Saturday, April 4, 2020

Egypt organizes a virtual visit to the tomb of King Khufu's granddaughter - Egypt Today
File- The tomb of Queen Meresankh III.
File- The tomb of Queen Meresankh III.

Egypt organizes a virtual visit to the tomb of King Khufu's granddaughter

Sat, Apr. 4, 2020

CAIRO - 4 April 2020: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will launch on April 4, at 7:00 pm its second virtual tour within the initiative the ministry launched yesterday in collaboration with its partners from scientific and archaeological institutions.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities's is tailor made to help people from all around the world to enjoy the ancient Egyptian civilization during their home confinement, within the precautionary measures taken to fight Covid19.

The ministry will post on its official website and social media platforms and Experience Egypt, the tomb of Queen Meresankh III who was the granddaughter of King Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza, and wife of either Khafre or Menkaure.

Her unique underground chapel (labeled G 7530-7540) preserves beautifully carved and painted scenes of the queen and her royal family, as well as servants, artisans, and funerary priests.

The scenes also depict the sort of rich burial goods that would have been placed in Meresankh's tomb: statues and fine furniture; boxes containing food, clothing, and jewelry; even a representation of the black granite sarcophagus that was actually found in situ in her burial chamber.

On April 3, Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in cooperation with the American Research Center in Egypt, launched the first virtual visit to the Menna tomb, which is one of the most beautiful tombs of the nobles in the western mainland in Luxor, which dates back to the Eighteenth Dynasty.

The Tomb of Menna (TT69) is one of the most visited and well preserved of the small 18th Dynasty elite tombs in the Theban necropolis, yet it was previously never systematically recorded or fully documented.

The multiple visits to the tomb over a long period of time and deteriorating environmental conditions had negatively effected the painted interior of the tomb.

Menna was a 'Scribe in the fields of the Lord of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt' during Dynasty XVIII, and his job was probably to document the records of land ownership. His wife's name was Henuttawi, a Chantress of Amun.

Dated on architectural and stylistic grounds, the reigning king is usually assumed to be Tuthmose IV or Amenhotep III, although there is no mention of the king's name in the tomb.

The Tomb of Menna Project, headed by Melinda Hartwig from Georgia State University started in 2006 with a feasibility study recording the existing conditions in the tomb chapel.

An action plan was set for documentation, conservation, protection, and publication of the chapel.

From 2007-2009, four major phases were undertaken. In the first phase, the tomb and its environs were surveyed to create the first exact plan of the chapel and its surroundings.

The second phase joined high-resolution digital images with an extensive net of measured points taken inside of the tomb to create an exact plan of the mural and ceiling decoration.

Archaeometry, including XRF, RAMAN spectrometry, and colorimetry, was done in the third phase to aid conservators and art historians in their analysis of the tomb.

These state-of-the-art portable techniques non-invasively documented the physical and chemical properties of the painting and its substrate.

Conservation comprised the fourth phase, and included stabilization, intervention, and the final presentation of the painted wall decoration.

The tomb was given a new wooden floor and rail system, LED lighting and a bilingual information panel in Arabic and English.

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Woman seeks man in ancient Egyptian 'erotic binding spell' | Live Science

Woman seeks man in ancient Egyptian 'erotic binding spell'

A closeup of the papyrus showing the Egyptian            jackal-headed god Anubis shooting Kephalas with an arrow.            Kephalas is depicted nude with an enlarged penis and scrotum.            The arrow Anubis shoots is supposed to make Kephalas lustful            for a woman named Taromeway.
A closeup of the papyrus showing the Egyptian jackal-headed god Anubis shooting Kephalas with an arrow. Kephalas is depicted nude with an enlarged penis and scrotum. The arrow Anubis shoots is supposed to make Kephalas lustful for a woman named Taromeway.
(Image: © Photo courtesy University of Michigan)

Scholars are translating an 1,800-year-old Egyptian papyrus describing what scholars call an "erotic binding spell," in which a woman named Taromeway tries to attract a man named Kephalas. 

On the papyrus, a drawing shows the Egyptian jackal-headed god Anubis shooting an arrow into Kephalas, who is depicted nude. The arrow Anubis shoots is intended to inflame Kephalas' lust for Taromeway, researchers say.

The spell is written in Demotic, an Egyptian script, and calls upon a ghost —the "noble spirit of the man of the necropolis" — to find Kephalas and "give to him anxiety at midday, evening, and at all time" until Kephalas seeks Taromeway in lustful desire with "his male organs pursuing her female organs." 

"His emphasized penis and scrotum surely are intentional as the 'male organs' she specifically wants to pursue her," said Robert Ritner, an Egyptology professor at the University of Chicago who is translating the spell. 

The spell makes astronomical allusions, at one point calling upon Kephalas to traverse Ursa Major, a constellation that never sets below the horizon, until he is "wandering after [Taromeway] while there is no other woman on Earth whom he desires, as he madly pursues her."

Other so-called erotic binding spells are known from ancient Egypt, although they were more commonly used by men seeking women, wrote Ritner and Foy Scalf, the head of research archives at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. Ritner and Foy described their ongoing translation of the spell in an article that was published recently in the journal Göttinger Miszellen.
Part of an 1,800 year-old papyrus written in Demotic, an Egyptian script, containing what scholars call an "erotic binding spell." Experts are currently creating a full translation of the papyrus.
(Image credit: Photo courtesy University of Michigan)

Who were they?

It's unknown why Taromeway wanted Kephalas so badly or whether she actually got him. "Taromeway must have been both motivated and with some disposable means," Ritner told Live Science, noting that Taromeway likely paid an expert, such as a priest, to write the spell. 

It's possible that Taromeway and Kephalas were from different ethnic groups. "While she is certainly Egyptian, Kephalas and his mother have Greek names," said Ritner. Ancient Egypt was under Roman control at the time the spell was written; during this time, Egyptians did adopt Greek names,  "but it may be the case that Taromeway's sexual fixation on Kephalas crossed ethnic bounds," Ritner said.

Once written, the papyrus was probably placed in a tomb, and the "ghost" invoked in the spell would have been the spirit of the person buried there, said Ritner. 

The papyrus, which has not been translated before, is now in the collection of the University of Michigan, which acquired it in November 1924. Records are unclear about which site the papyrus is from, though many of the other papyri that were acquired along with it are from the Fayum area of Egypt, according to previous research. 

Originally published on Live Science.

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Fwd: Decoding the Great Pyramid now online!

"Decoding the Great Pyramid" now available to watch for free online!
Last year AERA's Claire Malleson, Glen Dash, Richard Redding, and Mark Lehner joined Salima Ikram and Pierre Tallet to discuss the latest research into how the Great Pyramid was built and how building it transformed Egyptian society.

How did the ancient Egyptians engineer Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza so precisely, with none of today's surveying or tools? Who were the thousands of laborers who raised the stones and how were they housed, fed, and organized? And how did mobilizing this colossal labor force and the resources invested in this monument transform Egypt?

We are delighted that PBS has picked "Decoding the Great Pyramid" as one of its favorite episodes of NOVA and is now making it available to watch online. Note that availability may be limited for viewers outside the United States.
2020 Field Season Update: Return to the Menkaure Valley Temple
In late January we began work at the Menkaure Valley Temple, picking up where we left off last year. While we had to cut our season short so that our team members could safely return to their homes, we were able to complete most of our planned work. We're still processing the season's data and writing our reports, but we'll be sending out a dispatch of our findings soon!
Left, team members in the northeastern corner of the Menkaure Valley Temple. Right, in the Thieves' Hole in the southwestern corner of the temple, where the Menkaure dyad was found by George Reisner.
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