Dedicated to the lion goddess Sekhmet, the city grew wealthy through trade with the Red Sea coast and Nubia. It was said that the spirit of the city was defended by the brethren of Phix, the first Sphinx, who dwelt upon the plains of the Sahel for thousands of years before the founding of the Old Kingdom. The lifespan of a sphinx is believed to be near to 4,000 years, although this has never been confirmed.
Thepsis includes the great tomb of Sekhimib-Perenmaat, an immense catacomb that was built in a progressive series of galleries, said to include fourteen great chambers. This tomb was designed by Horajefa, a polymath who served Sekhimib and is said to be buried in the second gallery of the tomb. The first gallery is said to contain "a phenomenon such as has never been seen in the world since that day" - but nothing beyond those words, found in a tomb near Asyut, is known.
According to legend, in the 8th century the lost city was located by Arabian astronomers, who determined that the city could be found if the plain were observed during a full eclipse from Abozaed, an isolated mount located in the Eastern Desert.
|View of the Thepsis plain as seen from Abozaed.|
Another eclipse is set to take place on April 12th, 1651 - but this is known only to a small adventuring party that is now making their way from Gazira, through the Holy Land and into Egypt. The date for them is January 30th, 1651. Will they reach the right vantage point in time?