20
Jul

This Site

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen   in

Em Hotep!

An Ancient Egyptian phrase meaning “in peace”
used as a greeting and on departing. Think aloha!

sit01 - psychedelic sphinxThis website started with a simple question:  What should I do with all of the pictures I took while in Egypt?  The plan had always been to put them on the internet in some format, even as I was taking them.  This was before the era of blogs, but even then I knew I was doing something that I wanted to share.

I spent a month in Egypt in May/June, 1997, as part of a summer study course on the development of religious thought in the Mediterranean region.  My interests originally revolved around the roots of Judeo-Christian religious ideas, and how deeply these roots reached into Ancient Egypt.  While I still think there is some fertile ground to be explored in this line of pursuit, my interests shifted into more general directions, and so the original web project was postponed.

So 1000+ pictures languished while life went on.  Every now and again I would come across a few that had found their way out of their boxes, or I might be cleaning the dust off of the frame of one of my favorites that actually made it to the wall, and a pang of guilt would surface.  I really need to do something with these.

sit02 - camera ticketIn March of 2009 I began the arduous task of organizing, classifying, identifying, and trying to wrap my head around how to present these pictures.  I decided at first to do a photo-blog.  I figured the easiest approach would be to scan my favorites and put them into a blog, grouped by whatever themes suggested themselves.  So next came scanning, adjusting levels, and doing pixel editing on the Chosen Ones, one by one by one.

I started with a prototype site on WordPress.com, and during the several months I spent learning WordPress and experimenting with different ideas, the project grew beyond a simple photo blog.  The nature of my posts evolved.  I am just an amateur photographer, and barely that.  But I am a professional writer.  I found my posts growing into articles, my articles growing into more defined categories, and my categories growing beyond a blog and into a more traditional website.  I found a third party server and left the WordPress.com nest.

sit03 - horus

The result is this—Em Hotep!  It is still a place for me to post my photos.  But it is also a general introduction to the places and history of Egypt, broken down by location and period.  It is written in a manner which is intended to be accessible to the layman, the traveler, and those with a growing interest in Egypt and her history.

 

In terms of content, Em Hotep is for intermediate-level aficionados.  Undergraduate (and possibly high school) paper-writers will find much here to inspire them, and my intent is to provide a reference resource and starting point.  Other than the pictures, there is not much here a graduate student in Egyptology is going to find that they haven’t already seen, but their input and comments are much appreciated!

However, if you are an amateur Egyptologist like me, or have an interest in the latter periods of Egyptian history—particularly Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic—then what you will find here is a well organized and very photo-intense introduction to these subjects.

Madinat al-Louis?

Madinat al-Louis?

I am also exploring ways of presenting material of local appeal.  I am located in Louisville, KY, and finding connections between Egyptology and Kentuckiana (Louisville and surrounding areas, including Indiana) will be a challenge, so we’ll see how it goes.  I plan to keep an eye on relevant classes being offered at local colleges and universities, events at museums and libraries, and even restaurants where you can eat like an Egyptian–Where is the best hummus, Bardstown Road or Frankfort Avenue?  Stay tuned!

 

Please enjoy the website, and please feel free to get a dialog started.  That is why each article has a comments area!

 

shemsutag

 

The photograph entitled “Madinat al-Louis” is an altered version of “800px-Louisville_Skyline” by Chris Watson and is provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one. Official license 

ALL OTHER photographs and text are copyright 2009, all rights reserved.