Thursday, October 31, 2013

The necropolis opens

After a long period of restoration, the Al-Muzawaka necropolis in Dakhla Oasis was officially inaugurated this week. Nevine El-Aref attended the opening ceremony

Within a rocky, table-top mound in the Al-Qasr village in Dakhla Oasis are 300 Roman-period tombs, all of them unpainted except for those belonging to the priests Petosiris and Sadosiris. These tombs are vividly painted with scenes combining the ancient Egyptian and Roman deities of the time.

The tombs and the larger necropolis of which they are a part were originally discovered in 1972 by the Egyptian archaeologist Ahmed Fakhri, who called them Al-Muzawaka due to the vivid paintings they contain.

The walls of Petosiris’s tomb are painted with fair-haired, Roman-nosed figures in Pharaonic poses and curly-haired angels. On the ceiling is a zodiac with a bearded Janus figure. The owner of the tomb is also featured in the rear right-hand corner standing on a turtle and holding aloft a snake and a fish in a curious amalgam of Egyptian and Graeco-Roman symbols.

The wall paintings in Sadorisis’s tomb show the deceased with various deities: before the ancient Egyptian god Anubis while his heart is being weighed after death; before Osiris while he is being judged; and with Janus looking back on his life and forward into the hereafter.
Harvesting scenes are depicted in both tombs, as well as the agricultural products of the Oasis such as grapes and olives. While the other tombs in the necropolis are unpainted, they have been found to contain the remains of poorly embalmed corpses.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Weekly # 7

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


Egyptologist thinks he has found tomb of artist who created famed bust of Nefertiti

by Corydon Ireland

The queen and the sculptor


Evening Classes: The Birds and the Bees: An Introduction to the Flora and Fauna of Ancient Egypt

Event info:


New post by Laura Galicier

About two wooden Egyptian heads...


by A.R. Williams

Replica of King Tut's Tomb to Open in Egypt


New addition to the blog:

Two tombs of El Mozawaka in Dakhla Oasis are now open


by María Rosa Valdesogo Martín

Pulling the front Lock of Hair in Ancient Egypt

Ringlets and Plaits, Horns and Snakes, Moon and Resurrection


New blogposts by Timothy Reid:

Mummies: Life after Death in Ancient Egypt

A Revisit of the Collection of George Ortiz


Qatar Foundation UK Lecture: Glass in Ancient Egypt – Splendour for the Pharaoh

Monday, 4 November 2013

More info:


by Jo Marchant

The mummy's curse


by Yomna El Saeed

Egyptian Museum exhibit puts spotlight on restored artefacts


by Kevin Prokosh

Mummy's the word


by Dave Ralph

A king's visit: Exhibit offers glimpse into life of Tutankhamun


Satirical criticism is Pharaonic heritage: Archaeologist


New addition to the blog:

Taking a closer look at our Egyptian Collections:


New blog entry:

Digitized Papyri at the British Museum


New blog entry:

Decorative Box of Pharaoh Amenhotep II


New addition to the blog by Julia Thorne:

New tomb discovered at Saqqara

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Egyptian Museum exhibit puts spotlight on restored artefacts

Several antiquities looted and damaged during the 2011 uprising are being exhibited after being restored to their former glory

By Yomna El Saeed

Under the title Damaged and Restored, the Egyptian museum in Cairo is hosting an exhibition of antiquities that were lost and damaged, and subsequently restored, during the 25 January Revolution.

The exhibition is staged in hall 44 of the museum and was opened by the minister of antiquities Dr Mohamed Ibrahim, the head of the museums sector, Mr Ahmed Sharaf, the general manager of the Egyptian museum, Mr Sayed Aamer and the general manager of the conservation department of the Egyptian museum, Dr Hoda Abdel Hameed. In total 29 artefacts are on display, 11 of which were looted and recovered and 18 which were damaged but not stolen from the museum during the revolution.

Among the displayed artefacts are two statues of King Tutankhamen made of cedar wood and covered with gold, a statue of King Akhenaton, Ushabtis statues which belonged to the Nubian kings, a mummy of a child and a small plychrome glass vase.

Eid Rizk Mertah from the conservation department of the Egyptian museum explained what happened to the artefacts on display. “Some looters found that after they stole the archeological pieces they could not sell them, so they damaged them, put them in bags and threw them in the garden, in the garbage bin and on the roof of the museum. This is where the employees of the museum found them. The pieces were very badly damaged.”

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Replica of King Tut's Tomb to Open in Egypt

Exact copy will be near the Valley of the Kings, site of the original tomb.

A. R. Williams
National Geographic
Published October 23, 2013

Visitors to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt will soon be touring a replica of King Tut's tomb rather than the real thing. The installation of an exact copy is now scheduled to begin in January 2014, with an opening to the public expected in April.

King Tutankhamun, like all prominent ancient Egyptians, hoped that people would remember him forever, calling out his name into eternity.

But even in his wildest fantasies, the teenage ruler could never have imagined that he would become the rock star of the pharaohs. Since British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922, countless thousands of tourists have come to visit, descending a flight of stairs and a sharply sloping corridor to arrive at the painted burial chamber.

And therein lies the problem. As breathtaking as a visit to the tomb may be, people eventually have to breathe. And with each breath, they exhale bacteria, mold, and moisture.

In one day 400 visitors can leave behind an ounce of vapor. Add body heat and the warmth from light bulbs, and the 1,182-square-foot (109.83-square-meter) space turns almost tropical.

That's an unhealthy environment for any work of art, let alone murals that are more than 3,300 years old. It's doubly challenging for murals that were compromised from the start. When Howard Carter opened King Tut's burial chamber, he found that spots of mold had stippled the scenes on the walls. Experts think the room may have been sealed before the plaster and paint were dry, allowing mold spores to grow.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The queen and the sculptor

Egyptologist thinks he has found tomb of artist who created famed bust of Nefertiti

By Corydon Ireland, Harvard Staff Writer

For those of us aging fast, it is nice to know that one the most beautiful faces in the world is more than 3,300 years old.

That face is on the bust of Queen Nefertiti, the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, whose reign in Egypt spanned 1353–1336 BCE. This famous artifact, 44 pounds and life-size, has a layer of painted gypsum stucco over a full-featured limestone core. It was discovered a century ago in the ruins of an ancient artist’s studio in Amarna, south of Cairo. First made public in 1924, it fast became an icon of feminine beauty.

A slender, smooth neck gives way to skin the color of golden sand. Then come full, red lips; a dramatic, sloping nose; almond eyes; and arching, dark eyebrows. Above the face is a colorful, back-sweeping, cylindrical crown. It’s a lot for the eye to take in, especially since the work was likely just an artist’s model, and never intended for display.

Found scattered through the same studio were 22 plaster casts of faces. Some depict older women with every wrinkle and sag, an artistic anomaly in a culture that stylized women as slender and beautiful. (Nefertiti’s image beneath the stucco, recent CT scans show, was more realistic: a woman with lesser cheekbones, wrinkled cheeks, and a bump on the nose.)

But the world sees just the surface. The face “is part of our culture,” said French Egyptologist Alain Zivie in a Harvard lecture last Thursday, “like a picture of Che Guevara or Einstein or the Mona Lisa in Paris.”

Wednesday Weekly # 6

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


SA Museum finds German Egyptologist Maximillian Weidenbach's treasured diary


by Maggie Fick

Hope glimmers for demoralised Egyptian tourist industry


New addition to the blog

The Father Of Egyptology


Tattooing in Ancient Egypt

Faience Figurine and Bowl


by María Rosa Valdesogo Martín

Hair is Vegetation in Ancient Egypt

The Rite recalls the Myth. The Hair gives Breath of Life and Virility in Ancient Egypt


by Mohamed Ibrahim

Looting Egypt's heritage


Hungry History by Stephanie Butler

Eat Like an Egyptian


New posts by Bryan Sitch

Fragmentary Ancestors Figurines from Koma Land Exhibition

Ancient Worlds on Holiday - Egypt in Rhodes


The Charles K. Wilkinson Lecture Series

The Art Of Burial - Part 1

A Beautiful Burial: Decorating an Old Kingdom Mastaba Chapel by Ann Macy Roth

The Art Of Burial - Part 2

Adornment For The Afterlife: Jewelry And Identity At Ur And Nimrud by Kim Benzel

The Art Of Burial - Part 3

In Quest Of Paradise: Accommodating Death In Islam by Lisa Golombek


Article by Sebastian Smee

Harvard's Semitic museum is set for big changes


by Al-Masry Al-Youm

Egypt recovers ancient statue thanks to German family's will


by Shane Gibson

Mummy coming to Winnipeg


New addition to the site:

The New Kingdom Chariot - An Em Hotep Interview with Kathy Hansen


EES Cairo Lecture: Dr Mansour Boraik: Recent Activities of the Supreme Council of Antiquities on the East Bank at Luxor


by Nevine El-Aref

Tomb of Head of Pharaohs Physicians of fifth dynasty discovered


New post by Anna Garnett

A Colourful Goddess: Hathoric Pottery Decoration

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tomb of Head of Pharaohs Physicians of fifth dynasty discovered

The tomb of the Head of Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt during the fifth dynasty is found in Abusir Necropolis

by Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 22 Oct 2013

The tomb of the fifth dynasty Head of Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt, Shepseskaf-Ankh, was discovered in Abusir Necropolis - 25km from the Giza plateau, during excavation by a Czech archaeological mission.

The tomb is carved in limestone and consists of a large open court, eight burial chambers for Shepseskaf and his family members, and a very distinguished huge false door engraved with the various titles and names of Shepseskaf-Ankh. Among the titles he held were, ‘The priest of god Khnum,’ who provides life, and ‘The priest of Sun temples’ for several fifth dynasty kings.

Ali Al-Asfar, deputy-head of the ancient Egyptian section at the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA) pointed out that some of the titles engraved on the false door reflect the social status of Shepseskaf-Ankh, who came from an elite ancient Egyptian family.

"Although it is the third tomb of an ancient Egyptian Physician to be found in Abusir, it has important historical and archaeological significance," said Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of the MSA. He explains that the tomb belonged to one of the distinguished physicians who was close to the ruler kings and owned a senior official position during the reign of the pyramid-builders.

Director of the Czech mission, Miroslav Barta, stated that individual tombs in Abusir were constructed from the mid-fifth dynasty onwards, and many priests and officials who worked in the Pyramid complex during the reign of the Kings of Abusir and the Sun Temples were buried there.

Abusir is an extensive Old Kingdom necropolis that served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. It houses the remains of 14 pyramids, which served as burials for the fifth dynasty kings as well as a number of tombs and sun temples.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Museum Pieces - Scene from the Great Harris Papyrus: Ramesses III before the gods of Memphis

(Photocredit: British Museum)
Scene from the Great Harris Papyrus: Ramesses III before the gods of Memphis

Ramesses III stands praying before Ptah, Sekhmet and Nefertem. The accompanying notes are these:

Ptah the great, "South-of-His-Wall." lord of "Life-of-the-Two-Lands."

Sekhmet the great, beloved of Ptah.

Nefertem, protector of the Two Lands.

I tell the prayers, praises, adorations, laudations, mighty deeds, and benefactions, which I did for you in your presence, O Resi-inebef. (South-of-His-Wall)

Height: 42.500 cm
EA 9999/43

From Thebes, Egypt
20th Dynasty, around 1150 BC

At forty-two metres, the Great Harris Papyrus is one of the longest papyri still in existence from ancient Egypt. It is divided into five sections, with hieratic text and three illustrations of the king and the gods accompanied by hieroglyphic texts.

The first three sections describe the donations made by King Ramesses III (1184-1153 BC) to the gods and temples of Thebes, Heliopolis and Memphis. Each of these sections is illustrated, the king making offerings to three of the deities from each area. The amounts were colossal: The list relating to Thebes alone includes 309,950 sacks of grain and large quantities of metals and semi-precious stones.

This vignette is the third of those at the beginning of the papyrus. The king worships the gods of Memphis, one of the main administrative cities of Egypt. He holds the crook and flail, and wears clothing reserved for the king, including the banded cloth head-dress, sash, triangular-fronted kilt and bull's tail. Each god or goddess is shown in his or her most typical form. The close fitting and ornate costumes are typical of the traditional clothing the deities were thought to wear.

S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


Translation from:

James Henry Breasted, Ancient Records Of Egypt, vol 4 § 305

Eat Like an Egyptian

By Stephanie Butler

Archeological discoveries have told us much about how ancient Egyptians worshiped, celebrated and mourned. But these scientific finds have also provided tantalizing clues about how–and what–this complex civilization ate. From grains like emmer and kamut to cloudy beer and honey-basted gazelle, this week’s Hungry History focuses on the meals of ancient Egypt.

Bread and beer were the two staples of the Egyptian diet. Everyone from the highest priest to the lowliest laborer would eat these two foods every day, although the quality of the foods for the priest would undoubtedly be higher. The main grain cultivated in Egypt was emmer. Better known today as farro, emmer happens to be a fairly well balanced source of nutrition: it’s higher in minerals and fiber than similar grains. Breads and porridge were made from the grain, as well as a specially devised product that modern-day archeologists call “beer bread.”

Beer bread was made from dough that used more yeast than normal breads, and it was baked at a temperature that didn’t kill off the yeast cultures. Brewers crumbled the bread into vats and let it ferment naturally in water. This yielded a thick and cloudy brew that would probably disgust our modern palates. But it was also nourishing and healthy, and filled in many nutritive deficiencies of the lower-class diet.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Egypt’s stolen heritage

By Mohamed Ibrahim, Saturday, October 19

Mohamed Ibrahim is Egypt’s minister of state for antiquities and a professor of Egyptology at Ain Shams University in Cairo.

Egypt’s future lies in its history, particularly its archaeological history. For hundreds of years the mystery and wonders of the pyramids, the sphinx and the Valley of the Kings have attracted visitors from around the world. Tourism is the lifeblood of Egypt’s economy and touches the lives of most Egyptians, whether they work as tour guides, restaurant owners, craftsmen or bus operators. Egypt’s history holds the prosperity of the country’s future generations, including that of youths — more than 40 million Egyptians are age 30 or younger — who are seeking opportunities.

But thieves are raiding our archaeological sites and selling their findings to the highest bidders. They are taking advantage of Egypt’s security situation to loot our nation’s economic future and steal from our children.

Egyptians need the people and the government of the United States to support our efforts to combat the systematic and organized looting of our museums and archaeological sites. Imagine a world in which the stories of King Tut, Cleopatra, Ramesses and others were absent from the collective consciousness. And with much of our history still waiting to be discovered under the sand, the potential losses are staggering. Antiquities theft is one of the world’s top crimes — after the trafficking of weapons, narcotics and people — but it is seldom addressed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Weekly # 5

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


by Campbell Price

Texts in Translation #11: A 'kings list' from Abydos (Acc.No. 2939)


New addition to the blog by Carolyn Graves-Brown

Tattoos, Sex and Dancing Girls - With a Nubian Connection


by María Rosa Valdesogo Martín

Hair is Maternity in Ancient Egypt

Hair is Water in Ancient Egypt


New addition to the blog by Molly Gleeson

A new face in the lab


New blogpost by Timothy Reid

Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt

Monday, October 14, 2013

Triad statue of Ramses II might indicate a second temple

A statue discovered last November points out to further possibilities in Tell Basta area in Al-Sharqiyah

A newly-discovered statue of Ramses II in Al-Sharqiyah might mean that the 19th dynasty was present in the area. The red granite statue is 2.47 metres tall and approximately 1.9 metres wide.  It was found during the excavations of the German-Egyptian archaeological mission near the Bastet temple at Tell Basta. According to the mission’s blog run by the team director Dr Eva Lange, the statue was reportedly found last November, but needed further research to properly identify the three figures.

The 19th Dynasty statue was found flanked by the deities Hathor and Ptah Hotp.

According to the Ministry of Antiquities’ Facebook page, the area is considered one of the most ancient archaeological sites: “The oldest findings there date back to the fourth Dynasty. It was an important religious centre and one of the capitals of Ancient Egypt. Due to its location [at] the eastern entrance of Egypt, this area faced the comers from the east across Sinai, witnessing many conquerors and invaders, therefore having historical and geographical importance that still needs to be discovered.”

Dr Lange described the find in Dromos Square on the mission’s blog as “unexpected”. “Dromos Square is situated on the axis [that] leads from the temple of Bastet to the city itself. Precisely on this axis, we started to excavate new squares in order to investigate the building history of that area. Assuming that traces of the once-monumental, stone-paved Dromos, doubtless the most important street of the city in the Late Dynastic Period, or of its demolishing process, should be hidden here, we excavated huge disturbed layers of mud brought by rainfalls and the inundation as well as windblown sand. The characteristics of those layers and the discovered pottery showed us that this area lay open as wasteland for a very long period of time, at least from the Early Roman Period onwards,” wrote Dr Lange.

The features were not completely discernible, due to the area’s climate, which aided the wear and tear process.  They could not find any inscriptions on the front of the statue, but they did find some on the back of it: “Features of a cartouche, revealing the prenomen of Ramses”. However, further studies were needed to accurately identify the three figures.

According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the mission discovered a second statue made of sandstone: “The statue carries an ancient Egyptian text, pointing out that it is a present to the gods Bastet, Sekhmet and Hor Akhty.”

The discoveries might indicate a second temple in the area. The two statues were transferred to the open-area museum in Tell Basta.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brooch of Tutankhamun Holds Evidence of Ancient Comet

Tue, Oct 08, 2013

Even more, scientists confirm first-ever finding of a fragment of the comet's core.

Most have heard of the treasures of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Tutankhamun, first discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922 when they uncovered his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Few are familiar with his impeccably preserved brooch, recovered along with the numerous other artifacts within the tomb. Fewer still know about the striking yellow-brown scarab that is set at its center, and that it is made of a yellow silica glass stone procured from the sand of the Sahara and then shaped and polished by ancient craftsmen. The silica glass was originally formed 28 million years ago, when an ancient comet entered the earth's atmosphere and exploded over Egypt, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2,000 degrees Celsius and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of the yellow silica glass, which lies scattered over a 6,000 square kilometer area in the Sahara.

The silica glass was one of a number of clues that eventually led Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and colleagues to a remarkable new discovery. At the center of it all is a mysterious black pebble found years ago by an Egyptian geologist in the area of the silica glass. After conducting highly sophisticated chemical analyses on this pebble, Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg and a team of colleagues came to the inescapable conclusion that it represented the very first known hand specimen of a comet nucleus, rather than simply an unusual type of meteorite.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Weekly # 4

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


by Thomas H. Greiner

Ancient Egypt and her Cities: the Case of Amarna


by María Rosa Valdesogo Martín

Second Summary

Hair is Darkness in Ancient Egypt


New post by Carolyn Graves-Brown

More Nubian Stuff - Faience Head, a Talisman for Children


New blogposts by Timothy Reid

The Mummy of Amenhotep

Egyptian's: The Complete Valley of The Kings


New addition to the blog

In depth, Top German tour operator talks about tourism in Luxor


New article by Robyn Antanovskii

Unmasking Tutankhamun: the figure behind the fame


By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun

"Egypt's Mysterious Book of the Faiyum" opens Sunday at Walters Art Museum,0,3350510.story?page=1


New addition to the blog by Molly Gleeson

Examinations of a baby boy mummy


Guest reviewer Julia Thorne talks about her experience of visiting The World Museum in Liverpool

Review of The World Museum Egyptian Collection in Liverpool


Stolen Ptolemaic mummy found in Egypt's Giza


by Sue Vorenberg

Ancient Greeks, Egyptians were no strangers to cancer


New Theory Published in Archeology Journal Suggests King Tut Had Hypophosphatasia, a Rare Metabolic Bone Disease

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Museum Pieces - Coffin of Irthorru

Photocredit: National Museums Scotland

Coffin of Irthorru, son of Abzu and Tahir.

Museum reference: A.1910.97
Age: 2,600 years old/6th century BC
Dynasty/Period: Late Period, 26th or 27th Dynasty or later.
Dimensions: Length 178cm/Width 46.5 cm/Depth (lid) 24.5cm /Depth (trough) 17.5 cm
Material: Wood, plastered and painted.
Place of origin: Possibly Meir, Middle Egypt.

Head, torso and sides: The face is painted yellow, with white eyes and a black and a green-striped beard. The top of the head has a red-outlined winged scarab (beetle) pushing a red sun-disc that lies directly above the brow. The wings of the scarab reach down the wig on either side of the face and the upper row of feathers is red and the lower row is green.   

A painted collar begins at the upper-arm level and is painted in red and green on a cream ground. It has a dominant triangular pattern ending in a row of alternate yellow and red rosettes and then a row of drop-pendants in green and cream. The hands emerge from the collar and painted yellow.

The sides of the coffin base and lid are decorated with a large cobra with its hood painted in green, stretching down the whole side of the coffin to the feet. It is enclosed by white-bordered bands alternating green and red, with a white central dot, and separated by narrow white and red bars.

Underside of base of coffin: The wig on the base is a solid green and is decorated on the underside with a standing winged goddess, with a red sun-disc on her head and a feather in each hand.

The dominant decorative scheme is a red and green criss-cross motif on a white ground decorated by a central column of text, enclosed by red and green bands.


For more coffins and mummy masks:

Space Archaeology: This is the most exciting time in history to be an archaeologist


Many of my fellow archaeologists lament being alive today. They say, “If only we had lived in the great age of archaeological discovery—we could have seen Egypt in her glory days, witnessed Tut’s tomb being found, or adventured with Hiram Bingham to find Machu Picchu.”

I like a good archaeological adventure (I’ve had many), and it would have been amazing to be part of the expedition that discovered Machu Picchu in 1911. But what if Hiram Bingham had the technology to find hundreds of other archaeological sites at the same time and create entire 3-D maps of the ancient landscape accurate to within a few inches?

This is called space archaeology. And it is happening right now. That’s why I believe today is the most exciting time in history to be an archaeologist.

Space archaeology refers to the use of space- and air-based sensor systems to discover ancient settlements, cultural remains, and natural features (like relic river courses) otherwise invisible to the naked eye, or hidden due to vegetation and water. Archaeologists use datasets from NASA and commercial satellites, processing the information using various off-the-shelf computer programs. These datasets allow us to see beyond the visible part of the light spectrum into the near, middle, and far infrared. These spectral differences can show subtle differences in vegetation, soil, and geology which then can reveal hidden ancient features. Satellite datasets like WorldView can see objects as small as 1.5 feet in diameter. In 2014, WorldView-3 will be able to see objects a small as a foot. Another important sensor system is LIDAR (which stands for Light Detection and Ranging). LIDAR uses lasers to scan terrain in fine detail and even penetrate dense rainforest canopy, allowing archaeologists to see beneath the trees to reveal features of interest, from large monuments to small, subtle remnants of ancient homes and road systems.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How Studying Mummies Could Cure Modern Diseases

By comparing diseases from then and now, researchers can learn how they spread. Maybe they can learn how to stop them, too.

By Roxanne Khamsi

Earlier this year, scientists published a study of whole-body CT scans of 137 mummies: ancient Egyptians and Peruvians, ancestral Puebloans of southwest America, and Unangan hunter-gatherers of the Aleutian Islands. They reported signs of athero­sclerosis—a dangerous artery hardening that can lead to heart attacks or stroke—in 34 percent of them. What struck the research team, led by Randall Thompson of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, was that it afflicted mummies from every group. Frank Rühli, head of the Swiss Mummy Project at the University of Zurich, also sees the condition in about 30 to 50 percent of the adult specimens he studies. The breadth of these findings suggests that atherosclerosis today may have less to do with modern excesses such as overeating and more with underlying genetic factors that seem present in a certain percentage of humans living almost anywhere in the world. Someday, identifying those genes could lead to new drugs for heart disease.

Ancient mummies can provide a wealth of information about the health of early civilizations, which may help us better treat diseases today. But because mummies are both rare and delicate, researchers have been limited in what they could do to them—and therefore what they could learn from them. Recent improvements of two medical tools—DNA sequencing, which can reveal microbial infections, and CT scanning—are letting paleopathologists diagnose mummies' causes of death in detail. They're now finding signs of everything from prostate cancer to malaria in mummies across the globe. By comparing the ancient forms of those diseases with their contemporary equivalents, researchers can learn how those diseases evolved, what makes them so harmful, and—possibly—how to stop them.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Life-size statue of king Ramses II found in Sharkiya

Newly unearthed statue of king Ramsess II in Tel-Basta suggests that Nile Delta town was home to great nineteenth dynasty temple

by Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 3 Oct 2013

A German-Egyptian excavation mission in the Nile Delta town of Tel-Basta unearthed today a life-size statue of the nineteenth dynasty king Ramses II carved in red granite.

The statue, at 195cm high and 160cm wide, was found accidently during a routine excavation carried out by the joint mission.  It was discovered in the so-called Great Temple area's eastern side, inside the temple of cat goddess Bastet in Sharkiya's Tel-Basta.

Antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim explained that the newly-discovered statue depicts king Ramses II standing between the goddess Hathor and the god Petah. On its back, Ibrahim continued, a hieroglyphic text and the cartouche of the king are engraved.

Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, head of the Ministry of State of Antiquities' (MSA) Ancient Egyptian department, added that the mission uncovered another statue carved in sand stone which depicts a yet-unidentified New Kingdom top official. A hieroglyphic text offering the statue to the goddesses bastet and sekhmet and the god horakhti is engraved on its back. This statue is 35cm in height and 25cm in width, according to Abdel Maqsoud.

"This is a very important discovery that sheds light on the history of Tel-Basta in general and on this area in particular," Abdel Maqsoud told Ahram Online. He added that the discovery, in addition to previous finds in the area, suggests that Tel-Basta was once home to a New Kingdom temple dedicated to King Ramses II, which might be uncovered in the future.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tutankhamun's replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor

Replica tomb to be installed beside former residence of discoverer Howard Carter on Luxor's west bank

by Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 1 Oct 2013

(D.v.Hoorn: Tutankhamun: His Tomb And His Treasures 2013)
A committee administering Egypt's antiquities decided Tuesday to re-erect a dismantled replica tomb of King Tutankhamun, placing it beside the former residence of discoverer Howard Carter on Luxor's west bank.

Secretary-general of the Ministry of the State of Antiquities (MSA), Mostafa Amin, told Ahram Online that the replica tomb will provide tourists with a better picture of how Carter lived during his excavation work at the Valley of the Kings in the early 1920s.

Tourists can already visit the Carter Rest-House in Luxor, which has been restored and developed into a museum displaying the tools and instruments he used during his excavations.

The re-erected tomb will stay in Luxor until the completion of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza plateau, where it will eventually be transferred.

The re-erection of the replica tomb is a gift to Egypt from the Factum Foundation in Madrid, the Society of Friends of the Royal Tombs of Egypt in Zurich and the University of Basel, in order to promote the EU Task Force Conference - which took place in Egypt almost a year ago - as well as to mark the 90th anniversary of the beginnings of Howard Carter's work in Luxor.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday Weekly # 3

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


Recruitment information:

JEA Editor-in-Chief - expressions of interest sought

The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology has been the flagship publication of the Egypt Exploration Society since its inauguration in 1914. As the Journal approaches its 100th issue The Trustees are seeking to appoint a new Editor-in-Chief to ensure it remains at the forefront of publishing in Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology whilst meeting the challenges posed by open-access and the transition to a mixed print and digital environment.

more info:

EES Publications Manager: Recruitment information

The UK’s leading Egyptological organisation, the Egypt Exploration Society, is looking for an enthusiastic and well-organised Publications Manager to play a pivotal role within the team.

You will be an integral member of the London office staff, managing the Society’s print and online publications, editing and typesetting content and ensuring publication on schedule and within budget, and working with the Director to steer their future direction. You will work closely with authors and editors to ensure that content is produced to a high quality and in a timely manner.

more info:


New addition to the ROM's blog by Robert Mason: 

Weapon Wednesday: a Romano-Egyptian sword hilt


by María Rosa Valdesogo Martín

The Mourning Ritual in the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony

Professional Mourners in Ancient Egypt


Latest addition to the blog: End of 2013 Season


Three lectures about Tutankhamun by Dr Patricia Spencer on October 5th at the SDFHS Sherborne Research Centre, Sherborne, England.

Fore more info:


New blogposts by Timothy Reid

Who's Collection?

Congratulations to the Cairo Museum's Restorers!


Mummy makes the journey from Pyramids to Portsmouth


Zahi Hawass about safety in Egypt - YouTube


New additions to the blog:

The Egyptian Museum displays the restored artefacts

Finally, the decision is here. King Tut Ankh Amon's replica will be placed in Luxor


New post by Carolyn Graves-Brown

Black History Month and Nubian archers


Events in October: