Sunday, 30 June 2013

20:00 Update from Luxor

My husband just came back briefly to grab a bite to eat. He was actually in the boat featured in the previous picture although you can't see him! He says there are about 20,000 people, lots of women and lots of Christians. It is non violent and there are no pro Morsi voices.

Pictures from the Luxor Today Facebook page

Update from Luxor

Little Mohammed was just in Luxor and he reports that many small shops have closed (I have also heard the souk is closed) but the big shops like KZ and Rageeb are open. TeData was also open. It is peaceful with no problems.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

News from Luxor

There is a small scale PEACEFUL protest taking place at the moment and more planned for Sunday. Life is carrying normally here on the west bank, all safe at Flats in Luxor.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Nonfiction Review: The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis’s Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings by John M. Adams. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-02669-9

New book about a Luxor hero. 

Nonfiction Review: The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis’s Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings by John M. Adams. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-02669-9: Egyptologist Adams offers a rounded biography of a grave robber cum archaeologist whose achievements have been buried by time. Theodore Davis’s work, though overshadowed by later excavations, was revolutionary in its methodical thoroughness, and Adams is similarly scientific in his factual resurrection of Davis’s life, presented here in two alternating timelines:

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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Liverpool Ancient Worlds 2013 Summer School

If you are struggling with hieroglyphics I seriously suggest that course. I did it last year and it was brilliant i finally "got it".

With the Liverpool Ancient Worlds 2013 Summer School fast approaching, make sure you book soon if you haven't already.

Our courses are delivered by experts at the University of Liverpool, and lectures will be combined with practical sessions, giving you the opportunity to make use of our world class facilities.

This year's Egyptology culture course (29th July to 2nd August) is 'Investigating the Past: Current Research in Egyptology at Liverpool'. As well as our experts giving you privileged access to their current research through lectures, you have the opportunity to handle and discuss Ancient Egyptian objects from the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, and to try your hand at epigraphic recording (copying hieroglyphic inscriptions from genuine artefacts (for which no knowledge of the language is required)). Each day is themed, and topics to be covered include Egyptological history, museum collections of the North West, Ancient Egyptian technology and innovation, magic and ritual, and recording and interpreting inscriptions. 

In the second week, our Ancient History and Archaeology course (5th August to 9th August) is 'Approaches to the Ancient World'. This course will focus on the different avenues of study available to the archaeologist. As well as the more traditional lecture and seminar format, our staff will deliver a series of hands-on and practical workshops in flint knapping, cave painting, and exploring how we can 'read' the past through human remains (osteoarchaeology). As ever, use will be made of our unique collection of artefacts in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology. 

Our ever popular Hieroglyph courses are filling up fast. We are offering Beginner Hieroglyphs (5th August to 7th August), Intermediate Hieroglyphs (7th August to 9th August) and Reading Hieroglyphs (7th August to 9th August), with all three being taught by our undergraduate language teaching staff, ably assisted by our team of PhD students.

Further details on all of our courses, including full schedules, can be found at

One week: £150
Two weeks: £260
Three day language courses: £90 each or take Beginner and Intermediate together for £150

Delegates have the option of staying on campus at the new University Vine Court Residence, where rooms are reserved for participants. Accommodation at Vine Court costs £45 per night, bed and breakfast.
For more detail on the accommodation, see Vine Court has also recently received four star status. See the press release here

How to book
The online booking system and a downloadable booking form can be accessed here:

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Contact from Luxor's new Governor

I just had a very interesting phone call from an Egyptian I have known for 10 year and respect a lot, a professional man. He is a Salafi. He phoned me on behalf on the new governor who asked his Salafi colleagues to contact Europeans that they know and reassure them. He wanted to stress the new governor was not against Europeans, he welcomed them and wanted to encourage tourism. I expressed a degree of scepticism pointing out his history and he acknowledged and did not deny he was part of that party however he stressed that this was not their current agenda. I said whilst I trusted and respected the caller I knew nothing about the new governor except what had been reported  and could only judge him on his actions. I have to say I found it most interesting that they were even making an effort to reach out to Europeans. I have no idea what this indicates but feel I have to report it.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Jane goes to Egypt 1979 eBook: Jane Akshar: Books

So pleased that my Kindle book about my first holiday in Egypt is doing so well. If you are coming to Egypt I do encourage you to keep a diary, it is such a magical place you want a record of your impressions and experiences. 

Jane goes to Egypt 1979 eBook: Jane Akshar: Books:
#19 in Books  Travel ; Holiday ; Countries ; Regions ; Africa ; Egypt
#32 in Kindle Store ; Books  Nonfiction ; Travel  Middle East
#59 in Books  History ; Ancient History ; Civilisation ; Egypt

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Sunday, 16 June 2013

BREAKING: Egypt's Morsi appoints 17 new governors, including Luxor Alex, Port Said - Egypt - Ahram Online

Luxor gets yet another new governor argggggggghhhhhhh
BREAKING: Egypt's Morsi appoints 17 new governors, including Alex, Port Said - Egypt - Ahram Online: ors for the Alexandria, Port Said, Ismailia and Luxor governorates.

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Mark Jones: Come to Egypt – you'll have the place practically to yourself - News & Advice - Travel - The Independent

Mark Jones: Come to Egypt – you'll have the place practically to yourself - News & Advice - Travel - The Independent:

I especially liked the end of the article although all of it is true

................................The official slogan of the Egyptian Tourist Board is "Egypt: where it all begins". Instead, they should lift one which the Australians ditched a few years back: "Where the bloody hell are you?"

I'll tell you where the bloody hell I am. I'm sitting on the balcony of the Hilton Luxor hotel. It's pleasantly hot outside and I'm looking through the palm trees over the Nile towards the Valley of the Kings. I was over there yesterday morning. I spent 10 minutes alone with Tutankhamun in the tomb excavated by Howard Carter in 1922. This wasn't a VIP visit. There was just hardly anyone there.

It was the same in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. You could gaze into the young Pharaoh's gold death mask for as long as you liked. In normal times, you'd queue 40 minutes just to get into the museum and a further to get anywhere near Tutankhamun.

The Hilton is running at 15 per cent occupancy, which is about average for Luxor just now – "now" being right at the end of high season. It's a lovely property, just refurbished. Or rather, refurbished just before the revolution of 2011, and that's the crucial point. Tourism ground to a halt then and it's barely shifted since. Plans for a new Four Seasons in Luxor are on hold. The historic Winter Palace hotel, managed by Sofitel but owned by the government, awaits a badly needed restoration. The east bank of the Nile is clogged with mothballed cruise ships.

Then, in February this year, the hot-air balloon disaster happened. The world's focus was once again on Luxor, and once again for the wrong reasons.

So where the bloody hell are you? At home, not putting Egypt on your travel list. At home, worrying about the images from Tahrir Square.

I can't blame you. All I can say is that I haven't had a moment's concern for my safety – and that includes a couple of hours hanging out in Tahrir. As for the hassle? Well, the trinket and postcard sellers are desperate – you can hardly blame them – but they do take "no" for an answer. You'll get more grief in India, believe me.

They need your help and your pounds. But don't visit for their sake: do it for your own. You'll never get a better chance to see these temples, treasures and burial chambers with so much time and space to contemplate them properly.

There's a useful travelling principle here. As the BBC foreign correspondent, John Simpson, wrote recently in High Life magazine: "If I can, I always go somewhere which has just suffered a political upheaval, because security is always hugely reinforced, prices are rock-bottom, there are no other tourists and everyone's delighted to see you."

Following Simpson's Law, I've already been to Tunis and Greece. Apart from the rock-bottom prices, every word is true.

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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Karakhamun’s Burial Chamber | South Asasif Conservation Project Blog

New information hot of the press.    

Karakhamun’s Burial Chamber | South Asasif Conservation Project Blog: In addition to incorporating some fragments into the figures we already knew, we have begun to recognize the characteristics of the deities that were missing. We have started to read the hieroglyphic signs of the labels over the first gods, and we are now certain that the sixth figure wears a male kilt, although we would have expected a long female skirt. The last male deity holds an object in his hand not seen in other Late Period tombs, although it appears in coffins and sarcophagi.

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

ANCIENT MYSTERIES CONFERENCE - ON LIVESTREAM ! 29th September 2013 Zahi Hawas/Salima Ikram


29th September 2013

Join the Live Web-Conference with the most renowned archaeologists in the world - Dr Zahi Hawass and Dr Salima Ikram - on the latest discoveries coming out of Egypt ! The event will take part on 29th September 2013 on live-stream what means that You can take part in It (by the Internet) wherever in the world You are.

Over two years after Egypt's revolution life is coming back to normal. The excavations are reopening again. What is happening now in the land of Pharaohs ? Join the Live Web-Conference and find out more about the latest discoveries comming out of Egypt. What next with Egyptian Antiquties ? What are the plans for future excavations ? You will find the answers for these questions during our live event with the most famous Egyptologists in the world. What is more, the event includes special time for questions after lectures given by our speakers.

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Passports , Emigration & Nationality >> Services Delivered to Foreigners >> Entry Visas - Entry Visas

Useful Egyptian Government website

Passports , Emigration & Nationality >> Services Delivered to Foreigners >> Entry Visas

وزارة الداخلية  - Entry Visas: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Sunday, 9 June 2013

News from Manchester University - Egyptology Online

News from Egyptology Online
We are now getting to the end of a very busy year which has seen the successful launch of the two-year Diploma in Egyptology, and the use of an “Investing in Success” award to film sites and artefacts in Egypt and in the stores of The Manchester Museum. These film clips will now be incorporated into the Diploma and Certificate Courses. As some of you may have noticed, we have put four of these short films onto the “News and Events” page of our website for everyone to enjoy:
Please note, you may not be able to view these on an ipad or phone. 

April saw the 90th anniversary of the death of Lord Carnarvon, which heralded a flurry of interest in the theory of “Tutankhamen’s Curse”:

Some of you may have seen the recent publicity surrounding research into the use of iron in Predynastic Egypt. This research project was devised and developed by Certificate Student Diane Johnson, and was focused on an iron bead in the collections of The Manchester Museum:
Click here to watch Diane lecture to the Royal Society, exploring potential links between ancient Egypt and meteorites:

Following on from the success of February’s Daughters of Isis: Women in Ancient Egypt study day, we have started to plan our February 2014 event. Having reviewed the feedback received from previous events (good, except for the fact that the lecture theatre has for a few years been too cold for those who have to spend the day sitting still) we have decided to transfer the event to the Museum’s Kanaris lecture theatre which is slightly more intimate, but which will definitely be warmer. The theme will be Sons of Osiris: Men of Ancient Egypt, and we hope to explore various aspects of what it meant to be a man in ancient Egypt.  The subject was suggested by the casual remark of a publisher when Joyce suggested a book on this subject: “Oh no, no one is interested in men in ancient Egypt”. We hope to prove that publisher wrong.
Details of this study day will appear on our website in September, but in the meantime, keep the date of 8 February free.

We are currently recruiting new students for the Certificate and Diploma Courses, starting in September/October 2013. If you know anyone who may be interested in joining either of these courses, please pass this email on:

News and Events from The Manchester Museum
Campbell Price and Anna Garnett have recently discovered part of the Amarna Princesses Fresco, now in the Ashmolean Museum, when looking for samples of ancient plaster for a researcher. Click here for more details:

14th June: screening of the Polish film Faraon . This is a free event, but booking is essential. 
Click here for more details:

Saturday 29th June: Lecture: Talking Trees in Ancient Egyptian Love Poetry given by Cynthia Sheikholeslami  of the American University in Cairo.
An ancient Egyptian papyrus, dating to around 1100 BC, contains a series of love songs related to trees and fruits. This lecture will explore the themes and imagery of these Egyptian love songs, and how they were related to the worship of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, a deity associated with fertility – but also with trees:

British Embassy in Luxor on Tuesday

It’s our pleasure to announce our meeting with the British Community in Luxor. The consul and Pro-Consul will be available to speak to members of the community to discuss any issues of interest.

The meeting will be held at the Gaddis Hotel, Khaled Ibn Walid st, Luxor on Tuesday 11 June from 18:00- 19:30.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Housing for secretaries and tomb raiders -

A very interesting article about the Hassan Fathy village about 1 mile from my flats.

Housing for secretaries and tomb raiders - Financial Times

New Gourna was begun near Luxor in 1946, with Egypt then still effectively under British rule. It was designed by one of the greatest architects of the modern era, Hassan Fathy (1900-89), to rehouse a community of light-fingered amateur archaeologists who had been stealthily stripping Luxor’s tombs of their treasures.

Wary of losing their livelihoods, the residents – working-class people and with little interest in design – were initially reluctant to move. Fathy tried to persuade them with a new kind of architecture. Or rather, with a very old kind of architecture.

Fathy looked to the buildings in a traditional Egyptian village, an architecture of domes and courtyards, of cool arcades and thick walls sheltering shady rooms from the fierce heat. He began building not with concrete, which had become the default construction material of the age, but with mud-brick, the material used to build the first villages around the Nile at the beginning of civilisation.

When Fathy embarked on building the village there was no electricity or running water. The architect adopted the traditional Egyptian malqaf, or wind-catcher, a small chimney built on the roofs of houses to draw down a breeze into the heart of the house.

He also eschewed any ideas of modernist town planning, instead creating tight shaded alleys, giving houses small windows or no windows on south-facing walls and centring the structures around the courtyards that had traditionally formed the core of Arab houses.

The natural ventilation, the use of low-impact materials, the revival of traditional forms (particularly the beautiful domes and open-work grilles which gave even the smallest houses a sense of grandeur and symbolism) all contributed to making this a prototype in sustainable development. Its legacy lives on through the book that Fathy went on to write based on his experiments in New Gourna, Architecture for the Poor , which remains one of the great texts of 20th-century architecture.

New Gourna was not an unqualified success. The foundations proved inadequate, the mud-brick was occasionally unstable and residents altered many buildings, often for the worse. But it has survived as a real village and it continues to inspire architects across the world, especially on the fringes of developing cities.

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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Egypt official crime report blames Luxor balloon crash on human error - Xinhua |

Egypt official crime report blames Luxor balloon crash on human error - Xinhua | Luxor's First Prosecutor, Mohamed Fahmi, said the final report by the Criminal Evidence Laboratory on this accident concluded that fire broke out in the balloon crash was caused by gas leak from one of the pipes that was installed by an unspecialized worker.

"Pilot and the maintenance engineer did not make necessary technical checks before taking off," Fahmi told Xinhua, adding that the result supports the prosecutor's decision to detain the pilot and the alternate airport director over charges of negligence and lack of precaution.

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Latest blog from South Asasif Conservation Project in Luxor

False Doors | South Asasif Conservation Project Blog: One of the goals of the 2013 season is the reconstruction of the false door in the tomb of Karakhamun.

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