Monday, August 31, 2015

New Discovery, Luxor: The tomb of the 26th dynasty ruler of Upper Egypt uncovered in Assassif

The tomb of the 26th dynasty vizier of Upper Egypt discovered in South Assassif on Luxor's west bank. Written by Nevine El-Aref. 
The entrance of Badi-Bastet tomb
Within the framework of the South Assassif Conservation Project on Luxor's west bank, an Egyptian-American stumbled upon a 26th dynasty tomb that belongs to the vizier of Upper Egypt, Badi-Bastet.

Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, explained that the tomb was found inside the tomb of Karabasken, who was Thebes' ruler and the fourth priest of Amun during the 25th dynasty (TT 391).

"Such a find highlights that Badi-Bastet reused the tomb," he pointed out.

Afifi went on to say that the archaeological survey carried out recently on the court of Karabasken tomb shows that several architectural designs and paintings were made especially for Badi-Bastet as it bode well to his fine and important position in the governmental echelon.

"Badi-Bastet could be buried in a shaft inside the court or in a main burial chamber of Karabasken tomb," the head of the mission Elena Pischikova suggested. 

A  relief depicting Badi-Bastet holding lotus flowers
She asserted that further cleaning of the tomb's different sections and the continuation of the archaeological survey would definitely reveal more secrets of the tomb.

"It is a very important discovery," the Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online. He explained that the discovery has shed more light on the architecture and design of tombs of top governmental officials during the Saite period, especially the 26th dynasty.

Studies carried out on Badi-Bastet's different titles reveal that he was one of the grandsons of Babasa, a nobleman whose tomb is located east of Assassif (TT279).

The South Assassif Conservation Project started in 2006 when the two Kushite tombs of Karabasken (TT 391) and Karakahamun (TT 223) and the early Saite tomb of Irtieru (TT 390), were re-discovered there.  These tombs have never been properly cleaned, studied and restored but now within the framework of the project they will be preserved.

News, Luxor: Mummy of Boy King Tutankhamun to Remain in Valley of the Kings

The mummy will be displayed in its tomb. Written by Nevine El-Aref. 
After much debate, the decision has been reached not to move the mummy of the boy king Tutankhamun to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The mummy will remain in the Valley of the Kings on the Nile's west bank near Luxor.

Antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that after technical discussions and a prolonged study the ministry has decided to keep the mummy inside the tomb, not in its current location at the tomb's entrance hall, but in a side chamber.

This chamber, Eldamaty explained, will be restored by the Getty Foundation, and a new lighting set-up will lend a mysterious atmosphere to the mummy's new home.

The mummy, he continued, will have a sophisticated showcase equipped with state of the art preservation devices. "Putting the mummy back inside its original sarcophagus is off the cards," said Eldamaty. He said that the atmosphere inside the sarcophagus is no longer suitable, and that it would make the mummy's periodic examination too complicated.

"The lid is too heavy," he said, before adding that closing the mummy inside its original sarcophagus would prevent the tomb's visitors from being able to see the famous relic.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Exhibition Abroad, France: Giant Egyptian statues go on display in Paris

A worker sets up a statue of an unnamed king dating from the Ptolemy 
era, made of pink granite and measuring 5 meters (16 feet) and weighing 
5.5 tons in Paris, Friday Aug 21, 2015. The Institut du Monde Arabe (Arabic 
World Institute) opens on Sept. 8 2015 with its exhibition “Osiris, Egypt’s
 Sunken Mysteries”, an exhibition revealing one of the founding
 myths of ancient Egypt - AP 
PARIS: Three giant Egyptian statues submerged in the Mediterranean for more than a millennium have gone on display at Paris’ Arab World Institute.

The museum erected the granite monuments Friday as a preview of its exhibition “Osiris: Mysteries of Submerged Egypt,” opening Sept. 8. The show features nearly 300 artifacts, most of them discovered in the underwater excavations of French marine archaeologist Frank Goddio.

Goddio oversaw the raising of statues of the Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis, and a hulking slab, known as a stele, that sat at the front of a temple. The statues are both nearly 20 feet (6 meters) tall and weigh 4-5 tons each. The stele is also 20 feet tall and weighs nearly 16 tons. The Maritime Museum of Alexandria normally houses the three artifacts.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cairo Attraction (4): Tahrir Palace-Khedival Gift to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry

CAIRO: The Italian Renaissance-inspired Tahrir Palace was built by Italian architect Antonio Lasciac over four years starting from 1889 to 1903.

Lasciac was one of the most prominent architects of the period and he was named the royal palaces’s architect in 1907 during the Khedive Abbas’ era, according to the website of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

The palaces “reflect the mixture between creativity of the arts and the scientific beauty in engineering way to distribute light and shadows,” the ministry added.


Royal Princess Naimatullah, who followed the Sufi order, donated the palace to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to serve its headquarters in 1930.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities does not label the palace, located in Qasr Nile of downtown, as an “antiquity.”

The palace consists of three floors; the ground one includes “the Minister’s office, big meeting room, press conference room equipped by an instant translation system, a number of salons to receive guests, and a dining room for 24 persons. The back entrance contains some pictures depicting the different phases of the palace’s construction,” according the Foreign Ministry website.

The first floor includes also an office for the minister and big hall with pictures of the royal family and former and late presidents. It also has a large dining room for 48 persons.

The thickness of wall in the ground floor is between 80 to 120 cm in length. The thickness deceases when the building goes higher as its length is between 60 to 80 cm. In the 1950s, a third floor was build.

In 2009, the Egyptian government decided to move its headquarters to the Cornish Street near Maspiro (the headquarters of Egyptian T.V. and Radio.)
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa
 More about Cairo Attraction … CLICK HERE 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hurghada Luxury Hotels: Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh

A secluded haven on the Red Sea Coast, celebrating rare marine life, nature’s fabulous colors and the timeless beauty of the sea.Nature’s colors come to life at The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh with white sand,aquamarine waters and vibrantly-hued marine life. In exotic Egypt, this exclusive luxury resort on the Red Sea Coast is situated on 48 acres with a private beach.

The architecture of the resort reflects the style of the region, resplendent with domes, arches and columns. Peace and privacy pervade this all-suite resort, with private courtyards complemented by soothing interiors and luxurious bathrooms. The resort’s distinctive guest accommodations include Deluxe, Superior Deluxe, Grand and Royal Suites. Overlooking its private beach along the Red Sea, this 5-star resort offers spacious suites with a private terrace. It has an outdoor pool, a spa, and 3 restaurants.

A walk-in closet and a flat-screen satellite TV are in Oberoi’s air-conditioned suites. Each comes with free Wi-Fi, a glass-walled bathroom with a marble bath and separate shower. Some include a pool in the garden and iPod docking stations.
Massages and various beauty treatments, including exfoliating scrubs, are offered at Oberoi Sahl’s spa. It includes private steam rooms and a gym fitted with Life Fitness equipment. There is a dive centre,games room with a PlayStation and mini-basketball for younger guests.

Oriental, Indian, and international cuisine are offered at Hasheesh’s restaurants. The main restaurant offers panoramic views of the beach and the Red Sea. Drinks, light snacks, and cigars are available at the pool bar.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

News: Egypt’s inbound tourist rate rises 4.4% in June - CAPMAS

CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased 4.4 percent in June 2015 compared with the same period last year, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Egypt’s official statistical agency.

In June, 820,000 tourists from all over the world visited Egypt, compared to 785,900 in June 2014; however, the number declined by 9.1 percent this month compared with May 2015, which welcomed 894,600 tourists. Per the monthly report, the rate of tourists from Eastern Europe, Particularly from Russia, hit 44.4 percent. Meanwhile, Western Europeans made up 31.1 percent of holidaymakers.

Middle East tourist rate represented 13.4 percent while inbound tourists from the rest of the world reached 10.8 percent, the report noted. “The number of departing tourists reached 811.4 00 tourists during June 2015 compared to 751.900 tourists during June 2014, an increase of 7.9%,” the report read.

As for the tourist nights, the number in June reached 707 million nights, compared with 6.8 million nights in the same period last year, with an increase of 13.7 percent. “The number of arriving tourists from Arab countries reached 135.6 thousand during June 2015 compared to 149.9 thousand tourists during the same month in 2014, a decrease of 9.5% and 16.5% of the total tourists,” the report continued.

Egypt’s political turmoil following the 2011 January uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has badly affected tourism sector, which has only recently started to rebound; Egypt’s second most important source of national income after the Suez Canal provides direct and indirect employment to up to 12.6 percent of the country’s workforce. Revenues from tourism represent 11.3 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP.)
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

News: Ramses II Pharaoh of Exodus - Researcher Says

CAIRO: Either Ramses II or his son Merenpetah may be the Pharoah referenced in the story of the Exodus, according to a recent thesis by an Egyptian PhD candidate. The identity of the Pharoah during the Exodus has been a subject of scholarly debate since the beginnings of Egyptology in the mid-19th century.

In his doctoral thesis scheduled to be reviewed in late April by professors of ancient Egyptian History at Minya University, Khaled Hagar, 42, said that his research is based mainly on the chronological order of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs presented by several ancient historians and modern archaeologists along with biblical and other religious benchmarks.

“The research is based on the interval between Joseph and Moses during their stay in Egypt. Former theories submitted by Egyptologists suggest the interval to be between 350 and 400 years. Joseph, originally from Canaan, held the post of Egypt’s treasurer and Prime Minister,” Hagar told The Cairo Post Tuesday.

Throughout Egyptian history, Pharaohs never appointed a non-Egyptian person to such an “important financial post” and that suggests Joseph was designated as Egypt’s treasury by “foreign rulers,” according to Hagar. Neither the Biblical book of Exodus nor Quran mentions the name of the Pharaoh whom Moses encountered after his return from Sinai.

During the timeframe when Moses and Joseph were in Egypt, the country was ruled by the Hyksos; a multi-ethnic people from the Middle East and Canaan who took over the eastern Nile Delta around 1610 B.C. “This puts the lifespan of Moses in Egypt around 1,260 B.C. – 1,210 B.C. According to the chronology developed by Manetho; an ancient Egyptian priest and historian lived during the third Century B.C., Ramses II ruled from 1292 B.C.-1225 B.C. and he was succeeded by his son Pharaoh Merenpetah 1213 B.C.-1203 B.C.)

The above “proves” that either Ramses II or his son Merenpetah was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, Hagar said. “Ramses II’s mummy was sent to Paris in 1970s for examination. French scientist Maurice Bucaille, who conducted a CT scan on the mummy, said he found remains of salt inside the mummy,” said Hagar adding that this result indicates that Ramses II drowned, consistent with his death as depicted in the waters of the Red Sea.

According to Hagar, French scientists said in an official report that an X-ray of the mummy also showed several broken bones.m“The X-ray also showed that the Pharaoh’s left hand is positioned differently than all other royal mummies currently displayed in the Egyptian museum. This suggests that while drowning in the Red Sea, Ramses II was trying to push the water with his left arm and also suggests that he was holding the reins of a horse by his left hand while holding a mace in his right,” he said.

Scenes of Ramses II on his chariot during military campaigns cover the walls of several ancient Egyptian temples including Karnak and Luxor.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Thursday, August 20, 2015

News: Archaeological Atlas for Egyptian School Pupils to Be Published Soon

The new archaeological atlas is to be distributed to schools across Egypt, aiming to bolster 'loyalty among young Egyptians to the country and its heritage'. Written by Nevine El-Aref.
Within days the Ministry of Antiquities is set to publish its first archeological atlas, soon to be distributed to schools around Egypt. Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty explained that the new atlas would be given to pupils in fourth grade and above.

He said that the project is being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in an attempt to raise archaeological awareness among young Egyptians and to entrench the principal of "loyalty towards Egypt and its heritage."

Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the atlas includes all the monuments and archaeological sites in Egypt since the pre-historic era until modern times. He said that the ministry is to print a schoolbook to acquaint pupils with monuments in their respective governorates.

The book includes of two sections: the first features the different eras of ancient Egyptian history; the second is to focus on archaeological sites near to where pupils live.Eldamaty said that training courses on Egypt's archaeological history and heritage are to be established for pupils, run by skilled archaeologists.

News: Egypt Invites Expert Behind new Theory on Nefertiti’s Tomb

CAIRO: Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry says it’s inviting an Egyptologist behind a theory that the tomb of Queen Nefertiti may be located behind King Tutankhamun’s 3,300-year-old tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings.

Wednesday’s statement says British-educated expert Nicholas Reeves has been invited to Cairo in September to debate his theory with Egyptian colleagues. It says there could also be a joint expedition to Luxor, where the 18th Dynasty King Tut’s tomb is located.

Reeves argues that Tut, who died suddenly at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of Nefertiti’s original tomb. He says high resolution images show Tut’s tomb might have two unexplored doorways.

Some archeologists believe the mummy of Nefertiti, fabled for her beauty, has already been found in a different tomb.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

For Reading All Related Posts of Nefertiti's Tomb Story  Click Here 

Monday, August 17, 2015

News: Minister of Antiquities responds to Reeves announcement on Nefertiti's burial

First official response to Reeves announcement on Nefertiti's tomb

It has been nearly two weeks since Dr. Nicholas Reeves made an announcement regarding King Tut Ankh Amon's tomb. Today, the Minister of Antiquities has finally spoken on the matter. 

Dr. Reeves believes the tomb has hidden rooms that may contain the burial of Queen Nefertiti, something many media outlets are already dubbing a discovery. 

Upon returning from a trip to Japan, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, Minister of Antiquities,said he plans to approach Dr. Reeves to find out what scientific clues Reeves based his announcement on. The Minister went on to say that the Egyptian government plans to conduct several studies to determine if Dr. Reeves' hypothesis is correct.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New Discovery, Kafr Wl Sheikh: Roman glass-making furnaces discovered in Egypt’s Delta

CAIRO: Glass-making furnaces dating back to the Roman Egypt period (30B.C.-395A.D.,) have been unearthed in Egypt’s Delta archaeological site of Tell Mutubis, the Antiquities Ministry stated Friday.

The discovery was made during a magnetic gradient survey carried out by a joint mission of the UK’s Durham University, directed by Dr. Penny Wilson, and Egypt’s Mansoura University.

“Several glass shards, mortar and plaster pieces, limestone tiles in addition to glass pots, potsherd, and eroded coins were discovered in the site. These finds indicate that furnaces to manufacture glass existed in this area,” head of the mission Dr. Penny Wilson was quoted in the statement.

The detailed breakdown and the specialized studies, which were conducted on the pots and coins discovered at the site, confirm that it dates back to ancient Egypt’s late Roman era, Wilson said.

A large number of red-brick housing units, storerooms, limestone-tiled floors along with walls covered with lute were also excavated in the area, Wilson said, adding that “the finds are significant as they indicate the cultural transitions during the Roman period to the early Islamic period, which started in the mid seventh century.”

According to Wilson, the site of Tell Mutubis, located in Egypt’s Delta governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh near Rosetta, is strongly believed to have been abandoned during Egypt’s Islamic era (641-1952.)
 Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa
For Reading All Related Posts of New Discoveries Click Here 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

News: Archaeologist says Nefertiti's resting place could be found - Hawass calls study 'speculative'

A British archaeologist says that a hidden doorway in Tutankhamun's tomb leads to his step mother's resting place; Hawas calls study a mere 'theory'.

King Tutankhamun and his intact tomb have perplexed Egyptologists since its discovery by Howard Carter in 1922 at the Valley of the Kings on Luxor's West Bank. This time is not his linage, health or death but the discovery of his step mother's resting place of Queen Nefertiti.

University of Arizona archaeologist Nicholas Reeves believes that he has discovered a secret passageway within King Tutankhamun's tomb that leads to the resting place of Nefertiti – queen of Egypt and the chief consort and wife of the monotheistic king Akhnaten, Tutankhamun's father.

Until now the tomb and mummy of Queen Nefertiti are missing and still undiscovered yet. Reeves analysed high definition photographs of the tomb of Tutankhamun to discover evidence of bricked-up passageways that could lead to Nefertiti's burial chamber.

Reeves writes in a report published by the The Times: "Cautious evaluation of the Factum Arte scans over the course of several months has yielded results which are beyond intriguing."

"[There are] indications of two previously unknown doorways, one set within a larger partition wall and both seemingly untouched since antiquity. "The implications are extraordinary for if digital appearance translates into physical reality, it seems we are now faced not merely with the prospect of a new, Tutankhamun-era storeroom to the west."

"To the north [there] appears to be signalled a continuation of tomb KV 62, and within these uncharted depths an earlier royal interment – that of Nefertiti herself," Reeves added. "Obviously a full and detailed geophysical survey of this famous tomb and its surrounding area is now called for – and I would suggest as one of Egyptology's highest priorities."

Hawass says 'theory aims at fame'
Egyptologist Zahi Hawass told Ahram Online that a study like Reeves' is just a "theory" or speculations not based on archaeological evidences. Reeves, Hawass continued, reaches his conclusions after the mere examination of 3D photos and not based on field work inside the tomb.

"These lines which Reeves saw in the photos could not be traces of doorways as he claims. It could simply be lines in the photos," Hawass pointed out. He also explains that from the archaeological point of view, Queen Nefertiti's tomb could not be found inside Tutankhamun's tomb.

The architectural design of tombs during the 18th dynasty does not know the design of a tomb inside another one. This phenomenon is only known in the 19th dynasty whereas Queen Nefertiti belongs to the 18th dynasty. "Reeves study is a theory for fame and publicity and not based on archaeological or scientific evidences," Hawass asserted.

He told Ahram Online that the ministry of antiquities has to assign a scientific and archaeological committee from Egyptian and foreign archaeologists to inspect Tutankhamun tomb in order to determine whether Reeves study is true or Wrong.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Missions working in Egypt, South Asasif Conservation Project: July in South Asasif [ Part II ]

This season our main conservation efforts are concentrated in the Second Pillared Hall of the tomb of Karakhamun. 

In July our international team of conservators, artists and researchers started recreating the doorframe on the south wall of the hall. Abdel Razk, Ali Hassen, Tayeb Hassen, Hassan Eldemerdash, Sayed Abo Gad, Anthony Browder and Katherine Blakeney are proudly presenting the first results.

Delivery of steel rods by Darren McKnight allowed us to start one of the main phases of the reconstruction process planned for the season – securing the architrave on top of the pillars of the north aisle.

Beautiful sections of a monumental architrave topped with cavetto cornice were uncovered during the 2009-2010 seasons. Numerous titles of Karakhamun and the cornice still retain their original bright colours.

After numerous preparations and measurements the first fragment was lifted today and placed on top of the second pillar. Ken Griffin is taking in the long-anticipated moment.

The high central aisle of the court, topped with a monumental cavetto, will create a temple type processional passage to the focal point of the Second Pillared Hall and the whole tomb of Karakahamun – the statue of Osiris.

iCruise Egypt - Vol. 18: Nile Goddess - Where You Can Find an Unrivalled Experience

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The elegant Nile Goddess sails between Luxor and Aswan on Nile, one of the world’s most beautiful and famous rivers, for 3. 4 and 7 nights cruises, offering truly memorable experiences of a lifetime. Elegant amenities on the Nile Goddess cruise ship are delivered with a deluxe touch of hospitality.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

News, Cairo: A Campaign to Rescue 100 Mediaeval Monuments Launched

A national campaign to rescue 100 monuments in historic Cairo began at the end of July. Written by Nevine El-Aref.

Within the framework of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project (HCRP), the Ministry of Antiquities launched last Thursday a national campaign to safeguard 100 Islamic and Coptic monumental edifices in historic Cairo.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the campaign aims at rescuing these monuments not only for their historical and archaeological value but to give them back their original role in the Egyptian community.

Until now, he pointed out, 100 monumental buildings have been rescued since 2000 when the HCRP started and the second lot of 100 structures is to launch now.

Mohamed Abdel Aziz, deputy minister of antiquities for Islamic and Coptic monuments, said that an archaeological committee is now carefully selecting the 100 monuments in order to start their restoration and rehabilitation.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Our Treasures Abroad, Italy: 2 X-Rayed Mummies Reveal “Unusual” Mummification Technique

Two 3,400 year-old mummies of an ancient Egyptian architect and his spouse have undergone an unusual process of mummification but still in a very good state of preservation, researchers at the UK’s University of York told Plos One Journal.
“The internal viscera including stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver were not removed from the body and placed in canopic jars as usual. This procedure was a common practice for royal 18th Dynasty mummies,” Joann Fletcher Frank Rühli, Stephen Buckley wrote on Plos One journal Saturday.

Mummification was based on the dehydration of the dead body for which ancient Egyptians used to remove all the inner organs that might produce humidity or moisture. The two mummies, belonged to Kha and Merit; an 18th (1580B.C.-1080B.C) Dynasty architect and his spouse, were found in an intact tomb near the Valley of the Workers cemetery west of Luxor. The tomb was excavated in 1906 by the Italian Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaparelli.

Kha, who died in his fifties,  was the architect of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep II (1424B.C.–1398 B.C.) The two mummies along with their funerary items found inside the tomb are currently on display at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy. “The four canopic jars were not found inside the tomb;” according to Plos One, this means the couple “underwent a short and shoddy funerary procedure, despite their relative wealth at death.”

Canopic jars were used by the Ancient Egyptians during the mummification process to preserve the inner organs so that they are used in the afterlife, archaeologist Sheif al-Sabban told The Cairo Post Saturday. They were usually made of Alabaster or limestone with lids representing heads of the four sons of Horus, as guardians of the organs, he added.

“All internal organs including brain, ocular bulbs/ocular nerves, thoracic and abdominal organs – showed a very good state of preservation,” according to Plos One. According to ancient Egyptian mythology, a well-preserved body was important so that the person’s soul could recognize their body when they were resurrected, Sabban said. The process of mummification is based on two stages: the embalming of the body and the wrapping and burial of the body, he added.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Missions working in Egypt, South Asasif Conservation Project: July in South Asasif [ Part I ]

Time runs very fast and we are already in August. Work in the middle of the summer is very hard but always rewarding. 

Today after nine hours in Karakhamun in 46 degree heat we still felt lucky to be surrounded with incredible art and people.

Last month was very productive. Our team members truly enjoyed field work in the Open Court of the tomb of Karakhamun. They looked slightly disheveled but always happy.

Taylor Woodcock and Luna Zagorac from AUC featuring the latest archaeological fashions at the end of the work day.

Suzanne Arnold and Sharon Davidson spent so many days sifting debris and sorting small finds that we even asked them for the reasons of their happy facial expressions. All we heard in response can be summarized as “the work was gratifying, rewarding, and giving a sense of accomplishment”. Sharon added that in this hot weather she would appreciate some Canada Dry. It is understandable as Sharon came from Toronto. It is Sharon’s fourth year on the Project. This year she has assumed a new role as volunteer coordinator (Thank you!)

Reconstruction work in the tomb of Karakhamun is progressing with incredible speed due to the hard work of the mission members and new power tools donated to the Project by our wonderful sponsors. News from Karkahamun will be featured in Part II of this blog entry.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back Home, Belgium: Egypt Repatriates 35,000-Year-Old Skeleton from Belgium

Pre-historic Human Skeleton / Ahram Online
CAIRO: Egypt has repatriated a 35,000-year-old human skeleton that had been held in Belgium since 1980, MENA reported Tuesday.

Dubbed as “Nazlet Khater man,” the skeleton was originally discovered in 1980s by an archaeology mission of Leuven University in a grave on the boulder hill at Nazlet Khater, a series of eight archaeological sites with Middle and Upper Paleolithic occupations located at the edge of the desert north of Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate.

Found in a narrow ditch at Nazlet Khater, “the 1.6 meter-long skeleton is for a young man of 17-20 years old,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement in February. It came in possession of the university as Egyptian law before 1983 allowed foreign missions to have a share in the artifacts they discovered at Egypt’s archaeological sites, he added.

“The recovery of the skeleton is a culmination of comprehensive diplomatic efforts between the ministry and the Leuven University, which held the skeleton since 1980s for academic and scientific research purposes,” said Damaty.

The skeleton will be transported to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo’s southern district of al-Fustat, Head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Restored Artifacts Department Ali Ahmed said. “A committee of specialists is currently studying the best way to display the skeleton at the NMEC,” Ahmed added.

Friday, August 7, 2015

News, Ismailia: Ismailia Museum Inaugurates Exhibit of Antiquities Unearthed during Suez Canal Excavation

A temporary exhibition on the Suez Canal excavations in 1859 was inaugurated Yesterday. Written by Nevine El-Aref.

The Ismailia Museum
A 30-day-exhibition entitled "Antiquities on the banks of the Suez Canal" opened Tuesday at the Ismailia Museum, in accordance with the Ministry of Antiquities’ celebration of the official opening of the new Suez Canal waterway.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh El-Damaty opened the ceremony along with Major General Yassin Taher, the governor of Ismailia, a number of top governmental officials, and a representative from the Army.

El-Damaty said that the exhibition includes of 16 artifacts that were unearthed during both the digging of the Suez Canal in 1859 by a French archaeological mission and the recent excavation work carried out by an Egyptian team.

"We chose the Ismailia Museum to host such an exhibition because it is the first regional museum to be constructed in Egypt with funds from the Suez Canal International Organisation," El-Damaty told Ahram Online, adding that the museum is witness to a very important historical era in Egypt.

Along with the exhibition opening El-Damaty also inaugurated the restoration of the Ismailia Museum garden with plans to develop it into an open-air museum. The development will cost two million Egyptian pounds.

Elham Salah, head of the museum’s exhibit, said that among the most important objects on display at the exhibition are remains of a sandstone obelisk unearthed at the original digging of the Suez Canal at Al-Qantara East, a discovery which led Fernand de Lesseps to change the path of the canal. This obelisk was given by King Ramses II to his father king Seti I, and his grandfather king Ramses I, to be erected at the Horus temple in the area of Tel Habouwa at Al-Qantara East.

A distinguished Middle Kingdom granite sphinx uncovered at the Tel Al-Maskhouta area during excavation for Al-Ismailia canal is also on show, as well as an anthropoid marble sarcophagus of a person called Jedhur from the Ptolemaic era. 

The relief of King Ramses II before Ra-Hur-Akhti
Salah pointed out that this sarcophagus is a distinguished example of how the art styles of the ancient Egyptians were mixed with those of the Greeks.

Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, supervisor of the development of archaeological sites at Al-Suez Canal region told Ahram Online that one of the most important objects of the exhibition is the triod statue of Tel Al-Maskhouta. The triod is carved from marble and depicts King Ramses II between deities Re-Hur-Akhty and Kheber-Re.

He added that the statue was unearthed by Francois Philipe, director of works and construction at the Suez Canal Organization. Abdel Maqsoud said that in 1876 Philipe also unearthed a sandstone relief of king Ramses II giving offerings to Ra-Hur-Akhty in Tel Al-Maskhouta. 

"The mosaic depicting sections of Greek legends unearthed at Al-Sheikh Zuwayed area in 1913 is also among the exhibition collection," Abdel Maqsoud said.