Monday, June 25, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 25

See you later, sphinx
Visitors to the Penn Museum explore the Egypt Gallery and its centerpiece, the Sphinx of Rameses II, the sixth-largest granite sphinx in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Photo by Lauren Hansen-Flaschen. 

The colossal stone creature will be going under wraps for conservation at the Penn Museum.

For the first time in 105 years, the Penn Museum’s sphinx will be taken out of public view for an extended period of time. Starting on July 9, the colossal stone creature will be under wraps for an estimated four to six years while artifacts in the Egypt galleries undergo conservation and the spaces undergo a major renovation.

From the Pharaohs to Cleopatra and Julius Caesar: how Egypt influenced Greece and RomeUnknown artist. Antinous as Osiris, about 130. Roman, marble. (Musee du Louvre/RMN-Grand Palais/Daniel Lebee/Carine Deambrosis/Art Resource)

Big, needlelike sculptures, based on Egyptian prototypes, are dotted all over America. The most famous, obviously, is the Washington Monument. Another, in Boston, commemorates the battle of Bunker Hill. There’s even an authentic, 3,000-year-old Egyptian one in New York’s Central Park, known as “Cleopatra’s Needle.”

Solstice at Karnak Temple’s Western Gate  
The sight of the sun falling perpendicular on the temple of Amoun Ra’ in Luxor - Archive

he sun will set from the western gate of the Karnak Temple on June 21, which marks the rare astronomical phenomenon of summer solstice.

Ahmed Abdelkader, a researcher specialized in astronomical tourism, told MENA that sun rays will disappear gradually from the temple’s complex starting 6 p.m.until the Holy of Holies is darkened.

Paul McCartney's 'Egypt Station': What Is It?

Paul McCartney’s upcoming project is titled “Egypt Station,” he’s finally made clear – but fans continue to speculate on what form it might take.

While the Beatles icon had previously said he was planning to release an album in 2018 – and last week unveiled a new track, "Come On to Me," in concert that presumably appears on it – he hasn’t yet said whether that’s what “Egypt Station” is.

Down the Nile, into the Mediterranean
“Hippopotamus” (2nd century), artist unknown. Roman. Rosso antico. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo by Ole Haupt

Because of its scope and depth, it’s best to have an initial understanding of what “Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World” has set out to achieve. “The overarching goal of this exhibition,” notes Jeffrey Spier, “is for visitors to understand Egypt, Greece, and Rome not as monolithic, separate entities but as cultures that shared and exchanged aspects of their religion, artistic traditions, languages, and customs in an evolving milieu.”

Death of the Firstborn Egyptians

Death of the Firstborn Egyptians from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 18

Top 5 Ancient Egypt Books for Kids

Many of us have been reading books about antiquity since our youngest days and if we were lucky enough to learn about ancient Egypt in elementary school, our fascination for ancient cultures blossomed at an early age. In this blog, the Nile Scribes have chosen our six favourite books which are perfectly suited to teach the youngest of readers about the world of ancient Egypt, and might even inspire some of them to be Egyptologists someday.

Museum displays parity of women in ancient Egypt

Like many a bumbling tourist, this traveler was perplexed by the unexpected. People dressed differently, ate differently, wrote differently, did everything differently. The river flowed not from north to south but from south to north.

But what was most perplexing to the fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus when he visited Egypt was the role of women. "Women attend market and are employed in trade, while men stay at home and do the weaving," he wrote.

The Egyptians, he concluded, "in their manners and customs seem to have reversed the ordinary practices of mankind."

Newsmax TV Takes a 'Journey Through the Valley of the Kings' in Ancient Egypt

Take an unforgettable journey through the burial grounds of the ancient world's most powerful rulers — the pharaohs of Egypt — as Newsmax TV presents a powerful new documentary, “Journey Through the Valley of the Kings.”

In this powerful TV event, you’ll go on an astonishingly realistic tour of the fabled “Valley of the Kings.” And while King Tutankhamun's tomb may be considered the most famous resting place in the world, the treasures that lay with him pale in comparison to those once buried with the greatest pharaohs in the valley.


Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered several pieces of ancient rock art from more than 3,000 years ago, according to a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Antiquities.

A joint American-Egyptian research team led by John Coleman Darnell from Yale University discovered the works at an ancient site in Egypt’s Eastern Desert—part of the Sahara that lies east of the Nile River—which was used as a quarry and a place for manufacturing flint in ancient times.

Renovation of discovered head of Ramses II completed
Newly discovered parts of the statue of Ramses II in the Temple of KomOmbo, Aswan – Photo courtesy of Ministry of Antiquities’ official statement.

Renovation of the discovered head of Ramses II statuein the Temple of Kom Ombo was completed, according to Ahmed Sayed, general manager of Kom Ombo antiquities sector.

Sayed said that the head was put in the museum's store of the temple to undergo some necessary studies.

Jersey’s lost Egyptian treasure

Among the pioneering Egyptologists searching for the tombs of the pharaohs in the 19th century was a little-known man of Jersey origin whose family would later make a sensational gift to the Island.

John Gosset appears in the pages of a diary written by Edward Lane, acknowledged as one of the first group of modern Europeans to seriously investigate the archaeological remains of the great Egyptian dynasties now so familiar to us.

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New logo design for Grand Egyptian Museum creates controversy

Some thought the design simple and elegant, whilst others thought it bore little relation to Egyptian culture.

The newly released logo design for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) has resulted in controversy among archaeologists, artists and architects.

Egyptologist Kara Cooney Melds Scholarship and Popular History

This may be L.A.'s Year of King Tut, but the ongoing exhibition at the California Science Center shouldn't suggest the boy king is the only Egyptological celebrity in town. For nearly a decade, professor Kara Cooney has educated students — and the public at large — in the ancient ways of the land of the pharaohs. She's UCLA's Nefertiti of Near Eastern studies, and she's as statuesque as some of the granite likenesses she's studied in the field.

Moses Goes Down to Egypt by artist Nina Paley

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 11

Can Egypt’s superheroes stop corruption?
Characters from the El3osba comic book series include (L-R) Walhan, Microbusgy, Alpha, Horus, Mariam and Kaf.

Horus, the god of the sky in Egyptian mythology, has risen to fight corruption. He is accompanied by Mariam, who is a female doctor with the superpower to heal, and Microbusgy, a minibus driver who can control fire and dust.

How this ancient African town in Egypt became the world’s first planned city
Sir Flinders Petrie — Ancient Pages

Kahun, the first ancient Egyptian town that was excavated, was not like other towns at the time as it was not meant for the general population or ordinary activities.

It was basically a temporary site for workers who were building the Al-Lahun pyramid.

Abandoned right after work was done, Kahun was built during the reign of King Senusret.

In the late 19th century, Sir Flinders Petrie, a British archaeologist, first excavated Kahun, where he found many working tools like chisels, knives, fishing nets, hoes, rakes, mallets, and flints, emphasizing the fact that the area had served as a workers’ village.

Andrew Carnegie and Pittsburgh’s Ancient Egypt Collection
Egypt Hall entrance at Carnegie Museum of Natural History; credit CMNH

Known as the ‘Steel City’, Pittsburgh is a bustling metropolis in western Pennsylvania and is well-known for its long-time connections to Andrew Carnegie. An immigrant from Scotland who moved to the United States at the age of 13, Carnegie’s family settled in the area around Allegheny. Carnegie would go on to become a wealthy steel tycoon and devoted the later parts of his life to philanthropy, something for which he is well-known. Several institutions around Pittsburgh owe their existence to him: among them the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In this week’s post, the Nile Scribes introduce you to the Carnegie’s Egyptian collection.

What Is It With Egypt? Ancient Egypt-themed Slots Making a Comeback

The mysterious world of ancient Egypt has always been an inspiration for the entertainment industry in all of its forms so it comes as a little surprise that the online gambling industry jumped on the band wagon, producing many Egypt-themed slots over the years. And, while we had a break of sorts for a brief period, it seems that casino games based on the myths and history of ancient Egypt are back in a full swing once again.

Dozens of Mysterious ‘Reserve Heads’ Were Sealed in Ancient Egyptian Tombs
Left to right: Possible brother of Snefrusonb, unknown male, unknown head, Prince Sneferu-seneb, Princess Meritites. PUBLIC DOMAIN

IN 1894, THE FRENCH ARCHAEOLOGIST Jacques de Morgan made a perplexing discovery in the royal necropolis of Dashur. In a tomb dating around the reign of Snefru (beginning 2613 B.C.) during Egypt’s fourth dynasty, he found an odd sculpture of a human head. This object, known as a reserve head, has puzzled and inspired scholars for over a century.

The Process of Papyrus to Papers in Ancient Egypt

The papyrus plant was of tremendous importance within the ancient Egyptian civilization. The plant served many uses, but the most significant was its development as a source of raw materials for the production of paper. The ancient Egyptians developed a process for the harvesting, manufacture, use and storage of this valuable material.

Ancient Egyptian Footwear at the Bata Shoe Museum
The sole of a mummy case with a bound Syrian and Nubian (Obj no. 2327/1 – Provenance unknown) (Photo: Malek, 4,000 Years, 348)

As you make your way north on St. George Street in downtown Toronto towards the similarly named subway station, you may notice a building shaped like a shoebox. The Bata Shoe Museum is dedicated to the cultural and creative uses of shoes throughout the world: from heels and seal fur boots to astronaut footwear. Their collection also includes sandals from ancient Egypt. The Nile Scribes visited the museum and explored their special exhibit The Gold Standard: Glittering Footwear from around the World.

Baking Ancient Egyptian Bread

Note: Last week, we had an article on making ancient Egyptian beer, so it's only fair we do bread this week. (Fortunately, this article appeared just in time.)

Bread was a staple in ancient Egyptian diet.  Made from a variety of ingredients, bread loaves of different sizes were made in a variety of shapes, including human figures and animals. They were often elaborately decorated and whole or cracked grain was frequently added, resembling the multi-grain breads baked nowadays. Experiments conducted to solve ‘the mysteries of Egyptian bread pot’ have provided few recipes, and a study carried out by Delwen Samuel has established that ancient Egyptians might have been as good at baking as they were at building pyramids.

Egypt: Old Kingdom

Strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire. Developed with the assistance of Egyptologists.

Video of the Week

Monday, June 4, 2018

Ancient Egypt June 4

Egyptian antiquities uncovered during Sydney house clean-up donated to university

A large collection of Egyptian antiquities uncovered during a clean-up of a Sydney home has been donated to a university archaeological museum. Rosemary Beattie recalls the oddity of being shown what was supposedly a mummified cat during childhood visits to her grandmother's house.

Scientists Thought This Egyptian Mummy Was a Bird. The True Contents Were a Sad Surprise

A tiny, 2,100-year-old mummy from ancient Egypt had long been thought to contain the remains of a treasured bird - which would make sense, considering the hawk-themed decorations and small size.

Mystery of the giant building found in Egypt containing bronze tools, statues, and a commemorative gold coin

Researchers have discovered the ruins of a huge Roman bath at the San El-Hagar archaeological site in Egypt.

Alongside the 52-foot-long red brick structure, archaeologists also unearthed pottery vessels, terracotta statues, bronze tools, a chunk of engraved stone, and a statue of a ram.

The most remarkable artifact, however, is among the smallest.

Massive Buhen fortress still under Nile
Buhen-Fortress | by nubianimage Buhen-Fortress | by nubianimage / flicker

Buhen was a massive fortress located on the west bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia (northern Sudan). The walls of the fortress were made of brick and stone walls, approximately 5 meters (16 ft) thick and about 10 meters (33 ft) high, covering an area of about 13,000 square meters (140,000 sq ft) and extending more than 150 meters (490 ft). It was constructed during the reigns of King Senusret III in the Middle Kingdom era (12th dynasty) to protect Egypt and the commercial ships from rebel Nubians in the south, according to “Ancient Egypt” by David P. Silverman.

A sip of history: ancient Egyptian beer

Painted wooden model of four figures preparing food and beer. From Sidmant, Egypt, 6th Dynasty (c. 2345–2181 BC).

Beer was a result of the Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BC), as fermentation was an accidental by-product of the gathering of wild grain. It’s said that beer was not invented but discovered, yet the manufacturing of beer was an active choice and the ancient Egyptians produced and consumed it in huge volumes.

Not unsurprisingly, beer has made other appearances in this blog. See Bread and Beer and From Beer to Sacred Cat Rugs.

Minecraft Adds New Egyptian Mythology Add-On Pack

Minecraft players now have a new Egyptian Mythology Mash-Up pack to download that adds all kinds of Egyptian-themed textures, new mobs, skins, and much more.

The optional Minecraft add-on was revealed earlier today by Mojang as it became available across all Minecraft platforms. Announcing the release of the add-on in a new post on the game’s site, Mojang’s Per Landin shared more on the add-on and what’s made possible because of it.

Picture of the week

H.M. Herget - from a 1941 issue of National Geographic.

Video of the Week