National Geographic : 1968 Jan
Horned Alexander, on a Thra cian coin of the third century B.C ., reflects belief in his kinship to Am mon, ram-horned Egyptian god. Tea break in the fields: One fellah pours as another villager spins camel hair near Memphis. Behind them rises a pyramid of Dahshur, already 2,300 years old when Alexander entered Egypt. The people embraced him as a liberator from Persian rule and crowned him Pharaoh. EKTACHROME (RIGHT)AND KODACHROMES BY HELENANDFRANKSCHREIDER© N.G.S. Braided eight-year-old, destined soon to be a bride, stitches her trousseau at Siwa Oasis in Egypt, near the Libyan border. Remote Siwa, which Alexander reached after once losing his way, sheltered the Oracle of the great god Ammon. Priests greeted the Macedonian as the deity's son and gave him a favorable prophecy. For a while we paralleled a Bedouin wedding procession. The black-masked bride peered from a swaying shelter on her camel (page 31). When we stopped, the caravan leader galloped toward us. I slammed the Land-Rover into gear: Arabs are touchy when strangers look at their women, even from afar. But all he wanted was water. We shared what we had. The caravan moved on. We followed, while I photographed from atop the moving Land Rover. Suddenly the sheik unslung his rifle-and posed! Alexander hurried on to Persepolis, along the way collect ing booty recorded by historians as 180,000 talents in coin and bullion, gold and silver vessels, jewels, and rich fur nishings. But a greater treasure lay undiscovered beneath the land he plundered. Today, drill rigs sprout from the eroded brown landscape. They pump more than two million barrels of crude oil a day, making Iran the third largest pro ducer in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.* *See "Old-New Iran, Next Door to Russia," by Edward J. Linehan, 28 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, January, 1961.