Monday, August 19, 2019

August 19, 2019

'Invisible Ink' on Antique Nile Papyrus Revealed by Multiple Methods
Photo from Science Direct

The first thing that catches an archaeologist's eye on the small piece of papyrus from Elephantine Island on the Nile is the apparently blank patch. Researchers from the Egyptian Museum, Berlin universities and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now used the synchrotron radiation from BESSY II to unveil its secret. This pushes the door wide open for analysing the giant Berlin papyrus collection and many more.

‘The Mountain of the Dead’: One of Siwa’s Archeological Landmarks 
Copyright: Elena Moiseeva - Fotolia

Known for its various archaeological monuments, Egypt’s countless ancient tombs carry snippets of history in every corner.

Located about 560 kilometers northwest of Cairo, Siwa Oasis is home to one of the most important burial sites dating to Dynasty 26, ‘The Mountain of the Dead.’

‘The Mountain of the Dead’ contains thousands of graves cut in the bedrock, where inscriptions helped to date the oldest graves to researchers and scholars. According to the official site of the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt, burials continued in this cemetery until the late Roman era.

Shirt brand Eton Looks to Ancient Egypt and Indian Trucks for Inspiration
A shirt from Eton's Horizon collection, inspired by Egypt. Courtesy Eton

The Swedish brand turns to scarabs, hieroglyphics and the art found on colourful lorries for its statement shirts.

Since he was a young boy, Sebastian Dollinger has been fascinated by the mysteries of ancient Egypt. From the sweeping structure of the Great Pyramid to life on the banks of the Nile, it’s a place that always held a sense of wonder for Eton’s creative director.

Animated Gifs For The Egyptian Museum Of Turin

Note: These gifs are supercool, but can take a hot minute to load.

Robin studios produced a  series of thematic animated GIFs for the social channels of the Egyptian Museum of Turin.
The animations were made by combining the images of the real finds photographed inside the Museum with animated vector illustrations that faithfully reproduce the original finds.

Bolton Museum Refurbishment

Our heritage specialists modernised this well-known Grade II listed building to give a dynamic new future for the museum that is now one of the UK’s best places for Egyptology.

The space we created means visitors to ‘Bolton’s Egypt’ can learn about the town’s important links to the world of pharaohs and pyramids in the family-friendly, interactive gallery, with room for 2,000 objects, more than double the previous capacity.

The museum’s collection of paintings, sculptures, statues and other artworks is also on display in a new gallery called Bolton’s Art.

Unique 4500-Year-Old Nobleman Tomb Discovered

During the excavation and documentation of the pyramid complex of King Djedkare Isesi of the 5thDynasty in south Sakkara (Saqqara), the Egyptian archaeological mission directed by Dr. Mohamed Megahed has discovered a unique tomb belong to a nobleman called “Khuy” and dated to the end of the 5thDynasty of the Old Kingdom (24th-25thcentury B.C).

Dr. Mostafa Waziri said that the tomb consists of an upper structure which is an offering chapel in (L) shape. The blocks of the chapel seem to be taken apart since antiquities and reused in other sites as the mission only found the white limestone remains of the lower parts of the walls.

Saqqara Archaeological Site to be Developed
Saqqara Step Pyramids - planetware

A protocol to provide services for visitors and tourists in Saqqara Archeological Area, Giza Governorate has been signed.

The protocol of cooperation has been signed by the ministers of antiquities and Housing as well as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Urban Communities Authority.

The signing of the protocol took place in the presence of Atef Moftah, general supervisor of the project of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the surrounding area, and Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

5 Films that Immortalised Egyptian Queen Cleopatra in Popular Culture

The last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra is one of the most famous figures of the ancient world, having been immortalised in Medieval and Renaissance literature, as well as being depicted in various coinage, sculptures, busts and paintings. Shakespeare has immortalised her love-affair with Mark Antony in his play Antony and Cleopatra, and in modern times, she has appeared in fine arts, burlesques, Hollywood films and brand imagery, turning into a pop culture icon of Egyptomania, or the renewed interest of Europeans in ancient Egypt during the nineteenth century.

National Geographic’s ‘Egypt Specials’

National Geographic Abu Dhabi has launched an exclusive series titled “Egypt Specials” featuring stories and mysteries of the ancient kingdoms along with several artifacts and treasures that belonged to the pharaohs.

Delving into a world packed with cultural monuments and historic findings, the four-hour series displays the latest technologies used to explore the pharaohs’ treasures. The series also offers views from scholars and archeologists who contribute new perspectives while bringing historical monarchies to light.

Orphné Achéron: Wow! Just Wow!

Paris • Illustrator inspired by antiquity, mythology, medieval era... and by my ancestors.
Also see Orphné in the following places:

Monday, August 12, 2019

August 12 2019

A 'Secret' Tour Inside The Long-Awaited Grand Egyptian Museum

When it finally opens, Cairo's Grand Egyptian Museum will be the largest museum dedicated to a single civilization.
Standing just two kilometers away from the pyramids of Giza, the monument, which will house some of Egypt's most precious relics, is expected to attract around five million visitors a year.
More than a decade in the making, and with its opening being pushed back once again in 2018, there's one "secret" way travelers can visit the 5.2-million-square-foot structure before it officially launches in 2020.
A private behind-the-scenes tour is currently in operation -- albeit with a $250 price tag.

Peak Practice – The Art of Building Pyramids
A lantern slide showing inscriptions on the walls of the burial chamber of the pyramid of Unas. Brooklyn Museum

The pyramids at Giza, the three monuments built for kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure from c. 2470–2396 BC, have come to symbolise the achievements of ancient Egypt. But the recent opening to the public of the ‘Bent Pyramid’ at Dahshur, 30 km south of Cairo, has brought attention to an important reality: most pyramids aren’t as gigantic as the famous ones at Giza, or as well constructed. Over the years, there was quite a bit of variation and experimentation in their design.

Scribe Like an Egyptian

In ancient Egypt, literacy was the key to success. However, contrary to popular belief, not all Egyptian scribes understood hieroglyphs. Many relied instead on the simpler hieratic script for the multitude of everyday documents generated by the Egyptian bureaucracy.

Hieroglyphs – ‘the Words of God’ – compose a writing system with more than 1,000 distinct characters, the meaning of which was lost for 1,500 years before they were deciphered by Jean-François Champollion in 1823. Including both ideograms (which convey a whole word or idea, either concrete or abstract, in a single sign) and phonograms (representing either an alphabetic sound or a group of consonants), it was used in formal inscriptions on tomb and temple walls as well as on elaborate funerary papyri. For everyday purposes, however, scribes used a shorthand version of the hieroglyphic script known as hieratic, which was quicker to write and more economical of space. The two writings existed side by side for at least 2,500 years.

Relocation Of Ptolemaic Burial Chamber From Sohag To New Administrative Capital Faces Heavy Criticism

The Ministry of Antiquities’ decision to relocate the well-preserved Ptolemaic burial chamber stirred a wave of controversy. The tomb, discovered earlier this year, is scheduled to be relocated from Al-Dayabat archaeological site in Sohag governorate to the New Administrative Capital’s museum.

Graffiti as Devotion: Interview with co-curators Geoff Emberling and Suzanne Davis
Photo: International Kurru Archaeological Project.

The Kelsey’s next special exhibition, Graffiti as Devotion along the Nile: El-Kurru, Sudan, will open on August 23, 2019. This show presents ancient and medieval graffiti discovered at a temple and pyramid at the site of El-Kurru in northern Sudan. Exhibition co-curators Geoff Emberling (co-director of the El-Kurru project and associate research scientist at the Kelsey) and Suzanne Davis (conservator at El-Kurru and associate curator for conservation at the Kelsey) sat down recently to discuss graffiti at El-Kurru.

Hieroglyphics Courses for Children Open at Culture Society-affiliated

Out of a belief in the need to connect new generations to their history and instill within them a love for ancient Egyptian civilization, the Ministry of Antiquities

and Egypt’s Society for Culture and Development have jointly opened hieroglyphics courses for children at affiliated libraries.
Cooperation was initiated between the Department of Cultural Development of the Ministry of Antiquities and the libraries affiliated with Egypt’s Society for Culture and Development last year.

OI Marks 100 Years of Discovery in Ancient Middle East
Photo by Jean Lachat
A century ago, a few lone scholars began arguing a controversial idea: Western civilization had its roots not in Greece and Rome, as academics had maintained for centuries, but further back—in the sun-drenched lands of the ancient Middle East.

That idea was at the center of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago when it was founded in 1919. Over the course of the next 100 years, the OI has changed how humans understand their own history through groundbreaking work in archaeology, linguistics, and historical and literary analysis—work that continues today in Chicago and across the Middle East.

Researchers Concocted an Ancient Egyptian Perfume Perhaps Worn by Cleopatra
Marc Antony, following his nose. LAWRENCE ALMA-TADEMA/PUBLIC DOMAIN

IF CLEOPATRA WANTED TO WOO you, you’d smell her before you ever saw her. Legend has it that when she first visited Marc Antony in Tarsus, she coated the purple sails of her golden boat in a fragrance so pungent that it wafted all the way to shore. As Shakespeare wrote, Cleopatra’s sails were “so perfumèd that the winds were lovesick with them.” It does sound a bit extra, but, honestly, who wouldn’t want to catch a whiff of Egypt’s most famous queen?

Assassin’s Creed Footage Used In National Geographic’s Egyptian Exhibit

When it comes to learning and education in the real world, there are various methods and mediums to make the learning process easier and fun. Creating interactive and educational video games is one of them. The internationally renown Minecraft franchise received critical-acclaim for its family-friendly entertainment.  As the series continued to grow, so did its reach, eventually branching out and creating a learning tool. Similarly, the Assassin’s Creed series have done the same, going as far as the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC.

According to a Reddit post by Giantmills, the National Geographic Museum used gameplay footage from Assassin’s Creed Origins in their ancient Egyptian exhibit called “Queens of Egypt,” showcasing what researchers believe the everyday life of the inhabitants were like during at the time.

King Tut’s Coffin Is in ‘Very Bad Condition'; Egypt Begins Restoration
Salma Islam/ For The Times

Egypt is restoring one of King Tutankhamen’s coffins for the first time since its discovery in 1922, part of the preparations for next year’s opening of the country’s lavish new museum overlooking the Pyramids of Giza, where the relics from the boy king’s tomb are expected to be the biggest draw.
Restorers at the laboratory for wooden objects at the Grand Egyptian Museum have begun fumigating the gilded coffin, after it was carefully moved from Tutankhamen’s tomb in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings in southern Egypt amid tight security last month.

Explore Ancient Egypt's Mythical Side Playson's Solar Queen

Solar Queen slot game is an Egyptian-themed adventure from leading playmaker, Playson. This entertaining slot machine game is peppered with visually stunning imagery, and crisp casino audio. Players are instantly transported to an ancient land of mysticism and magic.

Cartoon of the Week

Image may contain: drawing

Monday, August 5, 2019

August 5, 2019

Through Gemstones, a Glimpse into Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Photo: Spencer et al. Amara West: Living in Egyptian Nubia , 69

On the second day of fieldwork in Abydos, Egypt, Penn doctoral student Shelby Justl stumbled upon something rare: an inscribed piece of ancient limestone called an ostracon. “You rarely find writing in Egyptian archaeology. Writing is either on papyrus, which decays easily, or on stone that fades over time,” she explains. “I translated the text and determined this was a land-transfer document, a bill of sale of two arouras of land.”

Modern Murals of Ancient Egypt

Murals by Alaa Awad in Luxor near the landing for the water taxis at the tour bus/taxi roundabout. Also, check out his Facebook page.

Tracing the Evolution of Beer in Egypt on International Beer Day
Credit: CBS News

Just over 10 years ago, International Beer Day was inaugurated in Santa Cruz as a day-long celebratory event dedicated to the popular brewed drink. Since, worldwide celebrations have taken place in breweries and pubs across the globe with connoisseurs and thirsty individuals gathering to taste and enjoy their favorite beers on the first Friday of the month of August.

Now we could brush this event aside as simply another one of those countless ‘International Days’ that seem to pop up all the time, were it not for the fun fact that beer has a history that can be traced back to ancient Egypt.

Scientists Hope to Recreate A Slice Of Ancient Egypt by Baking Bread with 5,000-Year-Old Yeast

Specialists are attempting to domesticate 5,000-year-old yeast present in clay pots to make the identical sort of bread that might have been damaged by the Ancient Egyptians.

The weird baking undertaking has been realised thanks to a particular process for extracting ancient yeast from artefacts with out damaging them.

In a related style, researchers additionally assume they might make ancient beer.

Note: Beer and Bread making is a always of interest. Here are a few of the articles I found in the past.

Excellently preserved polychrome limestone statues of the official Nefer were among the surprising finds of 2012 © archive of the Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
Between Prague and Cairo. 100 years of Czech Egyptology
© Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University

This year a century will pass since the first lectures in Egyptology, which associate professor František Lexa held at the Charles University in the summer semester of 1919. Czech Egyptology has made giant strides forward since then, and the Czech Institute of Egyptology of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, the only institution of its kind in our country, commemorates the anniversary of this journey by an exhibition organized in cooperation with the Charles University in the exhibition premises of the Karolinum.

The Ba soul existing the tomb on the day of the shadow. Thebes Tomb TT 290. Wikipedia
Birth and Rebirth in Ancient Egypt
The Ba soul existing the tomb on the day of the shadow. Thebes Tomb TT 290. Wikipedia
Birth has always been one the most dangerous periods of human life. In ancient Egypt saving the lives of mother and child during that trial entailed special measures. One was medicine, which was really mostly magic, and the other were religious practices, including prayers to divinities like the Seven Hathors or Isis. But in Egypt, birth was closely paired with death, which was the gateway to rebirth.

Medical papyri, in particular Papyrus Kahun and Papyrus Ebers, or magical ones like Papyrus Berlin 3027, gave a large place to spells and recipes for the protection of mother and child during pregnancy and childbirth. The spells also noted the importance of ensuring human fecundity, one of the pharaoh’s duties towards his people.

Who Were the Mysterious Neolithic People that Enabled the Rise of Ancient Egypt?
Well preserved vs. wind‐eroded remains at Gebel Ramlah. Author provided

To many, ancient Egypt is synonymous with the pharaohs and pyramids of the Dynastic period starting about 3,100BC. Yet long before that, about 9,300-4,000BC, enigmatic Neolithic peoples flourished. Indeed, it was the lifestyles and cultural innovations of these peoples that provided the very foundation for the advanced civilisations to come.

Inside Besix-Orascom's Construction Plan for Grand Egyptian Museum

Located near the internationally famed Giza Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt’s planned Grand Egyptian Museum is set to become one of the largest – if not the biggest – archaeological museum in the world. Devoted entirely to a single civilisation, the museum – currently being built 15km southeast of Cairo – is set to galvanise the global fascination with ancient Egyptian culture.

Tasked with building the project is Belgian construction giant Besix, alongside its 50% owner, Egyptian contracting firm Cairo-based Orascom Construction, which is headed by chief executive officer, Osama Bishai.

Everything We Know About Cairo's New Grand Egyptian Museum
Ramses II at the GEM © Sima Diab

It's been a while since news first broke on Egypt's much anticipated new antiquities museum: the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which will be the largest archeological museum in the world. The opening date has been pushed back over a year, but we have heard (by Presidential decree, no less) that it will definitely happen in early 2020 . If you have visited Cairo’s existing Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, you'll notice a definite leap from the 19th to the 21st century with this opening. Where the old museum has been a storehouse of treasures, the new one is a $1 billion state-of-the-art, glass and concrete display space that leads guests through a journey similar to Howard Carver's when he discovered the Boy King's tomb a century ago. The new location—outside central Cairo, on the Giza plateau on the edge of the Western Desert—looks out at the famous pyramids and adds even more atmosphere.

How the Pyramids Were Built Inspires Engineering Historians
Dog Sleeping on Great Pyramid © Michalea Moore

The Egyptian pyramids, represented most famously by the pyramids at Giza, are perhaps the most enduring and iconic vestige of the ancient Egyptian civilization. How the pyramids were built, however, remains a source of intense speculation among historians, archaeologists and engineers.

The scale and precision of the pyramids demonstrate the Egyptians’ extraordinary skills in mathematics, astronomy, logistics and engineering. Unfortunately, the Egyptians did not devote the same level of effort to documenting their planning and construction processes. Much of what we know about how the pyramids were built, therefore, comes from observations made and artifacts unearthed by archaeologists at Giza and other Egyptian pyramid sites.

Adventurers to Test Ancient Egypt-to-Black Sea Route
Members of the crew assemble the 14-meter long sailing reed boat Abora IV in the town of Beloslav, Bulgaria, on July 25, 2019 (AFP Photo)

Were the ancient Egyptians able to use reed boats to travel as far as the Black Sea thousands of years ago?

A group of adventurers believes so and will try to prove their theory by embarking on a similar journey in reverse.

In mid-August the team of two dozen researchers and volunteers from eight countries will set off from the Bulgarian port of Varna, hoping their Abora IV reed boat will take them the 700 nautical miles through the Bosporus, the Aegean and as far as the island of Crete.

The Slaughter Court in Sety I Temple, Abydos
Abydos Temple © Michalea Moore

On Sunday Mohammed Abu el-Yezid, from the Ministry of Antiquties in Egypt, came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk about the Slaughter Court in Seti I's temple at Abydos. He is the Egyptologist and site manager for the province of Sohag (which includes Abydos) and he researched the Slaughter Court for his MA from Ain Shams University where he is currently studying for his PhD.

Searching for Smenkhkare

My book, Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt came out in paperback yesterday, and I’m just beginning to think about going back to Egypt looking for ‘missing tombs’ with a fourth group this October. One of the individuals I talk about in Chapter 3 is a little-known pharaoh called Smenkhkare. He (or perhaps she…?) was a pharaoh of the Amarna Period and probably ruled either towards the end of Akhenaten’s reign as a co-regent, or after Akhenaten’s death as his successor (whether immediate or not).

Assassin's Creed Origins - Game vs Real Life Egypt

360° Travel inside the Great Pyramid of Giza - BBC

I took this trek the first time I visited the Great Pyramid. Very few people make it to the burial chamber, because it's a steep climb that you make hunched over for a lot of the climb. Not sure how I did it, but by the time I reached the chamber, I had the greatest respect for the workers who hauled the sarcophagus to the top.

Monday, July 29, 2019

July 29, 2019

Between Oedipus and the Sphinx: Freud and Egypt

This new exhibition explores Freud’s enduring fascination with Egypt evident both in his writings and in his collection of antiquities.

A painting of Oedipus’ encounter with the Sphinx famously hung beside Freud’s couch. Nobody doubts the significance of Oedipus to the development of Freud’s thought but the presence of the Sphinx reminds us of his less celebrated interest in Egyptian culture. Egyptian artefacts form the largest part of Freud’s collection and lie behind his ‘archaeological metaphor’ – one of his most productive methods for exploring the psyche and developing the practice of psychoanalysis.

The Destruction Of Humanity

We are fortunate to have many surviving pieces of Egyptian literature and religious writings, allowing us to translate, read, and share stories that were originally composed in the ancient past. We have previously looked at the story of Osiris and Isis, one of the most famous tales from ancient Egypt. Today, we’re going to be looking at a very different tale, however – one known amongst Egyptologists by the rather unusual name, “the Myth of the Heavenly Cow”.

Book Review: An Enlightening Look Into The Birth Of Egyptology

Alessandro Ricci’s travels to Egypt and Sudan took place a few years before the birth of Egyptology in 1822, the year Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered the hieroglyphs. His work, a detailed account of his journeys enriched with beautiful drawings of ancient monuments, was never published in his lifetime. Ricci is little known today yet his contemporaries, including Champollion, unanimously acknowledged the artistic qualities of his work, essentially epigraphic copies of reliefs, temple decorations and inscriptions.

KV 11 Revisited
Two of the ships depicted in Room Bb of the tomb. Frontispiece of the 1978 edition of Wilkinson’s The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, Vol. II.

The tomb of Ramesses III (KV 11) is one of the most renowned places in the Valley of the Kings, but also one of the most threatened by progressive decay. After several floods, between 1885 and 1914, a major part of the wall decoration was lost forever. Although it has been one of the most frequently visited tombs since antiquity, it still remains unpublished. Nevertheless, it is possible to reconstruct a substantial part of the decoration from the notes, drawings and squeezes produced by early travellers and researchers. “KV 11 revisited” is part of The Ramesses III (KV 11) Publication and Conservation Project.

Egyptology (video)

From Cairo to Luxor, Egyptologists are working alongside physicists and engineers to try to solve the secrets of the pharaohs. Using non-invasive exploration techniques which won’t damage the monuments, teams of researchers began scanning Egypt’s pyramids in October 2015.

The Tomb of Menna (TT69)
Photos © Chris Marriott 

The tomb of Menna (Theban Tomb 69, or TT69), is one of the most beautiful of the “Tombs of the Nobles” on the West Bank at Luxor, but is not a part of the regular “tourist trail”, meaning that you’ll almost certainly be able to visit it in peace and quiet.

Note: I love the tickets to sites in Egypt, shown to the left here. Every time I go, I bring home a collection. 

Egyptian Scarabs Discovered in Ancient Shiloh

A rare Egyptian scarab seal, possibly belonging to a senior Egyptian official, was found at the Tel Shiloh archaeological site in Samaria. Archaeologists estimate it is 3,000 years old.

The scarabs were carved in the shape of a dung beetle, a creature of cosmological significance in ancient Egypt. Numerous scarabs have been found in archaeological excavations in Israel.

Ancient Egypt: Underwater Archaeologists Uncover Destroyed Temple in the Sunken City Of Heracleion

Note: Includes a great video.

Marine archaeologists probing sunken ancient Egyptian settlements have discovered the remains of a temple and several boats containing treasures like coins and jewelry.

Egyptian and European researchers spent two months probing the remains of Heracleion and Canopus off the coast of the Nile Delta, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities reported. They used a sophisticated scanning device to uncover new parts of the ancient settlements.

Archaeological Mission Concludes Work in Alexandria Sunken Greek Cities

The Egyptian-European Archaeological Mission of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology concluded its archaeological season at the ruins of the ancient Greek cities Heraklieon and East Canopus in Abi Qir Bay, Alexandria. The mission had been operating for almost two months.

Ehab Fahmy, head of the Central Department of Sunken Antiquities, said that the mission used the latest scanning devices to capture images of archaeological remains buried beneath the seabed.

If you want to see the photos I took of the exhibition based on the exploration of this site, see Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds.

How 20th-Century Colonial Politics Shaped the Story of Tutankhamun's Tomb
One of the guardian statues from the tomb of Tutankhamun on display in the Egyptian Musuem, Cairo, in the 1930s. Library of Congress.

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb was never photographed. This will come as a surprise to archaeology enthusiasts familiar with photographs like the one  often identified as Howard Carter caught in the moment of opening the tomb in November 1922.

In fact, the photo dates to early January 1924, the second winter Carter and his colleagues spent working in the jam-packed tomb. We might imagine that Howard Carter is kneeling to look in awe at the face of Tutankhamun, or at least something suitably gold and glorious. In fact, Carter was looking at the still-closed doors of another shrine inside and he was dazzled, not by gold, but by (as he put it) the “mystic mauve” glow of photographic reflectors just out of shot. Held by unnamed Egyptian co-workers, those reflectors were required by the tomb’s official photographer, Harry Burton, to bounce electric lamplight around the cramped, dark space and yield the desired effects of light and shadow.

One-way Tickets to the Netherworld: Mummy Labels and Inscribed Mummy Shrouds
Left: UC 39590. Right: UC 34471 (c) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

On 26th April of the 24th year of reign of an unspecified Roman emperor (probably Commodus, which equals the year 184 AD), a modest Egyptian priest named Bes, son of his namesake and a lady called Tadinebhau, died in Pernebwadj, a provincial town in Middle Egypt—then a remote region within the vastness of the Roman empire. We know almost the precise address in Pernebwadj at which Bes had resided during his lifetime, within the town’s ‘tenth quarter’. Such detailed information stems from neither an inscription on Bes’ tomb walls nor a papyrus, but from a much more unassuming object: his mummy label (UC 45626).

Oh, Hollywood!

Unpublished backstage photographs from The Ten Commandments by Cecil De Mille in 1956 in the area of Deir El Bahari.

Tech Wizardry Solves Mysteries Of Egypt's Royal Mummies
Seti I Sahar Saleem

ROUGHLY 400 MILES from the Great Pyramids, ancient pharaohs of the New Kingdom lay at rest in the Valley of Kings. Nondescript chambers built into the valley's dusty hills hold royal remains, buried between 1550 and 1070 BC. The crypts were designed to deter robbers, and for the most part, they worked—which makes it difficult for today’s archaeologists to find them and identify their inhabitants.

But new techniques are giving researchers a better look into the tombs.