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Friday, April 28, 2017

Seven Egyptian sites celebrated in World heritage day - Egypt Today


Seven Egyptian sites celebrated in World heritage day

Wed, Apr. 19, 2017

CAIRO – 19 April 2017: April 18 marked international world heritage day, an annual celebration hosted by UNESCO promoting cultural heritage and local archeological sites around the world. This year 7 Egyptian archeological and ancient sites are listed by UNESCO to world heritage day list of archeological sites.

Abu Mina:

Abu Mina is one of the oldest Christian sites in Egypt located in southwest of Alexandria city dating back to 480 CE. Abu mina stands as a symbol of early Christianity in Egypt as it was the main pilgrimage center; it also contained a church and a basilica as well as the relics of St. Mina, according to UNESCO.

Ancient Thebes
This site is also known as the city of the sun is considered to be one of the most famous ancient sites in the world, according to UNESCO. Ancient Thebes located in Luxor, Upper Egypt used to be the capital of Ancient Egyptians during the reign of the Middle and New Kingdom. Ancient Thebes holds the majority of Pharaonic landmarks such as Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings and the Queens Necropolis, and Hatshepsut temple.

Old Islamic Cairo
Although it is concealed within the modern architecture of Cairo it still proves its coexistence. Islamic Cairo was founded in the 10th century and it depicts the lifestyle of Egyptians during this era as it still contains ancient Mosques, spas, and schools dating back to the rise of Islam in Egypt.

Monuments of Nubia:
Nubia aka "City of Gold" located near Aswan in Upper Egypt contains the Temples of Philae and Ramses II by which both were saved from the rising water of the Nile back in 1960. Nubia is also known for having the best sceneries overseeing the Nile River and its authentic culture.

Wadi Al Hitan (Whale Valley)
The site located in the Western Desert of Egypt stands as a proof of evolution as it contains fossils of early extinct whales. The site portrays the process of evolution and how marine creatures were affected by it.


Saint Catherine Monastery
Saint Catherine Monastery stands as an important entity for Judaism, Islam and Christianity as it is located close by Mount Sinai, where Moses received the rules of the Tablets of Law from God that initially formed Judaism as a whole. The Monastery is one of the oldest operating monasteries in the world and it also contains ancient Christianity manuscripts.

The Area of Memphis does not include any introduction as it includes the great pyramids of Giza along with the Sphinx. Memphis is located in South of Giza and was the former capital of Lower Egypt during the reign of the Pharos.

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Antiquities lab on the Giza Plateau - Ahram Weekly

Antiquities lab on the Giza Plateau

Egypt's first on-site state-of-the-art antiquities laboratory has been inaugurated on the Giza Plateau to restore the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu's second solar boat,writes Nevine El-Aref

Antiquities lab on the Giza Plateau
A few metres from the southern side of the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau outside Cairo, Egypt's first on-site laboratory is set to restore the 1,264 pieces of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu's second solar boat, which has remained in situ for 4,500 years after it was buried to ferry him to eternity.

The second boat was discovered along with the first inside two pits neighbouring each other in 1954 when Egyptian archaeologists Kamal Al-Mallakh and Zaki Nour were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid.

The first boat was taken out of its pit to be restored and reassembled, and it is now on display at a special museum on the plateau. The second one is still in situ, but a Japanese-Egyptian team have been working hard to remove it from its pit and restore and reassemble it in order to put both boats on display at the planned Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the plateau.

The team led by Japanese Egyptologist Sakuji Yoshimura cleaned the pit of insects and inserted a camera through a hole in the chamber's limestone ceiling in order to examine the boat's condition and determine appropriate methods to restore it.

Images were obtained showing layers of wooden beams and timbers of cedar and acacia wood, as well as ropes, mats and the remains of limestone blocks and small pieces of white plaster. Bassel Yoshimura, Cairo bureau chief of the Institute of Egyptology at Waseda University in Japan, told Al-Ahram Weekly that a large hanger had been constructed over the area surrounding the second boat pit to protect it, with a smaller hanger inside to cover the top of the boat itself.

The hangers have been designed to protect the wooden remains during analysis and treatment, he said. A temporary magazine and laboratory have also been established inside the hanger to use during the restoration process, and state-of-the-art equipment including the temperature and humidity controls vital to the preservation of the wooden boat's remains has been installed.

A laser scanning survey has documented the area and the wall between the Great Pyramid and the boat pit. A solar electricity system has been installed at the site in order to produce energy for eventual chemical treatment.

According to Yoshimura, while the filling around the sides of the covering stones was being cleaned, the team uncovered the cartouche of Khufu inscribed on one of the blocks and beside it the name of Djedefre. This meant that the boat had been constructed during the reign of the Pharaoh Khufu and not, like the first boat, during the reign of Djedefre, he said.

"In 2011, the Japanese-Egyptian team lifted aside the first stone block, weighing 16 tons, to start uncovering Khufu's second boat and began the restoration work," Yoshimura told the Weekly. The on-site team had developed a new technique to lift the blocks that involved inserting a chemically-treated piece of wood beneath the covering stone and lifting it, he said.

Eissa Zidan, director of restoration for the project, said that the beams, timbers, ropes and oars of the boat were buried in sand on 13 levels that housed approximately 1,264 pieces of the boat. In order to rescue the wooden beams, which are in a very bad state of conservation due to the leakage of air inside the pit as well as rain water and the infestation of insects, the Egyptian-Japanese team had created the on-site laboratory to provide first aid, he said.

"Establishing the lab was necessary to rescue the fragile large beams of the boat," Zidan, told the Weekly, adding that the lab was 45 square metres in area and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The lab had cost some LE1 million and had been funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University in Japan.

Eissa said that work on the on-site lab had started in January this year and the building had been inaugurated this month. The archaeological team for the restoration of the second solar boat consists of 12 Egyptian, two Japanese and one American national.

According to Kanan Yoshimura, a conservator on the Japanese team, the restorers are using fillers and soft materials and the lab's temperature and humidity are being adjusted to simulate the atmosphere in the pits where the pieces of the boat were stored for centuries.

"We will restore all of the boat, as every piece of it is important," Yoshimura commented.

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'The Mummy' Sneak Peek: Watch New Clips From Tom Cruise Monster Movie |

New 'The Mummy' Sneak Peek: Tom Cruise Calls Universal's Monster Relaunch 'Inspiring And Seductive'

Beware the Mummy's wrath! [Credit: Universal]
ByTom Bacon, writer at
I'm a film-and-TV fan who grew up with a deep love of superhero comics! Follow me on Twitter @TomABacon or on Facebook @tombaconsuperheroes!

There's no accounting for taste. Alex Kurtzman's remake of The Mummy looks frankly thrilling, but there are two words I never expected to be used to describe it: "Inspiring and seductive." Yet that, apparently, is Tom Cruise's reaction to the idea of a female Mummy!

That's surely one of the more amusing takeaways from an exclusive sneak-peak behind the scenes of The Mummy, due out June 9th. But what else do we learn about the film?

A Smart Inversion Of The Curse Of The Mummy

In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt. The discovery thrilled the world, inspiring a global passion for the study of Egyptology. It also popularized something far more sinister: the legend of the Mummy's Curse.

It's likely that the ancient Egyptians did believe in some sort of superstition surrounding the bodies of the Mummies they entombed; Egyptologists have found some mastaba — early non-pyramid tombs — that are inscribed with ominous curses. Fast-forward to the nineteenth century, and the dawning days of Egyptology, where popular stage shows inspired writers to craft stories of mummy revenge. Even Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, toyed with the idea in her novel Lost in a Pyramid.

Alex Kurtzman may be reinventing the traditional monster story for the modern age, but it looks as though he's also willing to invert the legends. After all, one of the first clips in this sneak peak is of a man who's mysteriously survived a plane crash — because of the precious, mystical cargo he carries.

Building A Monster Universe

Russell Crowe's Doctor Jekkyl. [Credit: Universal]

Of course, The Mummy is just the start of Universal's "Monster Universe," a shared cinematic universe clearly inspired by Marvel's success. We're expecting The Mummy to be joined by films starring creatures as diverse as the Invisible Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon!

So it's no surprise that the sneak peak devotes a great deal of time to giving a sense of just how this shared universe will work. It introduces us to Russell Crowe's Doctor Jekkyl, the scientist who runs Prodigium. A secret organization that deals with the mysterious monster threats — they're clearly the S.H.I.E.L.D. of the Monster Universe — will serve as the connective tissue between the films.

Tom Cruise's Nick Morton. [Credit: Universal]

At the same time, though, Prodigium seems to be an organic, essential part of the story. Kurtzman explained to us in late 2016:

"There was a lot of debate about whether or not to put Dr. Jekyll in the movie, because the minute [we] say 'it's The Mummy but then Dr. Jekyll's in it,' you guys are all going to say, 'You're trying to sell me on a shared universe.' We wanted there to be an organization that was cataloging [monsters], following them, collecting them, determining the good ones from the bad ones — the keeper of that secret history."

The Thrilling Potential Of The Monsters

For Tom Cruise, this is clearly a childhood dream come true. He remembers seeing the original Boris Karloff movie back when he was six years old — and now he gets to be part of reinventing the story for a whole new generation. The sneak peak is chilling, showing so many horror tropes played out; my favorite is the one with the mummy emerging from the water behind her prey...

In a smart move, Universal is building their Monster Universe in the present day. This differentiates The Mummy from all previous films, and it adds another layer of relevance to the movie. After all, this film is imagining what it would be like if a monster actually stepped into our world today.

See also:

The Mummy is a classic tale, and choosing to reinvent the film for the present day is a bold move on Universal's part. At the same time, this is the ultimate monster movie — how better to launch a shared Monster Universe? If this sneak peak is anything to go by, we're in for chills galore.

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Egypt's multi-cultural festival dances to beat of one drum


People take part in the International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts, Cairo. Image uploaded April 21, 2017.  (photo by Facebook/الصفحة الرسمية لصندوق التنمية الثقافية)

Egypt's multi-cultural festival dances to beat of one drum

The fifth edition of the International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts kicked off with beating drums and performances by folkloric troupes in the Egyptian capital April 20.

SummaryPrint Egypt embraces international cultures and showcases its unique heritage in the 5th annual International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts.

About 30 local and foreign folkloric troupes from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe take part in this 10-day festival.

With the slogan "Drums Dialogue for Peace," the festival aims at spreading tolerance and peace, according to Entissar Abdel-Fattah, the founder and director of the festival.

"It aims at ensuring that Egypt is embracing all diverse cultures," Abdel-Fattah told Al-Monitor.

During the festival's opening ceremony, Minister of Culture Helmy el-Namnam said that despite the terrorism facing Egypt, "We will never let them spoil our lives. … We will confront terrorism with our armed forces, the police and with art and culture as well."

The foreign countries that participate in the festival include China, South Korea, Indonesia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal, Greece, Tatarstan and Ecuador.

Apart from the foreign troupes, the festival sheds light on the uniqueness of Egyptian traditional heritage. There are folk troupes from Halayeb and Shalateen; the New Valley; el-Arish of North Sinai; Nubia, Luxor and Sohag from Upper Egypt; and Matrouh in the northwestern part of the country.

Many workshops are held during the festival between the Egyptian and foreign troupes in order to play and rehearse together in harmony.

"All the participating troupes are merging into one and playing the same rhythms with the same spirit," said Abdel-Fattah, who is a theater director and the head of el-Ghouri Creativity Center, affiliated with the Ministry of Culture. He established a number of folkloric troupes in Cairo, such as the Nubian Drums and Folk Instruments Troupe in 1990.

"Despite their different nationalities, they are fusing into one entity using just human communication, art and creativity," he said.

The festival is organized by the Ministries of Culture, Antiquities, Tourism and Planning. The festival has seven venues; most of them are prominent buildings in Cairo.

Some performances are being held in the Yusuf's Well theater in the Salah El-Din Citadel. The theater was named after the well, which according to legend, belongs to God's messenger Yusuf.

Another venue is the Qubbet Al-Ghouri theater, which was built in 1504-1505 during the reign of Mamluk Sultan Al-Ghouri.

On one of the festival's days, there is a five-hour parade by all the troupes along Moezz Street, one of the oldest streets in Egypt dating to the Fatimid era. Dozens of architectural structures are scattered along this street.

During the festival, an exhibition held at Salah El-Din Citadel presents crafts of the participating countries that reflect their peoples' cultures and civilizations.

The festival's closing ceremony April 26 coincided with the nation's yearly celebration of Sinai Liberation Day, which commemorates the final withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982.

"On this day, all the troupes perform and dance on the traditional Sinai rhythms," Abdel-Fattah said. "This will help draw people's eyes to Sinai, a place of tolerance and peace."

Abdel-Fattah said that from April 28 to May 1, some troupes will fly to Luxor to perform inside Luxor Temple. This massive Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River was constructed in 1400 B.C.

Egyptians look forward to this festival every April. Spectators are entertained by the dances of these troupes with their colorful, traditional costumes that add a joyful atmosphere to the historic places.

"It is a joyful event, indeed," Ahmed Morad, an accountant, told Al-Monitor. "Every year, I wait for this opportunity to see the shows of different countries. Something that is difficult to see even on TV."

Nagwa Sayed hopes that this year she can attend the festival. "Because of the huge attendance of the last year's edition, I couldn't attend," Sayed, who hails from the coastal city of Alexandria, wrote on her Facebook page.

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Skeletons Of Two Possible Eunuchs Discovered In Egypt

Skeletons Of Two Possible Eunuchs Discovered In Egypt

I write about archaeology, anthropology, and the classical world.

Sonia Zakrzewski / University of Southampton

Skeleton B21 from Ptolemaic era Quesna, Egypt. With its immature bones and tall stature, this individual might have been intersex.

Recent excavations at the Ptolemaic-Roman site of Quesna in Egypt have revealed two skeletons of individuals who might have been eunuchs. But these people's above-average height and other skeletal irregularities might also reflect a congenital condition rather than castration.

Presenting at last week's American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference, archaeologists Scott Haddow (University of Bordeaux), Sonia Zakrzewski (University of Southampton), and Joanne Rowland (University of Edinburgh) highlighted the two unusual burials out of 151 total interments at Quesna, located in the Nile Delta region of the country.

One person – B21 – was an adolescent of indeterminate sex from the Ptolemaic Era. The burial was oriented rather differently: with the head to the south, rather than the typical head-north orientation of the period. Although the skeleton was poorly preserved, Haddow and colleagues noticed that most of the person's bones looked extremely immature, including the growth plates of the limb bones, which were completely unfused. This meant that the person was taller than average, even though they were not fully grown.

Sonia Zakrzewski / University of Southampton

Archaeologist Scott Haddow excavating B26, a potentially intersex individual from Roman-era Quesna, Egypt.

The other person – B26 – was also an adolescent of indeterminate sex, dating to the Roman Era. Buried in a collective tomb, this person was similarly much taller than average with completely unfused growth plates.

Haddow and colleagues began to suspect these individuals were possibly eunuchs because castration before the onset of puberty typically results in people who are tall and slender, with broad hips, narrow shoulders, and a sunken chest. Although there are few skeletal studies of individuals known to have been castrated, those that exist – such as of the Italian castrati Farinelli and Pacchierotti – also reveal incompletely fused long bones, tall stature, and osteoporosis.

Read More: Castration Affected Skeleton of Famous Opera Singer Farinelli

So were these people from ancient Egypt eunuchs? The historical record would certainly allow for that possibility. Intersex individuals were present throughout the ancient world, Haddow and colleagues note, with eunuchs playing important administrative roles in Assyrian, Persian, and Roman courts. Linguistic evidence also indicates the recognition of non-binary gender statuses. In Egypt specifically, there are textual references to eunuchs working in administrative roles in the Ptolemaic and Roman courts.

But the skeletal evidence is not conclusive. Haddow and colleagues clarify that, beyond castration, other causes need to be considered. These involve a number of congenital conditions affecting the endocrine system, including sex chromosome abnormalities such as Klinefelter Syndrome or autosomal disorders such as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and an estrogen deficiency called aromatase deficiency. Because these conditions disrupt a person's hormonal balance and subsequent skeletal development in a similar way to pre-pubertal castration, it is difficult to differentiate among them.

Returning to the archaeological context, it interests Haddow and colleagues that B21 was buried quite differently than everyone else. Both the orientation of the grave and the artifacts included in it may, they say, "reflect societal recognition of this individual's conspicuous intersex status," which could be the result of pre-pubertal castration but might also reflect a condition such as Klinefelter Syndrome or aromatase deficiency. B26, however, was buried in a similar manner to everyone else. "Perhaps this individual's condition did not result in visibly ambiguous sexual characteristics," the researchers suggest.

Read More: How Castration and Opera Changed the Skeleton of 19th Century Singer Pacchierotti

Given the rarity of congenital disorders affecting sexual development -- Klinefelter Syndrome, the most common one, occurs in 1:500 live births -- the fact that there are two anomalous skeletons in a cemetery of 151 people is surprising, and could also suggest a familial relationship. DNA testing has not yet been conducted, however.

Haddow and colleagues conclude that "the combination of eunuchoid body habitus, unfused epiphyses, [and] osteoporosis can occur as the result of either genetic or culturally induced endocrine disorders." Until DNA testing is done, though, "it is difficult to establish the etiology of the skeletal features observed in the affected Quesna individuals with any degree of certainty."

As more archaeologists begin to identify potential intersex individuals in ancient graves, it is likely that our understanding of the highly variable and socially constructed nature of sex and gender roles in past populations will dramatically increase.



Kristina Killgrove is a bioarchaeologist at the University of West Florida. For more osteology news, follow her on Twitter (@DrKillgrove) or like her Facebook page Powered by Osteons.

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Sudan: Starred By Angelina Jolie, Film On Sudan Ancient Civilization Now in the Making -

Sudan: Starred By Angelina Jolie, Film On Sudan Ancient Civilization Now in the Making

Shooting has started on a film depicting the ancient civilization of Sudan, starred by American Actress Angelina Jolie and with Qatari financing.

Entitled "History Has Started From Here", the film is being shot in several historical places around the country.

According to the General Manager of the Sudanese Antiquities and Museums Corporation, Dr. Abdelrahman Ali, film shooting has started a week ago at the National Museum and the Confluence of the White and Blue Niles in Khartoum. Anchors have then moved to the Dufufa, Jabal al-Barkal, al-Kuru and Old Dongola archeological sites in the Northern State and to the Bajrawiyya in the Nahr al-Neel State to film the Royal City at al-Nqa'a and al-Musawwarat.

All these locations are representative of the remains of the Kushite Kingdoms that reigned thousands of years before Christianity.

Jabal Al-Barkal was once the Capital City of the Kingdom of Meroe. So was the al-Naqa'a and al-Musawwarat. The latter is claimed to have been the cradle of the World's iron smelting and iron industry. For that reason contemporary archeologists choose to call it Birmingham of Sudan. A replica of an iron smelting plant has been built on site by a group of Western archeologists and engineers.

The National Museum in Khartoum houses artifacts of the Meroe kingdoms and other historical dynasties. The collection contains statues of kings and animals representing those times, among very interesting relics of Sudan history.

The State of Qatar will shoulder the film's funding in full. Quatar is also already funding the restoration of historical sites around the country with a view to bringing Sudan's ancient civilization to light and to beef up Sudan's tourist earnings.

The film will be translated into several languages and will be broadcast by the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV Channel. Al-Jazeera says it is willing to give copies of the film for free to any TV channel that wishes to air it.

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The biggest German tourism magazine holds its B2B workshop in Egypt | Luxor Times

The Leading German Trade Magazine for Tourism and Business Travel "fvw" continues to hold its high-profile workshops internationally. This time "fvw workshop" was held in Egypt (22-26 of April 2017)

40 German tour operators and travel agents came to meet with hoteliers and Egyptian officials to discuss the advantages, potentials and strategies for marketing Egyptian destinations to the German market which is the largest in Europe. 

Mr. Klaus Hildebrandt, Editor-in-chief, spoke to Luxor Times on the workshop and tourism situation in general. 

Update: You can read (In German) what Mr. Klaus Hildebrandt wrote about fvw workshop in Egypt HERE

For full interview, please watch the video below.

In German

#Egypt #Tourism #fvw #fvw_workshop #Luxor #RedSea #Hurghada
Posted by

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

WATCH: We take you on a tour of the phenomenal Ancient Egypt exhibition at World Museum - The Guide Liverpool


WATCH: We take you on a tour of the phenomenal Ancient Egypt exhibition at World Museum

Think you know your scouse Mummies….well think again! Liverpool's World Museum is about to open the doors to its new Ancient Egypt: A journey through time on Friday (28th April) revealing one of the UK's most significant collections of ancient Egyptian and Nubian antiquities.

We took our cameras inside to bring you this sneak peak of the breath-taking new gallery which includes the jewel of the exhibition, The Mummy Room, featuring 9 mummies, 4 of which have not been seen since the Museum Blitz in 1941.

One of the two coffins of a lady called Taenty. Dynasty 22 (945 BC – 715 BC). © Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

The gallery has trebled in size to create the biggest ever display area for its ancient Egypt collection. At 1,000 square metres, it is the UK's largest ancient Egypt gallery outside of the British Museum.

The new, enhanced gallery will see around 1,000 key objects displayed including many items that have never been on public display before such as a recently identified statue part of Nefertiti and two mummy masks, including one with a magnificent representation of the vulture goddess Nekhbet, her wings outstretched and patterned.

We caught up with Ashley Cooke, Senior Curator of Antiquities at World Museum, to find out more and to discover just how much Ancient Egypt influences our 21st century lives. Yes, you read that right, from the world's first ever version of a Tweet (decorative scarab beetles are so last season) to our scouse fascination with eye liner, big brows and a bit of bling.

Mummy Mask. Ptolemaic Period (332 BC – 30 BC). © Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool.

New on display will be Djed-hor's Book of the Dead and a brightly painted coffin belonging to a man named Haty from 8th century BC Thebes. The coffin comes from the collection of Sir Robert Mond of Wigan, an industrial chemist whose chief hobby was Egyptian archaeology.

Also displayed for the first time, is a reassembled Predynastic burial (3200 BC), discovered in the desert sand in 1906 by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool, who is responsible for beginning our city's fascination with the ancient world.

The larger gallery also gives space to redisplay objects that were damaged in 1941 when World Museum was bombed in the Blitz. A number of objects will be on display for the first time in 76 years, after the Second World War, including several mummies and artefacts from the royal city of Meroe in northern Sudan, borrowed by the Louvre Museum in 2010 for an exhibition about ancient Egypt's southern neighbours, the Kushites.

Haty coffin images ©Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

The extended gallery will also see the reopening of World Museum's Mummy Room for the first time in 150 years. With a total of ten mummies on display, this is the UK's largest display of mummies outside of the British Museum, and double the number of mummies on display at the Museum previously.

The atmospheric Mummy Room houses a female temple musician called Ankh-es-en-aset; a woman called Ta-enty who was buried in her bedsheets; a teenage woman whose name remains unknown to us, and a priest from Abydos called Hor-wen-nefer.

There will be an additional mummy in the main gallery, the mummy of Nesmin, who served as a priest in the temple of the male fertility god Min 2,300 years ago. Recent CT scans revealed Nesmin died from a fall. The mummy and coffins were previously owned by Sir Rider Haggard, author of King Solomon's Mines.

Steve Judd, Director of World Museum, said: "Our mummy collection is world-renowned and has always proved to be incredibly popular with visitors of all ages.

"Until now, space restrictions have limited us from showing the full scope of our collections. By expanding the gallery, we look forward to wowing visitors with never-before seen objects displayed in new and exciting ways."

World Museum's ancient Egypt collection has been amassed over more than 150 years. The gallery will take visitors on a journey spanning 5,000 years of history from the time of the first settlers in the Nile Valley through to the impact of the Roman Empire. The collections are presented in seven themes: 5,000 Years; Collection Highlights; River Nile; People of Egypt; African Kingdoms; Afterlife; and the Mummy Room. Visitors will find out about Liverpool's long connection to excavations in Egypt and Sudan, and how thousands of artefacts made their way into the Museum.

Djed-Hor Book of Dead © Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

In Victorian times Liverpool's Egyptian collection was the largest after the British Museum and was displayed in the main hall of the Museum. In the May Blitz of 1941, more than 3,000 Egyptian objects were destroyed when the Museum was hit by an incendiary bomb. The collection increased in size over the following 40 years, with 10,000 new acquisitions. The dedicated gallery that opened in 1976 was modest, with just two mummies on display, and improvements to the gallery in 2008 allowed a further three mummies to be brought out of storage.

One of the two coffins of a lady called Taenty. Dynasty 22 (945 BC – 715 BC). © Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

The Ancient Egypt gallery has been funded through the generous support of DCMS/ Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Headley Trust and the Molly Tomlinson Bequests. The exhibition has been made possible as a result of the Government Indemnity Scheme, arranged by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England.

As well as the gallery, visitors can delve deeper into this fascinating civilisation by attending the accompanying programme of events including talks, performances and hands-on activities for all the family to enjoy. Teachers can educate and inspire students by attending our specially-devised ancient Egypt education sessions for schools:

One of the two coffins of a lady called Taenty. Dynasty 22 (945 BC – 715 BC). © Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

World Museum also has a brand new Shop and Cafe open daily, which has been transformed into a stunning new space  with booths and a light and airy dining room, that's also available to hire for corporate and private events. All profits are returned to National Museums Liverpool to support its work. .

For more information head to and look out for our Kate at the official opening on Friday.

What are you favourite exhibits at the World Museum? Tweet us @TheGuideLiverpool or email us and we'll share your pics on our socials.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ancient Egyptians in Japan - Ahram Weekly

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

The Japanese city of Shizuoka is celebrating Easter the ancient Egyptian way with a major exhibition of antiquities, reports Nevine El-Aref

Ancient Egyptians in Japan
It seems that ancient Egyptian artefacts are hogging the attention of the Japanese city of Shizuoka this Easter, taking away attention from traditional bunnies and coloured eggs.

Pictures of the Great Pyramids at Giza, the Pharaoh Khufu's solar boat, a golden mask of Amenemopet, a limestone pyramidion of Ry and Maya, a black basalt statue of Khafre and jewellery embellished with precious stones have been decorating the walls of the city's train station, shops, hotels and streets instead of the usual Easter decorations.

Last Saturday a gala ceremony was organised at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of "The Golden Pharaohs and Pyramid Builders" exhibition on the seventh leg of its tour, with Japanese officials, Egyptologists and curators gathering to attend the inauguration.

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

The exhibition was originally opened in October 2015 in the Japanese capital Tokyo and was scheduled to tour seven other cities in Japan over a 25-month period, including Matsuyama, Sendai, Kagoshima, Kyoto, Toyama, Shizuoka and Fukuoka.

"The exhibition at its sixth stop in Toyama attracted 80,000 visitors, and we are expecting around 110,000 people to visit the exhibition in Shizuoka," Naomi Kudo, the exhibition coordinator, told Al-Ahram Weekly. She said that all the tickets for the first day had been sold.

"The exhibition not only sheds light on the Old Kingdom and the age of the Pyramid Builders, but also highlights the strong relationship between Egypt and Japan," Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told the Weekly.

He added that the exhibition was a good opportunity to promote tourism and to encourage Japanese tourists to return to Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

Afifi said that Egyptian-Japanese cooperation in the cultural field was being seen in many current projects. Among the most important was the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau, which will put on display 100,000 artefacts and welcome millions of visitors every year.

"This is thanks to the Japanese government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] for their continuous efforts and support in offering two soft loans to complete one of the most important cultural projects in the world," Afifi said.

In addition, Japan has provided technical and scientific support through the provision of scientific equipment and materials to the GEM's conservation centre.

There are many joint Egyptian-Japanese missions at various archaeological sites in Egypt that have yielded important results. Waseda University, for example, has been excavating in Egypt since 1966, and it was among the first foreign institutions to introduce advanced technological tools to better understand Egypt's archaeology.

One of the university's recent projects is the exploration of Khufu's second solar boat in its pit on the Giza Plateau.

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

"The exhibition is the first of its kind in Japan," Sakuhi Yoshimura, president of the Higashi Nippon International University and the exhibition's supervisor, told the Weekly, adding that exhibitions featuring the Pyramids were currently rare internationally.

He explained that the aim of the exhibition was to use a variety of exhibits to decipher the truth behind the construction of the Pyramids in order to discard fantasies and present only established facts.

"This is the first comprehensive exhibition dealing with the Pyramids to be held anywhere in the world, and the artefacts it presents are amazing for their quality," Yoshimura said.

The exhibition has five sections. The first features the construction of the Pyramids and the techniques employed, displaying a pyramidion, a hammer that was used to work the square stone blocks, surveying tools and other items.

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

The second section looks at the rulers of the Old Kingdom during the Pyramid-building period by displaying sculptures of the pharaohs who reigned during the era. Among the best of these are three statues connected with Khufu that were discovered by the Waseda University mission.

They consist of two statues of the god of war Sekhmet that have the name of Khufu engraved on their feet and a small statue of the sphinx which has the name of Khufu written between its front legs. In addition, there are statues of the pharaohs Khafre and Menkare, as well as others dating from the Fifth Dynasty and the Middle Kingdom.

"It is the first time that so many statues of the pharaohs have been gathered together anywhere in the world outside Egypt," Yoshimura said.

He added that the third section of the exhibition considered the labourers who had served the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and had devoted themselves to the construction of the Pyramids. It puts on display a large collection of statues of nobles, officials, family members and a married couple, as well as images of craftsmen, bakers, potters and brewers.

The fourth section of the exhibition focuses on the women who supported the labourers, looking at their belongings and daily customs. There is a striking collection of gold and silver jewellery decorated with semi-precious stones.

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

The fifth and final section features the aspirations and desires of the ancient Egyptians, including their desire to arrive safely in the afterlife. It looks at the artefacts they have left behind in an attempt to understand their hopes of travelling to the next world and what kind of life they expected to spend there.

"The ancient Egyptians thought of the afterlife as being a golden paradise, and the methods by which they gained admittance to it were the most important themes of their lives," Yoshimura told the Weekly.

He said that it was for this reason that the ancient Egyptians had been happy to devote themselves to the construction of the Pyramids, even if they were injured or their neighbours were killed during work which could take decades to complete.

In addition to the five sections of the exhibition, images of the solar boats that transported the pharaohs to the afterlife are also on show to give visitors a better understanding of ancient Egyptian ideas about the Pyramids.

One of the highlights of the exhibition, a golden mask of Amenemopet, is being shown in Japan for the first time in 21 years. A high-definition film of the mask of Tutankhamun, the first time the piece has been filmed outside its display case, is also being shown.

Ancient Egyptians in Japan

Elham Salah, head of the Museums Section at the Ministry of Antiquities, told the Weekly that the exhibition highlighted one of the most interesting eras of ancient Egyptian history: the period of the Pyramid builders.

Each artefact in the show displayed the dazzling craftsmanship that had characterised the period, she said, adding that it included 120 artefacts carefully selected from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, including the statues of Khafre, a group of statues of servants, workers, and the makers of beer and bread, and a statue of a scribe.

Also on display are a kind of ancient game set and a statue of the Pharaoh Ne-User-Re.

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The El Kurru Heritage Project | Kelsey Museum

On 04/20/17 13:42, cperson01 wrote:
The El Kurru Heritage Project

BY SUZANNE DAVIS, Curator of Conservation, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

For the past several years, I've spent part of the winter in the small Sudanese village of El Kurru, and every year I fall a little bit more in love with it. I work there with Kelsey Research Scientist (and Kurru dig director) Geoff Emberling on the excavation and preservation of an ancient, royal cemetery.  Two years ago, the Kurru project team began to deliberately focus on community engagement as a way to forge stronger links between the local community and the ancient site.

This work has evolved slowly, beginning from plans to present the site to tourists (of which there are a surprisingly large number). El Kurru is an interesting site, with a big pyramid, two beautifully-painted subterranean tombs, and a large rock-cut temple. But the site is only a small part of what I love about El Kurru. I love the Sudanese friends and colleagues we have there, the beauty of the Nile, and the family we live with. Tourists to the site, sadly, enter from a desert road and never have a reason to visit the town. As we planned the site itinerary for tourists, we kept saying to ourselves – wouldn't it be great if visitors could keep walking and go into town, down through the date palm groves, and see the Nile? What if they could drink some Sudanese coffee, hear some music, and eat Sudanese food?

Over the past two years, we've worked with University of Michigan colleagues to assemble focus-groups in El Kurru to explore this idea. Not only did village residents think it was good idea – an exciting idea, even – to showcase local culture, they had a clear vision for what visitors should learn about their village and what experiences make El Kurru special. Here are photos of a few.


Mohammed Ahmed Al-Makee, who is in his nineties, is one of El Kurru's last traditional weavers. His wife dyes and spins cotton into yarn, and from this he weaves scarves, shawls, and bed coverings on a pit-loom in the courtyard of his house. He allowed my colleague Jack Cheng and I to talk with him about his work and to record the sights and sounds of his loom, which he inherited from his grandfather.

Once or twice a during the field season, we are treated to a riverside concert of traditional music. There is singing and dancing, and the primary instrument is the tambour, a stringed guitar-like instrument. These instruments are made in the village and are often decorated by the town's henna artist. In this group, the musician I know best is Abdel Bakee, the drummer.

Bread is the backbone of every meal in El Kurru. There are several popular kinds of bread in Sudan, but the one shown here is a pita-type bread made from wheat flour. It is baked fresh every day in multiple village bakeries and is especially delicious right out of the oven. The baker pictured here is Ahmed Ibrahim.

El Kurru is an agricultural village focused on date farming. The date palms grow in beautiful gardens along the Nile. Families own a plot of land and work together to irrigate it, care for the trees, and harvest the dates, of which there are many kinds. From the house where we live, we can walk across the street and through this section of trees to get to the Nile. It is about a five minute walk to the river.

Filed under: Conservation

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