Friday, December 15, 2017

AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Online Database of Egyptian Early Dynastic inscriptions
On 12/13/17 05:59, Charles Jones wrote:
Online Database of Egyptian Early Dynastic inscriptions [First posted in AWOL 19 September 2011, updated 13 December 2017 (links fixed)]

Database of Early Dynastic inscriptions
By Ilona Regulski
The current database assembles all available Early Dynastic inscriptions, covering the first attestations of writing discovered in tomb U-j (Naqada IIIA1, ca. 3250 BC) until the earliest known continuous written text in the reign of Netjerikhet–more commonly known as Djoser (ca. 2700 BC).[1]The database originated as a computerized Access document containing the collection of sources on which the author's publication "A Palaeographic Study of Early Writing in Egypt" was based.[2]The latter was kindly reformed into a web compatible application by Prof. Erhart Graefe, former head of the Department of Egyptology and Coptology at the Westfalische-Wilhelms Universität, Münster, Germany, which hosts the database. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to him. Additional information on bibliography, reading and interpretation of signs and whereabouts of the inscriptions have kindly been provided by: Eva-Maria Engel, Annelies Bleeker, Catherine Jones, Kathryn Piquette, the students of the third MA semester 2012-2013 from the FU Berlin (Stephanie Bruck, Dominik Ceballos Contreras, Viktoria Fink, Stephan Hartlepp, Ingo Küchler, Soukaina Najjarane, Niklas Schneeweiß, Melanie Schreiber, Dina Serova, Elisabeth Wegner).[3]

The database contains more then 4500 inscriptions and is constantly updated. Each inscription was assigned a source number. The source list, published by J. Kahl in Das System der ägyptischen Hieroglyphenschrift in der 0.-3. Dynastie, 171-417, was the point of departure.[4]The sequence of the Kahl list is chronological but this could not be followed when new sources were added as they were found. About 700 sources could be added to his collection starting with number 4000. Multiple impressions from the same cylinder seal were incorporated as one source since they are copies of one inscription. 
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Trump’s Egyptian advisor leaves office 2 days after Jerusalem decision – Middle East Monitor

Trump's Egyptian advisor leaves office 2 days after Jerusalem decision

Dina Habib Powell is an Egyptian-American            philanthropist, and U.S. policymaker. She is the current U.S.            Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy to President            Donald Trump [Twitter]
Dina Habib Powell is an Egyptian-American philanthropist, and U.S. policymaker. She is the current U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy to President Donald Trump [Twitter]

Dina Powell, the senior presidential advisor who has been active in the revival of the peace process and was deputy national security adviser, resigned from the White House two days after US President Donald Trump announced that his administration would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Official channels have said Powell's departure has been expected because she had only ever planned to remain in office one year, however sources have stressed that her decision was based on Trump's move in support of Israel.

Powell played a key role in Trump's Middle East diplomacy initiative with lead diplomats describing her as a "secret weapon", according to The Times newspaper.

Dina Habib Powell

    She was born in Cairo in 1973. When Powell was four, her Coptic Christian parents moved the family to Dallas, Texas, where her father worked as a bus driver and both parents ran a small shop. She married senior public affairs executive Richard Powell in 1988

Powell, an Egyptian-American, is one of the key players in US diplomatic efforts in the Middle East. According to the American magazine Business Insider, her departure is the first significant withdrawal from the White House since August, when Steve Bannon left his position as a strategic expert in the White House.

Read: Nearly every ex-US ambassador to Israel denounces Trump's Jerusalem decision

A senior US administration official said Powell was likely to be replaced by National Security Advisor Nadia Schadlow who was working with Powell to develop a new US national security strategy which is expected to be announced in the next two weeks.

Dina Habib Powell had the clear support of Ivanka Trump before becoming deputy national security advisor. She is one of the few figures in Trump's administration who has political experience having already worked under former President George W. Bush administration.

Although she is only 44 years old, Powell is one of the most experienced White House officials.

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Cairo, Vibrant and Budget-Friendly, Is Ready Again for the World Stage - The New York Times

Cairo, Vibrant and Budget-Friendly, Is Ready Again for the World Stage

The Egyptian capital is as engaging as ever — and is a particularly great destination for bargain seekers.

The courtyard at the Muhammad Ali mosque in Cairo, which, while not the oldest or most historically important mosque in the city (it's not even 200 years old), is still worth a visit.CreditChristina Rizk for The New York Times

Omar pulled up in his red Toyota on the edge of the traffic circle in Tahrir Square, where just six years earlier, he and tens of thousands of other Egyptians had converged to protest the presidency of Hosni Mubarak. I hopped in and we sped north up the Nile Corniche, windows down, taking in the lights of downtown Cairo and enjoying the softest of breezes coming off the Nile — after another 95-degree day, any respite was welcome.

Traveling with his wife and young family, Omar (he asked me to only use his first name because of ongoing political tensions in the country) sat next to me on the flight into Cairo and was chatty and outgoing when I asked him to recommend things to do in the capital. Now, in the car, he was introspective about the past and his role in the protests. "It was incredible, as a people, to discover how much power we had," he said. "I can't explain it."

But his memory of the Arab Spring is bittersweet. "We didn't really understand what would happen," he said. The economy has suffered since the uprising: Egypt's currency is now worth less than half what it was in 2011, and a once-reliable stream of tourists has slowed to a trickle. Violent events like the recent attack on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 305 worshipers, haven't helped.

Another view of the Muhammad Ali mosque, and the towering Saladin Citadel.CreditChristina Rizk for The New York Times

But Cairo itself is as engaging as ever, and I felt no less safe traveling around the ancient capital as I have in any American or European city. The staggering amount of history, with its impressive relics and monuments, remains a dramatic accompaniment to serene desertscapes and welcoming people. The best part is what a trip to Cairo will do (or rather, won't do) for your bank account: It's a great destination for bargain seekers, in no small part because of dwindling tourism numbers (5.4 million tourists traveled to Egypt in 2016, less than half the number before the Arab Spring).


A couple of logistical notes before leaving the airport: I picked up a SIM card in the lobby — eight gigabytes of data from Vodafone set me back 130 pounds (a little over $7). Also, don't worry about getting a visa ahead of time: American citizens can purchase a visa stamp upon arrival for $25 at a kiosk before passport control.

"Where are we going, inshallah?" asked my Uber driver, Mostafa, before educating me about the excellence of Amr Diab, Egypt's biggest pop star, and blasting some choice numbers. Despite its well-publicized problems, Uber can be a real lifesaver when overseas — there is a sense of security that comes from dealing with a known entity when traveling. Best of all, the 13-mile ride into downtown was just 85 Egyptian pounds (less than $5) — less than half what the local taxis were quoting. If you'd prefer to use a different ride-hailing app, Careem is a reliable alternative.

Khoshary Abou Tarek specializes in one dish: khoshary, with lentils, chickpeas, macaroni, fried onions and a spicy tomato sauce.CreditChristina Rizk for The New York Times

I arrived at the Berlin Hotel, on the fourth floor of a dusty old colonial style building in the heart of central Cairo — it was a bit more shabby than chic, but the owner spoke English well and the staff was responsive. My room was huge, with two big balconies overlooking the city and, thankfully, a mostly functioning heirloom of an air conditioner. Moreover, the price couldn't be beat: Less than $20 per night. It also was a great home base for exploring the city, close to the functional (but limited) subway, more upscale attractions on Gezira Island, in the middle of the Nile, and with easy access to the beautiful churches and mosques on the city's east side.

It wasn't, though, particularly close to the Pyramids of Giza — a conscious choice on my part. For all the splendor of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, you don't need me adding to the millions of words already written about what may be the most recognizable buildings on earth. Instead, I chose the less frequently visited Pyramid of Djoser — not as famous as those in Giza, but also of great historical significance.

I headed to Saqqarah, home to the Djoser step pyramid — made from six progressively smaller quadrangles, one on top of the other — about an hour south of my downtown hotel. Formal tours to the area weren't egregiously expensive (in the $60 range), but I wanted to explore on my own and so again called on Uber, and asked the driver to leave the meter running, so to speak, while I explored the pyramid and nearby museum.

Signage at Saqqarah states that Djoser is the first of all Egyptian pyramids (circa 27th century B.C.). It was created as a burial chamber for the Pharoah Djoser; the design for the roughly 200-foot tall structure — reportedly the first man-made structure built from cut stones — is attributed to Imhotep, Djoser's chief minister who eventually became deified as a god of medicine. This pyramid was a forerunner of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which would follow a century later — and would hold the title of world's tallest building for more than 3,800 years.

A plate of khoshary at Khoshary Abou Tarek.CreditChristina Rizk for The New York Times

After paying 80 pounds for a ticket, which included museum access (and another 2-pound ticket for the driver's car), I ventured out in the dry midday heat to explore the pyramid. You're not allowed to enter Djoser itself, but can explore the surroundings and mortuary complex. You can also do what I did, if you're so inclined, and hire one of the local men hanging around the site to take you on a quick horse or camel ride.

"Can I climb the pyramid?" I joked to Ahmed, who was sitting on his horse, Amira. "You? You are too heavy," he replied. After a minute of bargaining, I paid Ahmed 150 pounds for a ride into the surrounding desert, where we could see the Giza pyramids from afar. It was slightly more than I wanted to pay, but he was a nice guy and it was a fun opportunity. (Take care to have small bills when traveling around Cairo — you don't want to find yourself in a bargaining situation and then need to ask for change.)


My next stop, within the same complex, was the Imhotep Museum, home to decorative masks, a wooden sarcophagus of Imhotep himself, and a mummy of King Merenre I from the 23rd century B.C.; it is said to be the oldest complete royal mummy in existence and is in amazingly good condition. Heading back toward the city, I had my Uber driver drop me off on the southern tip of Rhoda Island, one of two large Nile islands in Cairo. Three hours had elapsed since he first picked me up. The total cost was 183 pounds, or about $10 — a huge savings over a tour.

I made a beeline for the Nilometer, a 9th-century tool that gives insight into the crucial role the Nile played in the health and productivity of the city. The Nilometer building houses a big pit that plunges deep below sea level, connected to the river through a system of tunnels. An octagonal column rises up from the bottom of the pit — a measuring stick, so to speak, of the flood levels of the mighty river. Though it is no longer in use, the Nilometer remains an elegant reminder of the past, with an intricate domed ceiling dotted with a series of small windows. Admission was just 15 pounds.

I walked up El-Malek El-Saleh Street, observing the daily life of the city: Kids splashing in the Nile, daring others to jump off a small footbridge; the harsh clang of metal plates that signaled the coming of a tamarind juice peddler (I paid a few pounds for a glass of the tasty but exceedingly sweet nectar). I bought a quick cup of tea and bottle of water (10 pounds total) at a small cafe on the corner of Al Miqyas and Al Malik Al Mozafar with "Bonjorno" scrawled on a green awning before heading back over the river.

Directly east of the Nilometer are a couple of other sites worth checking out, including The Coptic Museum (admission, 60 pounds) across the river. Within you'll find well-preserved fragments of reliefs and friezes that are centuries old, examples of famous Coptic textiles, and four gospels written in Coptic from the 1200s. Saint Mary's Church, also known as The Hanging Church, is nearby. The fourth-century house of worship, which was built on top of a fortress constructed by the Roman emperor Trajan, is free to visit.

Getting back to downtown Cairo was easy on the subway. It was a bit of a scrum buying a ticket (4 pounds) but the trip up to Jamal Abdulnasser station took about 20 minutes. Not all attractions are as easily accessible by train, though: From downtown, you'll want to go by car to the fantastic Saladin Citadel of Cairo (admission, 60 pounds), which I visited one afternoon. The massive fortification, built by Saladin in 1176 to ward off Crusaders, was the seat of Egypt's government for nearly seven centuries. It contains the Muhammad Ali mosque which, while not the oldest or most historically important mosque in the city (it's not even 200 years old), is still worth a visit. Its position in the citadel, perched high above the city below, means the views are dazzling.

Getting a handle on the sprawl of Cairo can be difficult, with its pounding dry heat and unforgiving traffic (crossing the street is, shall we say, an adventure). You'll need food to fuel your exploration. Fortunately, khoshary, an Egyptian specialty with lentils, chickpeas, macaroni, fried onions and a spicy tomato sauce, is a delicious and calorie-laden carbohydrate explosion. Fifteen pounds buys you a generous bowl at Khoshary Abou Tarek, perhaps the best-known khoshary restaurant in the city.

If you're still hungry, there's a small shop a few doors down on Marouf Street that sells small ta'ameya (Egyptian falafel) sandwiches for just three pounds. Follow that, perhaps, with a tingly cup of sour sobia (10 pounds) from Sobia El Ramani in the El-Sayeda Zainab area. The viscous, fermented drink, tasting of grain and coconut, was one of the more interesting discoveries of my trip.

Enjoying tea and a hookah filled with fruit-flavored tobacco is a favorite post-meal (or anytime, really) pastime of Cairenes. I was able to get my fill after a hearty meal of grilled lamb at the reasonably priced Ibn Hamido. Afterward, my friend Ibrahim and his wife brought me to a small sidewalk cafe across the street from the El Salam Theater on Kasr El Ainy, just south of Tahrir Square.

Three cups of strong mint tea and two water pipes stuffed with a sticky tobacco-and-molasses mixture ended up costing just 35 pounds. We discussed money, history, religion (Ibrahim and his wife are Coptic) and, of course, politics — From Nasser to Sisi (the current president) and everyone in between. Between plumes of smoke from the hookah, we watched cars race toward downtown and wondered about the future of Cairo — a city that has struggled to find its footing these past six years, but is striving once again to retake its place on the world's stage.

Lucas Peterson is the Frugal Traveler columnist. He has written for GQ, Lucky Peach, Eater, LA Weekly and Food Republic. His video series for Eater, "Dining on a Dime," is now in its 11th season.


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Heritage Streets of Alexandria - Egypt Today
Cavafy's house - Egypt today Cavafy's house - Egypt today

Heritage Streets of Alexandria

Fri, Dec. 15, 2017

As a regular visitor and someone passionate about anything Alexandrian, last September I took a stroll around the city's downtown area on a quest to find Constantine Cavafy's house, the Greek poet who loved Alexandria and lived there till he passed away in 1933. Located in a rather small street off El-Nabi Daniel street, his house has been turned into a museum.

Once you get there, a nameplate reads "Cavafy's," and is one of the various plaques, houses and streets bearing witness to Alexandria's rich history. In celebration of many similar houses, the city's heritage, its immortal streets and the stories of the names behind them, the Centre d'Etudes Alexandrines (CEAlex), or the Alexandria Center for Studies, and the French Institute (Institut Français d'Egypte à Alexandrie) hosted the "Alexandrian Streets" exhibition, as part of the 8th annual Alexandria's Heritage Days week.

Held during November 13 -30, the exhibition highlighted Alexandrian roads and alleys, as well as original streets' nameplates, which make up a big part of the history of the ancient city. "We want to put a spotlight on our city's heritage and make people, particularly Alexandrians, more aware of their history; a great way to do so is through highlighting the history of some of the most popular streets of the city," Marwa Abdel Gawad, head of the outreach department of CeAlex, tells Egypt Today.

Cavafy's house - Egypt today

Held at the French Institute premises in El-Nabi Daniel Street, the location of the exhibition was, in itself, part of the heritage it portrayed. The street's name has not been changed for the past 150 years.Several interpretations for it have been put forth for it by scholars and historians. Some believe the street was named after Mohamed Daniel Al-Mosuli, an Islamic scholar who came from Mosul to Alexandria in the 14th century and was buried in a mosque in the same location.

Famous landmarks in the area include El-Nabi Daniel mosque, Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. "I was utterly surprised by the depth of information I have read about all the streets because most of the information is new to me, even though I considered myself quite familiar with it all," says Nadine Youssef, one of the visitors of the exhibition. "A huge effort has been made to bring back the city's lost glory and revive the memories of the streets, where we spent our childhood and where our grandparents lived. Each street name carries a wealth of memories, mysteries and hidden secrets."

Another street featured at the exhibition is Safeya Zaghloul Street, which was originally named Al Masala (The Obelisk) as it contained two obelisks dating back to 13BC. In 1877, Khedive Ismail offered one of them to the United States and the other was moved to London in 1879. In 1930, the street was named after feminist and human rights activist Safeya Zaghloul. The historical street includes a number of old charming spots, such as Trianon and Elite Cafes and Strand and Rialto cinemas.

It extends from Sultan Hussein Street, named after Khedive Ismail's son Sultan Hussein Kamel (1853-1917), to Fouad Street, which played a significant role in the planning of Alexandria, connecting the whole city together. In the Roman era, Fouad Street had an
eastern gate dubbed The Sun Gate, and a western one The Moon about 5 kilometers
long. It was named Bab Rashid toward the end of the 19th century as it was the main
road linking Alexandria with Rashid City. The street was eventually named after King
Fouad (1917-1926) in 1920, the first to substitute the title of King for Sultan.

After the 1952 revolt, the name was changed to El Horreya, then to Gamal Abdel Nasser after the late president's death. However, Alexandrians still know it by Fouad Street. Today, it is a European-style street, as many residents call it, and it holds a great deal of the city's past glory with its quaint houses and aura of mystery. It was also home to a number of notable landmarks, most of which are unfortunately gone and can only be found in drawings and photos, such as the Mohammed Ali Pasha Club, Zezenia Theatre and the Khedive's Hotel.

Cavafy's house - Egypt today

Much like Fouad Street, many other Alexandrian street names have changed over the years, but the city's residents still remember the original ones, to the extent that sometimes they would not be familiar with the new official labels. Paying homage to that tradition, the exhibition featured some original Alexandrian streets' nameplates. "Even if some street names were changed for any reason, people still call them with their old names, and for good reason," AbdelGawad says.

The first nameplate in Alexandria's streets dates back to 1891. The plan of establishing a list of street names and numbering buildings took around 10 years, until it was officially established in 1901. The first nameplates Alexandria has ever known were made of enamel-coated steel sheets, with a ribbon on the corner. Names were written in white in Arabic and French. Letters were big in size, whether Arabic or Latin, and each letter was a piece of art in itself.

Another generation of nameplates started appearing after World War II and through to the 1970s. They were green and the designers had made sure to write new street names as well as old ones, with the phrase "previously known as." Later on, the French names were replaced with English ones. In 1997 and 2000, new nameplates started appearing on the streets of Alexandria. They were more of signboards, usually put on the corner of the street and not on buildings' walls.

Patrice Lumumba, Soliman Yousry, El Shaheed Salah Mustafa, El Faraana 'Pharos', Dr. Ali Shousha and Nubar Pasha Gardens are all names that have never been erased from the collective memory of Alexandrians. According to CeAlex, Alexandria's old maps are living evidence of how the city was planned and neighborhoods were divided, as well as the streets' original names, which all bear witness to ancient traditions and a road network that belonged to early or middle ages. But beyond the country's history, residents of the old city bear emotional links to its streets, and many special memories that deserve to be celebrated.
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Three artifacts displayed for first time at Egyptian Museum - Egypt Independent

Three artifacts displayed for first time at Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum began showcasing a new display on Thursday evening of three artifacts,  available for the public to see for the first time, as part of celebrations of the 115th anniversary of the Egyptian Museum.

The first piece is a colored face of a coffin made of cartonnage wood, found in Minya and dates back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt.

The second is a mask bearing the face of a man, made out of stucco ornamented with gold. The mask bears the name of the man's two wives on one side, and the name of another woman called Nefro on the other side, Sabah Abdel Razek, Director General of the Egyptian Museum, said in a statement on Friday.

The mask dates back to the Second Intermediate Period (1800-1550 BC) and was found the region of Assasif in Luxor.

The third piece was recovered from Belgium in 2016. It is a statue of a man and a woman made of steatite, dating back to the Middle Kingdom, she added.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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Finds from New Kingdom tombs - Al Ahram Weekly

Finds from New Kingdom tombs

Two ancient Egyptian New Kingdom tombs with rich funerary collections have been uncovered on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, reports Nevine El-Aref 

The serenity of the Draa Abul-Naga Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor was disturbed earlier this week when Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany along with hundreds of Egyptian, Arab and foreign journalists, together with film crews and photographers, flocked to the site to view the newly excavated 3,500-year-old tombs of two unidentified ancient Egyptian officials.

"This is a very important discovery because the tombs contain very rich funerary collections, and one of them features a distinguished painted statue of a lady in the shape of Osiris," El-Enany said, adding that 2017 had been a "year of discoveries" in Egypt with this being the third in 60 days in Draa Abul-Naga alone. 

"It seems that our ancient Egyptian ancestors are bestowing their blessings on Egypt's economy as these discoveries are good for the country and its tourism industry," El-Enany told Al-Ahram Weekly.

The New Kingdom tombs had been known about since the last century, but this was the first time they had been entered as a result of an Egyptian archaeological mission's excavations, El-Enany explained.

The tombs had come to light in September when the same Egyptian excavation mission had uncovered the tomb of Amenemhat, a goldsmith of the god Amun-Re, he said. While removing debris from the tomb, the excavators had stumbled upon a hole at one end that had led them to another tomb.

"More excavations then revealed the painted walls of tomb Kampp 161," El-Enany said, adding that the discovery added to a spate of recent finds at sites across Egypt. "These finds are not a matter of luck, but are the result of the hard work of archaeologists and workers across the country who are working in often very difficult conditions," he concluded.

"Antiquities are the soft power that distinguishes Egypt," El-Enany told the Weekly, adding that news of the discovery of antiquities catches the international headlines and the attention of the world as a whole.

The tombs were given numbers by the German archaeologist Frederica Kampp in the early 1990s, but they had never been explored, according to Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and head of the Egyptian excavation mission. Time has taken its toll on the tombs, whose entrances were covered with sand.

The first tomb, named Kampp 161, had not been excavated, while excavation work on the second tomb, Kampp 150, was undertaken by Kampp who stopped short of entering the tomb itself. The tombs had thus been left untouched until excavation started during the recent archaeological season by the Egyptian mission.

Although the names of the tombs' owners are yet to be identified, wall paintings and inscriptions suggest they could be dated to the period between the reigns of the Pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV, Waziri told the Weekly.


INSIDE THE TOMBS: The first tomb is a small tomb that had been reused in antiquity. It has a sandstone façade that leads to a rectangular hall with a niche, as well as a court lined with stone and mud-brick walls and a six-metre burial shaft that leads to four side chambers. 

All the inscriptions are found on the western wall located at the tomb's northern end. This shows two feast scenes, the first depicting a person, probably the deceased's brother, presenting offerings and flowers to the deceased and his wife. 

The second scene is found below the first and shows guests standing in four rows, among them one consisting of three men and three women. The first man in the row is the keeper of the storeroom.

Most of the items discovered in Kampp 161 are fragments of wooden coffins, but there is also a large wooden mask that originally was part of a coffin. A small painted wooden mask, a fragment of a gilded wooden mask in poor condition, four legs of wooden chairs that were among the deceased's funerary equipment, and the lower part of a wooden Osirian-shaped coffin decorated with a scene of the goddess Isis lifting up her hands, were also found.

The second tomb, Kampp 150, is located a few metres to the north of the first, and since a cartouche of Thutmosis I is engraved on the ceiling of one of the tomb's chambers it can be dated to the end of the 1th Dynasty or the beginning of the 18th Dynasty. 

"The owner is not yet known, but there are two possible candidates," Waziri told the Weekly. "The first possibility is that the tomb belongs to a person named Djehuty Mes, because his name is engraved on one of the walls. The second possibility is that the owner could be the scribe Maati, because his name and the name of his wife Mehi are inscribed on 50 funerary cones unearthed in the tomb's rectangular chamber," Waziri said.

"Most probably, the tomb belongs to the scribe Maati," he added.

The tomb is of average size and has five entrances that open onto a rectangular hall that is partly damaged and has two burial shafts of 10 and seven metres deep. 

"The burial of a woman named Isis Nefret was found inside the tomb, and she could be the mother of the tomb's owner," Waziri said. He added that inside one of the burial shafts a wooden painted coffin featuring various ancient Egyptian scenes had been found along with 36 Ushabti figurines. The latter are funerary figurines placed in tombs in ancient Egypt and intended to act as servants of the deceased.

The tomb has only one inscription on one of its northern pillars. It shows a scene with a seated man offering food to four oxen, with the first kneeling in front of the man, who is giving it herbs. The scene also depicts five people making funerary furniture.

The entrance of the tomb's long hall is inscribed with a hieroglyphic text with the name Djehuty Mes. The ceiling of the chamber is inscribed with hieroglyphic inscriptions and the cartouche of Thutmose I.

The artefacts uncovered inside the tomb include 100 funerary cones, painted wooden masks, a collection of 450 statues carved in different materials such as clay, wood and faience, and a small box in the shape of a wooden coffin with a lid.

"The box was probably used for storing an Ushabti figurine 17cm tall and 6cm wide," Waziri said.

Also found was a collection of clay vessels of different shapes and sizes, as well as a mummy wrapped in linen with its hands on its chest in the Osirian form. Studies suggest that the mummy, found inside the long chamber, could be of a top official or similar powerful figure from ancient Egypt.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

New discoveries in Aswan including child burials, small Artemis statue - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online,-.aspx

New discoveries in Aswan including child burials, small Artemis statue

Four intact child burials, a cemetery and a headless statue of Greek goddess Artemis have been discovered by different missions

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 14 Dec 2017

There have been a series of antiquities discoveries in Aswan in the last few weeks, officials have said.

The Swedish-Egyptian mission working in the Gebal El-Silsila area has uncovered four intact burials of children, while the Austrian mission at Kom Ombo's archaeological hill discovered a large segment of a First Intermediate Period cemetery, and the Egyptian-Swiss mission working in the old town of Aswan has unearthed a small incomplete statue that probably depicts Greek goddess Artemis.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the four child burials date to the 18th dynasty (549/1550 BC to 1292 BC.).

They consist of a rock-hewn grave for a child between two and three years old; the mummy still retains its linen wrapping and is surrounded with organic material from the remains of the wooden coffin.

The second burial, he went on, belongs to another child aged between six and nine years old, who was buried inside a wooden coffin, while the third burial is of a child between five and eight. Both of these graves contain funerary furniture, including amulets and a set of pottery.

The fourth burial is also of a child between the age of five and eight.

"The new burial discoveries are shedding more light on the burial customs used in the Thutmosid period as well as the social, economic and religious life of people during that period," Maria Nilsson, head of the Swedish mission said, adding that the mission has succeed during its previous excavation works to uncover many burials but the newly discovered ones have a special significance. 

More excavations and studies on the site will reveal more about the death rituals conducted in this site during the period, she said.

Child burial
A child burial

The Egyptian-Austrian archaeological mission in Kom Ombo led by Irene Foster uncovered a part of a cemetery from the First Intermediate Period, with a number of mud-brick tombs.

Numerous pottery vessels and grave goods were unearthed.

Foster explains that the preliminary study revealed that it is mostly built on top of an earlier cemetery. Below the cemetery, Foster told Ahram Online, the mission has uncovered remains of an Old Kingdom town with a ceiling impression of King Sahure from the 5th Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC).

The first intermediate cemetery

In the ancient town of Aswan, the Egyptian-Swiss mission, headed by Egyptologist Wolfgang Muller, unearthed a statue of a woman that was missing its head, feet and right hand.

Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, said that the statue is carved from limestone and measures 14cm by 9cm in width and the thickness of its bust is 3cm and the lower part is 7cm.

A preliminary study on the statue reveals that the dress she wears is similar to that of Artemis, Greek goddess of hunting, procreation, virginity and fertility, combined with the Egyptian goddesses Isis and Bastet.  

The statue of the Greek goddesses
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Zahi Hawass refutes claims of another Sphinx - Egypt Independent

Zahi Hawass refutes claims of another Sphinx

The former Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass argued against claims that there was another sphinx which was destroyed in the past.

Hawass spoke in an interview for the DMC Channel, recorded with the impressive Pyramids of Giza in the background. He said: "There is a rumor that has roamed foreign newspapers, as well as some Egyptian newspapers, that were spread by someone who claims to be a historian, and took the idea from an Italian historian, that there is another Sphinx, on the other side."

Hawass continued to explain the theory, "It is based on this wall we see, that talks about Thutmose II [ancient Egyptian pharaoh] making sacrifices to Abou Al-Hool [the sphinx]."

He went on, "From each sacrifice there is two, which is how the conclusion came that there are two. So where did the other one go? The disappearance was explained through a storm that destroyed the other sphinx completely."

Hawass then sought to debunk the theory, asking "if there was really a storm that destroyed the other sphinx, why didn't it destroy this one?"

He refuted speculation naming a specific area as the place where the other sphinx stood, saying "this area has been dug by so many archaeologists, and it yielded nothing."

The theory that there was more than one sphinx is popular among historians. Bassam al-Shammaa is an Egyptologist and scholar who has been trying to track the lost Sphinx for over a decade.

Hawass, meanwhile, continued to speak of how the sphinx was built, and referred to a part of the sphinx with writing on it indicating King Thutmose IV was the first to make adjustments to it.

His tour with the DMC news anchor continued to the inside of the Pyramids of Giza. Hawass then spoke about a newly-discovered papyrus in Sinai that he labeled "the most important discovery of the twenty-first century."

They then reached a room which Hawass described as "the only major room in the pyramids which contains a big tomb."

Hawass also discussed the current state of the pyramids and remarked on how to improve it, "In order for the situation in the pyramids to improve there has to be a system."

They discussed the chaos in the ticketing system for entering the pyramids. Hawass commented, "Egyptians must be banned from visiting the pyramids during Eid."

As for tourism in Egypt, he was hopeful, "there isn't a single [ancient] civilization known to kids around the world except Egypt's, we must use this to revive tourism in the country."

He also spoke about how climbing the Pyramids should be banned, saying it is an act of "visual pollution."

"When I was minister, I banned climbing the Pyramids. We must respect our monuments and keep them in good condition."

Not only that, but Hawas expressed annoyance and visible frustration with the hustle and bustle around the pyramids area, "there are buildings, Pizza Hut and Abou Shakra [a local Egyptian restaurant] around the Pyramids area… a very difficult situation! Impossible! The Pyramids should be at least a kilometer away."

Finally, one of the highlights of the interview was Hawass taking viewers on a tour inside the sphinxes, something which is seldom accessed by visitors to the pyramids.

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Parl. steps to toughen penalties to end vandalism of artifacts - Egypt Today
FILE – Egyptian Parliament FILE – Egyptian Parliament

Parl. steps to toughen penalties to end vandalism of artifacts

Thu, Dec. 14, 2017

CAIRO – 14 December 2017: Parliament is poised to discuss amendments to government- drafted law that stipulate new tougher penalties for vandalizing artifacts, Head of the Egyptian parliament's Culture, Media and Antiquities Committee Osama Heikal announced Thursday.

In press remarks Thursday, Heikal further contended that the parliament will discuss this draft law in presence of the current Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, confirming that stronger laws should be in place to ensure the protection of Egypt's priceless artifacts from destruction and smuggling.

According to the current Antiquities Protection Law, the person who is proved to be convicted with stealing, possessing, concealing or collecting artifacts for the sole purpose of profiteering shall be punished with life imprisonment and fined with not less than LE 50,000 and not more than LE 250,000.
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Secrets of hidden chambers inside Great Pyramid of Giza will finally be revealed after 4,500 years thanks to a robot

Secrets of hidden chambers inside Great Pyramid of Giza will finally be revealed after 4,500 years thanks to a robot

The robot will be able to fit through a 3.5 centimetre hole and discover what's inside the pyramid's inner chambers

FRENCH researchers are building an exploration robot that is set to reveal the secrets of mystery chambers inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The new robot will be able to squeeze into a long narrow passage that leads to the inner chambers and see what's been hiding in there for 4,500 years.

 The void is about 100 feet long and up to 230 feet                  above ground
The void is about 100 feet long and up to 230 feet above ground
Secrets of hidden chambers inside Great Pyramid of Giza will finally be revealed after 4,500 years thanks to a robot

At the start of November the existence of a 30-metre void located deep inside the pyramid was disclosed by a team of international researchers.

The gigantic void is situated above the Grand Gallery and its purpose is unclear.

The discovery was made using "cosmic-ray imaging", a technique which records the behaviour of muons, subatomic particles produced when cosmic rays collide with Earth's atmosphere.

Now scientists want to find out why the chambers were built in the first place.

 The new robot will be able to fit through a 3.5cm              hole, expand and inflate
The new robot will be able to fit through a 3.5cm hole, expand and inflate
 This graphic explains how the new robot will squeeze              into a long narrow passage that leads to the inner chambers              to see what's been hiding in there for 4,500 years
This graphic explains how the new robot will squeeze into a long narrow passage that leads to the inner chambers to see what's been hiding in there for 4,500 years
Gigantic void discovered inside the Great Pyramid of Giza

French research institutes Inria and CNRS have teamed up to build a robotic blimp.

The device will be able to fit through a 3.5 centimetre hole, expand and inflate.

It is made of two small robots, one equipped with a HD camera and another equipped with the blimp.

Built under the watch of the Pharaoh Khufu and completed in around 2550 BC, the Great Pyramid is also known as Khufu's Pyramid and was the world's tallest man-made construction for thousands of years.

 The tube used to insert the blimp into the hole before              it is inflated
The tube used to insert the blimp into the hole before it is inflated
 An aerial view of the pyramids at Giza
SWNS:South West News Service
An aerial view of the pyramids at Giza

It is the sole survivor of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World and debate about how it was built has lasted millennia - with no clear answer in sight.

Scientists involved in the scanning welcomed the find as a "breakthrough" that highlighted the usefulness of modern particle physics in archaeology.

"This is a premier," said Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the ScanPyramids project and president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute.

"It could be composed of one or several structures... maybe it could be another Grand Gallery. It could be a chamber, it could be a lot of things.

"It was hidden, I think, since the construction of the pyramid."

 The void can be seen here just to the right of the              centre of the pyramid
SWNS:South West News Service
The void can be seen here just to the right of the centre of the pyramid

The pyramids at Giza have captivated visitors since they were erected as royal burial chambers 2,500 years ago.

Relatively minor discoveries generate great interest because experts are still divided over how they were constructed.

Late last year, for example, thermal scanning identified a major anomaly in the Great Pyramid: three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others.

Speculation that King Tutankhamun's tomb contains additional antechambers stoked interest in recent years, before scans by ground-penetrating radar and other tools came up empty, raising doubts about the claim.

 The ScanPyramids team use augmented reality review to              illustrate the void
SWNS:South West News Service
The ScanPyramids team use augmented reality review to illustrate the void

The muon scan is accomplished by planting special plates inside and around the pyramid to collect data on the particles, which rain down from the earth's atmosphere.

They pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces, allowing scientists to study their trajectories and discern what is stone and what is not. Several plates were used to triangulate the void discovered in the Great Pyramid.

Tayoubi said the team plans to work with others to come up with hypotheses about the area.

 The team working inside the pyramid
SWNS:South West News Service
The team working inside the pyramid

"The good news is that the void is there, and it's very big," he said.

A "cursed" tomb containing the bodies of the workers who built the Great Pyramid of Giza has just reopened to the public for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Archaeologists in Egypt have restored the 4,500-year-old tomb which is located in a "tribal mountain" area near the pyramid.

The finding opens up the possibility that the void could be linked to other different and undiscovered structures within the Pyramid, the study claimed.

 The Great Pyramid continues to reveal secrets which              have astonished scientists
SWNS:South West News Service
The Great Pyramid continues to reveal secrets which have astonished scientists

Crucially, the authors said, it could provide a method by which scientists can finally start to piece together how the pyramid was built.

They added that the development "show how modern particle physics can shed new light on the world's archaeological heritage".

Muon detectors have previously been used to map out the inside of the Fukushima's nuclear reactor in Japan and it is hoped they can be used to explore other archaeological sites.

SWNS:South West News Service
 The void is the first discovery made in the Great              Pyramid since the 19th century
The void is the first discovery made in the Great Pyramid since the 19th century


Here are the fascinating facts behind these incredible pieces of ancient architecture:

  • There are an estimated 138 surviving Egyptian pyramids, with the Great Pyramid of Giza, near Cairo, the most famous.
  • The 455ft Great Pyramid is the only surviving landmark out of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • It's believed workers used sledges to pull blocks around and a pulley system to haul them up the pyramid's slopes.
  • Water would be used to lubricate the stone blocks as they were lugged along the sand, before being winched into place on the slopes.
  • While many of the earlier "step" pyramids didn't have smooth slopes, later pyramids all did, reflecting how much the Egyptians' techniques improved over time.
  • However, we still don't know exactly how the extremely sophisticated buildings were constructed, and historians still disagree on many of the details.
  • The oldest known pyramids in Egypt are found at the Saqqara burial ground, northwest of Memphis.
  • Among these, the Pyramid of Djoser was the first to be built, having been completed in 2611 BC after 19 years of construction work.
  • Pyramid building peaked around 2300 BC, with the last pyramid built at some point between 1550 – 1292 BC.


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