Visual Aids for Mara's World

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The Silver Beetle
This incredible image comes from Archaeology Magazine, and is a photo of a re-creation of one of the ships that sailed to the Land of Punt on Hatshepsut's behalf. Since Nekonkh stated that his ship was among those, we can say that this is EXACTLY what The Silver Beetle would have looked like! There have also been a few documentaries about the reconstruction of this amazing ship, and the video footage of its maiden voyage will make you feel as though you are really there in Mara's world. I recommend "Building Pharaoh's Ship" on NOVA, which is available for viewing through Netflix as well as in re-runs on PBS. You can check out a promo video here.

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Hatshepsut's Obelisks
Those giant obelisks that so offended Sheftu were real, and Hatshepsut's obelisk-building was probably the most ambitious in Egypt. It is generally believed that the largest obelisk ever attempted was commissioned by Hatshepsut, but cracked as it was being made and was abandoned at the quarry. Likewise, the two obelisks mentioned in Mara do in fact have inscriptions on them indicating that they were intended to be cased in electrum; I'm not sure about how much would have been encased (often the pyramid-like tops of obelisks were cased in electrum, but it may be that Hatshepsut intended to encase the entire structure, as stated in Mara) and if the encasing was ever completed (if it was, obviously the electrum was removed at some point just as the limestone encasing from the great pyramids). The photo of the unfinished obelisk is from Google's Earth From Above series. The second image, of the still-standing obelisks as seen in Karnak temple, is from Planetware Travel, and the computer simulation of how it might have looked in antiquity is from UCLA.

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Sheftu's Amulet
I always had a hard time picturing how Sheftu's amulet would have looked on his wrist, until I saw the cover of The Golden Goblet, also by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Although the amulet pictured there is a simple ankh amulet, I think Sheftu's would have looked similar. Based on this, I made a drawing of what I think Sheftu's amulet might have looked like.

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