Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 48

Welcome to the Wednesday Weekly, your weekly dose of links to Egyptology news, articles, blogs, events and more!


Italian-Spanish archeologists to launch dig into Luxor tomb


By Nevine El-Aref:

Al-Alamein site to re-open


By Bahar Gholipour:

Egyptian Mummy's Brain Imprint Preserved in 'Peculiar' Case


The British Museum: Ancient Egypt and Sudan Library Acquisitions Lists

Wilkinson Egyptology Series Online

Egyptology Books and Articles in PDF Online


More on Madame Rubinstein


New post by Timothy Reid:

Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt


The Ancient Egyptian Dead Breathes Thanks to “The Hand in the Mouth”.


New discovery: Hair extensions are as old as ancient Egyptians

Egypt's archaeological sites free for two days


By Mahmoud Nour-Eldin Mohammed, Illustration trainee:

Special guest

By Dr. Giulio Lucarini, University of Cambridge, UK:

Making flour…and not only


Abu Simbel Antiquities celebrates 46 years since temple’s rescue


Lecture: The End of the 19th Dynasty and the 20th Dynasty

Date: 7:30 – 9:00 pm, 03-Oct-2014

Continuing our series on an overview of Egyptian history, the Calgary SSEA is proud to present a talk on the end of the 19th Dynasty and the 20th Dynasty.  With the passing of Ramesses II, Egypt appears to experienced some turmoil. The royal succession was contested in the Theban area with Sety II in the North and Amenmesse in the South.  Exactly how this conflict played out is hotly debated in Egyptology.  What is clear is that the 19th Dynasty ended with a new Dynasty in control.  Far from being a stable era, the 20th Dynasty kings had to contend with a fluctuating Nile, economic pressures and the threat of the Sea Peoples and Libyans attempting to make their way into Egypt.


The Loss of Antiquities from Public Collections


By Arvi Korhonen:

“Groovy” stone objects from Pharaonic settlements


Amarna Project receives NEH grant


The National Geographic film that will include footage of our season will be broadcast on PBS stations here in the United States beginning on October 1. Check local listings for "Black Pharaohs". DVDs will be available through National Geographic after that, and I assume the program will also be available for streaming, but that remains to be seen.


Free admission to museums and sites on World Tourism Day

Hibis Temple to be reopened for public in November

UNESCO seeks truth about alleged improper Step Pyramid renovation

Will Egypt’s latest attempt to regain Rosetta Stone work?

Antiquities minister axes planned King Tut mummy move

Newly recovered stolen Egyptian artifacts on display at Egyptian Museum


The first reported prehistoric grinding stone quarry in the Egyptian Sahara (new paper)

Fire on the rocks! New paper on firesetting in ancient Egyptian stone quarrying


Avaris Is Alive! – Research In The Area R/III At Tell El-Dab'a


Back to the Wadi Gamal terraces!

The end of a long hot summer?


Treasures from Harageh Tomb 72 at National Museums Scotland

Monday, September 29, 2014

Egyptian Mummy's Brain Imprint Preserved in 'Peculiar' Case

By Bahar Gholipour, Staff Writer   |   September 29, 2014

An ancient Egyptian mummy is sparking new questions among archaeologists, because it has one very rare feature: The blood vessels surrounding the mummy's brain left imprints on the inside of the skull.

The researchers are trying to find what process could have led to the preservation of these extremely fragile structures.

The mummified body is that of a man who probably lived more than 2,000 years ago, sometime between the Late Period and the Ptolemaic Period (550 – 150 B.C.) of Egyptian history, the researchers said.

"This is the oldest case of mummified vascular prints" that has been found, study co-author Dr. Albert Isidro told Live Science in an email.

The mummy was recovered in 2010, along with more than 50 others in the Kom al-Ahmar/Sharuna necropolis in Egypt.

But unlike his neighbors in the field, the inside of this man's skull bore the imprints of his brain vessels, with "exquisite anatomical details," for centuries. The prints were cast into the layer of the preservative substances used during the mummification process to coat the inside of the skull.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Al-Alamein site to re-open

Following an extensive restoration, an important archaeological site on the Mediterranean coast is to open next April, writes Nevine El-Aref

Holidaymakers to Egypt’s north coast will have more to entertain them than sun, sand and sea next summer: they will also be able to explore the archaeological site of Marina Al-Alamein, known 2,000 years ago as the town of Leucaspis.
Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty, following a tour of the archaeological site, this week gave the go-ahead for a resumption of restoration work, suspended in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution. Part of the site will be open to tourists next April.
The work is being carried out by a Polish-Egyptian team, led by archaeologist Erysztof Jakubiak from the Institute of Archaeology at Warsaw University. The aim of the project, said Mohamed Al-Sheikha, head of the projects section at the ministry, is not only to preserve the existing site, but also to develop it as a new attraction on the north coast.
The Taposiris Magna site, known as Abusir, is already a popular site with tourists. It is located on the shore of Lake Mariout, about 48 km southwest of Alexandria on the Alexandria-Matrouh road. The site includes the ruins of an ancient temple, a small lighthouse and a series of tombs.
The Marina Al-Alamein site is l96 km west of Alexandra and six km east of Al-Alamein, not far from the World War II memorial. The ancient town stretches over an area one km long and 0.5 km wide, making it the largest archaeological site on Egypt’s north coast.
Although there were historical records for the ancient site of Leucaspis, as well as rudimentary plans of its layout, these had been forgotten by the 1990s, when construction began on the giant Marina holiday resort that today stands near the site. Early construction work soon revealed marble columns and other debris, and archaeologists stepped in to preserve the ruins.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hibis Temple to be reopened for public in November

By Rany Mostafa

CAIRO: Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty has inaugurated the reopening of the 2,500-year-old Temple of Hibis, which is the largest and best preserved temple in Egypt’s Western Desert, Ahmed Mutawa, director of the ministry’s Archaeological Sites Development Department, told The Cairo Post Thursday.

“The third and last phase at the Hibis Temple restoration project, worth 30 million EGP ($4.3 million), has been completed and the temple will be opened for the public in November after decades of renovation,” said Mutawa.

The 71 million EGP project started in 2007 and included the restoration of the temple’s walls, carvings and paintings along with the drainage of groundwater present from the agricultural lands surrounding the temple, Mutawa added.

Located in Al-Kharga Oasis 600 kilometers southwest of Cairo, the temple dates back to the reign of Persian King Darius I in the 27th Egyptian Dynasty (c. 525 B.C.), and was also used as a garrison until 330 B.C., former Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Abdel Halem Nour el-Din told The Cairo Post Thursday.

“A Sphinx avenue flanks the façade of the limestone temple and goes through its gates, courts and sanctuary. It also contains evidence of use in later periods, including the early Christian and Islamic periods, when the temple is strongly believed to have been used by Muslim Pilgrims en route to Mecca,” said Nour el-Din.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 47

Welcome to the Wednesday Weekly, your weekly dose of links to Egyptology news, articles, blogs, events and more!


By Owen Jarus:

Ancient Egyptian Woman with 70 Hair Extensions Discovered

By Megan Gannon:

Pharaoh-Branded Amulet Found at Ancient Copper Mine in Jordan


Open Access Journal: ENIM: Égypte nilotique et méditerranéenne

Acacdemia Fiorentina di Papirologia e Studi sul Mondo Antico Biblioteca On Line1


A gift from a late, great, beauty magnate


By Gianluca Miniaci, Research Fellow, British Museum:

Faience figurines from Middle Kingdom Egypt


New post by Timothy Reid:

Death in Ancient Egypt


“The Hand to the Mouth”. Suckling the Dead in Ancient Egypt.


By Rebekah Miracle (AERA GIS specialist):

The Canary in the Data Mine

By Dr David Jeffreys (director Survey of Memphis, Egypt Exploration Society):

Now comes the hard part…


By Nevine El-Aref:

A dream comes true 


Light at the end of the tunnel......? 

Honorary Curatorships for the Bio bank Team! 


Vatican Tech to Help Restore Egyptian Artworks


Egypt denies claims oldest pyramid damaged in restoration


My Favorite Artifact


Object In Focus: A Fragment Of A “Dummy” Funerary Vessel (E.586)


Organized crime behind $5B in smuggled antiquities: Lehr


The fascinating world of small things


New blog by Julia Thorne:

The basics #1: types of signs


Return to Imbaba!

Starting work!

A dusty day at the site

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pharaoh-Branded Amulet Found at Ancient Copper Mine in Jordan

By Megan Gannon, News Editor   |   September 19, 2014

While exploring ancient copper factories in southern Jordan, a team of archaeologists picked up an Egyptian amulet that bears the name of the powerful pharaoh Sheshonq I.

The tiny artifact could attest to the fabled military campaign that Sheshonq I waged in the region nearly 3,000 years ago, researchers say.

The scarab (called that because it's shaped like a scarab beetle) was found at the copper-producing site of Khirbat Hamra Ifdan in the Faynan district, some 31 miles (50 kilometers) south of the Dead Sea. The site, which was discovered during excavations in 2002, was home to intense metal production during the Early Bronze Age, between about 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C. But there is also evidence of more recent smelting activities at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan during the Iron Age, from about 1000 B.C. to 900 B.C.
Credit: University of California, San Diego

The hieroglyphic sequence on the scarab reads: "bright is the manifestation of Re, chosen of Amun/Re." That moniker corresponds to the throne name of Sheshonq I, the founding monarch of Egypt's 22nd Dynasty, who is believed to have ruled from about 945 B.C. to 924 B.C., according to a description of the artifact published online last week in the journal Antiquity.

The lead author of the paper, Thomas E. Levy, an anthropology professor at the University of California, San Diego, said the function of scarabs changed throughout Egypt's history.

"Most of the time, they were amulets, sometimes jewelry, and periodically, they were inscribed for use as personal or administrative seals," Levy said in a statement. "We think this is the case with the Sheshonq I scarab we found."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Museum Pieces - Vase dedicated to Osiris

Vase dedicated to Osiris

This vessel of red terracotta was found in the tomb of king Djer of the 1st Dynasty at Abydos; it dates from the Ramesside Period and its shape, that of the hieroglyph for 'heart', is very striking. In the centre a mummiform figure of the god Osiris, squatting on a platform, is shown. He wears the white crown, and holds the sign for 'life' (ankh) on his knees. The vertical inscriptions on either side of the god give the names and titles of the two members of the Abydos priesthood who dedicated this vase to Osiris.

Photocredit: The Global Egyptian Museum
Present location: BRUSSELS
Inventory number: E.0579
Dating: 19TH DYNASTY
Archaeological Site: UMM EL-GA`AB/UMM EL-QA`AB
Category: VASE
Material: POTTERY
Height: 34 cm


High priest of Osiris, Sawypaankh
Osiris, lord of the necropolis
Godsfather, priest of Osiris and scribe of the army, Wenennefer.


L. Speleers, Recueil des inscriptions égyptiennes des Musées Royaux du Cinquantenaire à Bruxelles, Bruxelles 1923, 60 nº 251
L. Limme, in Schrijfkunst uit het Oude Egypte - Écritures de l'Égypte ancienne, Bruxelles 1992, 34-35

The tomb of "Osiris"

It is sometimes difficult for us to completely comprehend the great antiquity of Egypt. Consider the fact that by Egypt's 12th Dynasty, some of the tombs of the 1st Dynasty (and earlier) kings of Egypt at Abydos were already over one thousand years old. Yet the Egyptians of that later period in the Middle Kingdom knew that Umm el Ga'ab held the gravesites of Egypt's first kings and thus, they believed, of Osiris himself. These Egyptians investigated this necropolis around the 11th Dynasty, and though we do not know what sort of evidence they used to make their selection, chose the Tomb of Djer as that of Osiris.

At first, the attention given to the tomb was limited, though we see some limited dedications such as an offering table attributable to the 11th Dynasty king Montuhotep III, and a stela fragment we believe may have been contributed by Amenemhet II. However, by the 13th Dynasty, actually as Egypt sank into the Second Intermediate Period, the site began to receive monumental attention, and even as early as the end of the 12th Dynasty, many Egyptians desired to be buried at Umm el Ga'ab. Those who could not be buried there at least wanted to leave some memorial at the site, from a simple votive stela to a full scale cenotaph tomb.

So predominant was the desire to build in this area that eventually, a King Wagaf who presumably was the founder of the 13th Dynasty, erected four stelae in order to mark the sacred area, which was the key part of the wadi leading towards the Tomb of Djer (now the Tomb of Osiris). These stelae, of which one was preserved and placed in the Egyptian Antiquity Museum in Cairo, warned against trespassing and any attempt to build in the area under penalty of death by burning. Hence, we know that people were encroaching on the sacred ground itself with their building projects. Many people came to watch an enactment of a play surrounding Osiris which is referred to as the "Passion Play", and while visiting for this purpose, attempted to obtain preferable lots of land.

From this point onward, the "Tomb of Osiris" grew in importance. Hence, King Khendjer, who ruled soon after King Wagaf, adorned the tomb with the fine basalt image of the recumbent god discovered by Emile Amelineau and Neferhotep I, who was Khendjer's fourth successor to the throne and a fairly prominent ruler for the 13th Dynasty, usurped the four Stelae erected by King Wagaf. He also left behind a sandstone stela that was unearthed by Auguste Mariette near the entrance of the Osiris temple. It describes how Neferhotep I went to the Temple of Re-Atum at Iunu (Heliopolis) to research the correct forms due to Osiris, and afterwards, made renovations deemed necessary and exhorted the Osiris priesthood to maintain them.

The popularity of Umm el Ga'ab and the "Tomb of Osiris" continued into Egypt's late antiquity, only ending with the Persian invasion, though some offerings continued to be placed here even as late as the Roman period.