Friday, May 29, 2009

COSI Exhibit Helps Visitors Solve Mysteries of Past

Originally published May 28, 2009 | The Columbus Dispatch | by Michele Lemmon

This article gives more information on the COSI Columbus exhibit called Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science and follows up with featured programs at the museum that focus on Ancient Egypt, which is for people of all ages. The exhibit will travel to other member museums in the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative.

100 Free Courses to Teach Yourself World History

Originally published May 27, 2009 | Online Colleges

This course may be of interest: the Ancient Mediterranean World

The Evolution of House Cats

Originally published May 18, 2009 for June 2009 issue of Scientific American Magazine | Scientific American Magazine | by Carlos A. Driscoll, Juliet Clutton-Brock, Andrew C. Kitchener and Stephen J. O'Brien

Evidence has shown that Egyptians had fully domesticated the cat 3,600 years ago, but recent findings have lead to a much earlier date of 10,000 years in Fertile Crescent, with the advancement of agriculture.

The following page examines cats in Egyptian history.

Remains of Isis Temple Found

Originally published May 28, 2009 | ANSA - Italy

Workmen digging a hole inside Florence's courthouse for a new water cistern end up finding a spiral column and multicolored fragments once belonging to a Roman temple built for Isis and date to the 2nd century AD. The fragments are comparable to others found close by, within the last three centuries.

Eton College Returns Suspect Antiquities to Egypt

Originally published May 27, 2009 | The Art Newspaper | by Martin Bailey

Without surviving documentary evidence to prove legal export from Egypt of Eton College's Web-Davey donation of Egyptian antiquities, the college handed over the 450+ items to Egypt rather than risk scandal and immorality, which had been commonplace in the early days of Egyptology and archaeology.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Billion-Pixel Pictures Allow Ultra-Zooming for Science

Originally published May 27, 2009 | National Geographic News | by Brian Handwerk

First developed for the NASA rovers on Mars, the GigaPan system stitches together thousands of close-up images taken with ordinary digital cameras into superhigh-resolution panoramas that provide viewers with rich topography. The impact of this took could prove very useful for remote scholars, be they in Iceland or Kentucky, and school children alike.

View the few sites in Egypt that have already been captured in GigaPan.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Preston's Project Wins an Award

Originally published May 27, 2009 | Dr. Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Hawass

A Florida teen's hard work and research in creating a school project on Zahi Hawass' efforts to preserve Egyptian monuments and retrieve stolen artifacts has earned him a place in a state competition, with the possibility of going to the nationals.

King Tut Exhibit in Watertown, SD

Originally published May 27, 2009 | KSFY Action News

This blurb announces Goss Opera House's exhibit called "King Tut: Wonderful Things," which features replica artifacts from Tutankhamun's (forgive the author's incorrect rendering of his name) funerary items, from his coffin to his funeral mask.

Latest News from the Valley of the Kings

Originally published May 27, 2009 | Dr. Zahi Hawass' Blog

Follow the link to learn about the latest news from the Valley of the Kings. More information is found in the latest press release, with pictures accompanying it.

Egyptian Sands and Columbus Waves

Originally published May 27, 2009 | UWeekly - University Media Group | by Bram Fulk

Columbus' Center for Science and Industry (COSI) kicks off the season with an exploration of the wonders of Ancient Egypt through science and technology with its traveling and interactive exhibit "Lost Egypt: Ancient Secret, Modern Science," which looks at the process of archaeology in modern Egypt and Egypt's ancient culture and focuses less on the nobleman and more on the common Egyptian.

Database of Early Dynastic Inscriptions

Datenbanken des Instituts für Ägyptologie und Koptologie der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster

This web page introduces a searchable database that houses over 45,000 Early Dynastic inscriptions, from Naqada III Period to the beginning of Dynasty 3.

Search the database...

German Panel Opposed to Egyptian Minister as UNESCO Head

Originally published May 25, 2009 | the Earth Times

Germany's main cultural organization expresses dislike toward the possibility that someone who exhibits no respect for the world's cultural diversity or the basic principles of UNESCO could become the head of the organization.

Mummy Myths Are Dispelled at Columbus Museum of Art

Originally published May 22, 2009 | The Lantern (Ohio State University) | by Brittany Jones

Museum employees, aka "Mummy Myth Busters," engage their visitors in a fun event to discuss the truth behind mummies, using their place in history and their role in film as inspiration. The events ties in with an exhibit entitled, "To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures From the Brooklyn Museum."

Monday, May 25, 2009

For Kids - Tips for Budding Archaeologists

Originally published May 24, 2009 | Dr. Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Zahi Hawass

Dr. Zahi Hawass gives young adventurers the prescription to becoming a great archaeologist and Egyptologist, which entails nothing short of studying hard, learning languages, gaining experience in the field, and watching special programs on television.

Reconstructing the Afterlife in a Vanished Religion

Originally published May 23, 2009 | The New York Times | by Souren Melikian

Paris plays host to "the Doors of Heaven," supplemented by an accompanying book, that purports to explain the world view in Ancient Egypt, which remained relatively steadfast for 3,000 years. Statues, reliefs, carvings, and allegory from the Book of the Dead, particularly of Osiris and items from the Amarna period, play a prominent role in leading us through the secrets of the Ancient Egyptian perception of life and the Afterlife, as contradictory, eluding, and enigmatic, as they turn out to be.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Calling the Queen's Authenticity Into Question

Originally published May 21, 2009 Spiegel Online by Christoph Seidler

This article follows Henri Stierlin's theory that the Nefertiti bust in the Berlin Museum is a fake, built 100 years ago and whose purpose he believes its finder withheld from the world.

Even though his friends doubt Stierlin's theory, he counteracts any proof of Nefertiti's authenticity, with contamination and advanced reproduction techniques even 100 years ago being his evidence.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dig Days: What can I do? Dr. Zahi Hawass Defends Himself

Originally published 21 - 27 May 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Dr. Zahi Hawass

Dr. Zahi Hawass states in this article his thoughts on the following: the lack of public knowledge about what he does, having been inspired by an article in the New York Times that polled the general public, the reason he established rules for Egyptologists and archaeologists to follow when excavating and announcing and publishing their findings, and the slow rise in Egyptian archaeologists making discoveries on their own turf and the need for more recognition to be credited to them instead of to foreign teams.

He further defends his actions as secretary-general, interpretations of KV 63, and his right to share his ideas and theories.

Personally, I believe Dr. Hawass doesn't have to apologize for his opinions and actions, but he's a great man and scholar for having done so.

Excavations at Menkaure’s Pyramid

Originally posted May 22, 2009 | Talking Pyramids Blog

View pictures of the difficult-to-access back of Menkaure's pyramid, where excavations are currently underway.

Royal Bling Glitters For the Crowds - Jewels Moved to the Egyptian Museum

Originally published 21 - 27 May 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online

After it had been discovered that some pieces in the Mohamed Ali family jewels collection were missing, they were packed away in 45 wooden boxes, sealed with red wax, and moved from the Central Back of Egypt to the Egyptian Museum. Dr. Zahi Hawass heads the ordeal.

New Finds Span Time - New Discoveries in Alexandria and the Fayoum

Originally published 21 - 27 May 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Nevine El-Aref

Described forthwith is the most recent discovery at the Shallalat Gardens in Alexandria: a white marble statue of an athletic Alexander the Great, with a detailed account of its features from Kalliopi Limneou-Popakosta, attributing each element to different types of sculptural styles.

Giving credit to the developing importance of this site, El-Aref mentions last year's discovery: a statue of Ptolemy V and statues featuring Bacchus.

In addition, the SCA's discoveries at Al-Karn Al-Zahali Island include prehistoric hunting and medicine tools; needles and jewelry; and 25 rock-hewn tombs nearby, complete with human skeletons. These artifacts reveal the site's long history of use, which spans from prehistoric times to the Islamic era.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Where the Pyramids Built?

Originally published May 20, 2009 | Talk Pyramids Blog

This 6-part blog post on Talk Pyramids announces a new model at the Boston Museum that shows how the pyramids were built according to the external spiral ramp theory. Following this small blurb and accompanying photo, are a handful of other blog posts that describe previous theories on Egyptian pyramid building. They include:

  1. Donald B. Redford's traditional theory, where a mud brick ramp was employed, oiled to help teams of oxen and men, not slaves, bring up blocks of limestone, and where local limestone served as the pyramid core and finer quality limestone as the casing
  2. A docudrama from the BBC entitled Building the Great Pyramid.
  3. John Romer's unique theory based on the traditional theory, documented in a video entitled Secrets of the Great Pyramid
  4. The cement pyramid theory, first introduced by David Davidovitts, where he states that the Egyptians used limestone-based concrete to create perfectly formed blocks, using the Famine Stele as his proof. His theory was later supported by Michel Barsoum who proved it with science and by Linn Hobbs' team that tested the theory in creating their own concrete limestone block.
  5. Jean-Pierre Houdin's internal ramp theory, inspired by the spiral ramp theory, that he hopes to prove with technology.
  6. And Mark Lehner's theory that it was a band of Egyptians and not slaves who built the pyramids, using the remains of a "pyramid city" nearby as his evidence.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Computed Tomography Scanning of Meresamun

Originally published May 18, 2009 | SPIE | by Emily Teeter and Michael Vannier
Hoping to start a new tradition of sharing information about data obtained from CT scanning Egyptian mummies (because Emily Teeter seemed to dislike the fact that radiologists were scanning mummies but not sharing their data, making it an almost useless task, per her mini lecture at the Oriental Institute on May 17), Emily Teeter and Michael Vannier present the latest data on the recent CT scanning of the mummy of Meresamun, still sealed within her coffin, even though it had been at the OI since the 1920s (fortunately, it wasn't featured in a disgusting unwrapping party, the likes of which had been a common occurrence during that time). The article features findings from and differences in equipment used in a previous scanning session in 1991 and and from September 2008. It also features mini bios of the article's authors and several resources, both in print and online.

A Trip to Sharkiya

Origianlly published May 20, 2009 | Dr. Zahi Hawass' Blog
Learn about the current and prospective projects set forth by the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) to turn Tell Basta (Bubastis), Tell El-Dab'a (Avaris), and San El-Hagar (Tanis) into "outstanding tourist destinations while [...] preserving and protecting them for the future." In addition, Dr. Zahi Hawass introduces a new tourist program that introduces people to the Sharkiya region and the three capital cities mentioned above. He also describes a school located in this region where Egyptian boys and girls can persue a training program and advanced courses in conservation techniques for many types of materials.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Video - The Search for Antony and Cleopatra

Originally published May 18 | Dr. Zahi Hawass' Blog

Dr. Hawass takes you inside a mysterious temple that could have been the tomb of the famed Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. In a video he describes the latest information about and shares his thoughts on the possibility of at least three likely areas within a large Greco-Roman cemetary just outside the Temple of Taposiris Magna near Alexandria being the location of their resting place.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Scientists Take Another Look at Ancient Medicines

Originally published May 16, 2009| Richmond Times-Dispatch | by Tom Avril, Philadelphia Inquirer
Ancient Egypt was renowned for its prowess in the field of medicine, so much so that sick people went there from abroad in search of herbal remedies.

Archaeologists know that the herbs were administered in a potent blend with wine. But the identity of many of those medicinal additives is a mystery -- their names recorded in hieroglyphics that have resisted modern efforts at translation.