Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Temple of Mut

An incredibly short excavation season at the temple is just about finished for the Brooklyn museums dig. Here is a round up.

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/community/blogosphere/bloggers/2009/02/27/time-flies/

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pyramids and Progress ca. 1900

John Ward, E.S.A.
Eyre and Spottiswoode
1900

Yes I know I am writing a review of a 111 year old book but hey I am a live one unlike the participants in this book whom all have long past into the fossil record.

The author John Ward was given the good graces of Dr. Flinders Petrie and the Egypt Exploration Fund with the introduction to the book from the Reverend Professor Sayce. The introduction by Professor Sayce is a lovely but short view of the modern restoration of this most ancient of landscapes.

Mr. Ward's journey begins in the delta and soon it is sunrise and the elegant Mr. Ward is in the rose granite temple of Khafra on the Giza plateau sipping coffee made for him by the tall handsome guardian of the temple.

On his journeys the author all the while is collecting small scarabs and other small antiquities plus making the acquaintances of M. de Morgan who takes Mr. Ward down the shaft at Saqqara to show him the catacombs of the Princess' where M. de Morgan found two caches of fabulous jewels belonging to the middle kingdom Princess'.

The author has a good sense of humor and is soon riding a skeleton of a tiny donkey many miles to the pyramid of Medum, bareback! The pyramid having been long ago stripped by Rameses II of its casing and yet still the most impressive of ruins.

The book is lavishly illustrated with quaint pictures on just about every page and is truly a romantic read of a time when Egypt was much more open to explore. Mr. Ward and his party visits the temples at Luxor by moonlight and has to go down several dozen steps in order to visit the interior of the partially dugout temple at Esnah in which a mosque sits on the roof.

As interesting as the book is it is the last chapter on the creation of reservoirs at Assouan and Assiout and the repair of the old barrage near Cairo in the last years on the 19th century that are particularly fascinating.

All in all the journey is of fine class in a land before tourist amounted in the millions and when a visitor could explore Egypt as a man and not as livestock.

So Much to Find

Here is a video on the art of restoration and preserving Egypt's glorious past including short interview with the Secretary General of its antiquities service. There is a video about Berlin's bust of Nefertiti afterwards.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7911664.stm

Fine Work at Saqqara

A team from Poland has been excavating at Saqqara near King Djoser's step pyramid and have found an Old kingdom cemetery where others thought nothing would be found.

http://en.naukawpolsce.pl/palio/html.run?_Instance=cms_naukapl.pap.pl&_PageID=1&s=szablon.depesza&dz=archeology&dep=359284&data=&lang=EN&_CheckSum=1086733491

Tragedy in Papyrus

New fragments of the papyrus known as the Turin Kings list have been found in the basement of the Turin museum in Italy.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/27/egyptian-papyrus.html

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Turquoise Goddess

The Sinai peninsula has long been a resource to the Egyptians in search of turquoise and copper and the place the Egyptians left a temple.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/936/he1.htm

Empty Coffins

Here Dr. Zahi Hawass shows off the new discovery at Dashur.

http://drhawass.com/blog/wooden-coffins-and-ushabti-figurines-found-dahshur

The Work of Ghouls

A number of wooden coffins, canopic jars and ushabti boxes and figurines have been found at Saqqara however unfortunately no mummies as some ghoul robbed the tomb and apparently removed or destroyed the mummies.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090226/sc_nm/us_egypt_sarcophaguses

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Turin Kings List

One of the great tragedy's of collecting in the 19th century must surely be the destruction caused to this great papyrus leaving us only to speculate at many of the holes not present for 3200 years and now just blanks in the historical record.

http://egyptian-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/new_fragments_of_the_turin_king_llst

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Old Kingdom Statue

Dr. Zahi Hawass has recently claimed responsibility for the finding of a statue at Giza of a sitting man.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=a.wMAE1ZayaY&refer=muse

with picture:

http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE51N3W820090224

A Man Determined To Get the Beautiful Women

This story will probably never be resolved the facts are that Gustave Lefebvre working on behalf of the Egyptian antiquities service did not do his job properly or was corrupted into his decision. Either way the fault lye's with the Egyptians.

To expect the foreign excavators to say hey I found a masterpiece come and get it is naive and that is the reason Egypt keeps everything found for itself today.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/935/he1.htm

Alexandria's Under Water Museum

Sounds like a beautiful idea however buildings that encompass water features particularily under water are more than often money pits.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/20/alexandria-sunken-treasures-underwater-museum

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cairo Horror

Some people are full on half wits and others would be lucky to have half a wit. My heart goes out to the young lady and the others injured and their families consumed by the stupidity of idiots. God bless the innocent.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7904731.stm

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lego Pharaoh

Love this Picture.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/photogalleries/week-in-news-pictures-118/photo4.html

Stranger in the Valley of Kings


Ahmed Osman
Paladin
Grafton Books
London
1987
ISBN: 0-586-08784-2

This 1987 book is a study of the mummy of Yuya discovered in 1905 in the Valley of Kings and the biblical figure of the Patriarch Joseph. This short book requires no knowledge of the Bible, Koran or the Pentateuch as Mr. Ahmed explains his theory well.

The authors theory is helped by the mummies Semitic looks and name as well as one of Yuya's titles on his funerary equipment which matches the Biblical Joseph's title " a father to Pharaoh". The book is certainly on the preachy side of the old testament and the Koran but the authors knowledge on these subjects as well as Egyptology is very good.

The argument is highly desirable that such an important historical religious figure could be represented by perhaps the most beautifully preserved mummy from ancient Egypt. However we know that the Viziers of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III bore names of Ramose, Ptahmose and possibly Aper-el there is no historical mention of this or the preceding King Thutmosis IV of a Vizier named Yuya.

The author himself lists the mummies titles and that of Tjaty (Vizier), as well as other titles associated with Vizier's are not present. The theory is delightful but the proof is lacking and there appears to be no place in the Egyptian historical record for Yuya to have ever been a Vizier to Pharaoh which the religious books tell us was Joseph's occupation to his Pharaoh.

The book was a good read but its religious content may not be for everyone and the books theory appears to be without merit.

The Beauty of Science

Here is some results of that synchrotron machine on the head of the mummy of Meresamun.

http://blogs.discovery.com/news_archaeorama/2009/02/super-x-ray-unwraps-3000yearold-mummy-.html

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Statues from Luxor

New statues have been found near Luxor including a bust of Hatshepsut.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/19/content_10845169.htm

Out of the Vaults

The Royal Ontario museum is probably Canada's Premier museum with its Egyptian and Dinosaur collections. The Egyptian collection was founded by Charles Currelly and a number of prominent citizens.

Mr. Currelly worked with great men excavating in Egypt like Flinders Petrie and Eduoard Naville and was allowed to help himself to artifacts in the storerooms of the Egypt Exploration Fund in order to build a collection for Canada.

Out of the Vaults now on at the R.O.M.

http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=29034

Who Names These Things ?

A super x-ray diamond synchrotron will be used to investigate Egyptian bronze statues and mummies with light brighter than the sun. Just love the picture of Meresamun and the machine needs a new name, in the future I think I will call it "Spot".

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5744170.ece

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Search for Nefertiti

Joann Fletcher
Hodder & Stoughton
2004
London
ISBN 0 340 83304 1

This book and television show caused quite a scandal five years ago when Egypt's antiquities Majordomo Dr. Zahi Hawass felt that Ms. Joanne Fletcher had deceived him in drawing conclusions which Ms. Fletcher did not inform Dr. Hawass of. This was a breach in protocol and Ms. Fletcher and her prestigious English team were sent packing with Ms. Fletcher not being allowed to return to work in Egypt anymore.

Ms. Fletcher's charms are apparent right from the start of this 380 page book and it is not long before the book heats up and starts becoming fascinating. The authors knowledge on mummies is well justified from her research and intelligent view though she sure spends a whole lot of time talking about herself in the book.

Ms. Fletchers work at the Qasr el Einy medical center makes for some of the most interesting stories as well as her knowledge on the great royal women of ancient Egypt, an issue more often than not ignored. The exception being King Hatshepsut.

Funny enough the book contains pictures and a mention of the fake Amarna princess statue bought for L440 000 and who's forger has now been convicted.

The argument for Nefertiti's greater than usual power is convincing and the Queen may today be more than a pretty face were it not for the erasure of her and her husbands reign.

The thought that there may never have been a separate King named Smenkara and that this name may actually have been one of Nefertiti's throne names is more than plausible and the fact that much of King Tutankhamen's equipment used in his burial was made for a women and King Akenaten makes this assumption more than possible.

The book ends with the authors joint work in the tomb of Amenhotep II where the mummy known as younger women has long had the author believe the mummy to be the subject of her research Nefertiti.

Whether the mummy in question is Nefertiti is still up to dispute but the book itself is a good read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Egyptology or mummies.

Theban Royal Mummy Project Update

Here is a new video and images of the royal mummies room in the Cairo museum and the funerary equipment of Yuya and Thuya.

http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/mummypages1/intro.htm

The Palermo Stone

The historic value of the stone is discussed in the following article and hopefully someday the rest of the stone will come to light.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/934/he2.htm

A Burial for Everyone

The recent find of mummies were found in an old kingdom tomb but some of the mummies are from Egypt's late periods 26th dynasty.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-pyramid14-2009feb14%2C0%2C5290059.story

Friday, February 13, 2009

A New Look

Dr. Zahi Hawass' site has a new look check it out.

http://dr.hawass.com/

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The New Mummy

Here a video in which Dr. Hawass opens the sarcophagus and inside a pristine mummy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7883914.stm

Sarcophagus Opening

The good Dr. Zahi Hawass has opened a 2600 year old sarcophagus to reveal a good looking mummy.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hXQVGk6l3e_yKhj5KYsX5Ri50LggD969E53O0

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life and Death of a Temple Singer

Meresamun is today a star in the world of Egyptian mummies a place she could never had imagined she would be 2800 years on.

http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/meresamun/

Nefertiti in Berlin


Here an old letter in this controversy on who rightfully owns the iconic bust.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,606525,00.html

Mummies Everywhere

Some terrific articles on mummies including outstanding pictures of the recent find of dozens of new mummies at Saqqara.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Mummy-Pictures-Released-Images-Of-3000-Year-Old-Meresamun-Taken-At-University-Of-Chicago/Article/200902215219344

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Cult of Osiris

Archaeologists at the Karnak temple complex have found the remains of structures from many ages invested in the cult of the Lord of the underworld.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/933/he1.htm

Valley of Kings

Here we have some very interesting pictures from the current excavations in the Valley of Kings.

http://www.kv64.info/2009/02/picture-of-new-shaft-tomb-perhaps.html

TT11 & TT12

Here is Jane Akshar's latest blog on lectures from the Mummification museum.

http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/2009/02/mummfication-museum-lecture-tt11-tt12.html

Kv63

Here is an update by Otto Schaden on the opening of the jars containing refuse.

http://www.kv-63.com/index.html

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Temple Singer

The wonderful Oriental Institute in Chicago is holding an exhibition on the mummy called Meresamun who lived during Egypt's 22nd dynasty around 800bc.

http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/090205/mummy.shtml

Dra Abu el Nagga TT14

Here a report on this Theban tomb with interesting pictures of some of the finds and drawing of the tombs layout.

http://www.archaeogate.org/storage/15_article_1017_1.pdf

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Amulet

A child mummy from Egypt's predynastic Bardarian period contained an amulet discussed here. Amulets are originally probably tokens of affection from loved ones probably long before magical properties were ever acquired in them.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/05/child-mummy.html

To Live Forever

This article has a nice picture of a mummy mask.

http://www.ohio.com/entertainment/attractions/38867887.html

SS Karim

The antique riverboat has a prestigious and royal history and has been sailing the Nile for the last century but unfortunately today needs repair.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/display.var.2486860.0.city_asked_to_help_keep_river_nile_paddle_steamer_running.php

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Funerary Temple of Thutmosis III

This article is in Spanish and unfortunately I do not know the language however there is a video and I do have eyes.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2009/02/01/ciencia/1233488853.html

King Tut

Michael C. Carlos museum is focused on King Tutankhamen's excavation.

http://www.carlos.emory.edu/wonderful-thingms

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Splendour That Was Egypt


Margaret A. Murray
Sidgwick; Jackson
London
1977 Reprint
ISBN: 0 283 97892 9

This sixty year old book is hopefully just what I needed to forget the last book I read, though the chronology is off with dates of the Middle Kingdom as an example being more than a thousand years older than we currently believe, who cares when the read is good. This book is by no means an easy read it is a classic text book and though only 233 pages long is at times a deep and intense read.

I would not recommend this book for the average reader it is best suited for students of Egyptology who need to know as much as possible on the subject. Miss Murray's knowledge makes the most complicated of subjects , like Egypt's Gods and Goddess' understandable and interesting though I must make the point again that this book is no bedtime story and it is at times work to get through.

I am glad I have finally read this book I can now use it as reference and not have to read it back to front again.