Monday, January 4, 2016

Demon Star, dusty mummy & mud brick Manhattan

Ancient Egyptian papyrus contains earliest record of 'demon star'

It's 92.25 light-years away, and they still spotted it.

Scientists studying a 3,200 year-old papyrus document from ancient Egypt think they've found the earliest record of the variable star Algol - a three-star system that's some 92.25 light-years away from Earth. It appears that not only could the Egyptians see the star without the aid of a telescope, its cycle influenced their religious calendars.

Mummy Unwrapping Results in a Dusty End

It could be the stuff of horror movies - an Egyptian mummy, preserved for over 2,500 years, meets an untimely fate at the hands of the protagonists.  Except in this case, the mummy in question was not about to reek havoc on unsuspecting bystanders.  It was however unlucky enough to have been unearthed in the nineteenth century and subjected to the common practice of investigation by unwrapping:

The Truth in the Search for Nefertiti

In a very flawed article from the Archaeology News Network, the former head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass disputes Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves theory that the tomb of Nefertiti will be found behind the painted walls of Tutankhamun's tomb, in particular the north and west walls. Part of Dr.Hawass's concern is for the preservation of the paintings which would have to be removed.


More than 2,000 years ago, the city of Naukratis was a major Greek trading port on a branch of the Nile River. Archaeologists had thought that they had found everything there was to find in the ruins of this ancient city. But a new excavation by the British Museum has turned up thousands of new artifacts and revealed an even bigger, bustling city, of "tower houses" that stood three to six stories tall.
Naukratis was "a mud-brick Manhattan" with a population of around 16,000, the project's leader told the Guardian

Egyptian Statues Revealed in Ancient Shrines

Six rock cut statues have been discovered within 18th Dynasty shrines in Egypt, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced.

The 3,400-year-old statues were found at Gebel el Sisila, a site north of Aswan known for its stone quarries on both sides of the Nile. Blocks used in building almost all of ancient Egypt's great temples were cut from there.

Tech Wizardry Solves Mysteries of Egypt’s Royal Mummies

ROUGHLY 400 MILES from the Great Pyramids, ancient pharaohs of the New Kingdom lay at rest in the Valley of Kings. Nondescript chambers built into the valley’s dusty hills hold royal remains, buried between 1550 and 1070 BC. The crypts were designed to deter robbers, and for the most part, they worked—which makes it difficult for today’s archaeologists to find them and identify their inhabitants.

The Palermo Stone: Key to Old Kingdom Egypt Royal Families

The Palermo Stone is the most famous piece of seven known fragments of what must have been an enormous basalt stele called (by scholars) "The Royal Annals of Ancient Egypt". The Royal Annals stele was probably carved during the early Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, Egypt, between about 2450-2300 BC.

King Amenhotep III statue accidently recovered in Edfu 

A black granite statue of King Amenhotep III was found by chance in a residential house in Al-Nakhl village in Edfu, Aswan.

Good on them: ISIS Books and Gifts changes its sign but not its name

ISIS Books & Gifts isn't changing its name, but the owners of the Englewood bookstore are updating the logo and signage.