Monday, July 9, 2018

Ancient Egypt July 9 2018

Archaeologist Howard Carter: How Persistence Led Him To King Tut's Tomb

Even Indiana Jones would probably have given up.

Howard Carter and his team dug through hundreds of boulders in Egypt's Valley of the Kings for about five arduous years, looking for the lost tomb of Tutankhamun. His research told him the tomb was there. But no one — not even he — could find it thousands of years after the child king's death. Carter's once enthusiastic financial backer was losing patience.

The Gold of the Pharaohs: Massive Egyptian exhibition in Monaco 

The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition” kicked off in Monaco on Friday, showcasing 149 ancient masterpieces from the Egyptian Museum. The huge, unique event is hosted by The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, between July 7 and September 9, under the auspices of Prince Albert II and the Egyptian government.

After a century in the limelight, ancient Egyptian sphinx going back into hiding

After this weekend, it will be years before visitors to the Penn Museum in Philadelphia will be able to see its ancient sphinx.

The Lower Egyptian gallery of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania is about to undergo extensive renovations, expected to last several years.

Egypt puts relics recovered from smugglers in Italy on display
REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The relics date to different eras, suggesting that the smugglers were well organized, according to museum curator Ahmed Samir.

“They researched Egypt from north to south to extract these artifacts. Thank God they were returned to their country,” he said.

Discovering King Tutankhamun's tomb: Harry Burton's photographs
Tape is used to mask the paintbrush holding the head upright C.RIGGS/METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

A new exhibition reappraises the work of Harry Burton, who photographed the decade-long Tutankhamun excavation. The collection is a striking record of a groundbreaking moment in our study of the past.

It was one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century.

But what was it like to first point a lens into the 3,000-year-old tomb of King Tutankhamun?

Two 4,500 Year-old Homes Found Near Giza Pyramids
Credit: Copyright 2016 by Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Archaeologists have discovered two ancient homes near the Giza pyramids in Egypt. The structures may have housed officials responsible for overseeing the production of food for a paramilitary force more than 4,500 years ago.

Mystery of Alexandria's largest coffin 

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered what’s thought to be the largest granite sarcophagus ever found in Alexandria, measuring nearly nine feet long.

The massive stone casket was buried more than 16 feet beneath the surface alongside a huge alabaster head – likely belonging to the man who owned the tomb.

Experts say the ancient coffin has remained untouched since its burial thousands of years ago during the Ptolemaic period.

1st Chinese archaeological mission in Egypt to commence in Sept
Archaeologists work on mummies found in the New Kingdom tomb in Luxor, Egypt, on Sep. 9, 2017. (AP photo)

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany said in a recent interview with Xinhua that the first-ever Chinese archaeological mission in Egypt will start working this September.

"The Chinese mission has completed all the procedures to work in Egypt ... their work will start in September in Upper Egypt's city of Luxor," al-Anany told Xinhua.

He added that the mission has chosen Luxor as it is rich in many uncovered ancient Egyptian antiquities.

The Latest Discoveries in Egyptology (May-June 2018)

Every few months, the Nile Scribes bring you summaries of the latest news and discoveries in Egyptology, both from the field and the lab. We’ll introduce you to the newest archaeological finds or recently undusted manuscripts being rediscovered in museum collections, plus other new theories stirring in the Egyptological Zeitgeist. In this edition, Graeco-Roman buildings were discovered in the Nile Delta and Siwa Oasis, new texts were revealed by the Sinai Palimpsest Project using multi-spectral imaging, and a beautiful set of Twenty-Sixth Dynasty canopic jars were excavated at the South Asasif in Luxor.

Horus – One Of The Most Important Ancient Egyptian Gods And Symbol Of Rulership and Justice

Horus was worshipped in different forms throughout Egypt from the predynastic period before Egypt was united under one ruler until Roman times. The pharaohs of Egypt took a Horus name to symbolize that they were the living embodiment of this god.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Ancient Egypt July 2

Egypt's smuggled treasures to Italy return home - General Prosecutor

Egypt has received 118 smuggled ancient Egyptian artifacts to Italy on Friday, Egyptian General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek stated Saturday.

The statement of the General Prosecutor affirmed that authorities of Cairo International Airport received the artifacts returning from Italy on late Friday.

Would You Like to Tour the Tomb of Nefertari? Grab Your VR Headset and Explore!

Have you ever wished you could be guided through a beautifully preserved ancient Egyptian tomb? This is a dream for many people, however advances in virtual reality (VR) can help you get one giant step closer to the real experience. QV 66, the marvelous tomb of Queen Nefertari, has just recently been brought to VR life in stunning detail – providing you with a personal tour of the famous tomb from your own home.

Reviving buried Ancient Egyptian art, design

Shaimaa Kamal’s the wood-painted gold wing sofa was presented in May 2018 with other pieces from pharaonic furniture line in the great Luxor Temple where she got her inspiration, as a part of Cairo Bank’s advertisement in this year’s Ramadan-Shosha Kamal Design House’ official Facebook page

Reinterpreting Phharaonic icons into contemporary designs, designer Shaimaa Kamal, who won the International Product Design Award in 2016 thanks to the glory of Pharaonic design, has succeeded to revive the buried Ancient Egyptian art and attract the world’s attention to Egypt’s great heritage of design.

These Skeletons from an Ancient Egypt Cemetery Were Riddled with Cancer
An ancient Egyptian woman in her 20s suffered from cancer that had spread to her skull. She may have had the HPV virus, researchers believe. Credit: Image courtesy El Molto

Archaeologists have uncovered six cases of cancer while studying the bodies of ancient Egyptians who were buried long ago in the Dakhleh Oasis. The finds include a toddler with leukemia, a mummified man in his 50s with rectal cancer and individuals with cancer possibly caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

26th Dynasty canopic jars discovered at Luxor's South Asasif necropolis

Excavators at a tomb in Luxor have found four canopic jars from the 26th Dynasty, dedicated to “the lady of the house Amenirdis.”

The discovery was made by an Egyptian-American mission led by Elena Pischikova and Fathy Yassin during conservation work carried out by the South Assasif Conservation Project in the Kushite tomb of Karabasken, a priest.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 25

See you later, sphinx
Visitors to the Penn Museum explore the Egypt Gallery and its centerpiece, the Sphinx of Rameses II, the sixth-largest granite sphinx in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Photo by Lauren Hansen-Flaschen. 

The colossal stone creature will be going under wraps for conservation at the Penn Museum.

For the first time in 105 years, the Penn Museum’s sphinx will be taken out of public view for an extended period of time. Starting on July 9, the colossal stone creature will be under wraps for an estimated four to six years while artifacts in the Egypt galleries undergo conservation and the spaces undergo a major renovation.

From the Pharaohs to Cleopatra and Julius Caesar: how Egypt influenced Greece and RomeUnknown artist. Antinous as Osiris, about 130. Roman, marble. (Musee du Louvre/RMN-Grand Palais/Daniel Lebee/Carine Deambrosis/Art Resource)

Big, needlelike sculptures, based on Egyptian prototypes, are dotted all over America. The most famous, obviously, is the Washington Monument. Another, in Boston, commemorates the battle of Bunker Hill. There’s even an authentic, 3,000-year-old Egyptian one in New York’s Central Park, known as “Cleopatra’s Needle.”

Solstice at Karnak Temple’s Western Gate  
The sight of the sun falling perpendicular on the temple of Amoun Ra’ in Luxor - Archive

he sun will set from the western gate of the Karnak Temple on June 21, which marks the rare astronomical phenomenon of summer solstice.

Ahmed Abdelkader, a researcher specialized in astronomical tourism, told MENA that sun rays will disappear gradually from the temple’s complex starting 6 p.m.until the Holy of Holies is darkened.

Paul McCartney's 'Egypt Station': What Is It?

Paul McCartney’s upcoming project is titled “Egypt Station,” he’s finally made clear – but fans continue to speculate on what form it might take.

While the Beatles icon had previously said he was planning to release an album in 2018 – and last week unveiled a new track, "Come On to Me," in concert that presumably appears on it – he hasn’t yet said whether that’s what “Egypt Station” is.

Down the Nile, into the Mediterranean
“Hippopotamus” (2nd century), artist unknown. Roman. Rosso antico. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo by Ole Haupt

Because of its scope and depth, it’s best to have an initial understanding of what “Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World” has set out to achieve. “The overarching goal of this exhibition,” notes Jeffrey Spier, “is for visitors to understand Egypt, Greece, and Rome not as monolithic, separate entities but as cultures that shared and exchanged aspects of their religion, artistic traditions, languages, and customs in an evolving milieu.”

Death of the Firstborn Egyptians

Death of the Firstborn Egyptians from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 18

Top 5 Ancient Egypt Books for Kids

Many of us have been reading books about antiquity since our youngest days and if we were lucky enough to learn about ancient Egypt in elementary school, our fascination for ancient cultures blossomed at an early age. In this blog, the Nile Scribes have chosen our six favourite books which are perfectly suited to teach the youngest of readers about the world of ancient Egypt, and might even inspire some of them to be Egyptologists someday.

Museum displays parity of women in ancient Egypt

Like many a bumbling tourist, this traveler was perplexed by the unexpected. People dressed differently, ate differently, wrote differently, did everything differently. The river flowed not from north to south but from south to north.

But what was most perplexing to the fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus when he visited Egypt was the role of women. "Women attend market and are employed in trade, while men stay at home and do the weaving," he wrote.

The Egyptians, he concluded, "in their manners and customs seem to have reversed the ordinary practices of mankind."

Newsmax TV Takes a 'Journey Through the Valley of the Kings' in Ancient Egypt

Take an unforgettable journey through the burial grounds of the ancient world's most powerful rulers — the pharaohs of Egypt — as Newsmax TV presents a powerful new documentary, “Journey Through the Valley of the Kings.”

In this powerful TV event, you’ll go on an astonishingly realistic tour of the fabled “Valley of the Kings.” And while King Tutankhamun's tomb may be considered the most famous resting place in the world, the treasures that lay with him pale in comparison to those once buried with the greatest pharaohs in the valley.


Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered several pieces of ancient rock art from more than 3,000 years ago, according to a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Antiquities.

A joint American-Egyptian research team led by John Coleman Darnell from Yale University discovered the works at an ancient site in Egypt’s Eastern Desert—part of the Sahara that lies east of the Nile River—which was used as a quarry and a place for manufacturing flint in ancient times.

Renovation of discovered head of Ramses II completed
Newly discovered parts of the statue of Ramses II in the Temple of KomOmbo, Aswan – Photo courtesy of Ministry of Antiquities’ official statement.

Renovation of the discovered head of Ramses II statuein the Temple of Kom Ombo was completed, according to Ahmed Sayed, general manager of Kom Ombo antiquities sector.

Sayed said that the head was put in the museum's store of the temple to undergo some necessary studies.

Jersey’s lost Egyptian treasure

Among the pioneering Egyptologists searching for the tombs of the pharaohs in the 19th century was a little-known man of Jersey origin whose family would later make a sensational gift to the Island.

John Gosset appears in the pages of a diary written by Edward Lane, acknowledged as one of the first group of modern Europeans to seriously investigate the archaeological remains of the great Egyptian dynasties now so familiar to us.

Add caption
New logo design for Grand Egyptian Museum creates controversy

Some thought the design simple and elegant, whilst others thought it bore little relation to Egyptian culture.

The newly released logo design for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) has resulted in controversy among archaeologists, artists and architects.

Egyptologist Kara Cooney Melds Scholarship and Popular History

This may be L.A.'s Year of King Tut, but the ongoing exhibition at the California Science Center shouldn't suggest the boy king is the only Egyptological celebrity in town. For nearly a decade, professor Kara Cooney has educated students — and the public at large — in the ancient ways of the land of the pharaohs. She's UCLA's Nefertiti of Near Eastern studies, and she's as statuesque as some of the granite likenesses she's studied in the field.

Moses Goes Down to Egypt by artist Nina Paley

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 11

Can Egypt’s superheroes stop corruption?
Characters from the El3osba comic book series include (L-R) Walhan, Microbusgy, Alpha, Horus, Mariam and Kaf.

Horus, the god of the sky in Egyptian mythology, has risen to fight corruption. He is accompanied by Mariam, who is a female doctor with the superpower to heal, and Microbusgy, a minibus driver who can control fire and dust.

How this ancient African town in Egypt became the world’s first planned city
Sir Flinders Petrie — Ancient Pages

Kahun, the first ancient Egyptian town that was excavated, was not like other towns at the time as it was not meant for the general population or ordinary activities.

It was basically a temporary site for workers who were building the Al-Lahun pyramid.

Abandoned right after work was done, Kahun was built during the reign of King Senusret.

In the late 19th century, Sir Flinders Petrie, a British archaeologist, first excavated Kahun, where he found many working tools like chisels, knives, fishing nets, hoes, rakes, mallets, and flints, emphasizing the fact that the area had served as a workers’ village.

Andrew Carnegie and Pittsburgh’s Ancient Egypt Collection
Egypt Hall entrance at Carnegie Museum of Natural History; credit CMNH

Known as the ‘Steel City’, Pittsburgh is a bustling metropolis in western Pennsylvania and is well-known for its long-time connections to Andrew Carnegie. An immigrant from Scotland who moved to the United States at the age of 13, Carnegie’s family settled in the area around Allegheny. Carnegie would go on to become a wealthy steel tycoon and devoted the later parts of his life to philanthropy, something for which he is well-known. Several institutions around Pittsburgh owe their existence to him: among them the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In this week’s post, the Nile Scribes introduce you to the Carnegie’s Egyptian collection.

What Is It With Egypt? Ancient Egypt-themed Slots Making a Comeback

The mysterious world of ancient Egypt has always been an inspiration for the entertainment industry in all of its forms so it comes as a little surprise that the online gambling industry jumped on the band wagon, producing many Egypt-themed slots over the years. And, while we had a break of sorts for a brief period, it seems that casino games based on the myths and history of ancient Egypt are back in a full swing once again.

Dozens of Mysterious ‘Reserve Heads’ Were Sealed in Ancient Egyptian Tombs
Left to right: Possible brother of Snefrusonb, unknown male, unknown head, Prince Sneferu-seneb, Princess Meritites. PUBLIC DOMAIN

IN 1894, THE FRENCH ARCHAEOLOGIST Jacques de Morgan made a perplexing discovery in the royal necropolis of Dashur. In a tomb dating around the reign of Snefru (beginning 2613 B.C.) during Egypt’s fourth dynasty, he found an odd sculpture of a human head. This object, known as a reserve head, has puzzled and inspired scholars for over a century.

The Process of Papyrus to Papers in Ancient Egypt

The papyrus plant was of tremendous importance within the ancient Egyptian civilization. The plant served many uses, but the most significant was its development as a source of raw materials for the production of paper. The ancient Egyptians developed a process for the harvesting, manufacture, use and storage of this valuable material.

Ancient Egyptian Footwear at the Bata Shoe Museum
The sole of a mummy case with a bound Syrian and Nubian (Obj no. 2327/1 – Provenance unknown) (Photo: Malek, 4,000 Years, 348)

As you make your way north on St. George Street in downtown Toronto towards the similarly named subway station, you may notice a building shaped like a shoebox. The Bata Shoe Museum is dedicated to the cultural and creative uses of shoes throughout the world: from heels and seal fur boots to astronaut footwear. Their collection also includes sandals from ancient Egypt. The Nile Scribes visited the museum and explored their special exhibit The Gold Standard: Glittering Footwear from around the World.

Baking Ancient Egyptian Bread

Note: Last week, we had an article on making ancient Egyptian beer, so it's only fair we do bread this week. (Fortunately, this article appeared just in time.)

Bread was a staple in ancient Egyptian diet.  Made from a variety of ingredients, bread loaves of different sizes were made in a variety of shapes, including human figures and animals. They were often elaborately decorated and whole or cracked grain was frequently added, resembling the multi-grain breads baked nowadays. Experiments conducted to solve ‘the mysteries of Egyptian bread pot’ have provided few recipes, and a study carried out by Delwen Samuel has established that ancient Egyptians might have been as good at baking as they were at building pyramids.

Egypt: Old Kingdom

Strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire. Developed with the assistance of Egyptologists.

Video of the Week

Monday, June 4, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 4

Egyptian antiquities uncovered during Sydney house clean-up donated to university

A large collection of Egyptian antiquities uncovered during a clean-up of a Sydney home has been donated to a university archaeological museum. Rosemary Beattie recalls the oddity of being shown what was supposedly a mummified cat during childhood visits to her grandmother's house.

Scientists Thought This Egyptian Mummy Was a Bird. The True Contents Were a Sad Surprise

A tiny, 2,100-year-old mummy from ancient Egypt had long been thought to contain the remains of a treasured bird - which would make sense, considering the hawk-themed decorations and small size.

Mystery of the giant building found in Egypt containing bronze tools, statues, and a commemorative gold coin

Researchers have discovered the ruins of a huge Roman bath at the San El-Hagar archaeological site in Egypt.

Alongside the 52-foot-long red brick structure, archaeologists also unearthed pottery vessels, terracotta statues, bronze tools, a chunk of engraved stone, and a statue of a ram.

The most remarkable artifact, however, is among the smallest.

Massive Buhen fortress still under Nile
Buhen-Fortress | by nubianimage Buhen-Fortress | by nubianimage / flicker

Buhen was a massive fortress located on the west bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia (northern Sudan). The walls of the fortress were made of brick and stone walls, approximately 5 meters (16 ft) thick and about 10 meters (33 ft) high, covering an area of about 13,000 square meters (140,000 sq ft) and extending more than 150 meters (490 ft). It was constructed during the reigns of King Senusret III in the Middle Kingdom era (12th dynasty) to protect Egypt and the commercial ships from rebel Nubians in the south, according to “Ancient Egypt” by David P. Silverman.

A sip of history: ancient Egyptian beer

Painted wooden model of four figures preparing food and beer. From Sidmant, Egypt, 6th Dynasty (c. 2345–2181 BC).

Beer was a result of the Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BC), as fermentation was an accidental by-product of the gathering of wild grain. It’s said that beer was not invented but discovered, yet the manufacturing of beer was an active choice and the ancient Egyptians produced and consumed it in huge volumes.

Not unsurprisingly, beer has made other appearances in this blog. See Bread and Beer and From Beer to Sacred Cat Rugs.

Minecraft Adds New Egyptian Mythology Add-On Pack

Minecraft players now have a new Egyptian Mythology Mash-Up pack to download that adds all kinds of Egyptian-themed textures, new mobs, skins, and much more.

The optional Minecraft add-on was revealed earlier today by Mojang as it became available across all Minecraft platforms. Announcing the release of the add-on in a new post on the game’s site, Mojang’s Per Landin shared more on the add-on and what’s made possible because of it.

Picture of the week

H.M. Herget - from a 1941 issue of National Geographic.

Video of the Week

Monday, May 28, 2018

Ancient Egypt May 28

Agatha Christie: world’s first historical whodunnit was inspired by 4,000 year-old letters

When the ancient Egyptian priest and landowner Heqanakhte wrote a series of rather acerbic letters to his extended family sometime during the 12th Dynasty (1991-1802BC), he could not have known that he was creating the framework around which the British crime writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) would, some 4,000 years later, weave one of the world’s first historical crime novels.

Death Comes as the End (1944) is the only one of Christie’s novels not to be set in the 20th century and not to feature any European characters. The death of a priest’s concubine sets off a series of murders within the family and, as in Christie’s more familiar 20th-century whodunnits, the scene is soon littered with bodies. The book is due to be adapted for the screen by the BBC in 2019.

How did King Tutankhamun become a household name?

Out of all Ancient Egyptians, one Pharaoh remains a well-known figure today. And his continued prominence may be because of an an influential museum exhibition nearly fifty years ago. Treasures of Tutankhamun was an incredibly popular exhibition at the British Museum that promoted King Tut into public consciousness. ABC Overnights speaks to Secretary of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society and Deputy Editor of Ancient Egypt Magazine Sarah Griffiths who saw the exhibition when she was a young girl.

Graduate student unearths ancient Egyptian life stories from burial texts

A UCLA student discovered that ancient Egyptians used material objects to construct their social identities just as people do today.

Marissa Stevens, a graduate student in the department of Near Eastern languages and cultures, studied how ancient Egyptians used funerary papyri to convey social status and personalities by examining social documents buried with the dead. Stevens presented her research May 3 at the final round of the University of California Grad Slam, an annual contest in which UC graduate students present their research in just three minutes.

Collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts seized in Naples, Italy

The artefacts had been stolen from illegal excavation sites in Egypt.

Police in Naples, Italy have seized a number of parcels filled with artefacts from several countries, including ancient Egyptian artefacts.

Tel Al-Amarna Visitors' Centre in Minya to receive upgrade

The Ministry of Antiquities has begun a project to develop the Amarna Visitors' Centre in Minya in partnership with the University of Cambridge's McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

The project is titled Delivering Sustainable Heritage Strategies for Rural Egypt: Community and Archaeology at Tel El-Amarna, and is funded by the Newton-Mosharafa Fund organised by the British Council and the Science and Technology Development Fund, according to Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities at Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.

Skeleton Found At Late Roman Fortress In Egypt Reveals Violent Death

At the Late Roman era fortress of Hisn al-Bab between ancient Egypt and Nubia, archaeologists recovered the skeleton of a young man who met a violent death and who was left exposed where he fell after the fort was destroyed. His remains may hold the key to understanding a previously undocumented battle.

Egypt: Old Kingdom by Clarus Victoria is now available on Steam!

Strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids construction period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire.

Deep historical research and stylized graphics - these two are the main features of Egypt Old Kingdom, the game made by Clarus Victoria Studio in cooperation with egyptologists from CESRAS (Center for Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Science).

The player will lead a small group of Egyptians, who came to the Lower Egypt to found a new settlement. All he has is a minimal stock of food, a handful of people and a few soldiers as a protection from threats and wild animals.

Intriguing Gold Coin and Other Treasures Uncovered in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the remains of a huge, red, brick building — likely the remnants of a Roman bath — as well as a mountain of treasures, including a statue of a ram and a gold coin featuring King Ptolemy III, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Archaeologists discovered previously unknown hieroglyphic inscriptions in Egypt

Polish scientists discovered dozens of previously unknown hieroglyphic inscriptions on the rocks near the temple of Hathor at Gebelein, Southern Egypt. The inscriptions containing prayers to deities had been made by pilgrims or priests, the researchers say.

"The temple scribe Senebiu adores Hathor Lady of Gebelein" - reads one of the inscriptions discovered by a team of Polish scientists working at Gebelein. Like a few dozen others, it was engraved on a rock surface near the 3.5 thousand years old rock-cut chapel of the goddess Hathor.

Video of the week

Picture of the week

New Amenhotep III Statues at Kom El Hitan. Luxor's West Bank.