Monday, January 1, 2018

Ancient Egypt January 1, 2018

Giza 2000 BC

Celebrating the Seasons: the Ancient Egyptian Calendar

In the spirit of the holidays, the Nile Scribes have teamed up with The Dead Speak Online to bring you a double feature on the celebration of holidays, or festivals, in ancient Egypt and their place in the Egyptian calendar.

A year of many discoveries

Coincidence has always played a major role in making new discoveries. Among the most famous examples are the uncovering of the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, the funerary collection of the Pharaoh Khufu’s mother Hetepheres, the Pyramids Builders’ Cemetery on the Giza Plateau, and the Valley of the Golden Mummies in the Bahareya Oasis.

This year, coincidence led to the discovery of more than 30 treasures, something which made the Ministry of Antiquities describe 2017 as “the year of discoveries”.

Today’s archaeologists are putting down shovels and turning to tech

In 1817, the Italian archaeology pioneer Captain Giovanni Battista Caviglia set out to explore the Great Pyramid of Giza, a.k.a. Cheops’ Pyramid: the oldest of the three three Giza pyramids and the most ancient of the Seven Wonders of the World. Like a lot of Egyptologists of his age, Caviglia’s pioneering work led to some profound insights into Ancient Egyptian civilization — but at a cost. Believing there was treasure located in an undiscovered hidden chamber in the pyramid, he used dynamite to blast several holes, causing significant damage.

Jump forward 200 years to 2017.

Mummies take centre stage in British Museum shake-up

The British Museum’s famous Egyptian mummies are to be moved as part of a historic overhaul of the institution’s permanent collection.  The mummies are set to be lowered to the museum’s ground floor — reuniting them with other Egyptian treasures, including the Rosetta Stone — under plans to display exhibits in chronological order for the first time.

Egypt's Heliopolis: Archaeologists face modern problems at ancient site

Excavating the ancient city of Egypt's Heliopolis is not your stereotypical dig. At one archaeological site, workers had to remove trash that had been 13-metres deep before they could start on the dirt. For the archaeologists and antiquities officials, the most pressing challenges are modern, not ancient.

Copper Content of Ancient Egyptian Ink May Help Us (Literally) Piece Together Egyptian History

Modern pen and paper has an ancient ancestor – ink and papyrus. Around 5,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians invented arguably one of the most important tools of civilized life, and their technology allowed people to communicate across vast distances for the first time. They cleverly harnessed the soot produced from the manufacturing of copper-containing ores to create the black ink color. Naturally, this idea quickly spread around the world to places like ancient Greece and Rome, which changed the world forever.

Ancient Deir el-Medina artworks exhibited in Cairo

A temporary exhibition showing artworks from the ancient Deir el-Medina kicked off here on Thursday. Deir el-Medina was home to a community of workers and artisans in charge of digging and decorating the tombs of Pharaohs in the ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period (16th century BC-11th century BC). (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

The Alchemy and Artistry of Ancient Egypt’s Funerary Portraits

HER RAPT, BLACK EYES GAZE out, as if she’s waiting for you to ask her a question. Her hairstyle—a braid twirled and tucked at the crown of her head—hints at a noble rank, as does her purple tunic, dangling earrings, and stack of necklaces dappled with pearls and gemstones. It’s been a few millennia, so flecks of paint have sloughed off of the lifelike portrait, which was fastened to her mummified body during Egypt’s Coptic period, nearly 2,000 years ago.

Cleopatra Biopic Will Be a ‘Dirty, Bloody’ Political Thriller

Screenwriter David Scarpa says Sony’s in-the-works Cleopatra will be a “dirty, bloody” political thriller. Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct the historical biopic based on Stacy Schiff’s 2010 book Cleopatra: A Life. Angelina Jolie has long been attached to the project, but it’s unknown whether she remains on-board.

For more info, see Villeneuve’s “Cleopatra” Has Swearing & Sex.

The Cleopatras

The Cleopatras was a 1983 BBC Television eight-part historical drama serial. Written by Philip Mackie, it is set in Ancient Egypt during the latter part of the Ptolemaic Dynasty with an emphasis on the Cleopatras. Intended to be the I, Claudius of the 1980s, The Cleopatras met with a decidedly mixed critical reaction. It was regarded and portrayed as a gaudy farce.

The 10 Biggest Archaeology Discoveries of 2017
Photo Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Of particular note to Egyptophiles, Slides 6 & 7, although to be perfectly clear, these are all pretty cool.

Archaeologists were digging up plenty of fascinating bones and other ancient remains throughout 2017, revealing more intriguing information about humans' past. From hundreds of mysterious stone structures in Saudi Arabia called gates, to a previously undiscovered cave that held Dead Sea Scrolls, to a woman who was literally buried with her husband's heart, Live Science takes a look at 10 of the coolest archaeological and historical finds of the year.


A pristine, white sarcophagus once held the mummy of the Egyptian Pharoah Seti I, whose father, Ramses, was the revered ruler of the ancient Egyptian kingdom for more than a decade sometime in the 1200s B.C. The sarcophagus located in a tomb chamber decorated with some of the most well-preserved hieroglyphs and paintings of Egyptian mythology known to man. After centuries of mass pillaging—and the mass tourism of more recent years—the tomb has been irreversibly destroyed.

But the Egyptian artifact has been granted a second life at the Antikenmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, as a 3-D printed copy.