Life descended from drawings
We float on the Nile on Füluva – an old boat with a oblique sail, exactly such that Korozdil the local waters of a hundred, five hundred, thousand years ago. To visit the country of Pharaohs and the pyramids was my dream from the same time, as in the museum of the visual arts of Pushkin a quarter of a century, the exhibition was located "Treasures of the tomb of Tutankhamon".
Looking at the exhibits that have glustering gold and precious stones, like other curious, admired the art of masters, who have five thousand years ago created these things that surround the king in his life and designed to serve him in the other world. Then in the story of the guide, I was struck by the phrase that the English archaeologist Howard Carter, who opened the tomb on the lid of the last sarcophagus, who opened the tomb on February 17, 1923, saw a modest bouquet of wildflowers. The imagination vividly painted the young widow of the 20-year-old Pharaoh and this last gift of her love collected on the banks of the Nile. Neither the preserved fragile bouquet told about the warmth of human relations and feelings. It seemed that this was not an old story, but the event, whose witness could become each of us.
I often remember this while traveling in Egypt, in good faith following the classic tour program. Valley of Kings, Pyramids, Temples. Myths and were buried in the sands of the deserts, and the greatest discoveries, accompanied by robbery, blood, death, where adventurism is sometimes difficult to separate from sincere desire to know the secrets of the past world. The books were written about this, films were shot, a lot of postcards and albums were expressed, so Egypt appears an old acquaintance, whose lives know along and across.
The object of tourism, speaking in modern language, Egypt became in the Greek-Roman era. Back in the V century BC, the father of Herodotus’s history described the Great Pyramids in Giza, singing (or stoning under the wind?) Colosses of Memnon in the philas, temples and tombs, to which, completing things, rich merchants, officials and even emperors with numerous chelye. Since then, the route has not changed.
Near Cairo is a deserted Plateau Giza, where the three most famous Egyptian pyramids are standing – Heops, Micheer and Hefren and where they have long been accustomed to resting Cairts, covering from the mad rhythm of the metropolitan life.
In the coolness of the ancient stones, the time of the whole families. Numerous households, children and old people are thoroughly arranged, folding on Earth food and bedding for rest. After the abundant meal of the Datvora is worn around the pyramids, and older people are leisurely conversations. Lovely black-eyed girlfriends were attached nearby, chirped about something in their own, sipping modern nectar – Coca-Cola and throwing glances on guys similar to students.
. Raising your head, a slide view on the plates of the color of the bright ocher, surprisingly harmonive with the surrounding sands, and trying to imagine how the legendary Heopse pyramid looked like. In antiquity, her height reached 146 meters, but now, when in it "Total" 137, it is impressive. 2.3 million stone blocks went to its construction, the average weight of each – 2.5 tons. The size was withstanding up to five millimeters.
It is curious that the Egyptians, to the smallest things, fixed the life of the pharaohs on the frescoes, did not leave the drawings telling how the pyramids were erected. There is, however, scenes showing how huge statues and obeliski were transported. They can see the tiny figures of work, pouring oil under the terminal of the carts to reduce friction. Grand invention!
James Aldrjj in the book "Cairo" There is such a note: "When Napoleon saw the Great Pyramid, he immediately counted in his mind that it would be possible to build a three-meter wall from her stone blocks around the whole of France. Of the many inscriptions that covered the pyramids then, Herodotus leads one, which mentioned huge amounts of money, spent onions and garlic for workers. All serious literature about the pyramids is replete with such examples: everyone wants to somehow bring these pyramids to ordinary earthly scales".
Already in our time, bring the lovers of old days, they caught the city for a population of 120 thousand people from her stones. But "technical details" During the construction of temples, they did not interfere with thinking about the eternal, about life after death. In the fact that it exists, the Egyptians believed so holy that the whole earthly life was holy by the preparation for the life of the afterlife.
Order to start the construction of your own tomb of Pharaoh usually gave on the day of his eight on the throne. Happened, the tomb was ready, and her future owner was not going to go to the world of other. Then the construction continued. New moves and halls were erected, for blasphemia was considered to finish the tomb in the life of the ruler. Artists began to paint her walls with frescoes, telling about the acts of Pharaoh, his occupations and rest, about his enemies and approximate, about intrigues, which happened in the Tsarist Palaces, and these multi-kilometer artistic life methods helped researchers in late times with reliability to restore the history of five thousand years ago.
Now it remains to be admired by the paints of unnamed painters in the eyelids and hopelessly look for the secret of their durability. In Egypt, I did not leave the feeling that the inhabitants of this country did not change at all with those distant times when the pyramids and mysterious sphinxes were born. It seemed that these people simply went off with papyrus and settled in our time. Egyptian older has been preserved everywhere: in the dancing of girls, in the faces, even in the unusual gestures of the controller at the crossroads – he raised his hands with characteristic stretched palms exactly as subjects appealed to Pharaoh depicted on the bas-reliefs of temples.
In the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, we have told the history of the opening of the statue of Kaepera – Velmazby the time of the ancient kingdom. Workers who excavated it were so amazed by resemblance "Wooden man" With the older village, they shouted in one voice: "Sheikh El Balad!" ("Rustic Starost!"). Under this name, the sculpture performed in the best realistic traditions, one of the most precious pearls of world art, entered all world catalogs.
During one of the walks on Fület on thick, like oil, Nile water, our boat with a sharp nose stuck in the thickets of plants similar to the reed. Highlights – for two meters – triangular stems fluffled by fitted wrenches. "This is Papyrus", – said the guide, part-time employee of the Papyrus Institute. Looking around, I recognize the ciprus – a fairly widespread room plant. True, the one is much shorter and pinema cap. And the guide already inspires about "Divine Plant", How did Papyrus died out, who fed, dress, enriched the ancient Egyptians. Over time, people thought of binding long durable stems in bundles and collect light chefts and big vessels capable of making distant swims.
Many cable gave a name and writing material made from plants stalks. When the papyrus was accurately invented for writing and art, it would not even say the most knowledgeable Egyptologist.
It is known that the oldest copy found by archaeologists belongs to the beginning of the III Millennium BC. Primary, of course, to say that the invention of the papyrus, replacing clay plates with the cylinder, produced a revolution in the history of civilization. Better turn to humorous "Universal history", published in the beginning of the century magazine "Satirikon". This is how this stage is described in human life: "In order for the beloved to be able to state his lovely feelings, he had to send it a whole congestion of bricks. Read the written idea of such an ungrateful work that the patience of the girl burned, and on the tenth brick she got married to another". Well, in such a situation, do without light and capacious papyrus? Life itself made him come up.
In the modern institute, papyrus can be seen as a strong stem directly in the eyes turns into an almost weightless sheet – the real miracle. And at the same time, the history of the revival of the papyrus is set out, the secret of the manufacture of which was lost after the invention of the paper – as unnecessary. Actually "Papiral cuisine" Pupils of Aristotle Theofrast and Roman Natural Testrar of Pliny Senior described in detail. The stalks of the plant were reported, they are cut along into narrow long ribbons, which are then stacked in two layers – alone horizontally, others vertically – and fasten with adhesive substance. Distened sheets smoothed as iron, smooth stone or sink. And all.
But, it can be seen, some kind of main secret Ancient researchers were still tired, because when our contemporaries, using them "Instruction", tried to recreate this writing material, they got rude hard sheets. Enthusiasts, however, did not leave attempts to reveal the mystery of the ancients. Good luck fell out the most patient, stubborn and generous – Hassana Ragabu.
Engineer, officer, diplomat, Hassan suddenly threw a brilliant career and dedicated himself to the revival of the papyrus, who did not regrets his condition, no savings of his wife and brother, the benefit of those agreed to the victim. Trying to solve an ancient technology, he sought a way of fastening yellowish, with a thick network of small streams of papyrus strips. I tried dozens of adhesive tools and found a simple recipe to primitiveness: no glue! Strips are dumping in several shifts of the Nile Water, after each shift carefully fought off with a hammer and go under the press. Despite long "bathing", Strips remains adhesive sugar juice, which fastens parts of the papyrus tightly. It can be guided, might, tear, throw into the water – it will remain flattened, pliable and flexible, and no ink, carcasses, paints will not be lit on it.
Further, the wife and daughter of Hassan took the case: they carefully reproduced the ancient drawings, not allowing free fantasy to retreat from the classic original.
The novelty, who came from the depths of the centuries, had a deafening success. Tourists hunted papyrus as the most valuable souvenir. Still: I heard so much about him and almost no one kept in my hands! Craftsmen and merchants instantly responded to the papyrus boom. They flooded a profitable goods of hundreds of lavies, it is annoyed by his tourists, prudently silent, which is most often offered and not papyrus at all, and fake from the hinders of bananas, which is poor quality and short-lived. You will buy a papyrus – see so that it is slightly yellowish, with rare brown dots and streaks. This is real.
And the house of Hassan Ragaba on Nile in the suburb of Cairo turned into a papyrus institute. Its accurate copy of it is open for tourists – they show how the writing material is born, miniatures are sold with a certificate of authenticity and tell a lot of stories about scries and draftsmen.
It turns out that the teacher’s profession was the most revered in ancient Egypt. The letter was worshiped as the gift of the god of wisdom Tota, and before sitting for the work, it was supposed to make the subject of his honor. "Be scribe! – Preserved ancient papyrus instruction of young. – It will free you from the deliveries, protects you from all sorts, will remove you from the hoe. And you will not wear a basket. You will not be under the lords by many and under the chiefs numerous". Really respected profession – so far thanks to her we open the secrets of Egypt.