Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Brief

Among the finds of this past year was an Old Kingdom pyramid belonging to queen Sesheshet of dynasty 6 this find was moderately interesting as were the two empty tombs found near the causeway of king Unas.

Among the stars of 2008 in Egyptology must certainly be the CT scanning done on the royal mummies including unknown man "E" who's death and burial may not have been as brutal as some previous exam's lead us to believe.

But CT scanning was very popular for other mummies too.


Shep en min:

Unknown Mummy:

Son of Ramses II?

Mdina's Mummy:

Plus the discoveries of mummies of the old and Middle Kingdoms:



The discovery of monuments in Egypt including:

That big ugly head of Ramses II

Lovely Queen Tiye:

The return of stolen objects include:

The head of Amenhotep III:

The eye of Amenhotep III stolen from Karnak :

While the battle for others continues:

Mask of Kanefernefer:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Borring ?

It is one thing to blame the economy because the attendance to Tut in Dallas is down it is another thing to blame the shows contents for less interest felt by a public who expect more than this. The 130 objects are a group of the standard stars of the Cairo Egyptian Museum and are each highly marketed by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Perhaps more interest would be felt if half of the objects were mummies less famous we all know King Tutankhamen but hardly know the Twenty-First Dynasty priests and priestesses of Amen. I say put the dead back into the museum display, the problem here appears to me to be political correctness.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Year in Egyptology

This has been a mixed year with some success's such as the return of stolen antiquities to Egypt but also some not so successful excavations. Dr. Zahi Hawass had reported two new tombs in the Valley of the Kings which so far have not materialized as also the tomb of Antony and Cleopatra, though the idea that Cleopatra and Mark Antony are buried together seems far fetched to this author.

Amenhotep's Head

Here is an excellent picture of the stolen graywack head taken by a British smuggler twenty years ago.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Up In the Sky

Satelites are being used to unearth the foundations of long forgotten buildings a very useful tool to archaeology.

First the Dead

The Oriental Institutes Egyptian mummy Meresamun has had its date with a CT. scanner.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tombs of Dynasty Five

Here is Dr. Hawass in all his glory unfortunately it appears that little to nothing remains of the contents of the tombs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Royal Mummies, Immortality in Ancient Egypt

Francis Janot
White Star Publishers
ISBN: 978-88-544-0389-5

          "What a thrill it is when the portable lamps are lowered down a deep shaft and their light dispels the darkness of a tomb forgotten for centuries!"

The introduction of the book was by Dr. Zahi Hawass who repeats his finds including pictures from a television program about the finding of the mummy of king Hatshepsut in which a late 19TH Dynasty mummy of unknown woman "D" is represented as being the late 17TH Dynasty mummy of unknown woman "B", though it appeared in his words that he was describing the correct mummy but the unknown "D" was the one pictured in the book.

The author introduces the reader to the fascination of ancient mummies and the thrill of the royal mummies found in caches discovered in the 19TH century at Deir el Bahari and the Valley of the Kings. The chapter is filled with many nice old images of mummies including a Ptolemaic mummy once owned and drawn by the great artist Peter Paul Rubens in 1626.

From here the author presents the reader with a section on the main royal mummies which was a huge let down. One would expect with a book called, "The Royal Mummies" that more of the royal mummies, especially of those not seen in a century would be present, instead the reader is presented with new photographs of the most famous of the royal mummies including the Thutmoside mummies and Seti I, Ramses II, III and V, you would think that was all the royal mummies of interest.

The mummy of Amenhotep II represented in the book as hidden under wrappings is an error in labeling as it is more likely the mummy of Queen Meryetamun that is presented. The use of excavation photographs from Victor Loret's finding of the royal cache in the tomb of Amenhotep II is indeed special as are the books other excavation photographs.

More beautiful photo's of King Tutankhamun's shiny stuff are presented throughout but also many fine images from the tombs of the nobles. The chapter on masks, coffins, sarcophagi, and canopics was a nice assortment of material presented.

    "Entrance here is defended by a terrifying guardian, a monstrous ram-headed crocodile armed with a gigantic knife. Some secondary routes that branch off from the main ways are especially dangerous because they lead to blind alleys, insurmountable obstacles. or even directly into the fire and Nothingness. Both ways lead the deceased to the necropolis of Rosetau".

Most disappointing for me is I bought a book on royal mummies instead I found myself in a book about funerary beliefs and practices that also include some royal mummies. This gigantic book was difficult to read by the very nature of its size and weight and cost even, though the photographs within are a feast.

Moreover, this mega-book possesses a number of editorial mistakes and that the content was not particularly special and not worth the struggle of propping oneself into position to read it. Leave it on the coffee table!

Tombs of Dynasty Five

Here we have an article by Dr. Zahi Hawass of two recently discovered tombs at Saqqara.

Stolen Head Returned

This stone head of Amenhotep III was stolen 20 years ago in a very famous case and now has been returned to the Egyptian embassy. The article has a picture of the head.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Amenhotep III Comes Home

So comes to its conclusion the theft of Egyptian antiquities by J. Tokely Parry a man who was cool at his craft but the opportunity he faced was the result of the prohibition of the antiquities trade out of Egypt.

Nothing will ever stop the illegal trade in works as important as the head of Amenhotep III but instead may make it unnecessary for people to damage an antiquity in order to disguise it for sale as another object.

Egypt can be profiting from redundant antiquities instead of spending its resources chasing artifacts and spending money on filling it's jails with smugglers of secondary objects.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Relax It Is Just a Snack

So you spend a life's fortune being mummified and thousands of years later some European eats you?

That Damn Mummy

People who need x-rays or CT scanning will have to wait for three mummies and two heads before they can get the machines.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Restoration work at Deir el Bahari

The Polish expedition to Deir el Bahari is headed back to work restoring sphinxes from the processional way to the Pharaoh Hatshepsut's mortuary temple.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Lost King

Archaeologists have found three inscribed rams dedicated to the God Amun. The inscriptions mention a shadowy king of which little is known including where he was buried.

The Age Of the Sphinx

The age of the sphinx has long been a point of debate as is the face on it, the article claims the face to be that of Khufu while others think it is Khafre but in my opinion, the head in the Louvre of Djedefre is a much better match.

Fakes in Brooklyn

Here we have an exhibition of late Egyptian fakes from the Brooklyn museum.

Liverpool Exhibition

The exhibition in Liverpool will feature the famous Ramses III girdle/belt as well as a beautiful white new kingdom coffin, up till this time I had believed that the badly damaged coffin trough of the Lady Tay in Bristol was the only one in the U.K. I was mistaken

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Graffiti Online

Here is a new website on graffiti left by travellers to Egypt. Very interesting!

Exhibition in Brooklyn

I am a huge fan of the Brooklyn museum and its temple of Mut dig diary but here is a new exhibition being put on by the museum.

No More Convoy

Tourists traveling by land in Egypt will now not have to follow slow convoy's from place to place in an attempt to protect the tourists from militant attacks like the one which killed dozens of tourists at the Deir el Bahari.

Ramses Everywhere

Archaeologists are uncovering a colossal statue of the colossal king at Sohag which was found 17 years ago but could not be excavated because of a modern cemetery in the area.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Giza's Sphinx

The age of the Sphinx has long been debated but whether the human face actually was originally carved as a lion is unknown.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's the Assumption

It's the assumption that the mask found by Mr. Ghoneim and referred to by him as Kanefernefer and the mask in the St. Louis art museum are one and the same.

Probably yes but I would like to point out that mummy masks are part of an artistic tradition and that more than likely the studio which created the mask made more similar or even identical masks.

From the male mummy masks of the Middle Kingdom to the heavily gilded Roman headpieces many museums contain similar masks to other museums and there may actually be two Kanefernefer's.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unknown Man "E"

Unknown man "E" is all the talk today as he has been for more than a 120 years. This article comes with a good video on the mummy and his CT. scanning.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Whats That Funk?

I hear this mummy called prince Pentewere over and over but no matter how many times they say it it still does not make it so.

The unwrapping of the royal mummies in June of 1886 brought to light this supposed tortured soul.

Unknown man "E" has undergone his date with the C.T. scan machine which confirmed something long doubted that the unknown man had been eviscerated and properly mummified.

Other mummies have been found with their legs and arms tied together this was done to put the mummy into a proper position for burial.

Why a ritually unclean sheepskin I do not know and unfortunately his identity remains unknown.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feasability of Underwater Museum

This idea sounds nice though it does sound like a money pit as I have known architecture that deals with water to leak and rapidly become leaky. Also the drawings shown look just like the planned Grand Egyptian museum, very large and sparse.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kings Wife Sesheshet

The mother of the founder of the 6TH Dynasty king Teti had a pyramid now mostly destroyed and has recently been found.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sixth Dynasty Pyramid Found

A queen's pyramid has been found at Saqqara the pyramid is believed to belong to the mother of king Teti the first king of the Sixth Dynasty.

Friday, November 7, 2008

An Unknown Man

The unwrapping of the royal mummies in June of 1886 brought to light this supposed tortured soul.

Unknown man "E" has undergone his date with the C.T. scan machine which confirmed something long doubted that the unknown man had been eviscerated and properly mummified.

Other mummies have been found with their legs and arms tied together this was done to put the mummy into a proper position for burial.

Why a ritually unclean sheepskin I do not know and unfortunately his identity remains unknown.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Restoration Mummy

This article on the restoration of a mummy from Akmim has a number of okay pictures.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Wonderful Collection of Amarna Talatats

Though this article is on a show of art in general from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art I put it here because it talks about the Norbert Schimmel collection of Amarna period talatats.

Schimmel acquired dozens of these sculpted blocks and donated to the Met a couple of dozens. Unfortunately, the underground storage area in Egypt where the talatats were stored had been broken into many years ago with hundreds of such panels stolen.

Dr. Hawass has not yet to my knowledge asked for them back but will he?

The above picture of talatats are from the Gem paaten at Karnak and not the talatats in concern.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Diseased Mummies

This article is on the evolution of malaria starting with two Egyptian mummies and a pair of skeletons.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The British Museum in the Sudan

Here is another article on the salvage taking place in the Sudan before the area becomes flooded by a new dam.

Conserving Mummy

A very short article with a nice picture of the mummy's Ptolemaic mask.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Looker

Seattle's only Egyptian mummy is Nellie, a 2000-year-old beauty! This article comes with some impressive pictures.

A Return of the King

Amenhotep III's stolen eye has arrived back in Egypt after 36-yearar long journey abroad. The eye was chipped off a statue of the pharaoh during a fire at the Luxor temple.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

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.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Colorful Words Covering as Truth

The ever ambitious Dr. Zahi Hawass is a colorful man who's enthusiasm for his job as the secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme council of antiquities gives the good doctor full liberties as to Egypt's monuments and how they are to be interpreted during his reign. I say reign as the doctor has a habit of acting more like Egypt's dictator Hosni Mubarek than the man of science he is supposed to be.

A few years ago I watched as Dr. Hawass did a TV show in which he had a stone sarcophagus opened and in front of the cameras began rifling the contents for something to show the camera it was very unscientific and hardly professional.

Last year in 2007 Dr. Hawass made another TV show "Secrets of Egypt's lost Queen" in which a number of obvious errors in judgment and material occurred. It was a minor error that Dr. Hawass as well as the staff at the Cairo Egyptian museum were unable to recognize that one of the mummies in the show was not who they were claiming she was while a graphic displaying two female mummies with a box inscribed for Hatshepsut laying between them in the tomb DB320 was a little more devious as a mistake (there is no record recording the position of these objects in the tomb).

In this show which should have been called "Secrets of Egypt's lost King" as was Hatshepsut's most important title the female pharaoh was identified by Dr. Hawass by a broken tooth and a number of publications followed all extolling the new discovery.

More than a year later Dr. Hawass's discovery of the mummy of Hatshepsut has not had his results independently verified. Dr. Hawass should not make claims that he cannot or does not want to back up. Egyptian antiquities protocol is probably being used not to verify as Egypt's mummies are to be examined now by Egyptians only.

In the fall 2008 issue of KMT a letter to the editor points out that the so-called tooth evidence is more than likely wrong. The tooth displayed has two roots when being the upper molar it should have three? If he did find the mummy of Egypt's greatest female King than he should be more than proud to prove it otherwise he is wasting his new labs time and misleading the Egyptological community.

Dr. Hawass's most recent "no free lunch" campaign has the doctor telling everyone who will listen that Egypt received no money for its 1976 tour of King Tutankhamen's treasures. This is not true as Egypt made millions of dollars off the revenues of the show.

The secretary general is a sincere scholar who colors his words and sees what supports his view of things and hopefully in the future will stop saying things which are untrue and have his discoveries properly verified even if he feels his discoveries are above common scholars and scientists to doubt.

Dr. Hawass Will Say Anything

This article deals with the King Tut exhibition coming to San Francisco and the quote from Dr. Zahi Hawass who claims Egypt received nothing for its 1976 show. The article claims Egypt actually received millions.

Damaged Abydos

An article on Abydos and its restoration by reclaiming the site from habitation. It always amazes me how a site so sacred stopped being and by the time the ancients stopped worship at the site it must have been completely polluted.

England in the Sudan

Excavations in the Sudan have brought more marvelous treasure from the Kushite kingdom that ruled Egypt between 720-660bce.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Son of Akenaten

This is an interesting article from the good doctor however his conclusion is not backed up by his find.

Dr. Hawass's Dig in the Valley of the Kings

In the Valley of the Kings, Dr. Hawass is excavating two promising sites. Good luck to him and his team hopefully he will find something interesting and not another garbage filled room, like Kv63.

Part One:

Part Two:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lectures at the Royal Ontario Museum

This is an article based on lectures at the Royal Ontario Museum unfortunately when mentioning the people who have excavated at Deir el Bahari the author forgot to mention Charles Currelly. Mr. Currelly was one of the most important people whom without the Royal Ontario Museum might not have an Egyptian collection.

Charles Currelly collected thousands of Egyptian objects for the Royal Ontario Museum amongst other things Mr. Curlley's assistance to Edouard Naville's excavation of the temple of Mentuhotep II brought to Toronto wooden models from that king's tomb.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Digital Karnak

Sounds like a terrific resource I can only hope it is.

Egypt's Oasis

Here we have an article by the ever bubbly Dr. Salima Ikram who's enthusiasm is contagious.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ushabti Go Home

Another case of an object stolen being returned to Egypt. This would not happen so often if the antiquities laws were loosened to allow some antiquities to be released and sold abroad. Each fashionable burial would have contained 401 of these ushabti's.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No Discrimination

This article is from 2003 but it is important and really set the standards for the last 5 years of Egyptian exploration.

Clearly, Joanne Fletcher was without the concern of tact and her actions alone caused damage to her extremely prestigious British institution. Dr. Hawass appeared in her television show unaware of her "surprise" and found himself, in a TV show who's summation was unknown to him, the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Dr. Hawass's Dig Days

When Dr. Hawass Speaks people listen so here are a number of interesting articles.

Monday, September 29, 2008

American research

This is the latest newsletter of the American research center in Egypt.

New Gallery for Liverpool

The article is very interesting with an excellent picture of the Rameses III girdle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Statue of Rameses II found

Wow, you sure can't have enough of those! The statue is made from pink granite and is missing the nose and beard.
The author said Nefertiti was the wife of Rameses II this would have made Nefertiti around 100 years old cougar, thank goodness for the picture.

and here:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Aerial Egypt

Currently Egypt's monuments are being photographed by aerial and terrestrial cameras, no doubt this is taking place in conjuncture with Egypt's plan to copyright its monuments. Good luck with that!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tut's Twins

To the ancient Egyptians twins were seen as undesirable though there are some suggestions that some may have risen to great prominence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Amenhotep the Magnificents Eye

The eye was stolen from a statue at Luxor some 36 years ago during a fire around the temple and now is to be returned.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Famous Mummy

Nesyamun is on his way to the the new Leeds museum it strikes me how odd that this simple Egyptian is more famous dead than he would ever have been in life.

That's quite the afterlife!

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Treasures of Saqqara

This article is in Spanish however the pictures are excellent.

Underwater Alexandria

UNESCO has agreed to back the idea of an Underwater museum to showcase all the monuments still lying on the bottom of the harbour at Alexandria.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grand Egyptian Museum

An article with pictures of the proposed new Egyptian mega-museum.

Touring Cairo's Egyptian Museum

A nice article which captures the aura of this famous museum.

Out Comes Nesyamun

The Leeds mummy is a sole survivor of the WWII bombing which destroyed the Leeds museum and Nesyamun's fellow mummies. Now Leeds is about to open its new museum and Nesyamun is a star attraction.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Tomb of Sesosteris II

Many of my viewers will notice that traveling the internet highway these days is a story about egyptologists finding the burial of Sesostris II. The king's burial was in fact discovered and cleared well more than a hundred years ago and as a result, I am not carrying the story.

If you wish to read about that king's tomb go here:

Illahun, Kahun and Gurob:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Egyptian Queens in Monaco

Here we have a slide show containing 14 images of the shows exhibits.

New Gallery at the British Museum

A new gallery is set to open this winter at the world famous British museum. The gallery will be centered around the 11 Nebamun tomb chapel fragments ca. 18th dynasty.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In a Perfect World

It can not be without admiration the ancient Egyptian culture who left to their legacy a world in pictogram's unlike any other peoples. Many cultures originated ethnic languages with pictogram's but then moved on to script while the Egyptians did too in hieratic but continued their love affair with the hieroglyphic puzzle.

The entire ancient Egyptian world in pictures.

The head of a bull represents a bull and loaf of bread simply a loaf of bread but more than just this a pair of legs can be walking or walking backward. All living creatures, action, belief and universal existence placed into pictures.

Egyptian hieroglyphs came to its full form around 2000 bc. in Pharaonic Egypt's Middle Kingdom but never stopped being developed upon. The pictogram's could be placed into arrangements which were visually compelling and normally read from right to left even though the ancient populace loved to send their messages in many directions.

Later Egyptian scribe would make the pictogram's so complicated they could talk among themselves in the presence of foreign overlords whether Persian, Greek or Roman.

Egyptian Queens in Monaco

The article has a nice picture of part of the exhibit even though the term "Queen' was not part of the Egyptian vocabulary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Egypt: Gift of the Nile

The brand new Surrey Museum in British Columbia, Canada is a well proportioned and designed museum with a cheerful staff and with entrance fees of $2.50 for children and $5.00 for adults is a must see for locals and tourists.

Gift of the Nile from the Royal Ontario Museum occupied one room in this museum who's permanent collections are based on the pioneer experience but more importantly on the experience of the people of the first nations who occupied British Columbia before the coming of the pioneers.

Ancient Egyptian objects sadly rarely show up here on the west coast of Canada and it has been nearly four years since the Royal British Columbia Museum had its show Eternal Egypt from the British Museum. Though the objects displayed in the exhibit are much more humble objects than the masterpieces of the British Museum the objects still retain an aura of magnificence and perhaps even more so than the masterpieces they retain a sense of charm.

The collection displayed at the Surrey Museum consisted of material mostly from Pharaonic Egypt's Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom and Late periods including a copy of the cartonnage mummy envelope (ca. 950bc.) of the singer Djedmaatasankh. An ancient scribe wrote disrespectfully on her coffin that she was "the husband of bulls" indicating Djedmaatasankh may have been a bit of a bully.

A number of charming wooden models from the Middle Kingdom were present with a scribe being one of the exhibits stars though I know that the Royal Ontario Museum has such models from the tomb of the Pharaoh Mentuhotep II the information cards were too vague on their find spots.

Nearby stood a case containing pottery pots of elegant and sophisticated style with a wood headrest of standard tastes.

As I was towing along two eight-year-olds and a six-year-old I was happy with all the interactive qualities, the children had a number of fun games to play with including colouring pages of Egyptian tomb scenes which even the adults had to collect for themselves, always nice to get a free souvenir so that we all can remember the delightful day we spent at the Surrey Museum.

Mastaba of Meryteti

Here we have this old kingdom mastaba brought to us by the excellent Osirisnet.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tomb of Amenhotep III, The Pharaoh Nebmaatre

These pictures of the tomb are unique on the web. The tomb has suffered badly and the kings head has been stolen from a number of the paintings in the tomb. These are now in the Louvre.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pain in the Neck

A beautifully wrapped mummy has recently been x-rayed and a metal object in the back of the mummies neck remains unidentified.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Mighty Doctor

Like many other of Dr. Hawass's books no doubt will be beautifully illustrated.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kent Weeks Updates KV5

It has been some time since Kent Weeks updated on the progress of his clearance and consolidation of Valley of the Kings tomb KV 5.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Makeover for Nesyamun

Here we have an article on the beautiful mummy of the Waab Priest Nesyamun. The mummy is the sole survivor or the Leeds mummy collection the other mummies were destroyed during bombing in WWII.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thomas Cook

In the late 19th century Cook was a name every traveler to Egypt and many other places in the world knew. The name represented safety for the traveler and the Cook became one of the world's first trusted travel agencies.

Here Comes the Mummy

An interesting well preserved mummy that has been resting forgotten in the basement of a French museum is out for scientific analyses.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To the Great Lord Granted Eternal Life

With the arrival of the great cache of Dier el Bahari to the Boulaq museum in 1881 the directors found themselves in the presence of eleven kings of Dynasties 17 -21, ca. 1650 - 945 BCE. Also accompanying the kings were seven queens and a number of prince's, princesses and courtiers plus a baboon and a gazelle.

With the faces of the "Warrior king" Thutmosis III and Rameses II "the Great" being hidden by only a few meters of cloth it was decided to unwrap the "warrior king" who curiously had a broom and a few oars tied into his wrappings. These oars would have originally been laid around that king's sarcophagus in the Valley of the kings.

Instead of unrolling the king which might have subjected the body to undue handling it was decided to cut open his bandages at the end of which the great warriors pathetic smashed remains lay before those in attendance, a picture was taken and to the further horror, the mummy fell to pieces. With this disaster, it was decided no more kings would be unrolled.

By December of the following year, it was noticed that the elderly 17th dynasty princess Hontimehu had been damaged during her journey from the tomb to the museum and so she was examined. This examination revealed a mummy that had also been damaged by tomb robbers but that she was still in pretty good condition and very hard from the resins used in her mummification.

Among the mummies found in the cache 2 of them were found without inscriptions in the huge coffin of the king's wife Nofretari, one mummy was wrapped in a shroud while the second was in a small cheap coffin. By September 1885 a putrid smell was emerging from the mummy salons, an investigation found that the shrouded mummy from the coffin of Nofretari was beginning to rot and so the decaying mummy was buried beneath the museum's store rooms.

The 1885 Baedecker guide book tells us that the interior coffin and wrapped mummy of queen Nofretari is on display next to her son Amenhotep I who was the only mummy in the cache to still have a mask, though not original to that king's burial.

By 1886 the absurdity of displaying royal mummies covered in tattered bandages when their faces and in some cases true identities from inscriptions were hidden in their wrappings. So that on the 1rst of June 1886 a gala event was held which included the unwrapping of Rameses II. First up that evening the first queen of the 21rst dynasty of priest-kings, king Herihor's wife Nodjmet. queen Nodjmet's mummy was opened and put on a good show.

Next up was the star of the gala event the mummy of Rameses the Great was opened to the delight of those present the great king's mummy was in beautiful conditioned and undamaged.

Unfortunately the unrolling had taken only 15 minutes and was not much of a show, this author is unaware if the coffined mummy displayed as queen Nofretari was meant to be unrolled or whether the quick unwrapping of Rameses had left a vacuum in the evening's entertainment.

The mummy was brought out removed from its coffin and placed on the table for unwrapping, As the shroud was taken away and the bandages removed an amulet of gilded wood was revealed, this was inscribed for the last great emperor of the New Kingdom, Rameses III.

The suspense was heightened at the thought that the museum's collection may have another great king in their collection when further unwrapping revealed another amulet this one of heavy solid gold also inscribed for the pharaoh Rameses III.

By the end of the evening museum, officials and guests found themselves in the presence of a handsome mummy of a king they did not know they possessed. The evening had ended on a high finding another king but also by the fact that all three mummies unwrapped that evening were all undamaged.

However, if the person that had been on display as queen Nofretari was actually Rameses III than where was the queen?

So the mummy which had been buried beneath the store rooms years earlier was exhumed and found that the burial had stopped the mummy from decaying further and though the mummy bore no inscription during its unwrapping. A female mummy from the correct period for the queen was found, her mummy furthermore resembles the mummies of other women from the court of that queens own time.

The Great Sphinx

This report is from Dr. Zahi Hawass and all appears well on the health of the monument.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tell us Dr. Hawass

Very interesting article on the happenings in Egyptology including the discovery of Valley of the Kings tombs 64 and 65.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prove it Dr. Hawass

This article is on Dr. Zahi Hawass's continued examination of all the royal mummies with his new DNA lab. Though I imagine getting DNA from these deteriorated mummies will be difficult.

Though the two fetuses were found in king Tutankhamun's tomb that does not necessarily mean they are his. Like much of the boy king's funerary equipment, the fetuses may actually belong to Tut's predecessor king Smenkare.

However, if they do belong to king Tut and his queen and they yield mitochondrial DNA than perhaps they may point to one of the unknown female mummies as queen Ankhesenamun.

Having said all of that one must also remember Dr. Hawass's discovery of the mummy of Hatshepsut which more than a year later he has not had his results independently verified. Dr. Hawass should not make claims that he cannot or does not want to back up.

If he did find the mummy of Egypt's greatest female king than he should be more than proud to prove it otherwise he is wasting his new labs time and misleading the Egyptological community.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Children of Tutankhamun

This article is on Dr. Zahi Hawass's continued examination of all the royal mummies with his new DNA lab. Though I imagine getting DNA from these deteriorated mummies will be difficult.

Though the two fetuses were found in kingTutankhamun's tomb that does not necessarily mean they are his. Like much of the boy king's funerary equipment, the fetuses may actually belong to Tut's predecessor king Smenkare.

However, if they do belong to king Tut and his queen and they yield mitochondrial DNA than perhaps they may point to one of the unknown female mummies as queen Ankhesenamun.

Papyrology Online

Here we have an online database of papyrus's.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Naked Bodies At the Manchester Museum

So the Manchester Museum has come back to where it started and the Egyptian mummies of Asru and Khary will remain on display. Now I guess the question must be asked about reburying those mummies not wanted for display.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Valley of the Kings Update

Here is some comment about the health of excavator Otto Schaden and his work in tombs KV 10 and KV 63 in the Valley of the Kings.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Conventions of Egyptian Sculpture

Where did these reserve heads come out of and why did they not integrate into the conventions of Egyptian funerary sculpture?

What had been the need for limestone heads with their features in plaster? Could it have been part of the death rituals, the act of coating the limestone head and modeling its features may have evolved in the 5TH Dynasty to the coating of the human mummy with the same modeling represented in the reserve heads?

That a mummy like Nefer/Watay in the 5TH Dynasty which is sculpted out of plaster could be the descendant of these heads in the 5TH Dynasty with the mummies being far rarer than the preceding reserve heads.

The heads are unlike the seradab statues of the same dynasty which feature individual Egyptians in full frontal poses from head to toe with their families. Many of these much more elaborate constructions are for people of much lower status than those represented by the 37 known reserve heads who are the prince's and princess's and their partners of the king's court.

The head of princess Merytyetes bears a distinct dignity her head slightly upturned bearing her royal constitution while her husband's head which is better preserved does not possess her haughty disposition but rather a calming smile.

Many like the royal couple just mentioned are wearing skull caps like that worn by the god Ptah while others are bald.

The heads may have led to the development of plaster mummies in the middle of the Old Kingdom with limited success and the 4TH Dynasty convention of reserve heads became obsolete and was discarded.

Oriental Institute at Edfu

This article on recent excavations at Edfu is top notch with excellent photos.

Friday, August 1, 2008

An Evening at the Boulaq

Though the sun had set the heat of the North African summer would not give up its hold as we passed through oil lit streets to make our approach. Soon we found ourselves in the court the shadow of a colossal head of a king loomed to the right above us, before us two large sphinx's faced each other and in between the windows before them on our right in the shadows stood the crude statue of the god Amen and an Ethiopian queen found by a Mr. Berghoff in 1882 at Moroe, unfortunately Mr. Berghoff had been captured and beheaded a few months later by the Mahdi.

Upon entering its garden we are surrounded by six ancient stone sarcophagi, opposite the entrance in the middle of the garden is the tomb of its founder, the four small sphinx's facing each other in front of it are from the avenue of the serapeum. To the northwest is the Nile river the roar of its black currents reflecting an iridescent glow in the full moon. Before us stood the entrance surrounded by a pair of statues of a king, these statues being later re-inscribed for Rameses the great.

Inside the doors, we could see the light from our host's lantern and as we lit our own he unlocked the door greeting us, quickly locking it behind us again. We found ourselves in a small room with 2 stone coffins the walls of the room covered with ancient stelae. The visitor can buy the museums publications here.

Soon our lanterns brought us into the grand gallery its walls covered in stelae including the famous Piankhi stelae of the 21RST Dynasty. In the center of the room just to our right the alabaster statue of Amenirdis separated from us by a wooden rail and surrounded by various statues and shrines including the bronze lion of the pharaoh Apries of which was on our list.

Our friends whose job it was looked after this lion well and we set about in the dark for our next destination passing the stone coffin of the lady Anhk to which our host had taken rest a short while before. We ignored the west salon as among its treasures little was of interest to our evening its exception was the 25TH Dynasty stelae of the Ethiopian king Piankhi, unfortunately too large for our venture.

Our party entered the middle salon, a room filled with cases of glass and wood filled with ancient trinkets of bronze, wood, papyrus and stone of no interest to us. Along the walls coffins of various periods, the beautiful diorite statue of the pharaoh Khafre stood in the center of this gallery with the famous wood statue known as the Shiek el-Beled nearby.

However this room was of little interest to us except that along the north wall is a case we have come to see, the case contains the jewels of a queen known as Aahotep of Egypt's 17TH Dynasty along with some Greco-Roman jewels we adored them and left our men. I learned later that one of the men had seen fit to adore a blue enamel Hippopotamus from another case.

Leaving the Central salon we ignored the gallery to the west of the central salon known as the gallery of the ancient empire as its sarcophagi and stelae were of no interest to us.

We made our way to the east to the funerary gallery a room filled with coffins and glass cases filled with objects personal to the mummy, the gallery is of no interest as we make our way to the Royal mummy collection.

Entering the Royal mummies salon we found our ancient hosts hiding helplessly in their tattered wrappings to afraid to dare face our presence their massive coffins dwarfing our importance. On the north wall of this room are cases and on the bottom shelf rests the fabricated mummy of princess Sitamen, daughter of the founder of Egypt's 18TH Dynasty Ahmosis.

On the top shelf of the south wall, between the pillars are 2 wigs belonging to queen Isiemkheb and a box of wood and ivory inscribed to Hatshepsut along with mummified fruits and a fragment of the coffin of Rameses I, still yet on the cabinets fourth shelf contains the mummy found in the sarcophagus of the pyramid of the 6TH Dynasty pharaoh Merenre I. As had been requested of us our man took hold of the Hatshepsut box joining our friends back at the door.

In the center of this room stands a funerary bed with a mummy of a princess lying upon it, the bed being more than a thousand years older than the mummy. The salon filled with coffins and mummies of king's, and queen's and their associates, the well preserved unwrapped mummy of the scribe Nebseni kept us in his sight, the sentinel for the rest of the occupants here.

Soon we entered the Greco-Roman salon passing statuary of ladies and emperors we soon found the two cabinets containing objects of gold of which we had been requested. My friend grasped the eagle shaped handle of a roman sword, a gold ring and a gold statuette of Venus making his exit through the east salon back to join the others.

I made my way south to the museum's storeroom where I collected all the books of the dead that could carry filling the bag I had brought. With this, I made my exit through the Greco-Roman salon to the east salon, a room filled with numerous stone heads and stelae. Passing the grand gallery I could see my compatriots exiting the building through the way we had come.

Making our way west through the garden down the flight of steps to the museum's dock where we found our boat and made our way to Alexandria.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Functionality of Reserve Heads

These Old Kingdom reserve heads as they are known appear to be funerary in nature. Nearly all are carved in white limestone but at least one is made from Nile mud.

Many appear to be actual portraits while some are too idealized to be portraits of the tomb owners in which all the heads were found.

Harvard Egyptologist Dr. George Reisner found most of the heads in tombs from the fourth dynasty at Giza relating to courtiers of pharaoh's Khufu and Khafre. One was found by Jacques de Morgan in 1894 at Saqqara.

One of the heads was undisturbed since the day of burial and was found in the burial chamber next to the sarcophagus. The other heads were found scattered around the tombs and in their shafts discarded by ancient robbers.

One of the heads which came from Giza tomb G4940B and now in the Boston museum of fine arts has a heavily plastered attachment to its face and holes indicating the ears were in another material.

Some have suggested the heads were created as molds for funerary masks.

The heads show that the royal court of this dynasty contained members of a number of races.

The practice of mummification at this period was not perfected and these heads may be an early form of Ka statue for this nearly three dozen courtiers of the fourth dynasty.

Egyptian Film Legend Dies

Egyptian director Youssef Chahine has passed away in Cairo at the age of 82.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Djedefre's Solar Boat

Though found next to the pyramid of the 4TH Dynasty king Khufu the boats were not buried by king Khufu but rather by king Djedefre.

The massive stone blocks which cover the pits housing the boats contained a number of inscriptions relating to king Djedefre with one inscription giving the year date of eleven of this king.

Making the solar boat's gifts from Djedefre to his deceased father king Khufu.

My Cold Naked Body

At some time in ancient history, these were living beings with all their sensitivity and foibles of being alive. Everyone dies but not everyone has their body turned into a mummy and the people who do not want to look at the dead probably should not.

The point is made moot by the very fact that I already have pictures of the mummy named Asru. Whether the other mummies are also published or are to be left unstudied in the name of false decency remains to be seen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

British Museum Studies on Ancient Egypt and Sudan #9

The British Museum studies on ancient Egypt and the Sudan has published its issue number nine.

The articles include "Who was who on Elephantine in the third millennium BC".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Stanford Papyrus Collection

This collection donated in the 1920's to the university are now being analyzed. The collection appear to be Ptolemaic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

King Khufu's Solar Boat

Finally we have an image inside the pit so we can look at the planks of the ship. However the video claims that the boat will not be assembled in contradiction to an earlier article.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Egyptian Queen's in Monte Carlo

A culmination of the contribution of 40 museums artifacts relating to the royal women of ancient Egypt has brought together 250 pieces for this exhibition.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Out Comes the Second Solar Boat

This article has an image of the boat lying at the bottom of its pit next to the great pyramid. Unfortunately, the pictures focus is Dr. Hawass.

It appears the decision has been made to reconstruct this second boat.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Place to Avoid

Though Heliopolis has only one true standing monument, its obelisk, even with the additional sculptures it may be a pass on your next trip.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Egypt to Indianapolis

Egyptian objects from the Brooklyn Museum are to go on display in Indianapolis.

Solar Boat Better Left Where It Is

A second boat found next to King Khufu's pyramid will now have a camera staring at it in its pit. There is talk about reconstructing the boat but some like myself believe it should stay in its pit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An End to the Mubarak Reign

Elements such as many world famous museums and universities spend their money and time currying favor with Egypt's dictator with no concern for the little people who are of no concern to institutions such as those who spend large amounts of money to curry the favor of Egypt's dictator.

http://news.nationalgeographic.cSave NowomNowom/news/2008/07/08egyptefood.html.html

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ordinary Egypt

A good story on the discovery of monuments related to Egypt's 13TH and 17TH dynasties.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Award for Dr. Zahi Hawass

Still yet more awards for Egypt's famed gaurdian of it's monuments this time Dr. Hawass is being praised by the people of Italy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ancient Coils of Rope

Rope coils found in a cave may be from a 4000-year-old expedition to the fabled land of Punt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To the Temple of Mut

The Brooklyn Museums web page runs the dig diary for this project and is very interesting to follow along with.

Brooklyn Museum:

New Discoveries at Edfu

This article is about the recent discovery of a governors palace near Edfu.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mastaba of Merefnebef

This Saqqara mastaba is from the start of the Sixth Dynasty and in fragile condition as a result it is not open to the public.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saving the Step Pyramid

King Djoser's step pyramid is to be laser scanned to aid in preserving the monument now and in the future.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Looking for Menkaura's Sarcophagus

After the ship, Beatrice carrying the sarcophagus of King Menkaura sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean in 1837 most thought the sarcophagus was lost forever. there are now hopes of finding it and perhaps other artifacts collected be Col. Vyse.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Discoveries at Saqqara

Recent discoveries around the Anubieion and a lost pyramid last visited by Karl Lepsius in the nineteenth century

New Website

This is a new awesome resource from Nicholas Reeves. Very interesting!

Monday, June 2, 2008

World Empires

Here is an interesting map showing the last 5000 years of conquering empires.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Inauguration of the Temple of Dendara

Wow I do not know how I missed this story from a couple of months ago but I did, I must have been working a whole bunch.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Underwater Portico

Divers have found a portico in the Nile in front the Temple of Khnum, there are no plans to retrieve it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Athens Egyptian Collection

When one thinks of Athens they do not generally think Egyptian. However, the Athens Museum has put more of its Egyptian collection on to view including a loaf of bread baked in the New Kingdom and missing a bite.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Covering Mummies

The fine people at the Manchester Museum have covered their mummies out of respect apparently. I certainly agree with the repatriation of human remains that are not on display but that does not mean hiding them that means reburial.

The mummies on display that are now covered have now lost their educational value and if Manchester does not want them to be seen than perhaps it is time for Asru and her companions to be returned to Egypt and reburied.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Drawings by Lepsius

Sotheby's is set to auction off books, maps and other documents including some drawings by famed egyptologist Karl Lepsius.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

DR. Hawass the Superstar

This is a rundown of Dr. Hawass's intentions for his excavations in the Valley of the Kings though most is already known. Dr. Hawass failed to mention that the anomaly now regarded as KV 64 was found by "The Amarna Royal Tombs Project".

Loved the photo of the tunnel in the tomb of Seti I.

Great things to come from the Doctor.

The Tomb of Roy

This is an updated version of one of the finest preserved tombs to survive from the end of the XVIII dynasty, Theban tomb 255 in the area of Dra Abu el Naga.



Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Great Missing

 There is little doubt of three caches of kings from the end of the New Kingdom yet one cache is clearly missing and perhaps today represented only by its absence.

The great cache of 1881 found a prince named Ahmosis though sadly he is perhaps not the liberator king he is more likely a son of Amenhotep I by a concubine. This was hard to accept considering this cache contained fourteen members of his family.

The same cache had a king labeled as the second Thutmosis though he may be a better fit as Thutmosis I, either way, a king was missing. Then came Valley of the Kings cache 35 in 1898 and a mummy identified as the nineteenth dynasty king Seti II looks clearly like Thutmosis II.

The Amarna kings of Akhenaten and Ay inspired little love in their subjects as presented by both of their vandalized tombs and the dictator Horemheb may have suffered a similar fate.

The 1881 cache had at some point the mummy of Rameses I,  however, this became lost, myself I am convinced it will turn up on a shelf somewhere in the possession of the antiquities service, probably with the priest-king Pinudgem I.

Twentieth dynasty kings Ramesses 7, 8 and 10 and 11 are all missing and probably only Ramesses 7 and 8 were buried in the Valley of the Kings. Ramesses 7 almost certainly and the hope of finding the tomb of Ramesses 8 may be a pipe dream considering the collapse of the state and the ephemeral nature of that king.

Ramesses 8 tomb may have long been robbed and destroyed almost immediately after his burial in the troubled times that followed his death.

Lord Grenfell's Mummy

The Egyptian collection of Lord Grenfell is to go back on display in the National museum of Mdina, Malta.

Buried Together?

There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony were buried together further more Cleopatra's burial would have been in the presence of Roman guards which would make the burial even more improbable.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Tunnel in the Tomb of Seti I

Divers have begun their excavation of objects lost in the Nile with success though I am sure it surprises no one that the riverbed is loaded with objects lost throughout history.

While cleaning the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings workers have come across a number of objects including this ushabti.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amenhotep III

Colossal statues will soon accompany the colossi of Memnon as well as other statuary recently found at the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gold Coins of Emperor Valens

Two gold coins have been found of Valens who was Emperor between 364-378 ad. The coins are the first found in Egypt and will make a nice addition to the numismatics collection in the Greco-Roman Museum.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Czeck Egyptology

A nice article complete with pictures including the recent find of a rare undisturbed burial from the Old Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Check Up for Shep-en-min

Vassar's mummy has received its turn in the C.T. scan. The mummy as indicated by the name of the God "Min" is from the Akmim area of Egypt. Happily he is the son of another well known mummy that of Pahat.

The Akmim Mummy Consortium:

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Website for Barcelona

In 1903 two tombs were found in the Valley of the Queens these elaborately decorated tombs were created for the New Kingdoms queen's, prince's and princess's.

However the tombs were full of coffins and mummies from the third intermediate period including a family of gardeners. How much of the original burials remained is a mystery to me but I would suspect little. Most of these coffins are now in Italy, six intact examples were retained in Egypt.

Mummification Museum Lecture

Here we have a lecture by Mr. Mansour Boraik on Karnak temple and a possible tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Valley of the Kings:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The King's Wife Tiye

Here are pictures of the recently found statue from the mortuary temple of Tiye's husband Amenhotep III.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

How the Battle of Actium Changed the World

Poor Antony and Cleopatra really peeved Octavian and in 31BC Octavian showed whose boss.

Overlapping Kings of Amarna

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 Egyptian 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 Akhenaten.

The suggestion that Amenhotep was the Aten is valid with his son at Amarna, Akhenaten 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 Akhenaten, the idea that Amenhotep's yr. 37 Sed festival and Akhenaten's yr. 12 Sed festivals are one and the same event. Amenhotep III dying in his son's regnal year 13 with Akhenaten 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.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

City of the Dead

Interesting short video on Egypt's City of the dead. A cemetery dating back to the 14th century.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Building Pyramids

How and why the pyramids were built is the subject of another artricle.

Reopening Dendera

The beautiful little temple to the Goddess Hathor has been cleaned and restored.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Its a Donkey's Life

Another article on those donkey's buried at Abydos, Egypt. The domestication of animals as I have pointed out before was most likely a mutual arrangement in many cases.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Domesticating Who?

How far back man began to domesticate animals remains still to be solved. I would be inclined to think that such domestication probably began long before we know.

Wherever man or Neanderthal lived they left scraps from their meals that would have attracted mice and other animals. The work of a cat on these small vermin would have been noticed by the humanoid, not to mention the advantage the cat would have hanging around the humanoid.

Mutual domestication I suppose.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Unknown Man "E"

This is the mummy I hear called Pentaware but better known as "Unknown man E". Many of the last one hundred and twenty-five years most famous Egyptologist's have believed that this could be the body of this Twentieth Dynasty prince who was found guilty in a conspiracy to kill his father the last great pharaoh of the New Kingdom, Ramses III.

Whatever happened to Ramses history is not entirely clear however ancient papyrus' tell us that the plot was discovered and those found guilty would have faced a death by impalement with exceptions of the most senior conspirators who like the prince were allowed to commit suicide.

A thirty-one-hundred-year-old court document says that the prince was allowed to commit suicide and no further harm came to him. I would like to point out in the case of "Unknown man E" that having a ritually unclean sheepskin laid on top, and buried in a coffin without a name or the needed spells for his well being in the afterlife represents further harm.

In reality, we will probably never know who he is unless of course "Unknown man E" turns out to be Senenmut which because both Senenmut's mother Hatnofer and his father Ramose's mummies have been found may make DNA matching possible. The science of DNA may identify him among the occupants of the royal mummies cache where the box of internal organs and a tooth of Senenmut's King Hatshepsut was found in tomb DB320.

As time erodes the inscription so erodes the memory of but a few notables and his could end up being some other just as colorful character from the New Kingdom who's identity is now lost to history. Each kings court would have how many courtiers ?

Over the 500 years of the New Kingdom, I would expect dozens of courtiers to have left their courts in disgrace including perhaps Akhenaten, Smenkhkara, Bey, High Priest Amenhotep and possibly Senenmut.

Just to mention some of the most important.

Boltons Royal Mummy

A thorough examination of Bolton's Egyptian mummy has revealed that it is probably a prince of Ramsses II dynasty.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Akhenaten Found?

An article from Dr. Hawass on the possible identification of the KV 55 mummy as being the heretic king Akhenaten. A recent CT scan apparently shows the age of the skeleton at death may be as high as 60. Dr. Hawass also makes the Ramesses VIII prediction while announcing his Valley of the Kings expedition, the first all Egyptian dig.

Good picture of the newly renovated Amarna room at the Egyptian Museum as well as the KV 55 mummy. Most interesting is the picture of the only two surviving planks from Queen Tiye's Shrine found in tomb 55.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oldest Christian Manuscript

A Christian codex written in 411 a.d. has had its missing last page found in a monasteries ancient olive oil storeroom. In the 11th century, a monk worried that the last page of the codex would become lost so he recorded the inscription on the last page into the middle of the document. The codex was collected in 1839 for the British Museum minus its last page.

Recent reconstruction work on the tower which contained the storeroom has revealed hundreds of fragments of documents and when a number of pieces were flattened out the missing last page of the 411 codex was found and restored.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Who's out

With the advent of tomography, CT scans and DNA very little is left private. The naked bodies of ancient king's lay for the most part in the lands where they lived but some journey after their dead. Leaving Egypt 140 years ago to house in a Niagara sideshow the mummy was first thought to be none other than Nefertiti herself. Museum staff pulled down the covers from her mummy and discovered Nefertiti had a penis.

The high quality mummification and remarkable preservation of the body, usually these things are broken. The body smell of aromatics is distinctly royal. A carbon test suggested that the mummy might belong to the New Kingdom. With its crossed arms exposed Egyptologist's began going down the list of missing New Kingdom king's and came up with 3 consecutive king's from the end of the 18th dynasty to the first King of the 19th dynasty.

These were Aye, Horemheb and Ramesses I. King Ramesses I was the father of King Seti I and grandfather to King Ramesses II both of who's mummies faces are beautifully preserved and resemble that of the hung Nefertiti mummy, and so it was decided that no this is not the old girl but rather it is King Ramesses I.

Since then calibrations of carbon 14 readings have now shown the mummy is hundreds of years younger than that of King Ramesses I. In a previous story I suggested it may actually be the mummy of the High Priest of Amen, Smendes III.

Michael C. Carlos Museum:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Brooklyn's Mummies

The 5 human mummies including the mummy of Demetrios from the Brooklyn Museums collection are receiving a full exam before the museums traveling exhibition begins.

Here is the Brooklyn museum's website, the dig diary is excellent. Check it out:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mummies and Churches

Very interesting article with good picture.

A Tale of Two Museums

Walking around the dusty cabinets of Cairo's Egyptian Museum is a good deal different from the crisp spectacle of Sakkara's Imhotep Museum.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dier el Banat Yields Ptolemaic Mummies

A cemetery in Egypt long thought to have been completely looted has recently turned up a number of mummies including one lady who is completely intact with her mask and cartonnages.

This is the only intact mummy to have ever been found at this ancient destroyed cemetery

These photos are a must see:

Bathhouse Found

New discovery at Karnak of a Ptolemaic bathhouse.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Looking for KV 64

Dr. Zahi Hawass is finally taking the Amarna Royal Tombs Project seriously and has started an investigation into an anomaly found years ago in the Valley of the Kings.

The anomaly was actually discovered in 2000 but due to false allegations that the project director was smuggling antiquities it was never investigated and in 2005 the director was cleared of the allegations but the project was not allowed to resume their work.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Amarna from a Balloon

A fine article about the heretic king's capital with 2 fine videos to watch.

I have thought for many years that living in his time would have been brutal on the people with only the courtiers and the royal family living the good life.

The king's touchy-feely propaganda may be the exact opposite of the truth.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bury it Yourself

I have kept this story bookmarked since last October no not because it was about the Altes Museum and the German government dealing with the Nefertiti bust displayed at their museum and the Egyptian government's desire to get their hands on it for the opening of the Amarna Museum.

Rather it was the generosity of the Germans who offered to return 90 pharaonic mummies back to Egypt. Egypt's top antiquity Dr. Hawass's response was that these mummies were of no importance took me back even though I could see that the gift was a red herring.

Perhaps the German officials should have also offered to send the cash to rebury the 90 people who are clearly unwanted. This episode made both sides look bad and the fine doctor should have spoken with more grace in regards to the plight of the ancestors who can't get no respect. Good Grief!

Unfortunately, the link no longer works.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Copyright This

So now the government of Egypt wants to copyright its monuments though it remains a mystery how they can possibly do this, the last time I checked the Giza pyramids were a world heritage site protected by UNESCO.

The citizens of the western world only help and solidify such a state and instead of leaving money to the police state the people of the world should use their money to support their public institutions at home and not Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

4500 years later

This is the only thing going on of note in Egyptology these days and how interesting and rare the find.

The officials name was Neferinpu and though not royal the find is of note.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nubian Pharaohs of Egypt

This is the story of Egypt's remarkable reign of Nubian kings who ruled Egypt as its 25th Dynasty.

The traditional role for most of Egyptian history was the Nubian's were subjects of the Egyptian pharaoh to the north but for about 50 years when between 716-656 bc the kings of Nubia also bore the titles of the lord of the two lands and became kings of Egypt.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Intact 4500 year old Burial

It is a site not seen in 50 years for an intact tomb of an Old Kingdom official have usually been seen by the robbers first.

Another coup for Czeck archaeologists.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Meet Ramses VIII

One would think that even though the king's reign was extremely short with no time to create a tomb for this king in the Valley of the Kings an eighteenth dynasty cutting would be converted to a tomb for him.

So perhaps we are looking for a shaft tomb with one room off the bottom if this is so than the chamber should still be painted with scenes of Ramses in the presence of the gods. There was, of course, enough time to do this while the king's mummification was occurring.

A stone sarcophagus may also have been appropriated but this seems unlikely and a wood sarcophagus seems more reasonable in the time allotted. Also with only months to create funerary cases for the king one would expect less rather than more, perhaps only 1 or 2 hastily improvised cases of wood with a thin layer of foil.

Again one would expect a mask of perhaps cartonnage or thin foil, the kings reign not long enough for him to have acquired any substantial wealth in the depressed period of the late Ramessides. Further more the king's canopic equipment would not be original to this king and have come from the royal storeroom.

Likewise, funerary figures and ornaments may have been made for the prince/king in thinly gilded wood.

Still worst of all the king's burial at the beginning of the end of empire and having been buried in recent years his burial would have been fresh in the minds of those who may employ his burials dis-assembly.

Stripped of his ornaments the king's tomb may have contained only firewood in a valley without trees.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Head of the Mummy from the Pyramid of Merenre I

The Old Kingdom King Merenre I ruled between 2287-2278 BCE. The body found in his pyramids burial chamber is believed by some not correspond with the style of mummification present which is more inline with the New Kingdom rather than the Old Kingdom.

However in the light of more recent discoveries the mummy may well be that of the king, making it the oldest royal mummy in the Egyptian national collection.

This mummy though off display for many years is currently covered by a sheet in the Imhotep museum at Saqqara.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Visit with the Mummy from the Tomb of Seti II

Visitors to the tombs of the kings at Thebes rarely suspect they will be seeing Egypt's pharaonic dead. However, there are a number of mummies remaining in the Biban al Molouk including the young prince in the tomb of Thutmose IV possibly the prince Amenemhet.

When found the prince was standing up apparently to the amusement of the ancient robbers who entered the tomb before the priests came to remove the mummy of the king. These priests left the prince in his side room and sealed the tomb, The tomb was never entered again until finding by Howard Carter.

There are of course the two ladies in tomb KV21 but they are not on view and the tomb is inaccessible. Yes, King Tut is accessible but only to 400 viewers a day and KV 35 has a boy and a mummy of great controversy. But few are expecting a mummy in the tomb of the nineteenth dynasty King Seti II. Nothing is known as to whom he is but be for certain he was of importance in life perhaps a Vizier or a Son of Kush.