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Authors: Paul Sussman

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Sephardi
     Literally, ‘Spanish’. A descendant of the Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in the fifteenth century.

Seti I
     Nineteenth-Dynasty pharaoh, father of Ramesses II. Ruled
c
.1306–
1290BC
.

Sgan nitzav
     hief Superintendent.

Shaal
     loth shawl or wrap.

Shabbat
     ebrew word for the Jewish Sabbath.

Shabbat Shalom
     raditional Sabbath greeting.

Shabas
     cronym for the Israeli Prison Service.

Shaykh Abd al-Qurna
     A village on the West Bank of the Nile at Luxor, located at the base of the Theban massif.

Shas
     Ultra-Orthodox Israeli political party.

Shebab
     iterally, ‘youth’. Young Palestinians.

Sherut
     hared taxi, usually a seven-seater Mercedes. Ubiquitous throughout Israel.

Shikunim
     esidential housing blocks or tenements.

Shisha
      water pipe. Smoked throughout the Middle East.

Shivah
     iterally, ‘seven’. The seven-day mourning period observed by Jews on the death of a close relative. It is customary for mourners to sit on low stools.

Shoter
     onstable. Lowest rank in the Israel Police.

Shuk
     arket.

Shukran
     #x2018;Thank you’.

Shul
     iddish word for a synagogue.

Shuma
      staff or walking stick.

Siga
     n Egyptian board game, also known as
Tab-es-siga
. Similar to draughts.

Sofgania
     
(pl.
sofganiot
)
     An Israeli dish: doughnuts.

Soujuk
     raditional Armenian dish of spicy sausages.

Supreme Council of Antiquities
     The government body overseeing all Egypt’s archaeological sites and museums. Now renamed the Ministry of Antiquities.

St Pachomius
     Coptic saint, one of the founders of monasticism. Lived
c
.292–
346AD
.

Taamiya
     eep-fried chickpea patty, like
falafel
.

Talatat
     tandardized blocks of decorated stone used in the temple-building programme of the pharaoh Akhenaten (
c
.1353–
1335BC
). Later pharaohs tore down Akhenaten’s temples and reused the constituent blocks in their own monuments. Almost 40,000
talatat
have been recovered from inside the pylons and beneath the floors of the temple complex at Karnak.

Talmid hakham
     iterally, ‘disciple of the wise’. Someone devoted to the study of Jewish law.

Tanach
     he Hebrew Bible. Equivalent to the Old Testament.

Tawla
     ackgammon.

Tell Basta hoard
     Collection of Nineteenth Dynasty (
c.
1307–
1196BC
) jewellery and drinking vessels, discovered in 1906 at Tell Basta (ancient Bubastis) in the Delta region of northern Egypt.

Termous
     ype of bean. Popular snack in Egypt.

Thebes
     The Greek name for ancient Egyptian Waset, modern Luxor.

Theban massif
     Range of hills on the West Bank of the river Nile at Luxor.

Theban Necropolis
     The ancient burial grounds and mortuary temples on the West Bank of the Nile at Luxor.

The Wall
     Also known as the West Bank Barrier and the Separation Fence. A controversial barrier comprising sections of fencing and concrete wall designed to separate Israel from the Palestinian-controlled West Bank. Construction began in 2002 and is still ongoing. In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the barrier was illegal.

Toda
     ebrew for ‘thank you’.

Torshi
      mixture of pickled vegetables. Popular Egyptian snack.

Touria
     #x2018;Hoe’. Used extensively in Egyptian agriculture.

Trafigura
     A multinational metals, energy and oil trading company. Accused of illegally dumping toxic waste in Côte d’Ivoire in 2006.

Tufah
     #x2018;Apple’. Apple-flavoured tobacco is popular among
shisha
smokers.

Tura
     A large prison just outside Cairo.

Tuthmosis I
     Eighteenth-Dynasty (New Kingdom) pharaoh. Ruled
c
.1504–
1492BC
.

Tuthmosis II
     Eighteenth-Dynasty (New Kingdom) pharaoh. Ruled
c
.1492–
1479BC
.

Tuthmosis III
     Eighteenth-Dynasty (New Kingdom) pharaoh. Ruled
c
.1479–
1425BC
. Regarded as one of Egypt’s greatest warrior pharaohs.

Tzadik
      Jewish person considered especially righteous and holy.

Vanunu, Mordechai
     A former Israeli nuclear technician who revealed details of Israel’s nuclear programme to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently kidnapped by Mossad, returned to Israel and spent eighteen years in prison, over half of them in solitary confinement. Since his release he has been rearrested on a number of occasions for violating his draconian probation terms. His treatment has become a cause célèbre for human rights groups.

Wadi
     rabic word for a valley or a dried-up river course.

Ward-i-nil
     iterally, ‘Nile flower’. Common Egyptian water plant. Large clumps of it can be seen floating down the Nile.

Winlock, Herbert Eustis
     American Egyptologist and archaeologist. Worked under the auspices of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lived 1884–1950.

Women in Black
     A worldwide anti-war and human rights campaigning movement founded in Israel in 1988.

Ya kalb
     rabic for ‘You dog’.

Yalla
     rabic for ‘Come on!’ or ‘Go!’.

Ya Omm
     iterally, ‘Oh, Mother’. Respectful term used when addressing an old lady.

Yarkon
     A river in northern Tel-Aviv.

Yarmulke
     kullcap worn by Jews during prayer. Orthodox Jews wear one all the time.

Yedioth Ahronoth
     ighest circulation Israeli daily newspaper.

Yehood
     
(pl.
Yehoodi
)
     Arabic word for ‘Jew’.

Yeshiva
      Jewish religious school.

Yiddish
     A language fusing elements of German and Hebrew. Widely spoken in Orthodox Jewish communities.

Yisrael Beiteinu
     A hard-line, right-wing, nationalist Israeli political party. The name means ‘Israel is our home’.

Zikhrono livrakha
     
(f.
Zikhrona livrakha
)
     Literally, ‘May his/her name be a blessing’. Hebrew phrase used when referring to someone who has died.

Zikr
     A group of devout Muslims, usually belonging to one of the mystic Sufi brotherhoods, who perform a trance-inducing devotional dance.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Although getting words out of your head and on to the page can be a solitary business, writing a novel is ultimately a collaborative effort, drawing on the support, skills, knowledge and generosity of a wide range of people. This book is no exception. Without the following I would never have made it through the labyrinth:

First and foremost Alicky, my wife, my life, without whom nothing is possible, and whose patience, advice and insightful comments were central to the creation of this story. As with all my books, I owe her a greater debt than I could ever repay.

Likewise my amazing agent, Laura Susijn, who has gone way beyond the call of duty in offering support and encouragement; and Simon Taylor, who has been not simply a great editor, but a good friend as well.

Professor Stephen Quirke and Dr Nicholas Reeves offered crucial advice on aspects of ancient Egyptian history and language; Stuart Hamilton and Simon Mitchell did the same for, respectively, the sciences of pathology and computer security. Professor Jan Cilliers proved – excuse the pun – a rich seam of knowledge on all aspects of the gold mining industry; Rasha Abdullah corrected my woeful Egyptian Arabic; Nava Mitzrahi and Iris Maor helped with my even more woeful Hebrew.

Thanks also to First Sergeant Moeen Saad of the David Police Station, Jerusalem; Rachel Steiner and Asher Kupchik of the National Library of Israel; the staff of the Good Samaritan Society for Handicapped People, Luxor; the management and staff of the Winter Palace Hotel, Luxor; David Pratt, Jorge Pullin, David Blasco, Lisa Chaikin, Leah Gruenpeter-Gold, George Hintalian, Kevin Taverner and Rishi Arora.

Three particular thank-yous:

Firstly, to Dr Avi Zelba of the Israel Police, for advice, access and hospitality.

Secondly, to His Eminence Archbishop Aris Shirvanian of the Armenian Patriarchate, Jerusalem, for sharing his knowledge and experience of the Armenian community.

Thirdly, to Rinat Davidovich and the staff and residents of the Ma’agan Shelter, Petah Tikva. The issue of sex trafficking is a deeply distressing one, and the Shelter does an extraordinary and courageous job in supporting its victims. Without their advice and help this book could never have been written. You can find out more about their work at: http://www.maagan-shelter.org.il/English.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Journalist and novelist
Paul Sussman
read history at Cambridge, where he was also a Boxing Blue. From an early age, his abiding passion was archaeology and he worked in the field, in particular in Egypt where he was part of the first team to excavate new ground in the Valley of the Kings since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. It was an interest and enthusiasm that he brought to his first three novels –
The Lost Army of Cambyses
,
The Last Secret of the Temple
and
The Hidden Oasis
– which have been translated into over thirty languages and sold over two million copies, while his journalism has appeared across the media, including in the
Big Issue
,
Independent
,
Guardian
,
Evening Standard
and on CNN.com.

In May 2012, having recently finished work on this, his fourth novel, Paul died suddenly. He was just 45. He is survived by his wife, a television producer, and their two young sons.

BOOK: The Labyrinth of Osiris
6.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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