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. 

http://ancienegypte.fr/cadre_ay.htm

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.

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