Monday, November 7, 2016

Ancient Egypt this Week: Abydos Boats & Underworld Navigation

Five Museum and Exhibition Books to Run and Get

From the Egyptians blog, just in time for the holiday season and the Egypt-o-phile on your list.
About once a year I make suggestions of what books or guides will be of interest as gifts for my reader's loved ones and friends who are interested in art and Egyptology. I am of course a giant fan of museum and exhibition guides as they usually contain objects and artifacts that are rarely if ever published elsewhere. 
22,000 sign up to learn the secrets of ancient Egypt
(Emma Lee/WHYY)

David Silverman is one of the world's foremost authorities on ancient Egypt. Whenever a crackpot theory about Egypt comes to the surface - like how space aliens must have built the pyramids - he is asked to comment.

He doesn't mind. Even wackadoo questions lead to interesting answers.

Archaeologists Reenact 19th-Century Mummy Ritual
 Photos by Cydney Scott

In the late 1800s, the hottest ticket in town would get you into an event where an Egyptologist and a doctor crouched over a 3,000-year-old mummy and slowly unwrapped its bandages “for scientific purposes.” In the spirit of Halloween, and with a more than seasonal interest in archaeology, about 70 students and guests gathered Thursday night at the Castle to do the same thing at a sold-out event called Unrolling Egyptomania.

TT40, the tomb of AMENHOTEP, surnamed  HUY

Tomb TT 40 is in the Theban necropolis at Qurnet Mura’i. This is one of very few tombs datable with certainty to the reign of Tutankhamun. The owner is called Amenhotep, but prefers to be called the most familiar diminutive of Huy; he undertakes the very important function of "King’s Son of Kush, Overseer of the Southern Countries", in other words, he is Viceroy of Nubia.

The tomb of Huy is one of our major sources for understanding the functions of a Viceroy: the scenes showing presentation of the tribute to the sovereign are exceptional examples of such work and created the reputation of this monument. Another interesting point is the mixture between ‘classic’ elements and others that recall the Amarna period - which had just ended.

Graphic of the Day - Catastrophic Hieroglyphs

Image by Dom McKenzie (all rights reserved).

Twitter had this cool modern appropriation/reinterpretation of Egyptian hieroglyphs applied to contemporary concerns about impending and ongoing mayhem. It accompanied the fascinating and insightful article "What the ancient past can teach us about the chaos of 2016."

3,800-Year-Old 'Tableau' of Egyptian Boats Discovered
Wiley Online Library Photo

More than 120 images of ancient Egyptian boats have been discovered adorning the inside of a building in Abydos, Egypt. The building dates back more than 3,800 years and was built near the tomb of pharaoh Senwosret III, archaeologists reported.

This story is blowing up the news. You can read bits and pieces in the following articles, or you can read the full, scholarly article in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

How I became a Mummy by Leena Pekkalainen The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press)

If you thought making an ancient Egyptian mummy was just a matter of wrapping a body in bandages, think again! It was a long, complicated, and sometimes gruesome process.

What happened to the intestines, lungs, and other soft inside bits?
How did they get the brain out of the skull? What did they use to dry the body out, and how long did that take?

These questions and many more are answered here by Mr. Mummific, a king of Egypt who went through it all himself, and ended up a mummy with attitude.

A little confused when he first died (but relieved that he no longer had toothache), he needed his own guide to explain things, so it's lucky that his dead but cheeky son was there to lead him by the hand. Together, they let us in on all the grisly secrets of the embalmers' tent.

Illustrated with eighty colorful scenes from the life, death, and afterlife of the funniest mummy you'll ever meet, How I Became a Mummy is an icky treat for children and Egyptologists of all ages.

Discovering sunken city, gateway of ancient Egypt to outer world
(Hilti Foundation photo) | Xinhua | Manila Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — Around 16 years after his discovery of the submerged ancient Egyptian city of Thonis-Heracleion, French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio still recalls the discovery as one of the most “fascinating” moments in his life.

This intact stele, 1.99 meters high, bears the inscription of the Decree of Sais, which was commissioned by Nectanebo I (ruled 378-362 B.C.) The stele came to light in the city of Thonis-Heracleion and is almost identical to the stele of Naukratis from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Preview: Animal Mummies Revealed

In Liverpool, 1890, an unusual event took place: 180,000 mummified Egyptian cats, 19.5 tons worth, were auctioned at the docks, the majority destined to be ground up and used as fertiliser on fields across Merseyside.

That’s just one of the fascinating details disclosed to visitors of Animal Mummies Revealed at the World Museum in Liverpool. Combining mummified specimens such as crocodiles, jackals, birds and cats (several survived the grinder) with cultural relics, travel journals and photographs from Egypt, the exhibition will also examine the history and future of scientific study alongside the change in attitude toward ancient artefacts.

Ancient Egyptian plants to tell the story of a civilisation

Elshafaey Abdellatif Elshafaey is part of a new generation of Egyptian archaeological scientists changing our understanding of the past.

Elshafaey, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Botany and Microbiology at Helwan University, is trying to understand how the development of the ancient Egyptian state in the 4th Millennium BCE changed the environment, agricultural regimes, diet, and food economies.

Two new pharaonic cemeteries discovered in Aswan

Two rock-carved cemeteries belonging to the Late Period of ancient Egypt have been discovered close to the shrine of Agha Khan, located west of Aswan, the Antiquities Ministry said in a press release on Monday.

Nasr Salama, head of the ministry’s department for Aswan and Nubia antiquities, said the two cemeteries were badly preserved, with no inscriptions were found on the walls.

Navigating the Underworld