Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, February 18, 2011

Noel O'Neill has been has been working on the identification of the statues again:

The figure of Tutankhamun harpooning on a papyrus skiff that was stolen is (JE 60710) . The base that the second figure is standing on has a large split from under the skiff to front of the base. (JE 60709). See page 130 of the complete Tutankhamun by Dr Nicholas reeves.

Dr Hawass in his own web site is showing the photo of (JE 60709) as the stolen figure and this is not helping.

The is no computer data base of the artefacts in the Cairo museum. They are still using the big leather ledgers and some are nearly 100 years old.  So trying to check what has been stolen from the museum is going to be very slow. Dr Hawass in a past interview said that he hoped to have a up to date data base by the time the Grand Egyptian Museum opens, and that is not for another two years. Both Dr Reeves and Dr Hawass in there books on Tutankhamun use the tomb numbers that Howard Carter gave each artefact, and if Dr Hawass is not using the museum numbers what hope for the rest of us.


karima said...

by a strange coincidence, I am watching "an idiot abroad" on canadian discovery channel, where comedian ricky gervais has sent his pal to egypt as a practical joke. He visits the egyptian museum and in one screen shot you clearly see him and his guide admiring the harpooning tutankhamun on a skiff statue...

Margaret Maitland said...

First of all, I would like to point out that the Egyptian Museum does actually have a computer database of objects. While doing research at the museum, I visited the Registration and Collections Management Department and they were incredibly helpful in sending me database entries with photos/info for the objects I was looking at. I'm not sure how comprehensive the database is yet since it's fairly new, but it does exist! You can read about it here: do hope that they can give us photos and more information about the missing objects soon.

In terms of identifying the Tut harpooning statue, do we have a good enough photo to be sure that there isn't a small split in the broken skiff base? I don't have Reeves book with me at the moment, but in the photo from the Griffith/Hawass' blog, the split doesn't look that big. Also, the statues have clearly had a fair amount of restoration work done since they were initially found, so is it possible that this crack is no longer visible?

Bernard in the comments on my blog (and I think on the looting database too) has an interesting and different take on the identification of the statue based on its case location:

The easiest way to find out would probably be to contact the travelling exhibition and find out which one *isn't* stolen.

If you want to add to your collection of inventory numbers, the Tut carried by Menkaret statue is JE 60716.

Figuring out the Amarna princess head is very difficult. I've looked through a number of Amarna/Egyptian Museum publications and most of the princess heads seem to be now identified as carved in quartzite. None of them feature the very small carved heads though, and I suspect it's one of them. Borchardt calls them all sandstone, so it's very confusing. The original publication of the finds by Borchardt in Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 52 (1913). Unfortunately, there isn't a copy in Oxford or London. If anyone out there has access to a copy, it *might* be able to help us (though again, B isn't to be trusted with the material ids).

Margaret said...

I wrote a long comment here yesterday but it seems not to have posted properly! I'll try again but in stages... First point: it is completely untrue that the museum doesn't use a computer database. I have visited the offices of the Registration, Collections Management, and Documentation Department myself and they were very helpful in providing database entries for the objects I was researching with info and photos. It may not be comprehensive yet since it's fairly new, but it most definitely exists! You can read a bit about it's development here:

Kate Phizackerley said...

It can take decades to populate a computer inventory. I know. However in the early stages one would expect basic details for the fraction of the collection on public display to be entered very quickly: rough basics of object, where it was found, probably a basic date and an initial photograph. There might be less for some minor objects on display; more on major items which have been photographed for books etc.

Over the years details of tiny scratches, records of all conservation etc, can be added.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Btw thanks for leaving the comment again. I don't know what happened to yesterday's

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