One of our favourite sites in Egyot to visit is Geb El Silsila. This ancient site was used as a quarry right up until the building of the high dam in the 1960's.
We took a fantastic group of people on an adventure with us to see this amazing site and mixed it with a little adventure!
Located 3 hours outside Luxor and not very easy to get to by road we opted to get to the site from the East Bank which then required us to take a motor boat across the Nile to the ancient site.
Approaching the site in this way gives you a real sense of scale and a feel for what it would of been like all those years ago.
Once off the boat we made our way up to the little temple of Horemheb where Saffy gave us a talk on the history and more on the actual quarry it's self. Known in Pharaonic times as Khenu (Place of Rowing), Gebel Silsilla was an important centre for the cult of the Nile: every year at the beginning of the inundation season, sacrifices were made here to ensure the fertility of the land. The Nile at its height flowing through the narrow gorge must have been a particularly impressive sight, and noisy, which no
doubt explains why the location was chosen as a cult centre. The gorge also marks the change in the bedrock of Egypt, from limestone to sandstone. The sandstone quarries here were worked by thousands of men and from the 18th dynasty or earlier through to the Roman period. The quarries were for centuries the main source in Egypt of material for temple building.
The one thing that will strike about this place is the sense of
peace it is so quite nothing like it would of been centuries ago with the different mason gangs cutting out the stone blocks to be transport up and down the Nile. Walking along you can see the different hieroglyphics carved in to the rock showing the different teams that had been working there.
There are lots of little shrines along the path still with colour giving you a glimps of what it would of been like.
When we had finished exploring the site we took our boat back to the East Bank and had a walk through the farming paths back to our bus.
This visit really is well worth taking as it gives you a glimps of the social and working aspects of ancient Egypt which can be refreshing after all those pharohs and gods!
If you would like to take a trip with us to Geb El Silsila clink on the link below!
See you soon x