Monday, June 20, 2016

Ancient Egypt this week: Books, Baboons & KV55

Rise of urban planning in ancient Egypt

The pyramids and temples of Egypt, which still stand as magnificent monuments to ancient Egyptian civilization, were the result of some of the world’s first urban planners—the ruling pharaohs who invested in town planning.

Sixth formers see the future in ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia

We wanted to show what makes studying Egypt and Mesopotamia so intellectually and culturally exciting
Martin Worthington, Lecturer in Assyriology

The University’s archaeologists recently teamed up with The British Museum to inspire sixth formers to consider studying Egyptology and Assyriology, subjects which very few have the opportunity to study at school.

Fifty students from 24 schools from across the UK attended the inaugural, all-day conference at The British Museum in London.

SF exhibit gives firsthand look at Egyptian mummies

Two mummies whose bodies reflect two ancient humans who once led vastly different lives are lying in state at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor.

One was a powerful Egyptian priest who died about 3,000 years ago and the other was a middle-class woman in late middle age who lived some 400 years earlier during a time of dynastic conflict and who must have suffered a severe skull injury as a child.

Study aims to uncover mystery of Luxor's tomb KV55

This week, the Ministry of Antiquities will start the second phase of a study aimed at uncovering the mystery behind an unidentified sarcophagus found in 1906 inside tomb KV55 at the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank.

The study is being operated with a grant of $28,500 from the American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) Endowment Fund.

This tomb was thought to hold the body of the monotheistic king Akhenaten, though no definitive evidence has been presented to back up this speculation.

Another article on topic: Ancient Egyptian riddle: Fresh bid to identify mystery pharaoh in Luxor’s ‘KV55’ tomb

Sands of time: ancient Egypt excavated in the 1910s – in pictures

The city of MeroĆ« laid undiscovered for two millennia before British archaeologist John Garstang excavated it in the early 20th century – and created some of the first ever photographs of ancient Egypt’s treasures.

Baboon tax collectors? PhD student Alex Loktionov on deciphering Egyptian texts

Alex Loktionov, 23, is an Egyptology PhD student and teaching assistant at Cambridge University's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, and a postgraduate mentor in the Cambridge Admissions Office.

He was born in Lyon, France, but always studied in Cambridge, completing his BA at Selwyn College, his MPhil at St John's, and is now based at Robinson.

What is your particular area of expertise?

Ancient Egyptian legal texts. I'm focusing on how ancient Egyptian judicial procedure and conflict resolution changed over time, from the early Egyptian state in the Old Kingdom (c.2600BCE) all the way through to the New Kingdom (c.1200BCE).

A Queen's Seat

“Experimental archaeology” at the Harvard Semitic Museum

MUCH IS STILL unknown about the world of the ancient Egyptian elites, whose lives are fossilized in the riches of the ruins at Giza —and reflected by the luminous throne that sits on the second floor of the Harvard Semitic Museum. Crafted from cedar wood, covered in delicate gold foil, and inlaid with turquoise-colored faience tile, the piece replicates a 4,500-year-old chair that belonged to Queen Hetepheres, the mother of King Khufu, who built the Great Pyramid at Giza.

Books on ancient Egypt boost understanding - Reviews

“Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt” by Robert A. Armour. New York: American University in Cairo Press (distributed by Oxford University Press), 2016. 208 pages, $19.95 (paperback).

“Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt” by Marie Vandenbeusch, Aude Semat and Margaret Maitland. Cleveland Museum of Art (distributed by Yale University Press), 180 pages, $60 (hardcover).

“The Tomb-Builders of the Pharaohs” by Morris Bierbrier. New York: American University in Cairo Press (distributed by Oxford University Press), 2016. 160 pages, $19.95 (paperback).

Picture of the week

A zeppelin flying over the Pyramids (Giza, 1931)