COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition


Thank You… to Everyone by Josh
March 10, 2008, 10:04 pm
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Author: Josh

Sorry for our missing entries from yesterday-we stole some moments in the afternoon for some much-needed rest, sleep that was pretty much negated by another late-night flight (this time, back to Cairo) followed by another 5 am alarm clock bell. But please don’t regard this as a complaint. While we have certainly been burning the candle at both ends, there is no doubt in my mind that this trip has been a wild success.

After spending our time yesterday refining the rest of our itinerary, rewriting some interviews, and reviewing our remaining shots, we had the chance to film some more incredible interviews today. As Carli mentioned, we met with Dr. Mark Lehner, who was absolutely amazing.

After having spent so much time the past few months reading about Mark’s work, the opportunity to sit down with this remarkable scientist was one of the high water marks of my professional career. Hearing him speak so passionately and eloquently about archaeology in general and Giza specifically, and visualizing the way his words melded beautifully with our exhibit…well, words fail to describe.

But in addition to meeting with Mark, we had the pleasure of meeting with some of the members of his team at the Giza site. We spoke with Mary Anne Murray, an archaeobotanist, Anna Wodlinska, a ceramicist, and Camilla Mazzucato, a GIS specialist. Each of these women provided us with more wonderful insight into their jobs at the Lost City and how what they do is influenced and enhanced by the other members of their team.

It’s been a revelation to me just how wonderful and gracious each and every person whom we’ve interviewed has been thus far. They’ve given freely and happily of their time, in some cases with very late notice, and each and every expert has provided us with more real scientific information that we can place directly into Lost Egypt. I can’t imagine having created this exhibit without their thoughts, expertise, and good will. If any of you are reading this now, again, I thank you.

It’s hard to believe that we will leave this wonderful place in just over a day. Each and every day here brings new discoveries and more breathtaking sites, and our little exhibit has grown infinitely stronger with each passing hour. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to return…well, no time for sentiment now. We’ve another full day tomorrow.



Flying High – Literally and Mentally by Carli

Author: Carli

We’ve been averaging about 5-to-6 hours of sleep per night, and working about 17-hour days. I can barely keep my eyes open, but the incredible adventures continue every day, and I don’t want to miss a single moment. Yesterday, I got on a hot air balloon at 6AM and floated amongst 30 other balloons, watching the sun rise over the Nile, and taking photographs of the sugarcane fields and the Valley of the Kings below. We hopped an evening flight back from Luxor to Cairo, arriving around 2AM to the hotel, and slept until about 5:30AM this morning. We then headed back out to interview team members from the Giza Plateau Project.

My triumphant moment of the day – interviewing Mark Lehner, living legend of the discipline of Egyptology, esteemed archaeologist, and foremost expert on the pyramids. During the interview, we talked about the Giza Mapping Project, his discovery of the Lost City, the interfacing of different archaeological disciplines to complete pictures of ancient daily life, the importance and relevance of studying ancient Egyptian history, and scientific method involved in the process of archaeology.

The final line of questioning relating to scientific method and the proving or disproving of hypotheses brought me to tears. He essentially outlined the entire educational function of the Lost Egypt exhibit in a way that combined science, fantasy, discovery, curiosity, and the desire to seek out truth.

I couldn’t help but picture children at COSI standing in front of a kiosk station listening to Dr. Lehner speak and becoming inspired to take a similar career path. The impact of the project and the interview itself overwhelmed me. I am so proud of the work we have done here, and the product that will result from our efforts.



Photo Panoramic Views of Giza and Cairo by COSI
March 5, 2008, 9:07 am
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Here are some images that have multiple photos stitched together to give you a panoramic view of what we’re experiencing. It’s pretty amazing:

Giza Pyramids and Cairo View from Mountain

View from the Giza Plateau

Night View of the Sphinx and Giza from the Ground



Ascending to Heaven by Carli
March 3, 2008, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Author: Carli

The world fears time. Time fears the pyramids. These monuments have defeated time. Built in 2650 BC during the “Old Kingdom” 4th Dynasty, these colossal structures reach 481 feet, use 2 million blocks of limestone, and weigh 2.5 to 15 tons per block. They cover 13 acres of land, built entirely on bedrock.

The architecture is flawlessly built at a 52-degree angle, with all 4 sides nearly equal, and the skillfully cut blocks each absorbing pressure from the layers above it. The word pyramid is actually Roman. The original Egyptian word is “mer” meaning “ascending to heaven.” And when you stand in their shadow, touching the cold 5000-year-old limestone, you truly feel like they could reach the sky.

Giza Plateau Panorama Video

At the Base of the Giza Pyramid Video

Interviewing Ana will be the highlight of my trip. She was eloquent, conversant, and the camera loved her. We asked her questions about the process of archaeology, the Field School, the Lost City, careers in archaeology, conservation / preservation, sustainability, her own goals and aspirations, and on and on. It was a remarkable interview and will result in incredible sound bites for both the exhibit and our media needs.



A Part of Something Larger than Life by Josh
March 3, 2008, 9:34 pm
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Author: Josh

There are few moments in one’s life that one can truly describe as transcendent, where you become fully aware of being a part of something larger than yourself. Today I felt more of those moments than I was perhaps due in a lifetime.

Arriving at the pyramids was breathtaking. They sit, quite literally, just outside of Cairo (or, as our guide pointed out, just outside of Giza-technically, all of the city west of the Nile is Giza), with the gates to the Sphinx located directly across the street from a Pizza Hut. Walking up to these tremendous structures takes your breath away, especially when one considers the scope of these construction projects. But the transcendent moments began when we met with Dr. Ana Tavares at the Lost City site.

Having worked on this project for several months now, I’ve read quite a bit about the Lost City: how it was discovered, how it was excavated, how its mere presence confirms that the incredible monuments of the Giza Plateau were built not by slaves but by a well-fed, well-cared for workforce. But to stand at that site, with the pyramids towering in the background, speaking to a woman whose work had quite literally helped to rewrite history…well, suffice it to say there’s a reason we’ve chosen to tell this story in the exhibit.

Looking back, I realize that this exhibit we’re building is bigger than any one of us; it’s the surreptitious meeting of hundreds of separate elements, all lending themselves to the creation of what we hope will be a spectacular whole. I wonder if any of those workers whose homes we stood in today felt something similar almost 5,000 years ago.