Egyptology news – Archive news from March 2011
Excavations Unearthed the Remains of Ancient Mummified Animals
An excavation into a labyrinth of tunnels under the Egyptian desert at Saqqara has unearthed the remains of approximately 8 million ancient mummified animals. Mainly dogs and jackels appear to have been only days old when they were slaughtered and mummified by the ancient Egyptians. Dedicated to the god Anubis, Egypt’s jackal-headed god of the dead, the Dog Catacombs date to around 740 BCE. The first known documentation of the catacombs occurred in the 19th century, but had never been completely excavated. A team led by Paul Nicholson, an archaeologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, is now examining the tunnels and their contents. Read a fuller account on the Bikya Masr news website.
Updates from the Curator of the Egypt and Sudan Department at the Manchester Museum
A great blog from the team behind the Egypt and Sudan Department at the Manchester Museum in the UK. It focuses on events, behind the scenes curatorial work, gallery redevelopment and research links with the University. The latest Blog post sets out plans for two new temporary exhibitions ‘Unearthed’ and ‘Grave Secrets’; as well as plans for the redevelopment of the ‘Ancient Words’ gallery, which will close from June for 18 months.
Part of a Pylon of the Isis Temple Discovered by Underwater Archaeologists
Egyptian archaeologists have lifted an ancient granite temple pylon out of the waters of the Mediterranean, where it had been lying for about centuries as part of the palace complex of Cleopatra, submerged in Alexandria’s harbour. The pylon, which previously stood at the entrance to a temple of Isis, is to be the showpiece of an ambitious underwater museum planned by Egypt to display the sunken city, which is supposed to have been collapsed into the sea by earthquakes in the 4th century. Read the full story on the Archaeological Excavations website.
Amenhotep III Beard is Reunited With Statue
The famous red granite head of Amenhotep III, which was on display in Luxor Museum has now been reunited with its beard. The ‘beard’ had been housed away in the New York Metropolitan Museum storage rooms in Luxor for the last 40 years. The completed statue is now on display in Luxor Museum, which also includes in its collection; the reassembled chariot of Tutankhamun; the rosettes that were on the linen pall that covered Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus and a wall of resembled ‘talata’, the small blocks used by Akhenaten to build temples quickly and easily. View more on this story on the Luxor News website.
Egypt Private Tours Launches New Facebook Page
We’ve just set up our new Facebook page for ‘Egypt Private Tours’, showcasing some great videos and links all about Egypt. You can view our expanding Photo albums and be inspired to visit me here in Egypt. Take a look at the tranquil scenery, historical sights and beautiful Red Sea resorts; hopefully these will help you plan your next vacation. Please visit and ‘Like’ our new Egypt Private Tours Facebook Page.
Great Line-Up of Events at the Petrie Museum in London
If you’re visiting London over the next few months, then why not check out the events being organised by the Petrie Museum. You find out about how technology is bringing Egyptology into the 21st Century in ‘The Ancient World Goes to the Future’; inspirations behind a fascination with ‘Gothic Egypt’ and how to ‘Dress Like an Ancient Egyptian’. Take a look at their Facebook Events page for more details or visit the official Petrie Museum website.
Latest Issue of the KMT Journal Now Available
The ‘KMT Journal’ is issued four times per year and is dedicated to articles on the fascinating culture and the awesome art / architecture of ancient Egypt – including features on the pioneers of Egyptology, coverage of modern archaeological exploration and conservation work. The current issue looks at Howard Carter’s little known earlier artistic works at Deir el-Bahari – home to the famous mortuary Temple of Hatshepstut. You can find out details on how to subscribe and the current issue on the KMT Journal website.
Interesting New Research Suggests that Ancient Egyptians Made the Arduous Trek to Chad
This article was recently published in the Journal of AncientEgyptian Interconnections, in which Prof. Thomas Schneider addresses recent evidence for a traderoute between the Nile Valley and Jebel Uweinat (via Dakhlah Oasis and Gilf Kebir) and possibly even beyond (to Lake Bodele and Lake Chad). Read the full article on the Unreported Heritage News website.
“Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa” Exhibition Opens in New York
“Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa” is the first exhibition in New York in more than three decades to focus on Nubian culture. It features over 120 objects illustrating the remarkable and distinctive aesthetics of Nubian art. The exhibition traces Nubia’s rich culture, which flourished in present day Sudan and southern Egypt, from its earliest kingdoms (3200–3000 BC) to the Kushite period (900–400 BC) during which Nubians rose to conquer Egypt and fought against the Assyrian empire. Take a look at the exhibition website for more information.
US Museum Ordered to Return Egyptian Death Mask
The US government has stepped into a row over an ancient Egyptian death mask, ordering the St Louis Art Museum to hand over the artefact. Egypt claims the 3200-year-old mask of 19th Dynasty noblewoman, Ka-Nefer-Nefer, was stolen. Administrators of the museum filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block US Customs and Justice Department from seizing 3,200-year-old death mask that the Egyptian government claims was stolen after its discovery in unfinished Step Pyramid in 1952. Read the full story on the BBC website and also at stltoday.com.
One of the Trumpets of Tutankhamun Amongst the Missing Artefacts
In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Among the many treasures were two trumpets – one silver and one copper. In 1939 these two trumpets were played in a world-wide broadcast by the BBC. This is the story of that broadcast, along with the recording of the playing of the trumpets. Sadly it seems now that one of these trumpets was stolen during the looting of the Museum of Ancient Antiquities in Cairo.
Harry Burton Photos of the Carter Tutankhamun Excavation Available Online
Harry Burton was responsible for the most amazing photographs taken during the Howard Carter excavation of the young King Tutankhamun’s tomb, found in 1922. The tomb in the Valley of the Kings was found nearly intact and the discovery sparked worldwide press attention. Thus, Tutankhamun is now one of the most popular and widely recognised of Pharaohs. These photo’s form part of the collection of The Griffith Institute Archive housed in Oxford and a selection are now available to buy online. Take a look at the ‘Wonderful things…’ on the Griffith Institute Photo website.
OsirisNet Publishes a New Photographic Tomb Tour Online
The aim of the OsirisNet project, led by Thierry Benderitter, is to photograph or to gather photographs from the greatest possible number of tombs and mastabas in Egypt, (whether known or less known) and to put them freely at the disposal of all, on the OsirisNet.net site. Tomb KV19 in The Valley of the Kings, is the latest to be published on the website. It dates from the end of Dynasty XX. It belongs to one of the sons of Ramesses IX, Prince Montuherkhepeshef or Ramesses-Montuherkhepeshef. You can view all of the photos on the OsirisNet website.
Experts From Egypt Help to Re-Preserve 2,300 Year Old Mummy
A three-member team from Egypt on Tuesday 8th March re-preserved a 2,300 old Egyptian mummy in the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur, Rajasthan. The mummy is that of Tutu, a female member of a priest”s family, dating from Egypt”s Ptolemaic period (322 BC to 30 BC). The Central Museum”s Director of Archaeology, SP Singh said the team was happy with the condition of the mummy, but gave recommendations about threats of future damage. Read the full story on the ArchNews website.
EES ‘Egyptian Archaeology’ Spring 2011 Edition Published
The bi-annual ‘Egyptian Archaeology’ magazine published by the Egyptian Exploration Society (EES) has just published – No. 38 Spring 2011 edition. In addition to articles, it contains reports on the EES Centenary Awards, recent EES events and details of a new edited film of the Society’s work at Amarna in the 1930s. Aidan Dodson contributes an appreciation of Barry Kemp after he was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List, and this issue also includes an interview with Kent Weeks. Visit the EES website for more details.
Egypt’s Heritage Review Magazine ‘Al RAWI’ Makes First Issue Available Online
Al RAWI is a quarterly bilingual magazine published in Egypt on the country’s history and heritage. The magazine’s scope covers Egyptian history from the early days of Narmer and the dawn of the Pharaonic era to the early twentieth century and the final days of the Mohamed Ali Dynasty. Check out the first issue of this beautiful magazine, now available online from their website.
Petrie Museum Celebrates The Life and Work of Female Egyptologist Amelia Edwards
Stephen Quirke curator at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, talks about Amelia Edwards’s role in the Petrie Museum and some of the objects she beqeathed to found the teaching collection. This interesting video explores the life of Edwards, who was one of the co-founders of the Egypt Exploration Society.
On International Women’s Day on March 8th, the Petrie Museum will honour the contribution of Amelia Edwards to Egyptian archaeoloqy with the installation of a statue of Amelia at the entrance to the museum. Amelia founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the EES) and endowed the first Chair of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL, held by Flinders Petrie.
Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago Displays Some of Egypt’s Earliest Artefacts
Visitors will have a chance to get a rare look at beautifully made statues, vessels, figurines, and other artifacts from the dawn of the Egyptian culture at a special exhibition at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. “Before the Pyramids: The Origins of Egyptian Civilization” will run from March 29 to December 31, 2011, at the museum, 1155 East 58th Street. The museum holds the Chicago area’s largest collection of Egyptian art and artifacts as well as galleries devoted to the other cultures of the ancient Middle East. Find out more information on the Oriental Museum website.
Interesting Podcast from a BBC Radio 4 Discussion About Akhenaten
From the ‘In Our Time’ series of programmes broadcast in 2009, Melvyn Bragg and guests Elizabeth Frood, Richard Parkinson and Kate Spence discuss the Pharaoh Akhenaten, the ruler who brought revolutionary change to ancient Egypt. The changes in art and architecture that followed have led some to call him ‘history’s first individual’. Despite his successors’ attempts to obliterate him from the historical record, Akhenaten – and his wife Nefertiti – have been an endless source of fascination and speculation. Visit the BBC website for the 45 minute podcast.
New Exhibition to Open at Nevada Museum of Art – ‘To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum’
“To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum” opens on June 11th and runs until September 4th 2011. The exhibition explores the ancient Egyptian belief that death was an enemy to be overcome through proper preparation. This exhibition is drawn entirely from the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s astonishing Egyptian collection and features over 120 objects, including statuary, sarcophagi, coffins, gold jewelry, and elegantly-crafted vessels. View more details about the exhibition on the Nevada Museum of Art website.
Barry Kemp Announces The Amarna Excavation Season to Restart
Following the rapid easing of the tension that developed in Egypt as the demonstrations began on January 25th, Barry Kemp announced the resumption of work at most archaeological sites in Egypt. He said, “I am delighted to report that I will travel to Amarna on Monday [February 28th] to re-open the expedition house. The archaeological team will begin to arrive shortly afterwards, with a view to commencing the excavations at the South Tombs Cemetery. We will be a week later in starting than we planned, but that still givesus seven weeks of excavation. Later in the season, we will also return to the repairs at the North Palace.” Visit the Amarna Project website for more information.
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