Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 30, 2011

As I write the articles for the first edition of Egyptological our free online magazine about Egyptology and Ancient Egypt are publishing themseleves - we scheduled them over a 15 minute period.  It is a great first edition. Andie Byrnes and I are very proud of it.  It has been a lot of work for us, our volunteers and our wonderful authors.

There is nothing exclusively New Kingdom or Upper Egypt in this edition but there are several articles which are general in nature and should hopefully interest you.  We really welcome any feedback because it will help us to make future editions even better.  We are also looking for contributors for future articles and still have opportuities for volunteers.

PS Don't forget to look at the Photo Albums in Colloquy and the shorter In Brief articles.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We all thought that the promotion of Dr Hawass to be Minister of State for Antiquities meant that his former post as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antoquities was defunct and wouldn't be filled.  In a move which had not been telegraphed in the media or by any of those who claim to know the inner workings of the Ministry, according to Almasry Al Youm Dr Hawass has made a surprise appointment of Mohammad Abdel-Moneim to be Secretary General of the SCA.  I cannot locate any official confirmation of the appointment though.

With minimal international profile I have had to rely on media coverage to find out about him.  According to that article his background is in the Sinai and the East Delta which I don't particularly follow and the AL Youm report suggests that "He discovered many excavations along with important archaeological pieces in North Sinai and the East of the Delta." Google isn't particularly helpful. It tells me that Dodi Fayed was actually Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed and there is a Mohamed Abdel Moneim with a profile on a dating site who lives in Giza, is 52, has brown eyes and is 5' 11" tall.  I suspect that isn't the same Mohamed Abdel Moneim but who knows.  There is also a dentist of the same name in Alexandria.  And of course Mohamed Abdel-Moneim El-Sawy is the Minister of Culture.  Perhaps more promising is the Mohammed Abd El Moneim who has written a paper on Knobbed bowls of the Late Predynastic - Early Dynastic Period.

In short, until a biography is issued, or somebody writes a background, I am not sure whether this appointment is good or bad news. There is also the very significant possibility that the news isn't accurate. Although it has appeared in Al Youm, there is no press release on the SCA web site. Blogging about Egyptology definitely has its frustrations at present. I will follow up the story when there are more details either way but I am busy for the next few days with the launch of the first edition of Egyptological and time with my nieces.

Update 6th June  - I can still find no official confirmation of this story and doubt its accuracy

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heads up that there are clashes new between protesters and security forces in Tahrir Square, Cairo, tonight with Twitter reports that tear gas has been used.  With Greece and the Intercontintal in Kabul it hasn't made TV channels so if you wish news I would suggest Twitter or some Google-fu.   By far the worst clashes in months.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, June 26, 2011

Not Pharaonic Upper Egypt but it is a truly beautiful piece ... it being an Egyptian Fatimid rock crystal ewer (jug) and is about 1,000 years old.  There is a great picture on the Art Daily site.  It's not the picture shown alongside, that is the Fatimid ewer in the V & A collection mentioned in the Art Daily Article which is also beautiful but not, to my mind, as glorious as the one which went on display in the Pergamon this week.  There is no indication what it sold for this time, but in 2008 it sold for £3m and the Daily Mail carried a picture which doesn't show the engraving as well but does show the colours much better.

The V&A article has more information about the Fatimid rock crystal ewers.  Apparently the Cairo treasury orginally listed about 900 but less than 200 are believed to have survived according to the V&A, although the Daily Mail suggests that as few as six ones of this quality are known.  They describe the one now in the Pergamon Museum as a 'Holy Grail Jug' which is wildy inapt but also strangely appropriately evocative at the same time.

There is yet another picture here in an article which stresses just how thin the walls are - and remember these are not blown glass but are sculpted out of a single, solid piece of rock crystal (quartz) which is really skilled craftwork.

Sorry, I know this is later than interests most people but I love glassware.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, June 25, 2011

Early in the year with the January Revolution very much in mind I visited the Book of the Dead exhibition at the British Museum.  It inspired me to write an article about how the Egyptians might have seen the break in at the Egyptian Museum and how the recognition of the risk may have helped spur people to protect Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  It was very tabloid peice but I didn't manage to place it anywhere.  It doesn't really fit well either here or on Egyptological because it isn't an academic piece at all, so I have finally published it on Wizzley.  If you are interested, it is called The Magic of King Tutankhamun.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, June 25, 2011

And that could have been a tweet because pretty much all the available information is in the title.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Professor Sarah Symons of the Integrated Science Programme & Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University, Hanilton, Ontario recently visited the Society's London offices to study some of the unpublished material relating to the discovery and excavation of the Osireion at Abydos. She has sent the following report on her experiences.
Prof Symons report is on the EES site.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An American archeological mission discovered a large palace dating back to the Roman period in Amhada area, the Dakhla Oasis in the New Valley. 
The palace's structure was found complete but it cannot open to visitors due to erosion factors, said director of antiquities at Dakhla Maher Bashandi on Monday 20/6/2011.
A replica of the palace will be built so people can see it, he said. The American mission had translated the writings found inside the palace, from which it learnt about new archaeological contents in the area related to agricultural and educational activities prevalent in ancient times, he said.
The inscriptions suggest that farmers in Ancient Egypt might have worked in the Oases area before heading to the Nile Valley, he said.
Source: Egypt State Information Service

At the moment, this seems to be about all of the information available.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Al-Ahram Weekly has an article on the situation of the Amarna boundary stellae.  The Ministry is denying reports that a stella has recently been damaged by mining, although it admits that it is in poor condition and is suffering from deterioration and that some parts of it have collapsed.   However, the official line is not fully accepted and even the pro-establishment Ahram reports:

However, some Egyptologists who requested anonymity did not accept the ministry's announcement. They believe strongly that in spite of the revolution Egyptians are still facing the same problems and the same false statements.
It is actually quite a good article about the stellae and well worth reading.

Thanks to Patrick.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 16, 2011

This is somewhat off topic but important enough to pass on as it seems presently limited to Arabic sources.  I regret that I am insufficiently familiar with Libyan momuments to verify the details but it purports to show the momuments at Nalut, and I think it does.  Similarly, I am not able to assess the degree of damage done or that it was pro-Gadaffi forces as claimed; although, the impression on casual inspection is of relatively extensive damage.  However, having plead ignorance, for those wishing to know more the monuments concerned are an old Berber castle.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 02, 2011

The team have found a second decorated chamber which is a major find for them.  There is a press report on the Dr Hawass blog.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 02, 2011

There are reports that 14 reliefs were destroyed by dynamite at Amarna about 6 months ago.  This news is unverified and only carried so far by Youm7.


Youm7 (English)
Youm7 (Arabic - translated)
Egyptian Dreams (hint of confirmation by Ministry sources)


It sounds as though this is a conflation of old and new reports.  As Andrea Byrnes reports:

Thanks to EEF's Aayko Eyma for writing to Barry Kemp of the Amarna Project, who has replied to Aayko to say that there are two stelae which have been harmed. He says that Stela S was destroyed [Kate: by dynamite] in 2004 and that Stela Q, already denuded of most of its decorated surface in the early 20th Century, was further damaged more recently. An undecorated section has been removed and Kemp says that although it is assumed that this was by human agency it is unclear how it was done.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, June 02, 2011

Nick Lerner kindly pointed out  an animation of the work of the Djedi robot in the Great Pyramid which makes it easier to visualise what was seen in the chamber behind the Gantenbrink Door.

There is also a page by Dassault Systèmes.  

(Sorry I know this is off topic but I have a thing about the Great Pyramid and the upside of running a blog is that one can occasionally break one's own rules!)


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