Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ornaments of the Lady Rai

In an article a few years ago by Marianne Luban, Ms Luban suggested that the deep impression on the head of the mummy of the Lady Rai was caused by a headdress which was originally on Rai when her mummy was wrapped.

I had never noticed the deep mark seen on the mummy of Rai other royal mummies such as Queen Meryetamen and the Pharaoh Amenhotep II have clear impressions of hard jewels which had been left on either the skin or within the resin of the mummies.

While the mummy of Queen Inhapy has a large impression of a jewel on her face. Whether its a crown which slipped down off her head during her wrapping we may never know.

The comparison with the little mummy mask of Satdjehuty and its hair style with its gold (tiara?) was compelling as both women were at the same court and would have modelled the fashion of the queen, Great Kings wife Ahmes Nofretari.

Sadly the discovery of an intact burial of a third women of the same status and in this same court is unlikely.

I have also never encountered such a tiara in any museums collection or a comparable mask to that of Satdjehuty's in the British museum.

The three tiara's from Giza are old kingdom in date and stylistically different, while none of the middle kingdom princesses and queens who's jewels have survived has any such ornament even though the crowns of princess Khnumet are wonderful.

Very little royal jewelry has survived from the courts of the new kingdom, the exception being of course the jewels of Queen Ahhotep (II?) her mummy torn apart for them.

Perhaps in the end the question is more interesting than the answer could be.

Visiting the Bent Pyramid

In an effort to relieve Giza of some of its tourists the pyramids at Dashur are being opened to tourism this year.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09117/961154-37.stm

The Mummies of Lahun

This is a nice video on the recent find of mummies near the Lahun pyramid.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8019872.stm

Looking Eternally Good

Here are two more particularly beautiful pictures of undisturbed mummies recently found at the Lahun pyramid.

http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE53P1DT20090426

Khufu, Khafra

Here Dr. Hawass talks about the Sphinx its history, restorations and Dr. Hawass' connection to the statue for an upcoming program.

http://drhawass.com/blog/story-sphinx

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Giza Archives Project

The Giza archives project has been redesigned and updated check out the editors blog in the news section for more information.

http://www.gizapyramids.org/code/emuseum.asp?page=index

Overlapping Kings

It has been noticed that when aligned the third Amenhotep's year reign of 25 with his successor and namesakes year 1 that a number of curious dates begin to suggest that much of the fourth Amenhotep's reign may actually have run parallel to his father.

If we are to believe that the head of mummy #61074 in the Cairo museum is actually that of the third Amenhotep than he probably was suffering from his teeth by his reign year 25 and with the early and probably recent death of Crown prince Thutmosis the king took on his younger son Amenhotep and made him his co-regent.

Plague may have been raging in Egypt at this time and in year 27 the third Amenhotep buried a number of members of his family a plague sending the two kings to different desert palaces.

By year 30 of the third Amenhotep's reign the elder king deifies himself while at the same time his son is changing his name to Akenaten.

The suggestion that Amenhotep was the Aten is valid with his son at Amarna, Akenaten being the soul communicator to the god for his people.

The Kings year 37 Sed festival may have found the king in grave health unable to attend his own festival worse yet the king may have fallen ill when the guests were already on their way.

A change of venue may account for the unusual 12th year Sed festival of Akenaten, the idea that Amenhotep's yr. 37 Sed festival and Akenaten's yr. 12 Sed festivals are one and the same event.

Amenhotep III dying in his sons regnal year 13 with Akenaten dying a mere 4 years after his father.

With such possibilities it is no wonder the frustrations of chronology but mid 14th century is probably still good.

Ramses II: The Mummy

The thought that the mummy of Ramses II in the Cairo museum is the mummy of the Pharaoh of the Exodus is almost certainly wrong. The story of the Exodus has never been proved to be anything other than a good story but whether it is true or not is not my point, my point being that as a fragile old man in poor health over 90 years of age he would have been in agony over the ride his frail badly decaying teeth chattering together his delicate bones breaking with each bump.

Chasing enemy or prey in a chariot is the sport of the young and vigorous people and not of the old, the mummy of Ramses II in the Cairo museum ended his Chariot days perhaps decades before he finally died. If the story of the Exodus is true and it occurred in this mummies reign than it was a representative of Pharaoh who drowned in the Red sea and not the person who's mummy is labeled Rameses II in the Cairo museum.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/944/he2.htm

The Predecessors of Cleopatra VII

Built by Ptolemy II these catacombs if they do contain royal burials most likely will contain Cleopatra VII's predecessors and not herself and very unlikely Mark Antony.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/944/eg3.htm

Herakleopolis False Doors

An article with nice picture of false doors used for the dead to pass into the world of the living.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/944/he3.htm

A Spanish Excavation History

Egypt celebrates the contribution Spanish Archaeologists have made in revealing Egyptian history.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/944/he1.htm

Thursday, April 23, 2009

King Tut in Toronto

Three decades later King Tut's belongings are set to return to Toronto, minus the mask of course.

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/artdesign/story/2009/04/23/ago-toronto-king-tut-exhibit.html

Restoring Yesterday

Here Dr. Hawass talks about site management in Egypt today including beautiful restoration work at the Dendera temple.

http://drhawass.com/blog/site-management-egypt

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not Four Temples But One

This article from Dr. Hawass talks about the recent discovery of a temple in the Sinai from the reigns of Thutmosis II to Rameses II

http://drhawass.com/blog/press-release-new-kingdom-temple-discovered-sinai

Digital Karnak

Here is a site created by University of California. The animations of the various stages of the building of the temples at Karnak are excellent.

http://dlib.etc.ucla.edu/projects/Karnak/experience/IntroductionToTheTempleOfKarnak

Near the Pyramid of Lahun

This article of recent finds of 53 tombs found near the Lahun pyramid has a number of nice pictures.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/943/heritage.htm

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sinai Temples

Here we have an article about the four temples found in the Sinai including a picture.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/04/21/carvings-pharaohs.html

Back to the land

Four mudbrick temples have been found in the Sinai.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iyy_p39sNj5_F4SGHgS0j-rv-XrQD97MUGIG1

A Dismantled Mausoleum

I am one of those who believe there is no burial to be found for Cleopatra VII, Mark Antony and more than likely Cesarean who's mummies would have potentially been used by Octavian's enemies including the Egyptian population as objects of veneration to destabilize Octavian's hold on Egypt.

It may have been more politically sound to have cremated all three and to have thrown their ashes into the Mediterranean.

The article has a number of fine pictures.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/19/egypt.cleopatra.mystery/index.html

and here:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090420/sc_nm/us_egypt_cleopatra;_ylt=AmkgVJKq_A1qu8YZqzekrhKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJsdW5lbWJuBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMDkwNDIwL3VzX2VneXB0X2NsZW9wYXRyYQRjcG9zAzEwBHBvcwMxNwRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNhcmNoYWVvbG9naXM-

Monday, April 20, 2009

History of a Leader

Here is a profile on Egypt's top archaeological gun Dr. Zahi Hawass.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/18/world/middleeast/18egypt.html?_r=1&em

100 Hieroglyphs: Think Like an Egyptian


Barry Kemp
Granta Books
London
2005
ISBN: 1 86207 658 8

This book is based on 100 hieroglyphs that will help one think like an ancient Egyptian The concept of the book interests me very much and is filled with plenty of literary citations from Pharaonic Egypt.

The book however is not an easy read as its title suggests it is made up of 100 small chapters causing the book to have little to no flow and for its length of 251 pages went by slowly as the read was intense. The author of this book is well respected and very knowledgeable on the subject of Egyptology but the content was an extremely dry read.

The book certainly has some interesting details but is perhaps best suited to a serious student of Egyptology rather than readers who's interest is more casual. The book is a fine addition to my library and no doubt I will use many times as solid reference material but I definitely will not read it back to front again.

Taposiris Magna

This is a video including Dr. Hawass talking about the Cleopatra and Mark Antony farce who knows maybe they will find Osiris or even Popeye!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/090420-egypt-cleopatra-apvin.html

Here another article:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/04/15/cleopatra-anthony-tomb.html

Franco Prussian

A diary has been uncovered written by Alessandro Ricci an early nineteenth century traveller to Egypt

http://www.ansa.it/site/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2009-04-15_115329521.html

Dr. Hawass Does His Job

The key point here from all I have read from the fine doctor including a number of Dr. Hawass' books is that he always gives credit where due and all discoveries found on his watch will belong to his legacy regardless of who made the find.

http://drhawass.com/events/zahi-hawass-responds-recent-profile-new-york-times

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Update from KV63

Another season ends and perhaps the most interesting item was found this year in the mummification bed.

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

Pretty Mummies

Here some photos from National Geographic on the recent finds of mummies from Illahun.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/photogalleries/dozens-mummies-found-lahun/index.html

These Ten Mummies

The idea of Mark Antony and Cleopatra being buried together I find absurd and politically unsound for Octavian. I would expect Cleopatra's mummy to have found its way to Rome perhaps and maybe even Mark Antony's head but this I doubt and would expect him to have been cremated and disposed of far away from Cleopatra's remains.

http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Culture/000002/0203000000000000001129.htm

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ancient Egypt as Represented in the Museum of Fine arts, Boston

I am a huge fan of "The Giza Archives Project" and "The Boston Museum of Fine Arts" so that when I was in a used book store recently and found this 1960 printing by William Stevenson Smith I put aside the book I was reading and went directly to this one.

At less than 200 pages the book was a relief from the giants I have been reading recently. Ancient Egypt starts off interesting and thorough in its facts without the unnecessary depth of minutia the authors words are accompanied by a good selection of objects from the Boston museum's collection.

The chronological order of the book is fortunate as Boston's museum has one of the finest collections of old kingdom artifacts outside of Cairo so the book heads almost immediately into some of the museums finest masterpieces including the bust of Prince Ankh-haf and the statues of King Mycerinus.

The author than gives a good narrative of the middle kingdom and the museums collection from that period including the outer cedar coffin of Djehuty Nakht considered the finest painted wooden coffin of the age and the many models found in that tomb including the extremely rare brick makers, one of only three examples ever found and though unmentioned Djehuty Nakht's head.

As a huge fan of this museum and the bulletins from the Harvard excavations from the early twentieth century I was expecting some of those great moments but was pleased that the book has plenty of details I have not read before.

The New kingdom and the late period were well written and accompanied by some superb objects including the sarcophagus' of Kings Thutmosis I from the valley of kings and that of the Nubian King Aspelta.

This book was a excellent rundown of the history of Egypt with a fine look at this most important of collections written by the finest of Egyptologists.

Two Coffins

Here we have an image of two recently found coffins.

http://drhawass.com/photoblog/two-coffins-found-newly-discovered-necropolis-illahun

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

This article has some amazing images of three mummies recently CT scanned.

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1165317/Its-boy-Hospital-brain-scanner-reveals-identity-2-000-year-old-Egyptian-mummy.html

The Temple of Taposiris Magna

The temple is currently being investigated to locate the mummies of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. I find it hard to believe that they would be found buried together and even if they were it would politically been more advantageous to cremate Mark Antony.

Cleopatra on the other hand may have been more advantageous to display in Rome temporarily!

http://drhawass.com/blog/press-release-news-temple-taposiris-magna

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

To Your Health

5000 year old wine from the tomb of King Scorpion ! has been found to be spiked possibly for medicinal purposes.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/090413-scorpion-king-wine.html

Mummies and Masks

This is the recent discovery of mummies in middle kingdom tombs but the picture here is particularly nice though the mummy pictured is probably of dynasty 22.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/culture/?id=31444

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dr. Hawass' Egypt

This is a nice video from the fine Dr. Zahi Hawass on his most recent discoveries and his upcoming plans.

http://www.youtube.com/user/heritagekeymedia

The Riches of Illahun

An Egyptian mission has found new tombs at the pyramid field of Illahun including a number of well preserved mummies and masks.

http://drhawass.com/blog/press-release-necropolis-discovered-illahun

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mother of the Old Kingdom

This is an article on the Queen Sesheshet of the old kingdom who's pyramid and mummy were recently found.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077147.html

Mummy in the Golden Mask

Russian archaeologists have found mummies wearing golden masks in Egypt's Fayum.

http://en.rian.ru/science/20090408/120990444.html

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tombs of the Kings of the First Dynasty

Here is an article on the burial of the kings of Egypt's first dynasty the article mentions the sacrifices of those kings courtiers to serve them in the afterlife.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0504/feature7/index.html

The article mentions that Flinders Petrie believed that some of the courtiers had moved during burial. Here is his report you can view the pictures and decide for yourself and if strangled they would not have moved. Poison sounds right!

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

Inside the Bent Pyramid

Dr. Zahi Hawass is opening various pyramids to tourism in order to alleviate the pressure on the pyramids of Giza.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5g-CbhvIizP0PEbmm55C89a77g1jg

One Man Rule

A national strike has been much hindered by the overwhelming presence of the police as Egyptians try to gain a more democratic government not based on the rule of the Mubarak's

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7985608.stm

Sunday, April 5, 2009

No Zionist Conspiracy

Dr. Hawass here explains remarks taken out of context that he had made earlier. It is true when you step into a mess you are bound to get dirty.

http://drhawass.com/blog/clarification-remarks-jewish-history

Saturday, April 4, 2009

In the Valley

Here we have an update on recent work in the valley of Kings.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/941/he2.htm

Pointing Fingers

Here is another Dig Days article from Dr. Zahi Hawass about amateur Egyptologists and though much of what the fine doctor says is true he also points to his discovery of the mummy of Hatshepsut and points out that discovery channel made mistakes in its presentation of his discovery.

Dr. Hawass however still has never had that discovery properly verified by an independent team, there is some doubt as the tooth in question should have three roots not two and the folks at discovery did not put a nineteenth dynasty mummy of unknown woman "D" into that show and represent it as an eighteenth dynasty mummy of unknown woman "B".

Dr. Hawass is the Captain on this ship and ultimately must accept these mistakes as his own and not properly verifying his discoveries is not professional but Dr. Hawass is right when he says we need to treat each other with respect.



http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/941/he3.htm

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Tomb of Montuemhet

The tomb of this Governor has long been known however the sarcophagus has never been found so there is hope that with technology the Governor may some day come to light.

http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=2148&hizk=I

Vain Like an Egyptian

Here a video on beauty in ancient Egypt.

http://www.ny1.com/content/ny1_living/96023/ancient-egypt-had-modern-/default.aspx

Isis M.D.

The symbol RX is the subject of this article and its inception 5000 years past.

http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/2009-03-21-voa3.cfm

Mummified

A nice article on recent work on artifacts to prepare them for upcoming exhibition.

http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2009/mar/mcmullen031909.html