Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Egyptian Tourists Search for Cambyses Lost Army

"Hisham Nessim, manager of Aqua Sun Resort, is giving tourists a chance to participate in solving the ancient mystery of the lost army of Persian king, Cambyses."

"Nessim, a former desert rally driver, leads the Egyptian Exploration Desert Team (EEDT), an exploratory 'archaeological' mission funded entirely by private tourism firms. The plan, approved by the Ministry of Tourism, is to comb the Western Desert in 4WD vehicles packed with paying tourists hot on the trail of Cambyses' army."

"In 523 BC, according to legend, Persian King Cambyses II dispatched an army of 50,000 men to destroy the sacred oracle in Siwa that had been bad-mouthing him since his conquest of Egypt two years earlier. The soldiers marched into the desert never to be seen again."

"According to an account related by the 5th century BC Greek historian Herodotus, the army left Thebes (Luxor) and after seven days reached an inhabited oasis, probably Kharga. The 50,000 soldiers continued with their guides into the Great Sand Sea towards Siwa, but met their demise in a massive sandstorm."