Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Amarna Fund Raising - the Big Give Christmas Challenge

Thanks to your support, the JustGiving appeal to raise money for the next stage of the conservation of the Amarna Period coffins from the recent excavations has reached its target. The conservators will resume their work at Amarna in the latter part of the year.


We are delighted to announce that the Amarna Trust has been accepted into the Big Give 2012 Christmas Challenge, with a project to raise funds for the conservation of the Great Aten Temple:

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is an annual matched-funding event in which online donations from the public are matched with pledges from major Trust supporters and funding from external philanthropic bodies ('Charity Champions'). This project will be the focus of our fundraising for the rest of 2012.

The Challenge has two phases. Phase I requires us to collect pledges from our major supporters (we may contact some of you individually about this).

Phase II is a period of online donation, beginning December 6th. During this time, online donations are matched with money drawn from pledges and Charity Champion Funds, until the latter are exhausted. An online donation of £5- becomes £10-; a £50 donation becomes £100, and so on. We have set ourselves a target of £8000- in online donations.

* We write to ask: if you are thinking of offering support to the Amarna Trust in what remains of 2012, please consider making a donation during the December online donation phase. It is a chance to make your donation go further.

We will send out a reminder closer to the time!


The next issue of the Horizon newsletter (no. 11) is about to go to press.


We plan to open the expedition house in late September for the start of a three-month autumn season.

Summer greetings to you all and thanks again for your continuing support - Barry Kemp

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A million thanks

My feelings about closing the blog were distinctly ambivalent even before all the messages. I am so sorry that it has taken me a while to respond, but you all gave me a lot to think about. Thank you SO much for all those messages!  I feel very lucky to have had so many great people reading the blog for all this time, and I am very sorry that I am no longer able to carve out the time to do the job properly. It seemed (and still seems) better to admit defeat rather than trying to do the job, and doing it badly. 

As a thank you to all of you who posted and emailed, here's an offering, not a very good one, but perhaps something that's better than nothing. A lot of people have said that they have a horror of Twitter, or simply that they cannot access it. The best thing about a blog is that it doesn't require membership, and quality control is very easy - something less easy to control on Twitter and even less on Facebook. I do understand why people don't want to sign up to Twitter.  So by way of a very small gesture, I have added my Twitter feed to this page, in the right hand column. It is an exact mirror of everything that I now post on Twitter, with the link to the article at the end of each short post. It will show the most recent 30 posts.  It's not the same as the blog, but it will contain exactly the same news items that I would have posted, just without the excerpts.  I realize that the excerpts are what made it most attractive, but that was the time-consuming bit.  I spent some months on Twitter, getting a feel for it, before doing anything useful with it.  I'm still having trouble getting the message across in so few words, but I'm getting better.

Others have asked whether Egyptological will suffer the same fate.  The answer is, in the words of one of our authors, "a big fat no."  We are working to build a team for Egyptological, with people who will continue to support it in the event of any disaster (like Kate and I being run over by the same bus).  As well as editors and volunteers for various different activities, we will appoint people to look after the site as an enterprise (albeit a non-commercial one).  We have invested an enormous amount of time and energy into Egyptological, and we are committed to its ongoing maintenance.  Doing both of our blogs taught us that one-person or even two-people teams are insufficient, because you never know what life is going to chuck at you.  So we have that in hand.

I will continue to use the blog, not just for the Twitter feed, but to add email newsletters, like the excellent Amarna report, to which I will then link from Twitter.  There are also going to be occasions, as Paul Rymer observed with so much insight, that I won't be able to keep quiet about things that interest me, so there will doubtless be comments and some analysis of particular news stories - again mainly for the purposes of being able to link to them from Twitter.

Obviously, I have regrets.  And I am, of course, suffering withdrawal symptoms!  I have read through all the comments here and on Facebook many times, and can only say THANK YOU so much.  It's been great to be in touch with so many terrific people.

Hugs all round


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Closing down

After eight and a half years I rather suspect that I am closing down this blog.  I haven't found the time to update it in nearly a month.  It was always time-consuming, but recently it has become exceedingly difficult to find the time to keep it going as I would like. 

I won't delete it - the archive will still be there. I will also continue to moderate comments. 

Instead, I will start posting news items to my Twitter account, which will take much less time and can be done on a rather more ad hoc basis.  @egyptologynews, for anyone interested. 

If you still wish for a blog-based news service there are lots of them out there.  When I started Egyptology News it was the only such service, but lots of other people are now doing a similar job.  Just do a Google search and see which one you like the best.  EEF produce a weekly round-up, too.

My eternal thanks and a huge hug to Kat Newkirk, who has been copying me on news emails for years and years.  Kat, please keep me on your distribution list - I will be using it for Twitter instead.

My sincere thanks to all of you who have followed the blog over the years too - it has been fun.