Goddess with protective Shen Ring.

The Library of Egyptian Secrets

Egyptian monuments from the north
These two overviews of the monuments of Egypt
were created by Hector Horeau as daguerrotypes in 1841.

The Egyptian Secrets Library is a collection of first person stories and art from early European visitors to the Nile Valley, people who saw the monuments as the ancients had left them. Their words and often spectacular pictures can translate the broken structures and faded paintings into visions of a time early in human history, a time of great power and knowledge. The almost forgotten foundation of what we are.

Ascending Passages are edited to focus on ancient archaeology, and illustrated with breathtaking art by the Scotsman David Roberts, etchings commissioned by Napoleon during his expedition to Egypt in 1798-9 and published as "la Description de l'Egypte", and works by many other 19th century artists. Photographs, early and modern, have been added to fill the gaps. Spelling of people, places and gods is not standard, connecting them can be a exercise in non-logical thinking.

Below is a list of pages.

"La Mort De Philae" (excerpts)

a book by Pierre Loti, published in 1909 and 1924

The author, a French ship's officer who spent much time in Egypt, wonders at the spectacular scale and age of the monuments, yet is also in awe of the small things, the colors remaining on temple walls after so many centuries, the statues of the lion goddess sitting silently by a lake.

He seeks respite from the clamor of Western civilization, sometimes he finds it, often he is interrupted by the encroaching "modernization" of the country. And around the corner, it seems forever, the patrons of Thomas Cook LTD, purveyors of world travel with "no surprises". Monsieur Loti, unlike most writers who visited Egypt at this time, went deeper.

"La Mort De Philae:"
Night-time with the Pyramids and Sphinx.
The Serapeum: Tombs of the sacred Apis bulls.
Temples and tourists at Abydos in upper Egypt.
The beautiful Hathor Temple at Dendera.
Karnac at Sunset.
Karnac at Night.
Karnac by Day.
The Valley of the Kings.
The Lion Goddess Sekhet-Sekhmet.
End of the tourist trail: Aswan.
The flooded Great Temple at Philae from which the book takes its name.

"The Spell of Egypt" (excerpts)

a book by Robert Hichens, published in 1911.

"The Spell of Egypt" was written about the same time as "La Morte de Philae" and covers many of the same places. Both writers were travelers who spent a great deal of time in the ruins away from the tour groups and were enchanted with what they found. Mr. Hichens' work often lacks the passion of "la Morte" but he catches the intensity and the depth. Fortunately several sections cover regions either lightly noted by M. Loti or not mentioned by him.

"The Spell of Egypt (excerpts):"
The Colossi of Memnon - Guardians of the West side of the Nile at Thebes.
Somber Medinet-Habu
The Ramesseum - The great temple of Rameses II.
The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir-el-Bahari, one of the most beautiful buildings ever built.
The Temple at Edfu a place of deep peace.
The dual temple at Kom-Ombo

The Middle Kingdom centers Asyut and Beni Hasan
The Amarna revolution: Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
The Temples at Esna and El-Kab

"The Tomb of Seti I"

excerpts from Giovanni Belzoni, published in 1820.

Many believe the tomb of Seti I contains the finest relief art of the New Kingdom. It was discovered in 1817 by Giovanni Belzoni, a former circus strong man and monk who left quite a mark on Egyptology. It was Belzoni who carried off the giant head of Ramesses that now resides in the British Museum, and who opened Chephren's Pyramid.

Yet Belzoni was not merely a treasure hunter. This account of his discovery of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings shows a fairly careful documentation of his find, as well as his deep appreciation of the beauty of the tomb's art and of the competence of the Ancient Egyptian artists.

The discovery and exploration of the tomb of Seti I
The smaller Seti I Temple at Thebes
What Belzoni learned of Artist techniques in the Tombs of the Valley of the Kings.
The New Kingdom artists' village at Deir el Medina.

Nefertari tomb photo from the Yorck Project

"The Valley of the Queens"

A series of engravings of New Kingdom Queens and beautiful art from their tombs.

Valley of the Queens

Cleopatra's Temple Cleopatra and Hermonthis

"The Osirion at Abydos"

The 1904 papers detailing the discovery and excavation of the mysterious:
Osirion at Abydos by Petrie and Murray.

The Monuments of Abydos by Sir William Flinders Petrie. A 1911 overview of this important ancient city.

A different view of Abu Simbul, also by David Roberts.

"Travels in Nubia" (excerpts)

excerpts from a book by John Lewis Burckhardt, published in 1819

Nubia is the name given the upper (southern) reaches of the Nile in Egypt and Sudan, beginning more or less at Aswan. This book is the story of an early exploration of sites that now are mostly below Lake Nasser - the lake formed by the construction of dams in the Aswan region, first in 1902 and then a much higher dam in the mid 1960's. Many of the temples described here were moved to higher ground but others were lost to the water.

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (1784-1817), was born in Switzerland. He lived for many years in the Middle East. He is credited with the discovery of Petra (Jordan) in 1812. He received funding from the African Association, a British exploration society.

The scholars who prepared "la Description de l'Egypte" did not record the sites above Philae, but other artists continued the work upriver. The first cataract, near Philae, isolated this region somewhat, many temples were still standing when Burckhardt and the others saw them.

CH. 01: The Temple at Dabod
CH. 02: Kardassy Qertassi Temple- relic of a small masterpiece.
CH. 03: Taffa Temple
CH. 04: The Temple of Beit el Wali
CH. 05: The great Temple of Kalabsha
CH. 06: Dendur (Dandour) Temple - now in New York City.
CH. 07: The Lost Temple at Gerf Hussein
CH. 08: el Dakke Temple
CH. 09: The small Wady Meharakka temple
CH. 10: El Seboua Lion Temple
CH. 11: Hassaya Amada Temple
CH. 12: el Derr Temple east
CH. 13: The small rock-cut el Lessiya Temple
CH. 14-A: The beautiful temple at Abu Simbel of Queen Nefertari
CH. 14-B: The great temple at Abu Simbel of Pharaoh Rameses
CH. 15: A few traces of Amara West Temple
CH. 16: The little Samne Temple
CH. 17: Ruins of Soleb Temple

Egyptian monuments from the south, by Hector Horeau.

The Pyramids of Meroe

As the 3000 year civilization of Ancient Egypt was reaching its end, far to the south there arose a kingdom in what was then called Kush, in modern Sudan. The religion and culture of Kush were strongly influenced by Egypt, and they built pyramids - the last known pyramids on the African continent. Here on the opposite end of the Nile, separated by millennia, came the last flowering of the Egyptian root. And here, in Meroe, some final secrets are hidden.

Kush at Gebel Barkal
The Pyramids of Meroe


The story of a great flood that destroyed much of mankind in ancient, pre-historic times is common throughout the world. Also common is the idea that a few people survived and re-kindled civilization. The Egyptians believed they were the heirs of an earlier civilization they called Zep Tepi. Ancient scrolls were said to be held by the priests of Heliolopis.
Hints of Atlantis

Plato's Atlantis

The earliest written mention of Atlantis, at least by that name, is in the works of the Greek Plato, about 400 BC. Plato received the story from Solon, a relative who learned it in Egypt. "Critias" is readable and short, giving the basics of the story. Plato's Critias Excerpts.

"Timaeus" is an unfinished story of the great war between pre-historic Athens and Atlantis, sadly all we have is a uninteresting description of the lost island nation, Atlantis: Plato's Timaeus Excerpts

"The Wisdom of the Egyptians" (excerpts)

by Brian Brown, published in 1923

On a back shelf, covered with dust, here few people venture. And there is cause, for as one moves closer to Maat more and different distractions arise. Not many grand pictures down this way, a lot of puzzles, maybe a few keys.

"The Wisdom of the Egyptians"

The gods and beliefs of Ancient Egypt, with the many contradictions: Religion of Ancient Egypt.
Amulets and talismans - and a bit on how they work. With original illustrations: Egyptian Magic.
Some selections from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.: The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
The "Kore Kosmou" a history of the Universe, probably written about the fifth century BC. Wide reaching, some insight here, but takes some time. This is one of several descendants of Egyptian thought, much diminished: Hermes Trismegistus "The Virgin of the World".
Ideas of Hermetic philosophy presented simply. Also includes "The Emerald Tablet": "The Vision of Hermes Trismegistus".

Giant Ramesses II head, now in the British Museum

King Lists

Conventional Egyptology divides the over 3000 years of (known) Egyptian ancient history into dynasties and the rules of individual Pharaohs.

Pharaoh (King) List Page 1 - Pre-history (3200 BC) through the 17th dynasty (1550 BC).
Pharaoh (King) List Page 2 - New Kingdom (1550 BC) through the Greek occupation (30 BC).

Columns at Edfu (detail), by David Roberts

Ascending Passage Topics:
Alternative Science and Mysteries

Home page - Introduction: Ascending Passage Home Page
An overview of Ancient Egyptian sites and history: Exploring Egypt
Giant Stone works of the Egyptians: Mysteries in Stone
Hints of the secret essence of Egyptian spirituality: Sacred Science

The Pyramids

    The Pyramids have their own website, PYMD.com. The Old Kingdom of Egypt still holds many secrets, including the deepest mystery of archeology - the sudden rise of Egyptian civilization in the third millennium BC.
...many more engravings, too!

Egypt's Age of Pyramids

Climbing the Great Pyramid
The Great Pyramid of Cheops
The Second Greatest Pyramid - Chephren
Valley Temple of Chephren
The Pyramid of Menkaure
The Great Sphinx
More About Giza
Before Giza:
The Pyramids at Saqqara
The Pyramids of Sneferu
The Greatest Mystery of All.

Additional image credits on this page: La Description de l'Egypte (2),
Harold Jones, David Roberts (3), Giovanni Belzoni,
Yorck Project, Earl of Belmore, Ernst Weidenbach,
EgyptArchive, Champolian, and G. Angelelli.

Greyhound by G Angelelli 1832 Grand Nile Tour Scribes Tour