Friday, February 16, 2018

British TV and National Geographic filmed a documentary about Aswan - Egypt Today

British TV and National Geographic filmed a documentary about Aswan
Fri, Feb. 16, 2018

CAIRO – 16 February 2018: A British media delegation headed by the British director Martin Gorst and the British photographer Sacha Thorpe finished shooting their documentary about Aswan.

The British delegation finished shooting all the scenes in Aswan. This documentary is part of a series of documentaries entitled "Discovering Ancient Egypt" which is produced by both the British Television and National Geographic. The series aims to shed the light on Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities as well as foreign and Egyptian missions' efforts to discover and preserve the Egyptian monuments.

The British delegation photographed the Nile, the city of Aswan, the granite quarries and the missing mausoleum, in addition to portraying a model of how to make pharanoic obelisks of granite in ancient Egypt and how to move them and raise them. Gorst shot as well Karnak Temple in Luxor.

The documentary is scheduled to be screened in July 2018 in the United States, France and some European countries, where it is expected to promote the Egyptian tourism.
Luxor and Aswan are two cities in Upper Egypt known to be home of intact ancient Egyptian temples that date back almost 4,000 years ago. Luxor alone has one third of the world's ancient monuments, and many Egyptians like to call Aswan the "Egyptian Paradise."

The Luxor and Karnak temples in Luxor are a must-see attractions, and Aswan also has many temples, such as Kom Ombo, Philae and Abu Simbel, which is almost 300 kilometers away from the city, but there are regular trips to it from Aswan.
The temple complex of Abu Simbel is one of the most popular monumental buildings in Aswan, which is located at the second cataract of the Nile River.

The temple, carved out of a sandstone cliff on the west bank of the Nile, was discovered twice. It was initially discovered in 1813 by Swiss researcher Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, and then rediscovered in 1817 by Egyptologist Govani Battista.

At the entrance of the Abu Simbel temple, there are two seated statues of the Pharaoh, showing the ruler with a short kilt, a beautiful headdress which is a double crown with a cobra and a false beard. Next to the statues' legs, are smaller statues of the Pharaoh's relatives. At the top of the temple is a row of 22 squatting baboon statues. The baboon's cry was believed to welcome the rising sun.

Inside the temple, there are images and hieroglyphics, describing Ramses II's victory at the battle of Qadesh, in addition to empty store rooms.

According to many scholars, this great temple was created to celebrate the victory of Ramses II over the Hittites at the Battle of Qadesh in 1274 BC. This means that the temple was situated on the border of the conquered lands of Nubia after many military campaigns were carried out by the Pharaoh against Nubia.

Abu Simbel is made up of two temples. The smaller one was built for Queen Nefertari and has two statues of her and four pharaohs; each about 33 feet (10 meters) in height.

Ramses II built this temple to impress Egypt's southern neighbors, and also to reinforce the status of the Egyptian religion in the area. Abu Simbel was one of six rock temples erected in Nubia during the ruling period of Ramses II and its construction took 20 years from 1264 BC to 1244 BC .

UNESCO considers the Abu Simbel Temple one of the historical and monumental places that has to be protected against floods.

It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Antiquities announced two massive archaeological discoveries in Aswan, on Thursday, January 11.

The first discovery was made by the Egyptian-American archaeological mission of The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago during its excavation works at Tell Edfou site. The mission unearthed an administrative complex that dates back to the fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The unearthed complex is considered the oldest archaeological discovery in Tell Edfou site. This area probably still hides great secrets underground.
This discovery is special because it sheds light on the history of the fifth dynasty, and how ancient Egyptians used internal architectural structures to store goods, raw material, and gemstones.

The mission found more than 200 artifacts which belonged to King Djedkare Isesi, in addition to many tools used in trade campaigns to Africa.

Regarding the second discovery the Egyptian mission uncovered, at the temple of Kom Ombo in Aswan, a statue of a man and his wife while doing some religious rituals, and a statue made of sandstone of a seated man, in addition to two statues of god Horus in the shape of a falcon.
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Bored to death on the Nile | Daily Mail Online

Bored to death on the nile: How the trip of a lifetime was ruined by dusty relics of the aristocracy

  • Toby Wilkinson and Julian Platt shared letters from Ferdy Platt written in 1907-8
  • Ferdy wrote about his time as personal physician to the Duke of Devonshire
  • An Egyptologist, he traveled with the Duke and his entourage for 3 months
  • He confessed in writing to his wife the time was dull and he longed to go home



by Toby Wilkinson and Julian Platt (American University in Cairo Press £24.95)

How idyllic it sounded: escaping from the rainy English winter of 1907-8 to go on a leisurely, three-month, sun-warmed paddle steamer trip along the Nile, as personal physician to the Duke of Devonshire.

You would be waited on hand and foot and stop off at all the most famous tombs and temples in the heyday of Edwardian excavations.

No wonder the young London doctor and keen amateur Egyptologist Ferdy Platt said 'Yes, please' to this offer of paid work combined with travel.

But, as this enthralling collection of letters from Ferdy to his wife May during the journey reveals, spending three months on board that paddle steamer in the company of the aged Duke and Duchess and their snooty entourage could make a young, middle-class doctor feel as lonely as a mummy in a tomb.

Brits abroad: Edwardian tourists (pictured) by the              Great Pyramid in Egypt.  Toby Wilkinson and Julian Platt              reveal letters from Ferdy Platt written on his journey along              the Nile in 1907-8

Brits abroad: Edwardian tourists (pictured) by the Great Pyramid in Egypt.  Toby Wilkinson and Julian Platt reveal letters from Ferdy Platt written on his journey along the Nile in 1907-8

The letters were kept for nearly a century in a beautiful wooden box, which was lovingly decorated by Ferdy with Egyptian figures and hieroglyphics as a present for his daughter Violet.

On Violet's death in 1992, she bequeathed the box to her younger cousin, Julian Platt, who, with the Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson, has now brought the letters to the public.

To read them feels like lifting the lid on the stifling world of the Edwardian aristocracy.

Ferdy's travelling companions were the 74-year-old Duke of Devonshire who, as a wild young man, had been known as 'Harty Tarty' by the Prince of Wales, but was now arthritic and consumptive, and his wife the Duchess, who liked to be carried up sandy hills in a chair by four sweating servants.

They were joined by the unfriendly Earl and Countess of Gosford and their chillingly aloof daughter Lady Theodosia Acheson, and Sir Charles Cradock-Hartopp, a divorced friend of the Duke whose only interests were huntin', shootin', fishin' and card-playing and who took no interest whatsoever in the sights of Egypt. Towards the end of the trip, Sir Charles admitted to Ferdy that he 'had never been so bored in his life'.

For three months, these people were coldly civil to Ferdy. They were never actively rude, but subtly made him aware that he was socially beneath them.

It's not as if he was so very low down in the social hierarchy. He was 'landed gentry' and had been educated at Eton. But, in his position as physician to the Duke, he was deemed not worthy of their attention.

Not long into the trip, Ferdy wrote to his wife: 'I am longing to get home . . . It is deadly-dull at meals . . . I feel I am kept in my place. Even when it is general talk, I am never spoken to.'

Actually, I grew rather fond of the dim-but-affable Sir Charles, who did at least speak to Ferdy occasionally. Sir Charles became lazier and lazier and fatter and fatter as the journey went on, though he did, rather sweetly, stir himself one day to climb a hot hill, sweating profusely — not to look at an ancient Egyptian temple, but to see some puppies he'd heard about. He bought one and took it back to the boat and thence to England, using an empty champagne box for its basket.

Ferdy was to spend his spare time in later life              translating the Book of Genesis as part of his interest              in Egyptology

Ferdy was to spend his spare time in later life translating the Book of Genesis as part of his interest in Egyptology

The aristocrats played bridge almost constantly, deafened by the paddles' vibrations during the day and the electricity-producing dynamo at night. Ferdy had no say in how long they stopped off at the ancient sites he longed to see.

Thank goodness for his wife, to whom he felt free to enthuse in his letters about the wonders of Akhenaten's palace and the excavations of the famous Egyptologist Flinders Petrie.

The two most famous figures the party encountered on the journey were Winston Churchill and the archaeologist Howard Carter.

Churchill happened to be passing by on his way back along the Nile from a trip to Uganda. He came on board the Duke's boat for lunch and regaled the party with descriptions of the copious crocodiles beneath the Victoria Falls.

When Ferdy and his companions met Howard Carter, he was at the lowest ebb of his career: forced to resign as Chief Inspector of Antiquities for being rude to some French visitors, he was eking out a living as a watercolourist, producing paintings to sell to tourists.

He would rise to international fame 14 years later, on discovering Tutankhamun's tomb with his patron Lord Carnarvon.

ARISTOCRATS AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS by Toby Wilkinson and              Julian Platt (American University in Cairo Press £24.95)

ARISTOCRATS AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS by Toby Wilkinson and Julian Platt (American University in Cairo Press £24.95)

The niceties of Edwardian sartorial conventions are revealed when Ferdy describes a much-needed solitary walk through the baking-hot desert — so hot that 'I walked about with my coat and waistcoat off'.

I breathed a sigh of relief for Ferdy when the boat, at last, turned round and started the long journey home. Ferdy was desperately missing his wife and 'the chicks', as he called his children. I liked the stiff-but-loving way he signed off his letters: 'Much love darling from your affectionate husband, Ferdy (A. F. R. Platt)'.

Just six weeks later, the Duke lay on his deathbed in the Hotel Metropol in Cannes. His last words were: 'Well, the game is over and I am not sorry.' The Duchess lived on for another three years before dying of heatstroke at the Sandown races.

The Earl and Countess of Gosford fell on hard times as a result of over-spending and had to sell the whole contents of their house. The snooty Lady Theodosia went on to have a surprisingly happy marriage to Alexander Cadogan, permanent under-secretary for foreign affairs during World War II. Sir Charles Cradock-Hartopp died childless in 1929.

As for Ferdy, he led a peaceful and happy married life as a doctor in Kent. As proof that those taxing months on the paddle steamer did nothing to dampen his fervour for Egyptology, he was to spend his spare time in later life translating the Book of Genesis into hieroglyphics.

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Petition In Support of Christian Greco, Director of the Museo Egizio, following Recent Political Attacks by the Italian Far Right

If you believe in stamping out fascism wherever it raises its ugly head, please follow the link and sign the petition. Glenn

In Support of Christian Greco, Director of the Museo Egizio, following Recent Political Attacks by the Italian Far Right

Luigi Prada
Luigi Prada 233 Comments

In recent weeks, the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) in Turin and its director, Dr Christian Greco, have been the target of a politically-motivated and xenophobic campaign of abuse and intimidation by members of Italian far right movements—namely, the Lega Nord and Fratelli d'Italia (Northern League and Brothers of Italy).

Since the arrival of Greco in 2014, the Museo Egizio has experienced an unparalleled renaissance in its almost 200-year-long history, both in terms of scientific activities and in terms of access and engagement. The achievements of Greco's directorship include: the complete revamping of the museum's galleries; the expansion of its curatorial team; the return of the Museo Egizio to the field, in Saqqara; the huge increase in the number of visitors (leading to the Museo Egizio being the 7th most visited museum in Italy in 2016); and a wider engagement with the public and the local community (including, e.g., visits to prisons in the Turin area and the museum's special free opening on World Refugee Day).

A significant outreach effort has been a drive to cater for Egyptian and, more generally, Arabic-speaking visitors to the museum by offering display captions as well as tour guides in Arabic.

The attacks referred to in this petition's title stemmed precisely from one of the Museo Egizio's initiatives that are aimed at expanding the number of visitors and at integrating all residents of the Turin area in their region's cultural life. This initiative, named "Fortunato Chi Parla Arabo" ("Lucky Are Those Who Speak Arabic"), is meant to engage the Arabic-mother tongue population of Turin, and offers two tickets for the price of one to all Arabic speakers.

Owing to the upcoming political elections in Italy, exponents of the Italian far right have seized on the opportunity to attack what they considered to be an easy target, by unleashing their ire on the Museo Egizio. Firstly, they led their attack online, by posting abusive/threatening messages, by trolling, and also by disseminating recordings of fake phone calls to the museum's call-centre. More recently, they have taken their protests to the streets, staging a nationalist and anti-migrant protest at the museum's entrance (see, e.g., the New York Times article at ).

Just yesterday, the intimidation by the far-right party Fratelli d'Italia went even further, when they declared that, if they gain power in the upcoming Italian elections, one of their first actions will be to remove Christian Greco from the directorship of the Museo Egizio (an action which, to be exact, they would have no power to carry out, since the Museo Egizio's director is nominated by an independent scientific and managerial board, and not by Italian politicians).

Unsurprisingly, the outpour of messages of support and appreciation that the Museo Egizio and Greco have received—ranging from occasional visitors of the Museo to the Italian Ministry of Culture itself—have manifold outnumbered the abusive and xenophobic voices, and confirmed him and the museum in boldly proceeding with the work they have begun (see the message posted online today by Greco, at ).

Yet, the far-right critics remain vocal and aggressive. Therefore, I would like to urge all my Egyptology colleagues and all the fellow supporters of our discipline worldwide to subscribe to this petition, and thus express their support to Greco, to all his colleagues in the Museum, and to the inclusive image of Italy that the Museo Egizio in its present incarnation represents.

Kind regards,

Dr Luigi Prada

University of Oxford (currently Visiting Associate Professor in Egyptology at the University of Copenhagen)

Disclaimer: all of the views above are expressed in a personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect any of the views of the University of Oxford or the University of Copenhagen.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

CPF; saving cultural heritage in Arab world - Egypt Today
Cultural Protection Fund initiative by British Council -        Photo courtesy by the British Council release.
Cultural Protection Fund initiative by British Council - Photo courtesy by the British Council release.

CPF; saving cultural heritage in Arab world

Tue, Feb. 13, 2018

CAIRO – 13 February 2018: The Cultural Protection Fund is an initiative organized by the British Council in the UK, in partnership with DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) to save the archeological sites in different Arab countries. The CPF provides a £30 million fund to keep cultural heritage sites and objects safe, and to restore damaged cultural heritage sites, according to the British Council's official website.

To raise awareness on the importance of the cultural heritage in the Arab World, the CPF provides the Arab communities with various opportunities to get more education on the value of such sites and objects.

Funds will be supporting small and big projects in Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen.
There will be a project in Egypt that aims to create a database of Nubian artifacts to avoid illegal trafficking. Moreover, the CPF will create a solid archive for contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage in Egypt in two years.

One of the projects carried out in Syria by the CPF is one that will reserve the domed house to offer accommodation for immigrant Syrian families. While in Jerusalem, there is a project to restore the main façade of a Mamluk building.
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AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Newly Open Access Journal: aMun: Magazin für die Freunde ägyptischer Museen und Sammlungen
On 02/12/2018 08:40 AM, Charles Jones wrote:
Newly Open Access Journal: aMun: Magazin für die Freunde ägyptischer Museen und Sammlungen

Monday, February 12, 2018

Newly Open Access Journal: aMun: Magazin für die Freunde ägyptischer Museen und Sammlungen

aMun: Magazin für die Freunde ägyptischer Museen und Sammlungen
E-ISSN: 2513-0161
P-ISSN: 2196-8942 
Das von Ägyptischen Museen aus Österreich und Deutschland herausgegebene Magazin »aMun« ist auf dem Magazinportal »issuu« mit einigen Ausgaben präsent. Das Magazin informiert über Ausstellungen und aktuelle Ausgrabungen sowie Forschungen zum Alten Ägypten
Jg. 19, H. 1 (2017)

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25% of restoration of Alexandria Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue completed - Egypt Independent

5% of restoration of Alexandria Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue completed

Assistant Antiquities Minister for Engineering Affairs Hesham Ibrahim said on Friday that the teams of restorers who are carrying out restoration and renovation of the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, known as the Jewish Temple, in Alexandria, have completed about 25 percent of its work.

In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Ibrahim said that the renovation project of the temple has been going on for more than three months and that the ongoing work needs to be precise in implementation due to the sensitivity of the task, which requires a longer time.

He pointed out that the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 at an initial cost of LE100 million, funded by the Egyptian government.

Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue was built in 1354. It was bombed by the French during their invasion of Egypt in 1798 and was re-built in 1850 with contributions from the Muhammad Ali dynasty. It is included on the World Monuments Fund's 2018 list of monuments at risk.

Although services are still held in the synagogue, it now caters to a very small community due to the dwindling number of Jews in Alexandria and Egypt more broadly.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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Ancient Egyptians Expressed Love with Poetry, Gifts, Flowers | Asharq AL-awsat

Ancient Egyptians Expressed Love with Poetry, Gifts, Flowers

Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 - 06:45
A recent Egyptian study revealed that ancient Egypt has dedicated seasons for love. (AFP)
Luxor, London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Whether through poetry, gifts or flowers, ancient Egyptians were known as romance and nature lovers, who expressed their passion for their beloved.

A recent Egyptian study, published to highlight Egyptians' celebrations on Valentine's Day, revealed that ancient Egypt had dedicated seasons for love, during which lovers express their feelings towards their loved ones and spouses, reported the German news agency (dpa).

The study published by Luxor's Center for Women Studies and Rights in the Republican People's Party said that walls of tombs, known as the nobles' cemeteries in western Luxor, are adorned with dozens of paintings drawn by artists of ancient Egypt to date and document details of greatest love stories in history.

The paintings tell how all segments of Pharaonic society expressed love and how they sought romance and meetings with loved ones in the heart of nature and on the banks of the Nile River.

The study highlighted that ordinary citizens, such as workers, fishermen and other craftsmen, went out on specific days of the year during what was known as the seasons of love. They used to take their wives on fishing trips and picnics to feel closer to their beloved and more able to express their feelings.

There were also annual seasons for those who were not married.

These seasons were known as the seasons of engagement and marriage.

Valentine's Day falls on February 14 of every year.

"Boupasta" is one of the love seasons in ancient Egypt, and an occasion to express feelings of love and to celebrate engagement or marriage.

There were the "Ubot" festivals, a season for love and marriage, the festivals of Abidos, during which thousands performed a pilgrimage to the city, and the festivals in the cities of Dandara and Edfu, to mark the transition of the goddess Hathor from Dandara to the city of Edfu to meet her husband Horus.

The meeting between the goddess and her husband was an occasion for large celebrations, where people would go out to the squares and temples, and to the banks of the Nile to celebrate, meet and marry.

The most famous among these celebrations was the transition of the god Amun from his temple in Karnak, to meet his wife Amaunet in the temple of Luxor, and the transition of the goddess Hathor to meet her husband at the temple of Edfu.
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Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt is Interactive Education Done Right -

Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt is Interactive Education Done Right

By 02.13.2018 :: 12:00PM EST

I've been a fan of the Assassin's Creed series ever since the first game released in 2007. The franchise's focus on history is one of the biggest draws for me. I have spent countless hours reading through each of the game's codexes. Because of this, I found the lack of codexes in Assassin's Creed: Origins disappointing. I love the game, but it did feel lacking without that extra layer of information to sift through. Little did I know Ubisoft left codexes out to work on something far more ambitious – Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt.

As we reported last year, Discovery Tour takes players on a guided tour through various aspects of Ancient Egyptian life. It removes all instances of combat in order to deliver a learning experience free of mission constraints. The mode provides players with a deeper understanding of the world Assassin's Creed: Origins takes place in. For all intents and purposes, it is an evolved version of codex entries.

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend an event for Discovery Tour. I got to try the mode for myself and saw an informative presentation about the mode's development. Now that I am free to do so, I'd like to tell you exactly what you can expect when Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt launches next week.

Teachers played a huge part in influencing Discovery Tour. Educators have used Assassin's Creed games to teach history to their students for years. Some found it difficult to teach a proper lesson due to the core game mechanics (story, combat, traversal, etc). Because of that, the Assassin's Creed team felt it best to create a separate mode for those who want to focus solely on the historical aspect of the series.

Discovery Tour's development went alongside that of Assassin's Creed: Origins. The team decided on guided tours so players would not feel overwhelmed or lost when initiating one from the map. Historians and students alike helped the team bring the mode to life. The team found that students took to the mode quickly since they are already familiar with video games. On top of extensive notes in each tour, players can look at over 700 images which came from different libraries. The whole thing is a true labor of love, and one the team is proud to bring to life.

The new mode features five areas of focus, including Egyptian life, Alexandria, Romans, and the pyramids. Categories are broken down into several sub-categories. Discovery Tours appear on the map as blue icons. Selecting one transports players from the main game to the tour. Map-wise, nothing is different, only there is no combat or missions to worry about. Players are free to initiate any tour they wish. For example, if one is doing the Roman tour, they can stop halfway and fast-travel to the pyramid tour. The ability to freely go from tour is certainly appreciated.

Assassin's Creed - Alexandria Street

When starting a tour, you'll see several points along a path overlayed on the ground before you. Interacting with one of these points initiates a fixed camera angle with text on the screen. An authoritative-sounding narrator reads the text to players. You are free to move the camera around slightly and you can click on a picture related to the subject you're learning about. The game also shows when these subjects were first discovered. It pleased me to know that, even today, scientists are still discovering things about Ancient Egypt.

While you can freely jump between different tours, I found it best to complete a whole set before moving on. Why? Because each entry is listed in chronological order. If you're on the pyramid tour, the entries begin with the construction of the first pyramid all the way to how the structures endure into the modern age. Going through each codex in chronological order provides a better understanding of each subject.

The tour offers 25 different characters to play as. These include characters like Bayek, Cleopatra, and Julius Caesar. You can even play as a number of non-playable characters. It doesn't make much difference who you play as since they all have the same basic animations. Still, it's good that players can choose between so many characters. It certainly makes Discovery Tour all the more interesting.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Hermopolis

As one walks through a tour, they'll notice highlighted spots on the ground. Going to one of these white nodes makes characters interact with the environment. This mimics what NPCs do in the background. This feature isn't exactly necessary, but it adds a nice bit of immersion. Also, it's just plain fun to make a mighty emperor like Julius Caesar count grain stocks like a peasant.

I love the historical nature of Assassin's Creed, so I'm glad it now has something like Discovery Tour. In all, there are 75 tours for players to enjoy. That's over six hours of knowledge about Ancient Egyptian life for both adults and children to consume. Best of all, this mode is completely free for anyone that already owns the game. I realize the year has already overwhelmed us with a ton of titles to play. However, if you have Assassin's Creed: Origins, I highly suggest making time to try out Discovery Tour. I hope you'll find it as enlightening as I did.

Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt lands on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on February 20.

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Fwd: AcrossBorders Valentine’s Day Special: An exceptional heart scarab from Sai


[New post]: AcrossBorders

Valentine's Day Special: An exceptional heart scarab from Sai

Posted: 14 Feb 2018 12:15 AM PST

Last year on Valentine's Day, excavations in Tomb 26 on Sai were still ongoing. As Meg Gundlach put it back then "there are few things more romantic than a dung beetle". Well – exactly! One year later, it's again time to write about this very special heart scarab, SAC5 349, found next to the skeleton of chief goldsmith Khnummose. Let's start with a spoiler: no, I still cannot read the name on the heart scarab, there is no complete love story to tell about Khnummose and his wife. But: my assumption that it is possibly the wife's name on the scarab who was buried next to Khnummose at a slightly later moment still stands, although it remains hypothetical.

The heart scarab of Khnummose's tomb group is an exceptional example also for other reasons. The general appearance of gold flakes and use of gold for the funerary equipment and jewellery in Tomb 26 is striking and seems to be connected with Khnummose's profession. Very remarkable, among others, is this beautiful signet ring made of silver and gold found in Chamber 5.

But coming back to the heart scarab: during the process of cleaning it in situ in Chamber 6, very fragile strips of gold came to light.

One piece was clearly attached around the base, other fragments where found close to the head of the scarab.

Possibly there were originally also gold bands across the elytra and at the division of the wing cases; this arrangement finds a close parallel in a Late New Kingdom example now kept at Liverpool – 1977.112.257 is a very nice heart scarab made of green jasper, it still has strips of gold attached.

In general, such gold bands on heart scarabs of the New Kingdom are rare – for our example from Sai, I believe that they could attest to Khnummose's job as chief goldsmith and to the general connection of the island to the gold exploitation in Nubia.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Northern California ARCE Upcoming Egyptology Lectures, REVISED

American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
Northern California Chapter

Upcoming 2018 Lectures

ARCE's Northern California Chapter is pleased to present the following lectures by renowned Egyptologists. All lectures take place on the University of California Berkeley campus.

Prestige From Overseas: Maritime Trade and Seafaring Ventures in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean
March 18 - 3:00 PM - Room 20 Barrows Hall
Dr. Caroline Sauvage, Loyola-Marymount University

Houses of Eternity: How to Get a Decorated Tomb in Ancient Egypt
April 8 - 3:00 PM - Room 20 Barrows Hall
Dr. Deanna Kiser-Go, University of California Berkeley

Egyptian Stories Revealed: The Met's Exciting New Acquisitions
May 6 - 3:00 PM - Room 20 Barrows Hall
Dr. Diana Craig Patch, Metropolitan Museum of Art

For more information, please visit or

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What Lies Beneath | iMalqata

--   Sent from my Linux system.On 02/13/18 07:03, iMalqata Blog wrote:
What Lies Beneath

Janice Kamrin

We have been excavating in the West Settlement now for a little more than a week, continuing to clarify the architecture and function of this intriguing site.


Plan of the West Settlement excavations, 2015-2018, with the magazine area to the south and living areas to the north (see Digging the West Settlement)

We began by opening up several squares along the eastern edge of the excavated area, hoping to find a connection between the buildings here and Diana's industrial area farther to the east.

Hoping to avoid hitting any of the spoil heaps from the Met's early 20th century excavations, we chose to continue a line of squares toward the north end of the site. The first locus looked promising – not far below the surface, we began to find a wall that fit in with the ones we had found in earlier seasons —one brick wide, laid as a stretcher, and running southeast to northwest across our grid. But as we moved to the east, it just petered out, as did any hint of cultural material, and we soon came down onto the natural desert substrate, a coarse, dark brown-grey matrix with outcroppings of lighter "tafla."


The west half of Square N150/E140-N, looking north, with a new wall and mud tumble beginning to show.

Square N150/E145-N, level 1, looking E over N150/N140-N

Square N150/E140-N, looking east, with the natural desert surface exposed in the east half of the square.

As we extended our trench to the east, we continued to find nothing, just the original desert surface. When we moved to the south, we found some architecture in the western halves of our squares, but to the east, the architecture and most of the cultural remains are gone. In fact, although this is disappointing, it is not surprising: we are in a wadi, and it looks like water has washed away the eastern part of our excavation area.

N150/E140-N  level 1-3 and N155/E140-S, level 1-2, , looking E

View east down the line of squares at N150. Only the natural desert surface remained here, just below the current surface.

Overview of excavation site, 2018

Looking southeast over the site. The small wadi indicated here likely funneled floodwaters through the east edge of the West Settlement and washed away any remains.

The good news is that we have also opened up two half-squares farther to the south, hoping to find more of what we believe to be the boundaries of the complex. The bricks in these "exterior" walls are laid as headers, rather than the usual 1-brick wide stretchers, and are therefore wider and more substantial (although again, always only one brick high). And we are happy to report that we have found this type of wall in three places, helping us to complete the plan of the eastern part of the complex.

N125/E125, level 1, looking N

Square N125/E135, showing one of the newly exposed sections of exterior wall

Brooklyn Museum
On 01/19/18 07:49, Brooklyn Museum wrote:
Dig Diary, January 19, 2018:Like New York, Cairo is a city that...

Dig Diary, January 19, 2018:

Like New York, Cairo is a city that never sleeps, and the floating restaurants and nightclubs along the Nile are a main focus of activity. All expedition leaders have to pass through Cairo in order to complete the paperwork with the Ministry of Antiquities that allows them to dig. We arrived on January 15, signed the contracts on the 16th and were off to Luxor on the 17th for another season in the Mut Precinct.  

On January 18 we presented our papers to the Luxor officials of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Only when that was done could we make our first visit the Mut Precinct. We were very happy to see Betsy Bryan, Director of the Johns Hopkins University Mut Expedition (third from the left). It was a very pleasant surprise to encounter both Salima Ikram, a specialist in faunal remains, and an old Egyptian colleague, Sayed Hegazy (second from the left) at the site.

We also caught up with Abdel Aziz, our foreman for several years; and met Mai, the inspector who will be with us for the 2018 season. Work starts on Saturday, January 20 and we look forward to a pleasant and productive season, if a short one.

The twin spires of Luxor's new cathedral and a nearby minaret seen at dawn on January 19.

Posted by Richard Fazzini

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Brooklyn Museum Dig Diary, January 29, 2018
On 01/29/18 06:00, Brooklyn Museum wrote:
Dig Diary, January 29, 2018: The view of the Mut Temple from the...

Dig Diary, January 29, 2018

The view of the Mut Temple from the southwest corner of the sacred lake. Despite our best efforts last year the reeds are now thicker than ever, completely obscuring the shores of the lake.


The Qufti (technicians from the village of Quft, ancient Coptos) working with us this year are Mahmoud Abbadi (left), who is a superb archaeologist, and Yehia Farouk Sharid (right), who was with us last season.


We've spent the last week on housekeeping chores, mainly cutting down the grass and camel thorn that have taken over many parts of the site. It took workmen several days to remove the grass that has grown up in the excavated area east of the Thutmoside gate that we discovered in 1983 and that the Johns Hopkins University expedition excavated in 2002.


Looking west through the Thutmoside gate after the grass and blown dirt have been removed. Next week we plan to shore up the sides of the square and build a stairway at the east wall so that people can get access to the gate, which is one of the earliest preserved structures at the site.


In the meantime, Richard has been continuing his work on the inscriptions in the Mut Temple's Montuemhat Crypt Here he and our inspector, Mai Yusuf Abul Hagag, discuss the texts.


We also had visits from some old friends on January 21. John Sherman, Associate Director of the American Research Center in Egypt for Luxor, has been an immense help to the Mut Expedition, particularly in assisting us in getting conservation supplies, which are hard to find in Luxor.


Later that same day, Mustapha Saghir, the SCA Director for Karnak, also paid a visit. Mustapha is the son of the late Dr. Mohamed Saghir, a former Director for Upper Egypt, a great scholar and a wonderful man. Mustapha is a worthy successor to his father.


This season we are restoring the Sekhmet statue in Temple A that we rescued last season but were unable to restore then. Mohamed Abdu, one of the Egyptian conservators working with us this year, carefully cleans centuries of accumulated dirt from the statue fragments so he and his colleague can examine the condition of the underlying stone.


The hoopoe, here, is perhaps my favorite bird in Egypt. This one of two who have built a nest in the precinct entrance. 

Posted by Mary McKercher

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Brooklyn Museum: Dig Diary, February 2, 2018
Where great art and courageous conversations are catalysts for a more connected, civic, and empathetic world.

Dig Diary, February 2, 2018:Just west          of the precinct's northwest corner, there is now a temporary          quarry where stonemasons are carving large blocks into paving          stones for the nearby sphinx avenues. This is probably pretty          much how the front area of...

Dig Diary, February 2, 2018:

Just west of the precinct's northwest corner, there is now a temporary quarry where stonemasons are carving large blocks into paving stones for the nearby sphinx avenues. This is probably pretty much how the front area of the Mut Precinct looked in the Roman Period and later when the temple buildings were being quarried for their stone. In one season alone we found over 450 stone fragments ranging from tiny chips to large blocks.


Just as in antiquity, the work is all done by hand. The senior mason in the right foreground is uses a simple metal square to make sure all the corners are 90°.


Last season we discovered that the Ramesses II doorjamb lying in the fill of the north wing of Temple A's 2nd Pylon had a Dynasty 25 inscription on its west face. The hieroglyphs at the very top of the inscription were hidden by an adjacent block of stone, so we took down part of the retaining wall this year to remove it. It turns out the block (with the arrow) and the one to its south both belong to the foundations of the pylon's facing and so had to stay.


Jacobus (Jaap) van Dijk from Groningen has joined us again, his first day at the site being January 27. Undeterred by the narrow space between the pylon face and the block, which made work difficult, he managed to read the hidden hieroglyphs – or rather, hieroglyph: a single "r" that is outlined here. Archaeology is rarely comfortable or easy.


On February 1 we were delighted to receive a visit from our long-time friend, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, former Minister of Antiquities and former Director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and a group of SCA officials. After a tour of the site, they took a break in the shade of the Propylon. Dr. El-Damaty is in the center with Mohamed Abdel Aziz, General Director for Upper Egypt, to his right and Mustapha Saghir, Director for Karnak, to his left. I regret that I do not know the names of the other two gentlemen with them.


The bricklayer began building the mud brick retaining walls in the Thutmoside gate square on the 27th. The work proceeded very quickly.


By January 31 the retaining walls were done and the stairway in the northeast corner of the square was underway. It is being built of mud brick supported by packed earth.


And here is the final result at noon on February 1. The bricklayer (foreground) is adding a couple of courses to the south and east walls and then we'll be done.


Salah Salim (left) and Mohamed Abdu, our conservators, spent most of the week cleaning and consolidating weak areas of stone on the base of the Sekhmet they are restoring. This kind of work takes great patience and manual dexterity.


The conservators inserted stainless steel rods into the lower piece of the statue base on Thursday. These rods, held in position by epoxy, will strengthen the join between the base's two sections.


The Mut Precinct is home to a couple of dog packs, one of which has adopted the area at the west end of the Mut Temple's 1st Pylon as a favorite napping area. Since these dogs can be quite fierce, we are quite happy to let sleeping dogs lie.


A second dog family has made itself at home right by the stairs up to our equipment storeroom. After several days of frenzied yapping they seem to have accepted us to the point where mama was content to nurse her pups with us sitting nearby.

Posted by Richard Fazzini

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