Monday, August 31, 2009

Movie Trailer - Agora

Accessed August 31, 2009 | Mania | by Jarrod Sarafin

My twin (well, really my triplet, I'm already a twin) has a new moving coming out in theaters (hopefully very soon because I've been waiting for this for almost a year!) called Agora.

The following is the plot for the movie:

4th century A.D. Egypt under the Roman Empire... Violent religious upheavel in the streets of Alexandria spills over into the city's famous Library. Trapped inside its walls, the brilliant astronomer Hypatia and her disciples fight to save the wisdom of the Ancient World... Among them, the two men competing for her heart: The witty, priviliged Orestes and Davus, Hypatia's young slave, who is torn between his secret love for her and the freedom he knows can be his if he chooses to join the unstoppable surge of the Christians.

Rachel is such an amazingly intelligent actress (and person) and seemingly every nice (she'll get down on her knees to talk to someone who is not mobile enough to get up out of their chair...and in heels!)...and the movie looks spectacular to boot! I wait in thorough anticipation for this to come to a theater near me, particularly to the Chicago Film Festival, where I'm hoping this will be the featured movie opening night (because that would bring her back to Chicago, where I could see her again).

Interactive Dig: Beads and Bead Making at Hierakonpolis

Accessed August 27, 2009 | Archaeology's Interactive Dig | by Hitoshi Endo, Izumi Takamiya, and Renée Friedman

Bringing the excavations to you, Archaeology's Interactive Dig team reveals more about the very dawn of Egyptian civilization and investigates early beer making. These field notes showcase an array of beautiful photographs of ancient beads, stones used for bead making, and tomb paintings depicting bead making.

New Publication - The West Delta Regional Survey

Accessed August 27, 2009 | David Brown Book Company

The following is a produce description of a new publication, penned by Penelope Wilson and Dimitris Grigoropoulos:

The West Delta Regional Survey is the result of five years of survey work carried out in Beheira and Kafr el-Sheikh Provinces as part of the Sais and its Hinterland Project and the Delta Survey of the Egypt
Exploration Society and Durham University, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The report by Penelope Wilson contains details of the current state of 70 archaeological sites (some of which are mapped here for the first time), their previous history and a photographic record. Dimitris Grigoropoulos discusses and dates the catalogue of pottery sherds, collected from most of the sites. The volume includes a CD with over 1,000 images of the sites catalogued by the Survey.

Download the Egypt Exploration Society's Newsletter

Accessed August 27, 2009 | Egypt Exploration Society

Click the above link to download the PDF newsletter from the EES (Egypt Exploration Society), which features upcoming projects, events, courses, lectures and seminars, tours, and symposiums.

Mummy's the Word

Originally published August 27, 2009 | Arkansas Times Blog | by Max Brantley

The following is a tiny blurb about the opening of an exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center called World of the Pharaohs, which begins September 25. This particular source features a mummy dating to the Old Kingdom (you can't see me right now, but I'm bouncing up and down; never have I seen an Old Kingdom mummy or though such had stood the test of time!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Alternatives to the World's Worst Tourist Traps

Originally published August 29 (UK time), 2009 | Times Online

It mostly speaks of the Meroe pyramids in the Sudan; it's less an article that bashes the pyramids (as the title seems to suggest), more one that gives detailed information about the Meroe pyramids in the Sudan and the Meroe civilization.

The following is a preview of the contents of the article; click the above link to read it in its entirtey:

Some ideas are too good to be forgotten. When Egypt’s pyramid boom burnt out in 2500BC, the country’s signature tomb design found its way up the Nile to northern Sudan, where it was embraced more than 2,000 years later by the Kushite Kingdom.

Evidence of this architectural revival can be found at the great royal cemeteries of Bagrawiya, better known as the pyramids of Meroe, where dozens of steep-sided pyramids litter the desert. This may be Sudan’s most iconic sight, but visitors are likely to have the tombs all to themselves, with only the sound of the desert wind in their ears.

Hawass' Plans For a "Replica Valley"

Originally published August 27 - September 2, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Nevine El-Aref

The following is an excerpt from Al-Ahram Weekly Online where Zahi Hawass reveals his and the SCA's plans to create a "Replica Valley" of the most famous of the KV/Q tombs such as Tutankhamun's, Seti I's and Nefertari's (the most beautiful if I don't say so myself); click the above link to read the full story:

As for the tombs of Tutankhamun, Seti I and Nefertari, Hawass said a plan to protect them was now being implemented in collaboration with the British organisation Adam Lowe of Factun Arte. The plan is to create identical replicas of these tombs by making detailed high-resolution copies of the burial chambers, paintings and sarcophagi using laser scanners. After the replicas have been constructed they will be installed on the cliff side of the Valley of the Kings, which will be called "The Replica Valley" where visitors can experience their beauty with the knowledge that the ancient paintings are being preserved. Hawass pointed out that missing fragments from these tombs now held in foreign museum, would also be scanned and added to the overall reconstruction to give a complete picture of the tombs.

Luxor Monuments and Archaeological Sites Undergo Major Developments

Originally published August 25 - September 2, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Nevine El-Aref

Below is an excerpt from Al-Ahram Weekly Online; click the above link to read the full story:

Last Week Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), and Samir Farag, head of Luxor City Supreme Council (LCSC) celebrated the completion of several development projects at archaeological sites on both the east and west banks of the Nile. They also visited other ongoing projects for which the total budget was LE127 million. These projects include the restoration of Howard Carter's rest-house with a view to developing it as a museum, the first phase of the installation of a new lighting system in the Valley of the Kings, a new visitor centre at Deir Al-Bahari, and the reopening of the Youssef Abul-Haggag mosque after restoration.

More on Dr. Hawass' Lecture and Interview in Indianapolis

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

This post at Dr. Hawass' blog tells of his lecture in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. For the full interview (at least), follow the link that I've provided on my August 14 blog post. Keith Payne, you were so lucky to have spoken with Dr. Hawass. He must have been so enjoyable to talk to.

In addition to his thoughts, there is an accompanying picture from the event, a link to more of the same topic, and a map of the exact location where he gave his lecture and interview.

Symposium - Egypt in its African Context

Originally published August 28, 2009 | Egypt at the Manchester

The following event is especially for those who have a passion for Ancient Egypt, African Studies, Black History, museums, and the Sudan. A program guide for this symposium is available; click the provided link to access it. I've also included a direct link to the University of Manchester web site, where you will find outline, key speaker, fee and registration, and contact information.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is King Tut's Necklace from Outer Space?

Originally published August 26, 2009 | Heritage Key | by Sean Williams

It had occurred to me that something was odd about this scarab. I had seen it many times while reading. The color of the scarab seemed unusual. I suppose feldspar was not immediately available to the craftsmen who created this masterpiece, so they settle on using this meteoric glass. I wouldn't put it past Tutankhamun to want something unusual incorporated into his jewelry, coming from a family who had ignored the rules of tradition of any medium. As much as Tutankhamun tried to disassociate himself from the ways of his father, I suspect he enjoyed a bit of artistic freedom himself. After all, the presence of the Aten and the portly belly-skinny limb rendering of his own likeness were evident in his artifacts.

This brings to mind the age of the Sphinx, but that's another, very long-winded, discussion.

Explore Ancient Egypt with Fairmont & National Geographic

Originally published August 26, 2009 | Yahoo! News

If you're willing to spend $960 and would like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the secrets of Egypt through lectures, tours, and a felucca ride in the company of Zahi Hawass, then this offer is certainly for you. This Global Explorer Series from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and the National Geographic Society runs from November 27 - 30, 2009 and has many fabulous incentives (as if Dr. Hawass wasn't enough, my goodness!). Click on the above link to read more on this offer.

The following is a direct link to the Fairmont Towers web site, where you can book the tour.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lost Egypt Coming to Museum Center

Originally published August 25, 2009 | The Cincinnati Enquirer | by Lauren Bishop

The following is an excerpt from an article at the Cincinnati Enquirer, which details the coming of a traveling exhibit called Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science:

"Lost Egypt gives people an in-depth look at the fascinating discoveries being made by archeologists working in Egypt today," Robert Genheimer, Rieveschl curator of archaeology for the Museum Center, said in an announcement about the exhibit.

Lost Egypt will be located in the Museum Center’s traveling exhibit hall across from the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. The Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit, which closes Sept. 7, currently occupies the space.

Even Egypt's Pharaohs Suffer from Backpacker Fatigue

Originally published August 25, 2009 | Telegraph | by Rowan Pelling

The following is an excerpt from the Telegraph, which speaks of the speculated fate of the Valley of the Kings and Queens:

Outside of Bangkok, two of the planet's least lonely places are Egypt's Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, where bus-loads of tourists tramp all over the pharaohs' tombs. Sadly, the horde's humid breath raises the moisture level in the closely confined chambers, accelerating their decay. This means that visitor numbers will soon be severely limited – experts and dignitaries only, I imagine – while replica tombs will be built for the gawping masses.

I hate to say "I told you so," but...I told you so! I wouldn't go as far as to say that these replicas will be "no more alluring than Las Vegas" because they will be far more precise and true to Egyptian craftsmanship (one would hope, anyway). Like I said before, just close off the Valleys (I don't care if it takes years...just not too many) until technologically sound protection to all contents within each Valley tomb is implemented (I certainly would not mind looking through Plexiglas). Of course, that's easy for me to say. If worst comes to worst, I'll just load up my credentials with so many degrees in Egyptological subjects that Zahi Hawass will have no choice but to let me into one of those chambers.

Mummies, Hieroglyphs and Myths at the Nicholson

Originally published August 25, 2009 | The University of Sydney

Opening tomorrow (Wednesday, August 26) at the University of Sydney is an exhibit entitled Egyptians, Gods & Mummies: Travels with Herodotus, which will feature mummies of all kinds with 3D CT scans of one in particular, a column from the Temple of Bastet, and a column headstone of Bastet, just to name a few things, all of which will have descriptions as penned by Herodotus. Following the opening of the exhibit is a lecture given by forensic Egyptologist Janet Davey (ticket and booking information is provided). Featured through the exhibit's duration are several free Egyptian-themed Sunday lectures.

As envious as I am (once again, dear Reader!), I'm sort of leery about them providing information to the public using Herodotus' words. I'm hoping they will be descriptions only in terms of proportions and such and not an examination of meaning, symbolism, and dating (we've come a long way since Herodotus); though, I think I'd get a kick out of correcting errors I find (as I normally would do), whispering them softly into my sister's ear (but only if she asks, of course; she hates my little...ahem long...tangents).

Dig Days - The Search for Queen Mutnodjmet

Originally published August 25, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Zahi Hawass

This seems like a reiteration of his previous article about Queen Mutnodjmet at Al-Ahram Weekly Online that dates to last week, which is much more intensely detailed on the topic than it is here. He conveniently links to this article penned by him. He also gives links to other information within his blog. I highly recommend reading his article at Al-Ahram Weekly Online.

Tracing King Tut's Roots

Originally published August 24, 2009 | Asharq Alawsat Newspaper | by Dr. Zahi Hawass

Beginning this article are a few paragraphs dedicated to the importance of Tutankhamun's tomb and its discovery. Then it briefly discusses previous speculation as to Tutankhamun's parentage, which includes well-known names such and Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Amenhotep III. Some examination of these mummies is given in detail, followed by the process that an Egytian team is pursuing to perform DNA and CT scan tests on Tutankhamun's and the aforementioned figures' mummies.

Although Hawass finds justification for extracting DNA samples from these mummies, one is still taking a piece of that mummy, desiccating it, even if it might just be a minute piece. I'm glad someone else has this job; I wouldn't be able to do it without thinking too much. How the Ancient Egyptians would be completely shocked to learn that, not only are their mummies on display in museums throughout the world, stripped of their protective amulets, but also being chipped away at!

Upcoming Events at the British Museum

Accessed August 25, 2009 | The British Museum

If you are near the British Museum during September through December, here are a few Ancient Egypt-related gallery talks and family activities. All of the following are free. I envy those who are able to make it to these events.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Egypt to Preserve Pharaonic Tombs with Closure and Replicas

Egypt to Preserve Pharaonic Tombs with Closure and Replicas

More on the possibility of the Kings and Queens Valleys being permanently closed off to tourists. Also features information on the Getty Conservation Institute and Factum Arte (a company that digitally reproduces artifacts for museums).

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Interact with ancient Egypt | | The Cincinnati Enquirer

Interact with ancient Egypt | | The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Series takes youthful look at ancient world

Series takes youthful look at ancient world

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Laser Scanning the Sphinx

Originally published August 24, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Zahi Hawass

The following is an excerpt from Zahi Hawass' Blog; click the above link to read the post in its entirety:

This work is very accurate and very fast; it took us one month to scan the Pyramids of Giza, and now we are scanning their interior chambers and shafts too. The team is also scanning the monuments on the East and West Banks of Luxor. As well as making scans from ground level, the team also conducted aerial scans by flying over the archaeological sites.

As per usual, there are accompanying pictures and an interactive map that shows the exact location of the project.

Queen of Egypt's Heart

Originally published August 20 - 26, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Jill Kamil

The following is an excerpt from an article at Al-Ahram Weekly Online, which describes the famous bust of Nefertiti' long history, both ancient and modern:

Nefertiti's bust has recently made headlines, in newspapers, magazines, and by bloggers on the Internet. BBC News, under the title "German guile won Queen Nefertiti..." described how "newly- published documents show how a German archaeologist used trickery to smuggle home a fabulous sculpture of the Egyptian Queen, Nefertiti." Agence France-Press confidently reported that the famed bust was a 20th-century copy. And Dawn Martinez-Byrne, in a blog, posed several questions that caught my attention because I had heard many of them before -- voiced by Egyptian post- revolutionary intellectuals.

It looks like the Germans are giving Zahi Hawass a dose of his own medicine, claiming that the "Berlin Bust" is far too delicate to travel back to her homeland. I say, those wooden coffers in the traveling Tutankhamun exhibit are far more delicate than Nefertit's bust, being made of far more delicate material.

The Art of the Amarna Period

Originally published August 20 - 26, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online

The inspiration for this article comes in the form of a statue of an Amarna princess of unknown origins. The estimated time of its creation is the Amarna Period. With that, the rest of the article chronicles the life and times of Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti, their children, and their life and religion that was the foundation for what is known as the Amarna Period.

I think this period is the most intriguing due to its complete lack of interest in the norm in Egyptian art and religion (perhaps it's better said that Akhenaten was uninterested in keeping to old traditions). You have to admire him for his originality and passion for his family.

Dead Man Tells Ancient Tales

Originally published August 24, 2009 |

The following is a succinct description provided by Archaeology News from Archaeology Magazine Online of the contents of this article at

The mummy of Iret-net-Hor-irw, also known as Irethorrou, was just scanned. Long in Stockton’s Haggin Museum, Irethorrou is moving to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, from which he had been on loan since 1944.

In addition an in-depth description of the examination of this mummy and its place in history, there is also information on an upcoming exhibit, which will feature as its centerpiece the mummy of Irethorrou: Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine, which runs October 31 through the summer of 2010.

Mummy Exhibit Debuts at Putnam Museum

Originally published August 22, 2009 | Quad-City Times | by Kay Luna

The following is a concise description from Archaeology News from Archaeology Magazine Online of the contents of this article:

The Putnam Museum in Davenport has recently CT scanned its mummy. The coffin says it once held Isis Neferit, a chantress in the Temple of Isis, who lived about 3,000 years ago. The new research says the mummy isn’t Isis but a woman who lived 600 years later.

It's really quite fascinating how technologies such as CT scanning further our knowledge about certain artifacts, namely mummies, and correcting errors and outdated notions. I think this is especially important for museums, which is one fundamental reason they exist.

A New Letter (W) Has Been Added to the Chicago Demotic Dictionary

Originally published August 10, 2009 | Oriental Institute

A new letter has been added to the Chicago Demotic Dictionary (W). I have provided the direct link to that particular page in the CDD (the above link will send you to the home page of the CDD's table of contents, where you can download all letters of the dictionary).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lecture - Hunting the Land of Punt

Originally published August 21, 2009 | Challenging the Past Blog | by Marsia Sfakianou Bealby

The following information is from the Challenging the Past Blog:

The Friends of the Egypt Centre, Swansea University

Hunting the Land of Punt: In Search of the Location of This Mysterious Land, by Prof. Kenneth Kitchen

Preceded by the AGM at 6:30 pm (members only).

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2009; 7.00pm

Place: Room 5 Fulton House, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP

Cost: free for members, £3.00 non-members

Phone #: 01792 295960

The following is a direct link to Swansea University's detailed web paged for this event. In addition, the following link will bring you to a list of upcoming events at the Egypt Centre

High-Tech Scanner Reveals Mummy's 2,500-Year-Old Past

Originally published August 21, 2009 | San Francisco Chronicle | by David Perlman

Tutankhamun and Meresamun were a few of the first mummies to be CT scanned. Add to the list a Late Period priest named Iret-net Hor-irw. His technological undergoing is a direct result of a new exhibit that will be opening in October at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco called Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine, which will examine ancient medical care and death in Egypt.

The next few paragraphs of this article discuss the CT scanning process, reactions of those involved, and the results.

The following are links chronicling the same story, each a different rendering, but revealing the same facts:

  • - Stanford Scientists Scan 2,500-Year-Old Mummy, by Brooke Donald (Associated Press)
  • Fox News - High-Tech Scanner Could Reveal Mummy's 2,500-Year-Old Past
  • The Associated Press/Google - Stanford Scientists Scan 2,500-Year-Old Mummy

Thursday, August 20, 2009

April-June Issue of Boletín Informativo de Amigos de la Egiptología

Accessed August 1, 2009 | Amigos de la Egiptología | by various authors

The following volume is a compilation of many topics regarding Egypt, penned by various authors. I'd like to plug one of the articles in particular because one of my friends and another scholar wrote it: Egipto y la Biblia - El evangelio de Judas: Textos coptos del cristianismo by Marina Escolano Poveda and Gerardo Jofre González-Granda, which begins on page 47. It is about the Gospel of Judas; Marina writes about the characteristics of the Coptic language (she represents only a few people who in Spain who know how to read this language!)

Other articles chronicle the treasures of Tutankhamun in Barcelona, the Giza Pyramids, and the hieroglyphic writing system. It is complete with pictures, cited notes, and a recommended reading list.

New Book - Soldiers, Sailors and Sandalmakers

Originally published August 16, 2009 | Egypt at the Manchester Museum Blog | by Karen Exell

The following blog post announces the September 1, 2009 release of a new book (by the the author of this blog post, as it were). It includes product information and a short description of the book's contents:

The book looks at how votive stelae from five Ramesside period sites, including Deir el-Medina, Abu Simbel and Pi-Ramesses, might be linked to specific events in the lives of the dedicators, from festival attendance, promotion at work and pleas for fertility, and act to commemorate for all eternity incidents of personal and social significance.

I've provided a link to Amazon for those interested in pre-ordering this book.

Article - Royal Gift Exchange Between Mycenae and Egypt

Accessed August 20, 2009 | American Journal of Archaeology | by Jorrit M. Kelder

The following is the abstract to Jorrit M. Kelder's article in the American Journal of Archaeology. There are links to the PDF version of the abstract and the author's bio.

This paper seeks to stimulate new thinking on this subject by positing the possibility that exchange between the two was more than a haphazard phenomenon, arguing that it was, instead, a highly organized system that involved the active engagement of the ruling elite at Mycenae as well as the pharaonic court.

Touring the New York City Obelisks

Originally published August 19, 2009 | Archaeology Magazine Online | by Morgan Moroney

Below is an excerpt from this article at Archaeology Magazine Online, which features descriptions and expandable pictures of Egyptian obelisks around the world, including Cleopatra's Needle in London, England and Ramesses II's obelisks at Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. At the bottom there are links to previous and further stories on obelisks (not necessarily Egyptian):

The obelisk originated during Egypt's Old Kingdom (2584-2117 B.C.) as a small solid structure associated with the sun-deity Re. Pharaoh Senworset I (1974-1929 B.C.) constructed the first giant obelisk at Heliopolis during the Middle Kingdom (2066-1650 B.C). Giant Egyptian obelisks weigh hundreds of tons and are composed of solid pieces of granite quarried at Aswan in southern Egypt. Modern obelisks, big and small, are found all over the world and the U.S. from the Washington Monument, to war memorials, to the grave markers of presidents (Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln's tombs all include obelisk memorials). New York City is filled with obelisks, and a tour of them will take you all over Manhattan and beyond to view monuments, tombstones, and even an authentic Egyptian original, known as Cleopatra's Needle. But how and why did the obelisk become and remains so popular?

It may seem a bit morbid (and certainly too soon to be considering this), but I'd like to have an obelisk for a tombstone, complete with hieroglyphic inscriptions and my name bound in a cartouche. With that, no, I do not want to be mummified! Everyone always asks me that :/

Archaeology Magazine's Special Ancient Egypt Issue

Accessed August 20, 2009 | Archaeology Magazine Online The following is quoted from AIA's e-Update, which will bring you to more information on what's inside this issue and how to purchase it:

Learn why mummies are the icons of ancient Egypt and why the pharaohs' tombs were designed to last forever. Discover how Napoleon's expedition led to the birth of Egyptology and how the Great Pyramid was built. Explore a City of the Dead and the Valley of the Kings. Come along with Archaeology to the banks of the Nile--and beyond. There are mummies, pharaohs' treasures, unsolved mysteries, and an entire civilization to uncover.

I think I voted for this cover! I'm glad to have helped Archaeology Magazine :)

I'm thinking I might request that my library buy this issue for its magazine collection. I'm sure someone other than myself will find this a great addition.

International Colloquium: Pharaonic Renaissance

Accessed August 20, 2009 | The American Research Center in Egypt

The following is an excerpt from the American Research Center in Egypt:

This international colloquium at Montepulciano, Italy, focuses on the period of the 25th and 26th Dynasty and tries to shed light on the phenomenon of archaism that characterized the cultural life of Egypt in those centuries.

Either follow the above link to read more about this international colloquium or read the Montepulciano Colloquium Program. The program starts tomorrow (Friday, August 21) and ends Sunday (August 23), so if you're in Italy near Firenze and Montepulciano, check it out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Video - Cool Jobs: Mummy Hunter

Originally published May 1, 2009 | Discovery Channel | by Rossella Lorenzi

Follow the link to watch this video that captures the interview between Rosella Lorenzi and Dr. Zahi Hawass, where the latter speaks of many well-known ancient place including Saqqara and the Step Pyramid, Giza and the Great Pyramid, and the Valley of the Kings and popular names such as Tutankhamun, Ramesses, and Nefertari.

Ancient Coptic Church Discovered at Luxor Temple

Originally published August 16, 2009 | eTurbo News | by Hazel Heyer

This discovery, although not of the Pharonic Era, has strong connections with it, being found built over the top of an ancient Egyptian site (that of Ramesses II). The following is an excerpt from eTurbo News. Follow the above link to read this article in its entirety.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, last June, the Al Watani International said that at the Imam Abu-Haggag Luxor mosque and shrine, built on top of the open courtyard of Ramesses II in the Luxor Temple, the Supreme Council of Antiquities had launched a renovation project which, apart from repairing the damage from the fire, yielded some surprising finds. During restoration work the restorers came upon the remains of a Coptic church and some rare pharaonic inscriptions, the most remarkable of which were engravings picturing the erection of the two obelisks built by Ramesses II outside the Luxor Temple itself. The church and the mosque, said Sana Farouq.

"Closed" Sign Coming Soon to King Tut's Tomb

Originally published August 19, 2009 | USA Today | by John Bacon

The following is an excerpt from USA Today, regarding more on the latest news about the possibility of the Valley of the Kings being closed off to tourists wanting to visit the tombs. Dr. Hawass if certainly faced with a double-edged sword, a predicament that shouldn't come without massive consideration: either you close off the KV tombs and create a museum filled with replicas and decrease the touristic population (I can see a replica tomb here in Chicago) or close off the KV tombs to tourists temporarily (and still decrease revenue from tourism, be it temporarily) and open them when proper technology has been implemented within each tomb so that the delicate contents within and tourists can peacefully coexist. I wouldn't mind waiting for proper technological implementation, as the former option (one Hawass has proposed) would really kill revenue for Egypt. Like I said before, I can see a replica here in the states; although, I suppose the addition of the Egyptian culture while seeing these replicas would make a better experience.

If you're interested in visiting the tombs of pharaohs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, better schedule your trip soon.


"A team of experts is currently using laser technology to examine these tombs in order to build the replicas ... which would then open to visitors in a place near the Valley of the Kings," Hawass said.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Egypt Warns Pharaohs' Tombs Could Disappear

Originally published August 18, 2009 | Yahoo! News - Singapore and Agence France Presse

The following is an excerpt from Yahoo! News in Singapore. Click the above link to read the full story.

The ornate pharaonic tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings are doomed to disappear within 150 to 500 years if they remain open to tourists, the head of antiquities has warned.

Zahi Hawass said humidity and fungus are eating into the walls of the royal tombs in the huge necropolis on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor, which is swamped daily by several thousand tourists.

This sort of trouble for the KV and QV tombs (and other places, for that matter) has been going on for many years. Can you imagine how exponentially quick tomb art deteriorated during Egyptology's infancy? I'd be freaking out, for sure. Expediency in this situation wouldn't be hazardous in preserving the rich art of the Ancient Egyptians. I'm hoping that by the time I visit Egypt, Zahi Hawass will have implemented a system to all sites that allows tourists to visit them in situ.

Egyptian Expert Submits Report on Mummy

Originally published August 18, 2009 | The Times of India

The following is an excerpt from an article from the Times of India:

The head of the research department, supreme council of antiquities, Egypt Tarek El Awady on Monday presented his report to the government on preservation of the Egyptian mummy, which was stored in the state museum and deteriorating because of mismanagement.

Most of this should be common sense in terms of the preservation of mummies and observing them in museums. I'd also add: no leaning on glass cases. In addition, $20,000 is hardly asking for much for preservation (unless that's per mummy on display; even then, I'm sure there are plenty of people with the same passion as I who would lend a helping hand in donating to the cause).

Photo - Zahi Hawass and Tutankhamun's Mummy

Originally published August 18, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Photo Blog | picture credited to SCA

Follow the above link to see Zahi Hawass examining the mummy of Tutankhamun, captured in a picture, posted to his photo blog. A map of the precise location of Tutankhamun's tomb and a few links to related resources accompany the picture.

The photo brings several stories and other images to mind, stories that involve the process Howard Carter and his crew used to handle Tutankhamun's mummy. It brings one to tears, really. It's a shame Egyptology wasn't as developed then as it is now; perhaps, Tutankhamun's mummy could have been better handled and preserved.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Press Release - New Developments at Luxor

Originally published August 17, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Hawass The following is an excerpt from Zahi Hawass' blog that tells of several complete projects of both ancient and modern structures. Links to further information within Zahi Hawass' blog, accompanying pictures of the objects of discussion, and a map are also provided.

Today, Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), and Dr. Samir Farag, Head of the Luxor Supreme Council (LSC), will celebrate the completion of several development projects at different archaeological sites on Luxor’s western and eastern banks, and visit other ongoing projects, for which the total budget was LE 127 million.

These projects include the restoration of Abul Hagag El-Loxori Mosque, changing the entrance of Luxor temple, the development of the area around Deir el-Bahri Temple, the restoration of Howard Carter’s rest house with a view to developing it into a museum, and the installation of a new lighting system in the Valley of the Kings.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Centamin Follows the Ancients in Big Quest for Egyptian Gold

Originally published August 15, 2009 | The West Australian

Below is a preview of an article at the West Australian which tells of an explorers means of discovering a gold mine in Egypt by using one of the oldest papyri found as a resource. The topic is a bit off-topic, but still interesting (and hey, it mentions a discovery that came as a result of using ancient artifacts; it's like piecing together a real map and finding real pirate treasure!).

The popular mythology behind Centamin Egypt goes that it was WA geologist Sami El-Raghy who came across the ancient papyrus map dating back to 1200BC hanging in an Egyptian museum.

That map, believed to be the oldest of its kind, included the location of 1300 historic gold mines and inspired Mr El-Raghy to hunt for some treasure of his own.

The tale is probably apocryphal.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Exclusive Interview: Dr Zahi Hawass in Indianapolis

Originally published August 10, 2009 | Heritage Key | by Keith Payne

Thanks to Ann for leading me to Heritage Key, where there are many articles and more that focus on Ancient Egyptian history and related topics.

The following article is Keith Payne's one-on-one interview with Dr. Hawass after his lecture in Indianapolis for the Tutankhamun exhibit. They discuss royal mummies, Tutankhamun's heritage, Nefertiti, advice for would-be archaeologists and Egyptologists, DNA testing, CT scanning technology, and more. The article is accompanied by photographs of Hawass' presentation, which capture the man's vitality and passion he has for his country's ancient history. There are also many links to resources on similar articles and opportunities for discussion (don't you just love the read-write-web?)

Apply For a Junior Research Fellowship in Egyptology

Originally published July 23, 2009 | Christ's College (University of Cambridge)

The Governing Body of Christ's College invites applications for a Junior Research Fellowship in Egyptology supported by the Lady Wallis Budge Fund.

If interested, click on the above link, where you will find more information about the application process and requirements.

Children's Workshop at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Egyptomania

Originally published August 12, 2009 | Indianapolis Examiner | by Rebecca Barnabi

The following is an excerpt from the Indianapolis Examiner, which features information about a workshop at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for children interested in Egyptology (be prepared to cough up a lot of dough if your child wants to participate):

"Egyptomania" will give children ages 5-6 the opportunity to learn about ancient Egyptian culture. Each day will be dedicated to a particular subject of ancient Egypt and Liles will show children how to make something related to that subject.

One day they will talk about tombs and make canopic jars and another day they'll talk about the pyramids and make structures of pyramids.

Brief History of Sheep and Wool

Originally published August 13, 2009 | Fibre2Fashion | by Jenne Giles

This article features a brief paragraph or two about Ancient Egypt's role in the history of sheep and wool. Below is an excerpt:

Sheep first entered the African continent via Sinai and were present in Ancient Egypt between 6000 to 5000 BCE, said to have migrated down Africa from Egypt. Sheep were present in ancient Egyptian society between 6000 and 5000 BCE. The ancient Egyptians revered the male sheep, the Ram, for its virility and war-like attributes. Priests were forbidden from wearing wool garments or eating mutton. Similarly, the dead were not buried with wool, nor were sheep's milk and meat offered to the dead in ceremony. It is unsure whether this is because the sheep were considered impure or whether the sheep were manifestations of important gods that prohibited the use of sheep products in Ancient Egypt.

Cave Complex Allegedly Found Under Giza Pyramids

Originally published August 13, 2009 | Discovery News | by Rossella Lorenzi

The following is a peek at the latest regarding "the lost underworld of the pharaohs," discovered by at British archaeologist, who claims to have found an underground cave complex. Picking up where Henry Salt left off, British explorer Andrew Collins puts his finding to print in "Beneath the Pyramids," which will come out in September.

An enormous system of caves, chambers and tunnels lies hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs.

Populated by bats and venomous spiders, the underground complex was found in the limestone bedrock beneath the pyramid field at Giza.

See my other blog post entitled "British Writer Discovers the Pharaoh's Lost Underworld" about this matter.

Dig Days: The Search for Queen Mutnodjmet

Originally published for week of August 13 - 19, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Dr. Zahi Hawass

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Hawass' article at Al-Ahram Weekly Online, where he discusses the life and times of the lesser known Queen Mutnodjmet, wife to Horemheb, and his current scholastic endeavors regarding the noblewoman's mummy. Good luck, Dr. Hawass! I appreciate your efforts.

Queen Mutnodjmet is not one of the famous queens, like Nefertiti or Nefertari, but she married a high official named Horemheb who later became Pharaoh. Horemheb was the leader of the army in the reigns of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Ay. After Ay's death, Horemheb rose to the throne. Prior to his ascension he had constructed for himself a nobleman's tomb at Saqqara. After his ascension, however, this tomb was no longer suitable, so he had a second one carved out in the Valley of the Kings that was more befitting of his rank. His first tomb at Saqqara has, since then, suffered much damage, and some of its blocks have illegally been taken out of the country. Archaeologist Geoffrey Martin has been in charge of re- excavating and restoring the tomb, and has carried out some very impressive work.

I am currently trying to locate the bones of Horemheb's queen, Mutnodjmet, in order to include her remains within our DNA research on the family of King Tutankhamun. Her bones could be an extra piece of the puzzle in helping us to identify more individuals who were related to the Golden Boy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Early Christian Books in Egypt Now Available

Originally published August 10, 2009 | What's New in Papyrology | by

The following is an excerpt from the Papyrology Blog, which features a small synopsis, author information, testimonials, and the book's table of contents; click on the above link to read the blog post in it entirety:

For the past hundred years, much has been written about the early editions of Christian texts discovered in the region that was once Roman Egypt. Scholars have cited these papyrus manuscripts--containing the Bible and other Christian works--as evidence of Christianity's presence in that historic area during the first three centuries AD.

Dr. Kara Cooney Brings the World of the Ancients to Discovery on 'Out of Egypt'

Originally published August 11, 2009 | Monsters and Critics | by April MacIntyre

The following is an excerpt from Monsters and Critics which examines the hostess of the Discovery Channel's Out of Egypt, Dr. Cara Cooney; click the above link to read this article in its entirety:

Discovery Channel has found a star in Dr. Kara Cooney, a beguiling academic who takes the always interesting subject matter of all things Egypt and breaks down their secret societies, ritual sacrifice, brutal religious edicts and macabre burials for those who are fascinated by the ancient cultures history and lore.

Pictures accompany the story.

The Rosetta Stone: History and Modern Controversy

Originally published August 5, 2009 | The Indianapolis Examiner | by Gwynneth Anderson

The following is an excerpt from the Indianapolis Examiner (I can't believe I missed this one!); click the above link to read the full article:

Listen carefully for ghostly chuckles during your next visit to Les Invalides. If you hear them, don’t worry - it’s merely Napoleon smirking at the continuing fallout from his 1798 Egyptian Campaign.

In 1799, soldiers constructing Fort Julian at a port city called Rosetta (now called Rashid) pulled a large black stone, almost 4 feet tall, 28 inches wide, 11 inches thick and weighing approximately 1,700 pounds, out of the Nile delta muck. Imagine their shock at seeing the inscriptions after it was cleaned off.

The article includes pictures and many links to other resources on the topic.

The Pyramids of Dashur 2: The Red Pyramid

Originally published August 13, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | Dr. Hawass

The following is an excerpt from Zahi Hawass' Blog; click the above link to read his article in it entirety:

The Red (or North) Pyramid at Dashur was King Sneferu’s third attempt at building a massive pyramid. He had already built at Meidum, near the Faiyum Oasis, and at Dashur, resulting in the Bent Pyramid. This time he would get it right from the start, and pave the way for his son Khufu to build the Great Pyramid of Giza.

His article features a few beautiful pictures with captions and a map of the area.

Egyptian Expert in Hyderabad to Restore Mummy

Originally published August 13, 2009 | The Times of India

The following is an excerpt from the Times of India; click the above link to read the story in its entirety:

Tarek el Awady, director of Scientific Research in Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), arrived Wednesday night on a six-day visit to restore the mummy, dating back to 2500 BC, but which is showing signs of decay now.

SCA is a part of the Egyptian ministry of culture and responsible for the conservation, protection and regulation of all antiquities and archaeological excavations in Egypt. El Awady is also the general supervisor of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Egyptians Pay Tribute to Pyramids

Originally published August 12, 2009 | CCTV | edited by Zhao Yanchen

Recently, over 400 Egyptian youths traveled to the Giza Necropolis to campaign for the preservation of Egypt's most magnificent structure: the pyramids.

The Cultural Ministry of Egypt organized the effort to encourage the younger people to learn more about Egypt's ancient history and to raise the public's awareness of the need to preserve it's monuments.

Colorful Art May Date Back to 4,000 Years to Ancient Egypt

Originally published August 12, 2009 | New Kerala

This article features more information regarding the discovery of earlier Egyptian techniques in extracting dye from plants.

Visit my blog post where you will find a link to the original story at MSNBC.

Gender Representation in Ancient Egyptian Tomb Art

Originally published August , 2009 | Indianapolis Examiner | by Kim Jackson

Ms. Jackson discusses typical New Kingdom tomb art, focusing on the reality of fashion and its significance in art; each genders' roles in tomb art and the significance of each genders' activities; and the purposeful selection of certain every day activities by artists, which was less a handbook to life in Egypt and more of a way to portray certain distinctions in the physical world.

The author ends the article with a link to an article at the Tour Egypt web site on the Amarna Period.

My Foreign Office

Originally published August 12, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Hawass

Dr. Hawass takes the time out to thank all of the members of his office, particularly the invaluable Maggie Bryson, who put Hawass' voice to print and web. He further acknowledges his summer interns and correspondent.

That would be one of my dreams: to work closely with Dr. Hawass on his web site and blog. I wonder if he's seeking a replacement.

Putnam Museum Unwraps New Egyptian Mummy Display

Originally published August 11, 2009 | Quad-City Times | by Kay Luna

Save the date! August 22 will be the opening of a newly renovated mummy exhibition at the Putnam Museum, which hadn't changed since the 70s. A new feature includes updated information gleaned from CT scans of the mummies.

The article continues on to describe the process took to renovate the exhibit and the new way the mummies and their information will be presented--almost like you're an Egyptologist discovering them!

New Issue of Ancient Egypt Magazine - August/September 2009 Edition

Accessed August 12, 2009 | Ancient Egypt Magazine

The current issue of Ancient Egypt Magazine now available for purchase online. Topics within include the latest news from Egypt, the Temple of Montu near Luxor, the new Canavron exhibit at Highclere Castle, the mystery of Seth's theophany, some articles from the EES, and more.

The AE web site includes also some topics that will appear in future issues of AE Magazine and showcases a trip with the editors to Egypt. The following links will send you to the advertisement and also the information/itinerary page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Taming the River

Accessed August 11, 2009 | Business Today | by Ali El-Bahnasawy

The following is an excerpt from Business Today about the Nile River. Follow the above link to read the full story.

Shouting orders to his crew in a heavy Upper Egyptian accent, barge captain Emam Hussien supervises 300 tons of stone as they are illegally dumped into the Nile. His rusty old barge is resting in a small canal that feeds into what used to be a busy river port called Athar El-Naby near the intersection of the Maadi Corniche and the Ring Road.

The dark-skinned, strongly built Hussien brought the stones to Cairo from Beni Suief, a two-hour trip upriver. He had not worked in two weeks, so when a building owner offered him the job, he did not hesitate.

4,000-Year-Old Dye Found on Egyptian Artifact

Originally published August 10, 2009 | MSNBC and the Associated Press | by Randolph Schmid

The following is an article from MSNBC, which illuminates the advanced knowledge the Ancient Egyptians possessed in extracting pigments from plants to create colored dyes for leather, fabric, and other materials. Such fascinating findings help conservators in dating genuine artifacts and debunking fakes, among other things.

Another source reporting on the same story is Scientific American where you will find an article entitled Peering into Ancient Pigments, by Katherine Harmon.

Book Reviews - Journal of Near Eastern Studies

Accessed August 11, 2009 | Chicago Journals

All of the following are reviews of books on Ancient Egypt and similitude topics. You can read them for a fee at Chicago Journals (best just to buy the book).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Egyptologist Holds Court at Clowes

Originally published August 7, 2009 | WishTV (Indianapolis, IN)

This little blurb at WishTV tells of Zahi Hawass' sold out lecture at Clowes Hall in Indiana where he talked about educating the public about the Ancient Egyptians. Included with the text is a video, which captures Hawass' interview with the news station, after his lecture.

Ottoman Museum Reopens

Originally published week of August 6 - 12, 2009 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Nevine El-Aref

This article chronicles the official inauguration of the Rosetta National Museum. It also describes the museum's purpose, how the artifacts witin came to be selected, highlights of the museum's galleries, some history of the museum and its beginnings and restoration periods, and other credits.

Book Review - In the Valley of the Kings: the Mad Hunt for King Tut's Tomb

Originally published August 7, 2009 | The Seattle Times | by Alexander F. Remington (the Washington Post)

Featured at the Seattle Times is a rather new book (among the many others) about Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Given is a short synopsis, the author, how many pages, and pricing. Visit Amazon to purchase the book.

The Pyramids of Dashur: The Bent Pyramid

Originally published August 10, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Hawass

Dr. Hawass talks about the background history about King Sneferu, his family, and his role in bringing to light many significant events; the unusual process of building the Bent Pyramidm, inside and out; and what he will be discussing in his next article, which will feature another of Sneferu's pyramids. Pictures, a map, and links to related articles accompany this post.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Own Egyptian Jewelry and Artwork

The last few weeks have proven to be filled with many opportunities to draw and create ancient Egyptian jewelry and clothing. I have provided some pictures of my mini (and not so mini) projects:

© 2009 Jenny Hale

^My sister needed some extra hands when she was busily sewing and putting pieces together for Metropolis' production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I remembered our conversation as we sat waiting for Emily Teeter to begin a lecture at the Oriental Institute: we discussed some design ideas for Pharaoh's cape; I offered that she implement Nekhbet or Horus because he's an Elvis-like Egytian king. My sister liked the idea and several months later I began creating it (as I watched Ghostbusters I and II), with my sister creating the pattern and me sketching and painting the design, paying close attention to symmetry.

© 2009 Jenny Hale

^One of the Youth Reference librarians with whom I work asked me to make a few shrinky dinks designs so that she could use them as examples for when she taught her Shrinky Dinks class in early July. This was my second design, but first successful shrinky dink (the one below is version II, the first version having folded in on itself; that became an example of what an unsuccessful shrinky dink looks like). Using Berol Prismacolor art pencils, I drew within the cartouche my name spelled in New Kingdom hieroglyphs (if you have a keen eye, you'll notice I forgot a glyph).

© 2009 Jenny Hale

^As I mentioned above, this pectoral Shrinky Dink is my second attempt; the first one didn't uncurl and stayed folded. My inspiration for this Shrinky Dink comes from one of Tutankhamun's pectorals. Where his names would have been, I put my name in Egyptian hieroglyphs (a play on Nefertiti's names...that is totally not big-headed of me lol). Again, I used Berol Prismacolor art pencils, as they work very well.

© 2009 Jenny Hale

^Using Berol Prismacolor art pencils and drawing inspiration from Tutankhamun's earrings, I created this pair of Shrinky Dink earrings. My sister, who has pierced ears unlike myself, tried them on and they work perfectly.

© 2009 Jenny Hale

^Inspiration for this last one, also colored using Prismacolor art pencils, comes from two of Sesostris III's pectorals (one for the vulture and another for the hieroglyphic lettering). I made this to give to a friend that was getting ready to go into the Air Forces. Tomorrow it will probably be on a plane to Texas where my friend is going through boot camp. Notice the hieroglyphs "Lord of the Sky." It is ment to be a memento, something to remember me by.

© 2009 Jenny Hale

^All of my Shrinky Dink creations together.

Egypt's Great Wonders

Originally published August 7, 2009 | Top Valuable Article | by Debra Corbei

I'm not sure if this is the original source of this article, but it certainly lists some good advice and traveling tips (along with her reactions to the seemingly juxtaposition of modern and ancient Egypt and things that still baffle us such as the means the ancients used to build the pyramids) if you are planning on going to Egypt as a tourist (no necessarily a scholastic one). Her itinerary lists some of the more popular locations of which most everyone has heard: Cairo and Giza, the Valley of the Kings and "King Tut," the temples of Rameses IV and Merneptah, Hatshepsut's mortuary temple, Luxor, Abu Simbel, and the Ramesseum.

A Growing Thirst for the Nile

Originally published August 7, 2009 | BBC News | by Yolande Knell

Although the Nile River has lost some of its religious significance, it remains an important resource. The ever increasing need for water supply and climate change are daunting problems in and of themselves, but it's the lack of agreement on how much of the Nile resources belong to the six "Nile states" that seems to be the most annoying problem. The following article chronicles the current news about the Nile River and includes some lines describing it's long history to the people who depend upon it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

British Writer Discovers the Pharaohs' Lost Underworld

Originally published August 5, 2009 | Response Source | by Andrew Collins

The following is a claim about a new discovery beneath the Giza Necropolis, which Zahi Hawass poo-poos (I understand the reason he doesn't want people to jump the gun and start spewing speculation; although, he is no stranger to getting excited over new findings and discoveries). To Collins, the evidence is clear, and he chronicles it in his latest tome: Beneath the Pyramids. Featured alongside the synopsis are links to Andrew Collins' web site, his newsletter, and contact information.

At first glance, his speculation does seem a bit like yellow journalism, partly due to the misuse of "pharaoh" in relation to the Giza Pyramids (the title wasn't used during the Old Kingdom). I feel a tangent coming, so I'll stop there.

Amarna: Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun

Originally published August 5, 2009 | Art Museum Journal | by Stan Parchin

The following is an excerpt from Art Museum Journal:

The long-term exhibition Amarna: Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia debuted on November 12, 2006. Expertly designed by the McMillan Group, the state-of-the-art installation features more than 100 artifacts from Akhetaten (present-day el-Amarna), the desert capital of heretical Pharaoh AKhenaten (r. 1353-1336 B.C.) and the birthplace of Tutankhamun (r. 1332-1322 B.C.). All of the objects on view come from Penn Museum's collection of Egyptian antiquities.

Follow the above link to read this in its entirety. Features a link to the Penn Museum, exhibit information, photos of some of the artifacts in the collection with descriptions, and a link to resources for the Amarna period.

The Entrance Gate to the Enclosure Wall of Taposiris Magna

Originally published August 6, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Photo Blog | photo credited to the Supreme Council of Antiquities

Follow the above link to Zahi Hawass' Photo Blog where you will find an update in pictographic form of the enclosure wall of Taposiris Magna. Featured with this picture are related links to posts on Zahi Hawass' blog about Taposiris Magna and a map that indicates the exact location of where this picture was taken (geo-tagging?).

Leicestershire Ancient Egyptian Society: Lecture Programme 2009-10

Accessed August 6, 2009 | Infolinx and Challenging the Past

Starting in September, 2009 through June, 2010 at the New Walks Museum, the Leicestershire Ancient Egyptian Society offers monthly lectures with illustrations on any aspect of Ancient Egypt. Visit Infolinx for directions and contact information and stop by Challenging the Past for a fully detailed itinerary of each monthly lecutre.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Egyptian Funerary Art Upstages Americana At The Cobbs Sale

Originally published July 28, 2009 | Antiques and the Arts Online | by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

This article features a blurb about the auction of a Roman Era wooden portrait. As Indiana Jones would say, "It belongs in a museum."

The highlight was not early American, however, but early Egyptian — a Fayum sarcophagus portrait of a woman provoked a competition among nine phone bidders and only ended when it went to one for $143,750. The Egyptian painting dates to the Roman First Century AD and depicts a woman with earrings and two necklaces. It came from a Peterborough collector whose husband purchased it in New York City in the 1960s. It was accompanied by a letter verifying the purchase because the original receipt had not been located at the time of the auction. The portrait went to a London dealer buying for a client.

History and Meaning of the Ancient Egyptian Ankh Symbol

Originally published August 1, 2009 | Examiner - Chicago | by Kristen Wilkerson

I may get into trouble if I say anything about this topic, so I'll let the article speak for itself.

Upon researching the meaning of the Egyptian Ankh, a cross with a loop at the top, it appears to have been used with multiple intentions. Originally, a historian thought the ankh was merely the symbol of a sandal, due to its shape, with its loop going around the ankle. Although many modern historians find this to be accurate, Egyptian academics at the University of Cairo, interpret that the ankh is representative of the pivotal role of the Nile. The oval head is said to represent the Nile delta, with the vertical mark representing the path of the river and the East and West arms representing the two sides of the country and their unification. Many others claim the ankh has a much deeper significance in its historical roles, however. This article explores some of the ankh's deeper claims to fame.

Government, Camel Operators Grapple Over Giza Access

Originally published August 2, 2009 | The Boston Globe | by Nick Mendez and Emily Williams

Sed Ali dug his heels into the hindquarters of a small, gray, Arabian-style horse, weaving through a pack of dilapidated camels as he trotted across the sand. Ali was giving our group of Northeastern University students a guided tour of the great pyramids in Giza, a family business he has been a part of since he was 6.

Before we set out, Ali asked that we send the Egyptian government letters praising his business. He is concerned that the government’s modernization efforts at the historic site will mean the end for the independent camel operators who depend on the pyramids.

A New Letter (H) Has Been Added to the Chicago Demotic Dictionary

Originally published July 31, 2009 | Oriental Institute

A new letter has been added to the Chicago Demotic Dictionary (H with a dot). I have provided the direct link to that particular page in the CDD (the above link will send you to the home page of the CDD's table of contents, where you can download all letters of the dictionary).

Did Michael Jackson Model Face After Egyptian Bust?

Originally published August 5, 2009 | Chicago Sun-Times | by Michael Sneed

I was about to exit the lunchroom, freshly brewed coffee in hand, when one of the cover stories of one of the newspapers, buried beneath other newspapers, caught my attention. It read something like, "Look Familiar?" I thought, "Yes" because I've seen it at the Field Museum and remembered the time my sister remarked her resemblance (the Egyptian, not my sister) to Michael Jackson between giggles. That was two years ago. I'm surprised the Sun-Times hadn't picked up on the resemblance while Jackson was still alive. Apparently others like my sister and I noticed the uncanny similarity years ago, as the article at CBS points out.

That's beside the point.

In any event, the article gives background information about the Egyptian woman's bust and reactions to the recent buzz about the striking resemblance.

The Tomb of Haremhab Reopens

Originally published August 5, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Hawass

Tricked out with new state-of-the-art technology to prevent further damage, Horemhab's tomb is once more open for public viewing (and has the priviledge of being the only tomb in the Valley of the Kings with this technology; the only down side is that it will play guinea pig for the other KV tombs).

Egyptian Researchers Claim to Have Exact Date for Great Pyramid

Originally published August 4, 2009 | RIA Novosti

Has the Great Pyramid given up another secret?

A group of Egyptian researchers claims to have hit on an exact date for the construction of Khufu's pyramid, the largest of the three Great Pyramids at Giza.

The team, led by Dr. Abdel-Halim Nureddin, says work on the pyramid was started on 23 August, 2470 BC. The local governor told reporters that the date will now be celebrated as National Giza Day.

Click the above link to read the full story at RIA Novosti.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why My Great-Great-Great Grandfather Defaced Ancient Egyptian Monuments

Originally published August 3, 2009 | The Guardian | by Philippa McDonnell

As cute as this story is (a modern-day Ramesses the Great--who would have thought?!), it still makes me cringe a bit, despite the ending words to this article by an Egyptian guide.

It just goes to show that we as human beings are naturally drawn to wanting to be recognized and remembered. Really, there is no difference between we moderns and the Ancient Egyptians.

Domestic Dog Origins Challenged

Originally published August 3, 2009 | BBC News | by Judith Burns

Contrary to the "premature" belief that the domestication of dogs originated in East Asia, owing to its apparent variety of canines, the thought is now that domesticated dogs originated in Africa, a country with just as many varieties. The article draws evidence from village dogs in Africa (including Egypt).

Although this article isn't strictly about Ancient Egypt, it's still an interesting read in terms of how far back dog domestication goes (as far as 40,000 years ago). In addition, the Ancient Egyptians were no strangers to keeping dogs as pets and hunting companions, as is evident in tomb paintings.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chinqua Penn To Display Egyptian Relics

Originally published August 1, 2009 | Dig Triad | by Alan Wagmeister

If you find yourself in Wentworth, NC, check out this 27-room English countryside mansion, complete with furnishings reminiscent of the Egyptomania period of the late '20s. An accompanying picture illustrates furniture in the style of Tutankhamun's artifacts.

Egyptian experts to Conserve Mummy in Hyderabad Museum

Originally published July 29, 2009 | Thaindian News

Expert assistance from Egypt is finally on its way to conserve an Egyptian mummy dating back to 2500 BC at a museum here.

The mummy, believed to be of Nasihu, daughter of the sixth Pharaoh of Egypt, is on display at the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeological Museum here since 1930 but is now decaying.

Background information is given about the Old Kingdom mummy along with the conservation procedure she will go through.

Follow the above link for the full story.

Signs of Ancient Port in Kerala

Originally published August 3, 2009 | The Telegraph | by G.S. Mudur

Even though this article is not exclusively about Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egypt is a featured contribution (rather, is mentioned in terms of discovery): the ancient Indian Ocean trade hub of Muziris has possibly been unearthed at Pattanam, in southwestern India where archaeologists have found Egyptian pottery among other artifacts.

Book Review - Egyptian Mummies and Modern Science

Accessed August 3, 2009 | American Journal of Archaeology | reviewed by Gonzalo M. Sanchez

Click the above link to read Gonzalo Sanchez' two-page review of Rosalie David's book, Egyptian Mummies and Modern Science, which is primarily aimed at Egyptologists in the medical field and anyone interested in Egyptian mummies. So, if you can handle the gory details, you'll find interest in David's book. Includes the publication's publishing, page, and pricing information for those interested in purchasing the book.

Dr. Hawass and Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand

Originally published August 3, 2009 | Zahi Hawass' Blog | by Dr. Hawass

Dr. Hawass describes a Thai princess' visit to Egypt. He dedicates some lines to the princess' love for art history and follows with a few more paragraphs about his having led a tour through the Giza Necropolis with her. Featured are lovely pictures chronicling the international visit and a map.

Michael C. Carlos Museum - Gallery Profiles

Originally published July 30, 2009 | Art Museum Journal | by Gail S. Myhre

Gail Myhre describes in short paragraphs various galleries of the Michael C. Carlos Museum on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Featured among the gallery profiles is the Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Collection, alongside which is a picture of one of the artifacts.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ArchaeJobs - Discover Archaeology Jobs in Europe

Originally published July 27, 2009 | ArchaeJobs Blog

This blog offers a list of many archaeological job openings in Europe, listed by country, with direct links to each opportunity.

Bristol University Archaeology-Egyptology Courses

Accessed August 1, 2009 | Bristol University Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Bristol University offers some courses in Egyptology at their web site, starting January 2010. Follow the link to Bristol University to discover those and other courses in archaeology and anthropology.

Patient Aged 2,500 in for Tests

Originally published July 30, 2009 | BBC News

A team of radiographers at a London university have been preoccupied with a patient somewhat older than most - 2,500-year old Egyptian mummy Tahemaa.

Features a few pictures and a video. Follow the above link to read the entire article at BBC News.

Exhibit - World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt Revealed

Accessed August 1, 2009 | Arkansas Arts Center

World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt Revealed explores the long-vanished world of ancient Egypt. This Egyptian exhibition is the first ever held in Arkansas. More than 200 mangificent objects, including mummies, a majestic colossus of Ramses the Great, Egyptian art, jewelry, statues, sculptures, and funerary artifacts, tell the story of not just how the Egyptians died, but how they lived!

Click the above link to visit the Arkansas Arts Center's official exhibit web site for ticket information, exhibit duration, and program details.