Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Top Tips for Toilets in Luxor and Egypt

Top Tips for Toilets


A point was just made to me which I had not considered. Loos (UK expression) the John (American expression I believe). I would really appreciate any comments about good and bad and I will update this post

First point, most toilets have internal bidets which wash your bum so toilet paper is only used to dry yourself hence the request to place it in the bin. Reach down right hand side and you will find a tap. I love it, so fresh and clean and miss the system when I go back to the UK. Sometimes there is a hose instead. Sometimes both. The water comes from the mains.

Second, various experiences but I would like more. I don’t often go while I am out, especially on the west bank, so have little experience. Please email me jane.akshar @ gmail.com

The toilets just before the Open Air Museum at Karnak are ground floor but not wheelchair accessible
Valley of the Kings accessible and great
Kitchener island toilets well signposted “WC” signs
Suhail Nubian Village near Aswan dam excellent

Nobody seems to mind/notice tourists using hotels and restaurants so ones I have snuck in and used in Luxor
•    Nile Palace Hotel ground floor, in the lobby to your right as you enter.
•    Snack time overlooking Luxor temple has a lift, toilets are 1st floor
•    Ramasseum cafĂ©, ground floor, very basic
•    Fayrouz Hotel ground floor but steps involved, basic
•    Winter Palace Hotel, 1st floor but you can get the lift by going in the luggage entrance under the stairs

Monday, 14 May 2018

Temple in the Tomb - Tuthmosis I temple by Jadwiga Iwaszczuk


Temple in the Tomb : Progress of work on the reconstruction of the temple of Tuthmosis I – Jadwiga Iwaszczuk

Fragments of the temple were found in MMA 826 and by comparing the cleaned fragments with a photo in the 1981 publication by Abu el-Ayun Barakat they knew what they had found. One fragment was left in situ as it could not be moved. An architrave gave the name of the temple. He had published a small plan but they found pillars not mentioned on the plan. The most important elements were sandstaone and they used limestone on the door jambs. There appear to be lots of niches similar to Harshepsut. One block had 2 faces indicating reuse

The offering chapel had a design similar to that of Hatshepsut of a unification of the two lands with rekhyets. It was painted to look like granite.

The battle scene had chariots with 4 spoke wheels and is the first battle scene representation.

·         Unknown who started the temple
·         Not finished
·         Not mentioned by Inneni but on Djeuhty
·         Lots of architectural changes
·         No Amarna erasure
·         First festival calendar
·         Patched false doors
·         Early use of sandstone
·         Dark backgrouns
·         Polychrome sunk relief

There is an absolutely brilliant news article that is much better than my notes


Polish Egyptologist identified fragments of a lost Egyptian temple... in a storage 

The base of the statue, which allowed to identify the remains the building discovered by Dr. Abu el-Ayun Barakat. Photo by J. Iwaszczuk

The base of the statue, which allowed to identify the remains the building discovered by Dr. Abu el-Ayun Barakat. Photo by J. Iwaszczuk
Thousands of stone blocks lying for years in a storage near Luxor turned out to be the remains of the temple of Thutmose I, long sought after by archaeologists. Fragments of the temple were identified by a Polish Egyptologist, Jadwiga Iwaszczuk.
The Temple of Thutmose I (1504-1492 BC), in times of splendour, was comparable to the temples built by Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari or by Ramesses II - the Ramesseum.
Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, Egyptologist from the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences, made an accidental discovery. Beautifully decorated fragments of blocks from which the temple was built, were located in the storage of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (now Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities), in a tomb adapted for this purpose in Theban Necropolis near Luxor.
Right next to this place is the house Polish archaeologists use during research at the temple of Hatshepsut under the supervision of Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafranski from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology UW. Polish Egyptologists visited the storage in search of possible blocks from the pharaoh woman\'s temple.
Historical fragments in storage came from excavations conducted by one of the Egyptian scientists in the 1970s. Iwaszczuk explained that the archaeologist described his discovery as the temple of Cha-achet from the times of the reign of Hatshepsut. In fact, the remains of that temple were discovered only a few years ago by French archaeologists in the temple of Ramesses II - the Ramesseum.
"My research had unexpected results. It turned out that all of the discovered fragments came from the temple of Thutmose I. The location of the temple - in the vicinity of the temple Thutmose of Thutmose III - had been known for more than half a century. Until now researchers misidentified it" - she said.
The main proof of the new discovery is the name of the temple of Thutmose I - Khenemet-ankh (The one that unites with life), known from written sources, and preserved on architectural fragments deposited in the storage.
Epigraphic analyses done in recent years by the Polish Egyptologist allowed to recognize further information. While the temple was erected for Thutmose I, it was commissioned by his daughter Hatshepsut. Two types of stone - limestone and sandstone - were used in construction. It is unusual, argues Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, because in the times of Hatshepsut limestone was mainly used. Her entire temple in Deir el-Bahari was built from this material. However, according to the Egyptologist, this was not a coincidence. Architects used sandstone because they knew its properties as a hard but easy to carve stone. All the supporting elements of the walls were made of sandstone, and the filling and walls were made of limestone, the researcher said.
Among the curiosities of the temple, according to its discoverer, is one of the first battle scenes with chariots known from the area of ancient Egypt.
On the basis of fine fragments, the researchers also determined that the temple had been renovated. The deceased ruler was worshiped in the temple for several hundred years after his death, certainly until the reign of Ramesses IX (XII BC), but it is possible that the temple existed until the turn of the era.
Until now, Iwaszczuk\'s team has drawn about 5 thousand stone blocks and photographed 7.5 thousand of them. Now, tedious work is being performed to recreate the entire scenes that adorned the huge temple.
"Finally, it reached its sad end: like many other Theban temples, it served as a quarry for the material for stone bowls. Only unused post-production waste was left, including the fragmented decorative reliefs, which today we use to try to recreate the full shape of the temple" - concluded Iwaszczuk.

Tomb Robbery – Nigel Strudwick


Tomb Robbery – Nigel Strudwick

Nigel’s lecture covered robbery in ancient times although you could say that recent ‘exports’ like those of of the 18th and 19th century were a form of robbery. He showed an example of an export certificate.

In fact there are very few totally intact tombs examples are
·         Khai 1906
·         Ramoses and Hatnofer 1936
Tomb robbery started 3500BC in fact almost as soon as the occupant was buried. In TT253 why are there so many mummies not in their original resting place. TT99 was rob twice and there are many Third Intermediate Period burials in existing ‘holy’ places.

The tomb robbery papyri EA10221 talks about robberies and it would appear everyone on the west bank was in on it which is why it was reported to an east bank official.

Butehamun, one of the scribes who recorded events currently has his house at Medinet Habu restored. The book Affairs and Scandals in Ancient Egypt by Pascal Vernus talks about “The first chapter deals with the tomb robberies in the Theban necropolis during the Twentieth Dynasty. The second outlines the economic context and events associated with strikes carried out by the workmen of the royal necropolis. The third chapter uses a certain Paneb as an exemplar of corruption in the area of Thebes. Chapter 4 considers the theft of government property and attempted cover-ups in the Aswan region.”

The robberies of Tutankhamun has opportunistic robberies in the late 18/19 dynasty where objects easily disposed of and carried were taken.

The video on YouTube Tomb Robberys in Ancient Egypt is surprisingly accurate https://youtu.be/mW-WMY25-qQ?t=11m16s

In the Valley of Kings Nigel believes the existing burials were dismantled by the priests Butehamun to raise money. The hacking off of the gold from coffins was probably stolen by funeral directors.

Popular items that were stolen Glass vessels, copper and linen. When you compare the quantities in unspoiled tombs with those in partial rob ones you can see the quantities of those goods are strikingly different.

55-70% of coffins were recycled, tombs were more accessible post Amarna

There were various groups responsible
·         Amenpanefer
·         Priest
·         Penwenheb
·         Amenwa-Pentaweret

And the wives seem to have acted as fences with lots of bribes given to senior officials. The mayor of the east bank knew the mayor of the west bank was covering things up

How long was your eternity?
Nigel talked about although the texts tell us millions of years the reality was totally different and nobody worried about robbing a tomb almost before the body was cold

Friday, 11 May 2018

Carter House visit on the mobility scooter


As this is quite a recent addition to the sites on the west bank it was a bit disappointing that access was so tricky but with the help of the guardian we did get round. The big problems were getting from the car park to the walkway (step), entrance into the Carter House itself (several steps), a bad ramp on the way from the Carter House to the replica tomb and the entrance into the tomb itself(step). I would say the grounds and replica tomb are 80% accessible but forget the Carter House


Steps meant the scooter could not travel along and the guardian had to lift the scooter (he was strong) but he was very willing. The ramp(?) was awful, I couldnt use it.

There were so many steps into the Carter House we had to leave the scooter in the hall. I made Marion pose at Carters desk






Actually inside the replica tomb was great once we were in. Nice wooden flooring and ramp. The pictures and story boards are excellent and you do wonder how on earth everything was put inside the tomb. I love the replica done from the Harry Burton pictures of part of the decoration that had to be destroyed. We wondered where those bits are now

Sunday, 6 May 2018

KV62 - nothing there


MOA Press Release 6/5/2018

High-level geophysics research provides conclusive evidence on the non-existence of hidden chambers adjacent to or inside Tutankhamun’s tomb (KV62).

Dr. Mostaf Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced adding that the Head of the Italian scientific team Dr. Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin is to provide all details of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) studies and analysis during a speech he would deliver today at 5:30 pm at the current Fourth Tutankhamun International Conference.

The team also include experts from the nearby University of Turin and from two private geophysics companies, Geostudi Astier (Leghorn) and 3DGeoimaging (Turin), who have completed the analysis of the GPR data collected from the inside of Tutankhamun’s tomb (code name KV62) last February 2018.

Dr. Waziri pointed out that Dr. Porcelli has submitted a scientific report to the Permanent Committee for Ancient Egyptian Antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities with all the results of the GPR data analyses, revealing that the GPR scans were performed along vertical and horizontal directions with very dense spatial sampling. Double antenna polarizations where also employed, with transmitting and receiving dipoles both orthogonal and parallel to the scanning direction.

Dr. Porcelli asserted that the main findings are as follows:
No marked discontinuities due to the passage from natural rock to man-made blocking walls are evidenced by the GPR radargrams, nor there is any evidence of the jambs or the lintel of a doorway. Similarly, the radargrams do not show any indication of plane reflectors, which could be interpreted as chamber walls or void areas behind the paintings of KV62 funerary chamber.

It is concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, said Dr. Porcelli, the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers or corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the GPR data.

This is the third GPR survey to be conducted. It was designed to stop the controversy aroused after the contradictive results of two previous radar surveys carried out by a scientific Japanese and American teams, to inspect the accuracy of a theory launched in 2015 by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves who suggested the existence of queen Nefertiti’s tomb concealed behind the north and west wall paintings of king Tutankhamun’s burial chamber.

To solve the difficulties encountered by the two preceding surveys and provide a conclusive response, the Ministry of Antiquities in early 2016, decided to discuss the matter in the second International Tutankhamun Conference held in May 2016 and attended by a group of pioneer scholars, archaeologists and Egyptologists who on their turn asserted to conduct a third GPR systems with different technology to put an end to such debate.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Timeline of my disable access campaign

Aug 2016 I bring a mobility scooter back from the UK and start doing site visits.
Sept 2016 I blog my site visits with the scooter
Oct 2016 First paper produced and presented to Minister and Governor at the world tourism conference
Apr 2017 Email Response from Ministry
May 2017 Site visit with men from Ministry
May 2017 Site visit with John Sherman of ARCE
Jul 2017 Proposal produced with Joanne Stables
Jul 2017 Meeting with Helm
Jan 2018 News reports improvement planned at Karnak and Luxor
Feb 2018 Evidence of improvements

Mar 2018 Flats in Luxor introduces ramps to our apartments
Apr 2018 Site visit to Karnak to view the improvements and meeting with the minister 

To go from idea to implementation in less than two years is amazing and makes comments about Egyptian time redundant :)

To read all the blog entries http://luxor-news.blogspot.com.eg/search/label/Disabled
 
Site Visit with the men from the ministry

Site visit with John Sherman

Meeting with Helm

Article in Nile Magazine

Improvements start at Karnak

Ramps at added at Flats in Luxor
Meeting with the Minister to review changes

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Free Wheelchairs at Karnak Sound and Light

This is so exciting, things are really moving in Luxor on the disabled front. When President Sisi said 2018 was the year of the disabled he was not kidding Go Ya Masry

Two Discoveries in Luxor and Aswan by Egyptian Missions In Luxor


An Archaeological Egyptian Mission from the Ministry of Antiquities working at  the south part of Karnak Temples’ 10th pylon, has uncovered architectural elements of god Osiris-Ptah-Neb shrine.
Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities announced and pointed out that the shrine is one of the most important shrines to be constructed for god Osiris inside the temples of Karnak during the late period because it is located at the southern side of god Amun-Re Temple and not to the east or north side as known in the ancient Egyptian belief.
The shrine is located to the south of the 10th  pylon of god Amun-Re temple, in the area between both temples of Amun and Mut to the east of the Avenue of Sphinxes.
Essam Nagy, Head of the Mission explains that the shrine dates back to the late 25th Dynasty, when the importance god Osiris appears was linked to the Avenue of Sphinxes and Mut temple.
The architectural elements uncovered by the mission consist of the entrance of the shrine, columns and inner walls, as well as  remains of a third chamber, foundations stones and the shrine’s floor.
Nagy said that the discovery includes also a collection of Pottery, the lower part of a siting statue, part of a stone panel depicting an offering table filled with a ram and a goose, which are symbols of god Amun the master of Karnak temples. On top of the panel there is the winged sun-disk.
The shrine depicts the names of Kings Taharka and Tanout Amun, the last king of the 25th Dynasty.

In Aswan, another Egyptian mission discovered a head of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius with a wavy hair and beard. Dr. Ashmawy describes the head as unique because it is rarely to find statues that belong to such emperor.