150 ostraca have been found at the Ptolemaic / Roman period temple. The link has everything I've managed to find. So far there are no pictures.
Sent from my Windows Phone
Tracings made by Norman de Garis Davies in Theban tombs TT 76, TT 85, TT 95, TT 108, TT 161, TT 176, TT 179, TT 200, TT 222, TT 249 and TT 260 have been made avilable online by the Griffiths Institute who continue to lead the way in publication of Egyptian sites. It seems to me that they have the right model. Free access for casual use and academic study (including "amateur" Egyptologists), but charge for those wishing to publish the material.
The transcipts of Howard Carter's journals have been online for a few weeks. In the past few days, scans of the journals themselves are now online as well on the Griffiths Institute site. (Follow the second link then browse to the journals.)
While Andie is away, I'll post up any general stuff I come across. Here is a video about how Egyptians handled multiplication and division.
The methods I was taught in school was the hardest. I now know several easier ways - but this is one of the easiest of all!
This is something that came up recently on EEF with somebody linking to material I hadn't seen before which suggests that Maia, Tutankhamun's wet nurse, was in fact Meritaten. I haven't read the paper but personally I am sceptical. It is pretty clear that Meritaten was a Queen and probably married to both Akhenaten and Smenkhare / Smenkhkare. There is no mention of this title in Maia's tomb which seems to reduce the changes that she was Meritaten. The video below gives an introduction to Maia's tomb.
You might also me interested in this article on Tia the wet nurse of Ankhesenpaaten (Ankhesenamun).
(Thanks to Andie Byrnes and Raymon Betz).
PS I've created a Squidoo lens about Tia. It's very brief and has nothing that isn't in this article so I don't recommend it! It does offer me a steady bookmark though which is why I created it. I'll add a longer one about Maia in the next few days.
Old back and white photos and videos seem to be a furm favourite with many readers so here is one I hadn't seen before - a 1920s video of Nefertari's Tomb in the Valley of the Queens. It is a "silent" movie with cut card captions rather than any commentary.
Francesco Tiradritti has a dig diary for their 2010 winter season at the tomb of Harwa. There is no newsfeed so you will need to click through the calendar to read each day in turn. I have linked to a translation into English from the original Italian.
Harwa's tomb is in Assasif area and known as TT37. It is a 25th Dynasty tomb built on the processional way of Mentuhotep with an entrance from the south. Although little known, it is very large for a private tomb with four underground levels and reaches depths of 25m. The best sites explaining the tomb I have found are here and here. Jane Akshar also covered a Mummification Museum lecture in 2009 which has more details. The video below is from 2009 as well - but it is in Italian
Harwa's mummy is in the Field Museum in Chicago. There is an (English!) video about it, although the video has a lot of general shots of places like Karnak but persist and you will get shots of the mummy and his cedar coffin later.
I haven't done much on this site because it was a bit slower than I liked. I am in the process of migrating it to the same servers used for Egyptological Online which Andie and I are developing together. They are *much* faster. The downside is that the site is down during the move. It should be back online after the weekend unless I hit a sang (and at present I fear I may have done)!
Really interesting looking documentary on Five about Psusennes I. Sorry for the short notice!
More wonderful photos from Richard Sellicks, this time of tomb KV11 in the Valley of the Kings. You can find them on Jane's blog.
Thanks to Andie at Egyptology News for finding this article - and a new feed for my newsreader. This season they are going to be excavating 'Cemetry C', a post-New Kingdom cemetry. This though is just a heads up - work won't start for another 5 weeks.
For those who like photos. this set by David Rae is worth a look. He has some very clear images. (Sorry no excavations or anything like that.)
I recently posted about apparently new excavations in the Valley of the Kings and people have been discussing in comments the likely location. Richard Sellicks has contacted me with an image from his collection which shows some of the landmarks in the excavation photo. Richards images proves this is the Valley of the Kings. (I have self-hosted this so click through to the maximum resolution.)
I'd missed it but fortunately Len Solt has spotted a large article by Dr Otto Schaden on the KV63 site. It desrives thw sorts of tasks the team plan for the next couple of seasons in both KV63 and KV10. Both are contingent on managing to raise funds - far from easy in the current evironment.
Otto should be back in the Valley of the Kings early in the New Year and promises a further update in late Decmember.
I'm wondering if new excavations have begun in the Valley of the Kings for winter 2010. This photo claims to show excavations in the valley. It was taken on October 11th 2010 and is labelled "Luxor, Egypt - Valley Of The Kings - Excavators" but I don't recognise the location.
I need to catch up on some items in my newsreader, but for now here is a site about restoration work at Karnak Temple in Luxor. My thanks for John Bright for the heads up. The site is in French, but there is also an English version. (Centre Franco-Egyptien d'Etude des Temples de Karnak translates as the "Franco-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak".)
The latest article is a report on work in the Temple of Ptah. Again the report is in English, but photo labels are in French. I really recommend the article. For those unfamiliar with the period of the Temple, this quote may help you put it into context:
Despite the low number of scattered blocks identified, the first campaign has clarified the origin of several of them, especially from the south side of the temple, which is also the most damaged. Two blocks (2516 + 2625) from the inner southern wall of the court feature an offering of Maat to [Ptah, Hathor and Harsomtous]. One block (2606) with the protocol of Ptolemy IV, located east of the temple, was put back to its original location on the top of the north wall of the court. Besides Ptolemy III and Ptolemy IV being well attested among the scattered blocks, one can note the following kings: Tuthmose III (2626); Hatshepsut (2580, 2584 and 2589), Horemheb (2575), Rameses III (a reused block in gate D and scattered blocks); Nitocris (2639); Nectanebo II (2635). Hatshepsut, Nitocris and Nectanebo II are not documented in the temple.
Given the recent situation with comments, I've revised the copyright terms for the site to specify that the newsfeed is offered on a Creative Commons Attribution No Commercial Licence version 3.0. In short you are welcome to reproduce articles providing the copyright notice included in the newsfeed is shown as part of the reproduction (attribution) and provided there are no adverts on your page.
You may not show adverts alongside any reproduced articles under any circumstances or otherwise use an article or the newsfeed for commercial purposes.
(Read the full text.)
One of the perennial questions is , "What's going on?" Well as a partial answer, the new SCA website has a list of the current foreign missions operating in Egypt. There are certainly some in the Luxor area I hadn't come aross like the Italian mission to the Tomb of Sheshonq (TT27).
I know many people read the blog in a newsreader but please don't overlook the discussion which you don't get in the newsfeed. For instance, so far we have had 40 comments on the DNA of Moses, many of which are long and detailed. I've learned quite a bit about the Exodus. Even the thread about the forensic examination of KV55 has 14 comments.
Not every article attracts that many comments, but most do have some comments. Some of the readers leaving comments know more than I and I encourage you to stop by the blog itself every now and again to see what is being said in the discussions. You can see the latest comments in the far right sidebar and from there click through to any discussion that interests you.
A new route lined with sphinxes has been found in Luxor. The previously known Sphinx Avenue runs roughly parallel to the Nile; this one runs towards the Nile. Perhaps most importantly, it leads the the Temple of Mut which could add to what we know about that temple. Inscriptions for Nectanebo (30th Dynasty) have been found, so this is a very late monument.
(Sorry to be brief, must dash.)
Marriane Luban has an article on her blog which she has called "The DNA of Moses" in which she describes a project testing the DNA of modern day Cohens. There is more here and even a dedicated Wikipedia article.
While this seems off-topic for News from the Valley of the Kings, as more studies into the DNA of royal and priestly mummies are done studies like this might help identify the time of Exodus which could help with our overall understanding of chronology. It is also why I believe the DNA of tested mummies should be fully published as, in many ways, links between ourselves and our ancestors is what makes real for history for many.
I promised to get back with links on this find. The SCA press release has the details and the best version of the photo can be found here. Between them these sites has everything on the Hawass blog and have a better version of the photo. (Getting back to the days of SCA press releases is great! Long may it continue. I'll check the copyright and may start repeating them here - press releases are usually something that can be used for reporting!)
On the first anniverasary, there is an up to date photo of the exterior of this tomb on the latest post on Egyptologia. (There have been some other articles since I last linked so if you want everything, then visit the front page.)
John Samsen emailed me with a theory about KV62 and the end of the Amarna period and asked my thoughts. With John's permission, I have turned it into a guest article so that other people can offer their views as well. This is what John presented:
This is how John summarises his theory:
I haven't seen much written about process by which tombs were stocked; however, the private tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV46) of Yuya and Thuya was also well-stocked so my guess is that, apart from funerary items, a noble's royal appartment was packed into his tomb and that Tutankhamun's tomb wasn't partiularly unusual - it's why we would love another New Kingdom royal tomb to be found intact as a comparison. However, I do like the idea of a cache. History suggests that when a religion is suppressed, believers do try to save certain especial treasures for posterity. It seems highly likely that happened at the end of the Amarna period. In general I am not persuaded that KV62 is such a cache, but maybe some of the personal items from his ancestors were added to the tomb to keep those safe - ie the theory may have a partial application even if one decides the tomb as a whole wasn't a cache.
Rather than reply to John directly, I thought his theory was interesting enough to share at large.
I checked the KV-63 site and didn't spot the upgrade but fortunately eagle-eyed Dennis did! Some lectures have been announced, both in California:
November 7 at 2:30 P.M.
Dr. Otto Schaden
Update on KV 63: The Newest Tomb in the Valley of the KingsHosted by The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter
November 6 at 1:30 P.M.
Dr. Otto Schaden
Update on KV 63: The Newest Tomb in the Valley of the KingsHosted by The American Research Center in Egypt, Orange County Chapter(Southern California)
Another minor report on Egyptologia. It is looking as though we may get a dig diary.
As we know, Horemheb was burried in tomb KV57 in the Valley of the Kings but before he became Pharaoh, he built a tomb at Saqqara which is less well publicised. Jane Akhar has posted up some photos.
Just a reminder that Stuart Tyler is still working on his Hatshepsut blog. I particularly like the photo of a statute he has found although sadly he doesn't give any details about the statue or where it was found.
I've just ploughed through a pile of news reports about Egypt and found nothing of interest.
There is a new Amarna book out written by Sue Moseley called "Amarna the Missing Evidence". I've not read it. It sounded interesting until I read reviews on Amazon, such as:
Those reviews have put me off. My guess is that this is a book which might suit somebody who knows nothing about Amarna but wouldn't suit me so I won't be buying a copy, but if anybody has read it and thinks I should buy it then I would welcome somebody posting up a comment.
This book says "missing evidence", and evidence certainly is missing. The sources/bibliography list is rather short, and some of the sources rather old. Especially, Ms Moseley omits any reference to the 2005 CT/MRI scan of King Tut (which was in "National Geographic"), or the discovery of KV63.
I would like to see a book by someone who has dispassionately gone over all the fragmented information about Akhenaten/Nefertiti/Amarna and arrived at conclusions. This book isn't that.
Blain Hunt posted a comment to say he found the Scota video hard to view. My apologies.
I chose that medium when I found the video because I didn't wish to overplay the story. If you are finding the video hard, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scota) is a bit dry but gives the bare bones. If you'd like to know more than that then the Kingdom of the Ark by Lorraine Evans is an accessible book. I don't agree with all of her conclusions but she looks at things like the Ferriby Boats when discussing the feasibility of sea travel from Egypt to Ireland which is interesting reading of itself. I picked up my copy on Amazon for a penny plus P&P.
While news is slack, I thought I would present a myth - as a myth not fact - which will be familar to some readers and new to others. In this myth an Egyptian princess called Scota left her homeland and travelled to Ireland. Scota is often identified as Meritaten as this video reveals.
I have been meaining to review this book for ages. Somebody was asking me about Ankhesenamun earlier in the week and I recommended this book for anybody seriously interested in the Amarna Queens and Princesses. I didn't have a review I could offer so I have put that right and published one. For now it is on Squidoo but I may add one on the new site when it is ready.
The Royal Women of Amarna is nearly 15 years old but it is still a fantastic book.
A new statue of Amenhotep III has been found at Kom El-Hittan, best known as the site of the Colossi of Memnon. There is a picture on the Dr Hawass site. It doesn't say, but it looks as though the statue has been carved in granite. One side is very badly damaged but the righthand figure looks to be particularly fine. Work is continuing to find the rest of the statue.
While a lot of focus has been lavished on the Valley of the Kings, the exacavation of Amenhotep's Mortuary temple has been a brilliant excavation.
Kamil Zachert has published some new photos of the Polish team's work and visit to the Theban Hills in November 2010. The Herhor website has also been updated since I last looked - and the design is more modern - but there is no text to accompany the new photos. However, I believe the story is this. An overhang has been a worry for the Temple of Hatshepsut beneath and I think that in September 2010 that overhang has been removed to prejent disaster. Personally I think the Temple of Hatshepsut should have been regarded as one of the Seven Wonders - it is an absolutely peerless piece of design - so this is really important work.
Jane Akshar covered this before the national press which have now picked up on the story. There are now some good pictures in circulation. I recommend:
Two very different articles for you:
1) Paul Rymer told me that National Geographic has an article in their September issue. There's nothing terribly new for regular readers of News from the Valley of the Kings but it is produced to the usual Nat Geographic lush production standards and is really very nice.
2) Rather more detailed, for my international readers, there is a very comprehensive article by Antonio Crasto, co-authored with P. Pietrapiana and G. Suadoni. It is titled "Conferme dal DNA della famiglia de Akhenaton" (Confirmation of the DNA of Akhenaten's Family). I'm afraid my Italian isn't good enough to offer a full summary but the article considers the permutations of elleles for the children of KV55 and KV35YL. This is a promising area of research. I looked at myself and I believe the chance that Tutankhamun is the son of KV35YL and a brother of KV55 is about 3% - 4%. That doesn't mean that we are 96% sure that KV55 and KV35YL are Tut's parents because I didn't look for instance at combinations like KV55 and another sister - or cousins for that matter. We don't know the composition of the royal family well enough to assess the probability precisely.
Antonio's article then looks at the possible lineage from Thuya to Akhenaten or Neferitit and onwards to KV21A and the foetuses. (Interestingly, this DNA trail keeps coming back to Thuya and not Yuya - I suspect that Yuya was part of the historic royal family and maybe Thuya was a foreigner?)
Sadly my Italian isn't good enough to follow the logic, but the article then goes on to propose - I think ... the language is a real struggle for me - that KV35EL is Nefertiti (not Tiye) and that KV35YL is actually Akhenaten. That's a radical suggestion. Setting the issue of gender aside for one moment, we know that KV35YL could be a child of Amenhotep III - KV35YL is an unknown princess in the Hawass theory. Indeed, with the addition of a Queen-Consort (Kiya), the Crasto theory does seem to fit the micro-satellite data as well as my own theory and better than the Hawass theory. However, I am not convinced it fits historical facts as the new Crasto theory requires KV21A (putatively Akhesenamun) to be the daughter of Akhenaten and the Queen Consort not of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Indeed, Crasto and colleagues suggest that Nefertiti was the Queen of Amenhotep III and the mother of Akehnaten and Smenkhare (KV55).
For me this is unsatisfactory in a number of regards but I will leave it to those whose Italian is good enough to read the detailed reasoning to comment further. However, the article does raise one clear point. There is no indication in the JAMA that the gender of the supposedly-female mummies, notably KV35YL (in this case), was determined genetically by testing for the absence of SRY (the male gene on the Y-chromosome). If this was not done, then it is a clear experimental lacuna. Upon inspection, the main JAMA paper doesn't mention how the gender was determined for the mummies which weren't tested for SRY. Presumably it was by pelvic examination or some similar forensic method? Given the feminised appearance of Akhenaten in some reliefs and statues, this does seem to be a possible oversight. (The absence of SRY isn't a definitive test for femaleness either - for example 1 in 20,000 women have something called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and have a Y chromosome with an SRY gene - but we can say that a woman who possesses SRY is highly unlikely to have been fertile.)
Personally I don't think the KV35YL is Akhenaten any more than the KV55 mummy is, but it is a theory which opens up new lines of questioning and demonstrates that there is still some way to go before the family tree printed in magazine like National Geographic can really be said to have been proven.
While there is little new news, here is something from the past - videos of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project excavations in the Valley of the Kings in the early Noughties.
This one (Video 0 - Intro) is he first and somewhat dull with fairly low production standards:
Video 3 - Hoping has a commentary by Nicholas Reeves in which he explains what ARTP hoped could be found. He poses the question: where are Meketaten and the other princesses buried?
Video 7 - Found is a great video. This is a must watch. Nicholas Revees covers some of the key finds.
Video 8 - Ahead looks at what could be found in future. I won't spoil the surprise but is this where the missing tomb of the Amarnan royal women is located? Could there by two undiscovered tombs? As we know, the ARTP lost their concession and Hawass dug a slightly different area.
I have skipped several. If you want to see the others, search Google.
PS Why cannot we have videos of this quality from the Hawass digs?
While I am adding videos, here is one of the CAT scan on K35EL and KV35YL. Obviously we now know that neither is Nefertiti but it is still worth watching for good shots of the mummies.
I have some pages on Squidoo about King Tutankhamun and Tutankhamun's tomb and his treasures. Both are constany works in progress and I while was .looking at videos to feature, I found one to share here.
What I like about this video is that it shows the passageway and gives a good idea of the scale of the tomn whereas most videos just show the modern glass coffin and the wall behind. I noticed little things like the fact that the ceiling is bare. The cameraman pans so you can also see how the scenes in the tomb relate to one another. If you haven't visited the tomb, I really recommend watching this short video.
It's not an Upper Egypt story, nor even Dynastic Egypt, but I've not seen it elsewhere so I thought I'd share it.
Apparently a 1200 year old Psalter, tne "Faddan More Psalter" was found in an Irish bog about 4 years ago. Testing has now shown that the lining of the leather cover is made from Egyptian papyrus. It's not yet known whether the leather is also Egyptian.
It's easy to think of international trade being an entirely modern affair but trade links date back to antiquity. In fact faience beads and necklaces have also been found in Britain, and especially in Ireland. As http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba70/feat3.shtml explains, this probably wasn't through direct trade of beads but by propagation of the knowledge of manufacturing techniques. That's even more interesting. A bag of beads can be passed from trader to trader. Since there are so many practical steps involved in manufacturing techniques, inevitably a skilled transition needs to move to pass the knowledge on. Again that would probably happen in stages with an individual glassmaker perhaps moving only to the next town. If, say, every 5 years an apprentice moved 50 miles to avoid existing competition, knowledge could spread 1,000 miles in only a century. So while we cannot rule out long distance travel, we mustn't rule out a gradual dispersal of manufacturing knowledge.
Returning the the papyrus, it's not been carbon-dated yet - immersion in a peat bog could be the reason for that. It's therefore not known how old the papyrus is.
Jane Akshar has posted several reports from Mummification Museum lectures including TT11 and TT12, the immense TT34 and the possibility of a tomb belonging to Amenhotep I in the cliffs above Deir el-Bahri.
I've deliberatley not posted about the tomb at Deir el-Bahri because it didn't seem to be in the public domain. I'm not certain whether it's one tomb or two. Since Jane has covered it, I'll post something more detailed in the next few days. Fortunately the cliffs are hard to access and are well-guarded so a tomb should be fairly secure. My personal interest list (highest first) is:
Thierry Benderitter of Osirisnet is asking for photographs of the Theban Tombs to help reconstruct them virtually and give an idea of their originally form before modern robbers stripped reliefs. Jane Akshar has the details.
(Since Egypt has now stopped tourists taking photos, there will be no new ones. We must hope that Egypt's seurity for antiquities is good ... Um ... Ah ... Anybody spot a flaw in the new law?)
"A second and more sobering implication of my hypothesis is that a second Amarna cache, containing the weeded burials of Kiya, Meketaten and Nefertiti-Smenkhkare - the remaining, unaccounted for occupants of the Amarna royal tomb - still lies undiscovered in the Valley of the Kings. For, as with the principal occupant of the Tomb 55 cache, the burials of at least one, and perhaps two, of these individuals seem to have provided a range of materials for Tutankhamun’s reuse and must, themselves, have been subsequently re-interred somewhere."
This article is one of the occasional but fairly lengthy articles on Egyptologica by Francisco J. Martín Valentín y Teresa Bedman. It briefly mentions this tomb which I have covered in earlier posts, but mostly the article is material about Akhenaten aka Amenhotep IV. The original article is in Spanish and Google's translation is execrable so I have linked the original Spanish.
It's well known that I do not believe that the mummy from KV55 is Akhenaten based on DNA evidence, but there is another reason why I doubt it. Where is Meketaten?
Meketaten was the second daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. She died very young (possibly as young as 12 or 13), probably in childbirth, and was buried in the Royal Tomb at Akhetaten (Amarna). We know that from tomb reliefs. It is also accepted that Akhenaten was buried in the Royal Tomb as well. (It is unclear where Nefertiti was buried, or indeed when. If she died before Akehenaten then she was probably laid to rest in the Royal Tomb.) If the mummy of Akhenaten was transferred from Amarna to the Valley of the Kings then presumably the mummy of Meketaten would have been transferred as well. So why isn't she in KV55 with her father?
The answer to that must be that Tutankhamun separated the two mummies and placed Meketaten in a different tomb. That seems unlikely. Why would he cut two tombs when one had been sufficient in Amarna? The argument is probably that Akhenaten as a heretic and therefore had to be buried separately. I really don't buy that argument though. According to the Hawass theory, Akhenaten was Tutankhamun's father. A young king;s grip on the throne has always been somewhat insecure. If he had inherited through his father Akhenaten would his advisers really have wanted to denounce Akhenaten as a heretic who had to be buried separately?
I just cannot believe based on the circumstances of the time that the KV55 burial fits the political dynamic. I believe that Akhenaten should be buried as part of a small family group.
If you ignore the mis-labelling of the KV55 mummy as Akhenaten (at best the attribution is scientifically dubious), this chart of the Tutankhamun lineage is really very nicely done. It reproduces the alleles so that you can see them in the context of a family tree and uses colour coding so that one can easily see the pattern of inheritance. Thanks to Andie for posting it up.
One aspect of the layout can be confusing so take care. Rather than present the two alleles from a single locus above one another, they are shown side by side. So for each mummy the table reads as four pairs of alleles on the top row, and four on the bottom row.
Things to notice are 35 as the top right allele in the entries for Tuyu (Thuya), KV21A and Foetus. It has not been coloured in the chart because the Hawass family tree doesn't explain how the KV21A lady inherited this allele which, remember, is extremely rare in the general population. If she is Ankhesenamun and didn't inherit it from Akhenaten (KV55 doesn't have this allele) she must have inherited it from Neferiti.
Next remember that children must inherit one of each pair of alleles from their parents (neglecting the tiny chance of a genetic mutation). So in the second pair on the top line, Foerus 2 has 6,15 and Foetus 1 has 10,13. Print out the chart and work backwards with these. As you can see, if KV21A is their mother, then she must have had 6,13 in this second pair. Now if she was Ankhesenamun, her parents were Akhenaten and Nefertiti so she mut have inherited either the 6 or the 13 from Akhenaten but the KV55 mummy has a 15,15 at this location so he cannot have been the father of KV21A if she was the mother of Tutankhamun's children. That's the discepancy I pointed out in my previous critique.
Ultimately how serious a problem you feel this to be depends on whether you believe the KV21A mummy is Ankhesenamun or not. As I explained in that previous article, with a few minor assumptions, we must choose between KV21A being Ankhesenamun, duaghter of Akhenaten and KV55 being Akhenaten. Personally I think the DNA evidence (such as the inheritance of the 35 allele I mention above via Nefertiti and probably AY) is persuasive that the KV21A mummy is Ankhesenamun
Akhenaten; I also remain sceptical of the forensic data that suggests the KV55 is Akehenaten. You must make up your own mind, but try using the National Geograhic chart to fill in the gaps working up from the foetuses, and I hope you will soon see the problem.
[Typo corrected with thanks to Witlessd. ]
There have been a few articles about the discovery of Umm Mawagir but this article in the Yale Almumni Magazine which Vincent Brown found is the best. Most tales of the discoveries of lost cities are fantasy stories or are over-hyped. This is an honest-to-goodness discovery of a real lost city near the dessert oasis of Kharga to the West of Luxor.
The dessert city blossomed from1650 to 1550 BCE, just before the dawn of the New Kingdom. Because the site is dessert and away from modern cities, preservation should be very good. So far less than ½% of he city area has been excavated but that has revealed buried mud-brick walls which still stand 3 feet high. So far there is no report of an associated cemetery but inevitably a city that size must include burials and probably a temple. Hopefully there will be new texts and inscriptions which reveal more about period which is much less well-known than the New Kingdom which followed.
Jane Akshar was lucky enough to visit this temple which is normally closed to visitors and has a report and photos on her blog.
I'm developing an advanced WordPress Plugin called Glypheer to display hieroglyphs as I mentioned in an earlier post. Completing it is going to take some time so, as a bonus for those who are waiting, I have developed a simpler plugin which I have called WP-Hiero.
I'm working on a site to host the plugins and I'll write a proper user guide but for now there is a rough first page on my new site. I'll add content to the site over the next couple of months. (This isn't the site I am working on with Andie but it's useful to have a site which uses things like the same theme so that I can test them out on something similar.)
I wrote the core of WP-Hiero in a morning and added cadrat groups and text direction after lunch so you'll gather it's not terribly advanced but it can manage simple Manuel de Codage parsing like D40-D54-r-k-r-Dd-d-w-niwt The biggest known deficiency is that it cannot display cartouches. Glypheer can display cartouches. I may add cartouches to WP-Hiero but it's not easy to do so I am undecided at present. I also don't pretend layout is perfect - this is a plugin whose target is "good enough for casual use"
It's very new so there may be problems but I've reached the stage at which the only way to find out is to put it out there. It's convinced me though that I really ought to learn to read simple hieroglyphics.
The plugin uses the NewGardiner font by Mark-Jan Nederhof. The font is only licensed for domestic, personal and academic use. If you want to use the plugin for commercial purposes, you'll need permission from Mark-Jan. I suspect I haven't encoded every glyph so if you find something missing, I'll add it to the next version.
I'd love to extend the plugin to use the Aegyptus font and make the full set of glyphs available. It should be possible but I have hit a snag. I need to do what Mark-Jan has done with NewGardiner and rebase the entire Aegyptus font and convert it into a TTF. I've tried to do it but I'm having problems with Font Forge. If anybody is able to convert Aegytus for me then I'd be very grateful because I am stuck - please contact me if you can help.
Once I can get Aegyptus working, I'm intending a third plugin which concentrates on getting precise spacing for things like ligatures.
Three Hieroglyphic Plugins?
I know, it seems strange, but there is a reason. I started Glypheer using images for the glyphs. That has some advantages but images are problematic when it comes to overlaying images. Ultimately the only way to get a precise layout is to use a font. I initially thought that was impossible but WP-Hiero proves it can be done. It is also tiny. I like Glypheer for things like the colored glyphs though. I can also easily add any other sets of glyph images I can find. WP-Hiero and Glypheer also use totally different algorithms. They have taught me the limitations of both recursion (WP_Hiero) and iteration (Glypheer).
Between them though I have everything I need to write the parser and plugin I really want to create.
I seem to recall mentioning this before but if I didn't and you are interested, Andie has the details.
Topography of Thebes, and a General View of Egypt by Sir John Gardner Wilkinson is available free on Google books. If you want to read it all, there is a link to a PDF. It's fairly easy to find the material on the Valley of the Kings but remember that "Biban el Malook" is the Arabic name for the wadi that is the Valley of the Kings - although it is usually transliterated differently these days.
There is coverage of much more of the Theban West Bank, although Sir John opines that "one or two days frequently suffice to look over the whole of Thebes." There is also some general material about Egypt that I wouldn't particularly recommend.
The book was published in 1867 and includes details of Sir John's visit in 1827 so this is a book which will be appreciate by those readers who are interested in the history of the discoveries of the Valley of the Kings rather than those looking for contemporary information.
Jane Akshar has a great post reporting that the Tomb of Irynefer, TT290, at
Deir-el-Bahri Deir el Medina is currently open for visitors. Jane has gathered what is known about the tomb in her article so I'll say no more here.
I think from this photo taken on 30th July that there is probably still some archaeological work ongoing in the Valley of the Kings. I suspect it is clearance of existing known tombs rather than fresh excavation.
In my previous post I said I couldn't find the photo on the South Asasif site. Andie Bynres helped me out - it's on this page.
You can tell I'm in WordPress development mode this week ... Here is another new development, this time Andie and I have teamed up with Vincent Brown of Talking Pyramids.
I used to have a page like this at PageFlakes but it died so we have created a new Ancient Egypt blog portal in WordPress. It's an alternative for those who don't use a newsreader - it gathers the extracts from the most recent posts on your blogs and displays them on a single page. Simple. The top row is Andie's Egyptology News. Our themed blogs are on the second row.
If there is interest I need to update the site to the latest version of WordPress and tweak a few things, so the purpose of this article is to gather feedback on the level of interest. We would also like to know how the site should be developed. For instance:
Andie Bynres and I didn't like the design for our magazine site so I have embarked upon a complete rebuild of the site. The big advantage is that I now know much more about WordPress than I did before - such as how to create plugins. I've therefore just moved the functionality for displaying hieroglyphs into a plugin. If you are interested in what the plugin can do so far, there is a very early draft of a user guide. (Warning, that's a link into the new site and while I am working on it, it might not work reliably. It's very much a building site.) Please pay no attention to the format as that will be rebuilt next week. At the moment it is stripped down to something very raw.
The idea of a plugin is that it can be added to any WordPress site and I will release it as open source code when it is finished. It is still in alpha development and I expect it will be several months before the plugin is ready for public release via the WordPress repository. It is also a very big plugin with a couple of thousand files and will probably be 20Mb or more when it is finished.
There are obvious flaws still. For example, cartouches don't align perfectly and I would like to do more with ligatures. At present, it is also limited to the Gardiner set of glyphs but I am fairly certain I can extend it to allow the full set of glyphs in the Aegyptus font without needing the user to have the font installed. Progress will depend how much spare time I have.
It amuses Andie that I have developed this without being able to read hieroglyphs, which means the formatting might be totally wrong for some combinations. It is chicken and egg though. Andie is promising to write some tutorials for our new site which will teach me hieroglyphs, but we need the plugin to present those tutorials. Expect an iterative process!
(January 2011: version 1.1 of WP-Hiero is now available.)
Paul has posted up some pictures of a rarely seen mummy (screen grabs from Chasing Mummies) from the Valley of the Kings - the one that Hawass is hoping to show is Tuthmosis I. Great pictures.
My thanks to Len Solt for pointing out an update on the KV-63 site that I had missed.
Since my return from Egypt earlier this year, I have sent in a short report on “KV63: 2010 Season” which is now available in KMT 21 (No. 2, Summer 2010) 45-49. A more detailed report was just recently submitted to the editor of the Annales du service des Antiquites de l’Egypte. In addition to the aforementioned reports, a short summary has been sent to editor, Imad Adly of Orientalia for their customary compilation of reports on work in Egypt and the Sudan. Roxanne Wilson prepared the CD and materials for the ASAE paper and for Orientalia.There is more on Otto's diary page.
From Paul Rymer:
Jane Akshar has been fortunate enough to visit the excavation site of these late period tombs in South Asasif (that's on the Theban West Bank fairly near to the Valley of the Kings) and has provided a report on her blog.
Those who follow the comments will know that Dennis offered to send me some old photos. I know that's not everybody's interest so I didn't want a very long post here with them so I've set them up on a Squidoo page (lens). You can find them here.
Thanks to Dennis.
I'm shamelessly indulging a personal love of black and white photos, but maybe other people love it too. (I miss black and white film more than colour film.) It's a great photo taken by Ted Forbes in 2008. It's copyright so you'll have to follow the link to Flickr.
I've just connected with Antonio Crasto on Facebook and I'd like to suggest his site to anybody who hasn't seen it. There are some pictures for everybody and some articles that look very interesting. Sadly they are in Italian but if you can read Italian they look to be well worth the effort covering subjects like Marfans Syndrome, and Egyptian Calendars.
This article seems to answer some questions:
A tiny clay fragment has been found in Jerusalem. It's believed to be from a letter to Akhenaten. Discovery have the story and a picture.
(It's Discovery so they describe Akhenaten as the father of Tutankhamun, although of course we know better!)
Adrienne Giacon has found this interesting paper looking at the Y-DNA of modern Egyptians.
This article shows that many are V
A haplogroup found amongst the Berbers.
(I'm on mobile today so I can't reply in comments, sorry.)
I said haplogroups "blur". What I mean is that mutations accumulate. R1b isn't a precise set of alleles, it's a probability density function. A man and his cousins could have different alleles but share the same haplogroup.
I also totally agree this is entirely separate to race. If an article suggests it is the same as race that's when my hackles rise.
Interestingly there are 3 separate threads of research each showing different aspects of migration: Y-DNA, mtDNA and language. It'll be the synthesis of all of those which will really be interesting. For instance I'm wondering whether there are similarities between ancient chadric languages and/or Berber and/or Ancient Egyptian.
PS sorry for the typos in yesterday's post. I'll tidy some of those up tomorrow as well
|Fireworks over Lake Maggiore|
In my opinion it is very interesting to explore the ethnical background of the royal family. There`s a remote chance that it could even help to sort out some unanswered questions such as if some queens were likely of foreign origin.
But I think it is currently very unsafe to do so. There is no officially published work on this issue, and trying to establish haplotype groups from screenshots is unsecure.
We don`t know for sure if the data shown really belongs to the person we think it does, if the data can be read correctly and, very important, if this is the data which has been finally worked out and reviewed.
Just think of the discrepancies between Tut`s and the foetus`s data as it was displayed on the screen and as it was published in the JAMA paper.
456 (13-18) = 15I have not independently checked those from a DVD recording of the show. Readers are welcome to do so if they wish. As Suzanne pointed out, some believe that the results shown where standard results and not an analysis of Tutankhamun's own DNA. We cannot discount that possibility but personally I believe that actual results were shown in the documentary. Robert then suggests that this shows that Tutankhamun's haplogroup was R1b to a probability of about 96%. I've not seen how that probability was calculated. Again, I've not checked that analysis. If I thought it mattered, I would do so, but as we will see it's the logic of the conclusion I disagree with.
389i (9-16) = 13
390 (17-28) = 24
389ii (24-34) = 30
458 (14-20) = 16
19 (10-19) = 8/14 (dual peak)
385a (7-25) = 11
385b (7-25) = 14 (? not clear in video)
393 (8-17) = 13
391 (6-14) = 11
439 (8-15) = 10
635 (19-26) = 23
392 (6-18) = 13
YGATAH4 (8-13) = 11 (10 FtDNA nomenclature)
437 (13-18) = 9/14 (dual peak)
438 (8-13) = 12
448 (16-24) = 19
|Region||Population||Country||Language||N||Total%||R1b1a (R-V88)||R1b1b2 (R-M269)||R1b1a* (R-V88*)||R1b1a4 (R-V69)|
|N Africa||Mozabite Berbers||Algeria||AA/Berber||67||3.0%||3.0%||0.0%||3.0%||0.0%|
|N Africa||Northern Egyptians||Egypt||AA/Semitic||49||6.1%||4.1%||2.0%||4.1%||0.0%|
|N Africa||Berbers from Siwa||Egypt||AA/Berber||93||28.0%||26.9%||1.1%||23.7%||3.2%|
|N Africa||Gurna Oasis||Egypt||AA/Semitic||34||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%|
|N Africa||Southern Egyptians||Egypt||AA/Semitic||69||5.8%||5.8%||0.0%||2.9%||2.9%|
|C Africa||Hausa||Nigeria (North)||AA/Chadic||10||20.0%||20.0%||0.0%||20.0%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Fulbe||Nigeria (North)||NC/Atlantic||32||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Yorubad||Nigeria (South)||NC/Defoid||21||4.8%||4.8%||0.0%||4.8%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Ouldeme||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||22||95.5%||95.5%||0.0%||95.5%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Mada||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||17||82.4%||82.4%||0.0%||76.5%||5.9%|
|C Africa||Mafa||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||8||87.5%||87.5%||0.0%||25.0%||62.5%|
|C Africa||Guiziga||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||9||77.8%||77.8%||0.0%||22.2%||55.6%|
|C Africa||Daba||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||19||42.1%||42.1%||0.0%||36||5.3%|
|C Africa||Guidar||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||9||66.7%||66.7%||0.0%||22.2%||44.4%|
|C Africa||Massa||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||7||28.6%||28.6%||0.0%||14.3%||14.3%|
|C Africa||Other Chadic||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Chadic||4||75.0%||75.0%||0.0%||25.0%||50.0%|
|C Africa||Shuwa Arabs||Cameroon (Nth)||AA/Semitic||5||40.0%||40.0%||0.0%||40.0%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Kanuri||Cameroon (Nth)||NS/Saharan||7||14.3%||14.3%||0.0%||14.3%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Foulbe||Cameroon (Nth)||NC/Atlantic||18||11.1%||11.1%||0.0%||5.6%||5.6%|
|C Africa||Moundang||Cameroon (Nth)||NC/Adamawa||21||66.7%||66.7%||0.0%||14.3%||52.4%|
|C Africa||Fali||Cameroon (Nth)||NC/Adamawa||48||20.8%||20.8%||0.0%||10.4%||10.4%|
|C Africa||Tali||Cameroon (Nth)||NC/Adamawa||22||9.1%||9.1%||0.0%||4.5%||4.5%|
|C Africa||Mboum||Cameroon (Nth)||NC/Adamawa||9||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Composite||Cameroon (Sth)||NC/Bantu||90||0.0%||1.1%||0.0%||1.1%||0.0%|
|C Africa||Biaka Pygmies||CAR||NC/Bantu||33||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%|