Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Archaic Egypt

Walter B. Emery
1961
Penguin Books Ltd.

This 1961 book is written by famous Archaeologist Walter B. Emery and a treasure for anyone wishing to learn about Ancient Egypt's Pre dynastic period into the earliest dynasties of the Pharaonic age. From the beginning of the book it is obvious the importance of what Walter Emery writes about and the depth of the authors knowledge.

The book is well written and easy to understand especially impressive because of the remoteness of the age the author writes about. The book gives a good run down of the period of the earliest dynasties on issues of the arts, the ancient Gods and Goddess' and the written script and its development. Part of what makes this book an easy read are the numerous diagrams and photographs that accompany the authors words.

Mr. Emery's knowledge is well put out and his writing ability is excellent and easy to enjoy. It is amazing how almost fully formed the arts of the archaic period were with the exception of writing and the continuity continued for thousands of years after through all of Pharaonic Egypt.

I have to admit that this is my second time through this book and no doubt I will read it many more times as this book is a treasure on the period of Archaic Egypt.

Visiting The Museum, Cairo

Here is a series of nice photos from the Cairo museum including images of some of the Kingly mummies.

http://www.wlfi.com/dpp/on_air/king_tut/Photo_Gallery_Cairo_Egyptian_Museum_2569087

The Pyramid Builders

Mark Lehner is all over the place today here he talks about his work at the site of the pyramid builders at Giza.

http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/science/stories/2009/06/28/sci_Egyptologist.ART_ART_06-28-09_G3_MNE9H7A.html?sid=101

Mark and Me

This article from Dr. Zahi Hawass is about his friendship with celebrated archaeologists Mark Lehner.

http://drhawass.com/blog/mark-and-me

A Refurbished Museum

An attractive mummy will be put back on display when after three years the Belfast museum re-opens to visitors. Article has nice picture of the mummy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8123849.stm

Looking for Cleopatra

Though I think the main objective of this search is pointless as I do not believe there is a tomb proper for the Ptolemaic Queen who lost her crown to the Roman Emperor Octavian, yet still who knows what there is to be discovered.

http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/world/2009/6/26/32402/Well-soon-find-Cleopatra-Dominican-archaeologist-says

Monday, June 29, 2009

Who Owns Nefertiti?

The conversation of this past spring was as it has been for many years this bust in Berlin not Cairo!

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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tutankamen in San Francisco

Here is the entire video series created to celebrate the coming of the King Tutankhamen to San Francisco.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/channel?section=resources/programming&id=6873952

KIng Aspelta's Burial

Here is an exhibition on the burial of the Nubian King Aspelta.

http://www.ncaaa.org/exhibitions/aspelta/ASPELTA/index.html

The King's burial was uncovered by Dr. George Reisner at the beginning of the 20th century and thankfully because the ceiling in the outer chamber had collapsed the tomb contained a good assortment of valuable objects some of which are in Boston's museum of Fine Arts.

http://www.mfa.org/tours/package.asp?key=93

Its a Boy

A child's mummy purchased in the 1850's has been through the CT scanner and solved the mystery of the mummies sex, congratulations its a boy. Nice picture!

http://www.theage.com.au/national/after-2000-years-scan-solves-mummy-mystery-20090617-chw9.html

Those Living in the Cemetery

For many years there has been talk about removing the village of people living in crowded conditions in the Cairo cemetery of Arafa.

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090619/FOREIGN/706189810/1135/OPINION

A Tomb of a Noble

Here is another short article on the recent finding of the tomb of Amun-em-opet.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/952/eg12.htm

Saving the Serapeum

Dr. Zahi Hawass has released this article on the preservation of the famous Serapeum.

http://drhawass.com/blog/saving-serapeum

Djoser's Pyramid

Here Dr. Hawass announces recent discoveries near the step pyramid.

http://drhawass.com/blog/press-release-new-discoveries-saqqara

She's a He

A recent examination in a CT scanner has shown an Egyptian mummy in the collection of the Brooklyn museum long thought to be that of a woman is actually a man.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/06/24/2009-06-24_brooklyn_museum_mummys_a_daddy.html

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Boy King

Here is a video on King Tutankhamen and other related ancient Egypt subjects including the fine Dr. Zahi Hawass.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=resources/programming&id=6868640

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bob Brier on the Great Pyramid

This is a very interesting article on a recent examination of the great pyramid.

http://www.archaeology.org/0907/etc/khufu_pyramid.html

Jealous Grief

Dr. Hawass has decided to repeat yesterdays article on an anonymous egyptologists.

Dr. Hawass talks about criticism he has received in regards to the fact that one of his teams is searching for the improbable tomb of Cleopatra VII and her squeeze Mark Antony. The suggestion that the Roman Emperor Octavian would have had his enemies mummified and buried together is unlikely as it would have been politically unsound for him to leave their mummies as a rallying point for his Egyptian and Greek enemies.

Dr. Hawass believes that his critics are jealous of him and goes on to say" I can understand that some foreigners do not like our methods. They are not used to seeing Egyptian missions making new discoveries, or directing their own excavations."

There is that chip on his shoulder again that resentment of Egypt's colonial period which hopefully he will someday be able to put to rest as the past is done and gone and such words can only harm and distract from the work he is attempting to do.

http://drhawass.com/events/anonymous-egyptologist

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Rape of the Nile


Brian M. Fagan
Charles Scribner's Sons
New York
1975
ISBN 0-684-15058-1

It has taken me a while to get to this book the last year I have been "showered" with books having to select from too many possibilities. That loss of time was truly a loss when I began to read this book by author Brian M. Fagan.

The Rape of the Nile is strong in its descriptive of Egyptian history including the often ignored histories that run from the Roman era to the 17th century A.D., I was hooked right at the start!

The Napoleonic episode as well as the stories of Henry Salt and Bernardino Drovetti however were covered more lightly than I would have preferred. Both men but particularly Mr. Drovetti made important discoveries which were completely unspoken about.

Unfortunately the next 150+ pages of this book 0f 371 pages were about Giovanni Belzoni which as interesting as the man was I have already read his book and often during that 150 pages I felt I was reading Mr. Belzoni's "Narratives and Operations" instead of this 1975 book.

Once Belzoni passed the book became original again with a rundown of the many explorers who followed including Champollion, Mariette and the great discoveries including some interesting details on the finding of the Serapeum and the discovery of the royal mummies. The author chooses his words well as the Rape of the Nile at the end of the nineteenth century turns finally into the science of Egyptology.

Author Brian Fagan presented the history of plunder to science with reasonable language choosing to finish his work with the hot topic of prohibition of ancient artifacts. Though I do not believe as anyone knows who reads my site in prohibition but I will say that The Rape of the Nile was a good read.

The Tomb of Cleopatra and Antony

Dr. Hawass talks about criticism he has received in regards to the fact that one of his teams is searching for the improbable tomb of Cleopatra VII and her squeeze Mark Antony. The suggestion that the Roman Emperor Octavian would have had his enemies mummified and buried together is unlikely as it would have been politically unsound for him to leave their mummies as a rallying point for his Egyptian and Greek enemies.

Dr. Hawass believes that his critics are jealous of him and goes on to say" I can understand that some foreigners do not like our methods. They are not used to seeing Egyptian missions making new discoveries, or directing their own excavations."

There is that chip on his shoulder again that resentment of Egypt's colonial period which hopefully he will someday be able to put to rest as the past is done and gone and such words can only harm and distract from the work he is attempting to do.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/951/he2.htm

The New Lab

A second DNA laboratory has been set up in Cairo in an effort to confirm the results of the first lab which among other things claims to have discovered Hatshepsut.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/951/he4.htm

The Osiris Shaft

Here Dr. Hawass is back exploring the shaft under the causeway of Khafra which he believes is a symbolic tomb for Osiris.

http://drhawass.com/blog/mysterious-osiris-shaft-giza

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"I Will Prove Nefertiti is Stolen"

Dr. Hawass really wants the bust back from Berlin but unfortunately for him a lazy official from Egypt's Antiquities service gave it to the German excavation in 1912. Unfortunately Berlin neglected to publish the masterpiece for 9 years making its acquisition look very dubious.

With recent accusations by author Henri Stierlin about the bust being a fake created by the German excavator who had a history of creating fakes but in the summer 2009 KMT the suggestion that the royal family of King Akhenaten stelae JE 44863 in Cairo was actually a forgery to give an equal piece to justify the giving of the Nefertiti bust.

Adolf Erman the excavators teacher described an incident which Borchardt had caused an act of fraud "thus he made a clay tablet which was completely akin to the authentic ones", "Borchardt put the tablet into a box with genuine tablets". That is not good with both the parties claiming that the two most important Amarna pieces "excavated" are one or the other or both forgeries perpetrated by Borchardt.

Though I only see problems with the Cairo stelae which providing the picture is accurate is a nighttime scene of the royal family under the red Aten. I am left to wonder how many night depictions of the royal Amarna family exist? Though I do wonder if the Berlin bust has had it's face and neck painted over by the excavator or perhaps the others that followed.

The smells of fraud are not that helpful!

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/273050%2Cegyptian-tells-berlin-paper-hell-prove-nefertiti-was-stolen.html

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Death to Qurna

This Egyptian village sits on top of the tombs of the nobles of the New Kingdom and so the Supreme council of Antiquities wants the village gone.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article6488897.ece

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reconstructing Mummy

A mummy from Egypt's twenty first dynasty is having a model of its head made to look alive. I have little to no faith in this technology. I wonder if she will turn out to be white like King Tutankhamen's bust.

http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=259624&sc=29

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Overlapping Kings

I noticed recently that when I 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.

It is for me 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.

Amenhotep III 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.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tutankhamen Anatomy of an Excavation

This is of course one of the essential Egyptology sites.

The story is perhaps best told through the pictures.

http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/4tut.html

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Egypt through the Stereoscope

Egypt Through the Stereoscope

Wow! This 1908 publication has stereoscopic views of a finer time in tourism.

One of the views is titled "Magnificent desolation-the deserted temple of Luxor".

A work by the great James Breasted

http://rudr.rice.edu/handle/1911/9166

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh


Joyce Tyldesley
Viking
England
1996
ISBN 0-670-85976-1

This 234 page book is by the highly accredited Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley so I felt I was heading into a good read though I must admit that it started off slow. The author certainly has a lot of interesting things to say including the idea that prince's not directly in line for the throne may have had their princely status down played as to remove them from potential threat to succession including the complete absence of the title of kings brother while princess' are often portrayed with their kingly fathers on stelae.

The book amazes me as to how far the archaeology has gone in less than 15 years since its publication. Joyce Tyldesley gives a good review of the monuments and events leading up to the reign of Hatchepsut including the strong matriarchal family from which she emerged.

The monuments of Hatchepsut's reign and the mystery of the burial of her father Thutmosis I is handled by the author with great insight. The propaganda Hatchepsut had engraved on her monuments are well portrayed with some thought on the erasure of her name and images being discussed as occurring sometime after year 42 of the reign of Thutmosis III.

The chapter on Senenmut may have been the most interesting to this reader with the authors well researched and undramatic approach her conclusions to the rise, death and damnatio memoriae of King Hatchepsut were sound and made common sense out of a dramatic opera that we have come to know as the life of ancient Egypt's greatest female Pharaoh, Hatchepsut!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Giant Farce

Rebuilding the ancient lighthouse at Alexandria sounds like a huge farce, lets all have a good laugh and next stone cutters can be sent to the quarries to carve out the twin colossus' of Mubarak.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/950/heritage.htm

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another DNA Lab from Discovery

A second lab has been established to test the DNA of the royal mummies hopefully this lab will be anned with a team independent of DR. Hawass so that his discoveries can be verified including the discovery of King Hatchshepsut.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/01/content_11470972.htm

Monday, June 1, 2009

Son of Akhenaton?

Was King Tut the son of Akhenaton or Amenhotep III. It should however not be a mystery that no propaganda seems to exist connecting Tut as being the son of the Hieratic King as these pieces of propaganda may have been destroyed at the start of Tutankhamun's reign in order to make the boy king more acceptable and distant of that criminal of Akhetaton.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/technology/820715/dna-test-for-tutenkhamuns-lineage