ARCENCPostings

Saturday, May 8, 2021

An Ivory Figure from Hierakonpolis | In the Artifact Lab

https://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/2021/04/13/an-ivory-figure-from-hierakonpolis/

An Ivory Figure from Hierakonpolis

By Tessa de Alarcon

The figure you see here, E4893, is an ivory statuette from the site of Hierakonpolis that I am working on as part of an IMLS grant funded project. I have just started the treatment, but thought I would give a brief run through of the initial examination since this is a good example of when and why we use X-radiography in our department to evaluate the condition of objects before treatment.

Before Treatment photograph of E4893

You may have noticed that the middle of this object is fill, so not part of the object. The fill has some cracks and splits that suggests it is unstable and should be removed. There is no written documentation for when this fill was done or by who, but it's possible that this was done shortly after it was excavated. The object was accessioned in 1898. Given that the conservation lab at the Penn Museum was not founded until 1966 that leaves a big gap for the possibilities for when this treatment might have been done.

Annotated before treatment photograph of E4893 indicating the large fill at the waist of the figure.

Based on previous experience, I often worry with these old fills that there are unseen things, like metal pins or dowels, lurking below the surface. X-radiography is a great way to check for these types of hidden previous treatment issues. Though in this case, what I found when I X-rayed the object was not your typical pin or dowel.

Before treatment photograph of E4893 (left) and an X-ray radiograph of the object (right). The X-ray was captured at 60kV, and 6mA for 6 seconds. There are four nails visible in the fill.

Here in the X-ray you can see what I found: while this fill did not have any pins or dowels, whoever had done this treatment had decided to reinforce it by putting nails (4 in total) into the fill material. While this makes the figure look like he has eaten a bunch of nails, it is in some ways better news than a pin would be. Pins usually go into the original material, and if they are iron, can rust and expand causing damage to the object. Pin removal can also be risky and lead to damage of the object especially if the pin is deeply imbedded or corroded into place. These nails, on the other hand, appear to be only in the fill and do not look like they go into the original material of the object at all. This suggests that removal of the fill and the nails should be possible without damaging the object. As this treatment progresses, I will follow up with additional posts and updates.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

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The Reception of Manchester Museum’s ‘Hippo Bowl’ (Acc. no. 5069) | Egypt at the Manchester Museum

https://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2021/02/16/the-reception-of-manchester-museums-hippo-bowl-acc-no-5069/

The Reception of Manchester Museum's 'Hippo Bowl' (Acc. no. 5069)

Another post from guest blogger and Predynastic specialist Matt Szafran – on one of Manchester Museum's most iconic objects.

The so-called 'hippo bowl' (accessioned as no. 5069) is undoubtedly a beautiful and unique object, as can be seen from its inclusion in numerous books, postcards, documentaries, scholarly articles, and exhibitions – most recently the Garstang Museum's 'Before Egypt : Art, Culture and Power' exhibition at the Victoria Gallery and Museum at the University of Liverpool, and to Bolton Museum and Art Gallery while Manchester's Ancient Worlds galleries are closed.

Unfortunately, Predynastic material culture typically garners significantly less attention than later Dynastic periods – especially anything gold or jewel encrusted. The Manchester Museum's current curator, Dr Campbell Price, has been vocal on his appreciation of this object, but what did his predecessors think? Thankfully archival research allows us to answer this question.

The bowl was rediscovered at the site of el-Mahasna as a part of an Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF) sponsored excavation led by British archaeologists Edward Russell Ayrton and W.L.S. Loat during the in 1908-9 season. The bowl was found in a large square tomb, designated as H.29, alongside many other 'elite' status items (such as carved ivory, stone beads, malachite, and greywacke palettes) in what Ayrton and Loat would describe as the 'richest grave found on the site' in their 1911 publication. The bowl itself was described as 'superb':

The EEF held an exhibition at Kings College on the Strand in London between the 8th and the 31st of July 1909, showcasing objects excavated that season by EEF archaeologists at both Abydos and el-Mahasna before their distribution between various institutions. The EEF also published an exhibition catalogue, with a cover price of sixpence, which even though a small and limited book still featured a detailed description of the H.29 tomb group. Upon conclusion of the 1909 Abydos and el-Mahasna exhibition all objects were crated and distributed between the Egyptian Museum, Cairo and 27 different international institutions who had subscribed to support the EEF. The distribution of the 50 creates of objects was handled by E. W. Morgan & Co. LTD, with two of those crates finding their way to the Manchester Museum:

Both the acting director of the museum, Sydney J. Hickson, and his secretary acknowledged the receipt of the two crates by letter to the EEF on the 26th of August 1909. Hickson's letter was essentially a 'fill in the blanks' template and made no special mention of any of the objects. However Hickson handwrote a letter to the EEF on the 11th of September 1909 to confirm that the crated objects had been unpacked and had 'arrived safely' and thanking the EEF's president and committee for the donation, he went on to make a special mention of the 'unique pre-Dynastic bowl' and saying that it's an 'interesting and valuable' addition to the Museum's collection. Whilst the letter doesn't explicitly say that this is the 'hippo bowl', there were no other significant bowls included in the distribution to the Manchester Museum and it is therefore extremely likely that this letter is proof of Hickson's admiration for the 'hippo bowl':

Winifred M. Crompton was appointed as the Assistant Keeper of Egyptology in 1912, a role synonymous with a 'curator' today. During her tenure at the museum before this posting she was tasked with organising and cataloguing the Egyptian collections. This led to Crompton writing to the EEF on the 16th of September 1909 to request purchasing copy of the object catalogue of the el-Mahasna and Abydos exhibition. Sadly, Crompton does not refer to the 'hippo bowl' in this letter, although she does add a postscript note saying that the Manchester Museum received additional jars than were on the object distribution list – including one from the H.29 tomb group:

From the archival evidence it would therefore appear that the 'hippo bowl' has been able to capture the attention of both Egyptologists and non-Egyptologists alike. One would assume that its original owner was just as awed by the bowl, although with no written sources from the Predynastic period it is impossible to truly know what meaning and significance was truly ascribed to the bowl and the hippopotami it represents.


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AWDL republishes Egyptology collection — Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

https://isaw.nyu.edu/library/blog/awdl-egyptology-migration#content
 

AWDL republishes Egyptology collection

By Jasmine Smith
04/26/2021

The Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL) has finally fully migrated all of the publications from the original AWDL website to our new website.

The initial publications on AWDL 1.0  were primarily Egyptology-related and  scanned from the collection of the Institute of Fine Arts Library by the NYU Libraries Digital Library Technology Services. These publications include works by some of the most important Egyptologists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as W. M. Flinders Petrie, Alan Gardiner, George Reisner, Percy Newberry, and various others. To browse the collection of Egyptology publications on AWDL, navigate to the "Collections Overview" tab, and select "Egyptology."

Now that all of the books from the first AWDL website are available on the new website, AWDL 1.0 is slated to be turned off sometime in the near future. Users who have linked to the URLs from the first website do not need to worry that they will have broken links, because we have taken care to set up a table of redirects to the republished items on the current AWDL website.

 As always, content in AWDL is freely available to read online in full resolution, or it can be downloaded in either high- or low-resolution PDF formats. 

 

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Upcoming Egypt and Nubia Lectures, Northern California ARCE

Resending to correct the date for the December lecture and to specify that all lectures are on Sunday. Apologies for the multiple postings.

Glenn

American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
Northern California Chapter

Upcoming Lectures



ARCE's Northern California Chapter is pleased to present the following lectures by renowned Egyptologists. Until further notice, all lectures are virtual, Sunday at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Registration instructions will appear in upcoming posts. In normal times, most lectures take place on the University of California Berkeley campus.

Upcoming Egypt and Nubia Lectures, Northern California ARCE

King Akhenaten's Main Temple to the Sun God at Amarna: How Archaeology Is Revealing Its Development and Use
Aug. 15, 2021
Dr. Barry Kemp, Amarna Trust

Hand Unto Ethiopia: The First African-Americans to Visit Nubia
Sept. 12, 2021
Dr. Jeremy Pope, University of William and Mary

Virtual Saqqara
Oct. 10, 2021
Dr. Elaine Sullivan, UC Santa Cruz

Development of the Royal Titulary in Reflection of Important Prehistoric Sites
Nov. 14, 2021
Dr. Ronald Leprohon, University of Toronto

Topic TBD
Dec. 12, 2021
Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith, UC Santa Barbara

For more information, please visit https://facebook.com/NorthernCaliforniaARCE, http://arce-nc.org, https://twitter.com/ARCENCPostings, or https://khentiamentiu.org. To join the chapter or renew your membership, please go to https://www.arce.org/become-arce-member and select "Berkeley, CA" as your chapter when you sign up.



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Friday, May 7, 2021

Upcoming Egypt and Nubia Lectures, Northern California ARCE





American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
Northern California Chapter

Upcoming Lectures



 

ARCE’s Northern California Chapter is pleased to present the following lectures by renowned Egyptologists. Until further notice, all lectures are virtual, Sunday at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Registration instructions will appear in upcoming posts. In normal times, most lectures take place on the University of California Berkeley campus.


King Akhenaten's Main Temple to the Sun God at Amarna: How Archaeology Is Revealing Its Development and Use
Aug. 15, 2021
Dr. Barry Kemp, Amarna Trust

Hand Unto Ethiopia: The First African-Americans to Visit Nubia
Sept. 12, 2021
Dr. Jeremy Pope, University of William and Mary

Virtual Saqqara
Oct. 10, 2021
Dr. Elaine Sullivan, UC Santa Cruz

Development of the Royal Titulary in Reflection of Important Prehistoric Sites
Nov. 14, 2021
Dr. Ronald Leprohon, University of Toronto

Topic TBD
Dec. 12, 2021
Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith, UC Santa Barbara

For more information, please visit https://facebook.com/NorthernCaliforniaARCE, http://arce-nc.org, https://twitter.com/ARCENCPostings, or https://khentiamentiu.org. To join the chapter or renew your membership, please go to https://www.arce.org/become-arce-member and select "Berkeley, CA" as your chapter when you sign up.


Zahi Hawass Digs Up a Lost Egyptian City in New Discovery+ Special

https://www.thewrap.com/zahi-hawass-finds-lost-egyptian-city-rise-of-aten-discovery-plus-special-video/

Zahi Hawass Dug Up a Lost, 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian City – and Discovery+ Got the TV Rights (Exclusive)

Must've been some shovel

Archeologist Zahi Hawass has done it again, and regular collaborator Discovery+ is (again) sharing the spoils. Hawass recently discovered an ancient Egyptian city in Luxor — The Rise of Aten — that was lost under the sands 3,000 years ago. The Discovery streaming service has obtained exclusive filming access and presentation rights to the dig, TheWrap has learned.

Discovery's cameras were already rolling during the excavation, which started last year, a person with knowledge of the mission and upcoming special told us. More filming will take place in the fall.

The lost city dates to the reign of Amenhotep III and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay, according to the Discovery+ description. Artifacts, treasures and in-depth analysis of this new city will be featured in the upcoming special to be produced by At Land Productions' Executive Producer Caterina Turroni, and executive produced for discovery+ by Neil Laird.

"Every time we come to Egypt with Dr. Hawass, we come away with new insight into the incredible history of Egypt. This new city paints a picture of life in ancient Egypt that has never been seen and we are thrilled that Discovery+ will bring this ground-breaking discovery to our viewers around the world," Scott Lewers told TheWrap.

He's got a mouthful of a title: Lewers is "Executive Vice President of Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content, Science."

So he sounds important.

"Thanks to the support of discovery+ I can now concentrate all my efforts into this unique excavation, and one of the biggest discoveries of my career," Hawass added.

This isn't the first time Hawass and Discovery have excavated Egypt together. In April 2019, Discovery followed Hawass and his team as they uncovered a 2,500-year-old mummy of a high priest for the first time ever on live television. That special "Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live," also revealed two other mummies and various ancient antiquities, including a mysterious wax head.

Discovery also followed Hawass and his team on the biggest Egyptian excavation ever attempted to the rugged western Valley of the Kings, a great burial ground for the pharaohs, in a two-hour special streaming now on Discovery+.

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Thursday, May 6, 2021

ANE TODAY - 202105 - Glass: Lapis Lazuli from the Kiln - American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR)

https://www.asor.org/anetoday/2021/05/glass-lapis-lazuli/

Glass: Lapis Lazuli from the Kiln

By Andrew Shortland

 

Today glass is all around us, it is familiar to us all in windows, vessels, spectacles, a myriad of uses. However, when glass was first made in the Late Bronze Age (LBA) around 1500 BCE it was very different.

Firstly, it was almost always highly colored, indeed its color was one of the things it was prized for. Secondly, it was often opaque, with compounds specifically added to it to make so. Thirdly, glass was highly prized and valuable, not a utilitarian material at all, more like a precious stone such as lapis lazuli or turquoise which, with its strong color and opacity, it was deliberately made to closely resemble. Indeed, in Akkadian, glass was aban kûri, "stone from the kiln", emphasising these links. Glass also had magical powers, being capable of healing and warding off the evil eye, amongst other abilities. Thus, we need to adjust our mindset when thinking about glass, how it was used and what it meant to LBA people.

In contrast, in terms of composition, modern glass is very similar to this early glass. Both are made predominantly of silica derived from a clean quartz sand or quartzite pebbles. However, you cannot easily make glass from just quartz, because quartz melts at a very high temperature, in the region of 1700°C. While this is possible in some modern, advanced furnaces, it was impossible for the ancient glassmakers – an ancient furnace would itself melt and collapse long before it got even close to this temperature. Therefore, another compound, known as a flux, had to be added to the quartz to lower its melting temperature. Modern glasses also use fluxes, most commonly soda derived from artificially produced sodium carbonate. In LBA glasses, soda is also the flux, but it is derived from the ash of plants that are salt tolerant, living on the edges of deserts and coasts. Mixing some of this ash with the crushed sand or pebbles reduces the temperature necessary to melt it and create a glass to a more reasonable 1100°C – high, but possible.

Extremely well-preserved, core-formed, glass vessel from Memphis, Egypt. 1393-1352 BCE, British Museum, EA4741. © The Trustees of the British Museum. (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA4741)

To this melt, colorants derived from compounds containing elements such as cobalt and copper (for blues), antimony and lead (for white and yellow) and manganese (purple and black) are added. This brightly colored glass is worked into beads, amulets, inlays, other decorative elements and, perhaps most striking of all, vessels. Modern glass vessels are usually blown, but glass blowing was only discovered around the first century CE.

Kassite, core-formed, glass vessel showing weathering. Ur, 1200-1300 BCE, British Museum 120659. © The Trustees of the British Museum. (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1928-1009-147)

Before this time, vessels were "core-formed". This is a rather laborious technique where a core of dung and clay is dipped into molten glass to completely cover it, and then decorated by trailing rods of contrasting colors across the body and adding handles, rims and feet, if desired (see the Corning Museum of Glass website for some excellent videos showing this technique being performed). On cooling, the core has to be carefully chipped out to create the vessel. These vessels are strikingly colored when well preserved, with an aesthetic that is still appealing now.

Where glass was first made is not clear – it appears in the archaeological record in quantity in both Egypt and the Near East simultaneously, as far as we can tell. Identified glassmaking sites of this period are very rare, indeed none have been conclusively identified in the Near East at all, although limited finds indicating glassworking are present. There are three that are reasonably well known in Egypt, the earliest of which is probably connected with the Palace of Amenhotep III (1338-1351 BCE) at Malkata, near Thebes, now Luxor.

One of the reasons for glass workshops being difficult to find and identify is that LBA glass is susceptible to weathering if left in contact with water or in otherwise damp conditions. Egypt is lucky in that much of the glass found there is recovered from very dry tombs dug into the edge of the Western Desert, almost perfect conditions for the preservation of the glass. Mesopotamia is not so fortunate, and the fertile, damp flood plains mean that the preservation of glass is, at best, patchy. Often the glass is weathered, which starts with an iridescent effect on the surface of the vessel, but often spreads through the entire object, turning it into a white and friable powder, which easily disintegrates on touch. This certainly means that we have lost a lot of the glass that was originally present in this area, and probably production sites as well.

Evidence for a local glass workshop at Nuzi, near modern Kirkuk. c.1350BC; (a) Head of a glass Ishtar figurine, still in its ceramic mould (1930.8.5); (b) Fragment of an ingot, about 55mm wide (1930.82.50). Both from Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East.

Weathering patterns on vitreous materials. Here spacer beads from the City of Nuzi are weathered by water to make them white and very delicate. They would almost certainly all have been a brilliant blue colour. From Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East.

It is clear that the Near East did produce glass locally, and the evidence for this is derived from the analysis of the glass found in the Near East and in Egypt. Several techniques have been used in the past, but perhaps the best technique being used now is Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry. LA-ICPMS uses a high-power laser to remove a very small sample from the glass object (typically only 0.1mm across, invisible to the naked eye). This sample is ionised in a plasma torch and then the ions of each of the elements it contains are counted by the mass spectrometer. The technique has the advantages of being able to analyse almost all the elements that are found in glass, plus it has very low detection limits – for many elements it can quantify down to one part in a billion – outstanding performance and very useful.

Glass from several sites in Egypt and the Near East has been analysed, including Amarna, Malkata, Nuzi and Tell Brak. What was revealed from the analysis was that, while the glasses found at all of these sites are very similar in their major and minor components, at trace levels, only really analysable by LA-ICPMS, there are some subtle but consistent differences. These differences are probably caused by using slightly different raw materials and/or a slightly different manufacturing techniques or tools. Analysis showed that almost all the glass from Egypt had one elemental "fingerprint", whereas all the glass from the Near East had another. It is therefore highly likely that there is production in both areas by one or more workshops. Using this technique, glass in the Levant, Greece and on the Ulu Burun shipwreck has been analysed, and shown to be either from Egypt, the Near East or both. LBA glass was therefore an important part of an exchange network, moving between the states, courts and kings.

There is textual and iconographic evidence that supports this exchange of glass. Glass is requested by the Egyptian king in the "Amarna letters", a diplomatic archive found in the eponymous city and dating mostly to the reign of Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. There are tomb scenes where glass is being given to the Egyptian King and a striking relief in the Temple of Karnak where the Egyptian king offers baskets of glass to the Temple in thanks for his military victories in the Levant. This all emphasises the value of glass and its place in a complex world of competing states and kings. It is perhaps not really surprising therefore, that the study of ancient glass is one of the liveliest and most productive of all archaeomaterials subjects and more and more is learned yearly from modern analysis of both old collections and new excavations.

The Hall of the Annals in the Temple at Karnak, where a relief depicts Tjuthmosis III making gifts to the Temple. Amongst the gifts depicted are several baskets of semi-precious stone and glass (third register of offerings up, centre and right hand side, circular "ingots" in baskets). (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ac/fb/0a/acfb0aa3871e046d67ec5aacdf031a5b.png)

Andrew Shortland is Professor of Archaeological Science and Director of Cranfield Forensic Institute at the Cranfield University.

For further reading:

Henderson, J., 2013. Ancient glass: an interdisciplinary exploration. Cambridge University Press.

Moorey, P.R.S., 1999. Ancient Mesopotamian materials and industries: the archaeological evidence. Eisenbrauns.

Shortland, A.J., 2012. Lapis lazuli from the kiln: glass and glassmaking in the late Bronze Age. Leuven University Press.

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Monday, May 3, 2021

Concepts Kyrie 7 “Horus” and “Feather of Maat” Collection | HYPEBEAST

https://hypebeast.com/2021/5/concepts-kyrie-7-horus-and-feather-of-maat-collection

Concepts Unveils Nike Kyrie 7 "Horus" and "Feather of Maat" Collection

https://image-cdn.hypb.st/https%3A%2F%2Fhypebeast.com%2Fimage%2F2021%2F05%2Fconcepts-kyrie-7-horus-and-feather-of-maat-collection-1.jpg?q=90&w=1400&cbr=1&fit=max

https://image-cdn.hypb.st/https%3A%2F%2Fhypebeast.com%2Fimage%2F2021%2F05%2Fconcepts-kyrie-7-horus-and-feather-of-maat-collection-2.jpg?q=90&w=1400&cbr=1&fit=max


https://hypebeast.com/image/2021/05/concepts-kyrie-7-horus-and-feather-of-maat-collection-21.jpg

Apparel, accessories and footwear inspired by Egyptian archaeology.

Concepts recently announced its latest collaboration with Kyrie Irving and his sister Asia on a new collection called "Feather of Maat" alongside a new partnership with Nike (NYSE:NKE +0.31%) on the Kyrie 7 silhouette entitled "Horus." The joint release was inspired by Irving's personal fascinations with Egyptian archeology, rituals and symbolism with graphic elements found across apparel, accessories and the collaborative footwear option.

"The mysteries of ancient Egypt are a source of endless fascination for Kyrie," said Concepts in a statement. For instance, the Kyrie 7 "Horus" gleans visual cues from glazed ceramics discovered in ancient Egypt. Moreover, blue hues throughout the multidimensional upper draw inspiration from tones of artifacts, and Egyptian symbols that are worked into the forefoot bands, heel, and Swoosh elements.

Coinciding with the sneaker is the "Feather of Maat" collection which continues to reference Egyptian archaeology such as rich turquoises and teals that recall Egyptian Faience. Contrasting those tones is an array of orange gradients that evoke "the desert sands fading into the sky before nightfall," the label added. "Symbols like the Ankh and Lotus flower — each reflecting the cycle of life — appear on crewnecks, hoodies, sweatpants, socks and T-shirts."

"This collection represents an evolution of the Concepts' brand. Our new apparel program allows us to take our storytelling full circle. The Ankh Crewneck is a piece we're really proud of — there are over 100,000 stitches in the embroidery — and is evidence of how we'll continue to explore fabrication as we grow," said Deon Point, Concepts' Creative Director, in a statement.

Check out the Nike Kyrie 7 "Horus" and "Feather of Maat" collection above and expect an official release for both on Concepts' website and stores starting May 7 at 11 a.m. EST.

Elsewhere in fashion, Supreme is officially opening a store in Milan on May 6.

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