Thursday, 22 February 2018

Floor tiles of Karnak Temple are not ‘ancient’ as rumored: official

There was a bit of reaction to the picture posted last week of the disabled access but those that were worried will be relieved to read this

In response to photos circulating on Egypt’s social media outlets that have alleged the removal of the archeological tiles of Karnak Temple located inside Luxor, head of Karnak Temple’s remnants Mostafa El Seghair denied the claims.
He said in media statements that new modifications were added to the tiles of the temple to put a path for handicapped people to facilitate their access inside the temple.
He further explained that the tiles located inside the temple are not the archeological ones as rumored, noting that new tiles were put in 2008.

Credit Barbara Clark

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Francesco Tiradritti Lecture on the Valley of the Kings

This was held at a brand new hotel just by the cross roads on the west bank. Very nice location. I must admit when Francesco started it seemed a normal introduction to the Valley of the Kings but it rapidly became a new (to me) approach to analysing the progression of tomb excavation. Most interesting but then he always is

This map will help but the way Francesco displayed was a time progression shown the relationship as well as the location of 18, 19 and 20 dynasty tombs

One of the earliest images of the Valley of the Kings was Pocock in 1743. The kings of the 17th dynasty were buried at Dra Abu Naga but the kings of the 18th dynasty went further west. The first burial was Amenhotep I but we don’t know where he is despite numerous attempts to find the tomb. At one point in time there were 6 different expeditions trying to find the tomb.

If you look at the tombs in historical order you get a very different perspective specially the relationship between where the workers were and Deir el Bahri. The way we go to the valley these days is the long way round but the first tomb we know KV38 Tuthmosis I is actually situate in the closest wadi to Deir el Medina. The next KV 38 is Tuthmosis II having a geographical relationship to his father Tuthmosis I.

Hatshepsut located her tomb KV20 in relationship to her temple at Deir el Bahri but in poor quality rock.

Tuthmosis III went back close to his father and grandfather. The tomb is not cartouche shape but the shape of the underworld. Similar to how noble’s tombs are the shape of the world. Francesco should the tomb of Ankhtifi shown the oval shape. You can follow it through

1.      Hunting and fishing in the marshes
2.      Fields and battle
3.      Granaries
4.      Donkeys
5.      Cattle
6.      Settlement

7        Hunters
8        Unknown

9        Festival of Hemen

In the same way the underworld is laid out in KV 43 going sequential EXCEPT number 5 and 6 which represent chaos

Next KV 35 and its associated royal fan bearer KV 36
KV 43 back to the Hatshepsut area
Kv22 ad Kv45
Then the Amarna period

Kv55 the controversial tomb, Francesco once did a count and there were 120 theories about Shrines of Tiye, magic brinks of Akhenaton ceiling of Tutankhamen. A royal coffin with no name

KV 62

Francesco talked at length about the DNA report done by Zahi Hawass. The level of probably contamination was so high it proves nothing. Compare it to the excavation of Richard III

He also talked about the theories of extra rooms in KV62 and feels there other explanations for the perceived rectangle (plaster working area, poor quality limestone) and he believes the latest scan has also been in conclusive. Beside Zahi excavated in that area

The excavations then follow relationships and dynasties. Nobles tend to be near their king. Difficult to explain without pictures but if you colour a shaded area of 18, 19 and 20 dynasty tombs you get the idea.

KV23, KV57 end of 18th
KV16 and 17 father and son
KV 7, 5, 8(Merenptah), KV10, 15
KV 47 Siptah KV13 Chancellor Bay
KV 14
KV11 & 3
End of the new kingdom. In the 21st and 22nd dynasty there were common burials who seem to be single ladies

Result of the disabled campaign

Thanks to Mohamed Famy posting the first results of the disabled campaign

Aug 2016 I bring a mobility scooter back from the UK and start doing site visits
Oct 2016 First paper produced and present to Minister and Governor at confernece
Apr 2017 Email Response from Ministry
May 2017 Site Visit with men from Ministry
Jul 2017 Proposal produced with Joanne Stables
Jul 2017 Meeting with Helm
Jan 2018 News reports improvement planned at Karnak and Luxor
Feb 2018 Evidence of improvements

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Lecture this Sunday

Image may contain: textFrom Isabella Faroppa Soliman


Friday, 2 February 2018

Radar scan underway to search for hidden chambers in Tutankhamun’s tomb

In 2015, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves published a theory suggesting that the northern and western walls of Tutankhamun's tomb house hidden doorways that could lead to the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, the wife and co-regent of the monotheistic King Akhenaten and the golden king’s step mother.

To put an end to such conflicting results, Mohamed Ismail, supervisor-general of the Permanent Committee at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that a third radar survey has begun inside and outside Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Search for Tut's hidden chambers

Using ground-penetrating radars Egyptologists are ready to begin a "decisive" search for hidden chambers in King Tutankhamen's tomb.

After almost a year of waiting, researchers at the Italian University of Turin finally obtained the green light from Egypt for conducting "decisive geo-radar measurements" from inside the tomb, they said on Wednesday.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves has previously said a detailed examination of photographs and scans of the tomb's northern wall suggested it concealed an opening into a further chamber.

Full report

Monday, 29 January 2018

Egypt's archaeological sites to be made more accessible to people with disabilities

Luxor and Karnak Temples are among the first ancient sites to see improvements, with wooden ramps and paths for wheelchairs, along with information boards accessible to those with impaired sight and hearing.

Whoop Whoop It would seem that they listened, I am so excited.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Egypt prosecution orders detention of hot air balloon pilot, 3 company officials over deadly Luxor crash

A Luxor prosecution ordered on Saturday the four-day detention pending investigation of the pilot – as well as three officials from a hot air balloon company – who was operating a hot air balloon that crashed on Friday, killing a 36-year-old South African tourist and injuring 15 others. Read more on the link

A tourist was killed and 12 tourists were injured this morning in an emergency landing of a bird balloon on the western desert road in front of Qurna due to bad weather conditions. Immediately after the landing, 12 ambulances were transferred and the injured were transferred to Luxor International Hospital for treatment.
A statement by the Health Directorate said that the deceased tourist from South Africa and that all the injured were moderately injured between fractures and wounds in different places in the body and that the degree of readiness to the maximum degree in Luxor International Hospital and provide all medical staff of various disciplines, medicines and medical supplies and blood bags.
The governor of Luxor, Mohammed Badr, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and a number of security leaders in the province, went to the hospital to check on the injured.
"It was not an accident but a forced landing due to wind speed," said an official at the balloon company in Luxor, who preferred not to be named. "The wind speed was very normal, and the civil aviation authorities and officials at the balloon airport gave permission to take off. One of the balloons strongly wind, which called for the implementation of the forced landing process to maintain the safety of tourists.
"The balloon was carrying 20 tourists and hit the ground, which is often the case, but a number of tourists did not comply with the safety standards and the advice of the commander during the landing process, hit the head of a tourist balloon body and died before the rescue and wounded others.
He said that the balloon leader is one of the most efficient and skilled balloon leaders in Luxor and has already been honored by the Balloon Union for its excellence, noting that his skill and the way of landing despite the wind hard saved the tourists.

The original is in Arabic

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Betsy Bryan Lecture Tuesday 16/1/2018 10 AM

The Scientific Research Department at Karnak(SRDK) is Organizing Lecture for
Dr. Betsy Bryan - Johns Hopkins University - about (Temple of Mut in The Eighteenth Dynasty)
Tuesday 16/1/2018 at the Visitors Center in Karnak.
Attendance of the lecture is free

Friday, 22 December 2017

Campbell Price's trip report to Luxor

Great report from Campbell about his visit to Luxor with photos.

XIIth International Congress of Egyptologists 9 to 14 November 2019

Newsletter of the International Association of Egyptologists says: "We are delighted now to confirm that the next event (i.e. XIIth International Congress of Egyptologists) will take place in Luxor, from 9 to 14 November 2019."

Flats in Luxor will be offering accommodation at a special price for conference participants.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Stick Festival 21-25 Dec

National Festival of Tahtib, Luxor temple, Abu el Hagag square, 21-25 December. Thanks to Mohamed A Fahmy for the heads up

Monday, 11 December 2017

Dr Campbell Price – Perfected Forms Functions of Non-Royal Sculpture in the Late Period

Dr Campbell Price – Perfected Forms Functions of Non-Royal Sculpture in the Late Period

Where Rosalie talked about the purpose of the space in a temple Campbell wants to talk the purpose of statues in a temple. His PhD was on rituals through the evidence of statues.

He extensively studied the statues from the Cachette at Karnak. These were found under the court in front of the 7th pylon. They were discovered between 1903 and 1905 by Georges Legrain working under the supervision of Gaston Maspero, and represent the largest find of statuary ever made in Egypt and perhaps anywhere in the world. Some 20,000 artefacts were found including nearly 1000 statues with over half were private statues from the 1 millennium BC. The rest included 17,000 bronzes, wooden statues, offering tables, stele.

These statues are densely inscribed non-royal hard stone statues from 25th to early Ptolemaic period. There is an online website which means anyone can look at the statues and Campbell said it was a model of how to present a museum catalogue.

The Cachette location is the centre of the Karnak complex and this may be significant. Due to the high water table it was described as fishing for status and context was lost, some wooden status did not survive. In fact they had to stop for safety reasons and it may well be there is just as much again to be found. (At another lecture I attended there was some mention that with the dewatering project perhaps it is worth having another go?)

Bernard V. Bothmer studied these statues and a 1930’s label describes the inscriptions as non-interesting!! In fact the inscriptions are very interesting and inform us about two things.

·         Family tree and genealogy information similar to that found at Deir el Medina
·         Historical Art. The stylistic analysis was very subjective. With him saying he could recognise them in real life from their portraits. This assumes realism rather than idealism about the portrait. (Would you show yourself as fat and bald if this was going to be your eternal image)

Campbell thinks there is a third thing we can learn is how the statues were used in the space, the conceptualism. Rosalie told us about the space but without the statues we have an incomplete picture.

What was the motivation of having your statue in the temple rather than in your tomb? It would seem this indicated a level of insecurity about continued offerings at the tomb. By having your statue in the temple you could ensure to receive the continued offerings that took place there. Your statue would get food, drink, and incense, have processions got past, and hear hymns. Some of the inscriptions support this idea “…one of his following..” “…united with the god back against the wall …”

Offerings were present firstly to the god, then to the royal ancestor, then the priest ate them. But private statues could get a small slice of this action. The design of the statues often facilities this with large flat surfaces on which offerings could be laid. However this could cause problems and there are other inscriptions that beg people to dust and clean the statues and remove waste offerings.

By being in the Cachette Court statues were in a key position to still receive offerings even though they were buried.

On type of statue, Naophorous, where the private individual is embracing the shrine of the god or the god himself. This could ensure you got offerings, weren’t damages, and were kept clean. Status of the individual with Osiris are more common than Amun.

Statues are distributed all over Karnak often by doorways or entrances to chapels, places where you might be seen. Some were made by a son to make his family divine, to live again. JE 36728 is an example of archaising the art showing a family group. The inscription says “causing his wife to be young eternally”.

Pediamenope TT33 was an antiquarian and he says “….recite in order to make the monument complete” By having a range of statues of every possible style you could encourage people to visit your statue because it was so unusual. Another inscription said a gift of the king, was this copying an older piece.

Healing statues, these had inscription on them that might cure people. Water would be poured over them and then the water could be drunk and it would magically have the ability to cure AND you could ensure offerings.

An interesting question was asked by Ray Johnson, what were Campbell’s thought on the reason for the Cachette. Obviously another one of these subjects with many views. Campbell thought it was a massive foundation offering.

Campbell has a blog, facebook and twitter

Sunday, 10 December 2017

"A Great Discovery in Luxor "

From Facebook with lots of photos

Since the beginning of 2017 ,Dr/ Khaled El-Anani and Dr/Mostafa Waziri have made a string of archaeological discoveries including the discovery of Userhat tomb in 18th of April and other tomb in 9 of September and today the discovery of the two tombs .
On Saturday, Dr/ Khaled El-anani (minister of antiquities) announced the discovery of two ancient tombs at Dra abu el –Naga (cemetery for the noblemen) in the west bank of the Nile at Luxor.
The first tomb bearing a number of "150" dates back to 18th dynasty and contains a cartouche carved on the ceiling of the rectangular hall bearing the name of king Thutmose 1, Among the artifacts found inside the tomb are more than one hundreds funerary seals , and contains two burial shafts located in the northern and southern sides of the tomb .In the southern one , a burial chamber to Isis-Nfrt (may be the owner of the tomb ).
Dr/Mostafa Waziri "Secretary general of the supreme council of Antiquities " said that the other tomb bearing a number of "161" . The tomb has a wall paintings on the southern side of the western wall represented the owner of the tomb presented the offerings to the gods .The artifacts found inside were mostly fragments of wooden coffins.
This happened during the largest festival at Luxor governorate with the attending of Dr/ Ghada wali "minister of social solidarity ", Christina Georgieva "world bank chief executive officer " , Ambassador of Serbia , Mohammed Badr "Governor of Luxor" , Dr/Mostafa Waziri "Secretary general of the supreme council of Antiquities " and a number of audio-visual media at the local and international level .
Mohammed Badr "Governor of Luxor" said that we made a restoration to one of the largest statue at Luxor temple and thanked all the missions worked in the archaeological sites in the governorate especially the Egyptian mission .

Saturday, 9 December 2017

More on the new tomb via the wonderful EEF

* MoA Press release 9-12-2017:

"As the Ministry of Antiquities declares that year 2017 is the year of discoveries in Egypt, Minster of Antiquities Dr.
Khalid El-Enany announces today Saturday 9/12/2017, the discovery of a new tomb and the re-discovery of an older one at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.
Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Head of Egyptian excavation mission explains that both tombs were given special numbers by German archaeologist “Frederica Kampp” during the 1990s.
The first tomb has the number of “Kampp 161” and has never been excavated before while the second one has the number of “Kampp 150” and archaeologist Kampp started its excavation until reaching its entrance gate but never entered it.
Since then both tombs were left untouched until the Egyptian archaeological mission started its excavations during the recent archaeological season.

# Tomb Kampp 161

It is located to the north of tomb No. TT225, and the tomb of city’s councilor Userhat (Kampp 157) uncovered in April.

Although the name of the tomb’s owner is yet unidentified, the wall paintings, engravings and inscriptions found in the tomb suggest that it could be dated to the era between the reign of King Amenhotep II and the one of King Thutmose IV.

Owner of the tomb:
The owner of the tomb is yet unknown

Architectural Planning:
The tomb has a court lined with stone and mud-brick walls. It has a six meters deep burial shaft at its southern side that lead to four side chambers.
The tomb’s entrance is located at the eastern side with a sandstone fa├žade without any inscriptions. It leads to a rectangular hall with a Niche. Studies reveal that the tomb was reused in antiquity.

The inscriptions of the Tomb:
All the inscriptions are found on the western wall located at the tomb’s northern end. It shows two feast scenes. The first depicts a person, probably the deceased’s brother, presenting offerings and flowers to the deceased and his wife.
The second scene is found below the first one and shows a number of guests standing in four rows among which a row consists of three men and three women. The first man in the row is the Keeper of the storeroom.

The artifacts discovered inside the Tomb:
Most the discovered items are fragments of wooden coffins. The most important are:
A large wooden mask which was originally a part of an Osirian coffin A small painted wooden mask.
A fragment of a gilded wooden mask in a bad condition of preservation.
Four legs for wooden chairs that were among the deceased funerary equipment.
The lower part of a wooden Osirian shaped coffin decorated with a scene of goddess Isis lifting up her hands.

# Tomb Kampp 150

It is located to the south of tomb Kampp-157 and next to tomb

According to the cartouche of king Thutmosis I found engraved on the ceiling of one of the tomb’s chambers, it could be dated to the end of the 17th Dynasty and the beginning of the 18th Dynasty

Owner of the tomb:
The tomb’s owner is unknown yet but there are two possibilities.
The first suggests that the tomb could belong to a person named “Djehuty Mes” as his name was engraved on one of the walls.
The second possibility sees that the owner could be the scribe “Maati” as his name and the name of his wife “Mehi” were inscribed on 50 funerary cones found in the tomb’s rectangular chamber.

Architectural Planning:
The tomb has five eastern entrances that open on a rectangular hall partly damaged with two burial shafts. The first one is located at the northern side and the second is at the southern side. Another two chambers were found which one of which has a niche and two burial shafts of ten and seven meters deep.
A burial of a woman named “Isis Nefret” was found. Studies suggest that it could be the mother of the tomb’s owner. Inside the burial a wooden coffin painted with yellow and different ancient Egyptian scenes was found along with 36 Ushabti figurines. A very special ushabti depicting Isis Nefret in the form of Osiris is found. It is 60 cm tall and painted in white, red, green, blue, yellow and black.

Tomb’s Inscriptions:
The tomb has only one inscription on one of its northern pillars.
It shows a scene of a seated man offering food to four oxen, the first one is kneeling in front of the man who is giving it herbs.
The scene also depict five people while fabricating funerary furniture.
The entrance of the long hall inscribed with remains of hieroglyphic text with the name of “Djehuty Mes.” The ceiling of the chamber is inscribed with remains of hieroglyphic inscriptions and the cartouche of King Thutmose I.

The artifacts discovered inside the tomb:
100 funerary cones
Painted wooden funerary masks
A collection of 450 statues carved in different materials such as clay, wood and faience Small box in the shape of a wooden coffin with a lid. It was probably used for storing an Ushabti figurine of17 cm tall and
6 cm large
A collection of clay vessels with different shapes and sizes A mummy wrapped in linen where its hands are on its chest in the Osirian form. The mummy was found inside the long chamber.
Studies suggest that the mummy could be for a top official or a powerful person

* Note the tombs had already numbers, Kampp -150- and Kampp -161-, which refers to the survey of (excavated and unexcavated) tombs by Friederike Kampp in Die Thebanische Nekropole. Zum Wandel des Grabgedankens von der XVIII. bis zur XX. Dynastie (Mainz 1996). So different numbering than the TT numbering.

BTW if you want to join the EEF mainling list which I highly recommend details are here 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Egyptian antiquities minister to announce newly discovered mummy mask

Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany is set to formally announce the discovery of two tombs at Draa Abul Naga in Luxor on Saturday, one bearing a painted wall.
According to a source who requested anonymity, the tombs belong to two top officials from the New Kingdom (16th to 11th centuries BC); the mummy mask of one of the deceased was also discovered.
In September the minister as announced the discovery of the tomb of god Amun-Re’s goldsmith in Draa Abul Naga.
The tomb had a rich funerary collection and a large number of ushabti funerary figurines, gilded coffins, mummies wrapped in linen and funerary mask and cones were unearthed.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Amen Hotep Huy AT 28 Dr Francisco Jose Martin Valentin

As I went in Ibrahim Soliman told me the lectures are coming back every Sunday which is brilliant news. AND we have another lecture this Sunday by Dr Campbell Price on Perfected Forms - The Functions of Late Period Non-Royal Sculpture. Spoilt or what

The Tomb belonging to Amen Hotep III vizier, Amen Hotep Huy 28 seasons 2009 – 2017 Dr Francisco Jose Martin Valentin

Image result for francisco martin valentinTonight’s lecture was very fascinating as Dr Francisco had some interesting things to say on the co-regency between Amenhotep III and Akhenaton. This is one of these subjects that if you get four Egyptologists in the room discussing it you will get five different theories so it was fascinating to hear his views.

The project started in 2009, the location of the tomb is close to the causeway of Hatshepsut and the purpose of the project was to protect to the tomb.

The tomb is unfinished and follows a pattern of a longitudinal hall, followed by a smaller room, then a larger room followed by a hypostyle hall with 30 columns in three rows. Very influenced by the tomb of Kheruef TT192. The central way has columns in various stages of decoration. There is a statue Amenhotep Huy CG590 and vizier year 30-32, he was southern vizier. The tomb has suffered Damnatio memoriae with specific damage to the body and face.

In 2009 the entrance was covered and there was a lot of debris filling the tomb. It had been reused for burials and mummification preparation in the late 20th, third intermediate period and late period. There was graffiti of the worship of Osiris. A shabti of high clergy of the 3rd intermediate period Padi Iry Khonsu had been found. He was a relative of Osorkon. By 2010 they had cleared the entrance to the tomb (the slides showed an amazing difference).

Dr Francisco spoke about his conclusions regarding the co-regency of Amenhotep III and Akhenaton. He thinks there was a short co-regency of 2-3 years followed by a period of co-existence of 8 – 9 years. (During the question and answer sessions at the end I asked what he meant by that and roughly Amenhotep III was the living God and Akhenaton was the actual ruler).

The inscriptions showed a mixture of Amenhotep III and Akhenaton cartouches with both being described with royal titular. He believes this def indicates a co-regency. There was a co-regency at the first Heb Sed

Interesting one title says beloved of the ruler of Ipy Sut (Karnak) which is Amen Re. The inscriptions are similar to Kheruef (published by Chicago). In the 27th day of the 2nd month in the 30th year there were two viziers of southern Egypt, Amenhotep Huy and Ramose evidence by the Soleb temple in years 29-31 Amenhotep Huy was Amenhotep III vizier. Ramose was Akhenaton’s. There is strong evidence that work on the tomb stopped suddenly and dramatically.

There are the same mistakes in the inscription in Kheruef and Amenhotep Huy indicating the same artist. Instead of the sign U19 (the adze) I10(the snake) is used.
They have reconstructed the pillars as it is most important to preserve these inscriptions. The columns are 4.25 high and 1.75 wide at the base, closed papyrus capitals.

They found an intact burial from the 22nd dynasty of a Wab priest. Ceramics from the jubilee and an interesting solar stele RN 10683-17 with a depiction of the sun between the mountains like the sign N27

A book is being published of a preliminary report