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Students addressed by Egyptians

Students addressed  by Egyptians

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Students from several institutions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines had the opportunity to listen to and question the Egyptian delegation of cultural experts who arrived here last week to do assessments on a Petroglyph at Yambou, Argyle.{{more}}

The delegation here on request from the Ministry of Culture and the National Trust is made up of four cultural and historical experts. Two of the experts led lectures at the National Insurance Services (NIS) Conference room on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

Students and teachers of the Windsor Primary School, Summit Primary School, Girls’ High School, St. Vincent Grammar School, West St. George Secondary and Sugar Mill Academy and Thomas Saunders Secondary were present at the Lecture.

Khaled Saad and Abueldaraa Abuzaid made presentations at Tuesday’s lecture session. Saad spoke about the difference between History and Prehistory and gave detailed information on artifacts and how they were used by humans in the Stone Age.

Saad, in the beginning of his presentation, outlined the difference between History and Prehistory. He explained that history is what man has written about his life and experiences, while prehistory is where man cannot write about their history and so persons today rely on certain information which tells them how people in those times lived on the earth.

He continued, showing a variety of artifacts mostly of made of flint stone. The artifacts included both large and small arrow heads and axes. He also showed a short video outlining the way in which the artifacts can be used. The flint stone, he described, was very sharp when it is broken. It was used to carve into sharp arrow heads and axes to hunt animals and dig food up from the ground. He also explained to the students that the time period was described as the Stone Age, as mainly stone instruments and tools were used by humans at that time. Saad’s presentation also showed prehistoric art made from Ostrich eggs.

Albueldaraa Abuzaid’s presentation focused on the relocation of the Abu Simbel Temples in Nubia in southern Egypt. The two large rock temples were originally carved out of the mountain side during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses the second. One temple was built as a monument to Ramses while one was built for his wife Queen Nefertari.

Abuzaid explained that the temples had to be relocated so that they would not be destroyed by rising water levels caused by the building of the artificial Lake Nasser. He added that the temples which originally took 20 years to build had to be relocated 65 meters higher and 200 meters back from the river Nile.

Showing a video and several pictures of how the temples were relocated, Abuzaid explained that the dismantling of the temples was not too difficult, as the rock is limestone. Several pictures of the presentation showed workmen using large saws to cut away the rock. He added that it took five years to relocate and rebuild the temples.

The students who seemed to have been listening to the presentations attentively asked several interesting and some amusing questions. One student inquired whether the removal of the rock at Argyle can stop the progress of the international airport. She was assured that it the rock did not pose that much of a threat to the completion of the airport.

One primary school student, seemingly interested in mummies, asked whether or not mummification is done in Egypt. He was told by Abuzaid that mummification is no longer done.

The team is expected to leave the country on January 20, 2011.

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