Monday, April 24, 2017

Ancient Egypt this week: The Tomb in Luxor


The pharaoh Akhenaten, King Tut’s controversial father, departed from centuries of tradition after taking power in 1353 B.C. Changes during his 17-year reign included new styles of art and architecture and mass celebrations of the sun god Aten that pushed the old gods aside.

A very ancient Egyptian Easter: Sham El-Nessim

Sham El-Nessim has been celebrated by Egyptians since ancient times, regardless of religious background or social status. Ahram Online republishes this short history of the holiday.

Monday 21 April marks Sham El-Nessim, a festival that takes place in the same breath as Easter, falling on the day after Easter Sunday each year.

Another article on  Sham El-Nessim: Salted Fish Carries Taste of Spring All Way from Pharaonic Egypt 

"Mighty in Waking and Great in Sleeping: the History of Beds in Ancient Egypt"

At the beginning of April Manon Y. Schutz came to talk to us at the Essex Egyptology Group about beds in Ancient Egypt. She's a D.Phil student at Oxford University, and beds in an Ancient Egyptian funerary context are the subject of her thesis. She has chosen to look at the funerary context because most of the evidence of beds that survives is from tombs. Her talk was divided into two parts - first an introduction to the topic of beds in Ancient Egypt, and then an overview of beds throughout Ancient Egyptian history.

Egyptian archaeologists unearth tomb of 18th Dynasty magistrate in west Luxor

An Egyptian archaeological mission in Luxor has announced the discovery of a major tomb in the city's west bank area dating back to the 18th Dynasty and containing priceless artefacts.

Mostafa Waziry, Director General of Luxor Antiquities, told reporters on Tuesday that the tomb, which was unearthed in the Zeraa Abu El-Nagaa necropolis, most likely belonged to the city's magistrate Ou Sarhat.

Other articles on this find:

Newly-discovered 3,000-year-old statue of pharaoh to be inaugurated

The eight-meter statue of an ancient pharaoh discovered in a Cairo slum in March has been restored and will be inaugurated on Tuesday at Luxor Temple by Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany, Luxor governor Mohamed Badr and a number of foreign ambassadors to mark UNESCO's International Day for Monuments.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Video Friday: The Pyramid and the Sphinx - Vintage Style

The Oldest Film Footage of the Sphinx of Giza (1897) Very Rare.

Rare Pictures of The Sphinx of Giza

The Pyramids at Giza circa 1920's

Tourists visit the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. HD Stock Footage

The Enigmatic GREAT SPHINX old pictures

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ancient Egypt this week: Tombs and Mummies

Life Histories of Theban Tombs

Life Histories of Theban Tombs (LHTT) focuses on a cluster of rock-cut tombs built during the 2nd millennium BC at the hillside of Sheikh ‘Abd el-Qurna in Western Thebes. The project draws on an integrative archaeological perspective that combines archaeological research with scientific, material, and historical analysis. Its main objectives are to investigate the natural and anthropogenic evolution of the hillside and to explore the history of the tombs, objects, and people connected with it, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the 20th century. LHTT prioritizes research procedures that give relevance to detail and variation, and uses technical and electronic equipment that supports quantifiable, precise data collection often on a micro-analytic level (Research). Digital data processing and an interactive database system, which will eventually be transmitted into an open source for students of archaeology and related fields, are also an important part of the research strategy.

Steep commute gave ancient Egyptian workers osteoarthritis

Commuting to work can be a real pain, and it was no different in ancient Egypt. About 3500 years ago, the artisans who dug out and decorated the rock-cut royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings—the burial ground of Egypt's New Kingdom pharaohs—had to walk about 2 kilometers from their homes, over the Theban hills, to the royal necropolis for work. It was a steep climb, repeated week after week for years, leaving them suffering from osteoarthritis in the knees and ankles, according to a new study.

Zahed Taj-Eddin’s ‘Shabtis: Suspended Truth

Responding to the current political debate on the subject of migration, Manchester Museum has commissioned a gallery installation by Syrian-born artist Zahed Taj-Eddin, which reflects on the Museum’s world-class Egyptology collection. Zahed Taj-Eddin was inspired particularly by Manchester Museum’s extensive collection of shabti figurines, which were placed in large numbers in tombs to act as servants for the afterlife. He has previously created 99 faience ceramic ‘Nu’ Shabtis for popular shows at the V&A, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and elsewhere.

Surprise! What 3D Scan Revealed Inside Egyptian Cat Mummy (video)

Behind the scenes at the University of Aberdeen Museums, researchers are using high-tech 3D imaging software to reveal what is inside a 2,000-year-old Egyptian cat mummy and other ancient mummified artifacts in the museums' collections.

In his introduction, author Ronald Fritze defines Egyptomania as “a fascination with ancient Egypt in its many aspects.” He sees it as a phenomenon that has existed for 3,000 years or more and can take scholarly and popular culture forms. The Egypt of myth and legend attracts the most interest. Fritze states that his book “will primarily concentrate on the idea of Egypt and Egyptomania in popular culture.” The author is dean of arts and sciences and professor of history at Athens State University in Alabama. 


A fragment from a mysterious life-sized pinky finger from an ancient Egyptian statue has been discovered by the Temple Mount Sifting Project.

The find comes one week after the project announced it lost government funding, and would have to cease operations.

Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass appointed IFPSD Cultural Heritage Ambassador

The International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development chose Egypt's Hawass for his contributions to the field of archaeology, in both excavation and conservation.

Renowned Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass has been selected by the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development (IFPSD), an affiliate organisation of the United Nations, as its official "Ambassador for Cultural Heritage."

Photo of the week

Hathor-head from the "House of Eternity" of Senenmut, ca. 1479–1458 BCE. Detail from the painted restoration by Nina de Garis Davis for the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Found on the Grand Egyptian Museum Facebook page.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ancient Egypt this week: The Pyramid and the Boat

The Pyramid Discovery
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities

The remains of a 13th Dynasty pyramid have been discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission working in an area to the north of King Senefru's Bent Pyramid in the Dahshur Necropolis. Like all discoveries, there is a spate of news stories.

A folk eye on the Egyptian Museum

Egypt's heritage is a field of rich folk culture, made possible by the life-sustaining Nile.
Egypt's folk culture is a vivid and subtle realm where past and present come together. In a series tracing the folk element inside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Ahram Online went on an exceptional tour.

Facts You Never Knew About the Pyramids of Giza
Photo courtesy of me and my last visit to Egypt in January 2017.

It’s no wonder that our fascination with the pyramids of Giza have endured for millennia. The massive Great Pyramid—built for the Pharaoh Khufu and finished around 2560 B.C.E.—is the only marvel of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still intact. And the rest of the complex is nothing short of brilliant, too. Perched on the outskirts of Cairo, the Giza site contains six pyramids in total: three towering ones, including the Great Pyramid, and three smaller ones—plus an enormous statue of a sphinx, for good measure.


A historic North-east castle’s little known links to ancient Egypt have been revealed.

It comes as Castle Fraser prepares to host some of the region’s top museum artefacts in a new exhibition.

But the ancient objects, which include amulets and a mummy’s head – affectionately known as Marlon – have an unexpected connection to the castle, near Sauchen.

Sandals for the king

My latest project on ancient Egyptian beadwork focuses on the research of how a pair of small beaded sandals, found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, were made 3.300 years ago. This work will include the analysis of the ancient beading craft and the description of the beading pattern. In the coming months, I will then be making reconstructions of these objects for an exciting new exhibition on ancient footwear in the Bata museum in Toronto (Canada).

Photos by Egypt Independent

The newly opened bathhouse dates back to the 4th century and has been under excavation since 1960. It is now set to become an important part of a touristic trail in Alexandria.

Yesterday, Minister of Antiquities Khaled EL-Enany along with members of parliament reopened Alexandria’s cistern and imperial bathing complex area, dating as far back as the 4th century, in the Kom El-Dikka archaeological site.

Egypt unearths part of ancient King Khufu's boat
(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

A plank of wood believed to be from the boat of an ancient Egyptian king has been unearthed near the Great Pyramid at Giza, archaeologists said on Wednesday.

The boat, which is the second such vessel to be found on the site, was believed to have been built for King Khufu who ruled Egypt during the fourth dynasty more than 4,500 years ago.

First discovered in the 1980s, experts say they have so far uncovered 700 pieces of the boat from the site and now believe that they have unearthed most of its pieces.

Khufu's solar boat is one of my favorite visiting sites in Egypt. Sometimes, I am almost more in awe of it than anything else when I gaze upon the deck and see the grooves worn into the wood 4500 years ago. Here's my photo from my last visit in Egypt in January.

For other stories on this find:

Sandstone statue of a Chief of the Police and his wife seated side by side, wearing long pleated robes and wigs: Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes, Egypt, c.1323–1279BC

A chief of police, ten princesses and a high official from a Roman-era Egyptian family are all helping Dr Margaret Maitland with her enquiries.

The Senior Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean collections at National Museums Scotland is the ‘detective’ behind a search for clues into the mysterious affair of ‘The Tomb’.

Eat like an Ancient Egyptian

We know a lot about the Ancient Egyptians, thanks to this great ancient civilisation. Their desire and propagandist need to disclose what they did was paramount, especially for the pharaohs. They made sure their successes were touted everywhere. Rameses II was particularly good at promoting what a powerful and good ruler he was, even when the war he waged on the Hittites wasn’t a victorious campaign. If it wasn’t for the first pharaoh, Menes, of the 1st Dynasty to the Ptolemaic period, the last ruling pharaoh Cleopatra, who recorded everything, we’d know very little about this dynamic civilisation. Thank goodness, they did!

Photos of the week

The Two Eyes from the limestone sarcophagus of Queen Kawit, wife of King Montuhotep II (ca. 2051-2000 BCE). Now in the Cairo Museum.

Guardian statue of Nephthys, sister of Osiris, mourning the deceased Meret-it-es Egyptian 30th Dynasty to early Ptolemaic Dynasty 380-250 BCE.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Video Friday: Historic Hotels of Egypt

Photos by Michalea Moore  ©

On my third trip to Egypt this last January, I stayed in only "historic hotels." Sadly, they were mostly empty due to the downturn in tourism, but they were undoubtedly magnificent. When I found these films, it was a lovely reminder of the trip. Enjoy.

Mena House on Silver Screen

Historic Hotels of Egypt  


Monday, April 3, 2017

Ancient Egypt this week: All the mummies, all the time

The Mummy’s Curse: 3,800-Year-Old Egyptian Nobleman’s Tomb Unearthed
© Sputnik/

An intact tomb dating back to the Twelfth Dynasty, which ruled Egypt nearly four millennia ago, has been discovered.

The identity of the deceased is Shemai, son of Satehotep and Khema. The tomb was discovered by researchers with the University of Jaen in Spain, and is located at a site called Qubbet el-Hawa, a dune on the bank of the Nile which houses the tombs of numerous Ancient Egyptian officials.

Why the curse of the mummy was more like a gentle warning

THE curse of the mummy on anyone who dares to disturb the dead is one of the most enduring superstitions of modern times.
But a new exhibition has revealed how the tombs of ancient Egyptians were in fact reused many times – and the ‘curse’ was more likely to be a polite request to keep out.

The story of how one ancient Egyptian tomb was used across a time period spanning more than 1,000 years is being told at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh through a display of fascinating objects from various eras.


Today’s blog post will be all about mummies … wait … what do you mean you didn’t say Egyptian? … oh … well it’s all I’ve got, so we’re going to have to roll with it … I’m sure no-one will notice.

So first things first, why do we call Egyptian mummies, well, ‘mummies’? The word mummy comes from the the Persian or Arabic word mumia meaning pitch or bitumen. This is thought to be a reference to the blackened appearance of Egyptian mummies, and the black tar-like substance that comes from the ‘mummy mountain’ in Persia.

Mummy shroud found after 80 years in museum collection

A unique, full-length mummy shroud which is over 2,000 years old has been discovered after about 80 years in a museum collection.
It will be displayed for the first time in The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland on 31 March.

The shroud, which dates to about 9BC, was found during "an in-depth assessment" of Egyptian collections.

Every mummy has a story to tell 

(Your) Mummy Stories is a participative project inviting individuals to share their stories of engagements with Egyptian mummies: from studying human remains, to reading cartoons on mummies, engaging with ethical questions, and visiting local museums holding Egyptian human remains, individuals have different stories of encounters with Egyptian mummies. The multiplicity of stories, dependent on personal interest, geography, and many other factors, brings to light the multiplicity of definition of what 'the mummy' means to us. 

Archaeologists Unearthed 3,800-Year-Old Tomb Of An Ancient Egyptian Woman In Intact Position

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian mummy from the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in southeastern Egypt. The tomb was about 3,800 years old and it was found in a very decent condition. Archaeologists are assuming the mummy is going to reveal much information about the ancient Egypt civilization because it belongs to a woman named, “Lady Sattjeni” who used to be the key figure in the Middle Kingdom.

The 1997 cartoon Mummies Alive! may not be a show that many of you are aware of — it ran for only one season. What we got was 42 episodes of pure '90s craziness; that exclamation mark is there for good reason. Stop me if you’ve heard this: An evil, immortal Egyptian sorcerer called Scarab is awoken in modern times but he barely misses a beat in resuming his plot to wreak vengeance on the reincarnation of the Pharaoh’s son, Rapses.

'The Mummy' Revives an Ancient Power in New Trailer at CinemaCon

Director Alex Kurtzman brought out the cast of The Mummy (but no Tom Cruise) Wednesday at CinemaCon, where they discussed its biggest stunt and revealed a new trailer.

The film stars Sofia Boutella as The Mummy, as well as Courtney B. Vance, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson.

Boutella shared details of her character, saying she was a princess who was promised to be Pharaoh, but that was taken away from her. She knew how to summon gods, but unfortunately "summoned the wrong god and that stays with her."

To see the video, click here.

Chiddingstone Castle announces name of their 'Mummy'

Chiddingstone Castle in Kent recently completed their quest to find the name of the mummy who had been interred inside a 3000 year old Egyptian Coffin on display in the Castle.

Chiddingstone Castle’s Curator Maria Esain said “Our Ancient Egyptian coffin lid that has been exhibited here for many years has undergone some careful conservation and advanced digital imaging by experts from UCL to determine if it is possible to read the name of the person (the mummy) that would have been interred within it 3000 years ago. There is a saying from Ancient Egyptian times that goes: To speak a man’s name is to restore him to eternal life. Therefore, if we were able to determine the name written in hieroglyphics on the ‘foot’ of the coffin then we would be enabling him/her to live forever.”

Mummified ancient Egyptian cat from Aberdeen uni to be shared around the world

A mummified ancient Egyptian cat is among a host of artefacts from Aberdeen University’s museums’ collections, which will be shared around the world thanks to revolutionary new imaging techniques.

Photogrammetry involves taking hundreds of photos of an object at slightly different angles and “stitching” them together to create an interactive digital 3D model.

For a video, see Mummified CAT scan—new technologies and ancient objects

Photo of the week: Ancient Egypt by Kazanevski

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