Monday, December 21, 2015

Ancient Egypt this week: Egyptology in 2015

The Book of the Dead of Padiusir

For the first time in its history, Manchester Museum is currently displaying (sections of) a copy of the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’.  Despite the negativity implicit in its modern title, the ‘Book of the Dead’ is, in fact, an extremely optimistic document.

Egyptology in 2015

As the year 2015 comes to a close it is time to take a brief look back at the events of the past year in the world of Egyptology. It has been a busy year for researchers of her ancient culture as the past reveals itself in a myriad of excavations from Aswan to Alexandria. The year has also produced large amounts of stolen artifacts from illegal excavations over the years that have been smuggled abroad, and now are being repatriated back to Egypt.


In this episode of the podcast I am joined by fellow UCLA Egyptologists Kara Cooney and Emily. With plenty of wine and whiskey in our systems, we discuss the Great Pyramid and the lost tomb of Nefertiti. Along the way we take some detours and discuss Zahi, made for TV archaeology, terrorism, and the field of Egyptology. If you ever wondered what academics are really like behind closed doors, this is your chance to find out!

History Buff  interview with Tears of Re author

Recently, we spoke with one such bridge-builder, entomologist Gene Kritsky, about his new book The Tears of Re: Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt (published by Oxford University Press), as well as his experiences using science to answer historical questions, and history to answer scientific ones. We’re still a little skittish about bees, but we’re infinitely more optimistic about the future of collaboration between scientists and historians.

Smuggled Ancient Wall Carving Returned to Egypt

A 2-foot-long wall carving featuring the pharaoh Seti I is back in Egypt after being repatriated from the United Kingdom, the Egyptian minister of antiquities announced Monday (Dec. 14).

Servants for the Afterlife
This is a non-commercial site about the old-Egyptian statuettes known as shabtis or ushabtis *).
For a dazzling two-thousand years, prosperous Egyptians took shabtis with them in their tombs. Firstly, as possible replacement for the mummies in case they should decay or perish, and secondly as servants or slaves to serve them in the Hereafter. Their task was to relieve their owner of any form of labour, such as farming.

King Tut’s mask back on display after beard glued on

Piece of famed artifact was broken off by workers, but restored using an ancient Egyptian fix: beeswax

A new discovery in the Golden Mask of King Tut
A huge press conference was held yesterday at the Egyptian Museum to announce the results of the restoration process of King Tutankhamun' s famous Mask. Antiquities Minister Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty who is also the head of the scientific team responsible for restoring the Mask after a false restoration last August declared that the Mask will be on display starting from today 17-12-2015 in its original place in the Museum.
The restoration process revealed, added Eldamaty, a new archaeological discovery related to the original technique used in manufacturing the Mask; a gold tube was found inside the royal beard that was used to install it in the Mask. Another secret was also revealed; the original material used to fix the royal beard into the mask was the beeswax, the same material used in this process.
Eldamaty also added that a scientific study is being prepared now and a book will be published soon tackling the whole restoration process and the detailed scientific studies related to the Golden Pharaoh's masterpiece.
In his presentation, professor Christian Ekmann, head of the scientific German team has displayed the mechanical technique used in removing the resin used in the false restoration saying that wooden tools were used in order not to scratch the gold mask. He also emphasized that no chemical solvents were used to remove the "epoxy" and separate the royal beard from the Mask. Then the beard was refastened using beeswax, the same material used by ancient Egyptians, so that it will be easy to remove in the future.

Picture of the week

Isis beseeching the sun god Ra  on behalf of Osiris by  illustrator Donn P. Crane, 1878-1944.

Egyptian Egypt Medication

See the rest of the storyboard here.