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