THE FORBIDDEN TOMB


WARNING: If you haven’t read this book yet, you should not view this webpage. It contains pictures and descriptions that will spoil the plot. This page is intended to supplement the book. Please view this page only after reading THE FORBIDDEN TOMB.


Chapter 1 ― Known as the “Venice of America” because of its intricate canal system, Fort Lauderdale is a major yachting center in Florida with more than a hundred marinas and boatyards and nearly 50,000 local boats. Oh, and it’s pretty darn scenic, too.

Fort Lauderdale 01 (small)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Chapter 8 ― Built on the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Citadel of Qaitbay once represented the first line of defense against invading forces. But much like the ruins of the lighthouse itself—which were used as building materials for the massive stronghold—the citadel was forced to change with the times. No longer a military outpost, the restored fortress now houses a maritime museum on the outermost reaches of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbor.


Citadel of Qaitbay 01 (small)
Citadel of Qaitbay (Alexandria, Egypt)


Citadel of Qaitbay 02 (small)
Side view of the Citadel of Qaitbay


Lighthouse 01
Lighthouse of Alexandria (8th century AD)



Chapter 9
― Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. It became an important center of the Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost one thousand years until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 AD. It is currently the second largest city in Egypt by size and population (4.5 million people) behind only Cairo. Depending where you are in Alexandria, the city can seem very modern or very ancient.

Ras el-Tin Palace (small)
Presidential residence in Alexandria (Ras el-Tin Palace)


Kom el-Dikka 01 (small)
Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria (Kom el-Dikka)


Chapter 17 ― The need for fresh water has always been a vital concern for the people of Alexandria. Most of Egypt is barren desert with few natural springs, and the ancient inhabitants of the city had no means of utilizing the salt water of the Mediterranean. Fortunately, the Nile River has provided an inexhaustible source of drinkable water. With the help of man-made canals, the water of the Nile was diverted into cisterns located throughout ancient Alexandria. There, the sediment slowly sank to the bottom, leaving clean, palatable water.

Map of Canals (Alexandria)
Map of canal system in Alexandria



Chapter 18 ― The earliest cisterns were little more than square chambers cut into the sandstone, but when the Romans arrived in the second century BC, the simple stone pits were replaced by elaborate works of masonry. Before long, private reservoirs built of hand-fired bricks were the standard throughout Alexandria.

Greco-Roman map 01
Architectural drawing of the cistern system


Model - Cistern system (top - small)
Model of the cistern system in Alexandria


Cistern - El Nabih 01
El Nabih cistern (Alexandria)


Cistern - El Nabih 02
El Nabih cistern (Alexandria)


Cistern - El Badawi
El Badawi cistern (Alexandria)


Chapter 27 ― Some of the newer cisterns (such as Evanghelismos) are in pretty good shape, but many of the older tunnels systems are flooded and in obvious disrepair.


Cistern - Evanghelismos
Evanghelismos cistern (Alexandria)


Cisterns - underwater
Water fills many of the older tunnels



Chapter 31 When the cisterns were converted to bomb shelters at the start of WWII, whole levels of the system were reinforced with concrete. The result was a series of long alleys that could be used for protection. The accommodations weren’t luxurious—they offered little more than fresh air, safe water, and wooden benches—but they were better than nothing.

WWII - Shelter 01
Bomb shelter under the streets of Alexandria


WWII - Shelter 02
Ventilation system in bomb shelter


WWII - Shelter 03
Generator for the ventilation system



Chapter 40 ― The Sahara is the world's hottest desert, and the third largest desert after―are you ready for this?―Antarctica and the Arctic. (Yeah, I know: those places don’t seem like deserts, but technically they are because of their lack of rainfall.) At over 3,600,000 square miles, the Sahara covers most of North Africa, making it almost as large as the United States.

Sahara Desert 01
Sahara Desert


Chapter 46 ― The turquoise water and sandy beaches of El Agami are near Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea. The beaches became famous in the mid-1940s when British officers stationed in Egypt headed there for recreation during their time off from war activities.


El Agami - Egypt
El Agami beach (near Alexandria)


Chapter 58 ― Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, the island of Amorgos is located at the easternmost edge of the Greek Cyclades, one of the island groups that make up the Aegean archipelago. With no airport on Amorgos, those who wish to visit can do so by private boat or on one of the public ferries that service the island’s two ports.

Amorgos, Greece
Amorgos, Greece


Chapter 71 ― Egypt has deemed the territory surrounding Siwa—some 7,800 square miles in all—as a protected area. This has limited the amount of development that can be undertaken and has boosted the number of tourists wishing to experience the area’s pristine beauty.

Siwa Oasis - sunset
Siwa Oasis at sunset



Chapter 75 ― During his campaign to conquer the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great reached the Siwa Oasis by (supposedly) following birds across the desert. The oracle at the Temple of Amun confirmed Alexander as the son of god and the legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt.

Siwa Oasis 05
Temple of Amun (Siwa, Egypt)


Chapter 81 Gone are the days when most archaeological discoveries are made through trial and error. Instead, modern explorers commonly use ground penetrating radar (GPR) to locate ruins and artifacts before the topsoil is even breeched. The low-frequency radio waves are transmitted into the ground by a lawn-mower-shaped device, which is pushed back and forth in a grid pattern. Once the radio waves bounce back to the surface, the onboard computer provides data on the depth of the object and an image of the item itself.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)



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