The Egyptian Expedition

e57bfd3ff9943b84eea3150c2826a001Gods walk this land, it is hallowed by their footprints. He who dies in this land will die only in their body; their spirit shall live on. If they have lived a life of virtue then Osiris will guide them out of this realm to the after life. No Egyptian travels far from his homeland for if he dies in a foreign land his spirit will be cursed to wander the Earth in eternal lamentation. No Egyptian would ever willingly leave this land blessed by the gods.

Yet high in the mountains south of Elephantine, the farthest boundary of Egypt, the desert sun was beating down upon a man covered in dirt and bruises. He struggled to climb up from the river valley below. He moved like an ant his thin body hauling a giant pitcher of water on a makeshift sled. Up he went dragging himself and the clay jug through a narrow passage between the sandstone rocks. He eventually reached his destination: a small alcove on the summit looking over the river valley. Here lay a small garden organised in two long beds in the only part of the alcove exposed to the midday sun. In this garden grew some shafts of wheat and a few vegetables. The thin man set the water jug down and rested for a few moments. Unfastening the stopper inside the top of the jug, he started to carefully hoist it up to pour the contents into a small pan that ran along into a canal that fed out to the garden beds. The journey up the hill had weakened him too much and he struggled under the weight of the jug.

“Let me help you with that,” said a voice and the man flinched as two strong hands appeared from behind him and gripped the jug. The jug would have fallen if the other man were not so strong that he could support the full weight of the jug by himself. The thin man scrambled backwards along the ground and watched the intruder carefully pour the contents of the jug into the irrigation channel for his gardens. Continue reading “The Egyptian Expedition”


Writer’s Diary: Future Projects

Space fall is now most of the way towards completion, and I’ve been thinking about what my next writing project might be.  I have a few contenders.  Presently, I’m fascinated in Anglo-Saxon England and what life was like during this period, especially for the 90-95% outside the aristocracy and clergy.  Life was very difficult back in this era and famines were a constant source of threat to people’s survival.  There is a tendency to dismiss Europeans as being primitive farmers and barbarians before the renaissance, but I figure common sense discounts this idea.  Europe as a continent, especially in the north, has this annual catastrophe called “winter” and in order to survive this the inhabitants of these lands had to adapt to winter conditions in ways people in other parts of the world didn’t need to.  For example, in jungle regions there is fruit all year round, while in Europe fruit is only available in the warmer months.  Europeans had to develop technologies and strategies for coping with winters that exist nowhere else in the world except perhaps Japan, Korea, and Manchuria.

Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Future Projects”