Monday, April 21, 2014

Two Saiti tombs unearthed near Egypt's Minya

Two 26th Dynasty tombs have been discovered at Al-Bahnasa archaeological site in Middle Egypt, containing mummies, coins and even mummified fish

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Apr 2014

A Spanish-Egyptian team has uncovered two 26th Dynasty tombs during excavation work at Al-Bahnasa archaeological site in Minya.

Al-Bahnasa was known in the ancient Egyptian era as the town of Pr-Medjet, developing in the Graeco-Roman period to be the city of Oxyrhynchus.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Antiquities, the first tomb belongs to a scribe whose his name is not yet identified but was important, having influence on Egypt’s cultural sphere. The tomb houses some of his funerary collection. A bronze inkwell and two small bamboo pens were found beside the deceased’s mummy, which is in a very good state of preservation.
Photocredit: Ahram Online

Ali El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, explained that a large number of mummified fishes were also unearthed inside the tomb as well as the lid of a canopic jar. Among the fishes is one representing the symbol of the city. “It is the first time to find stuffed or mummified fishes inside a tomb,” said El-Asfar.

The second tomb, said Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of antiquities, belongs to a priest who was the head of a family many of whose members were priests in the Osirion Temple. This temple was uncovered recently two kilometres west of the tomb.

A large collection of stone sarcophagi, which some are broken, was found along with canopic jars carved in alabaster and bearing hieroglyphic texts as well as a collection of bronze Osirian statuettes. A collection of bronze coins was found inside the second tomb.

The large number of coins reveals that the Saiiti era was one of Egypt’s flourishing periods. Osireion statues and bronze coins dating back to the 26th Dynasty were also found in the tomb.

Joseph Padro, head of the Spanish mission, said: “The Spanish mission of Barcelona University has been working in Egypt in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities since 1992. During this period, many discoveries were made and this discovery comes as a reward for excavation work this season.”

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/99433/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Two-Saiti-tombs-unearthed-near-Egypts-Minya.aspx

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Museum Pieces - Head of Nectanebo II


Head of Nectanebo II

Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 30, reign of Nectanebo II, 362–343 B.C.

DIMENSIONS
height x width x depth 31 x 24.5 x 24 cm (11 13/16 x 9 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.)

MEDIUM OR TECHNIQUE
Granodiorite

CLASSIFICATION
Sculpture

ACCESSION NUMBER
2000.637

ON VIEW
Egypt: Late Period Gallery - 216

This superb portrait of Egypt’s last native pharaoh is the product of three thousand years’ expertise in carving hard stone. The volumes of his helmet-shaped crown — the Blue Crown, or khepresh, are sleek and streamlined, almost aerodynamic. The artist reveled in the mottled texture of the stone, and polished it to a glistening sheen in a painstaking process reserved for the most important statues. 

Nectanebo II was known as the favorite of the gods, renowned for his piety, devotion to the sacred animal cults, lavish gifts of land, restoration of cult statues, and founding of new temples. Thirty sites from the Delta to Elephantine and as far west as Siwa attest to his extraordinary building activity: fourteen completely new structures plus extensions to existing sanctuaries and gifts of temple furniture. Such expenditures would have been remarkable at any time but were particularly so when the country was under constant threat of invasion from the Persians. 

In 343 B.C. Nectanebo II was defeated by the Persians. Nothing is known of his death. Legend has it that he escaped to Macedonia. A skilled magician, he appeared to Queen Olympias in her bedchamber disguised as her husband Philip, and sired the future Alexander the Great. It is certain that he was honored under the Ptolemies, for whom he provided an ideal role model as pharaoh. A cult that worshipped Nectanebo II as a divine falcon, the epitome of kingship, persisted at least until the reign of Ptolemy IV.

Source: http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/head-of-nectanebo-ii-272158

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 29

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


THE JERUSALEM POST


3,300-year-old Egyptian coffin found in Jezreel Valley

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/3300-year-old-Egyptian-coffin-found-in-Jezreel-Valley-347980

HAIR AND DEATH IN ANCIENT EGYPT

by María Rosa Valdesogo:


The two Mourners Isis and Nephtys in the Egyptian Coffins of XIII Dynasty.

http://hairanddeathinancientegypt.com/2014/04/08/the-two-mourners-isis-and-nephtys-in-the-egyptian-coffins-of-xiii-dynasty/

Nut places the two mourners in some coffins of the XII Dynasty.
http://hairanddeathinancientegypt.com/2014/04/15/nut-places-the-two-mourners-in-some-coffins-of-the-xii-dynasty/

EGYPT AT THE MANCHESTER MUSEUM

Texts in Translation #13: The Stela of Sobek-khu (Acc. no. 3306)

http://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/texts-in-translation-13-the-stela-of-sobek-khu-acc-no-3306/

The Inspiration of Shabtis – an Artist’s Perspective
http://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/the-inspiration-of-shabtis-an-artists-perspective/

ARCHAEOLOGY

Messengers to the Gods

http://www.archaeology.org/issues/124-1403/features/1724-egypt-animal-mummies-brooklyn-museum

AHRAM ONLINE

By Nevine El-Aref:


Egyptian police confiscate three mummies from smuggling gang
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/98836/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Egyptian-police-confiscate-three-mummies-from-smug.aspx

Free admission to all of Egypt's archaeological sites, 18 & 19 April
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/99136/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Free-admission-to-all-of-Egypts-archaeological-sit.aspx

By Amer Sultan:

Briton fined £500 by UK court for attempted sale of smuggled Egypt antiquities
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/99060/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Briton-fined-%C2%A3-by-UK-court-for-attempted-sale-of-s.aspx

AL-AHRAM WEEKLY

By Nevine El-Aref:


Replica for Tutankhamun
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/5875/47/Replica-for-Tutankhamun.aspx

EGYPTOLOGY NEWS

Amarna, Spring Season 2014, second report from Barry Kemp

http://egyptology.blogspot.nl/2014/04/amarna-spring-season-2014-second-report.html

DAILY MAIL

By Fiona Macrae:


Unravelled after 3,000 years, the secrets of the singing mummy: CT scans peer through the burial case and bandages to reveal life of the person hidden inside
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2600526/CT-scan-reveals-spatula-lodged-inside-skull-2-600-year-old-mummy-used-scoop-brains.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

NAUTILUS

BY ROSE EVELETH:

The Curse of the Unlucky Mummy
http://nautil.us/issue/12/feedback/the-curse-of-the-unlucky-mummy

COMPANY OF IMAGES

Company of Images: Modelling the ancient Egyptian imaginary world of the Middle Bronze Age

International Conference: 18-20 September 2014: Institute of Archaeology, University College, London

The purpose of this conference is to explore the fertile imaginary world of Middle Bronze Age Egypt (2000-1500BC) through its material culture and the archaeological sources from which such material is recovered.  
http://www.companyofimages.com/

LUXOR TIMES

New blogentries:

Two reliefs are reported missing or maybe stolen from Luxor temple.
http://luxortimesmagazine.blogspot.nl/2014/04/two-reliefs-are-reported-missing-or.html

Exclusive photos of the stolen antiquities, Facts on Luxor Temple theft including a statement from Dr. Raymond Johnson
http://luxortimesmagazine.blogspot.nl/2014/04/exclusive-photos-of-stolen-antiquities.html

THE ANCIENT WORLD ONLINE

Heidelberger historische Bestände: Ägyptologische Literatur – digital
http://ancientworldonline.blogspot.nl/2014/04/heidelberger-historische-bestande.html

EGYPT CENTRE, SWANSEA

Something I don’t know much about: Predynastic Pottery
http://egyptcentre.blogspot.nl/2014/04/something-i-dont-know-much-about.html

TETISHERI

New Egyptology book releases: March 2014
http://www.tetisheri.co.uk/3/post/2014/04/new-egyptology-book-releases-march-2014.html

UCL MUSEUMS & COLLECTIONS BLOG

New blogentry:

Pottery Project guest Blog: Pottery on the move.
http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/2014/04/15/pottery-project-guest-blog-pottery-on-the-move/

ANCIENT EGYPT AND A MAPLE LEAF

New posts by Thomas H. Greiner:

Egypt: Here I come!
http://thomasgreiner.com/2014/04/13/egypt-here-i-come/

What’s the Buzz at Giza?
http://thomasgreiner.com/2014/04/15/whats-the-buzz-at-giza/

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ANIMAL BIO BANK

Wow, what a week!
http://ancientegyptbiobank.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/wow-what-a-week/

PAST HORIZONS

HEART DISEASE FOUND IN FIVE AMARA WEST SKELETONS
http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2014/heart-disease-found-in-five-amara-west-skeletons

ACROSS BORDERS

By Julia Budka:

Post-excavation working steps in Vienna
http://acrossborders.oeaw.ac.at/post-excavation-working-steps-in-vienna/

Categories of finds from Sai, New Kingdom town – some preliminary numbers
http://acrossborders.oeaw.ac.at/categories-of-finds-from-sai-new-kingdom-town-some-preliminary-numbers/

THE BRITISH MUSEUM

Assistant Project Curator: Amara West Ceramics

The Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan are recruiting for an Assistant Project Curator who will support the Amara West Research Project. The successful applicant will take responsibility for documenting, analysing and researching ceramic assemblages from the site. You will work closely with the Project Director, Project Curator and other researchers and scientists.
https://atsv7.wcn.co.uk/search_engine/jobs.cgi?SID=amNvZGU9MTQxMjcxMCZ2dF90ZW1wbGF0ZT02NzImb3duZXI9NTAyNzczNSZvd25lcnR5cGU9ZmFpciZicmFuZF9pZD0wJnJlcXNpZz0xMzk3NTYwNDI3LWJlYWE0ZTY5MGIzZmQ5ZGZhMzMyYzgxYTQxYzhmNGM5NzU0NzlhYmY=

THE SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF ANCIENT EGYPT

One Great Day: Two Great Speakers...
Excavations at Amarna
Barry Kemp
What Killed Tutankhamun?
Chris Naunton, EES 

Saturday 12 July 2014
at 10.30 am

Admission to this event is by ticket only: 

£7.00 each (see Homepage for booking details)
http://www.ssae.org.uk/events-2010.htm

EES DELTA SURVEY

Friday update from Tell Buweib
http://deltasurvey.tumblr.com/post/82372805892/friday-update-from-tell-buweib

Casemate, flooded fields and bee-eaters
http://deltasurvey.tumblr.com/post/82688083254/casemate-flooded-fields-and-bee-eaters

EES TELL MUTUBIS SURVEY 

Return to the site!
http://tellmutubis.tumblr.com/post/81283939915/return-to-the-site


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Unravelled after 3,000 years, the secrets of the singing mummy

By Fiona Macrae

Her body has lain undisturbed for almost 3,000 years.

Now, thanks to modern technology, the secrets of Tamut’s life are being unwrapped without upsetting her peace.

Using a CT scanner in London hospitals, experts from the British Museum peered through the intricately decorated burial case and the multiple layers of linen bandages to the person hidden inside.

The electronic excavation showed Tamut to have received the most lavish level of mummification, with amulets and other mystical jewels buried with her. 

These include artificial eyes, to allow her to see in the afterlife, thin plates of gold or another precious metal on her finger and toe nails and metal plates designed to magically heal the wounds left by the embalmer.

Some of the amulets were placed on her body – others were put inside, beside her vital organs.

Her hair was short, likely because she wore a wig, and examination of her pelvis suggests she was at least 35 when she died. The cause of death is unknown – but the scans provide a tantalising clue.

They show a large part of the femoral artery in her upper thigh to be clogged with fat, a piece of which could have broken off and triggered a heart attack or a stroke.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Messengers to the Gods

During a turbulent period in ancient Egypt, common people turned to animal mummies to petition the gods, inspiring the rise of a massive religious industry

For decades, 30 boxes lay forgotten in the storage vaults of the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptology department. The contents had not been catalogued, or even seen, since the 1930s and 40s, when they were purchased from the New-York Historical Society. But in 2009, curatorial assistant Kathy Zurek-Doule finally opened the boxes. Lying nestled inside each one was an elaborately wrapped mummy in the shape of an animal. Ibises, hawks, cats, dogs, snakes, and even a shrew were all represented in the collection, which had been amassed by a wealthy New York businessman in the mid-nineteenth century. Faced with an unexpected trove of objects unlike any other the museum has, Egyptology curator Edward Bleiberg and his team embarked on a comprehensive study of the mummies. The rediscovered objects gave Bleiberg the chance to investigate a question that has puzzled archaeologists ever since they first realized that vast animal cemeteries along the Nile hold millions of mummies: Why did the ancient Egyptians invest so much in the afterlife of creatures?

Unlike Greeks and Romans, ancient Egyptians believed animals possess a soul, or ba, just as humans do. “We forget how significant it is to ascribe a soul to an animal,” says Bleiberg. “For ancient Egyptians, animals were both physical and spiritual beings.” In fact, the ancient Egyptian language had no word for “animal” as a separate category until the spread of Christianity. Animal cults flourished outside the established state temples for much of Egyptian history and animals played a critical role in Egypt’s spiritual life. The gods themselves sometimes took animal form. Horus, the patron god of Egypt, was often portrayed with the head of a hawk; Thoth, the scribe god, was represented as an ibis or a baboon; and the fertility goddess Hathor was depicted as a cow. Even the pharaohs revered animals, and at least a few royal pets were mummified. In 1400 B.C., the pharaoh Amenhotep II went to the afterlife accompanied by his hunting dog, and a decade later his heir Thutmose IV was buried with a royal cat.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

3,300-year-old coffin from time of pharaohs found in northern Israel

Researchers find coffin with image of a person and rare gold signet ring bearing name of Egyptian pharoah Seti I, father of Ramses II.

By Nir Hasson | Apr. 9, 2014

A 3,300-year-old Egyptian coffin from the time of the pharaohs has been discovered in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The cylindrical clay coffin from the Late Bronze Age, which was discovered with the skeleton of an adult inside, has a cover fashioned in the image of a person, called an anthropoidal lid. It is the first anthropoidal coffin found in the country in 50 years.

A rare gold signet ring was discovered near the coffin, with the gold-encased scarab seal bearing the name of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I. That Egyptian ruler is the father of Ramses II, identified by some scholars as the pharaoh mentioned in the biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, which Jews around the world will be celebrating on Passover next week.

Photo by Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
The coffin, dating to the 13th century B.C.E., was discovered near Tel Shadud amid the skeleton of an adult and objects that appear to have been meant as religious offerings, including food storage vessels, tableware, cultic vessels and animal bones.

"As was the custom, it seems these were used as offerings for the gods, and were also meant to provide the dead with sustenance in the afterlife," excavation directors Edwin van den Brink, Dan Kirzner and the Israel Antiquities Authority's Ron Be'eri said in a statement.

The skeleton of an adult was found inside the clay coffin, and the researchers said the corpse appears to have belonged to an official of Canaanite origin who was engaged in the service of the Egyptian government, or to a wealthy person who imitated Egyptian funeral customs.

"An ordinary person could not afford the purchase of such a coffin," the researchers said. "It is obvious the deceased was a member of the local elite."

The discovery of the coffin at Tel Shadud is evidence of Egyptian control of the Jezreel Valley in the Late Bronze Age, the Israel Antiquities Authority said. During the period when the pharaohs governed the country, Egyptian culture greatly influenced the local Canaanite upper class.

The antiquities authority is looking into the possibility of sampling the DNA from inside the coffin to see if the deceased was originally a Canaanite or an Egyptian who was buried in Canaan.

The graves of two men and two women who may have been members of his family were also located near the coffin.

Next to the skeleton were buried pottery, a bronze dagger, bronze bowl and hammered pieces of bronze.

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium-1.584757#

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 28

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


UCHICAGO NEWS


World’s oldest weather report could revise Bronze Age chronology

http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/04/01/world-s-oldest-weather-report-could-revise-bronze-age-chronology

AHRAM ONLINE


By Nevine El-Aref:


New study explains how ancient Egyptians mummified meat

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/98052/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/New-study-explains-how-ancient-Egyptians-mummified.aspx

Egyptian ministries working to get back stolen cartonnage

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/98421/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Egyptian-ministries-working-to-get-back-stolen-car.aspx

AL-AHRAM WEEKLY


By Nevine El-Aref:


Resurrection at Thebes?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/5853/47/Resurrection-at-Thebes-.aspx

By Gamal Nkrumah:


Knowing Nubia

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/5854/23/Knowing-Nubia.aspx

LIVESCIENCE


By Owen Jarus:


Ancient Egyptian Mummy Found With Brain, No Heart

http://www.livescience.com/44644-ancient-egyptian-mummy-has-no-heart.html

EGYPT AT THE MANCHESTER MUSEUM


MAES Lecture 14/4/14: Prof. Rosalie David – The Priests of Ancient Egypt


The next Manchester Ancient Egypt Society Bob Partridge Memorial Lecture will be given by Prof. Rosalie David


The Priests of Ancient Egypt, Practioners of Magic and Medicine


Monday 14th April, 7:30pm

Days Inn, Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3AL
All welcome

The priesthood dominated and permeated almost every aspect of ancient Egyptian society, and yet there have been very few studies of their impact on this civilisation.

Professor David is currently undertaking a detailed study of the priesthood and the contribution it made to life in Egypt, and this lecture will explore one important aspect of the work – how the priests functioned for over three thousand years as the main practitioners of medicine and magic.

http://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/maes-lecture-14414-prof-rosalie-david-the-priests-of-ancient-egypt/

THE ANCIENT WORLD ONLINE


New blogentry:


Open Access Journal: Thots- Infoheft des Collegium Aegyptium e.V.: Förderkreis des Instituts für Ägyptologie der Uni München

http://ancientworldonline.blogspot.nl/2012/11/open-access-journal-thots-infoheft-des.html

IN THE ARTIFACT LAB


A new material in the Lab

http://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/2014/04/02/a-new-material-in-the-lab/

Au revoir, Laura!

http://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/2014/04/08/au-revoir-laura/

AERA


By Emmy Malak (AERA archaeologist and object registrar):


Mysteries and Puzzles

http://www.aeraweb.org/blog/mysteries-and-puzzles/

UCL MUSEUMS & COLLECTIONS BLOG


Pottery Project Guest Blog: Ceramic Inheritance

http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/2014/04/06/pottery-project-guest-blog-ceramic-inheritance/

GEBEL EL SILSILA SURVEY PROJECT


Geology, quarrying techniques, lithics and rock art – week 5 at Gebel el Silsila

http://gebelelsilsilaepigraphicsurveyproject.blogspot.nl/2014/04/geology-quarrying-techniques-lithics.html

DEMONTHINGS - ANCIENT EGYPTIAN DEMONOLOGY PROJECT


Ancient Egyptian Demonology Conference – SAVE THE DATE!


Preliminary preparations have begun for the third in a series of meetings of the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project. The theme of this international conference is:


Demon Things:

Ancient Egyptian manifestations of liminal entities
March 14-17, 2016

The conference is co-organized by Swansea University’s Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: 2K (Research Institute for Arts and Humanities) and the Egypt Centre.


Confirmed speakers include:


Zuzanna Bennett

Hans Fischer-Elfert
Carolyn Graves-Brown
Panagiotis Kousoulis
Rita Lucarelli
Anthony Spalinger
Kasia Szpakowska
Felicitas Weber
http://www.demonthings.com/demonology-conference/

PAST HORIZONS


EVIDENCE FROM TEMPEST STELA MAY SHIFT PHARAOH CHRONOLOGY

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2014/evidence-from-tempest-stela-may-shift-pharaoh-chronology

GARRY SHAW


Little Known Egyptian Myths: Seth Steals Osiris' Corpse (Papyrus Jumilhac)

http://garryshawegypt.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/little-known-egyptian-myths-seth-steals.html

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEWS WATCH


Explorers Journal:


Continuing Excavations at an Ancient Burial Site Last Touched in 1919

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/04/continuing-excavations-at-an-ancient-burial-site-last-touched-in-1919/

EES DELTA SURVEY


Defining the Buweib temple’s sanctuary

http://deltasurvey.tumblr.com/post/81487816253/defining-the-buweib-temples-sanctuary

Dating the Buweib temple, baking bread and gratuitous cat No.2

http://deltasurvey.tumblr.com/post/81674807402/dating-the-buweib-temple-baking-bread-and-gratuitous

Hot day at Tell Buweib

http://deltasurvey.tumblr.com/post/81882590454/hot-day-at-tell-buweib

A temple, a casemate building and gratuitous cat No.3

http://deltasurvey.tumblr.com/post/82096066609/a-temple-a-casemate-building-and-gratuitous-cat-no-3

EGYPT EXPLORATION SOCIETY

A new collaborative project announced between UCL, The EES and The Griffith Institute!

‘Artefacts of Excavation’
http://ees.ac.uk/news/index.html