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The Universe: The Book Of The Bbc Tv Series Presented By Professor Brian Cox
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Chapter One The Apostles The Story of Light Throughout recorded history, humans have looked to the sky and searched for meaning in the sky. Astronomy may now conjure thoughts of telescopes and planetary missions, but every modern moment of discovery has a legacy stretching back thousands of years: what’s out there? Light is the only link between us and the universe outside our solar system, and the only link our ancestors had with anything outside Earth. Follow the light and we will be able to travel from the confines of our planet to other worlds orbiting the sun without dreaming of spaceships. To look up is to look back in time, because ancient rays of light are messengers from the distant past of the universe. Now, in the twentieth century, we have learned to read the story contained in this ancient light, which tells the origin of the universe. The magnificent ruins and towering columns of Karnak Temple are evidence of the Egyptians’ belief in the sun god Amun Ra, in their daily lives, and in the power and importance of the sun itself. The Temple of Ki-Arnak, home of the universal god Amun-Ra, is located in Luxor and overlooks the Valley of the Kings across the Nile River. In ancient times, Luxor was known as Thebes and was the capital of Egypt during the wealthy and powerful New Kingdom. The 3,500-year-old Karnak Temple is an engineering marvel, with thousands of perfectly proportioned hieroglyphs and an architectural masterpiece from ancient Egypt’s Golden Age; It is a place of profound power and beauty. Its walls will accommodate ten European cathedrals. Only in the Hypostyle Hall, a wide valley of towering columns that once held up a massive roof, could Notre Dame Cathedral be comfortably contained. Religious and ceremonial architecture has had many functions throughout human history. To be sure, there is a political aspect – these huge buildings serve to consolidate the power of those who control them – but to think of the great achievements of human civilization in these terms alone is to miss an important point. Karnak Temple is a reaction to something very beautiful and ancient. The scale of architecture powerfully pulls the mind away from human concerns and directs it to a place beyond the mere earthly environment. Only people with proper devotion to the universe could build places like this. The Karnak Stone is a historical record and a bridge to answer the eternal question: What is there? It is an observatory and a library, an expression carved into the desert of cosmic curiosity and the desire to explore. Egyptian religious mythology is rich and complex. With nearly 1,500 known deities, countless temples and tombs, and detailed surviving literature, the mythology of the great Nile civilization is considered the most complex religious system ever developed. As the dynastic period of Egyptian civilization waxed and waned over more than 3,000 years, there was no single story or tradition. However, the waters of the Nile, the great supplier of this desert civilization, are the center of life and mythology. Annual floods have created a fertile ribbon along the river, which can be seen strikingly on the journey from Cairo to Luxor, although since the 1970s the Aswan Dam has stopped the ancient cycle of rising and falling waters, the green banks are maintained today by modern means. Irrigation techniques. Summer rains are still falling on the mountains of southern Egypt. Before the dam, they were causing the level of the Nile River to rise and flood low-lying areas. In September, the waters stop and recede, leaving fertile soil that breathes life. . It was not surprising that the dominance of the great river over the lives of the Egyptians was at the heart of their religious traditions. The gods saw the sky as a vast ocean on which they were sailing. Egyptian creation stories speak of an endless primordial ocean from which an earthen mound arose. The lotus flower blossomed from this hill and gave birth to the sun. In this tradition, each primitive element is associated with a deity. The original earth mound is the god Tatanan, meaning “high land” (it also represented the fertile land emerging from the Nile flood), and the lotus is the god Nefertum, the god of perfumes. Most important was the lotus-born sun god, who took many forms but remained central to Egyptian religious thought for more than 3,000 years. It was the sun god who brought light into the universe, and with light came all creation. The power of the supreme god Amun-Ra is felt everywhere in Karnak. His representations cover the walls. The carvings depict him mostly with the pharaoh as a man with a double crown of feathers, but also as an animal-shaped ram. The location and alignment of this impressive building, like everything else about it, makes sense. Egyptologists have evidence to support their belief that it was built as a type of calendar; Two columns frame the sunlight as it rises on the winter solstice. At Karnak, the sun god rules as Amun-Ra, a fusion of the local god Amun of Thebes and the ancient sun god Ra. This tendency to merge gods is widespread in Egyptian mythology, and theological complexity increases with the mergers. Amun can be seen as the hidden aspect of the sun, and is sometimes associated with his journey through the underworld at night. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Amun is referred to as “the greatest god of the eastern sky,” symbolizing his appearance as the sun god at sunrise. As Amun Ra, he became king of the gods, and as Zeus Amun survived the Greek and Roman periods. The worship of Amun-Ra as the supreme god became so widespread that during the New Kingdom, Egyptian religion became almost monotheistic. Amun-Ra was said to be present in everything, and believed to be all-seeing and eternal, transcending the boundaries of space and time. In this sense, it can be considered a precursor to the gods of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions. The walls of Karnak Temple are literally covered with representations of Amun-Ra, usually depicted in human form with a double crown of feathers – their exact meaning is unknown. He is often seen with Pharaoh, but appears in animal form as a ram at Karnak. However, the greatest tribute to Amun-Ra lies in Karnak’s orientation toward the wider universe. The temple’s main feature, the Great Hypostyle Hall, is lined and on December 21, the winter solstice and the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, the disk of the sun rises between the great columns and fills the space with light. From a position facing a small building in which Amun-Ra himself was believed to reside. Watching the sunrise while standing next to the towering stone pillars is a powerful experience. It connects you directly to the names of the great pharaohs of Egypt, where Amenophis III, Tutankhamun and Ramesses II stood there to greet the December sunrise more than three thousand years ago. Every morning the sun rises in a different place on the horizon
Physics Ks3 / Gcse: Wonders Of The Universe
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