Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 18

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


By Shannon Malone:

Ancient Egypt Enjoyed Beer With Bubbles


By Rita Berg:

Conservation is embarking on an exciting treatment


By Claire Sturgeon:

War elephant myths debunked by DNA


Rare fragment of Egyptian Pharaoh's mummy found in Czech museum


Discovering a lost valley of kings with Penn archaeologist Josef Wegner


by María Rosa Valdesogo:

"Reading" the Ancient Egypt Funeral in the Tomb of Qar

Codified Information in Ancient Egypt. Mourners in the Tomb of Qar?


Bilingual Notaries in Hellenistic Egypt: A Study of Greek as a Second Language


A New Chronology for Early Egypt

Two lectures: March 1st 2014


Conference Schedule for Current Research in Egyptology XV, 2014, April 9-12


By Bettany Hughes:

How women's wisdom was lost


The Tip of the Pyramid!

Pyramidion of Wedjahor
Friday 14th February to 14th June 2014

Prior to the redevelopment of the Museum’s Egyptian Gallery, a taste of ancient Egypt comes to Maidstone in the form of a Spotlight loan from the British Museum.


By Owen Jarus:

Ruins of Bustling Port Unearthed at Egypt's Giza Pyramids


By Laura Galicier:

Cleaning the jar


Episode XXIV: Lamentations


Lecture: The Amarna Period
Date: 7:30 – 9:00 pm, 07-Feb-2014


Come and spend a Saturday with us!


Ancient lives
22 May – 30 November 2014

Think you know mummies?
Think again.

The exhibition will introduce visitors to eight real people who were mummified in ancient Egypt and Sudan. Using the latest technology to understand the mummies, the exhibition will unlock hidden secrets to build up a picture of their lives in the Nile Valley over a remarkable 4,000 years – from prehistoric Egypt to Christian Sudan.


Beasts, Monsters, and the Fantastic in the Religious Imagination

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

Hosted by the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University

February 28-March 1, 2014

Upcoming presentation on ‘The problem with ancient Egyptian demons’

Demonology 2K’s Zuzanna Bennett will be talking about ‘The problem with ancient Egyptian demons’ as part of a series of research seminars at Swansea University. This presentation will explore some of the difficulties encountered when researching these entities, such as how to spot a demon, and it will also demonstrate some of the solutions that the Demonology Project has put into action so far.


Archaeologists Find Remains Of Previously Unknown Pharaoh In Egypt


By Julia Budka:

Registration of finds from SAV1 West and SAV1 East

An Update: The Enclosure Wall at SAV1 West


Amara West 2014: preserving coffin decoration

Amara West 2014: Bodies, coffins, an egg and more

Amara West 2014: 18th dynasty activity

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ruins of Bustling Port Unearthed at Egypt's Giza Pyramids

By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor   |   January 28, 2014

TORONTO — The remains of a bustling port and barracks for sailors or military troops have been discovered near the Giza Pyramids. They were in use while the pyramids were being built about 4,500 years ago.

The archaeologists have been excavating a city near the Giza Pyramids that dates mainly to the reign of the pharaoh Menkaure, who built the last pyramid at Giza. Also near the pyramids they have been  excavating a town, located close to a monument dedicated to Queen Khentkawes, possibly a daughter of Menkaure. The barracks are located at the city, while a newly discovered basin, that may be part of a harbor, is located by the Khentkawes town.

Several discoveries at the city and Khentkawes town suggest Giza was a thriving port, said archaeologist Mark Lehner, the director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates. For instance, Lehner's team discovered a basin beside the Khentkawes town just 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) from the nearest Nile River channel.

This basin may be "an extension of a harbor or waterfront," Lehner said at a recent symposium held here by the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities. Lehner said his team also found at Giza charcoal remains of cedar, juniper, pine and oak, all trees that grew in a part of the eastern Mediterranean called the Levant, along with more than 50 examples of combed ware jars, a style of pottery from that region. Additionally, large amounts of granite from Aswan, located on ancient Egypt's southern border, have long been known to be at Giza, and these could have been brought down the Nile River to Giza's port.

"Giza was the central port then for three generations, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure," said Lehner in his presentation, referring to the three pharaohs who built pyramids at Giza.

Monday, January 27, 2014

How women's wisdom was lost

Papyrus shreds reveal there was a time when female deities were fundamental to popular belief. Yet ancient geopolitics caused them to be sidelined

By Bettany Hughes The Guardian, Sunday 26 January 2014

A mummified crocodile in the back streets of Oxford might not be an obvious guardian for one of life's great mysteries. But some 2,000-year-old treacle brown remains made up of recycled scraps of Egyptian papyrus, torn up to encase the reptile, hide hard evidence of a substantial historical cover-up. Now stored in 100-year-old kerosene cans and Huntley & Palmers biscuit tins, the ancient fragments were originally dumped as rubbish in ancient Oxyrhynchus (the town of the sharp-nosed fish). Their salvation, by two British archaeologists from 1896, who heard that locals were using the papyri fragments as organic fertiliser, was a godsend: these unpromising shreds rewrite history.

So far just 5% of the million or so fragments have been translated; but they embody the concerns and priorities of the man (and woman) on the street from the first century BC to the fourth century AD. Here is an unofficial snapshot of life at the birth of the modern world. Crucially, this was a time and place where Woman Wisdom, Sophia in ancient Greek, walked the streets. We find her name again and again in Jewish, Christian and pagan papyrus texts. Sophia – a mystical female presence whose appearance is only fleeting in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament – was clearly once a household name and a fixture in everyday lives.

Today we talk a great deal about the perilous place that female opinion and understanding has on the world's stage. The Oxyrhynchus papyri suggest there was a time when female wisdom was foundational to popular belief. Yet Sophia became a casualty of geopolitics. When Christianity developed as the dominant religion of the new Roman Empire under Constantine I in the fourth century AD, it needed "tidying up". Suddenly Christians didn't have just a faith, but a territory of their own. A muscular military structure protected the (extensive) domains of the One True God, and a burgeoning population of (male) scribes and clerics set out to protect the new Christian canon from heresy.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Museum Pieces - Statue of Amun

Photocredit: The Walters Art Museum
Amun is depicted standing, wearing a cap and with inlaid eyes. His left arm is forward while his right is at his side; both hands are pierced. There is a groove in the cap for inserting plumes.

1550-1069 BC (New Kingdom)

cast bronze


H: 6 1/4 in. (15.8 cm)

Mitrahina, Egypt (Place of Discovery)

About Amun:

(Amoun, Amon, Amen, Ammon) ‘The Hidden’, a Theban God who rose to the pinnacle of national prominence, particularly in fusion with the Heliopolitan solar God Re as the fusion deity ‘Amun-Re’. The main temple of Amun at Karnak remains the largest religious structure ever built. Amun is depicted typically as a man with deep blue or black skin, wearing a crown with two high segmented plumes, and sometimes ithyphallic. His sacred animal is the ram with curved horns (Ovis platyura aegyptiaca, as distinct from the ram associated with Banebdjedet, Arsaphes, and Khnum, Ovis longipes palaeoaegypticus) and he can be depicted as a man with a ram’s head. Amun’s consort, aside from his female complement Amaunet, whose chief importance is in the context of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad, is Mut and their son is Khonsu. Regardless of the political factors which brought Amun to prominence as the city of Thebes became more powerful, and which maintained his prominence for the rest of Egyptian history as a symbol of national unity, Amun’s ability to exercise such broad appeal can be traced to the potency of the concept of a God of hiddenness as such, particularly at a time (the Middle Kingdom and later) when Egyptian society was engaged in speculative thought of increasing sophistication.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bilingual Notaries in Hellenistic Egypt: A Study of Greek as a Second Language - A Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.01.39

Marja Vierros, Bilingual Notaries in Hellenistic Egypt: A Study of Greek as a Second Language. Collectanea hellenistica, 5.   Brussels:  Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten​, 2012.  Pp. 291.  ISBN 9789065691033.

Reviewed by Sofía​ Torallas Tovar, CSIC, Madrid; Univ. of Chicago

The study of languages in contact is a relatively recent development which has based its progress mainly on field work performed with actual speakers of living languages. This field of linguistics has provided an invaluable theoretical frame to apply to the languages of the ancient world or corpus languages for which the absence of live speakers leaves the researcher only with the written sources. Egypt – especially Graeco-Roman Egypt – provides the perfect laboratory to experiment on language contact in antiquity, not only because it was a multilingual society with specific sociolinguistic characteristics which can be described and thus allow a more accurate evaluation of the sources, but also because it is virtually the only place in the Mediterranean where an enormous amount of documents written on papyrus have been preserved thanks to the climatic circumstances. Multilingualism in the papyri started to receive attention in the 1950s, 1 although it was later, starting in the 1980s when when more extensive work was undertaken, especially by Peremans and Remondon. Initial results on linguistic aspects of this situation of contact needed to be narrowed down, for the bulk of documents belonged to too wide a geographical and temporal span. Working on specific archives, where the speakers can be better defined (as bilingual speakers, native Egyptians, monolingual Greeks, etc.) introduces a better organisation into the field. As Katelijn Vandorpe comments, in her essay “Archives and Dossiers,” (in R.S. Bagnall, The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, Oxford University Press, 2009: 216), “Where unrelated texts are like instant snapshots, archives present a coherent film of a person, a family, or a community and may span several months, years or decades.” And I may add that the archives provide a more complete and defined picture of the linguistic situation within these families or communities.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

War elephant myths debunked by DNA

by Claire Sturgeon

Through DNA analysis, Illinois researchers have disproved years of rumors and hearsay surrounding the ancient Battle of Raphia, the only known battle between Asian and African elephants.

"What everyone thinks about war elephants is wrong," said Alfred Roca, a Professor of Animal Sciences and member of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the research published in the Journal of Heredity.
After Alexander the Great's premature death, his vast kingdom was divided among his generals. "Being generals, they spent the next three several centuries fighting over the land in-between," Roca said.

The Battle took place in 217 B.C. between Ptolemy IV, the King of Egypt, and Antiochus III the Great, the King of the Seleucid kingdom that reached from modern-day Turkey to Pakistan.

According to historical records, Antiochus's ancestor traded vast areas of land for 500 Asian elephants whereas Ptolemy established trading posts for war elephants in what is now Eritrea, a country with the northern-most population of elephants in East Africa.

In the Battle of Raphia, Ptolemy had 73 African war elephants and Antiochus had 102 Asian war elephants, according to Polybius, a Greek historian who described the battle at least 70 years later.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 17

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


By Nevine El-Aref:

The tomb of Abydos dynasty king found: Gallery


Giant Sarcophagus Leads Penn Museum Team in Egypt To the Tomb of a Previously Unknown Pharaoh


New paper: Ancient desert and quarry roads at Aswan


New Cleopatra exhibition in Rome:

The lure of the Nile


The Meaning Behind a Nubian Ruler's Offering to a Falcon God


By David Keys:

Valley of the other kings: Lost dynasty found in Egypt


By Barry Leighton:

The Mummy returns


by María Rosa Valdesogo:

Two Mourners in the new discovered Tomb of the Egyptian King Senebkay?


New blogentry:

Abydos Dynasty tomb discovered revealing new Pharaoh's name


Seminar: 30th January  2014

From Neolithisation to state formation in Egypt


By Owen Jarus:

Tasty Life: Leopard Teeth, Calf Bones Found in Ruins Near Pyramids

Photos: Amazing Discoveries at Egypt's Giza Pyramids


Massachusetts General Hospital's resident mummy undergoes restoration and study


By Colleen Manassa:

Writing historical fiction in New Kingdom Egypt


Dust to dust – the scientific analysis of debris samples removed from mummified remains


By Dr. Kasia Szpakowska:

Ancient Egyptian Demonology course at Swansea University

By Zuzi Bennett:

‘Order and Chaos’ Symposium at Swansea University: Call for Papers


By Giulia d'Ercole:

Excursion to Abri: comparing ancient and modern pottery traditions


By Barbara Chauvet:

Amara West 2014: First glimpses within another burial chamber (G244)

By Anna Stevens, Delphine Driaux and Tomomi Fushiya:

Amara West 2014: week two of the desert survey

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tasty Life: Leopard Teeth, Calf Bones Found in Ruins Near Pyramids

By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor   |   January 21, 2014

TORONTO — The remains of a mansion that likely held high-ranking officials some 4,500 years ago have been discovered near Egypt's Giza Pyramids. Bones from young cattle and teeth from leopards suggest its residents ate and dressed like royalty.
Archaeologists excavating a city just 400 meters (1,312 feet) south of the Sphinx uncovered the house and nearby mound containing the hind limbs of young cattle, the seals of high-ranking officials, which were inscribed with titles like "the scribe of the royal box" and "the scribe of the royal school," and leopard teeth (but no leopard).
The house, containing at least 21 rooms, is part of a city that dates mainly to the time when the pyramid of Menkaure (the last of the Giza Pyramids) was being built.

"The other thing that is just amazing is almost all the cattle are under 10 months of age … they are eating veal," said Richard Redding, the chief research officer of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, at a recent symposium held here by the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.

From his sample of 100,000 bones from the nearby mound, Redding said he couldn't find a cow bone that was older than 18 months and found few examples of sheep and goat bones.

"We have very, very, high status individuals," said Redding, also a research scientist at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Meaning Behind a Nubian Ruler’s Offering to a Falcon God

Taharqa offering to Hemen. The Louvre, Paris.

This image is part of a weekly series that The Root is presenting in conjunction with the Image of the Black in Western Art Archive at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

For many, the grandeur of ancient Egypt is evoked by its great monuments of architecture and colossal sculptures. Works of more modest dimensions, however, are far more numerous and quite arguably more revealing of the complex culture that produced them.

Such is certainly the case with the small-scale, delicately crafted work shown here. On a silver base, the figure of Taharqa—ruler of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt—kneels before the giant figure of the falcon god Hemen.

This stunning work is both aesthetically and technically unique. The most straightforward part of its manufacture is the solid-bronze figure of Taharqa, cast and then incised with linear detail. The image of Hemen, on the other hand, is carved from stone and covered with sheets of thin gold. The figures rest on a wooden base covered with a silver revetment.

Dressed only in the pleated linen kilt worn by Egyptian royalty, Taharqa offers the god two small jars of wine. He wears the double-uraeus headdress representing rule over his native Nubia as well as the whole land of Egypt to the north. An inscription on the back of his belt identifies him by name and extols his divine status: “The perfect god. Taharqa alive for eternity.”

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Giant Sarcophagus Leads Penn Museum Team in Egypt To the Tomb of a Previously Unknown Pharaoh

Discovery Provides Evidence of a Forgotten Egyptian Dynasty from 3,600 Years Ago

PHILADELPHIA, PA, January 2014—Archaeologists working at the southern Egyptian site of Abydos have discovered the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh: Woseribre Senebkay—and the first material proof of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty, ca. 1650–1600 BC. Working in cooperation with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, a team from the Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, discovered king Senebkay's tomb close to a larger royal tomb, recently identified as belonging to a king Sobekhotep (probably Sobekhotep I, ca. 1780 BC) of the 13th Dynasty.

The discovery of pharaoh Senebkay's tomb is the culmination of work that began during the summer of 2013 when the Penn Museum team, led by Dr. Josef Wegner, Egyptian Section Associate Curator of the Penn Museum, discovered a huge 60-ton royal sarcophagus chamber at South Abydos. The sarcophagus chamber, of red quartzite quarried and transported to Abydos from Gebel Ahmar (near modern Cairo), could be dated to the late Middle Kingdom, but its owner remained unidentified. Mysteriously, the sarcophagus had been extracted from its original tomb and reused in a later tomb—but the original royal owner remained unknown when the summer season ended.

In the last few weeks of excavations, fascinating details of a series of kings' tombs and a lost dynasty at Abydos have emerged. Archaeologists now know that the giant quartzite sarcophagus chamber derives from a royal tomb built originally for a pharaoh Sobekhotep—probably Sobekhotep I, the first king of Egypt's 13th Dynasty. Fragments of that king's funerary stela were found just recently in front of his huge, badly robbed tomb. A group of later pharaohs (reigning about a century and a half later during Egypt's Second Intermediate Period) were reusing elements from Sobekhotep's tomb for building and equipping their own tombs. One of these kings (whose name is still unknown) had extracted and reused the quartzite sarcophagus chamber. Another king's tomb found just last week is that of the previously unknown pharaoh: Woseribre-Senebkay.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cleopatra: Rome and the Magic of Egypt

Dalu Jones visits an intriguing new exhibition investigating the captivating effects that Cleopatra and Ancient Egyptian culture had on the Romans

Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt (69-30 BC), has recently returned to Rome as 
the inspiration for an exhibition entitled Cleopatra: Rome and the Magic of Egypt. Major museums and galleries worldwide have lent almost 200 works of art to this show celebrating a woman whose appeal and influence remain undiminished even now, 2000 years after her death. 

These include the 'Nahman Cleopatra', a marble head (circa 33-30 BC), on show in Italy for the first time. The portrait, which is still in private hands, takes its name from Maurice Nahman (1868-1948), the most famous of Cairo's antique dealers and collectors in pre-Nasser Egypt. 
The 'Nahman Cleopatra' resembles another head dating from the second half of the 1st century BC, from the Vatican Museums, which is also on view here (circa 45 BC), one of the few portraits thought by scholars to really represent the queen. Found in 1784 at the Villa dei Quintilii on the Via Appia, the young woman wears the royal diadem, a broad band of cloth tied around the head (first adopted by Alexander the Great) that came to symbolise Hellenistic kingship.
Photograph: Musei Vaticani

Both heads may be Roman copies, in marble, of the lost, gilded bronze statue of Cleopatra given by Julius Caesar to the Temple of Venus Genetrix, while she was living in Rome from 46 to 44 BC. Another marble head found in Rome, on the Via Labicana, may be a portrait of Cleopatra in her youth, represented in the guise of the goddess Isis and dating from the 2nd or 1st century BC. The likeness of Cleopatra shown on coins does not do her justice. Men found her extremely attractive, although she may not have been a great beauty in the conventional sense but probably a highly intelligent jolie-laide whose allure was derived from her elegant bearing, notable wit, regal status and undoubted political savoir faire.

Representing the queen's illustrious Macedonian ancestry there is the 'Guimet Alexander', a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture from the Louvre. Alexander the Great was the founder of Alexandria, where he was reputedly buried by Ptolemy Soter I (circa 367 BC-circa 283 BC), one of his generals, the initiator in 305 BC of the Ptolemaic dynasty that ended with Cleopatra's death in 30 BC. Cleopatra's lovers Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) and Mark Antony (83-30 BC) are also represented, as is Caesarion (47-30 BC), her son by Julius Caesar, who became Ptolemy XV.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The tomb of Abydos dynasty king found

A name of an ancient Egyptian king who was not known before was revealed in Abydos ancient Egyptian necropolis in the Upper Egyptian town of Sohag

by Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 15 Jan 2014

An American excavation mission from the University of Pennsylvania uncovered the name of an ancient Egyptian king from the Abydos dynasty during the second Intermediate Period (1650 BC) during routine excavations south of Abydos archaeological site.
(Photocredit: Nevine El-Aref)

According to a statement by the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA), the name of the king is Sneb-Kay. His name was found on Tuesday engraved on a wall of his tomb.

MSA Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that it is a very important discovery because it shed more light on Abydos local families that ruled the nome during the Second Intermediate Period, considered one of the most critical phases of ancient Egyptian history.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian Section at the MSA, said that early excavation revealed that the tomb was built with blocks previously used in tombs of the Middle Kingdom. Remains of a wooden sarcophagus still bearing the king's skeleton were also found inside the tomb as well as a set of canopic jars.

Early studies carried out on the skeleton, which is poorly conserved, show that the king could have been 1.85 metres long, El-Asfar said.

The skeleton of Pharaoh Senebkay was originally mummified but his body was pulled apart by ancient tomb robbers.

Joseph Wagner, head of the American mission, stated that the tomb neighbours the tomb of King Subek Hotep of the 13th dynasty and the newly discovered tomb can be dated to a dynasty called Abydos mentioned by archaeologist K.Rhyholt, although the ruling tenure of the king is still a mystery. He added that the poor state of the tomb shows that Egypt was suffering bad economic conditions.

Excavations and studies are in full swing to learn more about the mysterious period.


Wednesday Weekly # 16

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


by Nevine El-Aref:

Royal tomb from Second Intermediate Period discovered in Upper Egypt


by Alastair Sooke:

Akhenaten: mad, bad, or brilliant?


by Nevine El-Aref:

More mysteries of Tutankhamun


American diggers identify tomb of Egypt pharaoh


by María Rosa Valdesogo:

Mourning and Resurrection Ritual in the Egyptian tomb of Qar


New blogentry by Timothy Reid:

The Tomb of Tutankhamen


Ministry of Antiquities to produce replicas of King Tut treasures


New blogentry by Michaela Binder:

Amara West 2014: A difficult start in the cemeteries

and by Anna Stevens and Delphine Driaux:

Amara West 2014: beyond the town walls


By A.R. Williams:

King Tut's Mummified Penis Hints at Political Struggle?


New blogpost:

The heads in color


New post by Julia Thorne:

New Egyptology book releases: December 2013


By Pia Edqvist:

Lighting up the Petrie Museum


New blogentry:

The Destructrix: An Ancient Egyptian destroyer of hostile demons


By Julia Budka:

First Results: Mud bricks, ceramics and much more


By Peter Herdrich:

How ASOR is Helping to Protect Egyptian Antiquities


Annual Symposium:

Theme: Ritual Landscapes in Ancient Egypt

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Museum Pieces - The Mourners of Merymery

(Photocredit: RMO Leiden)


Merymery was custodian of the treasury of Memphis. This part of the relief shows the procession of mourners during the funeral of Merymery.

Inventorynr: AP 6-a
Date: 1388 - 1351 BC, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty
Find: Saqqara


Saturday, January 11, 2014

More mysteries of Tutankhamun

The mystery of the ancient Egyptian Boy King Tutankhamun continues to fascinate Egyptologists as a new controversy reveals, writes Nevine El-Aref

This week the ancient Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun is in the limelight once again, with the image of his golden mask decorated with precious stones featuring in many international magazines and newspapers.

However, the current interest in the boy king is not because of his treasured funerary collection, his lineage, or the causes behind his early death, but instead because of the way in which he was mummified.

According to a study carried out by professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo (AUC) Salima Ikram, Tutankhamun was unusually embalmed by priests of the god Amun in an attempt to quash the religious revolution carried out by his father and predecessor the monotheistic king Akhnaten.

The latter had called for the worship of only one deity, the sun god Aten, and the abandonment of the ancient Egyptians’ other gods.

When Akhnaten’s son Tutankhamun came to the throne, he returned Egypt to its traditional religion of worshipping a diverse set of deities at the top of which was the god Amun.
To ensure that this conversion continued after Tutankhamun’s death and to abort any further religious revolution, Ikram suggests in her paper that the priests mummified Tutankhamun’s corpse in an unusual way to make him appear as Osiris, the god of the afterlife and the land of Egypt.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Akhenaten: mad, bad, or brilliant?

He fathered Tutankhamun, married Nefertiti, and was one of the most original thinkers of his era. Then why is the pharoah Akhenaten often dismissed as a madman?

By Alastair Sooke 09 Jan 2014

Almost 200 miles south of Cairo, in the heart of Middle Egypt, the archaeological site of Amarna occupies a great bay of desert beside the River Nile. To the uninformed eye, this semicircle of barren land, bound by the east bank of the river and enormous limestone cliffs, looks like nothing much: a vast, stricken dust bowl, approximately seven miles long and three miles wide, scattered with sandy hillocks. But 33 centuries ago, this spot was home to tens of thousands of ancient Egyptians, brought there by the will of a single man: the pharaoh Akhenaten.

Rebel, tyrant, and prophet of arguably the world’s earliest monotheistic religion, Akhenaten has been called history’s first individual. His impact upon ancient Egyptian customs and beliefs stretching back for centuries was so alarming that, in the generations following his death in 1336 BC, he was branded a heretic. Official king lists omitted his name.

For my money, this makes him the most fascinating and controversial figure in Egyptian history. And that’s before you consider his marriage to Nefertiti, known as the Mona Lisa of antiquity thanks to her austerely beautiful painted limestone bust discovered in a sculptor’s workshop at Amarna and now in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, or the likelihood that he fathered Tutankhamun, the most famous pharaoh of them all. If I were in charge of the British Museum, I would commission an exhibition about Akhenaten in a trice.

Akhenaten was not supposed to become pharaoh. The son of Amenhotep III, who dominated the first half of the 14th century BC, ruling over a court of unprecedented luxury and magnificence that placed great emphasis on solar theology, Prince Amenhotep, as he was then called, was younger brother to the crown Prince Thutmose. Following Thutmose’s unexpected death, though, he became the heir apparent – and when his father died in 1353 BC, he took the throne as Amenhotep IV.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Royal tomb from Second Intermediate Period discovered in Upper Egypt

The tomb of the founder of the 13th dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period was discovered in Abydos at the Upper Egyptian city of Sohag

by Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 8 Jan 2014

During excavations at Abydos in Sohag the American mission from University of Pennsylvania uncovered the tomb of Sobekhotep I, the founder of the 13th dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period.

The minister of antiquities said on Tuesday that the tomb was discovered accidently after the mission stumbled upon a large, quartzite sarcophagus weighing 60 tons and the discovery of fragments of a painted relief depicting the king seated on the throne with his name written below. Pieces of the king’s canopic jars were also unearthed.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities section at the ministry said that the newly discovered tomb has a pyramid shape and it similar to the pyramids belong to a 13th dynasty king Ameny-Qemau found in Dahshur.

He said that the tomb is built with stones brought from Taura and the burial chamber, El-Asfar is built with red quartzite brought from the red hill near Cairo.

“It is a very important discovery,” said Aymen El-Damarany, the archeologist accompanying the mission, adding that this is the first complete monument found to Sobekhotep. Nothing has been discovered of him except his name found among the king’s list engraved on the wall at Abydos and the Turin manuscript on display in Italy. They mentioned that Sobekhotep ruled Egypt for four years and six months, which is considered as the longest tenure during such period.

The tomb is also important because its walls are decorated with paintings that will provide more information about the king.

Excavation will continue in order to know more about king and the daily life of his era.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Weekly # 15

Welcome to the first Wednesday Weekly of 2014, your weekly dose of links to Egyptology news, articles, blogs, events and more! The Amun-Ra Egyptology Blog wishes everyone a happy 2014 with lots of Egyptology news!


New blogentries:

Egyptology Books and Articles in PDF Online

Amarna Project Downloadable Resources


New blogentries:

Egypt to retrieve 8 objects were stolen in 2008 back from Denmark

Wooden sarcophagi and other antiquities to be repatriated from the USA

Statue's head found in Thutmosis III temple

13th Dynasty tomb discovered in Upper Egypt


Statues discovered at ancient Hermonthis in Egypt

Unique Neolithic child cemetery found in Egypt


Virtual archaeologist at IU turns clock back millennia to uncover secrets of ancient Rome


by Owen Jarus:

Ancient Spider Rock Art Sparks Archaeological Mystery

King Tut's Mummified Erect Penis May Point to Ancient Religious Struggle


By Sadie Dingfelder:

'The Nile and Ancient Egypt' at the Freer Gallery of Art showcases ancient Egyptians' reverence for the river


by Nevine El-Aref:

Egypt's heritage in danger


New blogentry:

New light under old wrappings (I): Reinvestigating Asru


New blogposts by Timothy Reid:

Egypt by H.H. Powers

The Year 2013 in Egyptology


by Nevine El-Aref:

German Archaeological Institute honours Egyptian archaeologists

Japanese meet antiquities minister on Grand Egyptian Museum cooperation

Stolen Ancient Egyptian artefacts to return next week

Security to be tightened at Egypt's archaeological sites

An unidentified royal statue head found in Luxor

Bust of a 26th dynasty prince recovered from Brussels

Tomb of chief beer-maker discovered in Egypt's Luxor

Egypt seizes hoard of antiquities


by Vincent Razanajao:

Left London. 1.40pm. For Marseilles.


By Julia Budka:

Ready, set, go: The field season 2014

Landscape archaeology and environmental remains at Sai

New Perspectives: The western edge of the Pharaonic town


Cockcroft, Robert & Sarah Symons. 2013. Diagonal Star Tables on Coffins A1C and S2Hil: A New Triangle Decan and a Reversed Table. – Palarch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 10(3) (2013), 1-10. ISSN 1567-214X. 10 pages + 5 figures, 4 tables.


by Mo Rocca:

A tug-of-war over ancient treasures


Ancient Egypt subject of lecture series



Treasures of Ancient Egypt, The Birth of Art


New post:

Eat, drink & be merry: celebrations in ancient Egypt (Part One)

Day course: 25th January 2014

Animals in Ancient Egyptian Life: a day school


New blogpost:

The Seven Hathors, Musicians of Fate


by Todd Neale:

Mummies and the Tale of the Clogged Arteries, an Update


Episode XIII - Children of Pepy


by María Rosa Valdesogo:

Shaving the Mourners in Ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom

Mourners in the Tomb of Khonsuemheb in Luxor