Monday, October 5, 2015

Ruins of ancient Egyptian temple unearthed under modern Cairo

By Rany Mostafa

CAIRO: Ruins of a 2,400 year-old shrine were unearthed from beneath Cairo’s modern district of Mataria, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced Monday.

“The finds were discovered during the ongoing excavation work carried out by an Egyptian-German archaeology mission. The shrine belonged to the 30th Dynasty Pharaoh Nectanebo I (379 B.C.-360 B.C.,)” said Damaty.

The mission also unearthed remains of limestone colonnade and a “well-preserved” ceiling that are strongly believed to have been a part of an ancient Egyptian temple, Damaty said, adding that ruins of the mud brick outer enclosure wall surrounded the temple, along with royal bust belonged to the New Kingdom (1580 B.C.-1080 B.C.) Pharaoh Merenptah, were also excavated in the area.

Nectanebo I was the founder of the 30th Dynasty: the last native Egyptian royal family to rule ancient Egypt before Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 B.C., Archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post.

Archeology surveys carried out in Heliopolis have previously revealed prehistoric human settlements under this part of the modern city of Cairo, said Damaty.

Little remains of what was once one of the ancient Egyptians’ most sacred cities, since much of the stones used in the construction of the temples were later plundered and reused in building modern buildings, according to Sabban.

Heliopolis, known in ancient Egypt as Iunu, was Egypt’s most ancient capital city.

“The area was first excavated in the early 20th Century and most of the finds ended up in private collections. The obelisk of the Middle Kingdom Pharaoh Senusert I, probably the oldest standing obelisk in Egypt, is among the most significant excavations at the area,” according to Sabban.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Egypt recovers Stolen relief of King Seti I from London

A New Kingdom relief illegally smuggled out of the country has been retrieved from England

By Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 4 Oct 2015

Photocredit: Ahram Online
A limestone relief dating back to the New Kingdom period, between the 16th and 11th centuries BC, was recovered Sunday from an auction hall in London after two weeks of negotiations.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the ministry was informed about the relief by the curator at the British Museum, Marcel Mary.

Mary sent a photograph of the piece to the ministry asking for its authenticity, as the piece was put on display in an auction hall in London.

Eldamaty assigned an archeological committee to inspect the relief. The committee later confirmed its authenticity. 

A report was then filed at Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities police and a similar one was sent to Interpol in order to stop the sale of the relief.

Ali Ahmed, Director of the Recuperation Antiquities Department, explained that the relief was then confiscated by the British police and is due to come home next week.

He explained that the relief was stolen due to illegal excavations. The relief is engraved with a scene depicting the 19th dynasty King Seti I before goddess Hathor and god Web Wawat. It also bears hieroglyphic text and the names of several ancient Egyptian deities of Assiut governorate in Upper Egypt.

“It is a very important relief as it depicts a not yet discovered temple of king Seti I in Assiut,” Ahmed pointed out.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Outcomes of the “Burial of Nefertity” ’s International conference

Ministry of Antiquities 
Press Office

Antiquities Minister Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty declared that the evidences that the British Scientist “Nicholas Reeves” relied upon using a new technology to which previous generations had no access, to come up with his new archaeological hypothesis might lead us to a phenomenal archaeological discovery that could be similar to that of discovering the Tomb of Tut Ankh Amun itself. The declaration came in the international press conference held yesterday October 1st 2015 at the State Information Service, an event witnessed by a huge number of Egyptologists, scientists, reporters and journalists from all over the world.

Eldamaty pointed out that he agrees with Reeves in his theory concerning the possibility of the presence of some hidden chambers that might embrace the burial of a Royal Lady, probably “Kia” mother of King Tut Ankh Amun or “Merit Aten” wife of “Semenkh ka Re” brother of the Boy King and his successor. Eldamaty expressed his sincere wishes that the rear wall of Tut Ankh Amun’s Tomb might reveal Nefertity’s Tomb as anticipated by Reeves, emphasizing that the Ministry of Antiquities is doing its best to facilitate the work performed by Reeves. He also said that this file will be discussed immediately by the Permanent Committee to take the necessary procedures.

Eldamaty added that actual works inside the Tomb is expected to start within one to three months after studying and deciding which is the best technical procedure to be used in order not cause any harm to the original Tomb.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Weekly # 90

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



Upload Meketre


Old Kingdom statue to be repatriated from France


Measuring the Archaeological World


Brooklyn Museum Wilbour Library of Egyptology

Happy #Caturday from the Brooklyn Museum!


Stolen wooden statuette to be repatriated to Egypt from France

120 artifacts en route to exhibition in Japan

Egypt says King Tut’s tomb may have hidden chambers


DAYSCHOOL 24/10/15 – Egypt: 7000 Years of History In A Day!


Looking Great for Eternity: Egypt's Predynastic Cosmetic Palettes

Tutankhamun’s mask and tomb off view to tourists from October

Signs point to two hidden rooms at Tutankhamun’s tomb, experts say


Stolen Egyptian statuette recovered from France

Anticipation grows at possibility of Tutankhamun tomb's hidden chambers

Egyptian minister believes hidden chamber may not contain Queen Nefertiti


Tutankhamun Tomb Update

The Trial Of Lord Carnarvon

Back From The Deep


Episode 53: Rulers of Foreign Lands

The Hyksos - Invaders


The Search Continues: Scientists to Use Radar in Hunt for the Tomb of Nefertiti

First kidney of ancient Egyptian mummy was found because the man was diseased


Long-Lost 'Secret Rooms' May Have Been Found In King Tut's Tomb


The secret rooms of Tutankhamun


Inspection of King Tut’s Tomb Reveals Hints of Hidden Chambers


Pulling the front lock of hair in Ancient Egypt?


The Tomb of Nefertiti


The World's Oldest Papyrus and What It Can Tell Us About the Great Pyramids


Kidney Spotted For First Time in Egyptian Mummy

King Tut's Tomb Reveals Two Secret Chambers


The Cinquantenaire Museum mummies scanned at the Saint-Luc clinics


Surveying in the Mansion of Gold; The Hatnub travertine (Egyptian Alabaster) quarries near Minya

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Egyptian minister believes hidden chamber may not contain Queen Nefertiti

Egypt’s minister of antiquities posits that the hidden chamber behind Tutankhamun’s tomb’s northern wall could be of his mother Kiya

By Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 29 Sep 2015

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty opposes part of the theory of British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves, who claims that a hidden chamber located behind the tomb’s northern wall could be Queen Nefertiti’s resting place.
Eldamaty suggests that the chamber could belong to his mother, Queen Kiya, and not his stepmother, Queen Nefertiti, for two reasons.

The first reason, according to the minister, is that when Tutankhamun came to the throne, Nefertiti was already deceased. Secondly, when Tutanakhmun restored the cult of Amun and abandoned his father’s monotheistic religion, leaving the Aten capital Akhtaten to Thebes, he certainly would have taken his mother Kiya with him.

Eldamaty explained to Ahram Online that Tutankhamun’s unexpected death prompted the Valley of the Kings’ priests to search for an already complete tomb to bury him in, as they only had 70 days to place his mummy in its final resting place. "Kiya’s tomb was an ideal choice," Eldamaty suggested.

Eldamaty asserted that they may have selected a completed tomb of one of his family members, such as Kiya’s, taking a section of her tomb and dedicating it to Tutankhamun.

He added that an extension was possibly built in order to house the number of shrines made for him, replacing the several antechambers that are normally found in a royal tomb.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Anticipation grows at possibility of Tutankhamun tomb's hidden chambers

Examinations completed on Monday indicate the theory of British archeologist Nicholas Reeves may well be right

By Nevine El-Aref , Monday 28 Sep 2015

Antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty announced on Monday that the first examinations carried out by himself and British archeologist Nicholas Reeves in Luxor on Tutankhamun's tomb have revealed that the tomb's northern and western walls both hide chambers.

There are scratching and markings on both walls like those found on the entrance gate of Tutankhamun's tomb when it was discovered in 1922, Eldamaty explained.

"This indicates that the western and northern walls of Tutankhamun's tomb could hide two burial chambers," Eldamaty told Ahram Online.

Nicholas Reeves said their investigations showed the tomb's ceiling extends behind the northern and western walls. He is now almost convinced his theory suggesting the existence of two undiscovered chambers is correct.

"After our first examination of the walls we can do nothing more until we receive the all-clear from the radar device to confirm the our findings," Reeves told Ahram Online.

Eldamaty has promised that on 4 November, the same day Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered, the radar results of scans on the two walls will be announced.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Museum Pieces - Coffin cover of King Antef Sekhemrê Herouhermaât

Coffin cover of King Antef Sekhemrê Herouhermaât

By Rigault Patricia

The coffin cover of Antef Sekhemrê Herouhermaât represents the king as a mummy wrapped in a shroud decorated with two large winged figures. On his head the dead sovereign is wearing the pleated cloth headdress known as a "nemes," adorned with feathers. A broad necklace with fasteners in the shape of falcon heads covers his chest. The relatively rudimentary depiction of the body and face, as well as the brightly colored design, give this royal coffin a rather crude appearance. 

"Rishi" coffins

These mummy-shaped coffins, entirely decorated with feathers and known as "rishi" ("feathered" in Arabic), appeared primarily in the Theban region from the Seventeenth Dynasty. This highly unusual style continued into the Eighteenth Dynasty. Constructed or carved from wood, they were decorated according to the status of the dead person, whether a member of the royal family or merely a private citizen. In general, the latter made do with a crudely carved coffin decorated with a bright, colorful design. Royal coffins, by contrast, were more sophisticated and were sometimes even richly gilded.

A modest royal coffin

The coffin of King Antef Sekhemrê Herouhermaât is exceptional in that it is more like the coffin of a private individual than that of a sovereign. This may have been due to the brevity of his reign. Royal or not, the head was almost invariably covered with the "nemes," a pleated cloth headdress, while the pharaonic emblem of the cobra was often placed on the forehead. Finally, a large necklace with fasteners in the shape of falcons' heads often adorned the chest.

The Antef kings and the Seventeenth Dynasty

An inscription painted in a vertical column in the center of the coffin indicates the birth name of the king, Antef, while another inscription on the necklace, added in ink probably at a later date, gives his pharaonic name, also inscribed in a cartouche: Sekhemrê Herouhermaât. 
This is therefore one of the Antef kings who reigned in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, a troubled time that still has not been fully elucidated. In the Seventeenth Dynasty, for example, the sequence of kings has not been established with certainty, and Sekhemrê Herouhermaât's place in the order of succession is unsure. Was he the direct successor of Antef Oupmaât, whose magnificent gilded coffin, displayed alongside this one in the Louvre, was discovered at the same time? The inscriptions on this second coffin indicate that this was a "gift from his brother, King Antef." Or did he rather accede to the throne after Antef Noubkheperrê, whose beautiful coffin, also gilded, is now in the British Museum? At present, we do not know the answer to these questions.

Technical description
Couvercle du cercueil d'un roi Antef (Sékhemrê Hérouhermaât)
vers 1600 avant J.-C. (17e dynastie)
proviendrait de Dra Abou'l Naga
bois enduit et peint, yeux incrustés de pierre
H. : 1,88 m. ; L. : 0,48 m.
E 3020