Tuesday, September 29, 2015

News, Luxor: Official says Egypt approves radar for Nefertiti tomb quest

CAIRO: An Egyptian official says the Antiquities Ministry has given initial approval for the use of non-invasive radar to verify a theory that Queen Nefertiti’s crypt may be hidden behind King Tutankhamun’s 3,300-year-old tomb in the famous Valley of the Kings.

Mouchira Moussa, media consultant to the antiquities minister, said Tuesday that final security clearance will probably be obtained within a month. “It’s not going to cause any damage to the monument,” says Moussa.

Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves had recently published his theory that has yet to be peer-reviewed. 

He says King Tut, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally the tomb of Nefertiti.

Monday, September 28, 2015

News: Sharm El-Sheikh Celebrates World Tourism Day

CAIRO: A cultural carnival will be held Sunday evening in Egypt’s resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh on the occasion of the World Tourism Day (WTD), commemorated each year on Sept. 27, Youm7 reported.

The carnival, scheduled at 8:30 p.m. at Naama bay, will includes a Sufi show featuring a tanoura (whirling dervish) performance and folk music along with a pharaonic show, Naama bay security chief Rabea Abdel Mawgoud told Youm7 Sunday.

“The aim of the carnival is to send a message to the whole world that Sharm al-Sheikh is a safe touristic destination,” said Abdel Mawgoud.

It was at its third session in Torremolinos, Spain, September 1979, that the UNWTO General Assembly decided to institute World Tourism Day, commencing in the year 1980, according to the U.N. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on Sept. 27, 1970.

The timing of WTD is particularly appropriate in that it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is of topical interest to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

Egypt’s political turmoil following the 2011 January uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has badly affected tourism sector; 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.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Back Home, Paris: Stolen wooden statuette to be repatriated to Egypt from France

CAIRO: France will repatriate a stolen statuette that dates back to the Pharaonic sixth Dynasty to Egypt in October, announced Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damati in a statement Thursday.

The wooden statuette was stolen from the store of The Imhotep Museum at Saqqara, 35 kilometers away from Cairo, announced Damati.

“The repatriation process was achieved through cooperation with the Egyptian Cultural Office in Paris; the statuette possessor has shown a will to repatriate the archaeological object to the Ministry of Antiquities when he made sure that it had been stolen from Egypt,” the minister added.

The wooden statuette is about 33 centimeters in length and represents a lying woman with her arms stretching forward in a “very smooth position,” head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Restored Artifacts Department Ali Ahmed said in the statement. The statuette had been used a cosmetic tool for wearing perfume, he added.

A scientific committee was formed from experts of the Egyptian Museum to examine the statuette when it arrives in Cairo International Airport, Ahmed Continued.

On Aug. 4, Egypt repatriated a 35,000-year-old human skeleton that had been held in Belgium since 1980, state-owned news Agency MENA reported.  On June 8, 2014, eight Islamic wooden art pieces have been repatriated from Copenhagen after a Danish court ruled that Egypt is entitled to recover them.

Egyptian security authorities arrested eight men involved in a theft of more than 50 artifacts from a store that belongs to the Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria. The stolen pieces include 20 pieces of pottery artifacts, 32 bronze coins and granite statutes, which date back to the Roman era.

The smuggling of many Egyptian ancient artifacts outside the country extensively appeared in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution in 2011 when a political turmoil hit the country, leaving cultural heritage vulnerable to looting.
Source: Cairo Post– By/The Cairo Post

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Aswan Historical Luxury Hotel: Sofitel Old Cataract Palace

Live the Legend at Sofitel Old Cataract Aswan a luxury 5-star hotel in a 19th-century Victorian palace on the banks of the river Nile. Rising grandly from a pink granite shelf at the edge of the Nubian Desert with views of Elephantine Island this stylish property blends Pharaonic treasures with French art de recevoir.

Discover sophisticated interiors by Sybille de Margerie in the historic Palace a world of Moorish arches ruby red chandeliers plush Persian carpets soft armchairs and hand-carved furnishings. Or step into 21st-century Egypt with the Nile Wings contemporary reinterpretation of traditional codes. 
Relax and immerse yourself in an infinity pool overlooking the Nile arrange a felucca cruise at sunset a hot stone massage at So SPA a meeting in a stylish boardroom a cocktail reception under the stars.

Spacious guest rooms have balcony views suites boast exclusive butler service. Take tea on the rose granite Promenade savor gourmet French cuisine at 1902 restaurant. 138 rooms including 100 suites.

Friday, September 25, 2015

News: Cleopatra ‘brought back to life’ in 3D show Last Thursday in Alexandria

Legendary Cleopatra: A 3D Show - Courtesy of Legendary Cleopatra:
A 3D Show Facebook page
A 3D video mapping show, narrating the biography of Queen Cleopatra, will be projected Thursday on the façade of Alexandria’s Qaitbey Citadel.

“Legendary Cleopatra,” is organized under the International Augmented Med (I AM) project by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The show will start at 7:00 p.m. and will be repeated every 45 minutes.

“The event aims to promote Egypt’s natural and cultural heritage as well as cultural tourism; a sector that has been badly affected by the crises of the past four years,” BA director Ismail Serag al-Din said Thursday.

Egypt’s political turmoil following the 2011 January uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has badly affected the tourism sector; 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.

According to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the project budget is € 3,060, 650 ($3.4 million), of which € 2,754,583 is funded by the program and the remainder is provided by the project’s 14 partners from 7 Mediterranean countries: Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, Spain, and Lebanon.

In 2014, The BA organized its first 3D show; “Augmented Reality: 3D Video Mapping Show on Ancient Alexandria,” that was projected on the library’s façade.

Queen Cleopatra, who ruled from 51 B.C. to 30 B.C., was the last pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt (330 B.C.-30B.C.) After her reign, Egypt became a province of Roman Empire that lasted until the late fourth century.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ The Cairo Post

Thursday, September 24, 2015

News: Tourism Ministry to undertake promotional campaign in Netherlands & Belgium

Campaign will meet major media in both countries, while preparations are undertaken for another campaign later this year in the US and South America. 
The Ministry of Tourism is planning to launch a promotional campaign in the Netherlands and Belgium by the end of October, in cooperation with JWT. In a statement, sources told Daily News Egypt that Al-Ahram Beverages will pay for the travel expenses of six managers at global hotels that manage assets in Egypt, who will be chosen by the Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Promotion.

The sources added that JWT will manage the training process for the hotel managers, and will communicate with the media in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as coordinate with Hill & Knowlton to change the perceptions of Egypt.

The sources said that the campaign will mark a new beginning for the partnership between the state and the private sector in promotional operations and the utilisation of Al-Ahram Beverages’ relationships in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Tourism Ministry plans to launch another promotional campaign in six cities in the US and five others in Latin America in the final quarter of this year with the help of former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass. The Latin American cities the Tourism Ministry plans to promote Egyptian products in include Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina and the Colombian capital of Bogota.

Sources said that the promotional campaign will visit these cities based on studies related to the increase of national income rates in these countries over the recent period. Last week, Daily News Egypt revealed that Hill & Knowlton had sent recommendations to the Tourism Ministry regarding dealing with the Mexican crisis, following the accidental deaths of eight Mexican nationals in the Bahariya Oasis.

The recommendations included that “the Ministry of Tourism has to coordinate with all the different parties in the sector and the other ministries, and to announce the investigations of the accident in a conference to which all the international media, especially from Europe and Latin America, are invited”.

A Tourism Ministry official said JWT intends to proceed with the promotional campaign’s launch date at the beginning of October as scheduled. He added that the parliamentary elections will not affect the campaign’s launch date, which will begin from Egypt.

JWT won the tender for the promotion plan announced by the Ministry of Tourism, which stipulates that the company will promote Egypt for three years using $22m annually, of which the company will obtain 3%-4%.

Elhamy El-Zayat, Chairman of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism, said the current period requires dealing with the crisis in a professional manner involving all ministries, rather than leaving the Tourism Ministry to deal with the situation alone. “The situation is very difficult, and the sector is close to death,” El-Zayat said.

El-Zayat further called for creative solution to address the ongoing tourism crisis, which is currently in its fifth year. He demanded the ordering of priorities to provide the sectors’ workers with a vision, in cooperation with state bodies. Egypt’s total tourism income during the first seven months of this year amounted to $3.6bn.

El-Zayat warned that failure to handle the crisis will have negative results, whereby there are no revenues for the replacement and development operations of the hotels. This will, in turn, have a negative effect on the quality of services and Egypt’s competitiveness in relation to other regional destinations.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Our Exhibition Abroad, Paris: Osiris, Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries

A major exhibition on Osiris and ancient Egypt’s sunken cities opened Two weeks Ago at the Institute of the Arab World in Paris, reports Nevine El-Aref

French President François Hollande and Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty inaugurated the first ancient Egyptian exhibition to be held abroad since the 2011 Revolution last week, opening the “Osiris, Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries” exhibition at the Institute of the Arab World in Paris.

In the aftermath of the revolution and as a result of the lack of security, antiquities exhibitions abroad stopped and new agreements were cancelled. Today, however, such exhibitions can take place safely, and Paris is the first leg of the new exhibition, which will tour for two years in a number of foreign cities, including Zurich and London.
The exhibition features 250 ancient Egyptian objects that were submerged on the Mediterranean seabed off

Alexandria, where the legendary cities of Thonis, Heracleion and Canopus sank beneath the waves centuries ago. Objects from museums in Egypt are among those in the exhibition, including 18 artefacts from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo, 31 from the Alexandria National Museum, 22 from the collection of the Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, and 15 from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Museum.

Eldamaty described the exhibition as “exceptional” and revealing much about one of the founding myths of ancient Egypt by evoking the mysteries of the god Osiris. The god and his mysteries were among the most important religious myths forming ancient Egyptian civilisation and art.

“The exhibition also highlights Egypt’s strong friendship with France,” Eldamaty told the Weekly. He added that it could help to promote tourism to Egypt and increase the ministry’s budget, needed to complete suspended archaeological projects such as the Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking the Giza Plateau.
During the opening, Hollande said that the message of the exhibition went far beyond Egypt and showed how the will to preserve world heritage was stronger than the wish to annihilate it.

“This exhibition is a message, a fighting message, that we have preserved these artefacts and a message of hope at a time when the Middle East is undergoing such drama,” he said.

Archaeologist Franck Goddio led the underwater excavations for more than a decade after 2000. He described the exhibition as an incredible achievement. The cities it records had seemed lost to the world as they were submerged because of destructive earthquake,s but now their remains are being shown to the public, he said.
“Some objects only came out of the water last year, and others have never left Egypt before,” Goddio pointed out.

The underwater excavations are ongoing, employing a team of 50 underwater archaeologists and restorers. Goddio estimates that only as little as three per cent of the ancient cities have been uncovered so far. He said that it has taken seven years of underwater excavations to retrieve the artefacts from a 40-square-mile area of the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria. “The objects, covered in sediment and partially protected by the sea, date back 2,800 years and included a giant tablet with hieroglyphic writing,” Goddio said.

Mohamed Abdelmaguid, director of the Underwater Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said during the opening that the artefacts on display have aesthetic value, but at the same time show continuity in Egyptian beliefs from the pharaohs to Greek and Roman times.

“We see Osiris, who became Dionysus in Greece and then Bacchus in Roman times,” Abdelmaguid explained. He added that the exhibition comes at a precarious time for antiquities in the Middle East, as militants from the Islamic State (IS) group have been destroying artefacts across Iraq and Syria.

 “We should take care of this heritage because in reality it is not only our heritage. It is the world’s heritage,” Abdelmaguid said. “What is going on in Syria in the destruction of Palmyra and in Iraq shows a kind of thinking that does not represent the real beliefs of the region. This exhibition shows them. This preservation of culture in Paris shows that it’s just a minority who are doing the damage.”

The exhibition throws light on the discoveries made by submarine exploration by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology in Aboukir Bay off Alexandria. It reveals the incredible remains of the temples of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus in which secret religious rites and processions took place, as well as highlighting numerous objects bearing witness to a cult that has completely vanished today.

In the exhibition, visitors can follow the famous nautical procession of Osiris from Thonis-Heracleion to Canopus that accompanied the god each year on his passage to the hereafter. The exhibition as a whole is one of the highlights of the excavations directed by Goddio, in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities in the western part of the Nile delta.

It consists of three sections. The first presents the myth of Osiris and its protagonists. The second, the most important, consists of the archaeological sites and evidence for the rituals of the mysteries of Osiris. In the third and last section, visitors discover how the ancient myths evolved over time and space and how they were adapted at different sites, explaining the diversity of their representations.

A spectacular design of changing moods, colours and lighting mixed with underwater photographs and videos is used to illuminate the objects discovered by divers at the bottom of the sea and reflected in the masterpieces on loan from museums in Egypt.

Among the most distinguished objects are a beautiful and imposing five-metre granite statue of the god Osiris, tools and ritual objects. Most of the objects are in almost near-perfect condition and offer a rare public glimpse into the vast achievements of the ancient world. One of the biggest finds is a 30-foot statue of a pharaoh that archaeologists believe once stood at the entrance to a temple that is now underwater.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Short Story, Luxor: Field Trip to Search for Nefertiti's Resting Place to Start Within a Week

Archaeologist Nicholas Reeves is to arrive to Luxor, 28 September, in the hope of confirming his theory on the location of Nefertiti's final resting place in Tutankhamun's tomb. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.

On 28 September, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty and British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves, along with a group of Egyptian and foreign scientists, are to embark on an investigation trip to Luxor to prove Reeves' theory that Queen Nefertiti's remains lay in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Via state-of-the-art equipment, Reeves is to examine Tutankhamun's northern wall, in order to inspect behind it and possibly locate the existence of the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti.

Early August, Reeves published a theory suggesting that the west and north painted walls inside King Tutankhamun’s tomb have two secret passageways that lead to two chambers, one of them containing the remains of Nefertiti — queen of Egypt and the chief consort and wife of the monotheistic King Akhenaten, Tutankhamun's father. The remaining chamber could be another gallery for Tutankhamun.

A press conference is to be organised in Cairo upon their arrival from Luxor to announce the results of the investigation.

In a telephone call with Reeves, he told Ahram Online he would not be able to release any statement until the scientific work and examination are carried out.

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Discovery, Cairo: Oldest, Longest Ancient Egyptian Leather Manuscript Found at the Egyptian Museum

Sherbiny working on a fragment of the leather roll in Cairo Museum
CAIRO: A 4,000 year-old ancient Egyptian leather illuminated manuscript containing incantations and colorful figures of supernatural beings has been discovered at the Egyptian Museum.

The manuscript, which was apparently forgotten in the museum for more than 70 years, was found in an old storage box in one of the museum’s storerooms, according to Discovery news, it dates back to the period between the late Old Kingdom and the early New Kingdom eras (2,300 B.C.-2,000B.C.)

“Taking into account that it was written on both sides, we have more than 5 meters (16.4 feet) of texts and drawings, making this the longest leather roll from ancient Egypt,” Wael Sherbiny, the Belgium-based archaeologist who discovered the roll told Discovery News. 

What makes the finding significant is that the divine and supernatural beings and the magical spells found on it “predate the famous drawings found in the Book of the Dead manuscripts and the so-called Netherworld Books from the New Kingdom onwards (1550 B.C. onwards,)” Sherbiny said.

The Book of the Dead, the Book of the Caverns along with other ancient Egyptian religious textbooks were covered with hundreds of magical spells that served as map of the afterlife to help ensure the deceased’s eternal life and protect him from supernatural beings,” archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Sunday.

It is known that ancient Egyptian priests used to carry leather rolls for reference while reciting sacred texts during religious rituals.

“They  (the religious spells) were likely recited by a priest,” Sherbiny said. Leather rolls were kept in the libraries of temples as “master copies” from which cheaper copies were reproduced on papyrus, he added.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ Rany Mostafa

News: 1025 Greco-Roman Artifacts transported to Grand Egyptian Museum

CAIRO: The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) received 1,025 artifacts Wednesday from the Antiquities Ministry’s storehouses in Alexandria, Youm7 reported.

The artifacts will be on display during the inauguration of the GEM, scheduled for 2018.

“Some 766 artifacts, spanning several eras of Egypt’s Greco-Roman history (330 B.C.-395A.D.,) were brought from Maria Storehouse in Alexandria and have been deposited in the museum’s restoration lab,” General Director of the GEM Dr. Tarek Tawfik stated Wednesday.

Tanagra statues, a sarcophagus, and oil vessels are among the artifacts. 

The other collection of artifacts was brought from Alexandria’s antique storehouse of al-Nahaseen, Tawfik said.

“All necessary measures have been taken according to the latest scientific techniques to ensure the safety of the artifacts during transportation,” Caretaker Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement Wednesday.

GEM, situated on 120 acres of land, is located 2 km southwest of the Giza Pyramids and was scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2015 but due to funding issues, according to Damaty’s statement in Al-Ahram Thursday; it will not be inaugurated before 2018.

The construction of the three-phase project, which includes the construction of the museum’s main building and implementation of the master plan, landscape parks and surrounding site infrastructure, began in March 2012 with two phases completed so far.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ Rany Mostafa

Sunday, September 20, 2015

News: Kom Ombo Crocodile Museum Damaged Due to Sandstorm

CAIRO: A stone block at Kom Ombo Temple has reportedly fallen due to a dense sandstorm that has blanketed Upper Egyptian governorate of Aswan, state news agency MENA reported Tuesday.

“The block fell from the upper door lintel leading to the second hypostyle hall of the temple.

Fortunately, it has not been broken and will be restored to its original place,” Aswan Antiquities Department Director General Ahmed Saleh was quoted by MENA.

Several tiles of the suspended ceiling at the adjacent Mummified Crocodiles Museum have also fallen “without causing any damage to the museum’s contents and the glass showcases,” Saleh said.

A sandstorm and torrential rain swept areas in Aswan, the Red Sea and northeast of the Sinai Peninsula including the Gulf of Aqaba, St. Catherine city, Wadi el Malha and Wadi Mashash this week.

No reports of deaths or injuries have been received so far. According to Egypt’s Meteorological Authority, the unstable weather conditions will end Saturday.

In May 2014, the suspended ceiling of the crocodile museum collapsed following a severe sandstorm. The museum opened in 2010 to house several mummified crocodiles that were found inside the shrine of Kom Ombo Temple.

Kom Ombo temple was built during the Greco-Roman period (330 B.C.-390 A.D.,)

“It was dedicated to two ancient Egyptian deities: Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility and military prowess, and Horus, the falcon-headed god of protection according to ancient Egyptian mythology,” Moataz Al Sayed, former head of the Egyptian Tourist Guides Syndicate, told The Cairo Post.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ Rany Mostafa

News, Cairo: National Museum of Egyptian Civilization Organizes First Exhibition

The temporary exhibition will showcase objects borrowed from a number of other museums. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.
Under the name "Crafts and Industries through the Ages" the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) is to open its first temporary exhibition in October.

Khaled El-Enani, NMEC director, told Ahram Online the exhibition will display some 400 artefacts showcasing the old techniques used in four Egyptian crafts: clay, jewelleries, textiles and wood.

He explains that the objects have been carefully selected from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Egyptian Museum, Coptic Museum, Museum of Islamic Civilization and Al-Manial Palace Museum, as well as Alexandria's Jewellery Museum.

The exhibition will also illuminate the continuation and development of the old crafts into modern times.

"This exhibition is a step towards NMEC third's and final stage along the road to opening, which includes using the museum’s 23,000 square metres of exhibition hall," concluded El-Enani.

Antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said the exhibition is a step on the right path, and the exhibition will be organised by the chronology and geography of the artefacts. A multi-media electronic guide will be available.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Story of Tutankhamun mask (11): Tut mask renovation begins Oct. 10

CAIRO:  Renovation works of the golden mask of Tutankhamun will start Oct. 10, announced Ilham Salah al-Din, head of the Museum Sector Tuesday.

“A special laboratory is being equipped  to restore Tutankhamun’s beard inside the Egyptian Museum; it will be equipped with cameras to be sure that work performance goes in a proper way,” he told Youm7.

In January, the 3,300 year-old funerary mask underwent inappropriate restoration by workers who reportedly used household epoxy glue to reattach its beard broken during a routine renovation process. The Ministry of Antiquities announced in January that a team of experts (four Egyptians and a German) will restore the broken beard.

Germany government allocated € 50,000 for the restoration works that will be carried out by the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz in consultation with the EgyptianGerman scientific commission.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ Rany Mostafa

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

News: A Conservation Material with Nuclear Power Invented in to Restore Artifacts Egypt

Egypt invented a conservation material made of nuclear power to restore artifacts. Written by / Nevine El-Aref

Restoration of Small Artifacts with Carbon 13
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities invented a conservation material called Carbon 13 in collaboration with the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority to use it in the restoration of artefacts, the antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty announced on Monday.

Eldamaty explained that Carbon 13 is the result of bilateral research between the Ministry of Antiquities and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority. The material took several years to invent.

The research paper for the invention is one of the papers that was submitted by Egypt for the 59th round of the General Conference on Atomic energy to held in Austria between 16 and 20 September.

Islam Ezzat, the antiquities ministry representative in the conference, said that it is the first time that Egypt has created a conservation material made as a result of nuclear power.

“Egypt took out a patent for improving Carbon 13,” Ezzat said, adding that inventing such material came within the framework of the ministry to use nuclear power and atomic energy in several peaceful fields, especially for preserving cultural heritage. A collection of replicas have been conserved with the recently invented Carbon 13 and will be exhibited on the fringe of the conference.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Discovery, Suez Canal: Part of long-lost Pelusiac branch of Nile uncovered in Egypt's Qantara

Excavation work at Tel Al-Dafna
The ancient water-way was a key transport link for the 26th Dynasty and was lost to silt around two millennia ago. Written By Nevine El-Aref.

Excavations by an Egyptian mission at the Tel Al-Dafna archaeological site in Qantara have uncovered a 200 metre section of the long-lost Pelusiac branch of the Nile.

The Pelusiac branch was the major navigational byway into the delta from Sinai which once divided the ancient Qantara city into east and west.

Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the mission, told Ahram Online that the first ever complete industrial city was uncovered at Qantara. 

It includes a collection of kilns used to melt iron and bronze in weapon-making for Egyptian army during the 26th dynasty (664-525 AD).
Kilns Discovered 
He said the antiquities minister has ordered more archaeologists and excavators to work at the site in order to reveal more of the Pelusiac branch and of the industrial city.

The course of the Pelusiac branch has been traced on a deltaic plain east of the Suez Canal, between the El Baqar Canal and Tell El-Farama (ancient Pelusium). Two minor distributaries branched northward.

The critical stage in the process of the silting of the lower reaches of the Pelusiac branch, due to beach accretion, occurred around 25 AD. 

Ancient ruins in the area are closely associated with the waterway.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our Exhibitions Abroad, France: Paris Egypt Exhibit Holds Defiant Message for Islamic State Group

French President Francois Hollande and archaeological officials have used an exhibit in Paris of two preserved ancient Egyptian cities as a defiant example that the world will not be cowed by Islamic State militants who recently destroyed ancient Syrian heritage sites in Palmyra and killed a local archaeologist.

The exhibit at Paris' Arab World Institute, "Osiris, Egypt's Sunken Mysteries," presents about 250 ancient objects that were recovered after a French archaeologist discovered the legendary cities Thonis/Heracleion and Canopus underwater over a decade ago.

Much like the mystery of ancient Atlantis, the cities had been lost somewhere between myth, history and legend — that is, until French archaeologist Franck Goddio made his landmark discovery in 2000 uncovering the sites in their watery grave near Alexandria. They had miraculously been preserved by sea sediment for nearly 2,000 years.

"This exhibit is an incredible achievement," Goddio told The Associated Press. "For years, these cities seemed lost to the world — submerged because of natural calamities like earthquakes and big tides... And now here they are — being shown to the public for the first time. Some objects only came out of the water last year and others have never left Egypt before."

The underwater excavation is ongoing with a team of 50, and Goddio estimates that only as little as 3 percent of the ancient cities have been uncovered so far.

Hollande, who inaugurated the exhibit this week, alongside the Egyptian minister of antiquities and minister of tourism, said that the message of this exhibit went far beyond Egypt — and said it showed how the will to preserve world heritage is stronger that the wish to annihilate it.

"This exhibit is a message, a fighting message that we have preserved these artifacts, a message of hope at a time when the Middle East is undergoing such drama," he said.

In the last weeks, Islamic State militants destroyed the two-millennia-old temple of Bel, The Temple of Baalshamin, as well as three ancient tower tombs in the central city of Palmyra — what UNESCO has called an "intolerable crime against civilization."

Hollande also paid his respects to the "sacrifice" of Khaled al-Asaad, the former director of the destroyed Palmyra heritage sites and one of the most important pioneers in Syrian archaeology in the 20th century, who was killed by Islamic State militants.

The exhibit was presented in collaboration with the Egyptian government, with officials keen to use this as a way to show that there's another face to the Arab world as the one being projected by militants.

"What is going on in Syria, like the destruction of Palmyra and in Iraq, this kind of thinking is not the real beliefs of the area. This exhibit shows it. This preservation of culture here in Paris shows that it's just a minority who somehow took the lead that are doing this damage," said Mohamed Abdelmaguid, the general director of the Central Department of Underwater Antiquities in Egypt.

The many thousands expected to visit the Osiris exhibit in the coming months, as it travels to London's British Museum, might not be drawn for their knowledge of current affairs, and be just be attracted by beauty of the artifacts.

The objects — like a beautiful and imposing 5-meter (16-feet) granite statue of the god Osiris, tools, and ritualistic objects — are in often near-perfect condition, and offer a rare public glimpse into the vast achievements of the ancient world.
The exhibit runs until Jan. 31.

News: Luxor Tourism Rises After Launch of German Charter Flights

CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting archaeological sites in Luxor Friday soared to 1,120, marking a notable increase after German charter flights resumed operations to the historical city earlier this month.

“Some 434 tourists, out of the arrivals were Germans who arrived in Luxor airport Thursday onboard four charter flights from German airports of Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Schönefeld,” Director General of Upper Egypt Antiquities Department Mostafa Waziri told The Cairo Post Saturday.

According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Germany was the second largest market for tourism in Egypt after Russia in 2014.
German tourists visiting the Red Sea resort cities in Egypt increased between 50-60 percent during the period between January and September 2014. Their number exceeded 1.2 million tourists in 2010.

The governor of Luxor Mohammed Badr said that the return of German charter flights is “a positive step to revive the ailing sector ahead of high season scheduled for October through April,” Youm7 reported Saturday.

The number of German tourists visiting Egypt during the period between January and March 2015 increased by 17%, compared to the same period last year, Egyptian ambassador to Germany Mohamed Hegazy told state-owned MENA news agency.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ Rany Mostafa