The following is a pictographic slideshow of sorts, illustrating different scenes from tomb 10A, a preview of an upcoming exhibit focusing mainly around a noble named Djehutynakht and his wife. Some of the artifacts include wooden model scenes, a coffin, statuettes, the mummy head of Djehutynakht (with one less tooth, I'd imagine), and vintage photographs from the tomb of Djehutynakht from 1915.
Monday, October 26, 2009
A tooth was removed from the head of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy, as the first step in an effort to extract DNA from its pulp. I wonder if they got permission from Zahi Hawass to proceed with this procedure. Usually everything has to go through him first. Me, I'm not one for DNA testing...too much..only because there's only so much of a mummy left, particularly this one, having had several other bits of it extracted and scraped off. Is it really necessary for this testing to be done on this mummy? What sort of revolutionary information will they...ahem...extract from the future results? Certainly, the mystery of this mummy won't be nearly as eye-opening as that of Tutankhamun's mummy. Perhaps it will, but that's a big "maybe."
The section of this article describing the loose jaw is most interesting only because the observations are ones I've never heard before: the ancients may have actually performed the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony rather than executed it metaphorically. I highly doubt it, much like the academics (but they are, after all academics like me, possibly having no experience in the field). They have in their favor other instances where loosened jaws on mummies is commonplace, having to do with the mummification process and rigor mortis. Most of these mummies are the "screaming" kind and have neither suffered a violent death nor experienced an actual opening of their mouths during the ceremony dedicated to doing this metaphorically.
No matter which way you slice it, we shall see what we shall see. Hopefully the extraction of the tooth will not have been for naught.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Well, maybe "modern" is a bit of a stretch--Nef is just as old as Helen.
In any event, much like the Greek Helen of Troy, Egyptian officials have as their claim that Germany, way back in 1913, "abducted" Nefertiti from her native Egypt. If this is the case, Egypt has the right to have her back; however, Zahi Hawass will have her returned even if the contrary. She is, after all, the epitome of significant (and iconic) Egyptian specimens, recognizable to nearly everyone. Times Online chronicles the continuing saga, the battle between Egypt and Germany. Not to be outdone, the New York Times also reports on the same story.
Perhaps a little more lighthearted is a dialogue between the Huffington Post and the Queen herself (one pissed off majesty as it turns out). It's entertaining and a distraction from all the political craziness (you tell 'em Queenie!), further scrutinized in yet another New York Times article.
The following is an excerpt from Yahoo! News, another source reporting on the same news story:
A trick used by ancient Egyptians to exploit cracks in Earth to make tomb-digging easier has come back to haunt the Valley of the Kings, new evidence suggests.
While the natural fractures were followed to carve out burial sites, several instances show, rare heavy rainfall events can flood the tombs. Archaeologists are racing to map and photograph the tombs to better preserve their contents and figure out ways to divert the rain.
Another source reporting on the same story can be found at United Press International
Flora and ceramics reveal that Alexander the Great might not have been the first to settle at Alexandria. The margin is by at least several hundred years. However, science isn't the most fascinating thing about this discovery, it's fiction. This is best illustrated in the following excertp:
This idea is also supported in the stories of Homer: In Book 4 of "The Odyssey," there's a mention of a one-day sail from the coast near the Nile to the nearby island of Pharos. This suggests that a port settlement of some sort was already there, according to the researchers. "Fiction is true," in this case, Berhnhardt said.
The following 2009 publication is a doctoral thesis penned by Åsa Strandberg of Uppsala University. Here is an excerpt from the abstract and the permalink to access the thesis:
This thesis establishes the basic images of the gazelle in ancient Egyptian art and their meaning. A chronological overview of the categories of material featuring gazelle images is presented as a background to an interpretation.
Friday, October 23, 2009
If you are in London, England mid-December, make plans to attend this half-day educational lecture, which has an amazing line-up of speakers, each discussing various topics including paleoanthropology, the emergence of Early Egypt in Oxford, and rubbish heaps (trust me, this last one is far more interesting than you think--at least it would to an archaeologist). Prior to all this excitement, there will be a book sale.
Follow the above link to discover more information about this program, which offers contact and registration information, the prospective agenda, location, and date/time.
This is a brief story about an adorable 26th Dynasty ushabtis, which is now on its way back to Egypt, after having spent some time in the US for a mere 14 years. This is another page in the saga that is Zahi Hawass' efforts to regain all significant Egyptian artifacts. Although I wouldn't consider this artifact as being very contributory in extending what we already know about the Afterlife and the role ushabtis play in the process of getting there, it will make a nice little addition to the Egyptian Museum's collection.
Dr. Hawass details the process the traveling Tutankhamun exhibit took across the globe and through the States and describes one hosting city in particular: Indianapolis.
If you haven't experienced this fantastic exhibit, I implore that you visit it at least once. Even though neither his mummy nor his infamous funeral mask are not part of the roaming collection, it is a sight to see. For the utterly Egyptological, you may find yourself gazing for hours at all the featured wonders. It took me a good four hours to get through the entire display of artifacts--and that still wasn't enough for me (my humanness got in the way of exploring more, with ravenous hunger being the thing that tore me away).
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Dr. Hawass tells the story of the Unfinished Pyramid and its discoverer, Zakaria Goneim, sharing this story so that everyone will understand that fame can be a burden and making discoveries is not an easy thing. It's a sad story and only goes to show that the scholastic world is not as romantic as it appears in books and movies. Poor man.
The original video is at Heritage Key, paired with a transcript.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The controversy over five 3,200-year-old ancient Egyptian tomb fragments removed from Egypt and put on display in the Louvre in Paris has finally come to a close, reports Nevine El-Aref.
Dr. Hawass announces a new publication of his, which tells the story of the private Theban tombs along with many others. There is also a German version: Die verbotenen Gräber in Theben. It's an expensive book, but if you wish to splurge a little, visit Amazon to buy a copy for your own collection.
Hawass describes the prologue to his lecture at the Sofitel Hotel in Cairo, where he is inspired to give praise to Herbert Winlock after his grand-niece gives him a first edition and signed copy of Winlock's publication Excavations at Deir el-Bahri 1911-1931, which introduced the world to Hatshepsut. You know me: I'm set on finding this book and buying a copy for myself *wink*
Hawass recounts the process he pursued that led him to discovering great things in the Bahariyan Oasis, namely the tomb of a governor called Djedkhonsu and his relatives, mummies from Dynasty 26, and a chapel built for the god Amun-Re. These discoveries however did not come without a little "help" from the locals whose houses were built atop these areas of special interest. Hawass reassures his readers by mentioning the care he and his team took to maintain the well-being and relocation of the people after having demolished their homes.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The temple of Isis at Philae is one of the most beautiful and best preserved Greco-Roman temples in Egypt. Most of the temple was built by the Ptolemaic rulers as part of their promotion of the cult of Isis, which lasted well into the Roman Period. In the 1970’s the temple was relocated to preserve it from the rising waters resulting from the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
In this article at Zahi Hawass' blog, Dr. Hawass describes the Saqqara necropolis, details his impressions on it and its place in history, and reveals upcoming and ongoing restorative efforts on the historic site.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Visit the Berlin Museum's official web site for more information. Es ist ins Deutsch.
This discovery is of particular interest (possibly "significant" is a better word) to me, considering Tanis is the location that plays a fundamental role in my historic novel, set during the 1926/7 archaeological season in Egypt, one full year prior to the first discovery of a sacred lake in Tanis in 1928 (funny how none of these articles mention Pierre Montet...hmph). Naturally, as with all instances of Egypt-inspired novels, there is a curse involved; yet, this curse is less gimmicky that depicted in film ;)
See also the article at La Boite Archeologique
Perhaps the real reason Zahi Hawass is discrediting Collins is he'd rather be the one to make such a discovery. It would benefit his endeavors to bring more significant discoveries to Egyptian (rather than foreign) archaeologists and Egyptologists. Yesterday's posting about the hydrological work on the Sphinx attempts to disprove the theory of an underground chamber, but it's clear the SCA documented this work par vidéo only to say that they did examine the theory.
Please stop by Flickr and "add to faves" my submission to the @ Your Library Tote Bag Design Contest. You must register with/sign it to Flickr to "vote"/"add to faves." Great thing about Flickr is it's free...therefore, it's free to vote :) Leave a nice comment there too, if you wish. I will greatly appreciate all the support I can get. This was such a fun thing to create! I'm sure you all will enjoy it too...considering it is very Egyptian...and hand-drawn/original artwork by yours truly :)
Click the following link to vote for The Alexandrian Library Pun...
This article is beyond fascinating indeed. Do you think the ancient Egyptians intentionally do such intensely scholastic things or is it just coincidence? Read the article to learn more.
Bath in it like Cleopatra VII did to promote soft skin or use it as a cure for snakebite--beer, as ancient as the art of writing. This is certainly an interesting article and goes well with the season, being Oktoberfest and all.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This entertaining article explores all corners of the fairly recent hydrological work being performed on the Great Sphinx to nip in the bud any possible future water damage to the ancient (and don't forget mysterious!) monument. A video accompanies the information, which also gives lip service to Hawass and Lehner's conclusion that there aren't any subterranean chambers hidden under the Sphinx. Argh! Thanks for ruining it for all the day dreamers :P
The following is an article at Zahi Hawass' Blog of his and Lehner's work at the Giza Necropolis.
Professor Emerson, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, Member of the American Philosophical Society, the greatest Egyptologist of this or any other age, etc...would have something to say about this.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In his own words, Dr. Hawass gives more details on the process to regain five fragments discovered in the hands of the Louvre illegally. Among the legal stuff, he describes how these fragments fit into Egyptian history (Dynasty 18, to be exact).
If there was a statute of limitation on stolen artifacts, the British Museum's years of ownership of the Rosetta Stone has past it. After all, Egyptology was but a fetus when the Napoleonic expedition discovered it and there were no rules that detailed who got what upon discovering Egyptian artifacts. However, it is a very significant (and iconographic) artifact that plays one of the greatest roles to Egyptology...the re-learning of the ancient literary language of the Egyptians, that is! My goodness! If Hawass can regain this artifact, then the Germans should have no more excuses to withhold the bust of Nefertiti from her native country!
The Egyptology world has been abuzz about the latest drama going down at the SCA. It nearly cut ties with France's Louvre Museum in the event that officials didn't return reportedly stolen artifacts in its possession. Thank the gods that everything is just fine and dandy now. Just in case you missed all that swirling news, here is a list with all the details:
- Egypt Cuts Ties With Louvre Over Artifacts - October 7, CBSNEWS
- No Relics, No Ties - October 10, the Straits Times
And then France does the right thing:
- French Commission Agrees to Return Egyptian Art - October 9, Associated Press/Google
- France Ready to Hand Back Egyptian Murals - October 7, Yahoo! News/Reuters
- Louvre Agrees to Return Egyptian Relics - October 11, pressTV
- France to Return Disputed Tomb Fresco to Egypt - October 10, Washington Times (by Angela Charlton)
- Stolen Egyptian Relics On Their Way Home - October 9, Discovery Channel News (by Pascale Mollard-Chenebenoit)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Submit your papers (in English, German, or French) related to the theme at the 2010 international colloquium entitled The Temples of Millions of Years and Royal Power at Thebes in the New Kingdom: Science and New Technologies applied to Archaeology. Deadline is November 15, 2009.
After a German expedition alerted the SCA of stolen fragments during work at Dra Abu'l Naga, the SCA started a procedure to regain them from the Louvre, who claimed they didn't know anything of the sort happened. Read the rest of this article to learn more. There are also other reports of the same caliber, one at BBC News and another from Agence France Presse.
Don't forget that this Thursday, a presentation at the Petrie Museum about Robert Knox's research on Ancient Egypt, particularly how the statuary art of Ancient Egypt fitted into to his racial constructions and theory. Save the date: Thursday, October 15.
Maria Bealby from the University of Birmingham UK will present The Avaris Murals at the Village Hall, Upton Snodsbury on Thursday 15th October 2009 at 7:30pm. If you're in the Worcestershire area, why don't you stop by and listen in on what should be a very interesting presentation...and visit Ms. Belby's blog, Challenging the Past for more information.
The 'Highlights From The Collection' web page for Ancient Egypt has been updated, showcasing and detailing thirteen objects from the Oriental Institute’s collection, accompanied by photographs. These objects include funerary objects and masks, papyri, statues and figures, reliefs and stelae, coffins, and magic bricks, just to name a few. You can sort these objects by subject and region.
Visit the Oriental Institute's web site to learn more about this exhibit (includes contact and venue information), which chronicles the incredible adventure story of the James Henry Breasted 1919-20 expedition through photographs, excerpts from letters, original documents from the archives, and objects purchased on the trip. The exhibit starts in January 12 and ends August 30, 2010. Make a New Years resolution to visit it!
On Sunday, Oct. 18, the Museum of Fine Arts opens “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 B.C.,” an exhibit that explores the world of the Djehutynakhts (pronounced “jeh-hooty-knockeds”) and the period, known as the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 B.C.), in which they lived. It also tells the parallel story of how the remains of their burial chamber — and in the case of one of the Djehutynakhts, their physical remains as well — managed to find their way into the MFA’s permanent collection.
Visit the Clay Center's site for more information on this exhibit, which lasts from September 12, 2009 until April 11, 2010 and showcases Nubian treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston such as sculpture, stone relief elements, gold and silver jewelry, and ceramic and alabaster vessels that illustrate ancient Nubian art, funerary customs, warfare, and daily life.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Follow the link to download the flier for this event at the University of London, which will examine mummies, diseases, and other scientific techniques. Sign up by October 17 for the October 31 program.
If you are near the greater London area, there are some great Egyptological things beckoning to you: an exhibit entitled Framing the Archaeologist: Portraits and Excavation, which runs from Sept. 22 - December 19, and a couple of free lectures: Ancient Egypt, Racial Construction and Robert Knox and Inventing Traditions: Performances in Pre-Dynastic Cemeteries. The where, when, what, and how much are listed at Challenging the Past, with a direct link to the Petrie Museum's web site.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I recommend Egyptomaniacs of all kinds to hop on over to Bennu's Talking Pyramids Blog. He has posted a few excerpted videos which feature a behind-the-scenes look with Dr. Zahi Hawass at the Pyramid of Unas. Chicago's Field Museum replica has nothing on this, that's for sure!
Professor Smith reminisces in this video, speaking about the now-lost fortress site of Buhen in Egyptian Nubia, an EES archaeological site. The video also features images from the Society's archives and footage shot by EES member Dr Anthony Hovenden during a visit to Buhen in 1962.
This author uses quotes around "with extreme care." Apparently s/he isn't buying either the museum's excuse that Nefertiti is too fragile to transport her back home to Egypt. She seemed to travel well, being placed on display in her new home at the Neues. Perhaps the German scholars should have used this excuse: they feared her sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic à la (the) secret mummy aboard the Titanic.