Search This Blog

Monday, August 30, 2021

Egypt to make oldest Islamic capital in Africa into open museum - Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

Egypt to make oldest Islamic capital in Africa into open museum

Egypt is planning to turn the city of Fustat, the oldest Islamic capital in Egypt and Africa, into an open museum that offers tourists a distinctive experience.
This picture taken on May 14, 2021, shows an aerial view            of Egypt's capital Cairo's Nile island of Manial al-Roda (top)            and the historic old Cairo district (bottom).

CAIRO — The Egyptian government announced on Aug. 23 that Egypt seeks to breathe new life into the ancient city of Fustat — the oldest Islamic capital in Africa — by turning it into an open-air museum for visitors from across the world.

The announcement came during a meeting between Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly and officials in charge of the Fustat Gardens development project.

According to a statement published on the Egyptian premiership's Facebook page, the Fustat Gardens development project aims to design a public park overlooking archaeological and historical sites and monuments, converting the site into a regional and global tourist destination.

The project, according to the statement, also aims to offer recreational activities and traditional industries typical of the region by reviving its heritage throughout various Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic and modern eras.

Osama Talaat, head of the Islamic, Coptic and Judaic Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in an Aug. 23 interview on the DMC channel the park will be built on 500 acres in the heart of historic Cairo, which is home to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Ain el-Sira Lake, the Religious Complex and Amr Ibn al-Aas Mosque.

Talaat said visitors will be able to tour the alleys of the original old city of Fustat, which is currently being restored.

On April 3, 22 royal mummies were transferred in a parade from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.

The city of Fustat dates back to the year 641 and was built by Arab commander Amr ibn al-Aas in the wake of the Islamic conquest of Egypt.

Fustat means "the tent," and the city served as the capital of Egypt for 113 years — followed by al-Askar, al-Qata'i and then Cairo, which have as common denominator their expansion and urban sprawl.

These cities are now part of a single entity known as Cairo.

Islamic researcher Moaz Lafi told Al-Monitor any interest in areas rich in antiquities would attract tourists — especially in Fustat, which was not on the tourism map before the development of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and Ain el-Sira Lake.

Lafi said he noticed during his visit to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the surrounding area that the development project is advancing on scientific grounds that are taking into account the archaeological and historical nature of the place.

The location is ideal for tourists seeking an integrated tour given that services that were not available in Egyptian museums before have now been provided, such as restaurants, cafes and bazaars, he added.

Add to this, Lafi said, the construction of a 250-meter (820-foot) tourist walkway by Ain el-Sira Lake with pergolas and seats, which will serve as an open area and a park for museum visitors.

He said Fustat contains antiquities dating back thousands of years and hosts the remains of four-story houses that ancient travelers called skyscrapers simply because they were not found in any other Islamic city.

Regarding the historical and archaeological importance of Fustat, Abdel Rahim Rihan, the general director of the Department of Research, Archaeological Studies and Academic Publication in South Sinai of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told Al-Monitor the city includes the Religious Complex, where the Jewish temple known as Ben Ezra Synagogue can be found, along with the churches of ancient Egypt such as the church of Saint Sergius and Bacchus (Abu Serga), which includes the cave where the Holy Family is believed to have stayed during one of its journeys to Egypt. This cave is 6 meters long and 4.5 meters wide and divided into three sections separated by stone columns. The cave sits 6.3 meters below the roof of the church, while the floor of the church itself sits 3.6 meters below street level, he continued.

Rihan said other churches found include Hanging Church, Church of Saint Barbara, Church of Mary Gerges, Church of the Virgin (Qasriet Al-Rihan), Church of Saints Abakir and Yohanna, Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, Church of St. Mercurius Abu Sefein and Church of Abba Shenouda.

Fustat is also home to the second oldest mosque in Egypt and Africa after the Sadat Quraish Mosque (in Sharqia governorate), namely the Amr ibn al-Aas Mosque, Rihan added.

The Abu Serga Church, being on the pathway of the Holy Family, encouraged the government to rehabilitate the streets leading to the Religious Complex and establish an alternative road for public transportation. The government also erected guide signs and pergolas and built tourist gates for the area bearing the icon of the Holy Family, at a distance of 800 meters to 1 kilometer from the site of the shrine, he added.

It also prompted the government to develop a comprehensive plan for the development of the area, Rihan said.

Fustat's National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is one of the most important and largest antiquities museums in the world. It is the first museum dedicated to the entirety of Egyptian civilization, with more than 50,000 artifacts recounting the stages of the development of civilization from ancient to modern times.

Add to this, he said, the crafts centers in Fustat, which are among the major projects established by the Ministry of Culture with the aim of reviving the glories of an ancient past while highlighting a bright present by allowing artists and craftspersons to unleash their creativity.

He stressed that the Fustat development project will turn the area into an integrated, urban site that combines old and new and establishes a link between present and past, all surrounded by wonderful gardens.

According to Rihan, this park is to compete with the newly designed Park Guell in Barcelona, which is registered as a World Heritage Site.

If Fustat is designed based on the special blueprint according to the directives of the political leadership, then Egypt would be offering a new destination to world tourists, he added.

He also suggested it be called the Gardens of Peace since it serves as a melting pot for religions and includes one of the most important stations blessed by the Holy Family, who resided there for a long time.

Rihan demanded a large theater be established in the center of the area to hold international heritage shows and festivals in the heart of the oldest Islamic capital in Egypt.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

Northern Cal. ARCE Lecture Sept. 12 - Hands unto Ethiopia: The First African Americans to Visit Nubia

The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a virtual lecture by Dr. Jeremy Pope, The College of William & Mary:
Hands unto Ethiopia: The First African Americans to Visit Nubia

When: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 3 PM Pacific Time

Zoom Lecture. A registration link will be automatically sent to ARCE-NC members. Non-members may request a registration link by sending email with your name and email address to Attendance is limited, so non-members, please send any registration requests no later than September 10.

About the Lecture:

Since at least the middle of the 18th century, people of African descent in the Americas have invoked ancient Nubia—the "Ethiopia" and "Cush" of the Bible—as exemplar of African history and signifier of a global racial identity. The prophecy in Psalm 68:31 that "Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God" became the shared slogan of political, religious, and literary movements on both sides of the Atlantic that are known collectively to historians as Ethiopianism. By 1902, Pauline Hopkins's serial novel, Of One Blood, would cast a fictional African American traveler to Nubia as the harbinger of Pan-African liberation and mutual uplift of Africans and African Americans.  


Yet no published study has ever analyzed—nor even documented—the experiences of the first African Americans who actually traveled to Nubia. This silence is all the more remarkable, because such analysis has been performed for the first Europeans, white Americans, and Canadian Iroquois visitors to Nubia. Dr. Pope's lecture will seek to fill this historiographical void by reconstructing the history of the first African American visitors to Nubia from their private correspondence, interviews with their descendants, and an unpublished essay on the African past that was penned by one of the travelers following his return to the United States.  


If the story of their transcontinental voyage has thus far escaped attention in the academy, this may be attributed in large part to the fact that it does not belong to the traditional source material of Egyptology, Nubiology, exploration, or Ethiopianism. The narrative of the first African Americans to travel to Nubia instead demonstrates how these disciplines and movements have intersected with histories of global politics, international commerce, and intellectual inquiry beyond the circle of professional scholars.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Jeremy Pope is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the College of William & Mary, where he is also a Faculty Affiliate in Classical Studies. Dr. Pope is a member of the editorial boards of History in Africa and 
African Archaeological Review and is the author of The Double Kingdom under Taharqo: Studies in the History of Kush and Egypt c. 690-664 BC ​(E.J. Brill, 2014). He has participated in archaeological excavations at Gebel Barkal in Sudan and at Karnak's Mut Precinct in Egypt.

About ARCE-NC:

For more information, please visit,,, or To join the chapter or renew your membership, please go to and select "Berkeley, CA" as your chapter when you sign up.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Katy Perry releases shoe collection inspired by Egypt

Katy Perry releases shoe

Collection inspired by Egypt

Katy Perry releases                        shoe collection inspired by Egypt
Her fashion label, Katy Perry Collections, has released the summer shoes in black and gold. (AFP)

DUBAI: Ancient Egypt was the creative source of US singer and songwriter Katy Perry's latest sandal design. 

Her fashion label, Katy Perry Collections, has released the summer shoes in black and gold. They feature the country's pyramids and the ankh — an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol used in writing and art to represent the word for "life." 

Perry shared pictures of her new designs with her 130 million Instagram followers and wrote: "Sometimes my real life experiences inspire."  

In 2019, the "Fireworks" singer traveled to Egypt to celebrate her 35th birthday with her husband Orlando Bloom. 

The couple toured the country's historic sites, including Luxor, Aswan and Siwa Oasis. The hitmaker celebrated her birthday by enjoying a dinner at a temple in Edfu, a city located to the west of the Nile River.

In the announcement of her new collection, Perry shared a picture of herself riding a camel against a backdrop of the pyramids of Giza. 

In April, she released heels and flats, in black, gold and orange, with the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol that represents well-being, healing and protection. 

--   Sent from my Linux system.

Egypt unearths remains of suburb from Greek, Roman eras in Alexandria - Daily News Egypt

Egypt unearths remains of suburb from Greek, Roman eras in Alexandria

Suburb was used for long period from 2nd Century B.C to 4th Century A.D

An Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered remains of a residential and commercial suburb from the Greek and Roman eras, during excavations in the Shatby area, Alexandria.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said this discovery shed the light on the various activities that were carried out at the outer walls of the Egyptian capital in the Greek and Roman eras, which included resting places for travelers and visitors until obtaining the necessary permits to enter the city. It also included places for evaluating taxes on goods imported to the city from the east.

Waziri confirmed that the preliminary studies that were carried out on the remains showed that it consisted of a main street perpendicular to the sub-streets, all linked to a sewage network. He added that this suburb was used for a long period from the 2nd Century B.C to the 4th Century A.D.

Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, indicated that the mission discovered a number of water wells, in addition to a huge network of tunnel cisterns covered with a layer of pink mortar to store water from wells, rain, and flood for use in dry seasons. There were over 40 wells and cisterns in the area. In addition, a number of pottery vessels, lamps, and some statues were found, which indicates the high population density of this suburb.

Nadia Khader, head of the Central Department of Antiquities of Lower Egypt, said that the remains of a cabin containing a basin were also discovered that may have been dedicated to the two goddesses "Athena" and "Dimitra", who were known as two chapels for hunting and fishermen, and fragments of statues of each were also found. In addition, remains of a room were found next to the cabin. It contained a group of small ovens that were used for burning sacrifices and cooking food for those in charge of the cabin. The mission also discovered remains of amphoras and small urns for storing grain.

In the same context, Khaled Abu Al-Hamad, Director General of the Antiquities of Alexandria, revealed that studies proved that the discovered suburb contained a commercial market with workshops and shops for selling votive utensils and for the manufacture and sale of statues of deities, legendary heroes, emperors, and celebrities. Molds for making these statues and a bust of alabaster were also found.

He added that a large number of remains of amphorae, amulets, metal works, nearly 700 antique coins, dishes, and utensils of various shapes and sizes, in addition to large quantities of tools associated with industrial activities such as loom weights and fishing nets, were found.

Archaeologist Ibrahim Mustafa, head of the mission, added that the archaeological finds discovered in this suburb indicate that they were closely related to the movement of incoming trade to the city and the activities of fishing and manufacturing related tools, as most of the discoveries in the statue-making workshop indicate that most of the customers of this workshop were fishermen Where the statues of deities associated with hunting were found, in addition to the statues of the legendary heroes and Alexander the Great, which were considered amulets to take care of the warriors, and the region was also associated with the sale of offerings and votive utensils that were usually presented to the deceased in their tombs in the eastern cemetery.

He added that the excavations at the site lasted for nine whole months, and the final works are currently underway to document the site using three-dimensional imaging and modern topographical lifting techniques. .

--   Sent from my Linux system.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Pharaoh's groupies: why are we obsessed with ancient Egypt? - Big Think

Wow. NEVER a dull moment with this one.


Pharaoh's groupies: why are we obsessed with ancient Egypt?

We should not romanticize ancient Egyptian culture.

Pharaoh's groupies:          why are we obsessed with ancient Egypt?
Credit: Jeremy Zero via Unsplash
  • I was initially attracted to Egyptology because of some unexplainable, irrational love for an ancient culture.
  • But I now view these gorgeous, chiseled kings as bullies and narcissists.
  • Fetishizing ancient cultures makes ourselves easy marks for the next charismatic authoritarian who comes along.

The following is excerpted from The Good Kings, to be published by National Geographic Books on November 2. Courtesy of National Geographic Books.

I am a recovering Egyptologist.

Like many of us in the field, I was initially attracted to the subject because of some unexplainable, irrational love for an ancient culture that lay millennia in the past. I felt I knew these ancient people somehow, and followed an indescribable urge to jump into the academic time machine to learn anything I could. I've now worked in Egyptology since entering graduate school in 1994, investing countless hours learning and teaching the ancient hieroglyphic language, committing kings' portraits to memory, traveling back and forth to Egypt, and waxing academically about what my research has uncovered.

The most common question asked of me as I stand at a podium for a lecture, or at a cocktail party with a drink in hand, is why I chose to become an Egyptologist. People want to know what a person like me is doing in a field like this. But other Egyptologists never demand my origin story; we all know in our bones that our urge to study that ancient place remains inexplicable, like the reasons we fell in love with someone. The heart wants what the heart wants. Maybe I just don't want to admit that I was drawn in by the dazzling gold, the massive statuary, the pyramids whose codes have yet to be cracked, the unabashed displays of power. Or maybe I fell for the idea of divine kingship that could reify miracles in stone and craft philosophical tales of complex religiosity.

But that unassailable strength of ancient rule, once so attractive to me, has now soured. The realization was like suddenly understanding that you're in an abusive relationship. Such sudden apprehension is not as stark as an addict hitting rock bottom; it's much more subtle. Your partner treats you real nice when he's in a good mood and buys you beautiful things. But everything seems stacked in his favor, and you begin to question your reality. Is he telling you the truth? And should you really be constantly submitting to his so-called better judgment? When what you thought were moral truths repeatedly turn into lies, it's time to admit you have a problem and find a way out.

Escaping from such an asymmetrical situation can be difficult, though. The cognitive shift is usually not a panicked run from a physical abuser in the dead of night. But it does demand unlearning what you have learned, or remembering what you forgot. Any victim of the more nuanced forms of psychological control knows that cognitive retraining is required to see what could not be recognized before, to understand that your cult leader does not truly have your best interests at heart, that you can indeed exist on your own.

Analogies to abusive partners and cult leaders may seem overblown. But suddenly I can't help but view my once beloved Egyptian kings — and their stunningly beautiful artistic and cerebral productions — in light of the testosterone-soaked power politics of the patriarchal system in which I live. I am quickly becoming antipatriarchal and anti-pharaoh, in whatever form the absolutism takes, ancient or modern. I now dwell in a strange in-between world in which the script has been flipped, where those gorgeous, chiseled kings have been revealed as bullies and narcissists.

I'm being naive, you might say. And, of course, you could be right. But how many of us have had deep obsessions with the ancient world — I just love Egyptian temples! I adore Greek mythology! — that are really symptoms of an ongoing addiction to male power that we just can't kick?

This book presents an analysis of how we make ourselves easy marks for the next charismatic authoritarian to come along. It's high time we see how fetishism of ancient cultures is used to prop up modern power grabs. And we need to admit — somewhere down deep — that we think the powerful patriarch, coolly in control, is superhot. Only then can we actually figure out how to smash him.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Historic Egyptian palace being razed as it is on verge of collapse: Official

Historic Egyptian palace being razed as it is on verge of collapse: Official

Historic Egyptian palace being razed as it is                        on verge of collapse: Official
The palace, which overlooks the Nile, was built in 1897 by Tewfik Pasha Andraos, a member of the House of Representatives for three consecutive terms from 1923 to 1935. (AN Photo)
  • Antiquities thieves blamed for damage to Tawfiq Pasha Andraos Palace in Luxor
  • Remains of a pharaonic temple might be found under the palace, the excavation of which will be completed within three to four months

CAIRO: The historic Tawfiq Pasha Andraos Palace, located adjacent to the Luxor Temple, is being demolished because it has developed cracks and is on the verge of collapse, according to Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.

While accompanying Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly during his inspection tour of Egypt's monument-rich city of Luxor on Wednesday, Waziri blamed antiquities thieves excavating under the palace for the poor condition of the building.

The palace, which overlooks the Nile, was built in 1897 by Tewfik Pasha Andraos, a member of the House of Representatives for three consecutive terms from 1923 to 1935. He hosted many historical figures there.

It has been of great historical value as it contained artifacts that were transferred to the archaeological stores in Luxor 20 years ago.

Remains of a pharaonic temple might be found under the palace and the excavation of that will be completed within three to four months, Waziri said.

The Egyptian government began its demolition after the dilapidated installations committee proved that the condition of the building was very dangerous and a threat to the Luxor Temple.

Controversy erupted when the razing of the historic building was criticized, with some demanding that the demolition be halted and the building restored to its former glory.

In January 2013, the bodies of Tawfiq's unmarried daughters, Sofia Andraos, 82, and Louday Andraos, 79, were found inside the palace. Their deaths remain a mystery.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

Egypt renovates monuments in Luxor to invigorate city's charm

Egypt renovates monuments in Luxor to invigorate city's charm

© Provided by Xinhua

Egypt starts renovation work in Luxor to rejuvenate the charm of the monument-rich city ahead of its national day in early November.

LUXOR, Egypt, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly paid a visit on Wednesday to the country's monument-rich city of Luxor and inspected the renovation work on some huge columns in the Karnak Temple Complex as part of a campaign launched by the government to rejuvenate the charm of the city ahead of its national day in early November.

Accompanied by a number of officials including the tourism and antiquities minister and the governor of Luxor, the prime minister saw tens of specialized restorers standing on scaffolds while working on cleaning and restoring the original colors of 12 columns out of the 134 columns of the Great Hypostyle Hall inside the temple complex.

© Provided by Xinhua

"I am here for monitoring all the progress and the effort that are being undertaken by the governorate and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for the revival and renovation of different monuments and sites in Luxor," the Egyptian prime minister told reporters.

He added that the ongoing renovations of sites in Luxor, including the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes stretching between them, will be celebrated in "another international event" like that when Egypt celebrated in April relocating 22 mummies from a museum to another in Cairo in a remarkable event referred to as the Pharaohs' Golden Parade.

© Provided by Xinhua

Mostafa al-Saghir, director-general of Karnak temples, said that the Great Hypostyle Hall with its 134 columns in Karnak is admired and visited the most by local and foreign tourists.

"We are currently doing the restoration work to show their original colors, which are so beautiful and amazing. All this comes within the preparation of Karnak temples and Luxor Temple for the planned opening of the Grand Avenue of Sphinxes," the official told Xinhua inside the massive hall.

Saghir added that the Great Hypostyle Hall is "a construction miracle" in the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, stressing that "while the Pyramids of Giza are the construction miracle of the Old Kingdom, the Great Hypostyle Hall is the construction miracle of the New Kingdom."

© Provided by Xinhua

Dressed in a white coat like her colleagues, Israa Hussein, a young woman, was standing on one of the scaffolds while using special tools and brushes to clean part of one of the columns and highlight its original colors.

"We try to revive the spirit of the columns. It's an honor to work in this project in our city that contains a large amount of the world's antiquities, and we're happy that we highlight something valuable whose details and features used to be obscure," she told Xinhua.

The restorers working on the temples in Luxor are mostly from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and they came from different Upper Egyptian provinces including Luxor and Sohag, according to SCA Secretary-General Mostafa Waziri.

The Avenue of Sphinxes is 2,700 meters long, connecting between the temples of Karnak and Luxor Temple, told Waziri, noting that excavation work in the avenue, which started in 2017, led to finding new sphinxes in the place.

The SCA chief said that excavation in the avenue will continue even after its opening for visitors in a few months, describing the monument-rich city of Luxor as "an open-air museum."

The delegation of officials also took a quick look at Luxor Temple and the adjacent Avenue of Sphinxes before they concluded the inspection tour.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

He Sold Antiquities for Decades, Many of Them Fake, Investigators Say - The New York Times

He Sold Antiquities for Decades, Many of Them Fake, Investigators Say

The owner of a Manhattan gallery was charged with grand larceny and other crimes by prosecutors who say he mass-produced objects that he passed off as ancient artifacts.

Investigators said                  the operator of the Sadigh Gallery, on an upper floor of                  a building on Fifth Avenue in New York, was involved in                  the sale of fake antiquities.
Credit...Manhattan District Attorney's Office

For years, looted antiquities have been a law enforcement priority, not only because the smuggling of ancient artifacts damages the cultural heritage of their countries of origin, but because illicit sales have sometimes financed the operation of drug gangs or terror organizations.

But prosecutors say Mehrdad Sadigh, a New York antiquities dealer whose Sadigh Gallery has operated for decades in the shadow of the Empire State Building, decided not to go to the trouble of acquiring ancient items.

He made bogus copies instead, they say, creating thousands of phony antiquities in a warren of offices just off his display area and then marketing them to unsophisticated and overeager collectors.

"For many years, this fake antiquities mill based in midtown Manhattan promised customers rare treasures from the ancient world and instead sold them pieces manufactured on-site in cookie-cutter fashion," the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., said in a statement after Mr. Sadigh was arrested earlier this month.

Mr. Sadigh has pleaded not guilty to charges of scheming to defraud, grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, forgery and criminal simulation.

Among the people he sold to, according to prosecutors, were undercover federal investigators who bought a gold pendant depicting the death mask of Tutankhamen and a marble portrait head of an ancient Roman woman — paying $4,000 for each. Those sales became the basis for a visit to the gallery in August by members of the district attorney's office and Homeland Security investigations, who said they found hundreds of fake artifacts displayed on shelves and inside glass cases. Thousands more, they said, were found in the rooms behind the gallery — including scarabs, statuettes and spear heads in differing stages of preparation.

Matthew Bogdanos, the chief of the district attorney's Antiquities Trafficking Unit, said in an interview that the visit revealed a sort of assembly-line process that seemed designed to distress and otherwise alter mass-produced items of recent vintage so they would appear aged. Investigators, he said, found varnish, spray paints, a belt sander and mudlike substances of different hues and consistencies, among other tools and materials.

Gary Lesser, a lawyer for Mr. Sadigh, declined to comment on Tuesday.

The district attorney's office said that Mr. Sadigh appeared to be among the biggest purveyors of fake artifacts in the country based on the longevity of his business, the number of items seized from his gallery and his "substantial financial gains."

Thousands of objects                were found in the back rooms of the gallery, where                investigators said items were treated to make them seem                ancient.
Credit...Manhattan District Attorney's Office

Mr. Sadigh had operated his gallery for decades, advertising it on its website as "a family-owned art gallery specializing in ancient artifacts and coins from around the world."

Established in 1978 as a small mail-order company, the website said that in 1982 the gallery moved to a suite of offices on an upper floor of a building at Fifth Avenue and East 31st Street.

From his location there, Mr. Sadigh offered for sale items that he said were ancient Anatolian, Babylonian, Byzantine, Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian and Sumerian. The gallery's website featured a blog on antiquities and testimonials from satisfied customers. Google reviews posted online were filled with accounts from clients, some of whom said they had been shopping there for years and many of whom mentioned personal service they appreciated.

Among the items listed for sale on the website in late 2020 and early 2021 were a mummified falcon dated to 305-30 B.C. ($9,000), an Egyptian sarcophagus mask carved from wood and dated to 663-525 B.C. ($5,000), and an iron and nickel fragment from a meteorite that landed in Mongolia ($1,500).

"All of our antiquities are guaranteed authentic," the site stated.

Mr. Sadigh came to the attention of investigators when other dealers being pursued for trafficking looted antiquities complained, Mr. Bogdanos said, that "the guy selling all the fakes" was being overlooked.

When investigators looked into the Sadigh Gallery, Mr. Bogdanos said, they found not a sidewalk peddler of cheap knockoffs, but someone "too big to not investigate."

Among the items Mr. Bogdanos recognized in the gallery was a copy of an 11th-century ceramic Khmer sculpture of a Buddha; the original had been seized by the district attorney's office in a separate case. Other items in the gallery appeared to be modeled after objects that had been stolen from the Iraq Museum, thefts Mr. Bogdanos had a hand in investigating while serving as a Marine colonel in Iraq in 2003.

(Mr. Bogdanos led an effort to recover thousands of items taken by looters during the fall of Baghdad.)

After Mr. Sadigh's arrest, prosecutors obtained a second warrant allowing them to search for tools used in the modification of antiquities or "objects purporting to be antiquities" as well as items like a sarcophagus valued at $50,000, a cylinder seal valued at $40,000 and a statue of the goddess Artemis valued at $25,000, all suspected of being fakes.

Despite his positive reviews online, Mr. Sadigh had previously been associated with a dispute over the authenticity of items he had sold.

In 2019, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in Iowa canceled a planned visiting exhibition after Bjorn Anderson, an art history professor at the University of Iowa, said that "the majority" of its items appeared to be fakes once sold by the Sadigh gallery

"I don't know anything about this," Mr. Sadigh said in response, according to The West Branch Times, which reported the cancellation in 2019.

  • --   Sent from my Linux system.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2021

    Recent excavations in Spain’s Salamanca uncovers amulets belonging to Egyptian deity Hathor - EgyptToday

    Recent excavations in Spain's Salamanca uncovers amulets belonging to Egyptian deity Hathor


    Tue, 24 Aug 2021 - 12:39 GMT

    Egyptian Goddess Hathor

    Egyptian Goddess Hathor

    CAIRO – 24 August 2021: The recent excavation of the San Vicente Hill in Salamanca, central northern Spain, uncovered amulets of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, which was made in ancient Egypt and reached the peninsula around 1000 BC.

    The discovery came during the archaeological work that began in the 1990s led by a team of archaeologists from the University of Salamanca, headed by Antonio Blanco, the Salamanca Municipal Council, as well as archaeologists Carlos Macario and Cristina Alario.

    Archaeologist Carlos Macario told the Spanish news agency that the amulets bearing the image of Hathor, the goddess of happiness, motherhood and love in ancient Egypt, reflect the trade exchange in the early years of the Iron Age between 900 and 400 BC in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically in the ancient site of Salamanca and La Plata Road after that.

    The importance of this city, which was then called Salamanca, also appears in the trade routes for minerals such as iron or tin, according to WAM 24.

    Archaeologists found these amulets of the goddess Hathor, and necklaces bearing the image of the same goddess in the excavations of the hill of San Vicente, which is considered the beginning of the establishment of the city of Salamanca.

    Carlos Macario highlighted that these antiquities were made from blue quartz in ancient Egypt, or in the factories of the Phoenicians in that era. Ancient Egyptians used the blue quartz a lot in their artwork.

    Archaeologist Macario asserted that the city of Salamanca at that time constituted part of a very important area for trade in the Iberian Peninsula, which was reached by Phoenician merchants to "exchange products with the indigenous people", which means that it was connected to "all kinds of goods coming from ancient Egypt and imported and manufactured parts in the western Mediterranean".

    The Egyptian pieces appeared during excavations in the house of one of the most important men in the city of Salamanca at the time. The ancient Egyptians put these amulets in tombs to accompany the body at death.


    --   Sent from my Linux system.

    Thursday, August 19, 2021

    ANE TODAY - 202108 - Why Did the World End in 1200 BCE? - American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR)

    Why Did the World End in 1200 BCE?

    By Jesse Millek

    For anyone acquainted with the history of the ancient Near East, the year 1200 BCE can conjure up any number of images of desolation and bloodshed. But what, if anything, really happened?

    Some might envision the Sea Peoples made famous by Ramesses III and a 19th century French Egyptologist named Maspero who detailed the carnage brought on in the wake of these rampaging villains on boats. Others might recall a period of drought and social unrest as starving peasants rose up to overthrow their masters. 1200 BCE might also bring to mind the destruction and burning of once mighty cities from the Mycenean palaces of Tiryns, Mycenae, and Pylos, mythical Troy, Hattusa the capital of the Hittite empire, or the trading emporium of Ugarit. Soon after 1200 BCE, once vibrant trade and interregional contacts dissolved while many regions lost or gave up writing leading to a Dark Age and an end to the once glorious Late Bronze Age.

    The Sea Battle of Ramesses III Year 8 from Medinet Habu.( drawing of relief on exterior wall of temple of Ramses III showing Ramses shooting at enemy ships, The Epigraphic Survey, (1930), Pl. 37.)

    This intentionally overly dramatic introduction to 1200 BCE can certainly be challenged since it is not entirely clear what the Sea Peoples destroyed if anything, Hattusa was abandoned prior to destruction, and at least the tin trade never ceased after 1200 BCE. Nevertheless, challenges to the standard narrative aside, there is a worthwhile question pursing about 1200 BCE outside of collapse and Dark Ages. Many have noted that nothing practically of interest happened in 1200 BCE and this naturally leads to the question: why did scholars choose 1200 BCE, or more accurately, ca. 1200 BCE as the year when civilization collapsed in the Eastern Mediterranean?

    The origin of 1200 BCE stretches back hundreds of years in the scholarly literature, long before there was our modern use of the (itself problematic) Bronze Age terminology, much less an archaeologically derived reconstruction of events. One of the first meaningful applications of 1200 BCE appeared in Joseph Priestley's 1786 edition of A Description of a New Chart of History. Priestley – chemist, philosopher, theologian and much more – began his arrangement of history at 1200 BCE though he was not entirely clear on why he chose this particular date. Equally unclear is why he assumed that no empires other than Egypt and Judah had been established prior to 1200 BCE; yet, while the date certainly was not random he did not correlate it with any major events. Priestly dated the fall of Troy to 904 BCE and makes no mention of anything particularly important occurring in Egypt, while he dated Joshua's conquest to the 15th century BCE following the traditional Biblical chronology. In fact, Priestly paid more attention to the fact that his chart of history was nearly three feet long and two feet wide rather than explaining why the meaningful part of history began at 1200 BCE.

    Priestley's "A Description of a New Chart of History." (1769)

    Roman Bust of Homer

    While Priestley may have been one of the first to emphasize 1200 BCE, for our modern understanding, the true importance of 1200 BCE stands on two pillars established in the 19th century. Moreover, both columns supporting the year's reputation seemingly originated with the same German historian named Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren who was a prolific writer of world histories during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Of the two pillars, the first hearkens back to ancient Greece and Homer's mythical telling of the fall of Troy. While Homer may not have given a concrete calendar year for the Trojan War, classical historians worked out a number of dates for the demise of the city, done in by means of the infamous wooden horse. Dikaiarchos dated it to 1212 BCE, the Parian Marble selected 1209 BCE, Thrasyllos and Timaios both chose 1193 BCE, Eratosthenes and his followers Apollodoros, Kastor, Diodoros, Apollonios, and Eusebios settled on 1184 BCE, while Sosibios chose 1171 BCE. From this list, it is obvious that all of the dates fall roughly around 1200 BCE.

    The Burning of Troy (1759/62), oil painting by Johann Georg Trautmann

    Given historians' love of rounding numbers when there is no secure calendrical year for a historic event, this is exactly how the fall of Troy came to be 1200 BCE when Heeren rounded the date for the Trojan war in his 1817 volume, A Manual of Ancient History. In Heeren's organization of Greek prehistory his "first period" was dubbed, "The most ancient traditional history down to the Trojan war, about B.C. 1200." Of course, 1200 BCE also naturally acted as the starting date for his second period that ended with the Persian conquest. Interestingly, in the 1810 and 1799 editions of the book, Heeren never mentioned 1200 BCE, noting only that Troy fell in 1190 BCE after 10 years of war.

    The second pillar that provided 1200 BCE with so much meaning is the date for the fall of Ramesses's II glorious 19th Dynasty. Once again, our intrepid German historian Arnold Heeren is likely to blame, and much like for Troy, Heeren reached back to the classical world for inspiration. In his 1826 volume, Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians, Heeren employed the 3rd century BCE Egyptian priest Manetho's king list for the Egyptian dynasties. In this list, Manetho recorded that the last pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty was Thuoris, who was known in Homer's account of history as Polybus the husband of Alkandra. It just so happened that in this view of history Thuoris was pharaoh when Troy fell, and since Heeren dated the fall of Troy to 1200 BCE so too did the 19th Dynasty end in this same year. As he wrote in the 1838 edition of the book, "The most brilliant period of these two dynasties [18th and 19th] fell between 1800 and 1200 [BCE]. This is despite the fact that a contemporary of his, the Italian historian Rosellini, dated the end of the 19th dynasty to 1270 BCE well before 1200 BCE.

    Bust of one of the four external seated statues of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel.

    From here, 1200 BCE only grew in importance as other critical events were subsumed into this date. John Anderson noted in his 1881 New Manual of General History, that the most splendid period of Egyptian history ended in 1200 BCE while at the same time 1200 BCE was the beginning of the "Migration of the Hellenic races." De Rouge and Maspero who translated and popularized the Egyptian texts from Medinet Habu describing the Peuples de la Mer (Sea Peoples) did not specifically date the events to 1200 BCE, but Flinders Petrie one of the fathers of modern archology did. In 1890 Petrie mentioned that Egypt had suffered an invasion from the Mediterranean at 1200 BCE a fact that Harry Hall reiterated in his 1902 book Keftiu and the Peoples of the Sea. Cecil Smith added in the Mycenaeans to the list of fallen kingdoms ca. 1200 BCE stating in 1892 that, "We are confronted with the problem that the 'Mycenaean' civilization was in existence at any rate from 1600 to 1200 B.C."

    Boyd Dawkins in 1897 went further claiming that the Dorians attacked Greece at 1200 BCE. With the discovery of the Israel Stele in 1896 William Ward brought the Israelites to 1200 BCE in that same year saying that, "All that can now be said is that about 1200 B.C., Merneptah found Israelites in Palestine." In 1910 John Garstang ended the Hittite empire after the first invasion of the Phrygians at 1200 BCE. Even Atlantis was drawn into 1200 BCE as Edwin Balch proposed in 1917 that Minoan Crete should be equated with the mythical island kingdom, "Whose civilization we know was wiped out absolutely about 1200 B.C."

    With that, 1200 BCE became the standard year for the end of civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean, mostly thanks to one German historian who liked to round his dates. Whether or not 1200 BCE should still hold merit as a chronological marker in our modern periodization of history is a question that must await scrutiny another day.


    Jesse Millek is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan and a Research Fellow at the German Research Foundation. His current project is titled, "Destruction and the End of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean" funded by the German Research Foundation.

    Click here for a PDF of this article. 

    --   Sent from my Linux system.