“Are they flowerpot men?” Yes, I have to confess, they do sound like them.
“Father and son they were: worked on the rockery (Ha ha), for two different monarchs.”
Through a fence, round the corner, and there they are; nowadays they have become a bit of a ‘garden feature’. Nobody comes here. Surprising really when you consider that they belong to the single most popular era in Ancient Egyptian history.
All the more so, given the number who come to take tea on the terrace of a famous colonial institution overlooking the river, so close by. Wonderful views at sunset, from a wonderful old place. Though it sounds like an eye-sore, it isn’t. Its new companion though is! “Looks like the slab from 2001, A Space Odyssey,” my companion says, and she’s right. Perhaps it was built by some of the comrades of collectivism who collaborated in the construction of a colossal piece of overconfident 1960s engineering just ten miles south of here. Becoming serious for a moment, I wonder if those men from the far north took time to worship at the Cathedral nearby. Modern, but with some grace, and my favourite, sword-wielding archangel out front – I’ll forgive it.
But now we want to do a bit of reading – so we hire a boat! Upriver boatman! Past rocks and reeds and river birds we ride, until we come to the land of the rock inscribed. So many pious hopes, so many bestowed blessings, so many graven names of cartouched kings. But we seek some records from an earlier age, and working along high above the water we find the words we seek. The men who made the South their own, made this mighty monument: so long, so wide, so deep – yes, it was a canal! One last inscription must yet be seen. “This way, Hungry Stone,” says the local. It is indeed, and though we in the west know it by a slightly different name, with that great, greedy crack running across its face, it does look horribly hungry.
a) Who are the flowerpot men?
b) What is the famous colonial institution?
c) What is the land of the rock inscribed?
d) How is the Hungry Stone better known?