Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Interior of the Sarcophagus of Nectanebo II

 This is the left side interior looking towards the foot of the sarcophagus of Nectanebo II which was later drilled to be a ritual bath at the Attarin Mosque in Alexandria. The sarcophagus came to the British Museum as a gift of King George III who attained it from the Napoleon expedition through the treaty of Alexandria.

Photo: Many thanks to Michael Harding

Discoveries at the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III

Here we have an article of recent discoveries made by archaeologists at the site of the 18th dynasty mortuary temple of Amenhotep III ca. 1390-1352B.C.. The recent finds include a rare colossal alabaster statue of the king and a granodiorite head of a diety.

The kings temple of millions of years was likely destroyed by an earthquake little more than a hundred years after it's completion with many of its stones removed and reused for the mortuary temple of the 19th dynasty king Merenptah ca. 1213-1203B.C..

The temple was built in the inundation zone next to the Nile which meant the temple would have been flooded during that period of the year destabilizing its foundations.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Seeing Pyramids Through Clumsy Protocol

Here we have an article from Dr. Hawass on the recent BBC article on infrared satellite images which were advertised as showing seventeen unexcavated pyramids and thousands of archaeological sites. Dr. Hawass is displeased as the article went out without his approval which is proper protocol and he disputes the findings published.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unseen Markings in Great Pyramid

A robot travelling up the so called air shaft of the great pyramid has found red builders markings behind a door with metal pins in it in the shaft. The robot was built by engineer Rob Richardson from the University of Leeds as part of the Djedi project with Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt's minister of state for antiquities affairs is the director of the project.

The pyramid was built for the old kingdom king Khufu about 2600bc probably as his tomb. Project Djedi is named after a magician who king Khufu consulted on the building of his tomb.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Haremhab: The General Who Became King

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will be ending their Haremhab: The General Who Became King exhibition on July 4, 2011.

Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fragment of wall painting from the Tomb of Sebekhotpe
New Kingdom
Dynasty 18 reign of Thutmose IV
ca. 1550–1295 B.C.
Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Ilwet el-Sheikh Abdel-Qurna, Tomb of Sebekhotep (TT 63)
Tempera paint on mud plaster
. 53.5 cm (21 1/16 in); w. 73.5 cm (28 15/16 in)
Rogers Fund, 1930

Egyptological: Favorite blogs

As my readers will already know that Andrea of Egyptology News and Kate of News from the Valley of the Kings have recently launched their Egyptological site which now includes a Favorite Blogs page which highlights articles on a number of sites including Em Hotep, Talking Pyramids, Hatshepsut Project and yes yours truly.

Seeing Pyramids

 Infrared images of Egypt from a satellites orbiting some 700 kilometers above the earth have revealed thousands of archaeological sites including the discovering of 17 lost pyramids. A year long study has been done by researchers from the University of Alabama which claims to have found more than 1000 tombs and 3000 archaeological sites.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nubian Mummies Tell a Tale

A tale of disease in 1500 year old Nubian mummies shows a sizable percent of the mummies had schistosomiasis with the studies hopes to find ways of curing the disease in modern times. The fascinating subject is being studied in two ancient Nubian populations with different environments.

The Kulbnarti people existed about 1200 years ago when the Nile flooding was at an extreme and the Wadi Halfa population 1500 years ago when the level of the Nile was much lower.

Photo: Dennis Van Gerven

Newly Restored Tombs Open

Seven newly restored tombs in the new kingdom cemetery at Saqqara are now open for tourists to visit including those of Tutankhamun's treasurer Maya and Horemheb who later became king himself. Other tombs open include the tomb of Meryneith who was a temple steward under during the reign of the heretic king Akhenaten.

Also open is the tomb of the royal butler Ptahemwia's who served under both Akhenaten and Tutankhamun.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Heart of Princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon

 This is an interesting study which claims to have found heart disease in the 3500 year old royal mummy of the princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon. I hesitated running this article because the pictures are not of the princess and the mummy shown probably belongs to the Ptolemaic period, not 1500bc but 200bc.

Nevertheless the study is of interest and relevant to our own understanding of health. Perhaps the missing link in the study is our lack of recipes from ancient Egypt and in particular in this case the recipes for the meals of the royal court of the early Thutmoside dynasty.

Photo:The Theban Royal Mummy Project

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Modern Cemeteries to be Removed

This is an article from Dr. Zahi Hawass on the removal of cemeteries which have been built over Pharaonic monuments including at Saqqara where new tombs have been constructed near the pyramids of Pepi I, II and Isesi. These modern cemeteries also include areas of Abusir, Mit Rahina, Lisht as well as at Luxor.

I really do not know what to make of this program I cannot help but feel some sense of doubt that all this building occurred during the recent revolution? One wonders what part of this is protection of the monuments and what part is suppression of the people and what part represents a failure of Dr. Hawass at his job?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seized Ramesside Statue

A pink granite statue of a priest from the Ramesside period which was recently seized by Cairo police has been found to be authentic. The 56cm tall statue also depicts Osiris, Isis and a priest including a hieroglyphic inscription.

Swiss Return 5th Dynasty Stela

A Swiss museum in Basel is returning an old kingdom stela to Egypt, it is the first piece returned by the Swiss since the ouster of Egypt,s former dictator Mubarak. The stela dated to Egypt's 5th dynasty shows it's owner hunting and is more than 4000 years old.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Madnet Madi

The archaeological site of Madnet Madi in the Fayoum has been opened after a restoration sponsored by the ministry of foreign affairs in Italy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Star Like Nefertiti

The head of Egypt's antiquities service, Dr. Zahi Hawass has once again called on the folks in Germany to hand over the bust of Nefertiti found at tell El Amarna in 1912. According to Dr. Hawass he has paperwork to prove the bust was illegally smuggled out of Egypt.

The German authorities also say they have paperwork to prove the bust was acquired legally. The bust is housed in it's own beautiful room at the newly restored Neues museum in Berlin. Anyway the issue is viewed it is clear that the bust, which is clearly a masterpiece, should have ended up in Egypt's National collection.

Having said that I would doubt that the people of the newly opened Neues museum are going to want to send their star back to Egypt. Dr. Hawass certainly must be admired for his chutzpah even if his dream of the ladies return is left as only a fantasy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Two More Stolen Statuettes returned to Cairo Museum

Two more late period bronzes stolen from the Egyptian Museum, Cairo have been discovered and will be returned. The statues include a statue of Osiris and a statue of the god Harpocrates.

Two more statues have also been recovered of the same gods and will be returned to where they were taken?

Here pictures