Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dier el Banat Yields Ptolemaic Mummies

A cemetery in Egypt long thought to have been completely looted has recently turned up a number of mummies including one lady who is completely intact with her mask and cartonnages.

This is the only intact mummy to have ever been found at this ancient destroyed cemetery

These photos are a must see:

Bathhouse Found

New discovery at Karnak of a Ptolemaic bathhouse.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pharaoh's Lost City

I could hardly call Aketaten as lost considering it was found more than 100 years ago by people who believed that the King's image was that of a powerful Queen.

The art of excavation has taught us that she was a very strange he and has been called the first individual in history.

The Pharaoh Akenaten.

There are three interesting videos to be seen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Looking for KV 64

Dr. Zahi Hawass is finally taking the Amarna Royal tombs project seriously and has started an investigation into an anomaly found years ago in the Valley of Kings.

The anomaly was actually discovered in 2000 but due to false allegations that the projects director was smuggling antiquities it was never investigated and in 2005 the director was cleared of the allegations but the project was not allowed to resume their work.

Amarna Royal tombs project:

Interview with Nicholas Reeves:

Give My Cat Back

The university of Southern Illinois is giving back to Egypt a bronze reliquary for a cat given to its museum.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Amarna from a Balloon

A fine article about the Heretic King's capital with 2 fine videos to watch.

I have thought for many years that living in his time would have been brutal on the people with only the courtiers and the royal family living the good life.

The King's touchy feely propaganda may be the exact opposite of the truth.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ptolemaic Mummies

Here is an overview of excavations of the Dier Al Banat cemetery who's finds include mummies some with golden masks.

There is a good picture of one of the masks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Glory Days Over

There had been reports for quite a while of unpleasant co-worker relations at the site in the Valley of kings, I think we have all been there.

I hate to say but I found KV63 to be boring and the most overmarketed archaeological find of last year.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Bury it Yourself

I have kept this story bookmarked since last October no not because it was about the Altes museum and the German government dealing with the Nefertiti bust displayed at their museum and the Egyptian governments desire to get their hands on it for the opening of the Amarna museum.


Rather it was the generosity of the Germans who offered to return 90 pharaonic mummies back to Egypt though I heard no offer to return the coffins they came in .

Egypt's top antiquity Dr. Hawass's response was that these mummies were of no importance took me back even though I could see that the gift was a red herring.

Perhaps the German officials should have also offered to send the cash to rebury the 90 people who are clearly unwanted.

This episode made both sides look bad and the fine doctor should have spoken with more grace in regards to the plight of the ancestors who can't get no respect.

Greco Roman Mummies

The recent find of mummies including one in possession of a golden mask

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Copyright This

So now the government of Egypt wants to copyright its monuments though it remains a mystery how they can possibly do this, the last time I checked the Giza pyramids were a world heritage site protected by UNESCO.

The citizens of the western world only help and solidify such a state and instead of leaving money to the police state the people of the world should use their money to support their public institutions at home andnot Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

4500 years later

This is the only thing going on of note in Egyptology these days and how interesting and rare the find.

The officials name was Neferinpu and though not royal the find is of note.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Assur's Collection

In the tomb of the Egyptian King Psussenes I was found the mummy of the King Sheshonq II. Though lying in the antechamber, not the burial chamber Sheshonq was encased in a coffin of silver in the shape of a falcon.

When the kings coffin was opened it was noticed that a stalky plant had germinated inside the wrappings of the mummy. Roots from this plant encircled the leg bones of the rotted mummy.

On King Sheshonq's arm a simple bracelet of a gold tube with a central element of a Mesopotamian cylinder seal of lapis lazuli. The seal being nearly 1500 years old by the time the Egyptian King's mummy was encased in 890 bc.

In the burial chamber of the same tomb King Psussenes mummy lay with a beautiful necklace around his neck. The necklace was made up of 56 lapis lazuli balls on 2 strings graduating in size and in the center of the 2 strings 2 balls of gold.

The blue color of one of the lapis balls is far outstanding of the others and contained an Assyrian text engraved on it. This text tells us that the ball had been given to the Gods of Assur by a dignitary for the life of his eldest daughter hundreds of years before Psussenes reigned and died in approximately 991 bc.

How an Assyrian bead from a temple treasury and possibly also the lapis seal ended up in the graves of Pharaoh's of Egypt for the time remains unknown.

Whether by conquest or through trade someone had excavated at an ancient temple site in Assyria in the tenth century bc.

Black Pharaohs

This is the story of Egypt's remarkable reign of Nubian kings who ruled Egypt as its 25th dynasty.

The traditional role for most of Egyptian history was the Nubian's were subjects of the Egyptian Pharaoh to the north but for about 50 years when between 716-656 bc the kings of Nubia also bore the titles of the lord of the two lands and became King's of Egypt.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Skulduggery continues...

I'm not stupid and this "gift" from Germany is just the next volley in the dispute about the famous bust of Nefertiti.

The German generosity is a foil to display to the world and in particular Egypt that Germany is Egypt's friend.

This they do because 95 years ago a German archaeologist sent his finds to the Cairo museum from his dig at Tell el Amarna.

The Cairo officials kept what they wanted and gave the rest to Germany. In the objects given to the German archaeologist was a rude block of plaster.

This block of plaster back in Germany miraculously turned itself into this bust.

It has been said that the archaeologists had covered the bust with foil and then plaster, back in Germany this was easily removed.

Five years ago Egypt's top antiquarian Dr. Zahi Hawass made an important and very threatening speech to officials of UNESCO "requesting" the return of 5 objects to Egypt including this bust which the good doctor clearly sees as stolen.

Over the last 5 years the requests for the objects have softened but been persistent except in the case of this bust which has gone downright ugly.

German officials fear that if they send the world famous bust back to Egypt the Egyptians will simply steal it back.

So now they send statues of lesser importance praying for the day when their officials at the Altes museum and in the German government will be free to do the right thing and truly become Egypt's friend.

Dr. Hawass's Top Ten


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yakking Karnak

Some recent discoveries at the Karnak temple complex.

Intact 4500 year old Burial

It is a site not seen in 50 years for an intact tomb of an Old Kingdom official have usually been seen by the robbers first.

Another coup for Czeck archaeologists.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


This story from Al Ahram is interesting even though my limited knowledge would like to point out.

The anthropoid coffin lid came from the Saitic period and was thus 2000 years newer than the original burial of Menkara and the tomb of Hetepheres the mother of the fourth dynasty king Khufu never had an associated pyramid.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Meet Ramses VIII

One would think that even though the kings reign was extremely short with no time to create a tomb for this king in the valley an eighteenth dynasty cutting would be converted to a tomb for him.

So perhaps we are looking for a shaft tomb with one room off the bottom, if this is so than the chamber should still be painted with scenes of Ramses in the presence of the gods. Their was of course enough time to do this while the kings mummification was occurring.

A stone sarcophagus may also have been appropriated but this seems unlikely and a wood sarcophagus seems more reasonable in the time allotted. Also with only months to create funerary cases for the king one would expect less rather than more, perhaps only 1 or 2 hastily improvised cases of wood with a thin layer of foil.

Again one would expect a mask of perhaps cartonnage or thin foil, the kings reign not long enough for him to have acquired any substantial wealth in the depressed period of the late Ramassides. Further more the kings canopic equipment would not be original to this king and have come from the royal storeroom.

Likewise funerary figures and ornaments may have been made for the prince/king in thinly gilded wood.

Still worst of all the kings burial at the beggining of the end of empire and having been buried in recent years his burial would have been fresh in the minds of those who may employ his burials dis-assembly.

Stripped of his ornaments the kings tomb may have contained only firewood in a valley without trees.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Head of the Mummy from the Pyramid of Merenre I

This mummy though off display for many years is currently covered by a sheet in the Imhotep museum at Saqqara.

The King ruled between 2287-2278 bce and this does not correspond with the style of mummification present which is more inline with the 15th or 14th centuries bce.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Visit with the Mummy from the Tomb of Seti II

Visitors to the tombs of the kings at Thebes rarely suspect they will be seeing Egypt's pharaonic dead.

However there are a number of mummies remaining in the Biban al Molouk including the young prince in the tomb of Thutmose IV possibly the prince Amenemhet.

When found the prince was standing up apparently to the amusement of the ancient robbers who entered the tomb before the priests came to remove the mummy of the king. These priests left the prince in his side room and sealed the tomb, The tomb was never entered again until found by Howard Carter.

There are of course the two ladies in tomb KV21 but they are not on view and the tomb is inaccessible.

Yes King Tut is accessible but only to 400 viewers a day and KV 35 has a boy and a mummy of great controversy.

But few are expecting a mummy in the tomb of the nineteenth dynasty King Seti II. Nothing is known as to whom he is but be for certain he was of importance in life perhaps a Vizier or a Son of Kush.

New Pharaonic Mummy

Well here is the New years mummy.