Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Secrets of the Pyramids

Michael Feeley
Sazmick Books
United Kingdom
ISBN: 978-0-9954554-4-3

With all the Egyptian books I have reviewed I can usually get a good sense of the content, the authors knowledge, and sense of the writers taste. It appears from the start that this book will be spiritual by nature. The book opens with a number of quotes including from Leonardo Da Vinci but more concerning is a quote from fiction writer Dan Brown author of the Da Vinci Code which left me cringing as I am no fan of contorting history to fit into a narrative no matter how entertaining.

The author is apparently a descendant of Celtic Irish kings and a former United Kingdom police detective the latter gives me some hope of a trained inquisitive mind. The author believes in paranormal and supernatural powers and on a couple of occasions has witnessed dimensional portals open up in front of him and other hallucinations. I am only at the biography of the author and trepidation is rushing over this reviewer.

In the introduction, Mr. Freeley puts forward the very popular belief that an advanced civilization has left a message to humanity encoded within the monuments. This nineteenth-century theory is usually linked exclusively to the Great Pyramid. The reader is met with a hieroglyphic alphabet of twenty-two letters which I have never seen before and are anything but Egyptian hieroglyphics. The author gives dictionary definitions of enlightenment, consciousness, and Kundalini Awakening in the concept of Dharma.

Prior to the authors trip to Egypt, he is contacted by a UK Psychic who lacks the ability to spell properly. In her note includes the sentence " You need to first look passed the tourism" in large letters. Chapter one opens with Mr. Freeley's trip to Egypt including the hope to meet the famous Dr. Zahi Hawass whose last name is misspelled. The chapter ends with another example of the misspelled word passed when the word intended was past.

In chapter two the author presents a good traditional view of Egypt with the belief that slaves built the pyramids of which there is no evidence for this. Mr. Freeley then begins with explanations of the meaning of words including the famous so-called helicopter found carved in a lintel of the temple of Seti I at Abydos. Heli meaning Helios/sun and copter with Coptics together meaning "Christian Egyptian", and including the god Horus whose name is an anagram meaning hour(s).

The book moves forward to the gods of ancient Egypt and the roots of Egyptian royalty and government. We for some reason are on to the transcript of the 1953 coronation ceremonies of England's Queen Elizabeth II which occupies more than thirty pages of a 131-page book.

The author is all over the place in this book and cannot be recommended as serious reading for Egyptologists, and Egyptology lovers. Unfortunately, the book is filled with spelling mistakes and dubious theories that are not suitable for young people to learn from nor was it particularly entertaining. In the end "The Secrets of the Pyramids" should remain a secret.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Colors of Ancient Egypt

This is a unique opportunity to help fund an upcoming exhibition at the world-famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo which will run through November 2018. The show uses technology to recolor reliefs using "image mapping" to restore the objects to how they looked in ancient Egypt.

The Colors of Ancient Egypt

Indiegogo funding page for The Colors of Ancient Egypt

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Mummies of Yuya and Thuya

     Recently I have been looking at antique stereoviews for material to add to this blog and this is an exciting find. The card is from ca.1908 and the mummies pictured were found just a couple of years earlier in their tomb in the Valley of the Kings which had not been touched in thousands of years and with the contents in a near-perfect state of preservation. The tomb today is known as KV 46 contained the two mummies presented here the parents of the great royal wife of Amenhotep III, Queen Tiye. The mummy of Queen Tiye's mother Thuya is pictured in front with the queen's father Yuya pictured behind. In the background is some familiar pieces of their burial.

The 110-year-old stereoview say's that the mummies are 3000-4000 years old when in reality they are from the middle of the 14th century BC. The description also claims that the mummies are at Gizeh when the reality is that they are displayed in the nearly brand new Cairo Egyptian Museum opened in 1902.

Back in the late 1980's author Ahmed Osman wrote the fascinating book "Stranger in the Valley of the Kings" in which the author identified Yuya with the Biblical Patriarch Joseph.


My short book review "Stranger in the Valley of the Kings"

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Tutankhamun Treasures: Press Release Canada 1964-65

Here I have a press release concerning the 1964-65 tour of Canada creatively named Tutankhamun Treasures and I know if you have ever seen an exhibit of Tutankhamun treasures no doubt you have seen one of these canopic coffinettes, the air miles must be through the roof on this thing. The show appears to have had only a little less than three dozen objects and all of which are small. This tour of Canada was only one of two Tutankhamun exhibitions touring the world at the time to raise funds and donations to help fund the rescue of the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel before it descended beneath the rising waters of Lake Nassar after the building of the Aswan high dam.

The venues for the Canadian tour were:

The National Gallery of Canada
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology
The Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery
Le Musee du Quebec

The guide begins with a brief forward by the Director of The National Gallery of Canada, Charles F. Comfort who explains the motivation for the show as well as thanking those who helped with the exhibition. The introduction covers the same issues except for this time it is the United Arab Republic's Minister of Culture and National Guidance Abdel Kader Hatem.

A short history of the life of Tutankhamun and the times in which he lived is well presented by Rudolf Anthes from The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania. This is followed by the objects in the exhibition all of which are represented by black and white photographs

List of Objects:

1. Gold Dagger and Sheath found on the mummy of the king
2. Gold Coffinette
3. Gold pectoral inlaid with glass and semi-precious stones with chain and heart counterpoise
4. Gold and blue glass flail
5. Gold and blue glass crook
6. Large scarab of Lapis Lazuli and gold
7. Armlet of gold inlaid in blue and red glass
8. Gold signet ring the bezel which bears a seated figure of Amun-Re found on the mummy.
9. Gold ring with oval bezel containing an image of a boat with two baboons worshipping the moon. Found on the left hand of the mummy.
10. Amulet of Anubis in green feldspar set in a gold frame. Found on the neck of the mummy.
11. Amulet in chased sheet gold of the cobra goddess Wadjet. Found on the neck of the mummy.
12. Amulet of chased sheet gold of vulture goddess Nekhbet. Found on the mummy.
13. Amulet of girdle-knot in sheet gold. Found upon the chest of the king's mummy.
14. An amuletic collar of chased sheet gold of a winged cobra. Found on the chest of the mummy.
15. Walking stick with standing gold figure of the king wearing the blue crown.
16. Gilded statuette of the falcon god Hor-khenty-khem with resin covered pedestal.*
17. Wooden Shawabti of Tutankhamun given to his burial by General Min-nakht.
18. Turquoise blue glass headrest
19. Spouted libation vase in dark blue faience with a white royal inscription.
20. Pear-shaped vase in dark blue faience with a royal inscription in white including the king's throne name and personal name.
21. Dark blue faience cup with Tutankhamun's personal name in white.
22. Alabaster vase with an inner shell and two outer shells carved in openwork of Uraei and lotus flower petals.
23. Tall alabaster vase with inlaid colored faience garlands of lotus petals.
24. Alabaster canopic jar lid of king's head.
25. Alabaster Shawabti.
26. Sandstone shawabti.
27. Alabaster box decorated with black and red inlaid pigments of flowers and cartouches for Tutankhamun and his queen.
28. Alabaster jug.
29. Small wooden box in shape of cartouche and decorated with the king's name in blue pigment.
30. Bronze torch in the shape of an ankh on a wooden base.
31. Pair of linen gloves.
32. Five gold toe stalls found on the mummy of Sheshonk found at Tanis in 1939.*
33. Gold sandal found on the mummy of Sheshonk at Tanis.
34. Gold bracelet inlaid with glass and semi-precious stones decorated with the eye of Horus and inscribed for Sheshonk I. Found on the mummy of Sheshonk.*

This small collection in the exhibition is certainly not on the scale of exhibits at the 1972 British Museum 50th anniversary show or any of the tours that took place in the 1970's but its purpose was of greater interest and as a result, the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel is today safe, and on land overlooking Lake Nassar


* Not included in the exhibition
* Similar to examples in Tutankhamun's tomb.