The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life.

For eighty-four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed.

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Although Champollion did not label them, decades later the hieroglyphs labelled 4 to 8 (left) were translated as Peleset, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen and Weshesh, and the hieroglyphs next to prisoners 4 and 6 (right) translated as Sherden and Teresh.

De Rougé noted that "in the crests of the conquered peoples the Sherden and the Teresh bear the designation of the 'peuples de la mer'", in a reference to the prisoners depicted at the base of the Fortified East Gate.

The first to attack is a great mako shark, which Santiago manages to slay with the harpoon.

In the struggle, the old man loses the harpoon and lengths of valuable rope, which leaves him vulnerable to other shark attacks.

Whilst accompanying hieroglyphs do not name Egypt's enemies, describing them simply as being from "northern countries", early scholars noted the similarities between the hairstyles and accessories worn by the combatants and other reliefs in which such groups are named.

Following the creation of the concept in the nineteenth century, it became one of the most famous chapters of Egyptian history, given its connection with, in the words of Wilhelm Max Müller: "the most important questions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations".

Although wounded and weary, the old man feels a deep empathy and admiration for the marlin, his brother in suffering, strength, and resolve.

On the third day the fish tires, and Santiago, sleep-deprived, aching, and nearly delirious, manages to pull the marlin in close enough to kill it with a harpoon thrust.

He helps the old man tote his gear to his ramshackle hut, secures food for him, and discusses the latest developments in American baseball, especially the trials of the old man’s hero, Joe Di Maggio.