Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, May 28, 2011

The third consecutive season of archaeological investigations at the funerary temple of Thutmosis III , on the west bank at Luxor, started on October 2nd, until December 17th.
One of the most interesting discoveries this season was a tomb with a corridor, shaft, and a sealed funerary chamber. Several burial jars and plates were found inside the chamber in a good state of preservation, allowing the tomb to be dated to the Second Intermediate Period.
More about the Third Archaeological Campaign (2010) is on the project's web site, including a set of very good pictures. Thanks to Jane Akshar for spotting the update.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, May 28, 2011

This is an aerial image of the Karnak Temple complex in 1914 from the Cornell University Library via Flickr.  I have uploaded a relatively low res version.  If you would like a higher resolution version, it is available on Flickr.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, May 28, 2011

There doesn't seem to be a definitive version of what the Leeds robot saw behind one of Gantenbrink's Doors in the Great Pyramid.  Coverage seems to have been relegated to the Daily Mail.  I have found two articles which are better than most and which together outline as much as (I think) has been made public.

The first is an article in Discovery News which has a good report of how the Djedi project robot made the journey up the shaft and the future plans for exploration.  It also has a composite image of the floor of the new chamber behind the Gantenbirnk Door at the top of the southern shaft from the Queen's Chamber.

The second report from the Daily Grail reproduces one of the images at greater size and has what seems to be more of a quote from the Djedi team (that's a link to the Hawass blog post at the start of the project).

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 27, 2011

Three stories are dominating the Egyptian archaeological landsape:

  1. whether new finds and opening new tombs can revive tourist fortunes
  2. Hawass - inevitably
  3. the findings of the robot inside the Great Pyramid
The robot stuff is certainly interesting, altough far from conclusive but for News from the Valley of the Kings the other stories are more germaine to the focus.  There are good roundups as well. The Independent asks, Can a tomb bring Egyptian tourism back to life? Past Horizons concentrates on the other story in Egypt's Man from the past who insists he has a future.

I had hoped there might be some nice new images to the tombs of Maya or Horemheb which have opened at Saqqara, but I cannot find mich other than the image in the Independent story and similar odd images in equivalent coverage elsewhere.  However, while I was looking I did turn up this photo of the discovery of Horemheb's tomb in the Valley of the Kings

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, May 23, 2011

These are excellent - you can find them on Egyptological our new site in the Photo Albums section.  The set includes the clearest picture I have ever seen of the famous "helicopter" glyph which shows that it is actually the accidental result of over-carving.

I really should have posted a link sooner.  Sorry.  I also forgot to mention that Andie wrote a short book review of House of Eternity - the Tomb of Nefertari which is in the In Brief section.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, May 23, 2011

My thanks to John Patterson for spotting this well ahead - it shows next Monday (30th) at 8:30pm.

Dr Sarah Parcak uses satellites to probe beneath the sands, where she has found cities, temples and pyramids. Now, with Dallas Campbell and Liz Bonnin, she heads to Egypt to discover if these magnificent buildings are really there

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, May 23, 2011

Seven New Kingdom tombs are to open at South Saqqara just outside Cairo including the unused/unfinished tomb of Horemheb built before he became King.  The other big news is that Maya, Tutankhamun's Treasurer is also to open.

Vincent Brown has gathered a little more detail.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, May 22, 2011

The story that examination of this New Kingdom royal mummy from Thebes showed that  she suffered atherosclerosis in two of her three main coronary arteries.  She was (in modern terms) a middle-aged lady in her mid forties - relatively old for Ancient Egypt.

The main reason for carrying the story though is that the Australian has a very good picture of her mummyCorrection: Tim Reid says it is the mmmy of Mahirpre from tomb KV56 in the Valley of the Kings.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jane Akshar has more pictures from Richard Sellicks.  The first set is of the Valley of the Kings tomb KV47 which are very nice but my favourite of the two sets is the Temple of El Kab simply because they are so rarely seen.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's nothing new, just a clip from one of the documentaries about DNA but this is the section where his mummy is lifted from the coffin in the Valley of the Kings and it has some nice shots.

Tutankhamun from John Hazard on Vimeo.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 20, 2011

I am unsure whether this is good news or not.  I can see both sides: modern encroachment is a problem; however, the local people went of their way to protect monuments and this seems like very poor repayment.

Today, MSA personnel, the police, and the army worked together to remove all of the new tombs that were built above the site of Mit Rahina. On Sunday, we will do this on the West Bank of Luxor and later, at Abusir and Lisht. After that, we plan to continue working to clean up all of the sites that were damaged by looters during and after the Revolution. This is really a happy day for all of us.
Report from Dr Hawass.

I fully support the clearances at places like Abusir and Lisht which are good news and welcome.  I just suspect that the West Bank might be a slighly less straightforward situation.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 20, 2011

Are you interested in writing for Dr Hawass' personal blog?  Then the Minsitry of State for Atiquities has a vacancy for you. Duties include:

  • creating and posting content on the Minister’s personal website in the form of blog entries, event information, photos, publications and press releases
  • answering fan mail received through the Minister’s website and Facebook
Details at Past Preservers.   You will need a Masters in Egyptology or similar.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, May 14, 2011

Three artefacts have been recovered (AlmasryAlYoum with picture of one object):

The three artifacts are of the head of the pharaonic queen Nefertiti. One is 7cm long, and the other two measure 15cm. They are suspected to be antiquities,"
There is no picture of the head of Nefertiti.

It's the second incident recently, as a granite Ramesside statue of a priest has also just been recovered.   That follows the two bronze statues recovered ten days or so ago along with two reported missing from the Egyptian Musuem.

Recovery of objects is clearly good, but the recovery of objects which have not been reported stolen is concerning.  They might be from recent looting of Abusir and Saqqara but if so that means an unknown Amarna era tomb was looted?  It is also possible that they are antiquities which were held illegally before the revolution which have re-entered the market with the shift in politics.

The Ministry is remaining silent.  That is perhaps sensible as any response at this point would be conjecture which could later prove to be wrong, but if many more such objects turn up then comment will become essential.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 13, 2011

This hasn't hit my Google reader yet so I thought I would share it - if Blogger is back up yet.  I've seen no details of the questions she faces but there have been allegations published of misuse of funds intended for cultural projects like the library in Alexandria. For that reason, her detention is of more interest within the world of antiquities and culture than many ministers'.

She may, of course, be cleared of any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, May 09, 2011

In all the fuss I missed the update to the Theban Mapping Project site by Kent Weeks. Thanks to Dennis for alerting me.  It offers the most significant update on the clearance of KV5 in a decade.  The main burial chamber was once lavishly decorated and, given the number of rooms, at one time the tomb must have beeen incredibly richly decorated with artefacts and furniture.

Weeks mentions forthcoming publication of an Atlas of the Valley of the Queens and material on the tombs of princesses buried in wadis close to the main Valley of the Kings.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, May 08, 2011

Another treasure from Marianne via a comment is a link to a page by Orlando Mezzabotta attempting a vocalisation of the passage from the Kanose stella.  The page has links to the MDC rendition for anybody who would like to try reading along.

You can listen to an MP3 of this rendition.

My thanks again to Marianne for this.


A reader has reported that their anti-virus software flags the Mezzabotta page( and another that while the Mezzabotta page is OK for her, that the link to the inscription ( is flagged.  Norton 360 didn't flag the Mezzabotta site when I visited it but I thought it best to pass on reader warnings and to remove the direct links.

The new link to the .mp3 is safe because I have downloaded it and uploaded it to my web space.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, May 05, 2011

Margaret Maitland has saved me a job and written a great follow up article on the Tutankhamun trumpets.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A kerfuffle has broken out with the Yasmin el-Shazly, head of documentation at the Egyptian Museum, complaining that bloggers have been unfairly critical of the Museum, and especially Paul Barford and follows on from complaints by other officials that Hawass was being unfairly criticised for the clothing photoshoot.

At some point I may get in to the details of the argument, but the more important observation is that MSAA officials are clearly unused to investigative journalism and independent blogging.  Until recently, bloggers who criticise the Government have been arrested in Egypt.  Indeed, the Military Council has continued the practice.  The pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanadhas been arrested and imprisoned for criticising the Egyptian Army.  The story is on Huffington Post.

Local media like Ahram notoriously stuck to an NDP party line.

So its really not surprising that MSAA officials are unused to people critically examining press releases and announcements and it is obvious they find the experience uncomfortable.  They seem to feel that a museum like the Met or the British Museum would be treated differently and to an extent they are correct; however, those museums wouldn't normally issue press releases through a government minister, a process which inevitably politicises press releases. 

I suspect as Egyptian media become more inquistive that MSAA officials will realise that they are not, in fact, being treated unfairly.  I doubt they will grow to like people checking press releases for consistency - few orgnisations do - but maybe they will understand that the process is a fundamental part of democracy.


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