Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, October 31, 2011

With the UNESCO budget stretched by the Arab Spring, it is regrettable that the UNESCO budget is likely to fall by about 20%. USA which has been making a sizeable contribution to the budget will withhold all funding following Palestinian membership of UNESCO. 

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, October 27, 2011

For those interested my local Works (Croydon) had three discounted Egypt books today. I suspect other branches might also have copies.

Pick of the bunch is Treasures of the Pyramids by Zahi Hawass with a foreword by Suzanne Mubarak.  Easy to see why that has been remaindered.  I didn't pick up a copy as the flat is in chaos because I need ceilings replaced - leak from the flat above.  It took the insurance assessor less than 10 minutes to approve the claim. I may grab a copy next week. The price is a very reasonable £9.99. It's an AUC Press publication, originally priced at $70 - see for details.

At the same price was Egypt Past and Present which contrasts old lithographs with modern photographs of the same scenes.  For me it's a book which interests for an hour or two but isn't a "keeper" so I ignored that. There was also Treasures of the Pharaohs at £6.99. It looked more tourist oriented but I will take a look next week when I have more time.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Times today reports that Maikel Sanad is close to death from multiple organ failure. He is a Coptic Egyptian and aged 26.

He is also in jail and on hunger strike in protest at being tried before a military court without either himself or his lawyer present.  He was sentenced to three years.

His crime was blogging about the Revolution and questioned whether the army supported the people.

So would I be safe visiting Egypt? Would most of my readers who have written various critical posts on Facebook?  

My thoughts are with Maikel and his family.

The case also exposes the ongoing problem of the reliability of reports from Egypt.  At present the only reports seem to be essentially press reports reported in Ahram and occasion stories in Youm which tend to be almost impossible to verify.  We need independent bloggers able to report on the status of sites.  News from the Valley of the Kings used to rely on tourist reports and photos.  First the photos were blocked by preventing tourists taking photos on sites; now tourist numbers are badly down.

I know I have been quiet here. That is partly being busy. It is partly that there isn't much going on. But it's also that the news out of Egypt is restricted still.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, October 05, 2011

There are reports coming in that the Mprtuary Temple of Amenhotep III which has been the site of some exciting discoveries over the past year has been flooded.  There is an article in Arabic but Google Translate struggles as usual - but the picture is worth a thousand words.

That's corrosive, salty water which destroys inscriptions.  I guess the worry is that if it can happen to such a high profile site then the SCA has really taken its eye off the ball and the risk to other sites must be a concern.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, October 02, 2011

It is official and in the mainstream media like Ahram.  What's more, everybody seems to be happy and the protestors have agreed to stop their protests and sit ins.  Big projects like the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Avenue of the Sphinxes will continue, although it is unclear where the money will come from until tourism picks up again.

Mostafa Amine was formerly head of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department.  Quite what that means for any new projects, news or even publication of past SCA projects remains to be seen but it coudd be a fallow few years for Egyptology unless foreign missions are licensed.  


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