Sunday, October 31, 2010

Minnesota's Mummy

 A mummy acquired in 1925 by the Science Museum of Minnesota is on it's way to Children's hospital for it's date with a CT scanner. The mummy is known to have been properly mummified with the internal organs removed, except the heart and is believed to be eighteenth dynasty.

 Photo: Courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The New Luxor

This article concerns the rapid development of Luxor including the loss of the village of Qurna and worse the development of the Avenue of Sphinx's which has resulted in the use of bulldozers to do archaeological work and the removal of  the people and buisness' in the area the government wants turned into an open air museum.

The people doing the bulldozer archaeology are not interested in the history of Egypt in the area of Luxor after the fall of Pharaonic Egypt and are no doubt even damaging the archaeology that they want preserved with such clumsy techniques as using a bulldozer. Sadly for all the damage being done along the avenue of Sphinx's the finds are paltry and fragmentary with most of the statuary that once stood on the site being destroyed and carried away for building materials in ancient times.

The Egyptian authorities responsible for this legacy are President Hosni Mubarak, Minister of culture Farouk Hosni, Deputy minister of culture Dr. Zahi Hawass and Luxor's governor Samir Farag.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Former Director of Long Island Museum Theft Sentenced

The Former director of Long Island University's Hillwood museum has been sentenced to a year and a day and $5000 fine for stealing Egyptian antiquities from the institutions collection. Barry Stern admitted he had stolen nine objects including a statuette of the Apis bull and sold eight of them as coming from his personal collection at Christie's auction netting him over $50 000.

Mr. Stern said his motivation was revenge as he felt the institution treated him unfairly.

A New Necropolis

A tomb has been found at Giza south of the worker's cemetery a decorated tomb of an official named Rudj Ka and dated to the 5th Dynasty. This is the first tomb found in this area and may actually represent the first find in an unknown necropolis.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cancer in Mummies

A study on cancer in mummies at Manchester's KNH center for Biomedical Egyptology has found only one case of cancer in hundreds of mummies. Professor Rosalie David at the faculty of life sciences says that cancer in ancient mummies is very rare.

Very interesting as Dr. Zahi Hawass in his search for the mummy of Hatshepsut found that his candidate for the female king has a tumor in her pelvic region. Though a tumor is not necessarily cancer it would be interesting to know if it was cancerous?

The implication is that cancer is the result of man-made activities, such as pollution? Today cancer in the industrialized world is one of the leading causes of death.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Base for Statuette of Sekhemka

In the Brooklyn Museum is the statuette of Sekhemka, the diorite statue of Sekhemka sits on this base made of limestone and painted to resemble the statuette. The statuette was repaired in ancient times as is seen by an ancient drill hole on the broken surface.

Originally the statuette was probably a royal sculpture of the Old Kingdom perhaps late dynasty 5 that was broken and reused by Sekhemka as his mortuary statue.

There are a number of views of the statuette and its base including the Brooklyn Museum's study of the object.

Photo: Seated Statuette of Sekhemka, ca. 2400-2345 B.C.E. Diorite and painted limestone, 15 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 16 1/4 in. (38.7 x 20 x 41.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.23E. Creative Commons-BY-NCImage: front, 37.23E_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Metropolitan's Mummy of Prince Amenemhat

In the excavation season of 1918-1919, the Metropolitan's excavations south of Deir El Bahri revealed a small coffin containing the well-wrapped mummy of a prince of the early eighteenth dynasty named Amenemhat. A pectoral on the mummies chest shows Amenhotep I smiting the king's enemies, this suggests Amenhotep I may have been the young child's father.

The mummy and his burial much of which is dated to the twenty-first dynasty were given through division of finds to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here are a few of the finds.

1. Photo: Ambrose Lansing, February 1919, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Period: New Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 18, early
Date: ca. 1550–1479 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Southern Asasif, Cliff Tomb (MMA 1021), inside coffin 19.3.207a, b, MMA 1918–1919
Medium: Human remains
Dimensions: h. 74.5 cm (29 5/16 in) h. without head 0.60m h. head 14.5 cm
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1919
Accession Number: 19.3.208a–e

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Reading for a Rainy Day

Here I find myself  on a rainy day with something interesting to re-read the 1890 classic of Egyptian archaeology by the legendary man himself Flinders Petrie, Kahun, Gurob and Hawara.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mummy of Merenre I?

Found this photograph of the mummy of the Old Kingdom King Merenre I. The last time I checked it was in the Imhotep Museum though that was a few years ago? The mummy was found beside the sarcophagus of that kings pyramid at Saqqara. Upon the Brugsh brothers removing the mummy from the pyramid it broke into two pieces making it easier to carry.