Saturday, September 21, 2019

Colossal statues, obelisk arrive at GEM from Egyptian Museum - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online,-obelisk-arrive-at-GEM-from-Egypt.aspx

Colossal statues, obelisk arrive at GEM from Egyptian Museum

A collection of four gigantic objects have arrived at the Grand Egyptian Museum for eventual display on the museum's grand staircase

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 20 Sep 2019
They include two rosy granite colossi of Senosert I, a 20-tonne red granite triad statue featuring Ramses II between deities Ptah and Sekhmet, and the top of a Hatshepsut obelisk, weighing 14 tonnes.

Altayeb Abbas, the GEM's director for archaeological affairs, said that the artefacts had been displayed in the garden of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.

The items were packed in special foam layers to absorb the vibrations from transport from the museum in central Cairo, said Eissa Zidan, executive director of restoration and transportation at the GEM.




The journey took four hours as the maximum speed of the vehicles was 7km per hour.

The huge GEM complex, which overlooks the Giza plateau, is scheduled to open in 2020.

It will contain over 100,000 artefacts, reflecting Egypt's past from prehistory through the Greek and Roman periods.





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German archaeologist donates replica of ancient ship to Turkey - Turkey News
  • September 20 2019 12:05:24

German archaeologist donates replica of ancient ship to Turkey

German archaeologist donates replica of ancient ship to          Turkey

The German archaeologist Dominique Goerlitz has donated a self-made reed ship to Turkey for it to be permanently displayed in the ancient city of Patara in the southern province of Antalya's Kaş district.

The unique design of the ship named "Abora-IV" is inspired by old Egyptian paintings and constructed using only totora reed and wood.

The ancient city of Patara was a hub for Egyptian traders in ancient times and is believed to have anchored such reed boats.

The project aims to show how Egyptian sailors in those times reached the Black Sea ports on small hand-made vessels.

The 14-meter-long ship was built in Varna, Bulgaria with reeds brought from Bolivia.

It set sail from the Port of Varna on Aug. 1 and reached Turkey's northwestern coast of Çanakkale passing through the Bosphorus. This was its first voyage to Turkey.

Goerlitz, also the captain of the ship, visited the Çanakkale 18 Mart University for a symposium.

He offered the ship to Turkish authorities as a gift following the completion of its Mediterranean tour.

Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry accepted the generous offer.

The Abora-IV was welcomed with a ceremony at the Port of Kaş in Antalya on Sept. 19 evening.

The exhibition is an initiative of Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister and Director for EU Affairs Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı.

Germany, archeology,

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Was Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II Really That Great? - HistoryExtra

Was Ramesses II really that great?

Emma Slattery Williams considers whether the fêted pharaoh – master builder, war hero and peace broker – was actually a brilliant propagandist who knew how to curate his image

Ramesses II holding prisoners

Ramesses II is often counted among Ancient Egypt's greatest pharaohs. He certainly saw himself that way: he spent most of his reign covering his kingdom in monuments dedicated to himself. The third ruler of the 19th Dynasty had an unusually long kingship, fathered hundreds of children and – if you believe his own press – was a mighty warrior who could hold his ground against an entire army. "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings," wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley in his 1818 poem Ozymandias, adopting the name the Ancient Greeks used for Ramesses II. "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Though Shelley's poem is written as a cautionary tale – his Ozymandias's mighty empire is long gone, and where it once was, "the lone and level sands stretch far away" – the memory of the real Ozymandias lives on. Ramesses II, son of Pharaoh Seti I and grandson of 19th Dynasty founder Ramesses I, was the mastermind of such an extensive programme of building across Egypt that his presence is difficult to escape even now – from Abu Simbel to Karnak, you can still see colossal statues bearing his likeness.

But does that mean he deserves the epithet of 'the Great' that was later bestowed on him? Ramesses II was born in c1303 BC to Seti's consort Tuya. His first taste of battle came as a boy, during one of his father's campaigns, though how old he was is unclear. What is known is that he had been named Captain of the Army by the age of ten and, at 14, was appointed as prince regent and bestowed with a household.

Ramesses ascended the throne when Seti I died in 1279 BC, and almost immediately moved the royal court from Thebes to a new site on the eastern Nile Delta. The magnificent city that blossomed here – with the modest name of Pi-Ramesses – would become home to more than 300,000 people. He would go on to rule for 67 years, the longest documented reign for any pharaoh, at a time when Ancient Egypt was at the peak of its power. His lands stretched from the Mediterranean to Nubia in modern-day Sudan.

The virile builder

The early years of his reign saw a focus on foreign policy, during which Ramesses led campaigns to reclaim lost lands and built a series of forts along the Nile Delta. But his longest-lasting legacy is in the form of the buildings and monuments he left behind.

In Ancient Egypt, the pharaohs were seen as alink between the gods and the common people, and were considered to be divine themselves. Ramesses was no exception. To ensure that he was always in the thoughts of his subjects, he commissioned more statues of himself than any other pharaoh. Typically, they featured a cobra on his crown, a sacred animal believed to protect against one's enemies.

Experts gathered around the mummy of the                            ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II
Though he claimed divinity, Ramesses' mummy revealed that he had poor circulation and arthritis. (Photo by Tony Comiti/Sygma via Getty Images)

He also made a point of 'renovating' statues and temples erected by pharaohs who had come before, with his cartouche – a hieroglyphic stamp bearing Ramesses' name – found on buildings and statues that Ramesses definitely didn't build. But it's unclear if, by recycling colossal statues, he was trying to fill the land with his image in a cost-effective way, or if he intended to honour Ancient Egypt's earlier rulers. Certainly, his influence is helped by the fact that his sculptors adopted the practice of carving 'sunken' reliefs that emerged in the 18th Dynasty; the alternative was the raised relief, which was much easier to erase, either by accident or intention.

The pinnacle of these projects was Abu Simbel – representing both a masterwork of building as well as political propaganda. Built to mark the 30th anniversary of his reign, this pair of temples on the Nile's second cataract were cut directly into the sandstone cliffs.

It's estimated Ramesses had eight official wives and a number of concubines

The first, the Great Temple, was Ramesses' own: a 30-foot high edifice, the door to which is flanked by four seated, 20-metre-high colossi representing the pharaoh, though it is ostensibly  dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty and Ptah. The neighbouring Small Temple (a still-substantial 12 metres high) is dedicated to Hathor in honour of Ramesses' favourite and first wife, Chief Queen Nefertari.

As was common amongst pharaohs,Ramesses was married to several women at the same time; it's estimated he had eight official wives and a number of concubines. But it was Nefertari who is thought to have been his favourite. They married while his father ruled and had ten children together. Indeed, Ramesses' many children can be seen as more evidence of his great legacy – he is said to have sired more than 100 offspring throughout the course of his life.

Nefertari is assumed to have died by the time of Ramesses' jubilee celebrations in the 30th year of his reign, and the completion of her temple at Abu Simbel. Her tomb in the Valley of the Queens is considered one of the most beautiful ever discovered. Images of Nefertari found across Egypt suggest she was famed for her beauty, and poetry written for her by Ramesses can be found within her tomb.

The great pharaoh's greatest monuments

Abu Simbel

The two temples at Abu Simbel were carved into sandstone cliffs as a tribute to Ramesses II and his wife Nefertari. Four statues of the Pharaoh flank the entrance to the larger of the two, the Great Temple, so there can be no doubt asto who it belonged to. Twice a year, at sunrise, the inside of the Great Temple is illuminated, revealing the figures of Ptah of Memphis, Amen-Re of Thebes, Ra-Horakhty of Heliopolis and a deified Ramesses of Pi- Ramesses. In the 1960s, the temples were relocated 60 metres to protect them from the rising Nile.


The funerary temple of Ramesses II in Thebes was dedicated to the king of the gods. The walls are covered in reliefs documenting the Battle of Kadesh, as well the Pharaoh's other achievements. A colossal granite head of Ramesses that once stood at the doorway of the temple, known as the Younger Memnon, is now in the British Museum.

The Ptah Colossus

Near the ancient city of Memphis, temples were constructed for the creator god Ptah. Next to one of these temples, Ramesses had a colossal red granite statue of himself built. The 11-metre statue was found in 1820, broken into pieces. It has since been reconstructed and moved to Giza, in anticipation of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum due to open in 2020.

The tomb of Nefertari

Situated in the Valley of the Queens, Luxor, the tomb of Ramesses II's first wife is one of the most exquisite tombs in all of Egypt. Nefertari was buried in a red granite tomb and surrounded by colourful scenes of her amongst the gods, emphasising her beauty. Looting over the years means that only fragments of her tomb remain, and of her mummy only her knees have been recovered.


Seti I built a palace on the site of Pi-Ramesses – now thought to be the modern-day village of Qantir. When Ramesses II ascended the throne, he moved Egypt's capital there, creating a magnificent city full of lakes and lush trees. It was later superseded by the city of Tanis when its branch of the Nile silted up.

The mighty warrior

Artwork on the interior of the Grand Temple commemorates the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC, which Ramesses seems to have considered his greatest triumph – he had it recorded in reliefs across many other temples, too, as well as in poetry.

The city of Kadesh once belonged to Egypt, but had fallen to the Anatolian Hittite Empire during Seti I's reign. It was perched in a precarious position, on the frontier of these rival empires. After leaving a detachment of soldiers at nearby Amurru, Ramesses set his sights on recapturing Kadesh. His army numbered 20,000, divided into four divisions of infantry and chariotry. On the way, he managed to apprehend some Hittite deserters, who brought him the welcome news that the terrified Hittites were still more than 100 miles away. "is fuelled Ramesses' self-belief in victory – he saw himself as the living incarnation of Montu, the Egyptian god of war.

With an unshakeable confidence in his might, he marched towards Kadesh only to come across more Hittite soldiers, who were this time more honest in their confessions. Ramesses had fallen for the oldest trick in the book: the Hittites, under the leadership of King Muwatalli II, had already reached Kadesh and were waiting just over the hill. Ramesses' armies weren't prepared, with two divisions still on the wrong side of the Orontes River. The royal family, which had come with the army to witness Ramesses' triumph, were swiftly taken to safety as many of his men fled in terror.

His near defeat was spun into a masterful retelling of victory, applauding the fearless king

How the rest of the battle played out is unclear as Ramesses created a fantastic tale of his godlike prowess as a warrior and swift victory – if we are to believe the Pharaoh, he defeated them single-handedly after praying to Amen-Re to make him stronger than any other man: "I found that my heart grew stout and my breast swelled with joy. Everything which I attempted I succeeded … I found the enemy chariots scattering before my horses. Not one of them could fight me. Their hearts quaked with fear when they saw me and their arms went limp so they could not shoot."

What is likely is that the Egyptians had the superior technology that was better suited to the environment, in the form of lighter, more mobile chariots. What's more, the forces that had been left in Amurru unexpectedly arrived, forcing the Hittites to retreat. With the armies on opposing sides of the river, a truce was negotiated – though both sides claim it was the other who pleaded for peace. Though victory was a close-run thing, you wouldn't have thought it on Ramesses' return. His near defeat was spun into a masterful retelling of victory; accounts subsequently inscribed on temples across his kingdom all applaud the fearless warrior king.

"His Majesty was confident, an unstoppable fighting force," reads one. "Everything near him was ablaze with fire – all the foreign lands were blasted by his scorching breath. He slaughtered all the troops of the doomed Hittite, his nobleman and his brothers, along with the chiefs of all the countries which had supported him. His infantry and chariotry fell on their faces, one on top of the other. His majesty struck them down and killed them where they stood."

The first peace

Ramesses returned victorious, but he still hadn't retaken Kadesh – the city remained in Hittite hands, and their accounts recall a humiliated Ramesses being forced to retreat. Several local rulers were inspired by the battle to try and take on the Pharaoh, forcing him to reassert his power in Syria, Amurru and Canaan, and over the next few years he regained several cities and regions that had previously been lost.

The unexpected death of the Hittite King Muwatalli in c1272 BC prompted a succession crisis that wasn't fully resolved until c1267 BC, when Muwatalli's brother, Hattusilis, staged a coup against his nephew, Urhi-Teshub. Urhi- Teshub sought refuge in Egypt, leading to a diplomatic crisis when Ramesses denied all knowledge of his whereabouts to Hattusilis.

War was nearly resumed, forestalled only when the two rulers realised that the Assyrians were becoming a greater threat than either were to each other. Sixteen years after the Battle of Kadesh, they negotiated a treaty to respect each other's territory and defend each other against attack. This treaty is believed to be the earliest surviving peace treaty in the world and the only ancient Near East treaty where both sides of the agreement still exist.

As Ramesses' reign went on, his building campaigns seemed to decline – economic uncertainty in Egypt is hinted at as a possible reason. In Ramesses' later years, his eldest surviving son, Merenptah, began taking on royal duties and was pharaoh in all but name during the last decade of his father's life. Ramesses II is believed to have died in the August of his 67th year of rule, at the age of 91.

Emma Slattery Williams is Staff Writer on BBC History Revealed.

This article first appeared in the August 2019 issue of BBC History Revealed

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News - In Memoriam: Lanny Bell - Archaeological Institute of America

September 18, 2019

In Memoriam: Lanny Bell

It is with deep sadness the AIA shares news of the passing of Dr. Lanny Bell. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, colleagues, former students, and friends in the world of Egyptology.

Lanny Bell (1941-2019)

Lanny Bell, one of the greats of Egyptology over the last 50 years passed away August 26th in Old Saybrook, Connecticut at the age of 78.  He was a lifelong member of the AIA, and one of our most popular lecturers.  He brought exciting talks to Societies throughout the country from Boston to Honolulu for almost 50 years.  He held our most prestigious lectureships, the Norton, Joukowsky,  Kershaw Lecture, and the Helene J. Kantor Memorial Lecture. When I organized the Honolulu Chapter of AIA in 1996, the first person I called upon to lecture was Lanny, since I knew he would bring excitement and the best of AIA.  Lanny was the president of the Chicago Society of the Archaeological Institute of America from 1992 to 1996.

Lanny was born April 30, 1941 in Fort Dodge, Iowa and graduated from the local high school in 1959.  He studied Greek there, and a high school classmate even remarked that Lanny wrote in Greek in his Yearbook.   His love of antiquity took him to the University of Chicago where he fell in love with Egypt and graduated with a bachelors degree in Egyptology in 1963,   He started graduate studies there, but before he finished his degree, he was lured to Egypt where he excavated with the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.   He took over as field director of the University Museum Theban Temple Tomb Project at Dra Abut el-Naga from 1967-1977.  He switched his academic affiliation to the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded a PhD in 1976.   He then became field director of the University of Chicago's Epigraphic survey at Chicago House from 1977-1989.   In 1989 he decided to return to the United States and took a position as a professor in the Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department of the University of Chicago.  He retired in 1996, and then moved to Connecticut.  But his abounding energy did not let him sit still.  He began teaching at Brown University and also leading tours to Egypt.

Besides his outstanding publications, such as "Aspects of the Cult of the Deified Tutankhamun," Lanny was sought out by the press and media for insights on Egypt.  He even briefed former President Jimmy Carter on Egyptian culture and history.  He continued his productive career in retirement with "(Late Middle Kingdom) Clay Sealings from the Moat Deposit (at the MBIIA Gate of Ashkelon)" — co-author with Daphna Ben-Tor (2016).

In 1968 Lanny married fellow graduate student Martha Rhoads Bell, who became a distinguished Egyptologist in her own rights.  She and Lanny spent many productive and happy years together in Luxor where they made Chicago House a warm and inviting home where scholars and visitors were welcomed.  Sadly, Martha was killed in an automobile accident in 1991.  He married Jill Baker in 1994 (div. 2006).

Sadly, during his final years he battled Alzheimer's Disease to which he finally succumbed. He will be remembered for his wit, passion for Egypt, humor and friendship.

"May they grant you eternity without its limit (as well as) unboundedness without its end" (Sinuhe B 212)

Robert J. Littman
University of Hawaii at Manoa

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The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Egypt pushes to reclaim antiquities lost to domestic smugglers an
Egypt pushes to reclaim            antiquities lost to domestic smugglers and Western museums Open in fullscreen

Austin Bodetti

Egypt pushes to reclaim antiquities lost to domestic smugglers and Western museums

Ashmolean Museum's exhibition of artefacts from ancient Egypt and Nubia on in Oxford, England [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 September, 2019

Amid Egypt's attempts to rejuvenate tourism, Egyptian authorities are working to reclaim their artefacts from abroad and stop smugglers from stealing the country's cultural heritage.

As Egypt tries to rebuild its reputation as a tourist destination after several years of tumult in the wake of the Arab Spring, the country's world-renowned cultural heritage has played a key role.

Almost nine million tourists visited Egypt in 2019, many travelling to the Great Pyramid of Giza and other Egyptian historic sites.

The country has at least 138 pyramids, every further discovery renewing Egypt's appeal as a unique journey into ancient history.

Egyptian authorities hope that the country's growing stability will encourage the arrival of even more tourists. 

Battling the Islamic State group (IS) in the Sinai Peninsula and containing other threats to security have represented one front of the Egyptian campaign to court tourists, but Egyptian officials are also pushing to reclaim antiquities lost to domestic smugglers and Western museums.

Egypt complained to Britain that the British auction house Christie's was proceeding with the sale of an artefact that an Egyptian archeologist described as 'taken out of Egypt illegally'

Just this July, Egypt complained to Britain that the British auction house Christie's was proceeding with the sale of an artefact that an Egyptian archeologist described as "taken out of Egypt illegally." 

"The key issue is the willingness of overseas auction houses to sell material that is likely to have been – but cannot be proved to have been – smuggled," observed Dr Aidan Dodson, a senior associate teacher and honorary professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol.

"Also, smugglers are getting increasingly sophisticated in forging documentation that 'proves' that the items left Egypt before 1970 – or at least 1983 – requiring a lot of work to disprove." 

Though outside experts never confirmed Egypt's claims about the Christie's sale, artefacts stolen from Egypt have found their way to Britain before. In January, Egypt announced the recovery of a relief featuring the Ancient Egyptian king Amenhotep I from a British auction house.

Pharaohs sculptures and artefacts in the ancient Egyptian sculpture room at the British Museum in London [Getty]

In some ways, Egyptian authorities have been struggling with the problem for centuries. Napoleon found the Rosetta Stone during the French occupation of Egypt in 1799. Much to Egypt's chagrin, the artefact now sits in the British Museum despite Egyptian officials requesting its return.

"Objects are ripped out of their contexts and sold illegally," Dr Salima Ikram, a distinguished university professor of Egyptology and Egyptology Unit Head at the American University in Cairo, told The New Arab.

"The information that they bring to the world about the culture of Ancient Egypt and also about the individuals to whom they belonged is irretrievably lost to us. It is the theft of world heritage, that of a country, and also that of an individual." 

While the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a handful of treaties have sought to curb the smuggling of artefacts from the Global South in recent decades, the Arab Spring undermined much of Egypt's progress on this front.

As Egyptian law enforcement agencies and security forces became preoccupied with navigating the country's new political landscape after 2011, they dedicated fewer resources to protecting Egypt's antiquities, enabling smugglers to loot historic sites such as Abusir, home to several pyramids.

"During the period of the 2011 revolution, a massive amount of illicit digging took place, with attempts made to smuggle material out of the country," Dodson told The New Arab.

"Before and after there were significant successes, but the financial rewards of smuggling are high, encouraging people to try it, and also to try to 'buy' officials." 

For every one object taken out and smuggled, dozens might be destroyed, and the site itself so badly destroyed as to lose much of its archaeological value

Noting that IS often finances its operations with the sale of looted artefacts, Egypt is attempting to reframe its ongoing offensive against the terrorist group as part of a wider bid to safeguard the country's cultural heritage.

Egypt also imposes strict penalties on looters, including a $55,000 fine and up to ten years in prison; Egyptian lawmakers discussed toughening those punishments last year.

For their part, Egyptologists lament the damage that looting and smuggling have done to the artefacts of Ancient Egypt, whose outsize popularity and ubiquity belie their fragility.

"Extracting artefacts damages archaeological sites, and often means the destruction of material not of interest to the smugglers – 'collateral damage,'" Dodson told The New Arab.

"For every one object taken out and smuggled, dozens might be destroyed, and the site itself so badly destroyed as to lose much of its archaeological value." 

Egypt's two-front push to defend its cultural heritage by reclaiming antiquities from abroad and stopping looters and smugglers at home is yielding some results.

In 2014, France returned 250 artefacts to Egypt, and Egyptian authorities repatriated over one hundred more from the United States in 2015. Egyptian law enforcement agencies have also publicised the arrests of looters, among them the detention of an Egyptian searching for artefacts under his own house.

Experts argue that, however much Egypt does on its own, the country will also need buy-in from its allies and the international community to realise long-term success. Once antiquities leave Egypt, Egyptian authorities have far less power to defeat smugglers on their own.

"We need stricter rules for buyers," urged Ikram, "and more countries need to sign and adhere to UNESCO and other agreements to not be a party to the sale of illegal antiquities."

Austin Bodetti studies the intersection of Islam, culture, and politics in Africa and Asia. 
He has conducted fieldwork in Bosnia, Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, South Sudan, Thailand, and Uganda. His research has appeared in The Daily Beast, USA Today, Vox, and Wired.
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Egypt Issues Arrest Warrant for Italian Diplomat Accused of Smuggling Antiquities | Egyptian Streets

Egypt Issues Arrest Warrant for Italian Diplomat Accused of Smuggling Antiquities

Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities

Earlier today, Egypt's attorney general ordered the arrest of Italy's former honorary consul in Luxor, Ladislav Otakar Skakal, on charges of smuggling and trafficking in antiquities, Sky News Arabia reports.

According to Reuters Africa, Egypt ordered the former diplomat to be tried in absentia. The news came in a statement by the public prosecutor's office, which also added that the country has asked Interpol to issue a red notice against Skakal, requiring law enforcement in member states to apprehend the suspect and deliver him to Egypt.

The prosecution contends that Skakal has attempted to smuggle 21855 artifacts from Egypt into Italy, shipping the illicit items in diplomatic cargo through the port of Alexandria, according to Sky News Arabia. The plot was foiled by port authorities in Salerno and the artifacts were returned to Egypt in July 2018. They were later put on display at the Egyptian Museum, according to Reuters Africa.

Investigators revealed that upon searching Skakal's residence in Egypt, authorities found numerous ancient Egyptian artifacts. The defendant also kept artifacts in a security deposit box, according to the public prosecution's statement.

Skakal had plotted the theft with a high level official at the freight shipping company, the statement concluded, adding that the attorney general also ordered a number of Egyptian citizens to stand trial for allegedly aiding and abetting the former Italian diplomat.

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Zahi Hawass to reveal the truth of Tutankhamun’s death by 2020 - Egypt Independent

Zahi Hawass to reveal the truth of Tutankhamun's death by 2020

Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass vowed during an interview with the Italia 1 Channel that by 2020, he would unveil to the world the truth behind King Tutankhamun's death.

He mentioned in his interview that Tutankhamen was diagnosed with a couple of diseases, such as malaria and flatfoot, and that not enough blood was reaching his feet.

Hawass added that the facts related to the death of the boy pharaoh are being revealed through DNA tests.

The Egyptologist also pointed out that King Tutankhamun's temporary exhibition in Paris's Grande Halle La Villette broke records by attracting 1.5 million visitors. Hawass called this huge turnout "remarkable" within the history of the French cultural exhibitions.

According to the official Paris website of the convention and visitors bureau, the exhibition features "150 fascinating original objects found in 1922 in the tomb of the most famous pharaohs, the majority of which have never left Egypt before."

Among these include Tutankhamun's illustrious golden mask as well as his gold plated wooden bed.

Set to kick off in 2020 as well, Hawas announced that he will mark the special occasion of the Grand Museum's inauguration by finalizing the script he created for an opera based on Tutankhamen's life, according to statements made during a press conference in Venice.

Speaking of this highly anticipated project, Hawas told TV presenter Amr Adib on his program "Al Hekaya" (The Story) that one of the opera's most thrilling scenes is Nefertiti's attempted murder of Tutankhamun.

He also added during Venice's press conference that there will be a celebration in 2022 to mark 100 years since the discovery of King Tut's tomb, taking place in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

Hawas was listed by National Geographic as an Explorer in Residence, and was also included among the world's Top 100 Most Influential People for the year 2005 by TIME Magazine.

In 2008, he was notably granted the position of Goodwill Ambassador to Japan by the Egyptian and Japanese Ministries of Foreign Affairs, according to his official website.

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In Photos: Artefacts given to Egypt by AUC arrive at Museum of Egyptian Civilisation - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

In Photos: Artefacts given to Egypt by AUC arrive at Museum of Egyptian Civilisation

The artefacts were unearthed during joint excavations in the Fustat area led by the late George Scanlon, professor emeritus in AUC's Department of Arab and Islamic Civilisations

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 17 Sep 2019
Museum of Egyptian Civilisation
Views: 757

A collection of nearly 5,000 Islamic, Coptic, Greco-Roman and ancient Egyptian artefacts have arrived to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) for restoration and display.

The collection had been in the possession of the American University in Cairo (AUC) and was given to the government last year.

The AUC had legally possessed the collection since the 1960s.

The artefacts were unearthed during joint excavations in the Fustat area led by the late George Scanlon, professor emeritus in AUC's Department of Arab and Islamic Civilisations.

The artefacts were shared between Egypt and the American mission at that time. The collection was taken to the AUC, who had the right to possess the artefacts in accordance with the Egyptian Antiquities Law No. 215 of 1951, which had allowed foreign excavation missions in Egypt to keep 50 percent of their findings.

Ahmed El-Sherbini, supervisor-general of the NMEC, explains that the bulk of the materials consists of pottery fragments, such as bowls, ulnas, jars and lusterware vessels from the Islamic, Coptic, Greco-Roman and ancient Egyptian eras. Most of the materials are dated to the 10th and 11th centuries.

The artefacts give an insight into the technology used to create them as well as the artistic influences of the time.

The collection is undergoing restoration in preparation for being displayed at the NMEC within months.

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Ancient Papyrus, Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt Framed Print Wall Art By Stuart Westmoreland -

Now here's something you don't see every day: A framed papyrus wall "print" for sale at Walmart.


    Ancient Papyrus, Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt Framed Print Wall Art By Stuart Westmoreland

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    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Ugly Object of the Month — September 2019 – The Kelsey Blog

    By Caroline Roberts, Conservator

    To celebrate the opening of the special exhibition Graffiti as Devotion Along the Nile: El-Kurru, Sudan, I've chosen a particular group of graffiti for this month's Ugly Object post. The graffiti of El-Kurru were created by ancient pilgrims to the site's Kushite temple and pyramid. Images of animals, textiles, boats, and people were carved into the surfaces of the structures' sandstone columns and blocks, along with hundreds of cupules — or holes — of varying size. This blogroll is all about embracing the seemingly underwhelming, so it felt only natural to take a closer look at these mysterious holes.

    carved graffiti on a sandstone column
    Pictorial and cupule graffiti on a column drum from the temple at El-Kurru. Image courtesy of Suzanne Davis.

    The same qualities that make Kurru sandstone so difficult to preserve — it is soft and readily disintegrates into sand — made it ideal for stone collecting. Suzanne and Geoff, who curated the exhibition, believe that pilgrims wanted to take a piece of the powerful temple structure with them as they continued on their journey. I can picture someone rotating a knife into the column surface while a pile of powder grows in their hand. This debris apparently brought protection or healing to whoever possessed it, which helps explain why the temple columns are so … holy.  Apparently, a lot of people wanted a piece of that Kurru magic!

    Come see Graffiti as Devotion at the Kelsey Museum through March 29, 2020.

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    Restoration begins of more King Ramses II statues at Luxor Temple

    Restoration begins of more King Ramses II statues at Luxor Temple

    Statue of Ramses II. (Shutterstock)
    Updated 16 September 2019

    • The remains and blocks of these statues were discovered between 1958 and 1961 during the excavations of the archaeologist Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Kader.

    CAIRO: Egypt has begun a new international project in Luxor with the collection, restoration and reinstallation of two statues of King Ramses II.

    The plan follows the restoration and assembly during the past three years of three statues of the ruler at Luxor Temple.

    During his recent visit to Luxor, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani gave the green light for the restoration of two more statues of the pharaonic king at the western side of the temple.

    Ahmed Arabi, managing director of the temple, said the statues belong to the 19th Dynasty and are made from red granite.

    The remains and blocks of these statues were discovered between 1958 and 1961 during the excavations of the archaeologist Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Kader.

    The statues, which fell apart years ago, have raised controversy after their restoration. This arises from the fact that one of the recently restored statues stands in the Osirian position, the "death position" of the ancient Egyptians, in which the statue's feet are equal. That runs contrary to the tradition followed in all Egyptian temples, which is not to put the statues of kings in this position.

    Director of the temple Ahmed Arabi said that his department had presented the idea of restoring the three statues. "We recently found pieces of the two other statues of Ramses II in the western facade of the temple. They will also be installed in the same place where they were found." 

    Arabi said that the statues will be renovated in cooperation with the Egyptian archaeological mission led by Dr. Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, under the supervision of Ahmed Badr El-Din, of Luxor Temple, and the Chicago Institute of Oriental Archaeology headed by Dr. Ray Johnson. Work has already begun by studying the two statues, assembling their blocks, and documenting and photographing them. Each statue is seven meters high, again in the Osirian position.

    Dr. Waziri confirmed that the two new statues have been placed next to the other statues in preparation for restoration, pointing out that there is writing on one of the pieces bearing the name Ramses II. The pieces include the upper half of a statue, two parts from the shoulders overlapping each other, the dress and the statues' necks. It also has parts of the face.

    King Ramses II is one of the most famous monarchs of ancient Egypt, ruling from 1279 to 1213 BC.

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    Schoolmaster in Sohag uncovers Ptolemaic temple beneath house - Egypt Independent

    Schoolmaster in Sohag uncovers Ptolemaic temple beneath house

    A school headmaster on Sunday uncovered a Ptolemaic temple beneath his house at al-Mansha in Sohag, after he and another six people were illegally excavating antiquities, according to the Tourism and Antiquities Police in Sohag.

    The police raided the house following a notification on the excavation, arresting the head master and his six accomplices.

    The police then discovered a hole one meter and 60 cm wide, and nine meters deep, leading to two basements containing limestone floors and walls stacked in a systematic manner, one of which contained a limestone room with drawings, writings and decorations.

    The prosecution seized the house and filed a report to the police to complete investigations.

    There are several sanctions and penalties under the Egyptian antiquities law.

    Article 43 states that any person who traffics an antiquity is to be sent to prison in addition to fines minimum LE5000 and maximum LE50,000. The law stresses that all antiquities are strictly regulated and considered property of the state.

    Areas in Egypt that are frequently the site of illegal excavations and trafficking include Sakkara in Giza, Akhmim in Sohag and different districts in Luxor among others.

    Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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    Tutankhamun Opera to debut with inauguration of Grand Egyptian Museum: Zahi Hawass - Museums - Heritage - Ahram Online

    I think I'll wait for the movie version. Glenn

    Tutankhamun Opera to debut with inauguration of Grand Egyptian Museum: Zahi Hawass

    Salma Hamed, Sama Mamdouh, Monday 16 Sep 2019
    King Tutankhamun at the Egyptian Museum
    King Tutankhamun at the Egyptian Museum
    Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass has finalised the script for the opera Tutankhamun, which is set to debut during the inauguration of the new Grand Egyptian Museum in late 2020.

    In a press conference in Venice this Friday, Hawass revealed that following the opera, a viewing will be held on 22 November 2022 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings to celebrate the passage of 100 years since the discovery of the boy-king's ancient tomb. 

    Hawass said that the date has been determined given that 1.5 million tourists visited the tomb between 23 March to 15 September this year, making this the most suitable date for the event.

    Hawass also explained during a phone in with MBC Masr's Hekaya with Amr Adib that the new opera was created as a way to move beyond the famous Opera Aida, which first premiered 148 years ago. 

    Hawass pointed out that one of the most notable scenes revolves around Nefertiti's attempt to assassinate Tutankhamun and seize the throne for one of her six daughters. 

    He added that this December will mark the completion of the opera's score, which is composed by Zamboni.

    Tutankhamun's tomb, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, first gained worldwide recognition for its spectacular and invaluable treasures found by Carter's team after breaking the tomb's seal, which had been untouched for 3,245 years.

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