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    CLJobe
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The Expedition - 7. Chapter 7

I ran to Mahmoud’s tent, “It’s Alexander in that temple.” Then I ran to Mostafa’s tent and told him the same thing.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, Ptolemy supposedly stole the body of Alexander when they were moving him to Macedonia. We have never found his tomb in Greece because it is here in Egypt. When Alexander was in Egypt, the people regarded him as a god. That is why we are finding Zeus and Amun on the pediment.”

“If you are right, then his name should be on the frieze.”

We forgot breakfast and headed to the temple. We ignored the rest of the pediment and focused on the frieze over the next six hours. We uncovered three Greek letters: alpha, then Mahmoud uncovered nu, and Mostafa uncovered a sigma. These were the first, middle, and last letters of Alexander’s name in Greek. We sat back and just stared at what we had uncovered.

Over the next ten days, we had enough of the name uncovered to spell ALEXANDROS in Greek. I was still puzzled. I couldn’t understand the reason for the secrecy. Alexander was hailed as the Son of Zeus, which would have gotten him a royal burial. What did Ptolemy know that would make him divert Alexander’s body to Egypt. The answer had to be in the temple.

I met with Mahmoud and Mostafa to decide how to proceed. It was apparent we needed to get inside the temple.

“We need to concentrate on clearing the sand to the doors.”

We had the men build a wooden wall around the front of the temple. For the next two weeks, we shoveled sand from the front. At night, we took Mahmoud’s tent and placed it over the area, concentrating on clearing the sand. We moved Mahmoud’s equipment into my tent and Mostafa’s tent.

As more io the front of the temple became clear of sand, our excitement increased. We now brought lights into the tent covering the sand removal and continued to remove sand around the clock, in shifts.

The day before, Mahmoud had to leave to go back to school. We had enough sand cleared that we could open one of the doors about a foot. With a flashlight, we took turns looking inside. We could see several sarcophagi in front of the left wall and only for a few feet. But it was enough to let us know that Egyptians buried someone in this temple.

Mahmoud wasn’t ready to go home, and I sympathized with him. If I didn’t have my sabbatical, I wouldn’t want to go back to the University. I promised Mahmoud that I would continue to send him photos.

With the men working around the clock, we needed to make two weekly trips to Aswan, mainly for water. This allowed me to send photos to Mahmoud more frequently.

One month after returning, Mahmoud informed us he would be arriving in Aswan in two weeks. We had removed the sand from the right door, and now knowing that Mahmoud was coming, we worked on removing sand from the front of the temple. We would wait until Mahmoud was here before opening the doors. We spent our time charging our batteries for the lights we would need when we opened the doors. A flashlight wouldn’t provide enough light.

By the time Mahmoud arrived, we had all 12 batteries at full power and placed them on the portico in front of the doors.

In the early morning, the sun was shining on the temple when we opened the doors. Standing together, I turned on the lights. We were in awe by what we saw. Standing there with our mouths open, the interior of the temple was alight with a golden glow. Directly in front of us was a golden chair on a platform. There was a figure representing Zeus on the right side of the chair and a figure representing Amun on the left side of the chair. We stood there for what felt like a lifetime. There was only one conclusion. This was the tomb of Alexander.

Copyright © 2021 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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As I was reading there I was half expecting you to tell us that Alexander walked in and sat on the throne... But that's impossible....... isn't it? Oh now that worth a thought. I can't wait till tomorrow, what happens next? 

Ab-so blooming-lutely loving :thankyou::thankyou::thankyou::thankyou::thankyou::thankyou:

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Holy crap, this is AWESOME! I never thought about the tug of war on the burial of Alexander though I do remember reading of the discourse over who would reign in his place as well as the his body. So can't wait as they uncover more. Excellent!!! :) 

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Growing up wayyyyy! back when a find like this would be front page news and lead the TV news program today I suspect this would just be mentioned in passing. It would still be a huge deal in the archaeology community but the general public meh.

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Were I Mahmoud, I would be sending the boss the following; " F U I quit.  M. "  Being part of the team that found the tomb of Alexandros would almost guarantee tenure in any University with an Antiquities department.  Thoroughly fascinating tale absolutely well done, thankfully you are skipping over the tedious bits, the incessescent clearing of sand and rubble that is required just to get t o the good bits.

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21 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Things are starting to get exciting now we know who the tomb belongs to.

The tomb has mysteries

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20 hours ago, Kev said:

As I was reading there I was half expecting you to tell us that Alexander walked in and sat on the throne... But that's impossible....... isn't it? Oh now that worth a thought. I can't wait till tomorrow, what happens next? 

Ab-so blooming-lutely loving :thankyou::thankyou::thankyou::thankyou::thankyou::thankyou:

you are a dedicated reader. Alexander was 33 years old of which he accomplished it all in 13 years

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17 hours ago, Chris L said:

Holy crap, this is AWESOME! I never thought about the tug of war on the burial of Alexander though I do remember reading of the discourse over who would reign in his place as well as the his body. So can't wait as they uncover more. Excellent!!! :) 

I have a question for you, are you a batman devotee? The death of Alexander has been a mystery. Was he poisoned or not?

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16 hours ago, weinerdog said:

Growing up wayyyyy! back when a find like this would be front page news and lead the TV news program today I suspect this would just be mentioned in passing. It would still be a huge deal in the archaeology community but the general public meh.

I agree, the public wouldn't be interested. After doing some simple research, I would like to read more,

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14 hours ago, Dathi said:

Were I Mahmoud, I would be sending the boss the following; " F U I quit.  M. "  Being part of the team that found the tomb of Alexandros would almost guarantee tenure in any University with an Antiquities department.  Thoroughly fascinating tale absolutely well done, thankfully you are skipping over the tedious bits, the incessescent clearing of sand and rubble that is required just to get t o the good bits.

Howard will see that Mahmoud is recognized for his contribution.

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12 hours ago, drsawzall said:

I suspect there's more to be found, history will be augmented, possibly changed!!

I know that people looked for his tomb in Greece. History has recorded that Ptolemy had stolen his body when it was being carried to Greece.

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On 10/15/2021 at 5:21 AM, CLJobe said:

I have a question for you, are you a batman devotee? The death of Alexander has been a mystery. Was he poisoned or not?

ZIP BOOM BOW! Great Scott Batman, is it another Saturday episode in front of the tv? Loved that tv show growing up as a kid and sometimes the words just come back from somewhere. Haha I can hear the theme music playing as I type this. Great, now I got that song stuck in my head all day! LOL!!! LOL!!! 

Was Alexander poisoned or not? My personal view, Alexander died of a broken heart over the death of Hephaestion. History records that at his death in October of 324BC, Alexander flung himself on the body of Hephaestion and sobbed uncontrollably all day. Alexander died a few months later in June of 323BC. While Alexander had 3 wives and many concubines, I believe he had only one true love and that was Hephaestion - his friend from boyhood to death. 

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