Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Old Cemeteries, Interesting Epitaphs, Touching Stories

Have you ever listened to Car Talk on NPR radio on Saturday mornings?

At the end of the show, Tom & Ray Magliazzi always say "Well, you've wasted another perfectly good hour listening to us."

I just spent way more than an hour cruising through some interesting online sites. And I know I'm not the only person out there who finds old cemeteries interesting.

Check out www.findagrave.com. Click on "Interesting Monuments" and check out a few. There are some fascinating stories to be found there. I mostly look at the earlier dates, especially the young women and children.

Look up the following names for starters:

Merchant, Christian B.
Poulson, Agnes F.
Warner, William Jr.

Christian Merchant's gravestone has a rather creepy tale that goes along with it. After you check it out on the Find A Grave site, go to www.ghosttoghost.com/htm and read how Ripley's Believe It Or Not featured the story on one of their shows.

The photo above is of Georges Rodenbach's gravestone in Paris, France. It was considered an excellent example of Victorian funerary art at the time. Imagine walking by that one October night when the leaves are falling. I don't know for sure but it must illustrate his belief in an afterlife. Rising from the grave? If you click on the picture you can get an even closer view.

On the Ghost To Ghost site you can read through some of the "Interesting Epitaphs". And I guarantee you will be amused and touched. I especially like the epitaph for Jonathan Pease.

Starting next week, I am going to do a series on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I've always wondered about them (Pardon the pun!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Pyramids

I'm writing about the Pyramids today because I need some inspiration and Egyptian archaeology always animates me.

The Pyramids have held a deep fascination for me since childhood, when my Dad brought a home a vividly illustrated coffee table book on the discovery of Tutankhamen's intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

That became my very first blog post. The photo of Tutankhamen's gold and jewel-encrusted burial mask has become an iconic representation of Egypt and is said to equal the worth of England's crown jewels.

Above is the Grand Gallery inside the tomb of Cheops, also called the Great Pyramid of Giza. It leads to the King's burial chamber. Just look at that mysterious staircase, built thousands of years ago. I want to be there!

On a tour to Israel in 1978, our group was to have a day in Egypt. But because we had entered Israel first, the immigration officials wouldn't allow us into Egypt. Instead we had a day in Rome (fabulous!). You might think that one day isn't enough time to see much but believe me, you can pack a lot into one day if you're motivated.

Still, I was disappointed at not getting into Egypt. I have a friend who thinks that we will be in Egypt together one day. Maybe on a dig? Perhaps to promote a book? Hmmm. Sounds good to me!

According to new Flickr.com rules, I need to give photo credits.

The top photo, "Pyramid of Khafre", Adrian Testa Photography.
3rd photo, "Grand Gallery of Cheops", by Templar1307.
Bottom photo, "Dusty Sunset at the Pyramids", by Matt Champlin.