Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Poles End Thirteenth Season

The Polish archaeological expedition has finished its thirteenth year at Saqqara. The story is excellent with a number of great in situ pictures.

Russian's Find Mummies in the Fayum

Some interesting Ptolemaic mummies have been found in good condition in Egypt's Al Fayum district.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Valley of Kings Foundation

Nicholas Reeves project has found an anomaly in the valley of kings near King Tutankhamun's tomb calling this anomaly as KV64. Egypt's Supreme Council of antiquities disagrees.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ancient Rock Art in Danger

Some really amazing ancient images are being destroyed. This story has a good comparison photo which shows the damage created in just 50 years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Big Hair was Big in 3600 bc

A weave found in Egypt, I thought the picture was of roadkill. Lets hope it was a good hair day since it seems to have survived 5600 years.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ancient Egypt's Overlooked Canals

Here we have a part of the ancient network of roads(canals) now filled in. The land would have been covered by hundreds of such canals from north to south, east and west.

Dr Hawass wants Lord Canarvon Collection

Should it seem that everything Egyptian should be returned back to Egypt. This call is absurd and perhaps Dr Hawass should pick his targets more careful lest he demean his influence and good work in retrieving back to Egypt objects of importance.

Again with King Tut

Well with his move in his tomb to his eventual removal to the Cairo museum probably a stop over at the mummification museum in Luxor. Here is still another story.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Creation of the Valley

The famous biography in the tomb of Ineni says's he was responsible for creating the tomb of Tutmosis I "no one seeing and no one hearing".

Archaeologists have long looked and speculated on the where abouts of this tomb.

There are two tombs which bore sarcophagus's for this king, the first a small poorly cut tomb in the valley of king's tomb (KV 38) has been shown to be a reburial of the king during the reign of his grandson.

The second a joint tomb with his daughter Hatshepsut (kv20) seems more likely to be Ineni's work however with all the activities by Hatshepsut's workers in the tomb.

Would you just push the king and his coffins aside so the workers could continue finishing the tomb for the female king,

I would doubt this but might actually place the original burial in the nearby neighbouring tomb known today as KV 60.

The year is 1492 bc the short reign of Tutmosis I is over and the founder of his dynasty placed into the tomb his architect Ineni had created in an unused wadi.

So begins the history of what would become one of the most famous royal necropolis's in the world.

The valley of kings

The tomb carved by Ineni's workers (kv60) would seem like a less than grand start to the new royal necropolis perhaps inspiring his daughter to create a grander monument for herself and her father.

Hatshepsut's valley tomb (KV 20) is a wonky corkscrew tomb that is hardly little more than an extremely long cave free from the mathematics of engineering but also flawed by the lowest chambers being carved in unstable shale.

With the rise of empire theban tomb builders having made tombs for hundreds of years now found themselves employed for the king and his family in making their sepulchers.

The next pharaoh Tutmosis III and his family represent a renaissance for the tomb builders.

The layouts of tombs 33,34, 38 and 42 present the viewer with ever refining geometry while the reburial of Tutmosis I. tomb 38 appears to be the earliest of the group.

We find in tomb 34's cartouche shaped burial chamber the first truly beautiful room in the valley with its pink decoration the Imydwat inscribed on its walls scrolled out like a giant roll of papyrus surrounding the kings quartzite sarcophagus regarded as one of the most beautiful of its kind in Egyptian history.

Creation of the Valley: continued

Thutmosis IV tomb mirrors his father only on a larger scale and missing the Imydwat scroll in the burial chamber. In the finely carved tomb 21 there are two now torn apart female mummies who may have belonged to Thutmosis's court.

Tombs numbered 27, 28 and 45(Userhat) all contained ceramics dateable to this king or his successor Amenhotep III. By location tomb 44 may also belong to this series.

There are two securely dated tombs in the valley for the reign of Amenhotep III including his beautiful tomb 22 in the west valley. The tombs plans follow his prediscessors tombs but much more finely painted and with the addition of two extra burial suites for two of his wives.

Sadley vandalism and salt leeching into the walls have left the decoration of the tomb in poor condition, of the 24 sides of the six pillars in the burial chamber only one remains undamaged.

When discovered in 1905 tomb 46 held the sumptuos burial of Yuya and Thuya, the parents and of Amenhotep's Great royal wife Tiye. Their undecorated tomb unusually for the valley is entered by two staircases and a corridor as oppossed to a simple shaft.

The cutting today known as "A" contained goods bearing this kings name. Tomb 55 also contained objects for this king and his queen Tiye. The nearby location of tomb 62 may also belong to this group.

Tomb 25 may well have been started for Amenhotep IV but his revelution left the valley for the royal tomb at Aketaten. With the return to the valley after the Amarna period tomb 55 may have been used for the burial of Akenaten and Smenkara plus possibly queen Tiye.

It has been suggested that Smenkara may have been buried in the tomb across the path known today as number 62.

With king Tutankhamen's return to the valley for his burial tomb 23 may have been started for him. With the unexpected death of Tutankhamun his tomb and much of his furnishings may not have been finished.

His elderly successor Aye may have appropriated the kings tomb and unfinished funerary furniture for his own death a couple of years later.

Creation of the Valley: continued

Looking at the burial of Smenkara the king ordered it opened and the offending pharaoh removed to the unwanted storeroom (55)across the path. If Akenaten was in tomb 55 at this point he may have been removed and the heretics burial rifled leaving Smenkara with the garbage.

The remodeling of Smenkara's burial for king Tut would require Smenkara's name to be removed from the varios objects in the tomb. When found by Howard Carter the tomb contained about half the jewellry the boxes said was origionally in the tomb.

This has long been thought of as the work of tomb robbers but might actually represent the number of pieces of jewellry who's inscriptions could not be altered and thus were removed from the new kings burial.

Whatever is going on a further cutting in the valley numbered 54 was filled with king Tut's mummification residue. Almost certainly the shaft tomb 63 was sealed by the time king Tutankhamun was buried.

Four years later the old king Aye was buried in the west valley in tomb now known as 23. Tombs 58 and 24 may well belong to this group.

The location of tomb 49 suggests that it belongs to the next king Horemheb's time. As the last king of Egypt's glorious eighteenth dynasty his tomb kv57 made a number of innovations including the first fully cut kings tomb on a straight axis in the valley.

Though his reign was long enough to have finished his tomb it remains for the most part only partially decorated. Horemheb's tomb is the first in the valley to posses passages from "The book of gates".

A Tale of Two Mummies

More often than not the tale on how a mummy came to be where it is as interesting as the mummy itself.

Here are a pair of well travelled Egyptians that ended up little more than a mile from each other in Indiana in the good old USA.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tut leaves Tomb on May 1 2008

A short from Dr. Hawass announcing restoration to King Tutankhamun's tomb.

Digging into Africa's Past

Unfortunately Egypt receives the bulk load of tourists even though Africa has some of the oldest cultures in the world.

On the other hand the ten million tourists Egypt sees each year would only mess up these less than travelled roads,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Interviews on Tavelling Tut Exhibit

Though these two interviews are actually from last december this show has generated a lot of bad feelings though this author did not have a chance to see it. The complaints have varied from choice of objects to tickets being too expensive and galleries being way over packed.

A short interview with Egypt's Supreme council of antiquities, Secretary general Dr. Zahi Hawass.

Valley of kings: Zahi Hawass

This is not new just an essential short by Egypt's primo Egyptologist.

I cannot Imagine

Why Dr. Zahi Hawass would want to get into this mess is beyond me. I suppose we may want to remember that the ancestors probably of all of us came from Africa and were overly hairy hunched over little beings who probably lacked considerable charm.

OK well some things never change!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Quicky Tour of Cairo's Old Museum

A somewhat short venture around the museum. I however might dart straight to the mummy galleries.

CT scans for Toronto's Mummies

Toronto's mummy Djedmaatasankh led the way more than thirty years ago

Dignity of Display

It saddened me to see the boy king leave his sarcophagus all the effort by his ancient people to provide the king with his eternity is now broken and completely dismantled.

CT Scan for Houstons Little Girl

Make sure to watch the video beside this story to see the mummy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dr. Hawass on Tutankhamun's Move

I almost did not bother with this one except that Dr. Hawass is the big guy on the subject , so here it is with no photographs.

The article is a bit of a linguistic nightmare.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A New Set of Tut Photo's

Yet more on this transition from sarcophagus to antechamber, just one more step till he leaves his tomb permanently for the opening of the grand Egyptian museum.;_ylt=AsitLO5Vcj_HSRRn.4c0Z09FeQoB

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hundreds of Pictures

Emerging from the hidings of Highclere castle are hundreds of unpublished photos of Egypt during the early 20th century.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Interview with Dr. Zahi Hawass

Interesting interview on in particular objects stolen from Egypt as well as Dr. Hawass's request for the "loan" of 5 objects for museum openings.

Polish Archaeology Celebrated

Two stories from Al Ahram celebrating seventy years of Polish archaeology in Egypt.

Well Dug

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Times online Featuring Ancient Egypt

Created to celebrate the arrival of King Tut in London.

ROM Mummy gets CT Scan

One of the Royal Ontario museum's 8 mummies has had a successful scan. This 3000 year old mummy is not on display but kept in a cupboard at the museum.