Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, December 14, 2012

Kate and Andrea are very sad to announce that Egyptological will be unavailable for the forseeable future.  It has been targeted by a professional hacking group as part of an onslaught on Egypt-related web sites during the current unrest in Egypt.

Although we have been in negotiations with the hackers, which seemed to be going well, they have now announced their intention of resuming hostilities against us.  They apparently see Egyptology sites such as ours as representing a form of political threat.

Until we have been able to assess the level of damage inflicted upon our backup solution, and have been able to devise a new strategy for the future security of Egyptological, our site will remain unavailable.  We do not expect it to be recovered until the end of January.

Please be aware, however, that we are fully committed to restoring Egyptological to its former state, together with the latest unpublished edition of the Magazine, and we are investigating the possibility of publishing a temporary archive at an earlier date.

We recommend that anyone with similar web sites should upgrade their own security arrangements, as you may now be interpreted as representing a political or religious affiliation.

Kind regards from both of us

Andrea Byrnes and Kate Phizackerley

(PS sorry about the format. Copy and paste issue.)

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, December 09, 2012

Just a warning to sat that Egyptological is down and is likely to be down all day and quite possibly tomorrow too.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, December 06, 2012

Just a quick note to say that the next edition of Egyptological Magazine should be out on Monday all being well.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, November 18, 2012

Al Masry Al Youm reports the recovery of more items stolen from the Egyptian Museum along with others allegedly stolen from archaeological sites.  See

There are no details of the objects and be warned: the photo is an old one showing items recovered 18 months ago.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, November 06, 2012

As predicted, KV62 is to remain closed to tourist access in a move many will see as sensible. The replica tomb is presently on display in Cairo but will be erected in Luxor in due course to take over as the destination for tourists.

Sad in so many ways but inevitable and sensible too.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, November 03, 2012


Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jane Akshar and a guest have just visited this Theban noble's tomb to photograph the outside. See for photos and explanatory text:

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It seems that this is a different Nebamun ...

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, October 28, 2012

There is a paper in German:

On Andrea Byrnes' Facebook page, Kento Zenihiro comments:

They found about 100 examples of a cone, which had been registered as # 66 by Norman de G. Davies and M. F. Laming Macadam, in the heaps of the collapsed facade of the recently-found Saff tomb K10.1 which is located on Dra Abul Naga (They have not shown the map so I do not know the exact location but it must be near TT 232 and the pyramid of Nebkheperre-Antef).

Note that M. Betro and P. D. Vesco working at nearby tomb (TT 14) had already identified this cone to be of that Nebamun (Cf. Betro and Vesco (2010). Un cono funerario dall'area di M.I.D.A.N.05 a Dra Abu el-Naga e il problem della tomba perduta di Nebamon. Egitto e vicino Oriente, 33, 5-16).

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kento Zenihiro (of cones fame) has reported rumours on Facebook that the lost Tomb of Nebamun has been rediscovered.  The tomb (if found) has already been stripped of its reliefs: many are in the British Museum already.  Nonetheless, re-finding the tomb would be welcome and might give better context to the BM reliefs.

I am just off out but will try to investigate later.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, October 19, 2012

Between being away and a few days ill in bed, I have not have chance to post so I thought I would share now I am back one of the photos I took in Colmar of a stela which many people might not have seen. 

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, September 24, 2012

The latest album on Egyptological is a quartet of four photographs of the Temple of Debod at night taken by reader, Alexander Scharnweber and copyright to him.  My thanks to Alexander.  Do check out the other three images on Egyptological!

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, September 23, 2012

I had hoped to get to Madrid earlier in the year but didn't because my travelling companion was unwell.  I was looking forward to seeing the Temple of Debod. Le temple de Debod (Madrid) The Temple was one of those inundated by the completion of the Aswan Dam and was gifted to Spain by the Egyptian Government as a thankyou for her efforts in rescuing the Nubian Temples. (Of course, had the Egyptian Government not approved the dam no rescue would have been required.) The temple now stands in a park in the centre of Madrid, although it is clear from the pictures that only the most significant stonework was rescued. Although it has been documented before, apparently the publication was incomplete in some regards and is now difficult to obtain. The 20th Century was also far from kind to the temple. Anyway, Dr. Francisco J. Valentin Martín has re-recorded the temple and published new translations and transliterations of the inscriptions. Image: Dalbera via Creative Commons and Flickr

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 20, 2012

The University of Chicago has just published the last sections (for now) of an online dictionary of Demotic Egyptian.  There are quite a few articles online, based on the same press release I guess, but this one is my favourite because it has some pictures:

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 20, 2012

Police are clearing at least this site from encroachment. Overdue progress which is welcome, but much more is needed.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is a nice story about a cartonnage mummy case in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England being put back on display after 80 years in storage. The mummy itself is missing, presumed robbed. There are some nice images but they are all copyright so I cannot reproduce them here. My thanks to Mark Hubbard for spotting the story.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 06, 2012

A new stone inscription has been found in Cairo which lists offerings to the Gods. The story seems only to have been covered in Ahram and is not very detailed at all.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 06, 2012

There is an update on the Theban Mapping Project site. It is worth reading in its entirety but there are two big news items: Firstly, the project has completed a photographic catalogue of all decorated walls in all Valley of the Kings tombs which will be made available online. That is certainly important both for scholarship and has a record of the Valley of the Kings. Very, very welcome. Secondly, there have cleared a few more rooms in KV5. It's somewhat unclear but the impression is that the extent of the tomb is now probably known. It's also interesting that ushabti from the reigns of Ramses VI or VII have been found. My thanks to Dennis and Bill Sommer.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, September 06, 2012

That's the latest suggestion by Mr Hutan Ashrafian, a clinical lecturer at Imperial College London and covered in New Scientist. (My thanks to Andrea Byrnes on Facebook.) The reasons seem to be: 1) the generations died successively younger indicating an inheritable condition which became more acute over the decades; 2) Amenhotep III and Akhenaten had religious experiences; and 3) Akhenaten's feminisation could have been a result of disruption of the temporal lobes which caused hormal changes. Ashrafian believes that epilepsy killed Tutankhamun. For me that's the obvious weakness in the theory. If an inherited condition killed Tutankhamun at a younger age than his ancenstors, one would expect the other supposed symptoms to have also been more severe. So for instance, we should be looking for a greater feminisation of Tutankhamun that Akhenaten and probably for him to have been even more prone to religious experiences. There is no evidence for either.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Andrea and I have just published the latest edition of Egyptological. This edition celebrates our first anniversary and fittingly is the biggest, and of course best, yet.

I won't spend too long her describing the edition because I wrote a long editorial which does that. For readers here, though, I would particularly suggest reading Pleasant Living in Amarna by Jac Strijbos.  It's quite nice to have something on Amarna which isn't Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

We have published 18 new articles and albums so plenty for you to enjoy.  As usual, free of charge and without adverts.  Our approach is that Egyptological is by the community for the community.  And we are always looking for articles and albums of photographs.  If you would like to participate, you can find details on the site.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, August 13, 2012

That's what Discovery News is saying.  Apparently a researcher into Google Earth anomalies belieces she has located two unknown pyramid complexes in Upper Egypt.  I have looked at the photos (see the link) and am somewhat sceptical in respect of the first site, but then buried pyramids are not always obvious.  The second near Dimai looks more promising to me.

What worries me is that the process feels sort of like those people who can see man-made features on Mars (Cyndonia for instance) in satellite images.  I would be interested in a fractal analysis of the two supposed pyramid areas - that technique is promising when it comes to differentiating between man-made and natural mounds.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, August 13, 2012

There is a podcast here of an interview with Associate Professor Colin Hope of Monash University talking about things like Akhenaten and Tutankhamun.  I cannot say I am impressed by the interviewer (Steve Austin I think) but it is something which can be played in the background while one works away on the computer.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, August 11, 2012

There are lots of this story on the Web as you might suspect.  None seem detailed - this is as good as any because it has a photo.  It is believed to be a militray desecration of captives to remove their power. 

The article also says the abuse was performed by the Hyksos and not the Egyptians.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, August 10, 2012

This article from Huffington Post is three weeks' old now but I have only just come across it.  It is an article about Zahi Hawass.  Open about his failings, it concludes that the tourist dollars he attracted to Egypt may offset the deep resentments many hold towards him.

Of more interest is the section on the 2011 break-in at the Egyptian Museum with two standout quotes:

“We found pieces in the street and had to carry them back inside,” says Saad. “Some Egyptians helped us collect them.”
There was talk, later substantiated by the Egyptian Cultural Heritage Organization, that the perpetrators had been security guards and police officers.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, August 03, 2012

The Old Kingdom tomb of Queen Meresankh IIIhas been re-opened in Giza along with a number of other tombs according to the Washington Post which also has a very nice photograph.  It's not a tomb with which I am familiar at all but it looks absolutely stunning.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's off topic but I know that Andie is probably not in a position to update Egyptology News and it's a big story, so I have decided to cover it.

Archaeologists from the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology working at the pyramid field of Abu Rawash have discovered the funeral boat which they believe to be that of King Den of the First Dynasty.  The reasons for the attribution are not stated in the Ahram article (photo) but might perhaps be inferred.  IFAO have been working near the ruined Fourth Dynasty pyramid assumed to be that of Djedefre.  In the area they have reportedly also come across references to King Den.  My guess is that they are putting together these references to King Den with the discovery of what is clearly a very early funeral boat and making an identification.  It is certainly highly plausible but the more I study the pyramid fields the more I realise that identification is often not rock solid.  For instance the same Ahram article reports that they have also found references to King Aha.

The identification is somewhat unimportant.  The boat is in very good condition for its age.  According to the Ahram report that the boat is 6m high and 150m wide, formed of 11 timber planks.  Other reports give this as 6m long by 1.5m wide and these dimensions seem to be consistent with the photographs.  It is has been taken to the new national museum for conservation.

The big question for me then is this: where are the funeral boats from the Third Dynasty?  If funeral boats were a standard practice in the First Dynasty (Aha, Den) and in the Fourth (Khufu), where are the boats from the intervening kings?  It reinforces the view that much remains to be discovered about the burial practices of the Third Dynasty.  (I am presently reading about Third Dynastic burials which is why the topic comes to mind so readily.)

PS thanks to Dennis for prompting me to cover this

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, July 16, 2012

This limestone relief has been found at Cairo home.  It sounds like it may have come from an illegally dug tomb, but it's unclear.  Apparently a lintel from a fake door marked with the name of Ramses II.  We may never know more.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Hathor temple on Philae is to re-open following extensive restoration which seems to be a reconstruction to  a certain degree.  It's unclear whether the image in the Ahram article is before or after restoration.  The article says blocks have been replaced - I just hope they have used limestone and not concrete.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, June 22, 2012

Many of us fear that reports out of Egypt might be downplaying damage to sites. That certainly seems to be the case with the Merenptah Stela at Gebel Silsileh. There's a photo of the damage on Egyptological. This is certainly an important photo so please bring it to the attention of your contacts.

Reminder: please do not repost the photo without permission.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another images from the Mussées Royaux des Beaux Arts in Brussels, this time a face of Akhenaten.

(Photo:  © Kate Phizackerley, 2012)

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I have just come across a set of photos of KV20 in the Valley of the Kings - the tomb often associated with Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis I.  They were taken by Juan R. Lázaroon 17th June 2012.  Quite how he came to be allowed into the tomb with a camera, I don't know, but he took a lot of shots of the passageway which is rarely seen.  Not a pretty tomb, but these are rare photos so well worth a look.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

While it is quiet I thought I would add a photo of a head of Tutankhamun from the Musee des Royaux d'Arts in Brussels. 

(Photo:  © Kate Phizackerley, 2012)

Posted by Andie on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

There is a new article by Julian Smith on the Archaeology Magazine website about the January discovery of KV64 by the University of Basel in the Valley of the Kings.  It is free to view and contains information abut the discovery, the contents of the tomb and the work that has been carried out since the objects were removed from the tomb for inspection under laboratory conditions.

Tomb of the Chantress
Archaeology Magazine, Volume 65 Number 4, July/August 2012

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tim Reid has written extensively about the mummy found on the boat in tomb KV35 in the Valley of the Kings.  KMT Magazine has just published two new photos and Tim analyses the extra information.

(Not hyperlinked as I am still on mobile.)

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, June 11, 2012

She also says Tutankhamun's tomb is in the basement so not sure the credibility factor is high!

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm on mobile only this week so posts will be brief but the John Hopkins 2012 season at the Temple of Mut is underway:

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Susanne Bickel and Elina Paulin-Grothe have published a provisional 2012 report for the University of Basel Kings' Valley Project.  The 18th Dynasty debris has now been removed from KV64 (Nehmes Bastet) and the most revealing statement in the report so far as the New Kingdom is concerned is:

It remains uncertain whether a small wooden tag naming a royal daughter along with wooden splinters belonging to a piece of furniture with the name of king Amenhotep III stem originally from this tomb or whether these elements entered accidentely with the debris filling. Similar inscribed fragments were found near the tomb of Siptah by Howard Carter and by the Basel team of Mission Siptah – Ramses X, as well as by our team during this season outside tomb KV 29. This dispersion of material seems to result from looting in antiquity.
There are remains of a very badly damaged mummy (probably) from the original burial.

The team has continued their work on the undecorated tombs of the Valley of the Kings.  Likewise they report that KV40 shows signs of burials in both the 18th Dynasty and the Third Intermediate Period.   The tomb has been looted and fired.  Further work was only carried out in Tomb KV33.

Salima Ikram (Department of Egyptology, American University Cairo) and Frank Rühli (Centre for Evolutionary Medicine/Swiss Mummy Project, University of Zurich) have also been investigating the human remains in Tomb KV31. These are now revealed as the remains of five, not four, people.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Egypt Independent is reporting that an attempted theft has been foiled at Silsileh quarry near Kom Ombo.  Very pleasingly the guards who prevented the theft have been rewarded, definitely a welcome development.

Allegedly those arrested were trying to steal a bas-relief panel of King Merenptah presenting Mayet.  The panel suffered some scratches and holes but remains in situ.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, June 02, 2012

Thanks to a comment on the blog we now have the main site for the expedition, the Dayr Al Barsha Project:

The press release reads:

During its 2012 spring campaign, the archaeological mission of Leuven University in Dayr al-Barshā, directed by Harco Willems, has discovered an important burial dating back to the beginning of the Middle Kingdom (approx. 2040 B.C.). Although the burial has been robbed at least twice, and has suffered extensive damage, a large amount of objects were still found in their original position, providing unique information on the scenario of the funerary ritual. The tomb must have belonged to a nomarch (i.e. a provincial governor) or to a person belonging to the close family of a nomarch. It is for the first time in over a century that a relatively well preserved burial of this kind has been found.
The Dayr Al Barsha Project page also has a much extended version of the press release as a PDF.  Apparently the tomb of Nomarch Ahanakht I discovered in 1891-1892 (Tomb 5) was excavated by George Andrew Reisner in 1915 who got distracted by a nearly intact nomarch burial in a neighbouring tomb and failed to excavate a burial pit in Ahanakht's tomb, believing - correctly it had been robbed.

The robbers however left quite a lot behind and the burial has been identified as Djehutinakht, probably the father of Ahanakht and who was the last nomarch of the Hare Nome of the First Intermediate Period.  The badly damaged coffin bears coffin texts, pushing the origin of these back before Ahanakht.

There is more information about earlier (2002 - 2004) by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven work at Deir el-Barsha here and here if you wish to know more about the site.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, June 02, 2012

Raymond Betz reports that Dr. Christian E. Loeben has identified a quartzite bust as Nefertiti. See EEF page which for once has great photos. I am just a bit worried that this might be one of those stories where somebody suggests the head "could be Nefertiti" but which grows in each telling so I would prefer to see original material from Dr Loeben, especially since the EEF links includes no details as to why the head is believed to be Nefertiti. I am not saying it isn't Nefertiti, just expressing some caution that the available material is somewhat scant on details.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, June 02, 2012

Breaking news that the former President has been found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. It should help Egypt move on - we all hope.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, May 31, 2012

We have published Edition 4 of the Journal and Edition 6 of the Magazine this morning on Egyptological, with more content in In Brief as well as a new photo album.

I wrote a lengthy editorial to introduce the contents so that is your best place to find out about all the new goodies. There isn't a lot this time which is specifically about Upper Egypt but a couple of weeks ago we did publish a review by Patricia Spencer of the the all-day colloquium “Recent Archaeological Fieldwork in Sudan,” held by the Sudan Archaeology Research Society at the British Museum (London, UK) on May 14th 2012.  The day covered updates from the expeditions at Sesebi and Amara West among 13 speakers.  If you haven't taken a look at that yet, you might like to.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Egypt Independent reports arrests and seizure of 17 Roman-era antiquities near Luzor.  Allegedly a pit 10m deep had been dug to loot an unspecified site.  The report lacks both details and photographs.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Via Maria Nilson breaking news

It's a bit scanty. I will try to track down confirmation and details later.  First Intermediate so important to add to the picture of that period. It's located away from Luxor/Thebes near Deir el-Barsha.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 25, 2012

Jane Akshar reports that the Temple of Mut at Karnak will open this autumn and the Temple of Isis at Shenhur sometime later.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I am pleased to say that we have just published an interview with Salima Ikram on Egyptological. Not Valley of the Kings but we are very happy with it so I wanted to share.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

With thanks to the SSEA I would like to highlight the Preserve the Middle Nile blog. The most recent item is a report from the recent Sudan Meeting at the British Museum. The BM is interested because one of the sites which will be flooded is Amara West where their team has been working.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, May 20, 2012

I am sooo far behind with news.  I look at the backlog and it deters me so I think the best it just to skip it and resume normal service (although there are one or two pieces of news I may go back to.)

So with thanks to Andie Byrnes here is a piece of news from the Amarna Project that they are conserving a group of six coffins.  They are important because they are the only decorated, non-royal coffins ever found at Amarna so presumably they represent the noble elite.  They have insciptions and publication is something which very much should be welcomed.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Petrie programme is back on iPlayer for a week or so and might be shown next month on BBC HD.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Edition 5 of Egyptological Magazine is published.  See my comprehensive editorial for full details.  Enjoy.  The next edition - Edition 6 - is tentatively planned for 31st May because we are aiming for every two to three months, although this one was less than six weeks.  If you have any material for that or Edition 7 (mid-August?) then please do get in touch. 

Anyway, back to Edition 5 which is available now.  For fans of Ancient Egypt there is a lot in it.  We don't want to just write about tombs and temples so the content is very diverse.  For the subject area of this blog, there is another set of photos of the Valley of the Kings from Heidi Kontkanen, a review of a guide book for the West Bank tombs and temples, and a review of two books of Harry Burton photos.  Sometime I really ought to write a biography of the man - although hopefully Gary Beuk will beat me to it. This time he has offered the second half of his piece on Arthur Weigall. 

Oh and Akhenaten crops up in a surprising place in this edition.  He isn't in the title of any article but he is in there somewhere if you look ...

PS  I have promised to review Memphis and the Ptolemies for Edition 6 and write an article about one of the less well known pyramids.  So for me that is great - a lot of Memphis and stretching across the Dynastic period.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Not Egypt as such but very interesting, as is the date of domestication, and unless cattle were shipped by sea, domesticated herds must have reached Egypt via Sinai and the Delta.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, March 31, 2012

We were planning an edition of Egyptological at the end of April but we are pleased that Dr Joyce Tyldesley has given one of our writers an interview about the new Manchester online diploma.  Since that is very interesting to anybody considering signing up to the course, we wanted to publish it as soon as possible.

It has been a scramble but we are planning to publish an edition on 3rd April.  As always it will be free.  There is much more in it than the interview so make sure you look out for it.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Now I know why I prefer to write about Upper Egypt.  I have several commitments for the next Edition of Egyptological (which is why I have been quiet here) including a brief article for publication on 1st April.  I ought to have know that was not propitious.

I thought to write an article about the city of Hermopolis Parva in the Delta.  Only where is it? Wikipedia identifies it confidently as the capital of both the 7th and 15th nomes.  Margaret Bunson in her Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egypt places it on three "tells", without recognising that one of these is tens of miles from the others.   Worse, writers since Greek times have been confusing Hermopolis Magna with Hermopolis Parva, often confusingly referring only to "Hermopolis". 

Having spent an evening, I also don't know the age of the city.  Some texts insist it was Ptolemaic only.  Others have it founded by Ramses II in the New Kingdom.  Others reasonably suggest that as one of the two chief cult centres of Thoth it as an important site in the Middle Kingdom and one text seemed to push it back into the Old Kingdom.

There is a huge need for a definitive article: I may write it but it wasn't the quick article I was hoping for with a 1st April deadline.  I may look to write something on the Nubian Pharaohs instead.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Canadian team led by Professor Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner has unearthed (July 2011 but reported now) a rare wooden statue of a Pharaoh, suspected to be King (Queen) Hatshepsut, unusually portrayed in a feminine fashion with narrow waist and delicate jawline.  My thanks to Ric Schuller for the news.

Unfortunately at present every Canadian web link I try is down, so I can only find the link to (what is possibly) a secondary report.

The statue was found in an elite (non-royal) offering chapel but associated with a larger structure, possibly royal, and dating to the 19th Dynasty.  Having seen a picture of the statue on the link, unless there is more in the primary sources, the designation of Hatshepsut seems as though it is based primarily on a process of elimination - it cannot be anybody else.  Possibly, but while it could be Hatshepsut, it seems a somewhat tentative identification at best.  

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, March 04, 2012

An inscription of an (almost) unknown king of the 17th Dynasty has been found in the Temple of Karnak by a team working in the Temple of Ptah.  His name is  Senakht-en-Re and this is the first mention of him found in Egypt, although there were some Greek mentions of him apparently.  This has implications for the chronology. For a king to be unknown also suggests his tomb remains to be discovered.

My thanks to Andrea Byrnes for a better link that Luxor Times.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, March 01, 2012

We now know the height of the new mummy found in the Valley of the Kings from a news report (my thanks to Andre Byrnes) was 1.55m including wrappings.  She was buried in an oversize coffin of 2m.

The only other new details is that the tomb was found by accident ("stumbled upon" to use a phrase I was criticised for using when the tomb was first announced) when the University of Basel was building a low wall to protect KV40 from flash floods.  The announcement also repeats that Nehemes Bastet is the first woman without an obvious connection to the royal family found in the Valley of the Kings. 

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The mummy of Nehmes Bastet is in good condition and protected by a thin layer of resin. 

Unfortunately she has stuck to the bottom of the coffin and it will take some time to gently extract her so it might be next year before she is scanned.

There are also unconfirmed rumours that canopic jar(s) belonging to the 18th Dynasty burial have been found in the rubble at the bottom of the tomb.  No details or a name yet but it does suggest that there are definitive New Kingdom remains waiting for careful excavation.

(From Priest of Hekat and Lutz in EgyptianDreams)

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 27, 2012

There is a great French site dedicated to the tomb of Ay at Amarna.  It doesn't matter if you don't speak French because it doesn't have a great deal of text - just lots, and lots of photographs.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 27, 2012

The latest edition of Egyptological is out and as always it is free to read online. It's a real bumper edition as well.  The editorial will give you the full listing but we have articles in the Journal, Magazine as well as shorter In Brief pieces.

Horemheb fans are particularly well-served as Andrea Byrnes and I both have articles about the King.  I have written about the contents of tomb KV57 in the Valley of the Kings.  Finishing that was why I have been quiet here for the past ten days.  Andrea has written about a lecture given by Professor Geoffrey Martin on his re-excavation of KV57.

Not in Egyptological but continuing the treats for those interested in Horemheb, there is a video of a symposium on the king.   My thanks to Nick Reeves for forwarding this which I held back mentioning until our Horemheb material was published.

Nehmes-Bastest is not overlooked in the new Egyptological edition.  Andrea has written an article setting the context of the 22nd Dynasty. It is a masterwork.  She has done great work in condensing down such a complex period into something coherent and eminently readable.

Those interested in religion are also well-served by the new edition.  Brian Alm has continued his excellent article about the religion of Ancient Egypt as well as adding a companion piece on the gods of the underworld.   Howard Middleton-Jones takes a different angle and looks at how Egyptian temple design may have influenced the design and layout of Coptic churches.

Garry Beuk ties in with the Horemheb theme with his contribution.  He presents the first of a two part mini-series on the famous Egyptologist Arthur Weigall who was one of the first people into tomb KV57 when it was discovered in 1908 and whose writings were invaluable for my own article.  I am sure that Gary;s work on the old Egyptologists will be ever-more popular.

Maintaining our international theme,Porin Šćukanec Rezniček has written about the mummies in the Zagreb musem.  I really appreciate articles about museums I have never visited - a reminder that we really do welcome contributions to Egyptological.  In fact we need them if Egyptological is to continue so if you think you might have something to contribute please take a look at how to participate.

The academic side has not been overlooked.  Etienne Vande Walle continues to demonstrate his expertise in the area of Egyptian law and judicial practice but this time he focuses on a tomb - that of Mereruka at Saqqara.  Regular contributor Barbara O'Neill laments the lack of distance learning options and has compiled a detailed table of the Egyptology course presently available in the UK.  It is a must read for anybody wanting to formally study the period.

All of that is combined with further book reviews and briefer articles - don't forget to look for them in In Brief.  And of course there are new photo albums too which are always a delight.

I could say so much more about this edition but this would become an article in itself, so please head over to Egyptological and enjoy the feast.  And if you can write something for us, or have photograps to contribute, we would be very grateful.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 27, 2012

To the embarassment of all concerned a couple arrested at Luxor airport have been released after it was realised that the items in their baggage were not antiquities but tourist trinkets.  Luxor Times is demanding that the tourists concerned are offered a full apology by the authorities.

One would think that with all the out of work archaeologists in Egypt one would be employed at Luxor airport so that these mix ups didn't happen.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, February 25, 2012

A fine wooden sarcophagus belonging to a presently unidentified individual has been found at Qubbet el-Hawa, Tombs of the Nobles, on the banks of the Nile near Aswan.  The best (possibly only) English article is from the Daily Mail which does have a great photo of the coffin being uncovered.  Andrea Byrnes has located the dig diary of the University of Jaen.  It's in Spanish but Google Translate does a fine job if you let it (if it works at all, it seems somewhat cantankerous these days). 

If I am reading it correctly the sarcophagus has been dated on stylistic grounds to the early 18th Dynasty but the dig diary also talks of a 12th Dynasty find.  Likewise tomb nunbering loses something in the translation.  The main project has been to explore a tomb numbered QH33.  This season they have reached the bottom after four years of efforts - but have now found a well chamber which they have started to excavate and which might yet contain a burial. 

I think the sarcophagus pictured in the Daily Mail is from a tomb numbered QH33a or QH33b - the tombs are close packed.  The sarcophagus might be their most impressive find this season, but it certainly isn't their only find.  They have found other bodies, although not in such fine condition, and almost 300 piecs of Late Period faience as well as fragments of papyrus.

For those who wish to know more about this site, there is a video of excavations last year, although the commentary is not in English.  It doesn't include the most recent discovery of course.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Every year on 22nd February, and again in October, the sun reaches through the interior of the Temple of Abu Simbel to illuminate the rear wall.  There was some doubt whether the temple was going to be open for the special event this year but it has been confirmed that it will be, as well as a special sound and light show.

The video is not Abu Simbel.  (No prizes for spotting that.)  It's the Horsetail Falls in Yosemite.  For a brief period in February, if the conditions are right, the sun turns the falls to golden yellow or fiery red earning them the name Firefalls.  In these days of mundane science it shows what marvels the sun can still create.  Imagine how special the sun must have been to the ancient Egyptians.  Videos like this might help us, just for a fleeting moment, to recapture the sense of wonder and magic they must have felt at Abu Simbel when it was first constructed.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, February 16, 2012

I have been reading the Theodore Davis report / catalogue on the tombs we now know as KV57 and KV54, Horemheb and the Tutankhamun embalming cache. Davis thought the latter was actually the tomb of Toutankhamun.

I'm puzzled. The catalogue lists I think three or four pieces of gold leaf found in the tomb with reference to King Ay. In most he is King and his name is in a cartouche, suggesting I guess that he was an official mourner.  Item 4 though has a reference to "The Divine Father Ay".   This is not in a cartouche but is associated with a high official stood before Tutankhamun and carrying a fan.

So whose father was he and what made him divine before he took the throne? Maybe the glyphs were mistranslated?  Sorry, I don't have answers but am asking questions here. Am I missing something because to be a divine father wouldn't he need to be the father of a Pharaoh?

Reference: The Tombs of Harmhabi and Touatânkhamanou, Theodore M Davis, 1912 - reprinted, Duckworth p128

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 06, 2012

ICOM has published a new Red List to help customs, dealers and other officials identify at risk antiquities.  Called the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk it is available in both English and Arabic.  A Red List doesn't identify specific items known to be missing but shows the types of objects likely to be traded illictly to encourage thorough validation of provenance if an artefact is discovered in transit or comes up for sale.

It's a high quality production which should really help, especially the images to help explain the types of object being described.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reconstructions always seems to be popular, so here is another.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 28, 2012

There is a short note on the KV63 site to say that the 2012 season is cancelled because Dr Otto Schaden is suffering from ill health.  My best wishes to him.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 28, 2012

There is a new photo set of the Tomb of Maya the Overseer of the Treasury at Saqqara by Kate Gingell on Egyptological.

Kate has also kindly provided a photo album of Horemheb's tomb at Saqqara as well which is also on Egyptological.  I'm sure most people can find it by browsing but I will add a link when I do a longer Horemheb post later on today, or maybe tomorrow.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, January 27, 2012

With thanks to the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities for spotting it, here is the first video on the latest find in the Valley of the Kings.  It is only short and is in German but shows that the sarcophagus, and when it is opened, the mummy, are in fine condition.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, January 20, 2012

Dr Hawass has updated his blog.  It's mostly a personal post - and good to see him writing for his blog.  Other than some recent ill health, he seems to be content.

He did, however, slip in one piece of real news I have not seen covered elsewhere (my emphasis):

I talked to them about what happened at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo during the Revolution, and how the young people protected the Museum with their bodies.  Although one piece that was stolen, an 18.5 cm statuette of the cat-goddess Bastet, has been returned to the Museum recently, we are still missing around 28 objects. Most of them are bronze statuettes dated to the Late Period (about 500 B.C.).
He is also writing a book about antiquities and the revolution, which will be published in English and Arabic.  That may tell us things about that happened that have not appeared in print before.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The University of Basel has issued a couple of brief reports which give us more information.  I have added an addendum to the article on Egyptological which has the links.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, January 15, 2012

KV64 article on Egyptological

I wanted to be(among?)  the first with an article on this subject so I have gathered what is known for an article on Egyptological.  I will keep up with developments here over the next few days.

My thanks to Andie Byrnes for reviewing it so quickly.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seattlepi has further news of the new find in the Valley of the Kings

Boraiq told The Associated Press that the coffin of the female singer is remarkably intact.
He said that when the coffin is opened this week, archaeologists will likely find a mummy and a cartonnage mask molded to her face and made from layers of linen and plaster.
The singer's name, Nehmes Bastet, means she was believed to be protected by the feline deity Bastet.

My thanks to Andie Byrnes for the link.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, January 15, 2012

The identity of KV64 has been announced.  It is the tomb of Temple [Karnak] Singer [the Lady] Ni Hams Bastet.  It dates to the 22nd Dynasty and is located on the pathway to Tomb KV34 (Thuthmosis III) in the main Valley of the Kings, which is why KV34 is presently closed to visitors.  It was found by Dr Elina of the University of Basel and the feeling is that there are more tombs to be found.

There are few other details at present than the Ahram story.  It seems to be a shaft tomb with a single chamber.  It contains an intact wooden sarcophagus, pictured in the Ahram story.

There is no definitive news but the impression is that it might be an undisturbed tomb, albeit a non-royal one.  It is believed that it is a re-used 18th Dynasty tomb, based on finds.  That suggests there may be remnants of an earlier burial -see this version of the announcment.  There are good reasons to hope that a 22nd Dynasty tomb will be undisturbed because it was committed after the consolidation into the caches which took place during the 21st Dynasty.

I know this is not the tomb people were hoping for, but I think it is brilliant, especially if it is intact.  I am very interested in the Third Intermediate Period and have long suspected there are undiscovered, and probably intact, tombs in the Valley of the Kings from that period.  This adds to that impression.  It is also great to have a tomb from this period investigarted under modern archaeological standards.

There is a back story to this announcement.  As many people will know, Andrea Byrnes and I were filtering all the archaeological news during the Egyptian revolution last year, and I was responsible for the Egyptologcal Looting Database.  We heard rumours that a new tomb had been found in the Valley of the Kings by the University of Basel.  At that point, the Valley was unprotected because the security police had been withdrawn and news of a new tomb could have drawn looters to the valley like bears to honey.  Dr Thomas Schuler of Blue Shield helped us to warn the University of Basel of the growing rumours - it is another example of the work of Blue Shield in protecting Egypt's heritage.  They rushed out a report about KV40b as a minor feature and I carried that here as news to pooh-pooh rumours of a new tomb.

I am not certain yet whether KV64 had been found in spring 2011 but it seems likely (if not then the rumours were assuming that KV40b is a tomb when it probably isn't).  My apologies to readers that I didn't carry the story at the time but  the safety of the tomb in such uncertain times was paramount. I know others like Jane Akshar also helped in damping down expectations and rumours in that critical period.

Whatever, I look forwards to further reports about KV64 in the coming days and weeks, and yes I am convinced that there is a KV65 out there as well.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 14, 2012

Woops, sorry - that was supposed to be on my personal blog! Now moved

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Monday, August 15, 2011, a monumental statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat II (ca. 1919--1885 B.C.) was installed in the Met's Great Hall. It is a special loan from the collection of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin -- Preussischer Kulturbesitz. It will remain in the Great Hall for one year and will be on loan to the Met for ten years.
It's not new news, but Joan Lansberry posted it on Facebook.  I watched the video and it portrays to me just how much effort must have gone into transporting large statues in the Middle and New Kingdoms. 

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The generally reliable Luxor Times Magazine is reporting that "The Minister state of Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim said that a new discovery in the Valley of the Kings will be announced within few days."

My thanks to Heidi Kontkanen for spotting this.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, January 09, 2012

The museum boasts a display of forty mummified crocodiles, ranging from two to five metres long, along a crocodile foetus and eggs. Also on show is a collection of wooden and granite crocodile statues and replicas of crocodile holes in rocks.

More from Ahram Online.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, January 09, 2012

Both teams are now on site at Amara West and regular reports are appearing on the blog.  Neal Spencer of the British Museum is reporting on his teams work excavating houses, and in particular the unusual E13.7.  This is a radially organised house, unlike most of the other excavated which have an axial plan.  It is also a neighbour of the Residence of the Deputy of Kush, suggesting that its owner was also a man of considerable importance.  There is also a painted wall motif.

Meanwhile Michaela Binder of Durham University is providing commentary on her team's excavation of the cemeteries, this year mostly cemetery D.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, January 09, 2012


A set of 9 photographs of the Valley of the Kings in December 2009 by Heidi Kontkanen has been published on Egyptological. My thanks again to Heidi.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 07, 2012

Not great on archaeological detail but actually a really lovely photo and thoroughly recommended.  For those interested, I found it via Chris Naunton's Twitter feed.

PS I will be adding a set of recent photos of the Valley of the Kings on Egyptological over the next two or three days.  I just need to resize them.   I will post here as well then they are available.


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