Monday, September 19, 2016

Ancient Egypt this week: Stories of Egypt

The Story of Egypt

Joann Fletcher’s story of Egypt is a personal one. And she is a good storyteller. She writes expressively, making you hear the primordial Nile waters flooding and the evening fires in the desert crackling. Her story is inevitably a history of ancient Egypt, divided in the all too well-known kingdoms and dynasties, substituted by alliterative chapter names like ‘The Rule of Ra’ and ‘Zenith of the Sun’. It is prefaced by Egypt’s mythical beginnings, and traced to its actual source when the Sahara was still a savanna, 55,000 years ago. Amazon link to The Story of Egypt.

Cartouche of Akhenaten

In this photo we find an image of the coffin found in Valley of the Kings tomb KV55. Inside was believed to be the mummy of the heretic King Akhenaten. The tomb, like the king it contained, is controversial and only made worse by its poor excavation by men who were capable of doing a much more professional job. Add to the mess no photographs appeared to have been taken during the taking apart of the mummy found in this most outstanding royal coffin that had been found up to that time.

Games from ancient Egypt

Amira El-Noshokaty investigates the children’s games today’s Egyptians have inherited from their ancestors.

It is sometimes said that if you really want to know about a nation, look at the attention it pays to its children.

As people flock to see the relics of ancient Egyptian civilisation at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo they could do worse than look carefully at the children’s toys and board games amid all the grand statues and other objects.

Who are the Sea Peoples?

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. It remains an archaeological mystery that is the subject of much debate even today, more than 150 years after the discussions first began. But it’s a fascinating story with lots of twists and turns, right up to the present day.

It begins with the early French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, who suggested in the 1860s and 1870s that a group of marauding invaders whom he called the Sea Peoples were responsible for bringing the Late Bronze Age to an end shortly after 1200 BCE. He based this on a number of Egyptian inscriptions, especially those on the walls of Medinet Habu, the mortuary temple of Ramses III, which is near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

World Museum Ancient Egypt collection

World Museum has over 16,000 objects from ancient Egypt and Nubia, making it one of the largest collections in Great Britain. The objects come from a timespan of over 5000 years that comprehensively represent the evolving cultures of the Nile Valley, from the prehistory to the Byzantine Period.

The museum not only has a superb variety of popular objects, such as mummies, coffins, sculpture and jewellery, but also objects of great historical importance such as a distinctive group of papyrus from the 11th century BC that contain the only written evidence of tomb robbery in the Valley of the Kings (KV9  - the tomb of Rameses VI).

Karnak in high res

Check out this amazing giant image of Karnak Temple. Click the title link  and then click on the large image to open up the SUPER hi-res version.

Now you know why your feet hurt after exploring there all day!

Thank you to Dave Robbins for sharing this beauty! Photo: Ahmed Bahloul Khier Galal

IDOLIZED (video about Ptah)

by Diana Craig Patch at  the Metropolitan Museum New York

Image of the God Ptah, "Third Intermediate Period–early Dynasty 26, ca. 945–600 B.C. " Egypt

Shout Out: Kathryn Bard, archaeologist and Park Ridge native

The Park Ridge Public Library's copy of "An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt" includes a handwritten dedication from its author, Kathryn Bard.

"To the Park Ridge Public Library — where I first read about ancient Egypt (1958)," Bard wrote on the title page.