Yikes! A cobra! I must run, or its venom could kill me. Snakes are ‘venomous’ and should not be referred to as poisonous because we don’t eat them. The Egyptians worshipped them. All throughout Egypt, there were gods with a resemblance to animals like crocodiles, dogs, jackals, and cats too called Anubis, Horus, Sobek, Bastest, and many more. I am in Gisa, Egypt, looking at the sights, hearing about the history and not looking at where I was going. I stumbled, tripped, and found myself sinking in a quicksand pit.

Egypt is mostly desert with the Nile River being the only water source. There is a lot of sand all over but wet quicksand? That is impossible. Could there be water nearby? how? Thinking won’t help me. I must act I can’t let the quicksand get to me. It was no use. I sank, anyway. I fell through the sand onto a hard surface and it was a flight of stairs, an underground tomb.

After I got used to the darkness, I noticed the large symbol or hieroglyph, the eye of Horus. The Eye of Horus is the symbol of power, protection, and good health. Next to it was the symbol of the Ankh. The Ankh is one of the most common ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, used in art, writing, and decorations. It represents the word “life” and was often used to express the desire for someone to live – e.g. “may you live and be well” and held as a key to eternal life. I definitely had fallen into a tomb or burial place. Egyptians loved to build elaborate eternal homes and the riches in these tombs reflected their status in society.

There was a large stone that looked like a door that led into the chamber beyond. On the door, the hieroglyphs said, “Beware, tomb hunter, for may Sobek eat you, unless you solve the three designated riddles”. Sobek, the God of Nile, is the crocodile God. Looking at the bunch of human skeletons, with no bones broken, I was sure Sobek certainly didn’t eat any of them. I decided he won’t eat me and ignoring Sobek, I pushed open the door and entered a chamber.

On the wall was a huge hieroglyph featuring, “I am the founding Pharaoh and innovator in design and construction of the pyramids”

The first pyramid ever built was the step pyramid of Djoser. The third dynasty of Egypt built this. And that led to a new set of pyramids built at Dashshur which includes the bent pyramid and red pyramid. The Bent Pyramid is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometers south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu was the founding pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt during the Old Kingdom. Sneferu was Khufu’s father. Then followed by the great pyramid of Gisa made by Khufu, the fourth dynasty of the old kingdom of Egypt. The red pyramid was also one of his creations meant to be his tomb. But he probably didn’t like it and so he moved on. Is this his final resting place?

The second chamber looked ominous. So, I helped myself to a gold khopesh as a weapon which is similar to a sickle. I spotted the snake goddess at the entrance, the immortal Wadjet!

She was one of the earliest Egyptian deities and was often depicted as a cobra, as she is the serpent goddess. She became the patroness of the Nile Delta and the protector of all of Lower Egypt.

But where was the riddle?  I certainly cannot defeat Wadjet, she being immortal, so I decide not to fight but to escape into the next chamber. I threw my khopesh, as a distraction and Wadjet fell for it. I escaped into the next room and she instantly went back to the world of Gods.

Now the third riddle! I was so close to stardom.

On the floor, the hieroglyphs said, “I am the son of Khafre”. I mentally mapped the 15 dynasties and Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. And I decided on the fourth dynasty, Pharaoh Menkhaure!

Khafra was the builder of the second-largest pyramid of Giza. Khafre’s father Khufu, the king who built the Great Pyramid of Giza. And Menkaure was the son of Khafra and grandson of Khufu and he became famous for his tomb, the Pyramid of Menkaure, at Giza and his beautiful statues, showing the king together with his wives Rekhetre and Khamerernebty.

Legend has it that Menkhaure made a temple that got buried under the sand called the temple of Menkhaure. I think I have just stumbled into the temple of Menkhaure!!

What’s this? An inscription! It said this treasury was meant for queen Khamerernebty made by Menkhaure to be put in her tomb. But unfortunately, he died and one of his sons, Shepseskaf, placed it here. As it was dear to the king, they placed many traps and even asked Wadjet to guard it. And only this scribe’s descendant was worthy to enter.

But I entered! How can I be related? Or is it just a false prediction?

Then I looked at the name of the scribe. Gasp! “Salabmed Yehsas”. Could he be my ancestor! My family name is also ‘Yasas’. Prithviraj Yasas. Awesome! I have to tell my parents this news. And get this to the museum of history! After all, our purpose is to learn and discover history.

By Prithviraj Yasas,

Grade 6, Ekya School – JP Nagar

Posted by Shanthi Sivaram

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