Monday, February 19, 2018

Ancient Egypt February 19

Hello Kitty: “Divine Felines” brings the cats of Ancient Egypt to the Carlos Museum
Third Intermediate Period, ca. 1076–723 BC, bronze, Gift of Anne Cox Chambers (© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University; photo by Bruce M. White, 2012)

As any cat lover can tell you, felines are divine.

Ancient Egyptians took that notion even more seriously than pet owners of today, and a charming new exhibition at the Carlos Museum through November 11 offers a fascinating glimpse at the unusual status occupied by cats in the ancient world. It’s a small but superb show that explores feline themes in ancient Egyptian art. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, and drawn from the collections of both the Brooklyn Museum and the Carlos Museum, the exhibition features more than 90 artifacts — sculptures, textiles, luxury items and funerary objects — dating from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman period.

Ra Wins Westminster God Show

NEW YORK—Commending his healthy frame, impeccable lineage, and ability to form light and order from the primordial chaos, judges announced Thursday that Egyptian deity Ra has taken top honors at the 141st annual Westminster God Show.

Roman temple remains discovered in Aswan by Egyptian archaeologists

During the field school organised by the Ministry of Antiquities at the site of Kom Rasras in Kom Ombo,Aswan, a group of archaeologists discovered the remains of a sandstone Roman temple according to Dr. Ayman Ashmawy (Head of Egyptian Antiquities sector).

Egyptian 'SCREAMING Mummy' has HORRIFYING explanation
EGYPTIAN MUSEUM OF ANTIQUITIESEgyptian Museum of Antiquities

Experts studying the so-called "Screaming Mummy" have long tried to solve the mystery of the terrifying remains.

Now they believe that he was either buried alive or poisoned.

When the body was first dug up from their Deir El Bahri valley, near the historic Valley of The Kings, archaeologists were stunned to see the mummified face distorted in a silent scream.

Picture of the Week: Abu Symbel 1900

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ancient Egypt February 12


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, today’s post takes a look behind the scenes, delving into the archives to tell the story of an unlikely couple, whose tireless work shaped Manchester Museum’s Egyptology collection, and proving that you can find love in the most unexpected places … and that sometimes, opposites really do attract!

Egyptian ibis mummy holds clues to crooks behind ancient clothing caper

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna has discovered an ancient Egyptian scroll hidden inside a vessel containing a mummified ibis. In the lengthy text, which are business notes, the scribe names three men he accuses of theft. It dates from around 1100BC.

Janet May Buchanan Scotland's forgotten heroine of Egyptology
Cover of the catalogue put together by Janet May Buchanan, 1912. ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Women in Victorian and Edwardian times made a considerable contribution to British Egyptology. The accolades and academic positions, however, were dominated by men. It was a time when female emancipation was the largest domestic issue in Britain and the politics of most Egyptologists in Britain still mirrored the anti-suffrage views of the majority of contemporary society. Although the contributions to the subject by a few women of this period have received the credit they rightfully deserve, most still remain unsung heroines.

All You Need Is Love: Modern Themes in Ancient Egyptian Love Poems
The site of Deir el-Medina; its unusual location has led to a very good rate of preservation(photograph by Kingtut, distributed under a CC A-SA 3.0 license).

It is easy to get distracted by the largest and most obvious material from ancient Egypt – vast tombs, colossal statues and beautiful jewellery. This can lead to a disconnect in our understanding of what ancient Egyptian life was really like – how ‘normal’ people felt, behaved, and acted. One of the ways that scholars try to connect with ancient Egypt at a personal, individual level is through the translation and understanding of literature written by ancient Egyptians themselves; and on Valentine’s Day, what better way is there to do that than to read some ancient Egyptian love poetry?

Edwardian aristocrats went to Egypt hoping for glamour — but they got dysentery instead
The Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, 1910 CREDIT: BUYENLARGE 
Was Egypt the first place ever to have been mourned by the seasoned traveller as “ruined”? At the close of the 1900s, a leisured clergyman and Oxford Professor of Assyriology called the Rev Archibald Sayce, who had spent the previous 18 winters cruising the Nile, sold his beloved “dahabiya” – a kind of houseboat, later incarnations of which will be familiar from Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile – and left Egypt, as “life on the Nile had ceased to be the ideal existence it once was... The smoke of the steamer [had usurped] the sights and scents of the fields”.

Artistic Licence: I was here… in Ancient Egypt
Hieroglyphic graffito of the scribe Ashakhet in the Ptah temple at Karnak. Photograph: CNRS-CFEETK/Pauline Batard

Names, dates, bad jokes, life advice: we find graffiti almost everywhere in modern life.

But not many people realise that scrawling on walls isn’t anything new. At least three thousand years ago, in the dusty heat of Ancient Egyptian temples, people did the very same thing.

Pyramids of the Kingdom of Kush – Map

Image Credit : Valerian Guillo

The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient African kingdom located in Nubia, a region along the Nile rivers encompassing the areas between what is today central Sudan and southern Egypt.

The region was home to three periods of Kushite development through antiquity. The first had its capital based at Kerma (2600–1520 BCE) which was Nubia’s first centralised state with an indigenous form of architecture and burial customs.

Newly discovered buildings reveal clues to ancient Egyptian dynasties (video)

Photo by

G. Marouard

The archaeological excavation of an ancient Egyptian city at Tell Edfu in southern Egypt, led by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, has discovered well-preserved settlement remains dating to an important turning point in ancient Egyptian history, when the pharaohs began to renew interest in the provincial regions in the far south of their kingdom.

For more on this story, see: Ancient Egyptian beer-making facilities found by archaeologists (video).

Scans to shed light on identity of mummified Egyptian baby on display at Maidstone Museum

Scans are to shed more light on the identity of a mummified Egyptian baby – one of the youngest ever discovered – which for centuries was believed to be the remains of a bird.

The rare relic, part of the collection at Maidstone Museum, underwent more tests after it was found to be the body of a miscarried foetus, and not a 2,300-year-old hawk as originally thought.

Picture of the Week

A picture showing some workers weaving linen from the Egyptian Textile Museum.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ancient Egypt February 5

Tomb of 5th Dynasty top official Hetpet discovered near Pyramid of Khafre on Giza Plateau

After almost 109 years of searching, the tomb of Hathor’s priest Hetpet has been uncovered.

“It is the first discovery to be announced in 2018,” said Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany at a press conference held at the step of Hetpet’s tomb in Giza's western cemetery.

An update, Egypt uncovered 4500 years old tomb of a female high official, includes more stunning photos.

BBC's Egypt unveils 4,400-year-old tomb of ancient priestess provides a video.

ART Museum exhibit probes Egyptian culture
Florence Scott Libbey (1863-1938) on a camel in Egypt in 1906. She traveled with her husband, Edward Drummond Libbey, the founder of Libbey Glass Company and the Toledo Museum of Art.

A fascination with ancient Egyptian culture took Toledo Museum of Art founders Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey on travels to Egypt three times: in 1906, 1922, and in 1924.

During their travels, they stayed with other wealthy tourists at the popular Shepheard’s Hotel in downtown Cairo, and purchased antiquities and objects of curiosity from nearby antiques dealer Ralph Blanchard to bring back to northwest Ohio and their newly founded museum.

Mansourasaurus - A story from the land of Pharaoh and Dinosaurs
Mansourasaurus shahinae from the Late Cretaceous of the Dakhla Oasis, Egypt.

The story of the Mansourasaurus discovery began in December of 2013, when I received an invitation to give a talk about vertebrate paleontology at New Valley University in Kharga Oasis in southern Egypt.

Statues of pharoahs at Karnak, dating from the Middle Kingdom
Before the bling of Tutankhamun
The overlooked period known as the Middle Kingdom was really Ancient Egypt’s golden age, says John Romer.

If you read the first volume of John Romer’s A History of Egypt, which traces events along the Nile from prehistory to the pyramid age, you will understand why he thinks Egyptology is not a science. It is hard, perhaps impossible, to be exact about anything when most of your knowledge is based on deduction and when new discoveries can overturn accepted theories.

You Gotta Believe

Directed animated etc. by Nina Paley
Music: "You Gotta Believe" (Norman Whitfield) sung by the Pointer Sisters, circa 1976

Scene for feature-film-in-progress Seder-Masochism
Free goddess gifs at

You Gotta Believe from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Egyptian Religious Calendar-February 2018

Egyptian Religious Calendar: the major festivals for February 2018 according to the Religious Calendar of Ancient Egypt. All the informations concerning the festivals are from the book "Egyptian Religious Calendar: CDXVIII-CDXIX Great Year of Ra (2018CE)" by L. Tripani:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ancient Egypt January 29

The Top 10 Secrets of The Temple of Dendur at NYC’s Met Museum
Reconstruction of Temple of Dendur’s possible paint. Image via Met Museum.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its many secrets, houses a wonderful collection of works that date back to ancient times through the Renaissance. Most notably though, the museum is home to a bona fide Egyptian temple!

The Temple of Dendur, as it’s called, is completely open to the public, which means visitors can walk through its doors and hallways, experiencing the temple as it was originally used. Here are 10 of our favorite fun facts about the structure.

Opera Aida Is Coming To The Pyramids But It’ll Literally Cost You A Fortune

Opera Aida is set to be performed in Egypt alongside at Pyramids of Giza stage on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of March. The show is welcoming an audience of 1500 people; this will be the second time it’s played outside the Opera House, the first being played at the Karnak Temple in Luxor in 1987. The audience should expect an entirely different setting and design than any other!


"This comic is easily the best retelling of an ancient Egyptian story I've ever seen."

--T.G. Wilfong, Professor of Egyptology, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan
Drawing on one of the earliest literary travel accounts known to man, travel writer Rolf Potts and illustrator Cedar Van Tassel recreate the comic tale of Wenamun, an ancient Egyptian priest whose overseas voyage in search of Lebanese timber resulted in an ongoing series of fiascos.

Unearthing Hatshepsut, Egypt's Most Powerful Female Pharaoh
Lepsius 1843–45. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1929 

Before the British scholar Terence Gray adopted the name Wei Wu Wei and began his studies in Taoism, he was a budding Egyptologist with an iconoclastic streak. In 1920, seemingly tired of history as it had hitherto been written, he published a biographic study of the Egyptian queen and pharaoh Hatshepsut written not as a dry academic tract, but as a drama.

Nefertiti was no pharaoh, says renowned Egyptologist
The bust of Nefertiti from the Ägyptisches Museum Berlin collection, presently in the Neues Museum.

Contrary to popular opinion, one of the most famous women in ancient history did not rule Egypt, according to a new book.

Dr. Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist from The University of Manchester, says Queen Nefertiti was just one of a series of powerful queens who played an influential role in Egyptian history.

It was, argues Dr. Tyldesley, the beauty of her famous limestone and plaster sculpture—reportedly Hitler's favourite piece of ancient art—which propelled her into the public spotlight after it was put on public display in 1923.

Top Facts about King Ay
Ay receiving the Gold of Honor – Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Several secrets around Ancient Egypt and its rulers have not yet been revealed; the magical Egyptian deserts still carry a lot underneath their sands.

Ministry of Antiquities announced that famous Egyptologist, author and former Minister of Antiquties Zahi Hawas will lead an archaeological mission to begin new excavation works at Valley of the Monkeys, located at Valley of the Kings, according to a statement released on the Ministry of Antiquities official Facebook page.

How climate change and population growth threaten Egypt’s ancient treasures
Roger Anis for UN Environment

In his 40-something years as an archaeological excavator on Luxor’s West Bank, Mustafa Al-Nubi has witnessed a flurry of changes.

Tourist numbers have surged, fallen, and then slowly grown again. Local villages have exploded in size. Even the landscape has undergone a radical transformation, as Egyptologists slowly pick their way through the vast Theban Necropolis. “It’s like one big museum now,” Nubi says. “My grandfather would not recognize his own house.”

Researchers use non-visible imaging approach to reveal climate change and population growth threaten Egypt’s ancient treasures

An international team lead by University College London (UCL) researchers has developed a non-destructive multimodal imaging technique that utilizes multispectral imaging and a range of other imaging methods to reveal text from ancient Egyptian mummy cases for research and analysis.

Hidden Ancient Egyptian Paintings Revealed Thanks To New Digital Imaging Tool

Scientists have used a new imaging technique to re-examine Egyptian art and find details that were previously missing.

Linda Evans and Anna-Latifa Mourad from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia describe in their paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science how they used a technique called DStretch to analyze the ancient paintings. These paintings were found at Beni Hassan, an ancient Egyptian cemetery that’s located near to the city of Minya in modern Egypt.

The Earliest Music in Ancient Egypt video

This video supplements Heidi Köpp-Junk's article, "The Earliest Music in Ancient Egypt," featured in The Ancient Near East Today. Visit to read the article.

Ancient Egyptian Humor Video

Horrible Histories - Egyptian Gods and The Devourer - YouTube from Ellen Warburton on Vimeo.

Pictures of the Week

Moving the statue of Ramses II to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ancient Egypt January 22

New move for Ramses
Statue of Ramses II uncovered in Memphis by Joseph Hekekyan, 1852-1854 (Photo: Jean Pascal Sebah)

The relocation of the colossal statue of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II from Ramses Square in downtown Cairo to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau received worldwide media coverage in 2006.

The red granite statue is to move again at the end of this month, when it starts its last journey to the permanent display area on the Grand Staircase at the entrance to the GEM. The move will be carried out by the Arab Contractors Company that was responsible for the previous move in 2006.

Egypt From Above Like You’ve Never Seen Before

One way of enjoying Egypt’s heritage and ancient history is to visit tourist attractions, national museums and local cities. But there is always another way of looking at things, that’s why Egyptian Streets brings you a set of photos revealing Egypt’s most fascinating landscapes from an eagle eye perspective.

Restoring Isis Temple

At the border where lush farmland meets arid desert on Luxor’s West Bank is the Early Roman Isis Temple at Deir el-Shelwit. Constructed in the first century, the temple is a fascinating fusion of cultures, a Roman temple dedicated to the cult of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, who was worshipped for her ability to heal. Unassuming and unfinished, the small square temple contains four chapels, a central chamber (Naos), an antechamber (Pronaos) and a short staircase leading to a rooftop terrace.

DNA confirms the Two Brothers’ relationship

Using ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing, scientists at the University of Manchester have confirmed a long-held supposition that the famous ‘Two Brothers’ of the Manchester Museum have a shared mother but different fathers – so are, in fact, half-brothers. This is the first in a series of blog posts presenting the DNA results, and discussing the interpretation and display of the Brothers in Manchester.  For more info: DNA solves the mystery of how these mummies were related

Archaeologists Begin Search for Tomb of King Tut's Wife
Credit: Magica/Alamy

Excavations have begun in an area of the Valley of the Kings where the tomb of Tutankhamun's wife may be located, archaeologist Zahi Hawass announced today (Jan. 16).

Archaeologists are digging in a spot called the West Valley, or the Valley of the Monkeys, near the tomb of the pharaoh Ay (reign: 1327 to 1323 B.C.), the successor to King Tut (reign: 1336 to 1327 B.C.). Though a few royal tombs have been found in the West Valley, the bulk of them have turned up in the East Valley of the Valley of the Kings.

See also Valley of the Monkeys Excavations

Historical door at Giza Pyramids stolen

A theft was carried out at the Giza Pyramids’ cemetery of builders, which was opened for visitors in November for the first time since its discovery in 1990 by Egyptian archaeologist and former Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass.

How well does Assassin's Creed Origins capture history? We asked an Egyptologist

Egyptologist Jose Manuel Galan fell in love with the Ancient Egyptians by reading the fiction they wrote. Originally written on papyrus 4,000 years ago and translated into English for modern eyes, these stories of ancient deities awoke something inside the professor, leading him down a lifetime of study of the ancient civilisation, - particularly their daily lives, and the events we can piece together from the traces they left behind.

Egypt’s Great Pyramid houses a secret throne
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

A REAL-life "Iron Throne" carved from the core of a meteorite could be hidden inside the Great Pyramid, an expert claims.

Professor Giulio Magli of Milan Polytechnic believes the throne of the pharaoh Khufu is concealed in a secret chamber deep within the Ancient Wonder.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have used meteoritic iron in artifacts such as King Tut’s dagger, which was unearthed by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

Hetepheres I: King Sneferu’s wife and King Khufu’s mother
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Queen Hetepheres was the daughter of the Third Dynasty’s last king, King Huni. She was a legal heir to the throne and carried royal blood. However, her husband, King Sneferu, became the new ruler of Egypt, according to researcher and author Ismail Hamed’s book “Most Celebrated Queen in Ancient Egypt”. With King Snefreu’s declaration as a new king of Egypt, a new ruling dynasty was in place: the Fourth Dynasty.

Picture of the week

Seen here is a practice writing board from the First Intermediate Period. Scribes in training could use boards like these to practice their writing. When done with a text, they could wash off the ink or scrape the board clean and add a thin layer of whitewash to make it like new. This writing board is now in the @metmuseum (28.9.5)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Ancient Egypt January 15

Ancient mining ops buildings found in Egypt — ministry
(AFP photo)

The ruins of two buildings used to supervise mines in ancient Egypt more than 4,400 years ago have been discovered in the south, the antiquities ministry said on Thursday.

The find was made by a US-Egyptian mission in the Tal Edfu area north of the city of Aswan.

Ramses II stelae uncovered at San Al-Hagar site

San Al-Hagar is a very distinguished archaeological site houses a vast collection of temples, among them temples dedicated to the goddess Mut, god Horus and god Amun.

During work carried out at San Al-Hagar archaeological site in Sharqiya governorate with a view to develop the site into an open-air museum, archaeologists stumbled upon a stelae of 19th Dynasty King Ramses II.

AUC Bookstore Opens in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press) recently opened a bookstore in The Egyptian Museum, as part of the Egyptian Heritage Exhibition, marking the 115th anniversary of the Museum. “AUC Press and Bookstores regularly take part in events and book fairs but this is a unique and excellent initiative by the Ministry of Antiquities,” said Nigel-Fletcher Jones, director of AUC Press and Bookstores. “Many visitors to Cairo are here on a short, almost whistle stop tour, so this may be one of a few rare moments when they are able to see the huge range of high quality books AUC Press has to offer.”

Will the Tanis Collection replace King Tut’s in the Tahrir Museum?
Note: I was looking for the mask to which they refer, but there are apparently several gold masks in the Tanis Collection. I chose the mask of Funeral mask of Psusennes 1 1, around 994 BCE. 48 cm high. Room 2, 1st Floor from this page.
“The Egyptian Musem in Tahrir will not die, it will continue to receive visitors all year round,” stated Khaled el-Enani, Minister of State for Antiquities, proudly, on more than one occasion. Even now that King Tutankhamun, hereafter referred to as Tut, has been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir still has the Yuya and Tjuyu collection, in addition to the Tanis gold collection which includes a gold mask that could potentially replace King Tut’s mask in the exhibition.

The Victorian female collectors captivated by Ancient Egypt
Thomas Rowlandson Modern Antiquities (hand coloured engraving, c. 1800). Nelson and Lady Hamilton canoodle in an Egyptian coffin, hungrily watched by her antiquarian husband Sir William Hamilton.

In Victorian Britain’s overwhelmingly masculine society, intelligent, driven and often moneyed women were obliged to restrict their energies to acceptable “feminine” activities; like travelling, writing, fund-raising – and amassing impressive collections of Egyptian antiquities.

The results of this male-sanctioned pursuit are said to have greatly helped to establish British Egyptology and boosted the Victorian interest in all things Pharaonic.

Fragment of Black granite statue of King Amenhotep III discovered in Sohag parking lot

The Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of an artifact in a parking lot in Akhmim, Sohag governorate, during a drilling operation to develop the site.

The Walmart Book of the Dead

As for who reads this book
And who follows its spells
I know your name
You will not die after your death
In Walmart
You will not perish forever
For I know your name

So begins this darkly comic incantation on the gods and scourges of the 21st century. The Walmart Book of the Dead was inspired by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, funerary texts with accompanying illustrations containing spells to preserve the spirit of the deceased in the afterlife. In Lucy Biederman’s version, shoplifters, grifters, drifters, and hustlers, desirous children, greeters, would-be Marxists, wolves, and circuit court judges, wander Walmart unknowingly consigned to their afterlives.

“This BOOK is for the dark hours, the seam that ties the end of the evening to sunrise, when the bad, wrong things people do in and around Walmart are a hospital infection, red Rit dye in a load of whites, a gun in a classroom: by the time the problem is identified, it’s already ruined everything.”

 So, of course, you'll want to read ‘The Walmart Book of the Dead’‘The Walmart Book of the Dead’ review.