Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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

Lady Hor Becomes Mr. Hor

More on the Egyptian mummies from the Brooklyn Museum and their CT scans.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

King Aspelta's Burial

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

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.

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 some talk about removing the village of people living in crowded conditions in the Cairo cemetery of Arafa.

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

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

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

Dr. Hawass's Jealous Grief

Dr. Hawass has decided to repeat yesterday's article on an anonymous egyptologist.

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.

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 from 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 the 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.

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 excavator's 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!

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

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 downplayed 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 author's 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, let's all have a good laugh and next stone cutters can be sent to the quarries to carve out the twin colossus' of Mubarak.

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 manned with a team independent of Dr. Hawass so that his discoveries can be verified including the discovery of King Hatshepsut.

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

Monday, June 1, 2009

Son of Akhenaten

Was king Tut the son of Akhenaten or Amenhotep III. It should however not be a mystery that no propaganda seems to exist connecting Tut as being the son of the heretic 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 Akhetaten.