Sunday, July 31, 2005
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Friday, July 29, 2005
"A BBC team is currently visiting Aswan to film a documentary series on the history of King Tutankhamen and the pharaohs. The series will consist of six episodes and will be broadcasted in the UK and France. Filming is scheduled to continue until August 10". This is the entire State Information Service bulletin. I am guessing that this is the same BBC series that has been beset with problems, as reported in last week's Sunday Times and Telegraph.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
An article looking at the value of the Nile to Egypt, ancient and modern, and contrasting the natural flooding of the Valley in days before large-scale damming projects began, with life since the creation of the Aswan High Dam: "It was the ancient Egyptians and their predecessors who first recognised the importance of the Nile floods and captured their potential to grow crops on land that must now feed the burgeoning population of some 70 million Egyptians, the world's largest Arab nation. The ancient Egyptians also captured the story of the Nile River floods in hieroglyphics where the year was divided into three seasons. At the temple of the gods Sobek and Haroeris at Kom Ombo built around 150 BC, between Luxor and Aswan on the Nile, illustrations and hieroglyphics show the seasons based on the 'life blood of mother Nile'; the flood season, the planting and the harvest season. The floods brought the water and all-important fertile silt and spread it over the fields, providing natural nutrients and irrigation for the annual crops. But now with the Aswan High Dam, everything has changed".
"4000 tourists arrived at Sharm El-Sheik International on 52 passenger flights from various parts of the world over the past 24hrs. MENA reported a statement by the Sharm El-Sheik International Airport Director Captain Yusri Gamal El-Din, that the airport had handled 104 incoming and outgoing flights in the aforementioned period, including 3 incoming flights from Italy carrying 250 tourists."
At the same time the Sate Information Service also reports that a number of prominent figures gathered in a protest rally to demonstrate their solidarity against the attacks: "As many as 300 public figures rallied today in Sharm el-Sheikh in protest of the terror attacks that hit the heart of the city Saturday leaving 64 dead and around 124 others injured. . . . Tourists also joined the protestors in a demonstration of solidarity with Egypt. . . . Addressing the demonstrators, South Sinai Governor Mostafa Afifi promised that Sinai would not only remain the city of peace but would also become more robust and beautiful than it used to be".
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
This Business Wire article has more information measuring the success of the exhibition: "To date, more than 200,000 ticketing certificates (free reservations ensuring patrons will have the opportunity to purchase tickets once they are available) for the Tutankhamun exhibition's second venue, Museum of Fine Arts Ft. Lauderdale (MoAFL), have been reserved". See the article for more information.
Monday, July 25, 2005
A BBC news report looking at the impact of the Sharm el-Sheik attacks: "Egyptians living here do not have the option of leaving. They have been hit harder than anyone by the attacks, victims twice over. Most of those who died here were Egyptians, but as well as destroying lives, the bombings have also struck the economy".
But not everyone has returned home:
"Certainly, some vacationers packed up Sunday and dashed for the airport, and the flights arriving were emptier than normal. But most visitors reacted to the attacks with a mix of stoicism, defiance and even nonchalance".
See the articles for more.
A reminder that the EEF weekly email newsletter has been published online at the above address. This is a good place to find out about lectures, exhbitions and online publications, amongst other things.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
This article by art critic Christopher Knight looks more at the museum itself than the bust: "An elegant cross between an ancient Greek temple and Rome's Pantheon, the Altes now houses extraordinary collections of Cycladic, Greek and Etruscan art, Scythian gold and some Roman art. (Egyptian art, including Nefertiti, will be temporarily housed on the second floor, starting Aug. 13.) The Greek vases are especially fine. No embarrassment intrudes on showing their full range of orgiastic, homoerotic and other playfully salacious painted scenes, which some museums shy away from. This nicely written piece also discusses the historical context of Berlin's collection.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
For those looking for further information on what happened, most of the news services are continuing to provide up to date news as it becomes available. In addition, aggregated news from the 23rd and regularly updated news items can both be found at Google News.
Friday, July 22, 2005
A reminder that the Ancient Egypt Magazine is due out next month. A cover-image and some of the Contents of the next issue of Ancient Egypt Magazine are shown on the magazine's website, above, and are as follows:
"– Meryetamun at Akhmim: AE’s Egypt Correspondent, Ayman Wahby Taher, tells readers about a remarkable colossal statue, which has been found in a site infrequently visited by tourists.
– The Oriental Museum in Durham: Karen Exell reviews this interesting ancient Egyptian collection for AE readers.
– Rameses III and his Battles: Nicholas Wernick provides a useful summary for readers of the military campaigns of this great New Kingdom pharaoh.
– Dressing Nefertiti: Have you ever wondered how the elaborate costumes used in historical dramas are created? Janet Johnstone, who has designed ancient Egyptian costumes for both TV and the cinema, tells the inside story for our readers".
See the Ancient Egypt Magazine website for details about past issues, some online articles, and an online UK Events Diary.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
- LE 40 million to be invested in upgrading Port Said Museum which will be able to display stored items
- Luxor Temple Avenue has had its concrete tiles replaced with more appropriate stone ones
- Remains of a well, a basin and water canals have been recently discovered at Shikhoun Mosque.
- The cave of Abi Serga church at Misr Al Qadima, visited by the Holy Family during their flight from Roman oppression has been treated for the effects of rising underground water.
- The Sunken Antiquities Administration in Alexandria is working with Southampton University to draw up a map of archaeological sites on the shores of Mariut Lake
- The International Papyrus Institute in Italy has offered a £50,000 grant for the first papyri restoration laboratory in the Middle East. The laboratory is part of the Egyptian Museum.
- France has returned a 31 kg stele dating from the reign of Pasmatic I of the 26th dynasty. which originally came from the Temple of Isis at Giza.
- The SCA has approved a plan to retrieve the Alexandria Lighthouse gate from seabedof Al Selsela Bey after which it will be used as the main gate at the entrance of the park facing the Bibliotheca. The project will be headed by teams from Marseille University and the French Alexandrian Studies Centre
A second statement from Egypt's State Information Service"An Egyptian delegation, currently visiting Australia, received seven valuable monuments. Egyptian authorities had contacted their Australian counterparts to stop sales of the 2500-year-old artifacts which were posted for sale on a website. Dr. Zahi Hawwas said the Australian authorities also found 33 antiques some of them were stolen in a famous case known as Al Shaer Case. Hawwas said full cooperation between the Attorney-General office, the Foreign Ministry and the Council led to restoration of other monuments from Switzerland Britain, the United States and Australia".
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I have updated the site again as follows:
- Acheulean (updated)
- Nubian Sangoan (added)
- Elkabian of Elkab and Eastern Desert (updated)
- Tarifian (updated)
- Eastern Desert Early Neolithic: Tree Shelter and Sodmein Cave (added)
- Gilf Kebir Neolithic (added)
- Djara and Abu Gerara Neolithic (updated)
- Bashendi B Unit of Dakhleh Oasis (updated)
- Sheikh Muftah Unit of Dakhleh Oasis (updated)
Details of whereabouts these are located on the site are shown on the site's home page.
There is a lot more on its way, with information about archaeology dating from the Early Palaeolithic to the end of the 2nd Dynasty, and a new section to be added on environmental and climatic change. I know that the maps in the Geology section aren't loading at the moment - leave it with me. It is taking more time than I thought due to some wonderfully timed technical problems both with the web authoring software I use and my modem.
Monday, July 18, 2005
A short piece which offers advice to people who want to visit the exhibition but don't fancy the queues and crowds.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
This article focuses on the impacts of the changing environment on the future of the Nile Delta. It looks principally at the economic and social consequences of increasing salinity and higher water tables, but it does occur to me that there are potential impacts on the archaeology of the area as well, as neither water nor salinity are good for archaeological sites or monuments. It has been the experience of archaeologists working at prehistoric sites like Buto that early levels are already beneath the current water table. An interesting article in its own right, too.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
An item from this week's edition of Al Ahram Weekly, which looks at the latest initiative to protect the Wadi Al-Rayan in the Faiyum Depression: "In the framework of the Egyptian-Italian environmental cooperation programme, a twinning agreement has been signed between the Wadi Al-Rayan protectorate in Fayoum and the Italian National Park of the Gran Sasso and the Laga Mountains". See the article for more.
Friday, July 15, 2005
"The Supreme Council of Antiquities has launched an LE10 million project to upgrade the temple of Serabit Al-Khadem and the nearby turquoise mines in Sinai for what is loosely called "safari tourism". The vagueness of the term is disquieting. "Safari" suggests excursions, either by camel caravan or four-wheel drive; "tourism" brings to mind paved roads and a visitors' centre; while upgrading a temple leads one to suspect an attempt at reconstruction -- a difficult and totally unnecessary exercise. At this early stage, Al-Ahram Weekly appeals to the project planners to give serious consideration to minimum intervention in the Ancient Egyptian temple, limited intrusion on the environment, and to consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity to present the divergent and overlapping cultures of central Sinai." See the Al Ahram Weekly article for much more.
"The summer heat notwithstanding, temperatures are rising in the international antiquities world following a call by Egypt for the return of five Ancient Egyptian pieces on display abroad.
In a speech at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin held at UNESCO in Paris, Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said Egypt had been deprived of five key items of Egypt's cultural heritage". See the article for more.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
A web page describing some of the more important archaeological discoveries that have taken place in Egypt this year.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
The weekly EEF news digest has been updated at the above address, with details of online publications, lectures, exhibitions, conferences and more.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Volume 90, 2004 and the Reviews Supplement landed with a satisfying clunk on my wooden floor this morning. I wasn't actually expecting it because I was told by the EES that it was somewhat behind schedule, and there were no updates on the website. However, here it is, better late than never. Contents are as follows (I couldn't find a listing on the EES website):
- Fieldwork 2003-2004 (Sais, Memphis, Tell el Amarna, Tell el Amarna Glass Project, Qasr Ibrm) by various authors
- Egyptian Pottery Distribution in A-Group Cemeteries, Lower Nubia: Towards an understanding of exchange systems between the Naqada culture and the A-Group culture by Izumi H. Takamiya
- On Pyramid Causeways by Colin Reader
- Three Recently Excavated Funerary Stelae from the Eighth Dynasty Tomb of Shemai at Kom el-Momanien, Qift by Gregory P. Gilbert
- The Discourse of the Fowler: Papyrus Butler Verso by R.B. Parkinson
- Question and Answer in Middle Kingdom Dialogues by Martin Worthington
- The Three-Dimensional Form of the Amarna House by Kate Spence
- A Day in the Life of the Ancient Egyptian Goatherd Ityaa: Abnormal Hieratic P.Michaelides 1 and 2 by Koenraad Donker van Heel
- Qasr Ibrm 1974 - The Coins by W.H.C. Frend
- Nina M. Davies - A Biographical Sketch by Nigel Strudwick
- An Early Dynastic Serekh from the Kharga Oasis by Salima Ikram and Corinna Rossi
- Hieratic Varia by Ben Haring
- Some Ptolemaic Spielerei with Scribal Palettes by Marleen De Meyer
- Gnomon Graffito at Meroe by Geroge M. Hollenback
Reviews and Reviews Supplement
Let me know if you want these listed - there are dozens of them and I will happily type them up if they are really wanted, but won't otherwise take the time.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
"Egyptian and Italian conservationists and curators on Tuesday inaugurated a laboratory for restoring and preserving papyrus located at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. 'The project aims to preserve the papyri for the long-term, not just to restore them to be looked at now,' said Corrado Basile of the International Papyrus Institute in Syracuse, Italy. Basile's institute is partnering with Egypt in the project". See the article for more details about the partnership and the lab.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
A short description of the permanent exhibits at San Diego's Museum of Man, to tie in with the arrival of the Tutankhamun exhibition in September. See the item for more.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Saturday, July 02, 2005
A cover-image and some of the Contents of the next issue of Ancient Egypt Magazine are shown on the magazine's website, above, and are as follows:
– Meryetamun at Akhmim
AE’s Egypt Correspondent, Ayman Wahby Taher, tells readers about a remarkable colossal statue, which has been found in a site infrequently visited by tourists.
– The Oriental Museum in Durham
Karen Exell reviews this interesting ancient Egyptian collection for AE readers.
– Rameses III and his Battles
Nicholas Wernick provides a useful summary for readers of the military campaigns of this great New Kingdom pharaoh.
– Dressing Nefertiti
Have you ever wondered how the elaborate costumes used in historical dramas are created? Janet Johnstone, who has designed ancient Egyptian costumes for both TV and the cinema, tells the inside story for our readers.
"The Supreme Council for Antiquities is preparing a new antiquities law to replace the current one, Law 117 for the year 1983. According to Zahi Hawass, the SCA’s high-profile secretary-general, the old law is no longer suitable because the penalties it imposes for the crimes of antiquity trafficking are not strong enough. The law will be presented to the People’s Assembly when it reconvenes for its next legislative season after the anticipated fall parliamentary and presidential elections".
"Sarabit El-Khadem, the only ancient Egyptian temple in Sinai, is scheduled to appear on tourist itineraries in the coming months. The temple, southeast of Abu Zneima city in South Sinai, was recently restored at a cost of LE 10 million. Built in homage to Hat-Hor (the lady of Turquoise) in the 12th dynasty, the temple juxtaposes a number of turquoise mining caves that were used in ancient times".
Tourism and Antiquities Price Rises
"25 the percentage by which admission fees for tourism and antiquities sites will be raised, according to Elhamy El-Zayat, head of the Egyptian Federation of Tourism Chambers. The extra cash will be used to restore and preserve the sites".
Ramesses II Statue Move
"Egypt Today article about Cairo heritage projects. A summary of the latest news on the Ramesses II statue and the Baron's Palace in Heliopolis."
Egyptian Museum Officials referred for Negligence
"17 the number of officials at the Egyptian Museum referred to the Higher Disciplinary Court for negligence after 38 antiquities disappeared from the museum".
Festivals in a Year
"282 the total number of feasts Ancient Egyptians celebrated each year, according to a report released last month by an independent group of Egyptologists".
Lost and Found
Shala (Siwa) recorded by UNESCO
"Shala, the picturesque mud city of Siwa, has been added to the World Heritage Antiquities recorded by the UNESCO".
"Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni came under heavy attack last month at the Peoples Assembly when Dr. Zakaria Azmy questioned the usefulness of an antiquities protocol between Egypt and Qatar, since most Gulf countries look on monuments as heathen statues that must be pulled down. The minister replied that Sheikh Saud Bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani the director of the National Culture, Heritage and Arts Council of Qatar, had always been interested in Egyptian antiquities, so much so that he has agreed to give back 80 pieces from the Akhnaton era. Dr. Zahi Hawass came by the pieces during his visit to Qatar last December, and it was then that Sheikh Saud promised to give them as a present to Egypt. The goods will be exhibited in the Tel el-Amarna museum, expected to be completed in two years time. The pieces have yet to arrive"
- Primary goal has been to produce a site management plan for the Valley of the Kings to ensure its projection against increased number of tourists, including temperature, humidity and dust management schemes
- Plans for new visitor facilities are listed
- Digital photography has been taking place to provide a record of the condition of the tombs, in tandem wity detailed conservation surveys of all surfaces. This will soon be available on the TMP website
- Update on KV5 excavations including some of the wall paintings, and the newsletter contains the very latest site plan for KV5
- Announcement of Kent Week's latest book "The Treasures of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings" is now available in Italian
- A revised second edition of Week's book "KV5: A Preliminary Report" will soon be available.
The Minister of Oil, Sameh Fahmi has announced that three gold mines have been discovered in al-Ela1qi Valley, South of Eastern desert. "An Australian company discovered the three sites and said that the concentration of gold is very high and would almost certainly have an impact upon international markets . . . . It is also notable that this valley was a permanent gold source some 4000 years ago for the pharaohs of ancient Egypt".