Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 52

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


By Patrick Kingsley:

New generation of archaeologists takes ancient Egypt into 21st century


Open Access Journal: Papyrology eJournal

Guide to the Yale Papyrus Collection


New post by Timothy Reid:

Egypt: 4000 Years of Art


I spy with my little eye…


Manchester Study Day 14/2/15 – ‘From Amulets to Golden Flies: Understanding Egyptian Jewellery’


Introducing Nefret-Mut


Petrie Museum reveals the hidden secrets of Ancient Egyptian archaeology


Autumn 2014 update from Amarna (received by email)


Tutankhamun: the Truth Uncovered, review: 'let sleeping mummies lie'


Author Kara Cooney gives a ancient take on empowered women


Goodison Egyptology collection in Southport exhibition

Egyptian Philae obelisk revealed anew


New post by Julia Budka:

Crossing borders: from Egypt to Nubia


Tourists flock to watch Abu Simbel solar alignment

German returns statuette to Egypt

Egypt tries to halt sale of 35 ‘stolen’ artifacts at US auction house

Luxor to celebrate anniversary of King Tut tomb discovery at UK travel expo

Egyptian scholars question incest claims in BBC King Tut documentary

Philae Obelisk is examined anew


Avaris, Past and Present


A Palaeolithic, life-size Nubian ibex carved on rock: Adel Kelany with new discoveries in Wadi Abu Subeira, Upper Egypt

The ancient stone quarries in Egypt as a new, serial World Heritage Site?


Understanding Egyptian Collections, Part 2.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Egyptian scholars question incest claims in BBC King Tut documentary

By Rany Mostafa

CAIRO: Several Egyptian archaeologists have deeply questioned the results of recent research that has attributed the death of Egypt’s Pharaoh Tutankhamen to a genetic disorder.

Last week, researchers at the Institute for Mummies and Icemen in Italy issued a report suggesting the parents of Tutankhamen were brother and sister, from whom he inherited genetic impairments that caused his premature death at the age of 19.

Renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass, as quoted by Al-Ahram Sunday, fiercely described the result as “slander” aimed at “distorting the fame of Egypt’s most famous pharaoh.”

Tutankhamen’s parentage is a historical debate, and Hawass said the assumptions claiming his parents were related are nothing but “medical conclusions that lack historical evidence.”

“The report is a media stunt aimed at acquiring fame at the expense of Tutankhamen,” he added.

The report is based on a virtual autopsy that created a full size computer-generated image of Tutankhamen by using 2,000 computerized tomography (CT) scans of the pharaoh’s mummified body, according to the Daily Mail.

The report includes images portraying Tutankhamen with girlish hips, a club foot and buck teeth. It also suggests that Queen Nefertiti—Tutankhamen’s mother—was the sister of his father, Pharaoh Akhenaton.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New generation of archaeologists takes ancient Egypt into 21st century

Young experts bring fresh ideas to help reform institutions in charge of likes of Tutankhamun’s tomb and Giza pyramids

By Patrick Kingsley in Cairo for The Guardian, Thursday 23 October 2014

Five years ago, if archaeologists digging up pharaonic ruins in Egypt found any human bones, they would usually throw them away. “Most Egyptian archaeological missions looked at human remains as garbage,” said Afaf Wahba, a young official at Egypt’s antiquities ministry.

But osteology, the study of bones, is standard practice on digs outside Egypt – and Wahba wants Egyptian teams to follow suit. After a five-year campaign, each Egyptian province is now meant to have an osteologist, and Wahba hopes the ministry will found its own osteology department. But, as she put it: “I am struggling to inform people in the SCA [the ministry’s governing body] that human remains are very important.”

Wahba’s mission is one example of a generational shift that optimists hope can slowly reform Egypt’s bureaucratic state institutions, not least its ministry of state for antiquities (MSA). The MSA has ultimate jurisdiction over arguably the planet’s most impressive collection of monuments and museums, hundreds of sites including the tomb of Tutankhamun, the mosques of medieval Cairo, and – in the Giza pyramids – the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.

“It’s a bit like English Heritage, the British Museum and a university research department rolled into one,” said Chris Naunton, the head of the Egypt Exploration Society (EES), a British charity that supports Egyptian archaeology.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 51

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


King Tut's Health: New Mummy Scans Refute Old Diagnosis of Pharaohs


Doctors think mummy died of appendicitis


King Tutankhamun did not die in chariot crash, virtual autopsy reveals


Tutankhamun does not deserve this 21st-century desecration


Requirements of Professional Mourners in Ancient Egypt.


"Egypt Sunken Secrets" exhibition will be touring 3 European capitals


Greco-Roman museum in Alexandria to undergo restoration

A collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts recovered from London


Episode 37: Imperial Projects

Senuseret I (Part IV) and the Gold of Nubia.


It’s a wrap!


Hatshepsut’s Egypt: Modern Lessons on Feminism from an Ancient Pharaoh


Conserving by copying: 3D Printing Tutankhamun’s Tomb


New post by Julia Budka:

With kith and kin…


'Egypt’s Sunken Treasures’ exhibit to tour Europe starting in December

Metropolitan Museum of Art rescues 36 Egyptian artifacts from auction

Egypt recovers 15 stolen artifacts from U.K. auctions

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

King Tut's Health: New Mummy Scans Refute Old Diagnosis of Pharaohs

by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor   |   October 21, 2014 

The royalty of ancient Egypt suffered from an age-related back disorder, according to a new body scan of the mummies of pharaohs.

The new research clears up a long-standing mummy misdiagnosis, which held that some rulers who lived between about 1492 B.C. and 1153 B.C. had a painful inflammatory disorder called ankylosing spondylitis. This disease would have fused their vertebrae together starting from an early age.

"We are now questioning the reality that ankylosing spondylitis is actually an ancient disease," said study researcher Sahar Saleem of the Kasr Al Ainy Faculty of Medicine in Cairo. Whether it is an ancient disease or not, the altered diagnosis suggests that famed pharaohs, including Ramesses the Great, did not live out their final years in great pain. Instead, their disorder was likely asymptomatic, Saleem told Live Science.

Pharaoh's backbone

The mummies of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties of ancient Egypt are incredibly well-preserved. These were the gilded times of such rulers as the 18th-dynasty boy king Tutankhamun, whose ornate burial mask is a universal symbol of ancient Egypt, and the 19th-dynasty pharaoh Ramesses II, also called "the Great" because of his military success and soaring monuments.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Museum Pieces - Relief of Ptolemy II with Ptah and Sekhmet

Photocredit: Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam
Relief of Ptolemy II with Ptah and Sekhmet

Present location: ALLARD PIERSON MUSEUM [06/002] AMSTERDAM
Inventorynr: APM 8795
Archaeological Site: UNKNOWN
Category: RELIEF
Height: 44 cm
Width: 65 cm

Panel A shows Ptolemy II Philadelphus standing before Ptah, adoring him and presenting with his right hand a statuette of Ma'at to the god. The king wears the nemes-head dress with uraeus and the ceremonial beard. He is adorned with the wesekh-collar, bracelets and armlets. His clothing is a short, smooth kilt with a belt. Panel B shows the god Ptah standing in a shrine, wearing his usual tight-fitting garment and skull cap. He too wears the ceremonial beard and a collier with a counterpoise on his back. With both hands he holds a staff, of which the top is formed by the hieroglyphs meaning "prosperity", "life" and "durability". The goddess Sekhmet, on panel C, wears a long dress with shoulder bands, a long wig, a collier, two armlets and two bracelets. On her head is the sun disk with a uraeus. In her left hand she holds a staff which ends in a papyrus flower, in her right hand an ankh-sign. The three figures are finely carved, in contrast to the hieroglyphic inscriptions.

(1) Offering Ma'at (truth) to his father, that he may give life.

(2) [Horus] of Edfu, the great god, lord of the sky.

(3) Userkare-[meramen] ("Mighty is the soul of Re, beloved of Amun"),
(4) [Ptolem]y, may he live eternally.
(5) May all protection, life and prosperity be behind him like Re.

(6) Ptah, lord of Ma'at, king of the Two Lands,
(7) fair of face, who is upon the great throne,
(8) the [great] god, who is in Dendera.

(9) I give you an eternity as king of the Two Lands.

(10) [Sekhmet, ...] of the Two Lands, mistress of all foreign lands,
(11) [..., the great], beloved of Ptah, mistress of the sky.

(12) I give you all joy like Re.

W.A. van Leer, MVEOL, 3, 1936, 12-13/pl. III (nr. 7-8)
B. Porter, R.L.B. Moss, Topographical bibliography, VI, 1939, 110
W.M. van Haarlem (ed.), CAA Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam, Fasc. 1, 1986, 51-53
R.A. Lunsingh Scheurleer, W.M. van Haarlem, Gids voor de afdeling Egypte, Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam, 1986, 28, 30/fig. 11 (nr. 9)
W.M. van Haarlem, De Egyptische staatsgodsdienst, MVAPM 44 (september 1988), 8-16: 12, 14/fig. 29
R.A. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Egypte, geschenk van de Nijl, 1992, 104, 103/fig. 70


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Meidum Pyramid site under restoration in Upper Egypt

The Meidum Pyramid’s archaeological site in Beni Suef is being restored by the government in an attempt to attract tourists to Egypt

By Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 16 Oct 2014

Antiquities minister Mamdouh El-Damaty embarked on Thursday on an inspection tour around the different archaeological sites and monuments in the upper Egyptian city of Beni Suef escorted by the city’s governor Magdi El-Batiti and Youssef Khalifa, head of the ancient Egyptian section.

The area of Meidum Pyramid was the first site to be visited. During the tour, El-Damaty announced that a comprehensive restoration project is to begin immediately to make the site more tourist friendly.

The development project will include the establishment of a sound and light show on the ancient history of Beni Suef and the construction work of Meidum pyramid.

A new lighting system powered by solar energy is to be installed as well as a visitor’s centre equipped with a cinema, bookstore, gift shops and cafeteria.

El-Damaty also gave the go ahead for the ministry’s excavation works at Ehnasia site to conduct further exploration in addition to the restoration project that is already underway. The site is to be developed into an open-air museum.

The Meidum pyramid consists of large mud-break mastabas which were originally built for the last third dynasty king Huni. Construction continued during the reign of his successor King Senefru.

The architect who continued Meidum construction was the successor to well-known ancient Egyptian architect Imotep, who built the Djoser step pyramid. However, the modification made Imotep’s design and attempts to extend the structure led to its partial collapse.