Monday, February 10, 2020

Ancient Egypt News 02/10/2020

A wall painting from the 3300-year-old tomb of Queen Nefertari shows her playing senet against an invisible opponent.
Is this the original board game of death?

Ancient Egyptians took their board games seriously. The backgammonlike senet started out as a mere pastime, but over nearly 2 millennia it evolved into a game with deep links to the afterlife, played on a board that represented the underworld. Now, a version of the game sitting in a California museum might reveal when this dramatic transformation took place.

Senet probably wasn’t the world’s first board game, but it was one of the first to become a smash hit. It seems to have risen to popularity in all tiers of Egyptian society about 5000 years ago—and was still being enjoyed by Egyptians 2500 years later.

Get to Know the Doctor: Magic Spells (video)
Rita Lucarelli Egyptologist

Boat Described by Greek historian Herodotus Discovered in Nile
Photo by Christoph Gerigk/Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

The Greek historian Herodotus is widely known as the “father of history”. His magisterial Histories, written in the 5th century BC, has provided modern scholars with a wealth of rich detail on the Greco-Persian wars and the Mediterranean society in which he lived.

However, Herodotus has also attracted the ire of his readers for the apparent errors and inventions that permeate his text. The Greek biographer Plutarch once famously described him as “malicious”, and said that those who hoped to detect “all his lies and fictions would have need of many books.”

3,400-year-old Egyptian anchor uncovered in Israel on display at the Israel Museum.
3,400-year-old Egyptian Artifact Uncovered in Israel on Display in Jerusalem
photo credit: LAURA LACHMAN

An 3,400-year-old inscribed Egyptian anchor uncovered in Israel is on display for the first time at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, within the exhibition “Emoglyphs. Picture-Writing from Hieroglyphs to the Emoji.”
As reported by Haaretz, the artifact was spotted by chance by an Israeli veterinarian swimming off the shores of Atlit, south of Haifa.

“I saw it, kept on swimming for a few meters, then realized what I had seen and dived to touch it,” Rafi Bahalul told Haaretz. “It was like entering an Egyptian temple at the bottom of the Mediterranean.”

Ramses II Obelisk to be Fully Reassembled in Cairo’s Tahrir Square

A Ramses II obelisk, parts of which were unearthed in Egypt last August, is set to be fully re-assembled and displayed in downtown Cairo’s busy Tahrir Square, after the foundation of the monument was successfully installed in the center of the well-known traffic circle.

The step came as part of the government efforts to revamp the iconic square and draw attention to Egypt’s rich ancient history, with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities having transported eight blocks of the statue unearthed in August 2019 at Zagazig, a city in Lower Egypt.

Today's humor 
Big week, two types of humor 😊

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Ancient Egypt News 02/03/2020

Meidum Pyramid
Forget Giza, These Are The Unknown Pyramids Of Egypt You Need To Have On Your Bucketlist
Photo: Flying Carpet Tours

A wonder of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Giza stand tall thousands of years after their construction, a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of the Ancient Egyptians. Yet, despite their historical significance, many tend to forget that these aren’t the only pyramids in Egypt. In fact, Egypt is home to more than a hundred pyramids, the majority of which are unknown to most people.

Throughout the Old Kingdom, Pharaohs of the Nile were obsessed with the massive construction of pyramids, and although many of the other pyramids pale in comparison to those at the Giza Plateau in terms of size, they are no less interesting or historically valuable.

So without further delay, here are six of the lesser-known pyramids of Egypt.

Tombs containing 20 sarcophagi at the Al-Ghoreifa site
Sarcophagus Dedicated to Sky God among Latest Ancient Egypt Trove

Egypt's antiquities ministry on Thursday unveiled the tombs of ancient high priests and a sarcophagus dedicated to the sky god Horus at an archaeological site in Minya governorate.

The mission found 16 tombs containing 20 sarcophagi, some engraved with hieroglyphics, at the Al-Ghoreifa site, about 300 kilometres (186 miles) south of Cairo.

The shared tombs were dedicated to high priests of the god Djehuty and senior officials, from the Late Period around 3,000 years ago, the ministry said.

More on this story:

Egyptian archaeologists unveil ancient tombs, 2500-year-old artifacts

Face and Shoulder from an Anthropoid Sarcophagus, 332–30 B.C.E. Black basalt. Brookly Museum
Cummer Museum's New 'Striking Power' Exhibit Unravels Piece Of Egyptian Art History

Striking Power, a new exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, explores the meaning behind the vandalism of ancient Egyptian art. It opens Friday, Jan. 31.

Striking Power unravels the history of iconoclasm in relation to ancient Egyptian art. The exhibit features forty works on loan from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The deliberately defaced pieces of art will be paired with undamaged examples.

In an interview on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, Holly Keris, Chief Curator for the museum, explained the impact of iconoclasm on the Egyptian culture.

Temple of Hathor
15 Ancient Hieroglyphs Tourists Can Go And See

The world wonders in Egypt don’t end with pyramids and sphinxes. All across the country, there are sites that have survived until today to reward anyone who enters with a glimpse into the past.

Hieroglyphs found on temple faces and surrounding tombs have enlightened historians on the cultures the created them. Now tourists can learn about mythology and history while touring the sites where all these things developed.

Most are already familiar with the usual spots that hog up all the attention, but we’ll also include some less popular sites which have the necessary infrastructure and plenty of interesting hieroglyphs to see yet get none of the tourist attention.

Replicas of Pharaonic statues are seen at the workshop of the Replica Production Unit located at Salah Al Din Citadel in Cairo, Egypt. EPA
Artists Create Replicas of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities

Egyptian media has reported that the government plans to sell these first class replicas at Cairo International Airport by the end of the month

Some of the best Egyptian artists, sculptors and craftsmen are creating first class replicas of ancient Egyptian, as well as as Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic relics.

They're part of the Replica Production Unit at Salah Al Din Citadel in Cairo, a unit that falls under the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs. The unit, which was established in 2010, produces replicas using the same methods used by ancient Egyptian workers.

Russell Thomas, Dorothy Gal, and HGO Studio Alum Peixin Chen in Houston Grand Opera's 'Aida'Photo: Lynn Lane
HGO Staging is Not your Parents’ ‘Aida’
Photo: Lynn Lane

Delicate silk billows across the stage, its fluidity complementing the passionate romanticism of a tragic tale set against the rigid hierarchical structure of ancient Egypt and its monolithic scenery.

Starting Friday, the Houston Grand Opera, led by artistic and music director Patrick Summers, will present the return of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” to the Wortham stage in a new rendition by London-based director Phelim McDermott - one that lacks elephants, but not extravagance. His modernized version of the timeless story, a co-production with the English National Opera and the Grand Théâtre de Genève, features silk choreography by visionary artist Basil Twist that amplifies the impact of the already expressive costumes by Kevin Pollard, the dramatic lighting by Bruno Poet and the powerful geometric sets by Tom Pye.

Freshwater School’s “Egyptian Mask Project”
Freshwater Students Show Results of Mask Project

Redwood Curtain is hosting a show of Freshwater School’s “Egyptian Mask Project” in February and March in the theater gallery, 220 First St. in Eureka.

Freshwater teacher Kylah Rush immerses her sixth-grade class in an ancient Egypt unit for the month of January. The students learn science, history, art, writing and even math through the lens of the ancient Egyptians. The unit culminates in the students mummifying chickens and making personalized death shroud masks in the style of the ancient mummified pharaohs.

Replica of a sarcophagus
Exhibition from ROM offers insights into ancient Egypt

“Egypt, Gift of the Nile” on display at Timmins Museum until March 29.

The exhibition explores Egyptian civilization through everyday life, buildings, family life, personal adornment, education and religion, the Timmins Museum stated in a release announcing the new exhibition. The exhibit displays a replica of a sarcophagus which helps explain the Egyptian view on the afterlife.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Ancient Egypt News 01/27/2020

GEM Receives 356 Artifacts from Tut,Ramses II, Thutmose III, Ptah Treasures

The general supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum Atef Moftah announced that the museum has received a collection of 356 artifacts from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, among which 57 artifacts from the treasures of the Golden King Tutankhamun and 11 pieces will be displayed on the grand staircase.

Director General of the Grand Egyptian Museum for Antiquities affairs Dr. Al-Tayeb Abbas, said that the one of the most important of these artifacts is a statue of god Ptah, whose weights range between 5 and 6 tons, which will be displayed on the grand staircase within another distinguished group of royal statues.

Mummy of Takabut on display at the Ulster Museum
Shocking Truth behind Takabuti’s Death Revealed

Takabuti, the famous ancient Egyptian mummy on display at the Ulster Museum, suffered a violent death from a knife attack, a team of experts from National Museums NI, University of Manchester, Queen’s University Belfast and Kingsbridge Private Hospital have revealed.

The team, whose findings are made public on the 185 year anniversary of Takabuti’s unwrapping in 1835, also show that her DNA is more genetically similar to Europeans rather than modern Egyptian populations.

The team show Takabuti had an extra tooth - 33 instead of 32 - something which only occurs in 0.02% of the population and an extra vertebrae, which only occurs 2% of the population.

Stick figure-like paintings were found in the cave in Sinai
Cave Covered in Ancient Egyptian Paintings of Donkeys and People Discovered by Accident

A chance encounter has led to the discovery of a small sandstone cave in the middle of the Sinai in Egypt. The cave is colorfully decorated with paintings of people and donkeys, some of which date back to 10,000 BCE.

Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities say they have now finished documenting all the the inscriptions, announcing the news via Facebook. According to the ministry, the cave was discovered by chance approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) north from the city St. Catherine and 60 kilometers southeast from the Hathor temple Sarabit el-Khadem following the advice of a "desert adventurer."

Nesyamun in his coffin in the Leeds Museum in England.
The Mummy Speaks! Hear Sounds From the Voice of an Ancient Egyptian Priest
Credit...Leeds Museums and Galleries

In life, Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest who sang and chanted words of worship at the Karnak temple in Thebes. In death, he was ritually mummified and sealed in a coffin with the inscription “Nesyamun, true of voice.” Now, some 3,000 years into the afterlife and with the aid of a 3-D-printed vocal tract, Nesyamun can once again be heard.

“He had this wish that his voice would somehow continue into perpetuity,” said David Howard, a speech scientist at Royal Holloway, University of London.

And you would be remiss not to read the counterpoint to this "discovery." Attempts to Reconstruct a Mummy’s Voice Are Cursed, which makes the argument after a group of British researchers claimed to synthesize the voice of Egyptian priest Nesyamun’s 3,000-year-old remains, it leads to questions about the ethics of Egyptology.

Egyptologists Open Newly-Discovered Pyramid

Monday, January 13, 2020

Ancient Egypt News: Astronomy 01/13/2020

Gargoyle in the temple at Karnak
Rain, Rain, Go Away: Dealing with Wastewater and Rain in Ancient Egypt
Photo: H. Köpp-Junk

An efficient drainage system for rain and wastewater is important for every complex society. Even today, water discharge is a central issue in Egypt, especially in the global metropolis Cairo. While irrigation is frequently discussed in Egyptology, dewatering systems are only rarely investigated.

No known depictions or textual sources mention dewatering systems, but there are a variety of archeological finds that elucidate the range, innovation, and high quality of ancient Egyptian engineering skills long before the arrival of Roman water management techniques.

Egyptian methods for dewatering in temples, tombs, and houses are well attested from the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE onward. For example, dewatering systems are used for rain as well as wastewater from bathrooms and kitchens, and there is evidence for these systems in houses, temples, and tombs. Moreover, used water also had to be removed from industrial sites such as those used for dyeing, washhouses, and mummification workshops, since considerable amounts of water were necessary during the embalming process.

Sphinxes at Karnak
Experts Fear Damage to Ancient Egyptian Artifacts en Route to Tahrir Square
Photo ©Michalea Moore 2017

Egypt's recent decision to transport ancient Pharaonic artifacts to a traffic circle in the congested heart of Cairo has fueled fresh controversy over the government's handling of its archaeological heritage.

Cairo has some of the worst air pollution in the world, according to recent studies. Archaeologists and heritage experts fear vehicle exhaust will damage the four ram-headed sphinxes and an obelisk, currently en route to their new home in Tahrir Square.

spiral galaxy NGC 4455 in the northern constellation of Coma Berenices
This Week’s Hubble Image Illustrates an Ancient Egyptian Myth
NASA / ESA / Hubble / I. Karachentsev et al.

This week’s Hubble image shows an elegant spiral galaxy named NGC 4455, located in the northern constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair).

This unusually named constellation took its title from an Egyptian queen who ruled from around 250 BC. The Hubble astronomers explained the myth for which the constellation is named: “The story of Queen Berenice II is an interesting one,” the astronomers said. “A ruling queen of the ancient Greek city of Cyrene in modern-day Libya, and later a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt through her marriage to her cousin Ptolemy III Euergetes, Berenice became known for sacrificing locks of her hair as an offering to ensure her husband’s safe return from battle. Her husband did indeed return safely and her hair, which she had left in a Zephyrium temple, had disappeared — it had apparently been stolen and placed among the stars

Temple of Hatshepsut 2017
Tourists Flock to Egypt’s Hatshepsut Temple to Catch Glimpse of Rare Astronomical Phenomenon
Photo ©Michalea Moore 2017

Tourists in Egypt flocked to Queen Hatshepsut Temple on Monday to witness the sun fall perpendicular on the holy shrines of the ancient monument, a unique astronomical phenomenon marking the ancient Egyptian festival of the Goddess Hathor.

A group of Japanese tourists visited the temple, which is located west of Egypt’s Luxor, in order to witness the phenomenon, with dozens of visitors from countries around the world taking photos inside the complex.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Ancient Egypt News: The GEM is Coming 01/06/2020

Grand Egyptian Museum
90 Percent of GEM work is Finished
File - Grand Egyptian Museum

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that about more than 90 percent of the Grand Egyptian Museum work was finalized. GEM is expected to be inaugurated in the last quarter of 2020.

The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum is one of the main events that Egypt and the whole world is waiting for in 2020.

About 49,603 artifacts were moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum so far.

Khufu Second Boat Project
Salvaging Khufu’s Second Solar Boat
© Khufu Second Boat Project

In the scorching heat of the Giza plateau, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and a team from Waseda University in Japan are engaged in the daunting task of lifting a 4,700-year-old wooden ship from a pit in the ground, just a few meters south of Khufu’s great pyramid.

This is no ordinary excavation; the wooden pieces from the 42-meter-long boat are so delicate that the archaeologists cannot simply remove them from the ground without extensive onsite conservation.

Here's a picture in 2017 I took of the first solar boat at the Solar Boat Museum. If you go to Egypt, plan to visit the museum, which is right outside the Great Pyramid.

Khufu's solar boat
© Michalea Moore

The site of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Grand Egyptian Museum to Open End of 2020, Ticket Prices Initially Announced
AP Photo/Amr Nabil

The site of the Grand Egyptian Museum. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Egypt’s anticipated national project, the Grand Egyptian Museum, is set to open at the end of 2020, revealed Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El Enany.

Moreover, the museum’s initial ticket pricing for foreigners has been set to 400 EGP ($US 25), 200 EGP for students ($US 12.5) according El Watan and Daily News Egypt.

How Cleopatra Became a Canvas for Society's Anxieties
Wikimedia Commons

Two-thousand years after her death, Cleopatra continues to enthrall us. Earlier this year, the British tabloid The Daily Star reported that a new movie about this last Pharaoh of Egypt was in the works. According to an anonymous source, the movie will be "a dirty, bloody, political thriller told from a feminist perspective," as opposed to the movie Cleopatra of 1963 starring Elizabeth Taylor, which had been a historical epic.

Book of Two Ways
An Afterlife So Perilous, You Needed a Guidebook
Werner Forman/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images

Archaeologists unearthed the remains of a 4,000-year-old “Book of Two Ways” — a guide to the Egyptian underworld, and the earliest copy of the first illustrated book.

When it comes to difficult travel, no journey outside New York City’s subway system rivals the ones described in “The Book of Two Ways,” a mystical road map to the ancient Egyptian afterlife.

This users’ guide, a precursor to the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts known as “The Book of the Dead,” depicted two zigzagging paths by which, scholars long ago concluded, the soul, having left the body of the departed, could navigate the spiritual obstacle course of the Underworld and reach Rostau — the realm of Osiris, the god of death, who was himself dead. If you were lucky enough to get the go-ahead from Osiris’ divine tribunal, you would become an immortal god.

small royal statue of a sphinx was uncovered in Tuna El-Gebel.
Egypt Amazes the World with 2019 Archaeological Discoveries 

Over the last two years, a large number of new discoveries in Egypt have grabbed the world’s attention. Egypt Today Magazine will provide its readers with a capsule of all the discoveries that occurred in 2019.


This is from The Tears of Re, Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt by Gene Kritsky.
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