Egyptology news – Archive news from June 2011
French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt Dies at 97
French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, known for saving ancient Nubian temples from flooding by the Aswan Dam in the 1950’s, has died at the age of 97. In a career spanning more than half-a-century, Desroches-Noblecourt also helped preserve the mummy of King Ramses II, which was threatened by fungus, and became the first French woman to lead an archaeological dig in 1938. Read more on this story on the France24.com website.
Huge Roman Palace Unearthed in Upper Egypt
The Ministry of Antiquities announced this week the discovery of a group of pharaonic palaces in Wadi al-Gadid in Upper Egypt. The palaces, believed to belong to the Sixth Dynasty, are estimated to be 3200 years old. According to a ministry statement, a French excavation team made the discovery in Balat village in the Dakhla Oasis, around 500 km south of Cairo. Read more on the article on the Al Masry Al Youm website.
Khufu’s Second Solar Unveiled
King Khufu’s second solar boat was unveiled on Thursday 22nd June, to hundreds of foreign and Egyptian journalists at the Giza Plateau. After the completion of a comprehensive study, the limestone blocks, consisting of 41 panels that have covered the boat pit for 4,500 years, were removed and the boat’s wooden beams extracted one by one to a special warehouse in order to be reassembled as it would have looked in ancient times. Read more on this story on the Egyptology News Network website.
Remnants of Islamic, Coptic Buildings Discovered in Luxor
The Ministry of Antiquities announced on Wednesday 21st June, that an Egyptian expedition team working in Luxor have discovered remnants of ancient Islamic and Coptic buildings. The remnants include churches, minarets and domes and are located in the Luxor Temple area along the Avenue of the Sphinxes. The team found remains of an ancient church that dates back to the Ptolemaic era (AD 5), built with stone blocks typical of ancient temples. The church reflects the style of ancient Egyptian architecture in its stone cornices, columns and ceiling vault. Read more on this story on the Al Masry Al Youm website.
More Updates to the Griffith Institute Website
Alfred Lucas’s ‘Register of samples 1922-1939’ with the results of analysis of ancient Egyptian artefacts, (including many from the tomb of King Tutankhamun) can now be consulted online on The Griffith Institute website.
This issue features articles on cleanliness in Ancient Egypt; frogs in Ancient Egyptian art and the ancient Egyptians relationship with Libya. Visit the website for more information about subscribing to the magazine.
20 Years Unearthing the Ancient Egyptian City of Berenike
Archaeologist Steven Sidebotham, Professor of History at the University of Delaware, talks about his recent dig at the Red Sea port city of Berenike where he found a pet cemetery containing the remains of 17 dogs and cats, ship timbers and other sailing artifacts from the harbor area and a trove of objects from an early Roman trash dump.
Mummification Documentary Now Showing at The Bibliotecha Alexandrina
A film about ancient Egyptian philosophy is showing at the ‘Life Of Another World’ Hall at the archaeology museum in the Alexandria Library. The film displays the process of mummification and the court of the dead. The Hall of the ‘Life Of Another World’ displays many monuments, including a group of religious and funerary beliefs antiques of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Read more about the film on the Youm7 website.
New Tomb on OsirisNet: The Tastaba of Niakauisesi
OsirisNet has just published information and photographs online of the mastaba of Nikauisesi in Saqqara, which dates from the beginning of 6th Dynasty. Discovered quite recently (1979) it is now open to the public. In this monument, a good part of its original decoration is well preserved. The site of the monument has been defined as belonging to the period of the occupation of the cemetery of Teti, early in the reign.
Find out more about this tomb on the OsirisNet website.
Interview With Egyptologist Mark Lehner
Read the most recent interview with Egyptologist Mark Lehner, whose work on the Giza Plateau led some unpleasant events at his address during the Revolution, and he also talks about the merits of Archaeological Field Schools (AFS) in Egypt. The aim is to train Egyptian inspectors in advanced techniques of field archaeology in order to make prior training at one of the professional AFS’s a condition for appointment to join foreign missions. Read the full interview in Al-Ahram Weekly Online.
New Painted Tomb Chamber Found at Dra Abu El-Naga
A new discovery has been announced in the Tomb of Djehuty (TT11) at Dra Abu El-Naga. A Spanish mission working at Dra Abu El-Naga on the West Bank at Luxor has uncovered a second, painted burial chamber in the tomb of Djehuty. Read the Luxor Times website for an insight into the new discovery.
Ancient Egyptians May Have Suffered From Air Pollution
According to new evidence of particulates found in the lungs of 15 mummies, including noblemen and priests, it is believed that Ancient Egyptians may have been exposed to air pollution. Particulates, tiny microscopic particles that irritate the lungs, have been linked to a wide array of modern-day illnesses, including heart disease, lung ailments and cancer. The particulates are typically linked to post-industrial activities, such as fossil-fuel burning. Read the full article on the Live Science website.
KMT Latest Summer 2011 Issue Now Available
The latest issue of KMT – the US Egyptology magazine is now available. This issue features the rediscovering the excavations of the Karnak Cachette; a review of the 2010 season at KV63 and a look at the ‘The Origins of Egyptian Civilization Exhibition’ in Chicago.
You can subscribe to the magazine via the KMT website.
Secrets of Ancient Egypt Revealed
A new exhibition opens in the US this week, at Baylor University’s, Mayborn Museum Complex. The traveling exhibition, “Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science” – explores the lives and culture of ancient Egyptians and how they are being uncovered in new ways due to modern science and technology. A 16-year-old Egyptian girl who lived 2,300 years ago – dubbed ‘Annie’ by those that have been studying her mummy is the star attraction, along with her sarcophagus. Review a review of the exhibition on the Baylor University website.
Alabaster Statue of Amenhotep III Found On West Bank at Luxor
A statue of King Tutankhamun’s grandfather King Amenhotep III has been discovered by the Egyptian European Mission excavating at Kom El Hetan, the site of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III on the West Bank at Luxor. The alabaster statue shows the King in a seated position wearing royal headgear. The Mission found the head of the statue separate to any other items during the excavation work in the corridor leading to the third pylon of the temple. Dr. Zahi Hawass says that the statue is one of two statues once stood on the sides of the temple but they were destroyed because of the earthquake that hit Egypt during the Roman period and destroyed the whole temple except for the colossus of Memnon. Read the full initial account on the Luxor Times website and the official MSAA press release on the Zahi Hawass website.
Egypt’s Lost Cities – New Discoveries Using Satellite Technology
View the most recent BBC programme that potentially reveals over 1,500 undiscovered ancient sights viewed from space. Find out more about Dr Sarah Parcak’s research, with the full 1.5 hour show available online:
First Images from Great Pyramid’s Chamber of Secrets
A robot has sent back the first images of markings on the wall of a tiny chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt that have not been seen for 4,500 years. It has also helped settle the controversy about the only metal known to exist in the pyramid and shows a “door” that could lead to another hidden chamber. The pyramid is thought to have been built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu and is the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing. The markings might be ancient graffiti tags left by a worker or symbols of religious significance. Read the full story on the New Scientist website.
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