 - a "Middle Kingdom" Sphinx
     Upstairs, where the shows and shops are located, there is still more  Egyptomania fun with an obelisk that has hieroglyphs that light up (the hieroglyphs do not really say anything, but in Las Vegas that is not really important, right?). One can only wonder what Ramesses II would have done with something like this. There is also another sphinx there that resembles the famous one from the Middle Kingdom that is now in the Louvre in Paris. My wife sat by the paws of the sphinx while I toured the nearby exhibit of artifacts brought up from the Titanic.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Luxor (in Las Vegas)

Fig. 1 - the Luxor Obelisk in Las Vegas
     OK, let's get silly for a few minutes. I recently did a trip to Las Vegas and I stopped by the Luxor Hotel to get some photos of the "Egyptianizing" decor of the place.

Fig. 2 - the Great Sphinx of Las Vegas
     The front of the hotel / casino features a giant sphinx and obelisk, while the building itself is shaped lime a giant black pyramid. The front of the building has a temple-like front where taxi cabs can drop off and pick up passengers. The walls of this "temple" are decorated with numerous, well carved, but totally meaningless "inscriptions" (see figure 3).
Fig. 3 - "inscriptions" on the exterior of the Luxor "Temple"
     On a previous trip to Vegas (many years ago) the hotel had an exhibit that was something like a reproduction of Tutankhamen's tomb. Not a real reproduction mind you, just something that looked like a small scale mock up of the tomb. This is gone now, replaced by places that can sell you something.

In the next post we can take a look inside the hotel at some of the Egyptianizing decor that can be seen there.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Drinking from a Sarcophagus???

     Occasionally Egyptologists get to deal with some truly unusual ideas and the people who propose them. Some people believe that the pyramids were built by aliens while others believe that there is a curse of the Pharaohs that will strike down anyone who violates a royal tomb.

     The latest example of this sort of thing just might be the craziest I have ever heard of. Last week a large black sarcophagus was found and opened in Alexandria. Inside was a mix of skeletons and a vile smelling red water. A crack in the sarcophagus had apparently allowed water to seep in.

     Now someone has started a petition to have the antiquities service permit the drinking of "...the red liquid from the cursed dark sarcophagus in the form of some sort of carbonated energy drink so we can assume its powers and die." Wow! Mixing an ancient curse with a carbonated energy drink. This idea is truly unique!

     Now it would be easy to dismiss this petition as the ravings of a lone loon, but apparently over 17,000 people have signed the petition! Seriously, 17,000 people want to drink this stuff in the form of a carbonated energy drink that will kill them?

     And I thought the ideas I hear at work were crazy!!!!!