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


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Kidney Spotted For First Time in Egyptian Mummy

By Rossella Lorenzi

Researchers in Portugal have found the first radiological outline of a kidney in an ancient Egyptian mummy and the oldest case of renal tuberculosis.

Kept at the National Museum of Archaeology in Lisbon, Portugal, the mummy, of unknown provenance, dates back to some 2,800 years.

“It’s a male named Irtieru. We do not know exactly what he did in life, but the quality of his cartonnage links him to an elite family,” professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, told Discovery News.

She noted the white cartonnage decorated in polychrome, on which Irtieru's name is painted vertically, is typical of the Twenty-Second Dynasty (about 945–712 BC).

X-Rays (radiography and CT scans) revealed Irtieru rests in his coffin with his arms lying alongside his body and with his hands crossed over his body. He was tall for his time, about 5.61 feet, and died between 35 and 45 years of age.

The researchers’ attention, however, was drawn by a small, bean-shaped structure at the left lumbar region. To their knowledge, this is the first time a kidney has been depicted in X-Rays.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

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

Ancient Egyptians leveraged a massive shipping, mining and farming economy to propel their civilization forward

By Alexander Stille for SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

Following notes written by an English traveler in the early 19th century and two French pilots in the 1950s, Pierre Tallet made a stunning discovery: a set of 30 caves honeycombed into limestone hills but sealed up and hidden from view in a remote part of the Egyptian desert, a few miles inland from the Red Sea, far from any city, ancient or modern. During his first digging season, in 2011, he established that the caves had served as a kind of boat storage depot during the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom, about 4,600 years ago. Then, in 2013, during his third digging season, he came upon something quite unexpected: entire rolls of papyrus, some a few feet long and still relatively intact, written in hieroglyphics as well as hieratic, the cursive script the ancient Egyptians used for everyday communication. Tallet realized that he was dealing with the oldest known papyri in the world.

Astonishingly, the papyri were written by men who participated in the building of the Great Pyramid, the tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu, the first and largest of the three colossal pyramids at Giza just outside modern Cairo. Among the papyri was the journal of a previously unknown official named Merer, who led a crew of some 200 men who traveled from one end of Egypt to the other picking up and delivering goods of one kind or another. Merer, who accounted for his time in half-day increments, mentions stopping at Tura, a town along the Nile famous for its limestone quarry, filling his boat with stone and taking it up the Nile River to Giza. In fact, Merer mentions reporting to “the noble Ankh-haf,” who was known to be the half-brother of the Pharaoh Khufu and now, for the first time, was definitively identified as overseeing some of the construction of the Great Pyramid. And since the pharaohs used the Tura limestone for the pyramids’ outer casing, and Merer’s journal chronicles the last known year of Khufu’s reign, the entries provide a never-before-seen snapshot of the ancients putting finishing touches on the Great Pyramid.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday Weekly # 89

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

Nile Magazine

Open Access Journal: ENIM: Égypte nilotique et méditerranéenne

The Egyptian Ouroboros: An Iconological and Theological Study

The Egypt Exploration Society YouTube Channel

Vygus Egyptian Dictionary


Down and up again – impressions from the shaft of tomb 26 on Sai

The 5th International Congress for Young Egyptologists in Vienna


Osiris in Paris

Egypt through Italian eyes


Developing bioarchaology in Sudan – workshop at the Sudan National Museum


Lecture: Hill of Bones – The Mortuary Landscape of Kom el-Adhem

Date: 7:30 – 9:00 pm, 02-Oct-2015


Extraordinary mortuary deposits at Kom el-Adhem in the Egyptian delta represent a vandalized sacred animal necropolis, an unusually complex cemetery of Graeco-Roman date, and evidence for the sudden, violent deaths of men, women, and children. Situated on a geographically significant tributary of the Mendesian branch of the Nile, and close to the mounds of Tell er-Ruba’a (ancient Mendes) and Tell Timai (ancient Thmuis), the site presents a perplexing mosaic of uses. In this illustrated talk, Dr. Nancy Lovell will describe the excavations at Kom el-Adhem and the analyses of human and animal remains.


Kom Ombo Crocodile museum damaged due to sandstorm

Cleopatra ‘brought back to life’ in Alexandria 3D show

1025 Greco-Roman artifacts transported to Grand Egyptian Museum

Oldest Egyptian leather manuscript discovered in Egyptian Museum


Zahi Hawass launches petition to save the statue of Sekhemka

Unforgettable days in Cortona


Amara West 1938-39: A temporary exhibition by Elina Rodriguez Millan


Tutankhamun's tomb off the tourist track starting October

Field trip to search for Nefertiti's resting place to start within a week


“The God Ra: Iconography”


Why did the ancient Egyptians preserve the heart and yet discard the brain in the mummification of humans?


Grand Egyptian Museum Update


September News Round Up in Egyptology


16 Ancient Pyramids, Burial Sites for a Vanished Kingdom, Found in Sudan

Star charts reveal how ancient Egyptians planned to navigate the sky after death

Cheers! Archaeologists Discover Ceremonial Cup from the Dynasty of the Black Pharaohs


The Met’s Egypt Exhibit Goes Way Beyond King Tut


16 Pyramids Discovered in Ancient Cemetery


Call for applicants for the Egyptian Archaeology Study Programme at NVIC, Cairo 

(10 January to 1 March 2016)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Field trip to search for Nefertiti's resting place to start within a week

Archaeologist Nicholas Reeves is to arrive to Luxor, 28 September, in the hope of confirming his theory on the location of Nefertiti's final resting place in Tutankhamun's tomb

By Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 20 Sep 2015

On 28 September, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty and British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves, along with a group of Egyptian and foreign scientists, are to embark on an investigation trip to Luxor to prove Reeves' theory that Queen Nefertiti's remains lay in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Via state-of-the-art equipment, Reeves is to examine Tutankhamun's northern wall, in order to inspect behind it and possibly locate the existence of the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti.

Early August, Reeves published a theory suggesting that the west and north painted walls inside King Tutankhamun’s tomb have two secret passageways that lead to two chambers, one of them containing the remains of Nefertiti — queen of Egypt and the chief consort and wife of the monotheistic King Akhenaten, Tutankhamun's father. The remaining chamber could be another gallery for Tutankhamun.

A press conference is to be organised in Cairo upon their arrival from Luxor to announce the results of the investigation.

In a telephone call with Reeves, he told Ahram Online he would not be able to release any statement until the scientific work and examination are carried out.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

16 Pyramids Discovered in Ancient Cemetery

by Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor   |   September 16, 2015

The remains of 16 pyramids with tombs underneath have been discovered in a cemetery near the ancient town of Gematon in Sudan.  

They date back around 2,000 years, to a time when a kingdom called "Kush" flourished in Sudan. Pyramid building was popular among the Kushites. They built them until their kingdom collapsed in the fourth century AD.

Derek Welsby, a curator at the British Museum in London, and his team have been excavating at Gematon since 1998, uncovering the 16 pyramids, among many other finds, in that time. "So far, we've excavated six made out of stone and 10 made out of mud brick," Welsby said. 

The largest pyramid found at Gematon was 10.6 meters (about 35 feet) long on each side and would have risen around 13 m (43 feet) off the ground.

Wealthy and powerful individuals built some of the pyramids, while people of more modest means built the others, Welsby said. "They're not just the upper-elite burials," he said.

In fact, not all the tombs in the cemetery have pyramids: Some are buried beneath simple rectangular structures called "mastaba," whereas others are topped with piles of rocks called "tumuli." Meanwhile, other tombs have no surviving burial markers at all.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Part of long-lost Pelusiac branch of Nile uncovered in Egypt's Qantara

The ancient water-way was a key transport link for the 26th Dynasty and was lost to silt around two millennia ago

By Nevine El-Aref , Monday 14 Sep 2015

Excavations by an Egyptian mission at the Tel Al-Dafna archaeological site in Qantara have uncovered a 200 metre section of the long-lost Pelusiac branch of the Nile.

The Pelusiac branch was the major navigational byway into the delta from Sinai which once divided the ancient Qantara city into east and west.

Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the mission, told Ahram Online that the first ever complete industrial city was uncovered at Qantara. It includes a collection of kilns used to melt iron and bronze in weapon-making for Egyptian army during the 26th dynasty (664-525 AD).

He said the antiquities minister has ordered more archaeologists and excavators to work at the site in order to reveal more of the Pelusiac branch and of the industrial city.

The course of the Pelusiac branch has been traced on a deltaic plain east of the Suez Canal, between the El Baqar Canal and Tell El-Farama (ancient Pelusium). Two minor distributaries branched northward.

The critical stage in the process of the silting of the lower reaches of the Pelusiac branch, due to beach accretion, occurred around 25 AD. Ancient ruins in the area are closely associated with the waterway.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday Weekly # 88

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

Scientific American


Open Acces Journal Backlist: Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 

Open Acces Journal: The British Museum Egypt and Sudan Newsletter 

Open Acces Journal: Papyrus Magazin: Die Zeitschrift für Deutschesprachige in Ägypten

Open Acces Journal: ANKH, Journal of Egyptology and African Civilisations 


Useful enquiries 

Plaster casts, class and art. CIPEG 2015. 


The Northern Cemeteries of Amarna


Mummified kestrel virtual autopsy points to choking as cause of death


Paris Egypt exhibit holds defiant message for Islamic State

Tut mask renovation begins Oct. 10


‘Demon Things’ conference speakers

‘Demon Things’ conference 2016 abstract: Panagiotis Kousoulis


#myEESpic - We need your help...


A conservation material with nuclear power invented in Egypt

Part of long-lost Pelusiac branch of Nile uncovered in Egypt's Qantara

Tutankhamun's mask to undergo restoration in October


Ugly Object of the Month—September


It's all about who you know


Cleanup Day of Luxor’s Avenue of the Sphinxes


Oldest, Longest Ancient Egyptian Leather Manuscript Found


Valley Of The Kings


Surprising New Finds from Ancient Egyptian Star Charts

Surprising New Finds from Ancient Egyptian Star Charts

Planetarium software, among other things, shows how ancient Egyptians planned to navigate the sky after death

By Christine Gorman | Sep 15, 2015

Ancient Egyptians expected to be very busy in the afterlife. Thousands of years ago they painted big beautiful eyes on the outside of their coffins so that they could see what was going on in the world. Some of the nobility around the upper Egyptian city of Asyut even had detailed tables of star movements drawn on the inside of their coffins. The depictions look like timetables or spreadsheets of when various stars first appear (or disappear) over the horizon at different times of the year—only a lot more beautiful.

Scholars have long believed that the star charts represented a very early type of clock, for telling time at night, which might be important for certain religious rituals. But Sarah Symons of McMaster University in Ontario thinks it more likely that the tables represent a kind of map for the dead to properly navigate the sky, where they would live forevermore as stars. Her conclusions are based on years of research into ancient Egyptian beliefs, extensive surveys of the 27 known star tables or fragments of tables in the world and, using planetarium software, the ability to easily recreate the nighttime sky as it appeared more than 4000-odd years ago along the Nile. Symons and co-author Elizabeth Tasker of Hokkaido University in Japan describe the work in the October issue of Scientific American.

The basic layout of the star charts has, of course, been known for decades, as Symons and Tasker write in "Stars of the Dead." A complete table "is divided into quarters by a horizontal and a vertical strip. The horizontal strip contains a line from a religious text making an offering to a number of Egyptian gods, and the vertical strip pictures four images of the gods themselves. . ."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Oldest, Longest Ancient Egyptian Leather Manuscript Found

By Rossella Lorenzi

The oldest Egyptian leather manuscript has been found in the shelves of the Egyptian museum in Cairo, where it was stored and forgotten for more than 70 years.

Dating from the late Old Kingdom to the early Middle Kingdom (2300-2000 B.C.), the roll measures about 2.5 meters(8.2 feet) and is filled with texts and colorful drawings of the finest quality.

“Taking into account that it was written on both sides, we have more than 5 meters (16.4 feet) of texts and drawings, making this the longest leather roll from ancient Egypt,” Wael Sherbiny, the Belgium-based independent scholar who made the finding, told Discovery News.
The first Egyptian to obtain his PhD in Egyptology in 2008 from the Leuven University in Belgium, Sherbiny specializes in the ancient Egyptian religious texts and is preparing the full publication of the unique leather roll.

He announced the finding at the recent International Congress of Egyptologists in Florence.
Nothing is known about the manuscript’s origins. The French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo bought it from a local antiquities dealer sometime after the WWI. Later it was donated to the Cairo Museum, where it was unrolled shortly before the outbreak of the WWII.

“Since then it was stored in the museum and fell completely into oblivion,” Sherbiny said.

Basically a portable religious manuscript, the more than 4,000-year-old roll, contains depictions of divine and supernatural beings which predate the famous drawings found in the Book of the Dead manuscripts and the so-called Netherworld Books from the New Kingdom onwards (1550 B.C. onwards).

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bird Mummy's Secret: Why Raptor Was Force-Fed by Ancient Egyptians

By Megan Gannon, Live Science Contributor   |   September 09, 2015

Its last meal wasn't pleasant.

A mouse tail was lodged in its throat when it died. Semi-digested flesh and fur still remained in its stomach when it was wrapped in mummy bandages.

A new autopsy reveals that overeating choked and killed this unfortunate raptor from ancient Egypt. Scientists suspect that Egyptians force-fed the bird so they could offer it to the sun god Ra as a votive mummy.

Mummification wasn't reserved for people in Egypt. The archaeological record is full of examples of cats, dogs, crocodiles and birds that were mummified and used as religious offerings to their corresponding animal gods, a practice that was popular from about 600 B.C. until around A.D. 250, well into the Roman period. Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, has made a living studying these animal mummies, and for her latest research, she examined the ancient remains of a European kestrel from the Iziko Museums of South Africa in Cape Town.

New imaging technologies have made it possible to see through mummies without butchering ancient corpses: Ikram and her colleagues used an X-ray computed tomography scanner at Stellenbosch University in South Africa to see the insides of the kestrel in 3D. The images revealed the bird's stomach was stuffed with bones and teeth from at least two mice —one with its tail inside the raptor's esophagus —and a partially digested sparrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Weekly # 87

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


Meketre Scene Repository

Aswan-Kom Ombo: Missioni Archeologiche, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà

Kom Umm el-Atl: Missioni Archeologiche, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà

Some Open Access Articles from Chronique d'Égypte

Medizinische Schriften der Alten Ägypter


Mysterious bits from Nespekashuti 


Fire dogs and food preparation on Sai

Last steps in recording Faience vessels from Sai Island, New Kingdom town 


Pharaohs at night 


Discovery of mummified kestrel reveals evidence for falconry in ancient Egypt 


Happy Caturday 


'Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed' - Press Release 


A Teenager in Ancient Egypt with Lock of Hair? 


The Gold of Tutankhamen 


Germany to fund renovation of Tutankhamun golden mask 

Press release: U.S. Helps preserve base of Sphinx by lowering groundwater 

France's Holland to inaugurate 'Osiris, Egypt's Sunken Mysteries' exhibit Monday 


Scanning Sesebi: A work experience project by Elissa Day


Greek Papyrus 6: The Nicene Creed


Egyptomania in Pompeii: Ancient Egypt in Rome's Famous City 


Episode 52: Two Dynasties at Once

Canaanites in the North, Egyptians in the South


Hidden Blue Paint Found in Ancient Mummy Portraits