Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Lavish Resource

Countless generations found their debt belonging to the ancient aristocracy for creating tombs most of the people could not afford however the owner is dead and depending on reverences the grave fell into disuse within a generation or two with its reuse only a matter of practicality.

By the end of the sixth dynasty and again the twentieth dynasty the sacred burial grounds were teaming with not forgotten deposits of treasure with these past elites leading the way with fancy monuments but whether it was the grandsons and great grandsons of the parlours who dug up their own it would be most practical for the priests who forefathers buried the lord to have their sons undue the work.

The enthusiasm of the workers who are placed in charge of the dis assembly of the sacred necropolis's and their sacred objects appear in the time of Piankh from a letter in the British museum to be an extremely important events with King Piankh saying in his letter that the tomb found should remain sealed until he can get there.

Rulers like Herihor and Pinudgem I relished their positions within the reorganizing of the sacred vaults particularly in the royal valleys. Both men wanted to be associated with their handling's of the Kings but what became of those harems of the individual rulers their are large amounts of Queens burials and mummies now missing perhaps as the unfortunate result of placement during the reorganization at the beginning of 21rst dynasty.

The same too may be the natural response of priests at the fall of the old kingdom back at the end of the sixth dynasty. It is not unreasonable that the priests of Giza an Saqqara may have also rounded the royal mummies together for safe keeping and to relieve the noble corpse of their possessions.

This activity probably reached its zenith during the reign of the Tanite king Psussenes I after this recycling high the slow dissent began. A society dependent upon destroying the art created by their ancestors for those who they venerate they now destroy their legacy for gold.

The following generations of necropolis officials must certainly had faced the sacrilege of what they were doing as the pickings became slimmer and slimmer and the sons job not nearly so.

The restoration of the necropolis's created generational occupations of destruction.

When db358 was discovered the tombs original occupant Meryetamen had been robbed of all her valuables including 3 of her alabaster canopic jars? The tomb is probably the finest restoration of a mummy that has come down to this day. Many hours were spent by workers in the uncomfortable environment beautifully re wrapping the mummy covering it in garlands even painting Meryetamen's two surviving coffins.

One wonders how "official" the robbery of the Queens tomb was and what roll Meryetamen's riches played in King Herihor's Renaissance.

Ptolemaic Bath

Here an article on a bath discovered and a quay at the Karnak temple complex.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/932/fr1.htm

Friday, January 30, 2009

Amarna Fake Princess

Bolton museum wishes to put on display the fake Amarna princess which is in police custody. The statue was purchased for L440 000.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/duped-council-hopes-to-display-fake-statue-1518727.html

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Reconstructed Fable

The fleshing of skulls is a shaky science at best and ignores the weathering of time that occurs to not only bone but soft tissue especially.

Here we have a reconstruction of an ancient Egyptian who just happens to look like Quasimodo.

http://www.3news.co.nz/News/NationalNews/Whos-your-mummy-High-tech-wizardry-reveals-face-of-ancient-aristocrat/tabid/423/articleID/88775/cat/64/Default.aspx

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Farewell to the Warrior and His Canopic Chest

When the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Thutmosis III decided to be buried in the Valley of the gates of the Kings the valley was still relatively free from human activity as far as tombs go so his secret tomb hidden in the barren hostile valley made sense even if a big man made gash could clearly be seen above the tomb of Thutmosis predecessor Hatshepsut.

Thutmosis cartouche shaped burial chamber is truly the first wonderful room created in the valley so that at the end of the kings life he was placed into his beautiful quartzite sarcophagus, many feel it is the most beautiful sarcophagus ever created in Egyptian history. There he was laid to rest surrounded by statues of the gods of whom he would remain in their presence forever with oars laid around on the floor to aid Thutmosis on his eternal celestial journey with the sun god Re.

Well at least that was the plan the eighteenth dynasty kings lying in their hidden chambers within the valley however the establishment of nineteenth dynasty the right to be buried in the valley became a political tool with ever growing and decorated entrances the kings of the twentieth dynasty's announced the right in ever larger entrances.

When the priests of the twenty first dynasty show up a half a millennium has passed and though the warrior lies in his secret tomb his fame more likely made his tomb the worst kept secret among the officials of the necropolis who would have passed the information down the generations as to where the cemeteries most prestigious eighteenth dynasty king was.

It probably should not have surprised anyone upon entering the kings burial to find they were not the first to visit the kings house of eternity it having been brutally robbed the warriors mummy torn apart and the pieces scattered around the chamber. The statues of the Gods smashed against the chambers walls and the sarcophagus badly damaged.

In the chamber the warriors inner coffin trough lay nearby with its lid, the priests rounded up the remains of the King along with four oars and removed him to safety elsewhere where they scrapped off the coffins gold leaf and removed its eye inlays.

The enigma of the tomb is the complete lack of a canopic chest. The suggestion that the canopic chest remained undamaged in a pillaged tomb and was removed for re-use by members of the elite of dynasty twenty one would seem unlikely but is perhaps what happened.

The other thought is that 200 years earlier Rameses II who appropriated everything from other Kings to his own glory may have ordered the great warriors tomb open so that he may visit, just as Julius Caeser would visit Alexander the greats mummy millenia later, and during that visit Rameses acquired the canopic chest for his own now destroyed burial.

This visit having alerted robbers to the tombs location and it being plundered after great King Rameses left and hundreds of years before the great recycling of the necropolis.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

World of the Pharaoh's

This excellent slide show is of objects on loan to the Museum of Idaho from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

http://www.museumofidaho.org/Pharaohs.php

Mummy Reconstruction

Here an Egyptian mummy will have a facial reconstruction though I do not know how since its jaw bone is missing.

http://www.pal-item.com/article/20090124/NEWS01/901240314/1008

Mummification Museum Lecture

Here we have another post from Luxor News.

http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2009/01/mummfication-museum-lecture-look-into.html

Questionable

A collection of objects in Sweden that were collected in the early part of the 20th century are said to be returned to Egypt.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/931/he1.htm

Predynastic Fantastic

The find comes from the North east delta and consists of gold plate and carved figures of hippo tusk.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/931/he11.htm

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aeragram 9

The most recent newsletter from the fine folks at Ancient Egypt Research Society.

http://www.aeraweb.org/PDFs/aeragram9_1_2008.pdf

Thursday, January 22, 2009

King Kasekhemwy

Here is Archaeological magazines Hierankonpolis dig diary with lots of great pictures of the enclosure of the IInd dynasty King Kasekhemwy.

http://www.archaeology.org/interactive/hierakonpolis/field08/2.html

At the Bottom of the Lake

This excavation promises to be very fascinating.

http://www.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/behold.pl?ascribeid=20090122.054843&time=08

New Discovery in Valley of Kings

A painted eye has been found which some think may have come from a new tomb or may come from one of the numerous shrines in the surrounding hills.

http://www.kv64.info/2009/01/eye-of-horus-discovered-in-valley-of.html

15th Century Manuscript

A lovely photo of the manuscript found on a tourist.

http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=19215

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Would You Like Fries with That?

This is another article on those 200+ artifacts Egypt wants back from Sweden. Dr. Hawass is such a drama queen you would think the antiquities were being displayed above the deep fryer at the local Burger King.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/7842594.stm

Bulgaria Say's No to Extradition

The Lebanese dealer convicted in absentia in Egypt for smuggling will not be handed over to Egyptian authorities.

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE50J04H20090120

Dr. Salima Ikram Lecture

Here we have a lecture by the always charming and interesting Dr. Ikram on the North Kharga Survey.

http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2009/01/mummfication-museum-lecture-north.html

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Valley of Kings by Otto Neubert, ca.1957


Otto Neubert
Robert Hale Limited
1957
ASIN: B000U04LWI

This fascinating book is filled with unusual highlights from excavations in the first half of the twentieth century. Complete with a mention of the recently found mask of Kanefernefer before it was noticed in 1959 as missing, now at the center of a scandal between Egypt's S.C.A. and the St. Louis Art museum.

The authors chronological history is off of course it is 50 years later but his view is interesting when his attitudes are not annoying. Mr Neubert's vision of Akenaten is a Christ like figure as opposed to a tyrannical egomaniacle despot.

His inclusion in the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen has its interesting points however the accuracy of his words is not good and this failing becomes more apparent as the book goes on.

The book contains a lot of unsubstantiated theory including that King Tut's brains and heart were placed in one of his four canopic jars. The books ends with a roundup of ancient history in the middle east and Mesopotamia with the final conclusion of the book on Christian theology.

The author was all over the place in this book his nuggets of information which made the start of the book so interesting were totally called into question by the regular misinterpretations later on and for me ruined the impact of his words.

The Valley of Kings was not great and certainly the best words I can give for it are average and dubious.

No second read for this puppy!

Nebamun's World

Here we have a video and article on the recent installation in the British museum.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturecritics/richarddorment/4290640/The-tomb-chapel-of-Nebamun-at-the-British-Museum-review.html

Monday, January 19, 2009

In the Valley of Kings

Are these photo's of soon to be discovered tombs only time will tell hopefully if there are and hopefully they are not filled with garbage like KV63.

http://www.kv64.info/

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tombs of the Courties and Oxyrhynkhos

I have blogged this document before but I think it has been a couple of years. The graves occupants seem to have moved during burial definitely one of my favorites by Sir Flinders Petrie.

http://www.etana.org/coretexts/15142.pdf

A Round Up

Here is an overview of recent discoveries in Egypt.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/930/he2.htm

Return to Baghdad

Here is an article on the return of that lovely bronze to the Iraq museum.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/930/he1.htm

The Economic Downturn

Egypt with all it has to offer has an economy largely based on tourists coming from countries experiencing economic troubles.

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20090111070217/The%2520Coming%2520Storm

Hopkins in Egypt

Well the sacred lake at the Mut temple has been drained time to start work.

http://www.jhu.edu/egypttoday/index.html

Friday, January 16, 2009

Antiquities Smuggler Arrested

An antiquities smuggler sentenced in absentia for smuggling Egyptian antiquities has been arrested.

http://www.guardians.net/hawass/Press%20Releases/apprehended_antiquities_trader.htm

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Queen Sesheshet and Her Nine Grand Daughters

Apparently King Teti named all his daughters after his mom, great lady total mommas boy!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/01/090114-mummy-egypt-queen.html

Dating the Sphinx

Long has the riddle of the sphinx's age been in question though I doubt it will be proved anyway. I personally believe the face is that of Djedefre mainly because of a head of that king in the Louvre.

http://mgu.bg/geoarchmin/naterials/64Manichev.pdf

Another Victim of the CT scanner

This lovely coffin and mask belong to a woman who died in the Ptolemaic period and was probably no beauty when she died.

http://www.odt.co.nz/your-town/dunedin/39257/mummy-facing-more-scrutiny

Monday, January 12, 2009

Goddess Goes Home

Here is a video of Dr. Hawass handing over that lovely bronze to ambassador for Iraq but first you will have to suffer through that stupid dog whisperer advertisement again!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/01/090112-statuette-video-ap.html

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Siwa Oasis

An article from Al Ahram on the history of the oasis that Alexander the great insisted upon visiting.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/929/tr1.htm

Salahedden the builder

Here an article on the great 12th century ruler.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/929/he1.htm

TT16

Unfortunately the tomb was never gated and a number of the tombs paintings have been hacked from the walls of Panehsy's tomb.

http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2009/01/mummfication-museum-lecture-tt16.html

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Queen Sesheshet Found?

A despoiled mummy of what appears to be the mother of the old kingdom ruler Teti has recently been found within the burial chamber of her ruined pyramid.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090108/sc_nm/us_egypt_mummy

and here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7818735.stm

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Meet Meresamun

The coffin and mummy of the temple singer Meresamun will be on display at the wonderful Oriental institute in Chicago this year.

http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/special/meresamun/

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thutmosis III Mortuary Temple

These images from the mortuary temple of Thutmosis III show that little remains and what does can't get no respect.

http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2009/01/tuthmosis-iii-mortuary-temple.html

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mummies Under Snow

This show in Gatineau Quebec sounds nice even though the sound of Gatineau in the winter or even spring sounds colder than any Egyptian mummy would ever want to feel.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090102.wegypt0103/BNStory/Entertainment

Amarna Royal Tombs Project

Here we have a summary of the radar scans done in the Valley of kings in the year 2000. as we know Mr. Reeves and his team were not able to finish their project due to false allegations of smuggling.

http://www.nicholasreeves.com/item.aspx?category=Events&id=160

Dr. Granvilles Mummy

A very interesting article on an early autopsy of a late period lady mummy and the candles made from the mummies adipocere. Now that's just gross.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026877.000-what-killed-dr-granvilles-mummy.html?page=1

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Pilots Loot

This article provides a nice image of some of the artifacts taken from a museum.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/927/he1.htm

New Discovery

The first intermediate period is a little known age and so the Spanish teams discovery is interesting.

http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Culture/000002/0203000000000000001087.htm