Archive – Jan 2011

Egyptology news – Archive news from January 2011

Update on the Avenue of the Sphinx in LuxorPhotograph of Luxor Temple at Dusk
Following five years of recreating the Avenue of the Sphinx
that once connected Luxor and Karnak Temples, the processional
route is now back near as  can be conjectured to its original
appearance. In February 2011 visitors to Luxor  will be able to walk
along the historical avenue in much the same way as the Ancient Egyptians did in the days of the Pharaohs. Read the full story on the Weekly Al-Ahram news website…

Official request from Egypt for the return of the Nefertiti bust
Photograph of Nefertiti's Bust in the Berlin MuseumEgypt is officially requesting the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades. The bust, dating back to the 14th century B.C. monarch, tops Egypt’s wish list of artifacts the country hopes to bring back as part of a campaign to retrieve thousands of antiquities spirited out during the colonial period and afterward.

The request letter was send to Dr. Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin.  This foundation is the governing body of all state museums in Germany, including the Neues Museum, where the Nefertiti bust is currently locatedFor the full story visit the Luxor Times blog…

Preview of the new Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) due to open in 2012, will be built on 50 hectares of land in Giza and is part of a new master plan for the plateau. Nested between the ancient Great Pyramids and the modern city of Cairo, at the junction between dry desert and the fertile floodplain, the Grand Museum is a portal to the past. Take a look at the above video and then visit the GEM website for more information about the Museum…

The Colossi of Memnon – A Roman tourist attraction
Photograph of the Colossi of MemnonAn interesting article from Professor in Classics at Cambridge University, Mary Beard about how the Colossi of Memnon – (the two huge statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III on the West Bank at Luxor), were a Roman tourist attraction. So much so that the graffiti they left behind tells us a story of 1,000 year old tourists and what they thought of the magnificent sights. Read the full article on the Times Online

King Tutankhamuns’ tomb is apparently to remain open
A photograph of the interior of King Tutankhamuns TombAmidst much speculation over the last two weeks, Dr Zahi Hawass has now denied any immediate plans to close the famous Kings’ tomb to the public in the near future. Although the long term plan still involves the $10 million project called the ‘Valley of the Replicas’, plans for the tomb have yet to be decided upon. Take a look at the Discovery News website for an update on this story…

Tomb of Tutankhamun to close to visitors in the Valley of the Kings
Photograph of Tutankhamuns' burial maskZahi Hawass, Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has announced that the tomb of Tutankhamun will be closed in order to prevent ongoing deterioration caused by mass tourism. It will join two other well known tombs – those of Seti I and Nefertari. The decision to place the remains of Tutankhamun within his tomb is thought to have added to the appeal of the tomb and increased the number of tourists visiting the small tomb and adding to the problem. The decision is part of a larger known project, where Hawass aims to create replicas of the most important tombs and divert tourism by closing the original in order to preserve them for posterity.  It has not been made clear exactly when the tomb of Tutankhamun will be closed. Read the full story on the  Al-Alhram Weekly website…

What exciting new finds could await us in 2011?
Painting by John Waterhouse of CleopatraAccording to Dr Zahi Hawass, renowned Egyptologist and Chief of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt – the tomb of King Tutankhamun’s wife, a buried pyramid, the Great Pyramid’s secret doors and the final resting place of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony could all be discoveries that await us in 2011. Hawass’  effort to solve the mystery behind the Great Pyramid’s secret doors and Cleopatra’s burial place is well known. Less publicised has been his search for a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings and a buried pyramid in the Dashur area. Read more about this story in his exclusive interview with Discovery News

Missing pieces of colossal statue unearthed in Luxor
Photograph of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye (SCA)Archaeologists have unearthed six missing pieces from a 3,400-year-old colossal double statue of a powerful Pharaoh and his Queen. The Supreme Council of Antiquities said the fragments of the statue of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye were discovered on the West Bank of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor. After French egyptologist Auguste Mariette discovered the double statue at Medinet (Thebes) in 1889, the statue was restored and an Italian team filled in the missing pieces with modern stonework. The original pieces will be fitted to the statue, which is on display in the main hall of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Read more about this story on the Heritage Key website

Conference on the cache at Karnak
Photograph of poster advertising the Cachette at Karnak ConferenceA three day international colloquium entitied “The Cachette of Karnak. New perspectives on Georges Legrain’s discoveries”, will run from 29th to 31st January 2011. More than 100 years after its discovery by G. Legrain, the famous Karnak cachette has not yet revealed all of its secrets. Hundreds of statues and ritual objects were found in this huge sacred deposit buried in the temple of Amun. As a result, this cache has become an incredibly rich source of information on Theban religion, Egyptian history and art. View the Cachette of Karnak online at the IFAO searchable database.  Read more on this story at Dr Zahi Hawass website

Current Egyptology news

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