Monday, September 17, 2018

Ancient Egypt September 17 2018

The Neith of Spetses

Anargyros was also fascinated with Egyptology, and in 1903 he began construction of a grand mansion decorated inside and out with Egyptian décor. Finished in 1904, Anargyros named it “Neith” after the Egyptian goddess of war and hunting. It immediately became the most imposing building in Spetses, hosting kings, queens, and other dignitaries of that time. These guests entered past one of the mansion’s most impressive features, the two large sphinxes flanking the entrance.
Two 4,500-Year-Old Homes Found Near Giza Pyramids
Credit: Copyright 2016 by Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Archaeologists have discovered two ancient homes near the Giza pyramids in Egypt. The structures may have housed officials responsible for overseeing the production of food for a paramilitary force more than 4,500 years ago.

4,000-year-old Egyptian 'Lost City of the Dead' FOUND: 800 tombs unearthed at burial site

The site, near Al Ayyat, on the edge of the Sahara Desert had previously been left alone for about 4,000 years, until now.

Egyptologists believe it is one of the largest necropolis (city of the dead) dating back to the Middle Kingdom period of Egyptian history.

Inside the crypts there is enough space that experts believe it could have held thousands of corpses.

For another article see, Ancient Egypt: 800 Tombs Discovered In Massive Grave Site Lurking Between Two Pyramids

The Mummy Returns

Everybody loves Nesmin. The RISD Museum staff all refer to Nesmin by name. They encourage visitors to see Nesmin, to spend a little time with him on the third floor. Nesmin is much beloved, especially for a guy who died 2,250 years ago.

The Ptolemaic mummy has been on display since 1938, a well-wrapped bundle of cloth covered in intricate painting. Yet after much discussion, the museum has decided to put Nesmin back in his ornate coffin, where he was originally ensconced in the third century B.C.E.

The Latest Discoveries in Egyptology (July-August 2018)
A Saite-Persian Period gilded mummy mask found at Saqqara (Photo: AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Every few months, the Nile Scribes bring you summaries of the latest news and discoveries in Egyptology, both from the field and the lab. We’ll introduce you to the newest archaeological finds or recently undusted manuscripts being rediscovered in museum collections, plus other new theories stirring in the Egyptological Zeitgeist. This summer has seen a wealth of new discoveries and research, with much excitement generated by the discovery of an intact, black sarcophagus in Alexandria. Another intriguing find was the identification of the world’s oldest cheese from the tomb of an Egyptian official at Saqqara.

Eye Of Horus: Meaning Behind The Egyptian Eye
The fractions of the Eye of Horus. Image source: Wikipedia.

The Eye of Horus, also called the Egyptian Eye, the Wedjat, or the all-seeing eye, was a powerful symbol for the ancient Egyptians. The Eye was widely used in funeral rites and as protective amulets in ancient Egypt. Often made of gold, wood, carnelian, or lapis, the Eye of Horus was often worn as jewelry worn by both the living and the dead or as an amulet to be tucked between the folds of linen wrapped around mummified corpses.

Ankh Meaning: The Egyptian Cross Symbol
Image source: Wikipedia

This is an ancient symbol that originated in Egypt where it was used in portraits of gods, usually seen carried on each hand, on their chest or carried by the cross’s loop. The ankh is seen in the Egyptian pantheon either in close proximity or in the hand of most Pharaohs and deities.

But this symbol is also found among other ancient cultures outside Europe, most notably in Persia (present-day Iran), and Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). It is also found on the seal of King Hezekiah in the bible.

Breathtaking Ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to the Sixth Dynasty are reopened to the public for the first time since they were discovered nearly 80 years ago

The tombs of Mehu have been reopened to the viewing public for the first time in almost 80 years since it was discovered in 1940 in Giza, Egypt.

Mehu's tombs, which are situated in the vast ancient burial ground of Saqqara, are deemed to be the most beautiful tombs at the site.

The magnificent burial site was restored by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiques, who reinstated the tomb paintings pictured on the walls of the chambers.

Meeting the “Queens of Egypt” in Montréal
The exhibition space imagining the royal harem beside the river Nile (photo: Nile Scribes)

Having opened in early April at Pointe-à-Callière in Montréal, Canada, the new exhibition Reines d’Égypte (Queens of Egypt) invites visitors on a tour of the east and west banks of the Nile during the New Kingdom. The Nile Scribes were able to visit Pointe-à-Callière this summer and see this special exhibition for ourselves. Including objects from temple, palace, and harem contexts on the east bank, the exhibition also featured objects associated with preparing for the afterlife on the west bank.

Papiro di Aaner video

Papyrus of Aaner, priest of the goddess Mut, Third Intermediate Period (1076 – 722 a.C.) Click this link to watch the video.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ancient Egypt September 10 2018

Check Out These 10 Must-See Fall Exhibits
Archaeologist eye to eye to with a sphinx underwater, Eastern Harbor, Alexandria, Egypt, 1st century BC; granodiorite; 27 9/16 x 59 1/16 inches; National Museum of Alexandria (SCA 450); IEASM Excavations; Photos: Jèrôme Delafosse © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation. (Jèrôme Delafosse)

Get out and make fall a season of learning across the United States. These 10 museums will teach you, among other things, about the history of Victorian dolls, the gravity of Bill Traylor’s art and the mysteries of ancient Egypt.

In November, Egypt’s Sunken Cities moves from St. Louis to Minneapolis. This exhibit is fantastic! For a preview, see the photos I took in St. Louis.

South Asasif Conservation Project August and September 2018

The main August event was the delivery and installation of the canopic jars of the Lady of the House Amenirdis in the Luxor Museum. We found these beautiful jars in the tomb of Karabasken (TT 391) in May 2018. The Qurna inspectorate, the Ministry’s museum sector and the direction of the Luxor Museum were extremely helpful in making this exhibition possible. The canopic jars are the first objects found by our archeological team to be put on display in the Luxor Museum.

Ancient Egyptian village found in Nile Delta predated pharaohs, archaeologists say
This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, shows one of the oldest villages ever found in the Nile Delta, with remains dating back to before the pharaohs in Tell el-Samara, about 87 miles north of Cairo, Egypt.Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP
Egypt said Sunday that archaeologists have unearthed one of the oldest villages ever found in the Nile Delta, with remains dating back to before the pharaohs.

The Antiquities Ministry said the Neolithic site was discovered in Tell el-Samara, about 87 miles north of Cairo.

Hundreds of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Feared Destroyed in Brazil Museum Fire
The museum was founded in 1818 by King Joao VI [Ricardo Moraes/Reuters]

A devastating fire broke out on Sunday evening in Brazil and destroyed the 200-year old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, which houses important artefacts from Egypt and is the oldest scientific institution in the country.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, and no injuries have been reported.

Closure of Ancient Worlds galleries
It’s a Wrap as Manchester Museum closes its Ancient Worlds Galleries, Reopening in 2021

Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, will be taking its much loved objects on tour over the next three years as the museum undergoes an exciting £13 million transformation, hello future. The museum will be building a new two-storey extension, which includes a partnership South Asia gallery with The British Museum, Chinese Culture gallery, Special Exhibitions Hall a new entrance and shop, making it more inclusive, imaginative and relevant to the diverse communities it serves.

Evolution in Photorealistic Media

An international team of more than 50 specialists was involved in the creation of "Yesterday - Tomorrow", among them 13 Egyptologists from institutions such as Brown University, Harvard University, the Sorbonne, University of British Columbia and American University in Cairo.

The link has a short video. Here are some photos from the exhibit.

Sha-Amun-En-SU, the singer of amun from the National Museum

A brief animation made by PUC / RJ Presents Sha-Amun-En-Su in life, the mummy that was part of Emperor D's collection. Pedro II.

Note: The mummy and coffin of Sha-Amun-En-Su were destroyed in the fire that levelled the National Museum of Brazil.
In 1876, when he visited Egypt, Dom Pedro ii gained a gift from the khedive (meaning "Sovereign" was the title equivalent to viceroy given to the pasha of Egypt during the Ottoman Empire) Ismail the skiff of lady sha-Amun - in-SU, richly worked. The Emperor kept him in his office until the proclamation of the republic in 1889, when the play went on to integrate the collection of the National Museum, remaining until today.

Low season, about 750 B.C.
Wood poking and polychrome; Western Thebes, ancient Egypt; 1,58 cm.

Picture of the Week

In New York city, at the Lincoln Center subway station, are mosaics by Nancy Spero with Egyptian figures. Thanks to Tamara Bower for posting this!

Zurcaroh takes viewers to ancient Egypt in breathtaking ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinals performance [WATCH]

Monday, September 3, 2018

Ancient Egypt September 3 2018

Labor Day in Ancient Egypt

Labor Day is a holiday in the United States, and one most of us look forward to celebrating. (Who doesn't like a day off work?) This link is to a post I did for Labor Day 2015; to be perfectly honest, not that much changed in ancient Egyptian labor practices since2015.

THE B-LIST: Mystery, mysticism and mummies — uncovering adventure in the deserts of Egypt
Universal Studios

From Indiana Jones to Lara Croft, Nathan Drake to Captain Nemo, you've just got to love a good adventure built around a treasure hunter.

And while the lost Incan cities of Peruvian jungles, Mexico's fabled Fountain of Youth and mountainous Chinese ruins make for memorable settings, there's one place known for magic treasure that never fails to fire the imagination: Egypt.

Hidden Stories of Egyptian Museum

A tour in the Egyptian Museum would take its visitors to ancient Egypt. It is a time travel journey to decipher the symbols of the amazing monuments and to know the meaning of the most important archaeological pieces in the museum.

The Egyptian Museum has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. The museum was opened in 1902, during the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmy II in the heart of Cairo.

Student discovers writing on pieces of ancient Egyptian mummy case
This historical photo shows the ancient Egyptian mummy case on display at the Stanford museum before the 1906 earthquake broke it into pieces. Credit: Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries

When Ariela Algaze signed up for a spring 2018 course on museums, she didn't expect to get wrapped up in the mystery of an ancient Egyptian mummy case that Jane Stanford herself purchased more than 100 years ago.

"I was just excited to learn how to put an exhibit display together," said Algaze, a Stanford art history sophomore. "But I became obsessed with finding out everything I could about this artifact."

A Female Figurine from Ancient Egypt

Countless figurines have been found in Egypt, from steatopygous figurines in the Predynastic to blue faience nude figurines, from paddle dolls to innumerable shabtis, statuettes designed to spring to life in the afterlife to work for their master in the Fields of Reeds. This particular figurine – E.6895 – predates the New Kingdom (c. 16th Century BCE) and is something of a curious find. The object comes from Garstang’s excavation at Abydos (1906-1909). The statuette features an elaborate headdress or wig, and is decorated with rounded impressions across the entirety of the figurine. These “punctures” are paralleled on other figurines from the Pharaonic Period.
New Books in Egyptology – July-August 2018

Every two months the Nile Scribes update our readers on the most recent Egyptological publications. From accessible reads to peer-reviewed scholarship, we hope to illustrate the wide variety of topics discussed in Egyptology, and perhaps introduce you to your next read! This summer has seen a vast array of topics addressed through new publications, ranging from astronomy and ceramics to imperialism and tomb robberies. Below are eleven new books that were released this summer (July and August 2018).

Archaeological inspection unearths a partial Ptolemaic necropolis in Alexandria

An Egyptian archaeological mission discovered a Ptolemaic necropolis in Alexandria’s western cemetery while carrying out a preliminary archaeological inspection before erecting an iron gate around a workshop at the Gabal Al-Zaytoun railway station in Alexandria.

Pyramid of Khafre’s maintenance works start after Eid el-Adha
Pyramid of Khafre – Egypt Today.

Head of Central Administration for the Restoration and Development of Monuments, Dr. Gharib Sonbol, stated that maintenance works in the pyramid of Khafre will be held after the Eid el-Adha vacation (Muslim celebrations).

The maintenance is carried periodically by the Ministry of Antiquities in an effort to protect the ancient Egyptian monuments.

Sitchin’s rocket in the tomb of Amenhotep-Huy

Painting of the west wall in the tomb of Huy by Charles K. Wilkinson (1920s),  Image © Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

 If you had ever wondered how I came to be writing cranky blog posts debunking memes on the internet, and for that matter, critiquing old art history publications, it is a slightly organic process for me.  I often use the internet for research and I research Near Eastern iconography, which naturally now and then involves searching for images or publications.

After resolutely excluding Pinterest from searches I quite often also come across links to pseudo-science posts that make uninformed claims about ancient art.  Rather than have a complete meltdown, or shun the internet entirely, I write these responses.  It is surprisingly relaxing, my partner sorts stamps, I sort blog posts, in a manner of speaking.

Great Sphinx in Egypt is 800,000 years-old, scientists claim

The Great Sphinx in Egypt is 800,000 years-old, according to a controversial new theory.

A pair of Ukrainian researchers say the mysterious structure is far older than the accepted claim that it was built during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre between 2558–2532 BC.

Manichev Vjacheslav I. and Alexander G. Parkhomenko say evidence of water erosion at the monuments of the Giza Plateau shows the monument was partially flooded.

What really happened to the Library of Alexandria? - Elizabeth Cox

Picture of the week: Isis Temple, Philae, 1920

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ancient Egypt August 27

A New Tradition is Born
Léo, master baker at the Intercontinental, shaped bread dough into mummies, falcons and vases to serve the traditional French ‘poule au pot’.

This July, in Cairo, the Institut Français d’ Egypte, invited Hopla Studios (a culinary design studio based in France), the French Embassy in Cairo, the Intercontinental Hotel City Stars, and Slow Food Cairo to collaborate in recreating heritage foods with a modern twist. Inspired by the important role of food in Ancient Egypt, and of bread in particular, the week-long event orchestrated by Hopla Studios, included round table discussions, presentations and workshops, and culminated with hands-on cooking sessions for children and adults at Mamushka’s restaurant. People of all ages found something fun and interesting to do whilst enjoying good food, presented with flair.

That Massive Black Sarcophagus Contained 3 Inscriptions. Here's What They Mean
Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Three drawings, incised on three sheets of gold, have been discovered in a massive black granite sarcophagus in Alexandria, Egypt.

One expert, not involved with the research, told Live Science that one of the drawings may depict the seed pod of an opium poppy within a shrine. The significance of this enigmatic drawing is still not clear, the expert said.

Initial analysis shows skeletons from huge Egyptian sarcophagus are two men, one woman

The three skeletons found inside a massive granite sarcophagus unearthed in Alexandria last month have been analysed and found to be a young woman and two men, Egyptian antiquities officials have said, and intricate gold panels have also been discovered inside the coffin.

Egypt's new one-billion dollar museum (CNN Video)

Egypt is building The Grand Egyptian Museum, a more than one billion-dollar undertaking that will re-house and restore the country's most precious artifacts. Source: CNN

Picture of the Week: Ancient Egypt – Comparisons caught on camera

Click the link to see early and more recent photographs of some of the great sites. Here's an example from Luxor Temple.

Best meme yet!

No automatic alt text available.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Ancient Egypt August 20 2018

EATAD announces ‘Seven Wonders of Ancient Egypt’
Abydos. Photo © Michalea Moore

The Egyptian Association for Tourism and Archaeological Development (EATAD) has compiled its official “Seven Wonders of Ancient Egypt”, with the Giza pyramids at the top of the list.

Multilingualism along the Nile
Photo courtesy of and © Luigi Prada

When we think of the language of ancient Egypt, the first thing that springs to mind is hieroglyphs carved on temple and tomb walls, the expression of a monolithic and unchangeable culture. Yet this could not be further from the truth. The civilization of ancient Egypt was much more dynamic and open to innovation than we normally give it credit for, and so was its linguistic complexity..

Prehistoric Mummy Reveals Ancient Egyptian Embalming ‘Recipe’ was around for Millennia
Pic credit: Dr Stephen Buckley, University of York

The ancient Egyptians developed sophisticated embalming treatments far earlier and across a wider geographical area than had been previously known, forensic tests on a well-known prehistoric mummy have revealed.

2 Ancient Pieces Discovered during Groundwater Lifting Works in Aswan

The Egyptian Commission affiliated with the Ministry of Antiquities succeeded in discovering two ancient pieces made of mud-sand that date back to the Ptolemaic era.

The discovery was made while the commission was undergoing their current works of removing groundwater from under the Temple of Kom Ombo in the city of Aswan, south of Egypt.

World's oldest cheese found in Egyptian tomb

Aging usually improves the flavor of cheese, but that's not why some very old cheese discovered in an Egyptian tomb is drawing attention. Instead, it's thought to be the most ancient solid cheese ever found, according to a study published in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry.

Unpublished Egyptian texts reveal new insights into ancient medicine
Instructions for a 3,500-year-old pregnancy test. Credit: Carlsberg Papyrus Collection / University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen in Denmark is home to a unique collection of Ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscripts.

A large part of the collection has not yet been translated, leaving researchers in the dark about what they might contain.

"A large part of the texts are still unpublished. Texts about medicine, botany, astronomy, astrology, and other sciences practiced in Ancient Egypt," says Egyptologist Kim Ryholt, Head of the Carlsberg Papyrus Collection at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and Hatshepsut Commanded Empires and Flipped Gender Roles While Pushing Against the Patriarchy

Cleopatra shattered the glass ceiling of power in ancient Egypt. Boudica, the fearsome first-century Celtic Iceni queen, “leaned in” by leading a bloody uprising against the occupying Roman army.

But did either of these women, or a handful of other formidable females whose exploits were recorded by history, ever actually rule the world? That topic took center-stage before an overflow audience at a Zócalo/Getty panel discussion that roamed from pharaonic Egypt to the court of Queen Elizabeth I to the White House.

The Battle Of The Delta (1175 BCE)

The Battle of the Delta was a sea battle between Egypt and the Sea Peoples, circa 1175 BCE when the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses III repulsed a major sea invasion.

The conflict occurred somewhere at the shores of the eastern Nile Delta and partly on the bord

This major conflict is recorded on the temple walls of the mortuary temple of Pharaoh Ramesses III at Medinet Habu.
Report: Sohag Museum a mirror reflecting Egypt’s history

The Sohag National Museum which overlooks the Nile in the Upper Egyptian town of Sohag was finally inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Monday.

In 1989, the foundational stones of this museum were first placed. In 1991, the designs and architectural drawing began and the first contractor received the project in 1993. The project was set to be completed in 1995 but this didn’t happen because the museum launch was halted several times due to technical and interior design issues as well as the lack of financial resources.

For a glimpse inside the museum, check out the Egyptian Museum's Facebook page.
Also of interest, The museum of Sohag in numbers.

From the ND Prairie to Egypt
ND native Mark Lehner discovers more mysteries of the Giza Plateau
Submitted Photo Mark Lehner, center, discusses the 2018 excavations at the Kromer Dump site with Mohsen Kamel, left, field director, and archaeologist Aude Gr—zer Ohara, who points to artifacts they discovered. 

World-renowned Egyptologist Mark Lehner’s journey to the Giza Plateau started in North Dakota.

Lehner said his journey to Egypt began more than 40 years ago when in September 1971 he dropped out of college (He’s Dr. Mark Lehner now.) and didn’t know what to do next. He decided he would hitchhike across the country. So he packed a few things and set out from Minot on U.S. Highway 83.

Papyrus of Aaner, priest of the goddess Mut, Third Intermediate Period (1076 – 722 a.C.)

Check out this amazing animation on the Museo Egizio, Torino Facebook page.

Pictures of the Week

Vintage travel posters from The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press) Facebook page. Oh, how I'd like to have some of these beauties.

The Lucy Gura Archive of the Egypt Exploration Society

The Lucy Gura Archive of the Egypt Exploration Society contains thousands of glass-plate negatives documenting the very earliest years of British archaeology in Egypt. From Petrie’s earliest work in the cemeteries of Abydos through to the excavations of the sacred Buchis bull catacombs in the Bucheum at Armant (ancient Hermonthis), they preserve some of the most significant sites from Egypt’s Pharaonic past.

In 2008 all of the glass-plate negative collections were cleaned and digitised and in 2012–13, many of these slides were subsequently rehoused in archive-standard boxes. However, some 5000 were never rehoused and are at risk of irreparable damage during the forthcoming premises relocation. In order to preserve the negatives for future generations of researchers, they must be rehoused before the move.

Help them here.