Sunday, December 31, 2017

News: Grand Egyptian Museum Receives First $1,000 Donation From Tourist in New Funding Drive

American tourist John Robert Massi handed over $1,000 toward the construction of the new museum and was rewarded with a tour of the site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Ministry of Antiquities has announced its first donation in response to a new campaign to help fund ongoing construction work at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

The gift of $1,000 was made by American tourist John Robert Massi, who arrived in Egypt on Wednesday to embark on an inspection tour of the GEM site.

Tarek Tawfik, Supervisor-General of the GEM, told Ahram Online that Massi was impressed by the construction work and the state-of-the-art laboratories. He told Tawfik that he hopes to return to Egypt for the museum's soft opening in 2018.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Short Story: A Year of Many Discoveries

Egyptian and foreign Egyptologists excavating at archaeological sites across Egypt have made more than 30 discoveries this year, reports Nevine El-Aref.
Coincidence has always played a major role in making new discoveries. Among the most famous examples are the uncovering of the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, the funerary collection of the Pharaoh Khufu’s mother Hetepheres, the Pyramids Builders’ Cemetery on the Giza Plateau, and the Valley of the Golden Mummies in the Bahareya Oasis.

This year, coincidence led to the discovery of more than 30 treasures, something which made the Ministry of Antiquities describe 2017 as “the year of discoveries”.

“It seems that our ancient Egyptian ancestors are bestowing their blessings on Egypt’s economy, as these discoveries are good for the country and its tourism industry,” Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Al-Ahram Weekly.

He said that many new discoveries had been made. In the Gabal Al-Selsela area in Aswan, 20 tombs were discovered by a team from Lund University in Sweden, for example, while in Luxor an Egyptian-Japanese mission discovered the tomb of a royal scribe.

An Egyptian-German mission in Matareya outside Cairo made international headlines when it discovered fragments of a colossal statue of the Pharaoh Psamtick I.

An Egyptian mission from the Ministry of Antiquities discovered the inner parts of a pyramid from the 13th Dynasty, as well as the remains of a burial that would once have been inside the pyramid.

At the Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site in Minya, a mission from Cairo University stumbled upon a cachette of non-royal mummies of men, women and children buried in catacombs eight metres below ground level in the desert neighbouring the local bird and animal necropolis.

“This discovery has changed our understanding of the Tuna Al-Gabal site,” El-Enany told the Weekly, adding that in Luxor several other important discoveries had been made. An Egyptian-European mission working at the Colossi of Memnon and the funerary temple of Amenhotep III had uncovered 136 statues of the goddess Sekhmet, most of which are life-size, as well as a beautiful alabaster statue of queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep, carved on the side of a colossal statue of the king.

A team from Jaen University in Spain also discovered the tomb of an official in Aswan. A Spanish mission in western Thebes discovered the remains of a funerary garden, a first in the area’s history.

A mission from the Ministry of Antiquities stumbled upon the almost-intact funerary collections of Amenemhat, the goldsmith of the god Amun-Re, and of Userhat, chancellor of Thebes during the 18th Dynasty, in the Draa Abul-Naga Necropolis at Luxor. The mission also uncovered two yet-unidentified tombs that are particularly rich in their funerary collections.

“These finds are not only a matter of luck, but are the result of the hard work of archaeologists across the country working in sometimes very difficult conditions,” El-Enany said. “Antiquities are the soft power that distinguishes Egypt,” he added, remarking that news of new discoveries always catches the headlines and the attention of the whole world.

TOMB DISCOVERIES: Among these discoveries were the three major ones made by the Egyptian mission in the Draa Abul-Nagaa Necropolis on Luxor’s west bank, which provide a better understanding of the history of the Necropolis and the lives of the tomb-owners.

The tomb of Userhat housed a collection of ten well-preserved painted wooden coffins and eight mummies in various states of preservation, for example. A collection of more than 1,000 ushabti figurines and wooden masks were also uncovered alongside with skeletons, wooden anthropoid masks, figurines in faience, terracotta and wood and various clay pots.

Archaeologist Sherine Shawki, a specialist in osteology, told the Weekly that early studies carried out on the mummies and skulls had revealed that one of the individuals had been anaemic and probably suffered severe toothache while a second had undergone primitive surgery.

The tomb of the goldsmith houses a collection of stone-and-wood ushabti figurines of different types and sizes, mummies, painted and anthropoid wooden sarcophagi, and jewellery made of precious and semi-precious stones.....READ MORE.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

News, Cairo: Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities to Restore Islamic Cairo's Al-Sharaybi Bathhouse

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities will restore the Al-Sharaybi bathhouse in Islamic Cairo in collaboration with the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, director-general of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project, told Ahram Online that the restoration project is funded by a grant from the Prince Claus Foundation.

Abdel-Aziz explains that the restoration project will be executed in two phases. The first will include the removal of all dust and garbage accumulated around the site and the consolidation of the bathhouse walls from inside and outside as well as the oven area, while the second phase will include the restoration of the building and its decorative elements.

The Al-Sharaybi bathhouse was constructed during the rule of Sultan Qonsua El-Ghouri in 1500 AD and is located in the El-Ghouria area. The Moroccan trader Mohamed Dada Al-Sharaybi was the original owner of the bathhouse.

Friday, December 22, 2017

News, Giza: Chariot and Clothes of Egypt's Tutankhamun Transported to GEM

The collection of King Tutankhamun is being transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) ahead of its soft opening in 2018. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is receiving another three artefacts of the King Tutankhamun collection — a chariot and two of his shirts, from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

The collection of King Tutankhamun is being transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) ahead of its soft opening in 2018.

Tarek Tawfiq supervisor general of the GEM, told Ahram Online that the chariot is the third to be transported to the GEM. 

Tutankhamun had six chariots. He explained that the move comes within the framework of an Egyptian-Japanese project between the Ministry of Antiquities and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to pack and transport 71 artefacts now on display at the Egyptian Museum to their new permanent exhibition spaces in the GEM.

Tawfik said that among the 71 artefacts was a collection of reliefs of founder of the ancient Fourth Dynasty Senefru and a collection of 65 objects from Tutankhamun’s funerary collection, including three funerary beds, five chariots and 57 pieces of textile.

Director of first-aid restoration at the GEM, Eissa Zidan, said the restoration team had consolidated the wooden surfaces of the chariot as well as weak points in joint areas. The chariot, he said, was packed and transported as one item with the chair of the throne.

Zidan pointed out that the artefacts were padded with special materials to absorb any vibrations during transportation. State-of-the-art technology and modern scientific techniques had been used in order to guarantee the safe lifting and moving of the chariot from its display case at the Egyptian Museum. The team had also used acid-free packing materials.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

News, Cairo: Egyptian Museum Displays Works of Deir Al-Medina Artisans

The month-long exhibition, which marks the centenary of French excavations at Deir Al-Medina, opens on Thursday night. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square opens a temporary exhibition on Thursday night focused on the artisans of Luxor's Deir Al-Medina archaeological site.

Titled “The Artisans of the Pharaohs through their Artworks”, the month-long show also marks the centenary of French archaeological research, excavation and restoration at the site.

On show for the first time will be a collection of 52 artefacts discovered by the French mission at Deir Al-Medina, along with documents and photos from the archive of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO), Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online.


The artifacts, she explains, reflect the daily life, the faith and the funerary rituals of the Deir Al-Medina artisans. Among the most important objects are a statue of Sanejem, lintels of kings Amenhotep I and II, as well as a painted limestone ostraca.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

News, South Sinai: St Catherine's Library and Mosaic of Transfiguration inaugurated after restoration

Work on restoring the library of St Catherine's Monastery began in 2014. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, South Sinai Governor Major General Khaled Fouda, and St Catherine's Monastery Archbishop Dimetriose have inaugurated the first phase of the St Catherine's Library conservation project, including restoration of the Mosaic of Transfiguration.

The opening ceremony was attended by a number of ministers along with members of parliament and ambassadors of foreign countries in Egypt, as well as representatives of Pope Tawadros II and Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb.

El-Enany described St Catherine's as "a source of inspiration that radiated across civilisation, both regionally and globally." He added: "St Catherine's Monastery combines Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is what we could call the genius of Egypt and its reflection on the harmony between its components and its great people."

The monastery was registered as a world heritage site since 2002. "I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the distinguished audience and would also like to express my great gratitude to all those who contributed to this work and to your generous support,” El-Enany said. 

“I am very happy to share in the inauguration of the restored library, which is the third library ever in the world,” Major General Fouda said in a press conference held at the monastery today.

Mohamed Abdellatif, assistant to the minister of antiquities and head of the Coptic and Islamic Antiquities sector at the ministry, told Ahram Online that conservation work was carried out under the supervision of the ministry with funds provided by the monastery.

The restoration project began in 2014 after approval of the Permanent Committee of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities. It includes the development of the eastern side of the library, upgrading the architecture of the library facade as well as consolidating and conserving the Justinian Wall, which dates back to the 6th century AD.

Abdellatif pointed out that the ministry announced a month ago that during conservation work restorers uncovered the "Palmist" manuscript, which dates back to the fifth or sixth century AD. 

It is a manuscript written on leather and shows medical texts from Hippocrates, as well as three other medical texts by an unknown writer. As for the Mosaic of Transfiguration, he explained that an Italian-Egyptian team headed by Italian expert Nardi Guviani carried out restoration of the Mosaic.

Ahmed Al-Nimr, a member of the Scientific Office of the ministry of antiquities, said that the mosaic is one of the oldest and most beautiful and largest mosaics in the Middle East. It dates to the ninth century AD. It covers a surface of about 46 square metres, painted with precious materials such as gold and silver.

The mosaic includes an image of Jesus and the prophet Elijah and the prophet Moses. Below, the prophets John and Jacob prostrate. The mosaic is surrounded by 31 medallions containing pictures of messengers and prophets, in addition to two medallions representing Jonah and the Virgin Mary.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Discovery, Aswan: New Discoveries in Gebal El-Silsila Including Child Burials, Small Artemis Statue

Four intact child burials, a cemetery and a headless statue of Greek goddess Artemis have been discovered by different missions. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

There have been a series of antiquities discoveries in Aswan in the last few weeks, officials have said. The Swedish-Egyptian mission working in the Gebal El-Silsila area has uncovered four intact burials of children, while the Austrian mission at Kom Ombo’s archaeological hill discovered a large segment of a First Intermediate Period cemetery, and the Egyptian-Swiss mission working in the old town of Aswan has unearthed a small incomplete statue that probably depicts Greek goddess Artemis.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the four child burials date to the 18th dynasty (549/1550 BC to 1292 BC.). They consist of a rock-hewn grave for a child between two and three years old; the mummy still retains its linen wrapping and is surrounded with organic material from the remains of the wooden coffin.

The second burial, he went on, belongs to another child aged between six and nine years old, who was buried inside a wooden coffin, while the third burial is of a child between five and eight. Both of these graves contain funerary furniture, including amulets and a set of pottery. The fourth burial is also of a child between the age of five and eight.

“The new burial discoveries are shedding more light on the burial customs used in the Thutmosid period as well as the social, economic and religious life of people during that period,” Maria Nilsson, head of the Swedish mission said, adding that the mission has succeed during its previous excavation works to uncover many burials but the newly discovered ones have a special significance.

More excavations and studies on the site will reveal more about the death rituals conducted in this site during the period, she said. The Egyptian-Austrian archaeological mission in Kom Ombo led by Irene Foster uncovered a part of a cemetery from the First Intermediate Period, with a number of mud-brick tombs. Numerous pottery vessels and grave goods were unearthed.

Foster explains that the preliminary study revealed that it is mostly built on top of an earlier cemetery. Below the cemetery, Foster told Ahram Online, the mission has uncovered remains of an Old Kingdom town with a ceiling impression of King Sahure from the 5th Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC). In the ancient town of Aswan, the Egyptian-Swiss mission, headed by Egyptologist Wolfgang Muller, unearthed a statue of a woman that was missing its head, feet and right hand.

Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, said that the statue is carved from limestone and measures 14cm by 9cm in width and the thickness of its bust is 3cm and the lower part is 7cm.

A preliminary study on the statue reveals that the dress she wears is similar to that of Artemis, Greek goddess of hunting, procreation, virginity and fertility, combined with the Egyptian goddesses Isis and Bastet.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Short Story: Princess Tomb

The recent discovery of the tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess from the Fifth Dynasty has opened a new chapter in the saga of the Abusir necropolis, says Nevine El-Aref.

An archaeological mission from the Czech Institute of Egyptology at the Charles University in Prague, who is carrying out routine excavations on the north side of the Abusir necropolis, 30km south of the Giza Plateau, has been taken by surprise with the discovery of an important rock-hewn tomb.

The tomb belonged to a Fifth-Dynasty princess named Sheretnebty, and alongside it were four tombs belonging to high–ranking officials. An era enclosed within a courtyard. The tombs had been robbed in antiquity and no mummies were found inside them.

According to the Czech mission’s archaeological report, a copy of which has been given to Al-Ahram Weekly, traces of the courtyard were first detected in 2010 while archaeologists were investigating a neighbouring mastaba (bench tomb). However, active exploration of the royal tomb was not undertaken until this year, when it was discovered that the ancient Egyptian builders used a natural depression in the bedrock to dig a four-metre-deep tomb almost hidden amidst the mastaba tombs constructed around it on higher ground. Four rock-hewn tombs were also unearthed within the courtyard surrounding the royal tomb.

The north and west walls of the princess’s tomb were cased with limestone blocks, while its south wall was cut in the bedrock. The east wall was also carved in limestone, along with the staircase and slabs descending from north to south. The courtyard of the tomb has four limestone pillars which originally supported architraves and roofing blocks. On the tomb’s south side are four pillars engraved with hieroglyphic inscriptions stating: “The king’s daughter of his body, his beloved, revered in front of the great god, Sheretnebty.”

Miroslav Barta, head of the Czech mission, says early investigations have revealed that the owner of the tomb was previously unknown, but that it most probably belonged to the family of a Fifth-Dynasty king. The preliminary date of the structure, based on the stratigraphy of the site and analysis of the name, Barta says, falls in the second half of the Fifth Dynasty. It is surprising that the tomb should not be located in Abusir south, among the tombs of non-royal officials, considering that most members of the Fifth-Dynasty royal family are buried 2km north of Abusir pyramid.

While digging inside Sheretnebty’s tomb, the Czech archaeologists found a corridor that contains the entrances to four rock-hewn tombs of top officials of the Fifth Dynasty. Barta says two tombs have been completely explored so far. The first belonged to the chief of justice of the great house, Shepespuptah, and the second to Duaptah, the inspector of the palace attendants. Both tombs probably date from the reign of King Djedkare Isesi.

The remaining two are still under excavation, but early investigation reveal that one belonged to the overseer of the scribes of the crews, Nefer, whose false door is still in situ. This tomb has a hidden tunnel in which excavators have unearthed three statues of the owner, one showing the deceased as a scribe…READ MORE. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

News, Giza: The Ancient Gate Arrived to The Museum Overlooking Giza Plateau

The ancient gate of King Amenemhat I transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) from its original location to join other artefacts in preparation for the new museum's scheduled opening next year. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Tarek Tawfik, supervisor-general of the GEM, told Al-Ahram Online Wednesday that the gate would be put on display at the museum’s grand staircase along with the colossus of King Ramses II and other gigantic monuments.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the gate was carved from red granite and engraved with hieroglyphic inscriptions, among them the official cartouche of King Amenemhat I and his different titles. The gate was uncovered by an Austrian mission in the Ezbet Helmi area of Tel Al-Dabaa in Egypt's Nile Delta. It weighs six tonnes and is supported by a vertical stone lintel which is inscribed with hieroglyphic text.

Eissa Zidan, the director of first-aid restoration at the GEM, said that prior to the move, the gate was subjected to essential restoration work, using scientific methods to pack and transport the items. He said the artefact would undergo further restoration at the GEM.

King Amenemhat I reigned from 1991 – 1962 BC and was the first ruler of ancient Egypt's Twelfth Dynasty which is considered by scholars to be the golden age of the Middle Kingdom.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Two Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom-Era Tombs Opened at Luxor Necropolis

Two tombs of unidentified officials dated to Egypt’s New Kingdom era have been opened at Luxor’s Draa Abul-Naglaa necropolis years after they were initially discovered by German archaeologist Frederica Kampp in the 1990s. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.
The opening of the tombs was announced at an international conference attended by the governor of Luxor, the minister of social solidarity, the director-general of the International Monetary Fund, members of the international media, foreign ambassadors, members of parliament, and Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany.

“It is a very important discovery because both tombs contain very rich funerary collections, and one of them has a very distinguished painted statue of a lady in the Osirian shape,” El-Enany said, adding that 2017 has been a “year of discoveries,” with this most recent discovery being the third Draa Abul-Naga alone.

“It seems that our ancient Egyptian ancestors are bestowing their blessing on Egypt’s economy as these discoveries are good promotion for the country and its tourism industry,” El-Enany told Ahram Online. Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and head of the Egyptian excavation mission, explains that both tombs were given special numbers by German archaeologist Frederica Kampp in the 1990s.

The first tomb, named “Kampp 161,” was never excavated, while excavation work on the second, “Kampp 150,” was undertaken by archaeologist Kampp short of entering the tomb itself.

The tombs had been left untouched until excavation started during the recent archaeological season. Most of the items discovered in Kampala 161 are fragments of wooden coffins. The most notable discoveries are a large wooden mask that was originally a part of a coffin, a small painted wooden mask, a fragment of a gilded wooden mask in poor condition, four legs of wooden chairs that were among the deceased’s funerary equipment, as well as the lower part of a wooden Osirian shaped coffin decorated with a scene of goddess Isis lifting up her hands.

“The owner of Kampp 150 is not yet known, but there are two possible candidates,” Waziri told Ahram Online. He said that the first possibility is that the tomb belongs to a person named Djehuty Mes, as this name is engraved on one of the walls. The second possibility is that the owner could be the scribe “Maati,” as his name and the name of his wife “Mehi” are inscribed on 50 funerary cones found in the tomb’s rectangular chamber.

The tomb has only one inscription on one of its northern pillars. It shows a scene with a seated man offering food to four oxen, with the first kneeling in front of the man, who is giving it herbs. The scene also depicts five people making funerary furniture. The entrance of the long hall is inscribed with hieroglyphic text with the name of “Djehuty Mes.” The ceiling of the chamber is inscribed with hieroglyphic inscriptions and the cartouche of King Thutmose I.

The objects uncovered inside include 100 funerary cones, painted wooden masks, a collection of 450 statues carved in different materials such as clay, wood and faience, and a small box in the shape of a wooden coffin with a lid. The box was probably used for storing an Ushabti figurine 17 cm tall and 6 cm large.

Also found was a collection of clay vessels of different shapes and sizes as well as a mummy wrapped in linen with its hands on its chest in the Osirian form. Studies suggest that the mummy, which was found inside the long chamber, could be of a top official or another powerful person.

Friday, December 8, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Egyptian Antiquities Minister to Announce Newly Discovered Mummy Mask Saturday

Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany is set to formally announce the discovery of two tombs at Draa Abul Naga in Luxor on Saturday, one bearing a painted wall.

According to a source who requested anonymity, the tombs belong to two top officials from the New Kingdom (16th to 11th centuries BC); the mummy mask of one of the deceased was also discovered.

In September the minister as announced the discovery of the tomb of god Amun-Re’s goldsmith in Draa Abul Naga.

The tomb had a rich funerary collection and a large number of ushabti funerary figurines, gilded coffins, mummies wrapped in linen and funerary mask and cones were unearthed.
  • More about tombs of Dra Abu El-Naga CLICK HERE
  • All related posts about the city of Luxor CLICK HERE

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

New Discovery, Cairo: Restoration of Cairo's Al-Imam Al-Shafie Dome Leads to New Archaeological Discovery

Ongoing efforts to conserve the dome of the Al-Imam Al-Shafie mosque in Old Cairo have uncovered sections of an intact lower wall forming part of an earlier shrine this week. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The previous shrine consisted of an open courtyard with three prayer niches attached to a domed hall. Also uncovered were decorated carved stucco features, coloured marble, stone flooring and fragments of a masonry dome.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany and the US Charge d’Affaires in Cairo Thomas H. Goldberger, along with top officials from the Egyptian ministry, embarked on Monday on a tour to inspect the latest conservation work on the dome and the excavations of the earlier shrine.

“This building pre-dates the current shrine of Al-Imam Al-Shafie, which was built by the Ayyubid Sultan Al-Kamil in the year 1211 AD and was built after Al-Imam Al-Shafie was buried there in 820 AD,” Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Director-General of Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project told Ahram Online. 

He added that the newly uncovered shrine is a significant addition to our understanding of the history of Islamic architecture and history in Egypt.

May Al-Ebrashi, Head of Athar Lina initiative, said that the excavations are part of a conservation project funded by the US Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities.

The excavations fall within the work of Athar Lina, a national initiative to conserve Egypt’s heritage for the benefit of the community.

The project, she continued, began in March 2016 to resolve structural problems in the mosque's masonry walls and floors, as well as leaking roofs and the disintegration of decorative elements, most notably the decorated stucco exterior, carved and painted wood and coloured marble cladding.

The completed work so far has included extensive documentation, as well as physical crack repair in masonry walls, soil infill to correct subsidence (the sinking of soil under a structure), repair and insulation of wooden roofs and ceilings, repair of marble cladding, and the cleaning and restoration of decorative stucco facets.

Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Idris Al-Shafie was the founder of the Shafie madhab, one of the four major jurisprudential schools of Sunni Islam. A proponent of rational thought who is credited by some today as the originator of the scientific method, Al-Shafie dedicated his life to developing a comprehensive theory of jurisprudence that earned him the title the "Sea of Knowledge." He was also a great poet who wrote simply yet eloquently about the value of travel, learning and contemplation.

Historic sources mention that when he died, he was buried in the mausoleum of Ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam, an Arab tribe that came to Egypt with the Islamic conquest in the 7th century AD and settled there, becoming one of its most prominent families.

Monday, December 4, 2017

News: Egypt eVisa Now Available for 46 Nationalities.

Visitors from the U.S., Canada or Australia will have to apply for an electronic travel authorization before they arrive in Egypt.
Egypt has officially launched an Electronic Travel Authorization for foreign visitors to travel to the country. Nationals from 46 eligible countries such as Canada, U.S., Australia, and the EU are expected to register online to obtain an Egypt eVisa before traveling to the country.

The Egypt electronic visa has been designed and established by the Egyptian government to simplify visa processes, improve border control and increase security. The Egypt tourist and business visa can be acquired by completing an online form utilizing specific requirements. The applicants for the Egypt eVisa must be nationals from an eligible country and have a passport with a validity of six months from the arrival date.

The travelers interested in traveling to Egypt for tourism or business can apply online with a current email address and a credit or debit card. The applicant cannot submit the application form unless payment for the Egypt eVisa fee has been made. The requirements for the Egypt eVisa are straightforward. The applicant should complete the online form by filling all the questions with an asterisk and must include personal details such as name, date of birth and their travel document info. All information provided must correspond to the identity document. False or incomplete details could result in a visa denial.

All applicants are expected to provide a 2x2 inch passport-style photo with high resolution and a white background. It should be noted that business travelers are expected to include a company business letter explaining the purpose of the trip and the relationship of the applicant to the employer or company.

Those travelers who will pass Egypt in transit but will leave the airport or stay for more than 24 hours must also register for an Egypt tourist visa. On occasion, an applicant might be expected to prove financial solvency or a return or onward ticket. On specific cases, an applicant might have to scan his or her passport biometric page. Some additional information could be requested by the Egyptian authorities.

Travelers of eligible countries must have an approved Egypt eVisa upon arrival. It is worth noting that having an electronic visa for Egypt does not automatically grant a traveler entry to the country. Visitors will always be subject to inspection and the Egyptian authorities reserve the right to deny access to any eVisa holder.

Earlier in March, Minister Yasser al-Qady said that the new electronic travel authorization would alleviate the responsibility of security authorities and tourists alike. The Egypt eVisa embraces technology. The visa-on-arrival system and the embassy visas will become obsolete.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Statues of Ancient Egyptian Lioness Deity Sekhmet Uncovered in Luxor

A collection of 27 fragmented statues of the goddess Sekhmet has been unearthed at the King Amenhotep III funerary temple on Luxor’s west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

A collection of 27 fragmented statues of the lioness goddess Sekhmet has been uncovered during excavation work at the King Amenhotep III funerary temple at the Kom El-Hettan area on Luxor’s west bank. 

The discovery was made by an Egyptian-European archaeological mission led by archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian as part of the King Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the black-granite statues have a maximum height of about two metres. Some statues depict Sekhmet sitting on a throne, holding the symbol of life in her left hand, while others show her standing and holding a papyrus sceptre before her chest. The head of Sekhmet is crowned with a sun-disk, while a uraeus adorns her forehead.

Sourouzian told Ahram Online that the discovery includes many almost complete statues with only the feet and base missing. Those statues that were not buried so deep in the ground are in a good state of preservation, he said. 

Others that were found at deeper levels are in a bad condition due to subterranean water and salt, which damaged the surface.

“The sculptures are of a high artistic quality and of the greatest archaeological interest,” Sourouzian said. He said the importance and quality of the statues explains why they survived a period of extensive quarrying of the temple remains in the Ramesside Period, after a heavy earthquake had toppled the walls and the columns of the temple in 1200 B.C.

Sourouzian pointed out that the statues are now in restoration. They will be cleaned and desalinated, as they were lying in a layer of mud and crushed sandstone.

All statues of the goddess will be placed back in their original setting when the site protection project is completed.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, pointed to the collaboration between the European mission and the ministry to ensure ongoing excavation work and the completion of the Amenhotep III Temple protect. 

The mission began excavation work in 1998, and about 287 statues of Sekhmet have been unearthed since then.

The King Amenhotep III temple is the largest of its kind. It was once a magnificent structure with an unprecedented number of royal and divine statues, among them hundreds of statues of Sekhmet. 

Sekhment, whose name means "Powerful One", is one of three figures in the Triad of Memphis sculpture, which also features Ptah and Ramses III.

Monday, November 27, 2017

News, Giza: Foreign Diplomats Tour Grand Egyptian Museum Site Ahead of 2018 Opening

The 150-strong delegation from the Egyptian Diplomatic Club was given a presentation on the GEM's construction history and a preview of the planned displays, including the complete treasures of Tutankhamun. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
A delegation of foreign diplomats visited the site of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) on Sunday, inspecting the ongoing construction work in an effort raise the project's profile ahead of its opening in 2018. The 150 diplomats from the Egyptian Diplomatic Club were given a guided tour of the site overlooking the Giza Plateau, including the conservation and research center and the main building, which is still being built.

Tarek Tawfik, supervisor general of the GEM, told Ahram Online that the delegation consisted of foreign ambassadors, cultural counsellors in Egypt and Egyptian diplomats. They began their visit with a minute's silence to mourn the victims of Friday's terrorist attack at Al-Rawda Mosque in North Sinai. The delegation was provided with a presentation on the GEM's construction, which started in the early 2000s, as well as the Ministry of Antiquities' plan to open the museum in 2018. 

Tawfik said the world is awaiting the opening of the GEM, which will display the complete collection of King Tutankhamun's treasures for the first time since his tomb was discovered in 1922. The treasures are currently stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The GEM project is intended to provide a modern and spacious venue for the display of Egypt's antiquities, many of which are stored at the museum in Tahrir Square.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Short Story: New Gold of Tutankhamun

Gold appliqué sheets from Tutankhamun’s chariot were put on display at the Egyptian Museum this week, revealing the technology used to decorate ancient Egyptian vehicles, writes Nevine El-Aref .

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was buzzing with visitors this week who had flocked to the institution’s second floor to catch a glimpse of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s unseen treasures.  Glittering against black backgrounds inside glass showcases, a collection of gold appliqué sheets that once decorated the boy-king’s chariot had been put on display for the first time 95 years after its discovery.

When British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, he stumbled upon a collection of decorative gold sheets scattered on the floor of the treasury room near the chariot. Due to its poor conservation, Carter put the collection in a wooden box that has remained in the depths of the museum’s storage rooms ever since.

In 2014, a joint project by the Egyptian Museum, the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, the University of Tübingen and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz carried out an archaeological and iconographic analysis of this important but largely ignored collection supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a research body, and the German foreign office. It is this collection that has now been placed on display.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany described the exhibition as “special and important” because it not only highlights a very significant subject but also celebrates the 60th anniversary of the reopening of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo after its closure in 1939 due to World War II.

“The exhibition is a good opportunity for the public to admire for the first time one of the golden king’s unseen treasures,” El-Enany said, adding that several artifacts from Tutankhamun’s treasured collection were still hidden in the Egyptian Museum. “This will not last long,” El-Enany promised, saying that all the boy-king’s unseen and non-exhibited artefacts would be transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau after its soft opening at the end of 2018.

Director of the German Archaeological Institute Stephan Seidlmayer said that studies carried out on the appliqués had revealed that they once adorned the horse-trapping, bow-cases and sheaths of weapons associated with Tutankhamun’s chariot. They exhibited unusual stately and playful designs, combining ancient Egyptian patterns with Levantine motifs, he said.

“They attest to the large network of social and cultural interconnections which has characterised the eastern Mediterranean from antiquity to the present time,” Seidlmayer said. He added that scientific analyses using the latest technology had revealed the sophisticated composition of the artifacts which rank among the highest products of ancient craftsmanship.

They reflect the wide-ranging trade network which incorporated the nearer and farther regions of the Near East and the Mediterranean that extended into parts of Middle and Western Europe. Raw materials, food products, and luxury goods were traded along different routes by land and sea.READ MORE.