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.





Bees!

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