Monday, May 23, 2016

Ancient Egypt this week: Tea with the Sphinx

Tea with the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt and the Modern Imagination

The first annual conference will be held at the University of University of Birmingham at the end of September. ‘Tea with the Sphinx’ encourages discussions of ancient Egypt as imagined by ‘Western civilisation’ from Napoleon’s invasion until the millennium. It sounds fascinating. 

I want to attend, but I must be content with planning to go to the Second Annual Conference and noting that many of today's articles pay tribute to the timeliness of this conference.

The amazing Popovy Egyptian dolls

These showed up in my Pinterest feed, and they were just too good not to share.

Twin sisters Ekaterina and Elena Popovy are  professional artists and fashion designers. They  graduated Ural State Academy of Architecture and Arts in Yekaterinburg and started making dolls in 2004.The combined their passion for fashion design and dolls art into small conceptual collections of 10 to 15 dolls. Click here to learn more about them and their other doll collections.

Virtual Tour of the Oriental Institute Museum

Welcome to the Oriental Institute Museum’s 360° interactive virtual tour! This tour was completed 2014 by Virtually Anywhere, a virtual tour production company, in collaboration with the Oriental Institute Museum’s Curatorial Assistant Mónica G. Vélez.

There are two Egyptian galleries tours.

Ancient Device for Determining Taxes Discovered in Egypt

Note: The last paragraph in the article is REALLY interesting.

The nilometer was used to predict harvest (and taxes) linked to the rise and fall of the Nile River.

American and Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a rare structure called a nilometer in the ruins of the ancient city of Thmuis in Egypt’s Delta region. Likely constructed during the third century B.C., the nilometer was used for roughly a thousand years to calculate the water level of the river during the annual flooding of the Nile. Fewer than two dozen of the devices are known to exist.

Searching for the roots of western botany in Ancient Egypt

Western botany traces its roots back to Ancient Egypt, that is to say well before the Greek and Roman era. This is the theory illustrated in the essay “Herbals in Ancient Egypt” written by Professor Marilina Betrò from the University of Pisa for the volume “Naturalia e Artificialia: Le piante e i fiori d'Egitto nell'esperienza museografica degli scavi e degli erbari” which has just been published in Spain.


Depending on how you look at it, Egyptology as an academic discipline is thousands of years old, or less than two-hundred. In this episode of the podcast we’ll examine the first Egyptologists and the birth of Egyptology as an academic field.

Ancient burial sites reveal Egyptian and Nubian cultures merged after fall of New Kingdom Empire
DeAgostini/Getty Image
Nubian burial sites in the Nile River Valley bear traces to the idea that Egyptians and Nubians may have interacted, married and eventually formed an integrated community in ancient Sudan, researchers say. They excavated different tombs on the archaeological grounds of Tombos in northern Sudan to better understand the relationship between both populations.

See also Burial sites show how Nubians, Egyptians integrated communities thousands of years ago

Egypt Repatriates 44 Stolen Archaeological Objects from France
Photos Egypt Ministry of Antiquities

After more than six years of negotiations, French authorities agreed to hand over to Egypt 44 artifacts belonging to various periods of Ancient Egypt that had previously been smuggled to France, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement released on Monday.

Cities from the deep
AFP/Getty Image
Archaeological wonders that lay beneath the Mediterranean seabed for more than a thousand years are to go on show for the first time.

Towering statues, golden jewellery and hieroglyphic tablets that were feared to have been lost forever have been reclaimed from the sea and will be go on display in a major exhibition at the British Museum.

The treasures belong to the sunken cities of Heracleion and Canopus, built on the shifting ground of the Nile delta, which are now buried beneath 10ft (3 metres) of silt.

Blood-red Nile River seen from space

It looks like a Biblical scene -- the Nile River is seen from above, turning a deep blood red. In fact, the sight is not something out of the Old Testament but instead a satellite image captured by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-3A satellite. The red coloring indicates the location of vegetation, according to an ESA press release.