Sunday, May 24, 2020

Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein dies, aged 91 - The National

Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein dies, aged 91

He was decorated by the Egyptian government for his work restoring the sphinx at Giza

Adam Henein. Courtesy: Facebook of Adam Henein Foundation

The Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein has died in Cairo at the age of 91.

Henein was a prominent figure in the country's Modernist movement, sculpting bronze, wood, clay, and granite into clean, sinuous forms. The heft of his works recall the solidity of ancient Egyptian sculpture.

Henein was born in Cairo in 1929 to a family of metalworkers from Asyut, and began making art from a young age. He visited Egypt's Museum of Egyptian Antiquities at the age of eight, which he would later recall as a formative moment.

In the 1960s, he made a series of sculptures of animals, such as roosters, cats, dogs, goats, owls and donkeys, in reference to ancient statuary. Modern Egyptian culture was equally important: the early 20th-century sculptor Mahmoud Mokhtar was an influence, as was the artistry and image of Umm Kulthum.

In one of his most prominent roles, from 1989 to 1996, he led the design team on the restoration of the Great Sphinx at Giza.

Henein studied at the School of Fine Arts in Cairo, graduating in 1953, and then spent time at the Luxor Atelier in Upper Egypt, which aimed to integrate the study of ancient Egyptian art into school curriculums.

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Like many Arab artists of his generation, he also studied and worked in Europe. He won a scholarship in 1957 for the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and in 1971 he and his wife, anthropologist Afaf Al-Dib, moved to Paris.

There he encountered sculptor Constantin Brancusi, whose clean, sinuous lines can be compared to his work: he mixed the Modernist forms then circulating with his long-standing interest in Egyptian subject matter and motifs.

After he returned to Cairo in the 1990s, Henein also contributed to the infrastructure of the Egyptian art scene. In 1996, he founded the International Sculpture Symposium in Aswan, an ongoing annual event in the Egyptian cultural calendar that now houses an outdoor sculpture garden of works made by visiting artists, crafted from local granite.

In 1998, after leading the design team at Giza, he was recognised for his service by the Egyptian government. His work is included in major Arab art collections, including the Museum of Egyptian Modern Art and his private museum, situated in his former home and studio, a mud brick house in the village of Harraniyya, built in 1968 by architect Ramsis Wissa Wassef.

Henein's work has also been long represented in the UAE, with a show organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation at Emirates Palace in 2010, and a number of pieces in the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah.

Speaking to The National at the 16th Aswan International Sculpture Symposium in 2011, Henein detailed the dedication the ancient sculptors who inspired him displayed in creating their work. "The ancient Egyptians worked in gangs and it would take several generations to complete just one of the huge statues," he said. "Sometimes, after working on the stone for many years, it would break and have to be abandoned.

"But such was the dedication of the ancients that they would just pick up their simple tools and start on another piece."

Updated: May 24, 2020 05:16 PM

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In Pics: Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission uncovers unique cemetery in Bahnasa - Egypt Today

Part of the Bahnasa discoveries - ET Part of the Bahnasa discoveries - ET

In Pics: Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission uncovers unique cemetery in Bahnasa

Sun, May. 17, 2020

CAIRO - 17 May 2020: The Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission affiliated to the University of Barcelona working in Bahnasa region has uncovered a unique cemetery dating back to the Sawi era.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said the cemetery is unique, and that this style of cemeteries has not been discovered before in Bahnasa.

The cemetery consists of one room built of polished limestone. Its walls have a curvature from the top at the beginning of the roof, which makes it flat and not vaulted, as is customary in the rest of the previously discovered tombs in the area. Waziri further pointed out that no funerary furniture had been found in it.

For his part, head of the mission Esther Ponce added that the excavations showed eight Roman-era tombs with a domed and unmarked roof. Inside the tombs, many Roman tombstones, bronze coins, small crosses, and clay seals were found.

Part of the Bahnasa discoveries - ET













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Digging for truth: Anne Austin uncovers tattoos and more in Egypt | UMSL Daily

Digging for truth: Anne Austin uncovers tattoos and more in Egypt

Anne Austin

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Anne Austin discovery of tattoos on a mummy at the site Deir el-Medina and unlocked new understandings about the role of body art on women in ancient Egypt. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Anne Austin was holding an iPad rigged with an infrared camera over a mummified torso. It was a long shot she didn't expect to work. But the camera revealed what she was looking for, something the naked eye could not see: a swath of ancient tattoos.

"This unexpected discovery, you could feel it in your heart," she recalls. "It leaps to see something that you know no one has seen for thousands of years, to find something that is otherwise invisible and then becomes visible."

Austin, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, had found some of the earliest physical evidence of tattooing in ancient Egyptian society. Since then, her research has gone on to challenge previous understandings of the subject and garner interest from news outlets around the world.

That scene unfolded at Deir el-Medina in 2014, an Egyptian archaeological site Austin has been visiting since 2012 with the French Institute for Oriental Archeology.

"I normally focus on bones, studying human skeletal remains and using that to reconstruct things like health, disease and demography," she says.

Anne Austin uses an iPad with an infrared camera to reveal previously unseen tattoos on a mummy discovered in Deir el-Medina. (Photo courtesy of Anne Austin)

Deir el-Medina especially interested Austin because the remains at the site had never been studied before. It was home to artisans who crafted royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings and was originally excavated in the 1920s to 1950s. However, studying human remains was not prioritized, leaving much of daily life at Deir el-Medina unexamined.

It turns out researchers could learn a lot. Austin was examining remains in 2014 when she made her initial discovery. An unmistakably bold tattoo on the throat of that first mummy caught her eye.

"I pulled back to look at the rest of her body," Austin says. "Things that at first glance you would dismiss as maybe just irregular patterning from mummification – because there are all these resins they used that leave lines on the body – I looked more closely and realized they were tattoos."

In total, she identified about 30 distinct tattoos on the mummy, many of which are known hieroglyphs and symbols. Unfortunately, her research expedition was nearly finished.

"I didn't really fully study that mummy until 2015 and 2016," Austin says. "Then I thought, 'Well, I should reevaluate whether tattoos are present elsewhere.'"

Return trips in 2016 and 2019 confirmed her hunch when more infrared scans revealed tattoos on the remains of six more female bodies.

Austin presented her updated findings at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in September 2019. An international media blitz ensued, and outlets such as Smithsonian Magazine and The Sun ran stories.

While Austin is happy for the attention, she's more excited about the story the tattoos are starting to tell. Prevailing notions about tattooing in ancient Egypt were shaped by early scholarship written primarily by men. Tattooed female bodies were often eroticized as a result. Antiquity wasn't much different. For a site with a rich textual record, it's striking that there are no references to tattooing at Deir el-Medina.

"In ancient Egypt, the majority of people who are literate were men," Austin says. "That means that we're missing a lot of women, a lot of children."

Tattoos say what the texts don't. The first body Austin examined contained many depictions of animals, such as baboons, and floral imagery. More importantly, there were several symbols in very visible locations related to the goddess Hathor, a sky deity. To Austin, that public connection to the goddess indicates the mummy might have had an important religious role. It's possible she was a priestess or healer.

"We have tattoos on her body that make this phrase 'to do good' in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs," Austin says. "They're placed on her neck as well as her arms. I don't think that's a coincidence. I think it's quite intentional. The ones on her neck cover her voice box, and so when she spoke or sang, those vibrations would have touched the tattoo and would have gotten the benefit of this ability to do good."

This is related to an ancient Egyptian concept called "contagious magic." According to this belief, her voice would have been imbued with special gifts by coming into contact with the hieroglyphs.

In her more recent research, Austin found a tattoo associated with Bes, a god linked to the household, on one of the other mummies. Tattoos of the deity had previously been depicted in artwork, but this was the first physical evidence. Austin says there are other familiar symbols, too, but she's not quite sure what they mean yet.

"Of all the recent tattoos that we found and of all the ones from the mummy that we first identified, we have no exact match across two individuals with the same symbol in the same location," Austin says.

The lack of a pattern points to the practice potentially being more individualistic than researchers previously assumed. Austin is gradually starting to fill in the gaps to paint a more complete picture of life in ancient Egypt.

"Scholars dismissed tattoos as something that's just about eroticizing female bodies," Austin says. "That's one way of explaining why they only show up on women's bodies. But the evidence that we're getting suggests that it's probably more complicated than that."

This story was originally published in the spring 2020 issue of UMSL Magazine. If you have a story idea for UMSL Magazine, email

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Ubisoft is giving out Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece and Egypt for free

Ubisoft is giving out Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece and Egypt for free


Meanwhile, Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece lets players dive into the world of Classical Greece with 29 massive regions and plenty of hidden secrets to discover.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk the streets of ancient Egypt or Greece? Well, Ubisoft is offering players and students the chance to step out of their homes and engage in highly educational tours of ancient Greece and Egypt on the PC.The Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour: Ancient Egypt and Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece are special game modes that allow players to explore the sprawling ancient worlds and partake in virtual tours of the regions without fear of violence unlike the main campaign of Assassin's Creed Origins and Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Discovery Tour: Ancient Egypt sets players loose in Egypt with a chance to join 75 guided tours in the world of Ptolemaic Egypt and learn how life and culture were like in the era.

Meanwhile, Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece lets players dive into the world of Classical Greece with 29 massive regions and plenty of hidden secrets to discover.

Normally offered as a standalone purchase of US$20 each, the Discovery Tours are currently free to download from Ubisoft's website until May 21.

This is Ubisoft's latest offering in its month-long series of free games to help encourage people to stay at home and practice social distancing in light of current global COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: 5 things we learned from the Assassin's Creed Valhalla trailer

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Fayoum Oasis: Egypt's best kept secret | CNN Travel

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Ancient Egyptian coffins and mystery of ‘black goo’ – The British Museum Blog

Ancient Egyptian coffins and mystery of 'black goo'

Djedkhonsiu-ef-ankh lived and died almost 3,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. We don't know a lot about Djedkhonsiu-ef-ankh's life, but we do know he was a priest in the temple of Amun at Karnak. Here he had two main roles – one was 'Opener of the Doors of Heaven', which meant he was one of the priests who was entitled to open the doors of the shrine in the temple sanctuary, containing the cult image of the god.

After Djedkhonsiu-ef-ankh died, he was mummified, wrapped in fine linen and sewn into his plaster and linen mummy case. This case was beautifully painted in bright colours and gilded with gold leaf over the face. At the time of his funeral, he was lowered into his coffin, and carried to his tomb. Then several litres of warm black 'goo' were poured all over the mummy case, covering it completely, effectively cementing the case into the coffin. The lid was then placed on the coffin, and he was left to journey forth to the underworld.

Djedkhonsiu-ef-ankh was not unique. Though not used by everyone – there are a number of instances of this 'black goo' being used in Egyptian burials. But what is it? And if we find out what it was made from, can we learn more about why the Egyptians used it?

Mummy case and coffin of Djedkhonsiufankh. Egyptian, 22nd Dynasty (945–720 BC). Find out more.

There are many texts that deal with spiritual preparations for death in ancient Egypt, but very few texts that deal with practical aspects. Knowledge about the practices around mummification and burial appear to have been restricted. So one of the best ways to learn more about this black goo is to chemically analyse it to find out what it is. We can do this in our science labs hidden underground the museum.

What is 'black goo'?

British Museum experts have analysed more than 100 samples of black goo from twelve coffins and mummy cases, all dating to the 22nd Dynasty in the Third Intermediate Period (c. 900–750 BC). To do this, we take tiny samples and conduct a form of chemical analysis called 'Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)'. This involves vaporising each sample and pushing it through a long tube, which separates the molecules in the sample. At the end of the tube, the molecules go into a mass spectrometer which separates them according to their mass to charge ratio. From this we can tell which molecules are present and in what quantities.

Analysis of black goo samples in laboratories at the British Museum.

We discovered that the goo is made of a combination of plant oil, animal fat, tree resin, beeswax and bitumen – which is solid crude oil. The exact ingredients vary from one coffin to the next, but the goo was always made from some of these ingredients. It is possible there were other ingredients as well, that we can no longer detect, because they were volatile and evaporated, or have degraded to undetectable levels over the 3,000 years since the goo was applied.

Where did the ingredients come from and how were they sourced?

Some of the products we have identified only naturally occur outside of Egypt, indicating that these were imported. The two tree resins we often find in black goo are pistacia tree resin and conifer tree resin. Tree resin is a liquid that trees produce in response to injury, which hardens to a brittle solid.

Mummy of Djedkhonsiufankh. Egyptian, 22nd Dynasty (945–720 BC). Find out more.

Pistacia trees grow around the Mediterranean, from Greece to Western Asia. Amphorae (pots) that contained resin from pistacia trees have been found at Amarna, the Egyptian royal city from 1347 to 1332 BC, and in the Uluburun shipwreck (off the coast of west Turkey) from approximately the same date. Analysis of the ceramics shows that these pots were most likely made in the region around Haifa in modern Israel, which is probably also where the resin was collected. Pistacia resin was also used as incense in ancient Egypt, and as a golden varnish on painted coffins, so we know it was being imported in reasonable quantities.

Conifer resin may come from a variety of trees, including pine, cedar, fir and juniper, but it's difficult to distinguish between these resins after so many years. The furthest south that these types of tree grow is Lebanon, which indicates that this resin was also imported into Egypt from somewhere further north. Conifer resin has also been found in jars relating to other ritual or funerary uses, again suggesting it was a common import.
Bitumen is an umbrella term for crude oil products. There are many sources known to have been used in ancient times, some liquid and some solid. Bitumen is made from living things (like plants, animals and single-celled organisms) that have died and been compressed over millions of years. Because these living things vary due to the local environment, bitumen also varies from place to place.

Mummy case with gilded face (cleaned in the 1970s) containing the mummified body of a young girl called Tjayasetimu. The mummy case has been covered in black goo. Egyptian, c. 900 BC. Find out more.

Examining the remains of these livings things, which we call 'biomarkers', is the key to finding out the source of the bitumen. By comparing the biomarkers in the goo sample to those from known sources, we can see that the bitumen came from the Dead Sea. This makes sense as ancient Greek texts refer to solid blocks of bitumen floating to the surface of the Dead Sea and people rowing out to these to hack pieces off and sell them in Egypt.

What was it used for and why?

We can't say for certain but, significantly, previous analyses of mummification balm (used on the bodies themselves) have shown it to be made of the same ingredients as the black goo that we have been studying on the outside of coffins and mummy cases. This means the black goo was being used at different points in the burial process – during the preparation of the dead body, and then again during the funeral, on top of the mummy case or coffin.

An example of another coffin with 'black goo'. Coffin of Padihorpakhered, Milk-bearer of Amun. Egyptian, 22nd Dysnasty (945–720 BC). Find out more.

When someone died, they were said to become a form of the god Osiris, who is associated with death and rebirth. Osiris was called 'the black one' in various funerary texts and is often depicted with black skin and in the guise of a mummified body. Black is also the colour associated with the alluvial silt deposited on the banks of the River Nile after the annual flood receded. Since this fresh and fertile soil provided the ideal environment in which seeds for crops could germinate and grow, it was viewed it as being inherently magical and regenerative. Clay and wooden seed beds in the shape of Osiris, filled with black soil from the Nile and sown with germinating seeds, were sometimes included with the funerary equipment in New Kingdom burials. So, we have interlinking concepts of black, Osiris, and regeneration. It could therefore be reasoned that the practice of coating coffins in black goo links the coffins to regeneration associated with Osiris.

Seated wooden figure with the head in the form of a turtle, from the tomb of Ramesses I or Seti I. The black goo was analysed 20 years ago and found to be made from pistacia tree resin. Egyptian, 19th Dynasty (1292 BC–1189 BC) Find out more about this object.

In addition to mummy cases, black goo was also painted on funerary statues of deities. There are several examples of this in the British Museum from the tombs of New Kingdom kings from about 1300 BC, including the seated figure pictured below. Many statues from the tomb of Tutankhamun were also covered in black goo, although these examples have not been analysed. Some shabti boxes (boxes used for holding figurines to be left in the tomb of the deceased) were also coated in black goo. So, it appears that the goo was a ritually important anointing fluid used for a range of purposes, all relating to the burial of the deceased and their transformation into Osiris.

Wooden figure of a baboon that has been covered in black goo. Egyptian, 18th Dynasty (1549/1550–1292 BC). Find out more.

But not everyone got the goo treatment. Evidence suggests that it was likely to have been reserved for social elites. Some of the earliest examples are from royal burials. Tutankhamun's innermost gold coffin was cemented into the middle coffin with 'bucketfulls' of black goo (since cleaned off). The black goo was also available to non-royals but the family had to be able to afford the treatment. Even among social elites, not everyone had black goo, and it seems to have been a matter of personal choice. Examples of the use of black goo are more common in the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1069 BC–c. 664 BC), which may be related to changes in funerary practices, or because more coffins are preserved from this time.

Kite photograph facing west across the ancient town at Amara West towards Ernetta Island.
Courtesy of the British Museum Amara West Research Project.

Recent excavations at the ancient town of Amara West, conducted by the British Museum in collaboration with the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) in Sudan, have uncovered a crumbly black substance in a tomb dating to the end of the New Kingdom c. 1100 BC. Analysis of this black substance found that it contained oil, wax, pistacia resin, and bitumen, which means that this is an example of black goo. Amara West is in Nubia, an area to the south of Egypt that the Egyptians sought to control because of its gold deposits. This is the first example of black goo being found in Nubia and shows Egyptian funerary rites being used far away from the centre of power in Egypt.

The black goo discovered at the site at Amara West.

There is more to be discovered! Most of the research so far has been into later examples of black goo, we hope that looking at examples from earlier times will tell us how the ingredients changed over time. We also hope to make some of the black goo ourselves to enable us to think more about how it was stored, transported and poured, what it smelt like, and how hot it had to be. This will help us to reimagine what a funeral might have been like in ancient Egyptian times.

The Department of Scientific Research and Dr Kate Fulcher's work are supported by the Wellcome Trust.

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Egypt celebrates International Museum Day with exclusive tour at Gayer-Anderson Museum - Egypt Today

Thursday May 21, 2020
File- Gayer-Anderson Museum. File- Gayer-Anderson Museum.

Egypt celebrates International Museum Day with exclusive tour at Gayer-Anderson Museum

Mon, May. 18, 2020

CAIRO – 18 May 2020: Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will organise an exclusive tour at the historic Gayer-Anderson Museum (Beit Al-Kriteleyh) in celebration of the International Museum Day held annually on May 18.

The theme for International Museum Day 2020 is "Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion".

According to the International Council of Museums' official website, the aim of this year's theme is to celebrate the diversity of viewpoints and overcome bias.

Egypt presents to the world 26 museums that are available to visit, out of a total of 34 museums nationwide.

Museums are an important component of Egypt's soft power, as they are considered educational, cultural and entertainment institutions.

Gayer Anderson is one of the hidden treasures in the historical part of Cairo, and is located near Ahmed ibn Tulun Mosque.

gayer 1

The story of the museum started with two historical houses that were connected together with a bridge; the first building was constructed in 1632 and belonged to Hajj Mohamed Salem Galmam al-Gazzar. The date the house was built was recorded on a wood frieze.

Later on, the building was bought by a lady from Crete that is why it was later known as Beit Al-Kriteleyh.

The second house was built by Mohamed Abdel-Qader al-Haddad in 1540. It is currently known as Beit Amna bint Salim because she was the last resident of the house.

In 1930 – 1935, the two houses were about to be demolished as part of a project to upgrade Ahmed ibn Tulun area, but the Committee for the Conservation of Arab Monuments objected to this project, and then the process of repairing both houses began.

In 1953, a British doctor, Gayer Anderson, asked to live in the house and provide it with a unique and rare collection of monuments.

He also provided the house with electricity, and plumbing. He managed to restore the beauty of the house, as he added a number of English and Chinese antiquities, Indian chairs, English tables, Iranian handcrafts and Italian lamps.

A pharaoh's casket and a statue of Nefertiti were also displayed in the museum.The museum consists of a number of apartments, including Mohamed Ali Room, the Roof Garden, the Persian Room, and the reading and writing rooms.

What is interesting about the museum is that the houses were built on the Gabel Yeshkur which is known for magical legends.

It is thought that Gabel Yeshkur is the place where Noah's Ark rested after the flood.

One of the common stories heard about it is that if one gazes at the water he/she sees the face of his/her love.

Gayer Andreson museum is characterized by the amazing Islamic design in addition to its special location in the heart of ancient Islamic Cairo.

International Museum Day is coordinated every year by the International Council of Museums.

The annual event highlights a specific theme which changes every year to reflect the basis of the international museum community's preoccupations.

gayer 3
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Grand Egyptian Museum receives 346 artefacts including 10 statues of King Senusret I - Egypt Today

File -Ten statues of King Senusret I. File -Ten statues of King Senusret I.

Grand Egyptian Museum receives 346 artefacts including 10 statues of King Senusret I

Tue, May. 19, 2020

CAIRO – 19 May 2020: The Grand Egyptian Museum received a collection of 346 artefacts from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, the most important of which are the ten statues of King Senusret I.


General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum and its surrounding area Atef Moftah confirmed that the statues of King Senusert I were put in the grand foyer, in preparation for placing them at their permanent place in the museum.

senusert 2

Director General of Antiquities Affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum Tayeb Abbas explained that the statues of King Senusert I had been unearthed in 1894 at a crater in the funerary temple of King Senusert I.

senusert 3

The statues are made of limestone and were transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir in 1895. The statues depict young King Senusert I sitting on the throne.

Abbas added that one of the most important pieces that GEM received today is the seven oils rectangular plate that was used in burial rituals.
The plate has inscriptions in black and seven oval-shaped holes, in addition to an offerings table made of limestone; on this table, there are three cartridges of kings of Sneferu, Djedefre and Khufu.

Director of the Department of Restoring and Transferring Antiquities at the Grand Egyptian Museum Eissa Zidan said that the transportation team was keen on documenting, packaging and securing the pieces using internationally recognized scientific methods.

He indicated that the transferred artefacts were scientifically documented and the team prepared a case report for each statue in addition to packaging each statue separately inside an L-shaped box lined with reinforced foam, supporting it with straps to prevent any damage that may occur during the transfer process.

Zidan added that a statue of Akhethotep that has a layer of coloured plaster was also moved in addition to another statue of wood for a lady from the old kingdom.

The wooden sculptures were placed in the wood factory in preparation for the restoration and maintenance work before display when the museum opens.

On October 19 ministry of antiquities announced the discovery of the largest cache in the cemetery of El-Assasif by the Egyptian archaeological mission.

A total of 30 coffins spanning back to the 22nd Pharaonic Dynasty were discovered and placed in a warehouse to protect them from thievery.

The 30 archaeological coffins have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The cache was buried one meter from the surface of the ground. The first row consisted of 18 coffins and the second consisted of 12 coffins for men, women, and 3 children.

For the first time GEM will display Tutankhmaum treasures in one place. The total number of antiquities belonging to King Tutankhamen is 5398. Among king Tut's artefacts that was transferred is his coffin.

The transferred coffin is one of the three coffins of Tutankhmaum, portraying the golden king as God Osiris. The coffin was discovered in King Tut's burial chamber in 1922. The outer ark is made of gilded wood.

The hands are clipped with gold foil, crossed across the chest, while holding royal decals inlaid with blue and red glass beads. It is 223.5 cm in length, 86.8 cm in diameter, while its height is 105.5 cm. The ark contains silver handles on both sides that were used to move the lid.

Minister of Antiquities announced that 50000 artifacts will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Grand Egyptian Museum will be the largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization only; the dazzling ancient Egyptian civilization.

GEM will include a children's museum, an educational center, a handicraft center, educational classes and a museum dedicated to sun boats, in addition to the first field for a hanging obelisk.

The Grand Egyptian Museum will turn Egypt to a main worldwide hub for Pharonic artifacts and a must-visit place for both tourists and Egyptologists.

This great museum is tailor made to benefit from the diversity of Egypt's monuments and artifacts to be displayed in one place and one location to maintain and preserve this one of a kind heritage.

GEM site is only 2km from the Giza Pyramids, located between the ancient Great Pyramids and the modern city of Cairo, at the junction between dry desert and the fertile floodplain, the Grand Museum is a portal to the past.

The Giza Pyramids and its Necropolis nominated by UNESCO among the world Cultural Heritage Sites as it houses unique monuments from the dazzling Egyptian civilization.

The Grand Egyptian Museum complex is built on a plot of land of approximately 117 feddans, about 480,000 square meters.

GEM opening will be attended by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as well as kings, princes, presidents, heads of international organizations, and senior officials from all around the world.

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ARCE: Online Lecture with Elizabeth Bolman: Conserving Coptic Heritage

Register today!

Conserving Coptic Heritage: an Historic Egyptian-American Partnership
An Online Lecture with Elizabeth S. Bolman
On June 3, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. EEST, ARCE will host an online lecture with Elizabeth S. Bolman, past director of the Red Monastery conservation project, titled 'Conserving Coptic Heritage: an Historic Egyptian-American Partnership.' This event is free and open to the public. To register, click here.

About the Lecture
An historic partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Coptic Orthodox Church has brought to life three spectacular Coptic churches and the earliest painted Christian tomb in Egypt. At the start, these monuments were only known within Egypt and to a small group of Coptologists (specialists in the history of the Copts). Now, all four are shining examples of the Christian tradition of creating wall paintings featuring holy figures, for devotional purposes.
The earliest, the Tomb of St. Shenoute at the White Monastery, dates to the middle of the fifth century C.E. Monks at the Red Monastery built a magnificent painted church in the late fifth century, and repainted it two more times in quick succession. Over thirty patrons paid to have a major program of wall paintings created in the Old Church at the Monastery of St. Antony, in the early thirteenth century. The tradition of painting large-scale religious images on the walls of churches in Egypt died out in or shortly after the fourteenth century. Monks in the Monastery of St. Paul revived it in the early eighteenth century, using for some of their inspiration the thirteenth-century paintings in the nearby Monastery of St. Antony. Major wall painting conservation and publication projects at these four sites revealed treasures that had not been seen for centuries. Previously ignored by scholars of the larger medieval world, these monuments and their painted interiors are now seen as making major contributions to the corpus of medieval art. The Egyptian/USAID/ARCE partnership has caused a fundamental rethinking of the role of Egypt in the creation of eastern Mediterranean visual culture, and has added four jewels to world heritage. 

About the Speaker
Elizabeth S. Bolman engages with the visual culture of the eastern Mediterranean in the late antique and Byzantine periods. She is best known for her work in Egypt, in which she has demonstrated the vitality of Christian Egyptian art and presented new understandings of the nature of artistic production in the early Byzantine and Medieval periods. She edited and was the principal contributor to the award-winning Monastic Visions: Wall Paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea (Yale University Press and the American Research Center in Egypt, 2002) and to The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt (Yale University Press and the American Research Center in Egypt, 2016). This most recent book is the product of a multidisciplinary project that she founded and directed, which included the cleaning and conservation of spectacular and unparalleled early Byzantine paintings at the Red Monastery church. The conserved church has received a considerable amount of international attention; among other subjects, it includes a monumental secco painting of the Nursing Mother of God. Currently, she is completing a gender studies analysis of depictions of the Byzantine Galaktotrophousa (nursing Virgin Mary), and is preparing the  Rostovtzeff Lectures which she gave at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, for publication.

She was appointed Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts and Chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University in August 2017, charged with building the Keithley Institute for Art History in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art, and leading the Joint Program between CWRU and the Cleveland Museum of Art. At Temple University Bolman received the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Great Teacher Award, and the College Art Association has recognized her expertise with its  Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Preservation She is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright program, National Endowment for the Humanities, Dumbarton Oaks, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the United States Agency for International Development, among others.