Monday, December 12, 2016

Ancient Egypt this week: The legs and lives of mummies

In the Year 2016

In the year 2016, the discoveries were largely that of laboratory exercises though field excavation brought some interesting finds. Perhaps the most beautiful work of art found in 2016 came in November with the discovery of the Third Intermediate Period coffin of a servant of the palace Amenrenef, and hey what would a year be without finding more statues of the goddess Sekhmet. The year also brought the opening of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings to tourist as well as the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens

The Washington Monument Looks Like an Obelisk Because of Egyptomania

In the 1800s, America was desperate to look like it had been around for a while, so it was adopting old styles. Really old. In a technical sense, the Washington Monument isn’t an obelisk, because it isn’t made from a single piece of stone. That fact makes it no less impressive.

Mummy X-Rays Reconstruct Ancient Egyptian Lives

Visualization of mummy in translucent mode revealing Nestawedjat’s heart (highlighted in pink), amulets on her throat, artificial eyes, and packing materials in her mouth and chest. A dislodged tooth can be seen between the amulets and her chin bone. All images © Trustees of the British Museum.

Meet Nestawedjat, a married woman who lived in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. She was about five feet tall and died in her late 30s or 40s, around 2,700 years ago. After her death, the bones of her nose were broken so as to access the inside of her skull with a hooked instrument, and remove her brain.

Three-dimensional images of six mummies aged between 900BC and 140-180AD from ancient Egypt

A child is silhouetted as he looks at the mummified remains of a 2-3 year old Egyptian boy from the British Museum collection, paired in a world-premiere exhibit of CT scans displayed on screens (foreground) revealing the body that lays inside at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia, December 8, 2016. The new exhibit features 3D visualization technology, showcasing six mummies between 1,800 and 3,000 years old which were scanned at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and are being shown alongside the mummies themselves.

Archeologists Discover Nearly 2,000-Year-Old Pet Cemetery in Egypt

Containing 100 lovingly positioned creatures, the site suggests that the ancients could have valued their companion animals as much as we do.  The ancient Egyptians had complicated relationships with animals. They kept a wide range of pets, from cats and dogs to hippos and falcons, and many household pets were mummified and buried with their owner

Mysterious ancient Egyptian legs likely Queen Nefertari's knees

In 1904, the pioneering Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli cracked open a tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Queens. The crypt, which had been lost for millennia, showed signs of long-ago disaster. Two things were clear to the archaeologist: This tomb was once the final resting place of Queen Nefertari. And, plunderers looted the burial site in antiquity, possibly within a few hundred years of its royal inhabitant's death.

Have Egyptologists solved the mystery of Queen Nefertari's knees? Some archaeologists have criticized their findings, saying that despite all their tests, the researchers have only confirmed a long-standing theory, not added anything new to the historical understanding of the time period.

Ophthalmology of the Pharaohs: Antimicrobial Kohl Eyeliner

The bold eye makeup in the ‘60s, best exemplified by Sophia Loren’s winged ‘cat eye’ liner and Twiggy’s spidery eyelashes, had nothing on the ancient Egyptians and their gods. Their eyelids were heavily smeared with black kohl eyeliner, thick lines rimming the eyes, and the fashion was sported by everyone from peasants to pharaohs to effigies of the worshiped gods Horus and Ra. Though it may seem nothing more than a cosmetic fancy nowadays, kohl was considered to have potent magical powers and it has since turned out to possess unique pharmaceutical and antimicrobial properties. In fact, this deceptively simple beauty product may actually be one of the most ancient ophthalmological preparations known to man.

Egyptologist Melanie Pitkin: unearthing the everyday lives of Ancient Egyptians (Video interview)

Melanie Pitkin has fulfilled a childhood ambition by becoming an archaeologist and Egyptologist.

During her first visit to Egypt at the age of 20 she was involved in a dig at the Teti Pyramid Cemetery at Saqqara, south of Cairo. Over the past few years Melanie's been digging up desert graves among the ruins of the city of Amarna, briefly the capital of Ancient Egypt.

Penn archaeologist discovers ancient Egyptian boat in middle of desert

Penn archaeologist Josef Wegner and colleagues recently discovered a boat in the Egyptian desert that was part of the funeral procession for Pharaoh Senwosret III, who reigned around 1850 B.C.E.

When Penn archaeologist Josef Wegner and colleagues first came across structures buried deep beneath the sand in the Egyptian city of Abydos, they anticipated finding more evidence of a pharaoh cemetery they discovered in 2014. Instead, in the middle of the desert, they found a vaulted building.

Egyptians hope international recognition will stick for ancient martial art
Players of an ancient Egyptian martial art are striving to revive it and turn it into a sport that aims to foster morals, respect and chivalry. Tahtib was once known as a martial art but has since changed into a stick game or dancing art. Its players now say that they want it to be an internationally recognized martial sport.

Penn online course whisks thousands off to Ancient Egypt

What if they gave a course on ancient Egypt ... and everybody came?

OK, not everybody. But how about 23,487 people?

That's how many are enrolled, as of this writing, in the University of Pennsylvania's online course Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization. For those enrolled -- and everyone else -- there will be an Ancient Egypt Open House at the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Lectures, tours, mummification -- an ideal way to get your Egyptian on. Like those 23,487 people.

Egyptian Paintings Collection by Antoine Heyvaert. Belgian painter

These were found in a Facebook post by the  Grand Egyptian Museum.

Isis and the Isaic religion in Egypt and Rome

A goddess of ancient Egypt and her worship in the Greco-Roman world. In Egypt, Isis was the daughter of Geb and Nut (Earth and Sky), wife of Osiris, and mother of Horus. Osiris was a god of fertility who was also identiļ¬ed with the deceased pharaoh. After his funerary rites, the divine ruler came back to life in the Underworld as Osiris, reigning there as king of the dead.

A trip on the Nile aboard the Neferu Ra