Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More about the BM's Mummy Analysis

A longer and rather more colourful description of the British Museum's non-invasive examination of an 800BC mummy - this time from the Telegraph.

Mummy's mystery unravels in 3D

"In a technological and historical world first, this weekend the British Museum has unveiled or, more accurately, unwrapped the interior of a mummy that had remained sealed since it was made by masters of the ancient Egyptian craft of mummification. The startling operation was carried out without disturbing the intricate wrappings and amulets that were originally placed around his dead body. Using scanning technology developed by neurological researchers in a London hospital." (The Observer)
See full online article for more.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Trouble in the basement of the Cairo Museum

The museum has a massive collection on display, and the additional collection is stored in the basement. "But that too is crammed to the brim. Objects there are stored so haphazardly that many cannot be located, and some may even have gone missing. It has been reported that an important relief has been mislaid and 38 gold bracelets and rings have disappeared. This mayhem in the basement has pushed the Ministry of Culture to launch an ambitious three-year plan to protect the legendary storehouse" (Al Ahram Weekly).

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Mummy of a child and other items stolen from ancient tomb

"A mummy more than 3,000 years old and other items have been stolen from a Pharaonic tomb near this southern Egyptian city....The missing objects were taken from the tomb of a nobleman who lived in the time of Pharaoh Akhenaton, who ruled in 1379-1362 B.C., said Sabri Abdel Aziz of Egypt's antiquity department." (www.timesleader.com)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Mummy wrappings giving up new texts

After being wrapped, Late Dynastic mummies were encased in "papyrus-mache" - coverings made of recycled papyrus texts. The University of California-Berkeley has a collection of these which is the least mined of these resources to date, and these are now being explored.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation's first phase is nearing completion

"Journalists and photographers gathered at the elegant Ministry of Culture edifice last Tuesday to witness the official nod to the long-awaited National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, planned to display the span of Egypt's various civilisations. Built at the edge of Lake Ain Al-Sira on the site of the mediaeval city of Fustat, the ambitious museum will put on show Egypt's diverse civilisations from pre-historic to modern times. On display will be 150,000 artefacts carefully selected from museums and storehouses throughout Egypt" (Al Ahram Weekly).

Donkeys originated in Africa?

"Researchers used an increasingly popular method called a genetic clock, in which genetic mutations can be calculated for each generation, and then generations of two separate species can be counted back to a theoretical common ancestor".
"African wild asses were probably tamed not once, but twice, in locations far apart to become the willing donkeys that carry loads the world over, an international team of researchers says." In Egypt the earliest donkey remains date back to the early Neolithic of Lower Egypt.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

More on the Helwan Excavations - with Photos

This article gives information about what archaeologists are learning about a cross section of society and the people who were buried at the site. A good, informative piece.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Security and Tourism in Egypt - an American perspective

N.B. - you have to register with this site, and it will ask you for an email address and password when you revisit. It is an article about an American visiting Egypt, the security precautions in place and the absence of Americans. The article is a mixture of anecdotal accounts of the writer's visit to Egypt and some contemplation about why, in her opinion, Americans have ceased to visit.

Monday, June 14, 2004

More on Helwan

More information about the Australian Mission's discovery of new tombs at Helwan

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Twenty 5000 Year Old Tombs found at Helwan

Dr Christiana Kohler's Australian Mission has found a necropolis at Helwan containing a relief showing early hieroglyphic text and 20 tombs. The necropolis also has two early Old Kingdom tombs.
Earlier informative articles regarding Kohler's work at Helwan include:

Friday, June 11, 2004

About Seti I - whose Mortuary Temple has been restored and re-Opened

The Mortuary Temple of Seti I has been restored and re-opened. This article describes Seti I and his role in Egypt's history, putting his mortuary temple into context. It touches on Seti's son Ramesses II and discusses the possibility that the Ramesseum was originally built for Seti rather than his son.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

More Underwater finds in Alexandria

More Ptolemaic finds have been located including more blocks of the famous lighthouse, more pieces of the rose granite statue of Isis, and a stela describing a Ptolomaic tax law.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Egypt to Catalogue Artifacts in Neglected Basement

"CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is about to begin the painstaking five-year task of cataloguing and restoring some 90,000 pharaonic and other artifacts which have lain almost forgotten for decades since they were dug from ancient ruins"

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Items Missing from the Cairo Museum

A number of items in the Cairo Museum cannot be accounted for, and an audit is going to be carried out to discover the full extent of the loss. It is alledged that 38 gold items from the Tutankhamun collection are missing, and it has been confirmed that another 38 pieces, dating to the Roman occupation of Egypt, are also missing.

Friday, June 04, 2004

2003-2004 Season at Abusir - Excavation Overview

This PDF file provides a 10-page overview of the Czech excavations at Abusir in the 2003-2004 season. The paper includes plans and photographs. The description of the excavations is short but fascinating, and a real insight into the Czech activities at Abusir.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Egyptomania in Dubai

Zahi Hawass discusses the evidence of Egiptomania in the culture of Dubai.

Origins of Africa's Cattle

The first issue of "The African Scientist - Bringing Genomes Alive". It dates to January of this year, but I've only just found it. It has a two page article entitled "Where do Africa's cattle come from?" which is an important topic for prehistoric/predynastic studies and the origins of Egyptian domestication and agriculture.

Ancient Egyptian Sense of Humour

"A recent series of lectures on ancient Egyptian humor given by a leading historian reveals that people thousands of years ago enjoyed bawdy jokes, political satire, parodies and cartoon-like art." (Discovery Channel Website)

The Nobleman - New Exhibit at Boston MFA

Boston's Museum of Fine Art has acquired a remarkable piece of statuary known as "The Nobleman" for its collections, and it is now on display. Showing a man's head, it is thought to date to the reign of Senusret III. It has belonged for many years to the Josephson private collection, and this detailed page describes both the sculpture and the way in which it was acquired and kept by Josephson. I haven't so far found a picture of it online, and the MFA website is out of date on the news front, but I'll update as and when I find one.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Electronic Egyptology Forum Online Library - Updated

There are five articles in the EEF Library, and a new one has been added by William McMurray entitled "Towards an Absolute Chronology for Ancient Egypt". McMurray invites comments via the EEF forum.