Monday, September 16, 2019
The Pharaoh We Need
Photo: Paola Kudacki
At the heart of Egypt’s ancient history is the 14th-century-BCE pharaoh Akhenaten, a leader depicted with full lips, a long nose, and evident breasts. At the heart of the visual cornucopia in Philip Glass’s 1983 opera Akhnaten is Anthony Roth Costanzo, a slender singer with full lips, a long nose, and a voice so high and clear it seems implausible coming from a man’s throat. There’s a lot of uncertainty around the historical figure, who is almost as famous for the woman he married (Nefertiti) as for his own accomplishments, which were considerable.
ed Mercury': Why Does This Strange Myth Persist?
For centuries rumours have persisted about a powerful and mysterious substance. And these days, adverts and videos offering it for sale can be found online. Why has the story of "red mercury" endured?
Some people believe it's a magical healing elixir found buried in the mouths of ancient Egyptian mummies.
Anubis: The Ancient Egyptian God That Inspired The Sacrifice Of 8 Million Dogs
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The symbol of Anubis, a black canine or a muscular man with the head of a black jackal, the ancient Egyptian god of the dead was said to oversee every aspect of the process of dying. He facilitated mummification, protected the graves of the dead, and decided whether or not one’s soul should be granted eternal life.
Strange that a civilization known to worship cats should come to personify death as a dog.
Through Studying The Teeth Of This Woman's Mummified Remains, Scientists Have Determined Her Profession In Ancient Egypt
By analysing the dentistry of a woman who lived in Ancient Egypt, archaeologists have made a surprising discovery: her unusual profession. Take a look at the video above for all the details...
With this incredible discovery, archaeologists have gone from surprise to surprise. A short time ago, a team of scientists from the University of Alberta, in Canada, analysed the teeth of a woman who lived 4000 years ago, in Ancient Egypt. From this study, they learnt a lot more than they expected.
Bes, The Egyptian God Who’s Part Dwarf, Part Lion
We liked him instantly — perhaps because he’s so unlike all of the other gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt we had seen carved onto temple walls and painted in the dark, narrow tombs. And since most of those deities feature animal heads, that’s saying something.
Even so, Bes is perhaps the most unique character in the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. I’d try to come up with my own colorful description, but once Duke read this to me, I figured why bother? I can’t top Alastair Sooke’s write-up in Frieze, who describes this “grotesque little fellow” so evocatively.
Egypt Opens 2 Restored Ancient Tombs
Egypt has unveiled two roughly 3,500-year-old tombs following restoration work in Luxor.
The work on the tombs was carried out by an Egyptian-US team at a royal cemetery near the Valley of the Kings.
The restored walls of the tombs bear vivid drawings. One of them also contains statues of its owner, a priest, and his wife sitting side by side.
To see photographs of the tomb, click here.
Sunday, September 8, 2019
Ancient Egypt and Solar EclipsesCredit: Wikimedia
Two articles on this topic:
Khepri - Total Solar Eclipse Scarab God
The Internet Archive has done a pretty good job of preserving my 'Khepri - Total Solar Eclipse Scarab God' eclipsology "web site". Here is the complete text of the original website with the two main GIF animations that it displayed.
The Winged Sun Disk Symbol Of Ancient Egyptian Religion Was Inspired By Total Solar Eclipses
The Internet Archive has done a pretty good job of preserving my 'The Ancient Egyptian Winged Sun Disk Symbol' eclipsology "web site". Here is the complete text of the original website with some of the images that it displayed along with some new ones.
10 Reasons Why Egypt Is One Of The Most Fascinating Countries In The World
From head to toe, Egypt is one of the most intriguing places you will ever get the pleasure of visiting. It has something of a bad reputation and that isn't entirely unjustified, and it's certainly worth discussing from time to time. However, we aren't here to debate the ins and outs of Egyptian law—we're here to work with the word 'fascinating.'
Tutankhamun Exhibition in Paris Surpasses 1.3 Million
The French and international news outlets reported that the temporary exhibition of King Tutankhamun currently on display at the Grande Halle La Villette in Paris broke records of turnout of the French cultural exhibitions.
International media outlets stated that the exhibition is the most visited exhibition in France, where the total number of registered visitors so far has reached 1,371,476, according to the latest official census issued by the exhibition officials, explaining that the number will increase. Visitors
A Glimpse Behind the Scenes of Giza’s Grand Egyptian Museum
Egypt’s vast, much-delayed museum is scheduled to open in 2020. But while Tutankhamun’s treasures are being readied for tourists, some critics see the building as a vanity project.
In the vast, shade-dappled atrium of Egypt’s new Grand Egyptian Museum, construction work surrounded a colossal statue of Ramses II, his left foot striding forward and fists clenched in readiness.
10 Marvel Gods We Hope To See In The Eternals
Hint: 10 is Khonshu, and 9 is Bast
As Marvel fans begin looking ahead to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the time has come to look at the announced films and projects coming in the MCU’s Phase 4. One of the most prominent films that everyone is talking about has to be Marvel’s The Eternals.
A relatively unknown property to casual Marvel fans, the Eternals are a race of immortal beings created by The Celestials millennia ago. Bestowed with their own unique abilities, The Eternals have been around long enough to see the Marvel gods emerge. Here are ten Marvel gods we hope to see appear.
Watch | A Night At The Museum With Egyptian Icon Sawsan Badr
Proudly showcasing her silver locks, Egyptian screen siren Sawsan Badr takes an enchanting tour of the Egyptian museum in downtown Cairo, Egypt.
Lovingly dubbed ‘the fugitive from the museum’ due to her uncanny resemblance to the Ancient Egyptian queen, Nefertiti, Sawsan’s reputation precedes her. Add to that a career that has spanned nearly 40 years, and her persona in the public eye is almost unparalleled.
Peripatjau, Trumpeting Thief
This next excerpt from Lewis Holmes’ book The Mystery of Music reads more like a pulp-fiction mystery novel. However, the story is preserved on 3000 year old papyri. It has torture, conspiracy, bribery and, yes, a bit of music.
The setting: Egypt, 1080 BCE. It was the end of the second Ramessid dynasty, during what Egyptologists call “The New Kingdom.” Law and order had decayed in the once great cities. Crime and corruption were on the rise as gangs looted old tombs and palaces for the precious treasures buried with the dead.
The scene of this crime was the "Valley of the Queens," an ancient burial site for the wives of pharaoh over the centuries.
Hawass: Tutankhamen Wasn’t Murdered, Ramses III was Stabbed Brutally
Renowned Egyptian archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass gave an important lecture at the Italian university of Perugia.
Hawass tackled in his lecture issues pertaining to the royal mummies, the story of King Tutankhamen’s death and the harem conspiracy.
The veteran archaeologist discussed as well the latest archaeological discoveries and excavations in the Valley of the Kings.
Good News For A Nerd’s Ears: The Find The Path Podcast Is Doubling
The Find the Path podcast is an officially-licensed partner of Paizo, the makers of the Pathfinder roleplaying game. Comprised of a group of longtime friends, the Find the Path podcast invites gamers and non-gamers alike into the world of Golarion and the Pathfinder RPG system.
Known for their strong grasp of the Pathfinder rules system and genuine, cooperative table dynamics, Find the Path tells an engaging and exciting story set in an Ancient Egypt analog that is full of diverse, multifaceted characters and epic fantasy adventure.
Egyptian Prime Minister: GEM Inauguration Ceremony Plans Underway
According to various local media outlets, Egypt’s government is stepping up preparations for the inauguration ceremony of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) which is set to open by 2020.
Working jointly, Prime Minister Mostafa Mabdouly and the Museum’s supreme committee have been arranging several logistical aspects of the ceremony such as the actual date, its program spanning multiple days, and the consultation of specializing international companies which can organize and arrange the ceremony.
Subterranean World Discovered Below Pyramid – 'Treasure Trove!'
Millions of animals were also found (Image: CHANNEL 5)
EGYPT archaeologists uncovered a “subterranean world” hidden below the city of Saqqara, just metres from one of the most famous pyramids of the ancient world.
Saqqara is best known for being home to the Pyramid of Djoser, also known as the Step Pyramid. Built in the 27th century BC, during the Third Dynasty, the six-tiered structure is the earliest known attempt of what the ancient civilisation became best known for. However, below the constructions lies something more sinister.
4 Nile Valley Exhibits in North America this Fall
This month many of us are preparing for another academic semester, as teachers or as students. This fall promises to be an exciting season as several compelling exhibitions will be on display in North American museums in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Quebec. The Nile Scribes are excited about these four upcoming exhibitions about the Nile Valley cultures in Egypt and Sudan. Why not plan a weekend to visit one of these exhibitions for your next Egyptological getaway?
Top 5 Guidebooks for Your Trip to Egypt
With the end of summer upon us, the Nile Scribes are getting closer to our first ever Scribes on the Nile tour leaving for Egypt on October 17 from Toronto! With our group of 15 participants, Thomas and Taylor will be travelling up and down the Nile from Cairo to Aswan and back, taking in the sights and enjoying the culinary wonders Egypt has to offer. In our blog this week, we round up our Top 5 favourite guidebooks any prospective visitor should consider getting to learn as much as you can before, and during, your trip to Egypt!
Famous in its day: The Pyramid Supper Club
I was initially attracted to The Pyramid Supper Club because of its kooky architecture and its surprising location on a rural Wisconsin road next to a cornfield. I admit I thought it was a joke.
As a 1991 advertorial noted, “The Pyramid Supper Club on Highway 33 east of Beaver Dam is surrounded by a bare, flat-land setting much like the original pyramids depicted in the interior wall paintings.”
Pieces of Ramsis II Obelisk Arrive in Cairo for Re-Assembly
In an attempt to develop Tahrir Square and to show the whole world Egypt’s unique civilisation, eight blocks of one of Ramses II’s obelisks, found in his temple at San Al-Haggar archaeological site in Zagazig, arrived in Cairo on Friday.
They will be restored, assembled and erected in Tahrir Square.
Egypt to Display Coffin of Famous Ancient Queen for 1st Time
Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities decided on Friday to display the coffin of ancient Queen Tausert, the last ruler of Egypt's 19th Dynasty, to the public for the first time since its discovery two decades ago.
In a statement, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Mostafa Waziri said that the coffin will put on display within the few coming days at the Luxor Museum in Upper Egypt.
He explained that the coffin has already been transferred on Thursday from the place of its discovery, at the closed tomb of King Bay in Luxor's west bank, to the Luxor Museum.
The director of Antiquities Museum at Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the supervisor of Zahi Hawass center for Egyptology Hussein Abdel Baseer revealed that the famed ancient Egyptian Queen Hatsheput died because of cancer at the age of 50 and was a diabetes patient as well.
Abdel Baseer announced that in a lecture entitled ‘’Egyptian Queens..Drama of Love and Power’’ at Zahi Hawass center for Egyptology.
The Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican hairless dog). A dog considered to be the guide for the dead to reach the underworld. It resembles Anubis. Also it most commonly believed to be behind the legendary chupacabra.
A Virgil Finlay illustration from Weird Tales, October 1936
The Opener of the Way
Monday, September 2, 2019
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 from Labor Day 2015 about what was it like to be a working man or woman in ancient Egypt.
Recreate the Essence of Mummification with Dora Goldsmith
Throughout this workshop, you will learn about the smells that defined the mummification chambers and tombs, and the scents that the ancient Egyptians themselves wished to be surrounded by in their life after death. In the first hour, Dora will teach you about the olfactory motivation for mummification and the substances employed during the process. In the second hour, she will give you a detailed insight into the materials. You will be able to smell each ingredient and you will learn about their significance for the Egyptians and the reasons behind their use. In the third and last hour, you will recreate the essence of mummification in a bottle by using the very same ingredients the ancient Egyptians employed for embalming their dead. Don’t worry, you will end up with an exceedingly pleasant smell.
Althaiophobia Is The Fear Of Marshmallows
On August 30th, National Toasted Marshmallow Day celebrates one of America’s favorite fire-roasted treats. Be sure to stock up on marshmallows so you can celebrate!
- Believe it or not, marshmallows date back to Ancient Egypt. The mallow plant provided a sap that the Egyptians used to create a candy with nuts and honey.
- Ligonier, Indiana holds an annual Marshmallow Festival (Labor Day Weekend) and is the marshmallow capital of the world.
For more tidbits on marshmallows and ancient Egypt, see:
History of Marshmallow
The Long, Sweet History of Marshmallows
Play’n Go Recreates Ancient Egypt and the Book of Thoth with Rise of Dead
The new slot game launched by Play’n GO promises to position itself as a favorite of online casino players. This is Rise of Dead, a fun 5-reel game set in Ancient Egypt, which is based on the legendary Book of Thoth, a manuscript through which readers gain infinite knowledge.
The game is loaded with myths, spells and Egyptian traditions related to the pharaohs who ruled Egypt. Each of the symbols and figures of the game, represent real elements and characters found in the history of this ancient civilization.
Lost Love at the Heart of Three Month Wisbech Museum Exhibition on Ancient Egypt
Mummified hand of an ancient Egyptian lady donated to the museum by a later Peckover. Picture: WISBECH MUSEUM
Intriguing artefacts have been on display at Wisbech and Fenland Museum's Hudson Gallery throughout the summer holidays.
The exhibition will now continue to run until October 26.
In 1864 a group of men including the Barclay brothers took Lord Alexander Peckover on a tour of Egypt to ease his broken heart after the death of his young wife.
They boarded the riverboat Zuleika at Cairo to visit Luxor, Karnac, Thebes, Edfu and the Valley of the Kings.
Home of Games New Release: Heart of Egypt.
The new game features an Egyptian theme, transporting gamers to an ancient pyramid where expeditions are underway. As an ALLPAY slot, the game does not have win lines but uses symbols combinations to provide 243 ways to win on 5 reels!
Madbouly: Opening of GEM Attended by Kings, Presidents
On Aug. 27, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly presided the first meeting of the Higher Committee, formed under the supervision of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to set scenarios of the opening ceremony of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem, Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat, Governor of Giza Ahmed Rashed, and officials of a number of concerned authorities.
Egyptians Revive Pharaonic Beauty, Health Secrets
A group of scientists from the University of Hawaii made international headlines last week when they claimed to have recreated the perfume of Cleopatra, Egypt’s legendary queen known for her allure. In Egypt, the local beauty sector has also been banking on “Pharaonic recipes” to compete with pricey international beauty brands.
The ancient Egyptian queens whose faces are seen on murals or well-known statues were not simply natural beauties — Cleopatra, Nefertari and Nefertiti had complex beauty routines that included honey, mud or goat's milk, and modern versions have been growing in popularity in Egypt over the last decade.
How Medical Technology Reveals the Secrets Of Ancient Egyptian Mummies
Media make images of the Egyptian mummy Nestawedjat, which dates to approximately 700 BC, at a press preview at the Museum of Fine Arts Wednesday, August 28, 2019 in Montreal. The museum will be showing the exhibition Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives this fall and winter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nestawedjat, a wealthy, married “lady of the house,” died in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes sometime around 700 BC.
Some 2,700 years too late to save her, she was brought to a British hospital to undergo a thoroughly modern medical procedure: a CT scan.
In recent years, medical technology has allowed researchers to learn intimate details of the lives of ancient Egyptian mummies that go far beyond the biographical details gleaned from their tombs.
The World’s Oldest Trumpet Found In Tutankhamun’s Tomb – Nearly Destroyed in a 1939 Publicity Stunt
The silver trumpet and its wooden core were found in King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. Picture: Classic FM
This delicate silver instrument, retrieved from the tomb of the 14th-century B.C. pharaoh, is the oldest known metal trumpet in existence... but it has a dark history.
In 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter would make one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century. . . In King Tut’s tomb, Carter and his team also discovered a pair of ancient trumpets, one of sterling silver and one of bronze or copper, which hadn’t seen the light of day for over 3,000 years.
Papyrus Part of an Ancient Puzzle
A piece of papyrus fragment found at The Catholic University of American in Washington is a small piece of a larger scroll. COURTESY
Jacco Dieleman, a research associate professor in the department of Semitic and Egyptian languages, recently made a startling discovery while examining artifacts housed in The Catholic University of American in Washington’s Semitics/Institute of Christian Oriental Research collections. Dieleman identified a papyrus fragment from the university’s collection as a small piece of a larger papyrus scroll from the Tebtunis Temple Library, an important collection of ancient manuscripts that is shedding new light on the world of ancient Egypt.
The Best College Video Game in America Lives on at Drexel
In the spring term of 2018, a group of Drexel University students created a video game, Sons of Ra, for a group project. Exactly a year later, that same game won the E3 College Game Competition, one of the biggest game contest for college-level game designers.
New Discovery: Wooden Coffins With Mummies In Good Condition Near Amenemhat II Pyramid
The Ministry of Antiquities uncovered an ancient winding wall that extends about 60 meters to the east of Amenemhat II pyramid. This wall is considered an important architectural element that dates back to the Middle kingdom era.
A number of stone, pottery and wooden coffins were also found, some of which had mummies which were uncovered in good condition, in addition to a number of wooden masks some of them are incomplete and a set of tools that were used in cutting and polishing.
Sirius and the Flooding of the Nile
Every year in August, the constellation Orion returns to northern hemisphere skies at dawn, bearing with him the brightest star in our sky after the Sun ~ the star Sirius.
Sirius played a significant role in every aspect of Ancient Egypt culture, a role that carried on well into the 20th century, because its heliacal rising in mid-August each year was the signal from the natural world that the mighty river Nile was about to flood. At the heliacal rising of Sirius, people would move off the flood plain to make way for the river, which would rise up to 46 feet in some places!
Freud famously related the interpretation of dreams to the translation of hieroglyphs.
He provided an account of one of his own ‘hieroglyphic’ dreams in which nightmarish bird-headed figures are sexually-threatening hieroglyphic characters come to life. Freud’s willingness to address the sexual nature of Egyptian iconography was notably at odds with most contemporary Egyptologists.
Dancing with the Mummies
Photo © Michalea Moore 2017
Zahi Hawass describes the discovery of the mummy of the ancient Egyptian queen Hatshepsut in the Valley of the Kings.
This article describes the adventure of the discovery of the mummy of queen Hatshepsut, who was from the same dynasty as our Egyptian star Tutankhamun.
She ruled before Tutankhamun was born, along with a young boy called Thutmose III who was her stepson from her husband Thutmose II. After the death of Thutmose II, his son became the king of Egypt, but Hatshepsut took over the throne and ruled the country for almost 20 years.
She built a beautiful temple on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, which was designed by her architect Senenmut.
Egyptologist Reveals Japan’s Love for Nefertiti and Cleopatra
Former government archaeology official and world-renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawwas is known for his passion for ancient Egypt and his eagerness to attract more tourists to his country.
However, Hawwas is also interested in the bridging of civilizations. So, it was no surprise to see Japan, another nation with a great ancient civilization, at the forefront of his endeavors while promoting tourism in Egypt.
Note: I could not find the film mentioned in the article, but I found a decidedly strange trailer for an animated Cleopatra film that is quite infamous (on the internet at least). Warning: it's x-rated!
10 Things You Didn't Know About The Pyramids
Photo © Michalea Moore 2017
Actually, I bet most of you do know!
The pyramids of ancient Egypt are one of the many wonders of the world. The architectural achievements they managed to pull off were astounding for the era and their prowess shows as they continue to stand to this day. The pyramid of Giza is the only one of the seven great wonders of the world that are still standing, which is a feat of its own accord.
There is so much we still don't know about the pyramids, but we have come a long way in our discoveries since the first time modern man laid eyes on them. Investigations are still ongoing inside of these monstrosities and we cannot wait to see what is to be found in the years to come. Keep reading to learn about ten things you didn't know about the pyramids!
Cartoon of the Week
The Wall Street Journal Magazine August 2019