Sunday, 27 July 2008

Little Mohammed becomes a Dad

Remember his wedding Little Mohammed gets married well yesterday at 4am Zeinab arrived on the scene. For those of you not in the know Little Mohammed works at my flats, he is so small he was rejected by the army much to his mortification.

Friday, 25 July 2008

More backdates

All change at the ferry port
The public ferry that links East and West Luxor is having a few changes on the West Bank at the moment. In fact the new development is causing chaos as there has been no provision made for the removal of the service car park. So when you land it is a nightmare. Hopeful when it is finished it will be all worth while

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008

More from Dr Samir Farag
After less than one year from the beginning of its launch!!!

Wireless Internet service in Luxor wins the annual prize for innovation in the Middle East

The wireless Internet service which launched in Luxor less than ten months ago win the anniversary of innovation prize in the field of telecommunications and information technology. Organized by a prominent institutions in the field of communications and information technology in the Middle East, which is the first wireless service for wide-ranging be implemented nationwide.
Dr Samir Faraj the president of luxor Supreme Council said that the draft provide Internet service is one of the forms of cooperation between the Supreme Council of Luxor, and the Ministry of Communications and USAID in order to enable tourists and visitors to Luxor to stay in touch with their relatives during their presence always especially in Luxor temple and karnak temple, one of the most important Tourist areas in Egypt and the world visited annually by more than 2 million tourists for this to be the availability of all services and amenities to attract tourists and revitalize the tourism industry particularly since the Luxor are currently implementing several projects aimed at developing archeological sites and opening the door to a tourist investment to establish the number of Hotels and tourist villages east and west bank and is also currently working on a project to implement the latest electronic site for the city to called luxor portal

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Convoys - the end in sight?
Our regular mini bus driver Rageeb who many of you know has been attending the first course for drivers in preparation for the end of the convoys. One of the first questions they asked was when this was going to happen and the top guy from Cairo said ………………………….we don’t know it could be tomorrow or it could be next year.

But at least with this course we know it is planned. The idea is there will still be check points but instead of going in a big group with a police escort at the same time every day you would go when you liked and your driver would have d to have been on this course and have a special pass. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to Abydos and actually spend a decent length of time there.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Flats in Luxor gors Green with Responsible Travel
Flats in Luxor is officially recognised by Responsible Travel as Luxor’s first eco friendly or “green” tourist accommodation.

Luxor, Egypt 14th July 2008 – Flats in Luxor goes green and maintains its unique position as No 1 for accommodation, apartments and flats in Luxor.

Jane Akshar announced ‘Its official we are now GREEN. Flats in Luxor were the first to offer apartments in Luxor of tourist standard. Now they are the first to go green. We are very excited about this new aspect to our business.’

Jane did a holiday herself through Responsible Travel and liked the concept so much she decided to apply to her own business and make it eco friendly. Having spent time reviewing their business practices, tours and accommodation they made changes in accordance with the latest ecological practices. Staff terms and conditions, environment, fittings and furniture, even their tours had to make changes in order to meet the high standards required.

Jane continued “We have always believed in keeping the tourist dollar in the local economy and this is just an extension of that kind of tourism or travel. There were areas we had to review staff, consumables, recycling, etc. For example our staff are 100% Egyptian, from Luxor itself. We take our responsibilities to them seriously, we recently helped 2 members with their wedding expenses and we always cover sickness. Another example is our consumption of electricity, which is all hydro electric; using low energy bulbs, timed lighting in communal areas, and providing fans so reduce the use of air conditioning. There is lots, lots more’

With many people looking to reduce their carbon footprint, initiatives like this are very welcome to eco tourists. Having travelled to Egypt to see it’s unique historical sites and local culture you then want to make sure you do everything you can to reduce your impact on the environment.

Even our some of our tours are green using bicycles and donkeys for transportation to the sites and walking tours with local guides.”

So whether it is the Valley of Kings, temple of Queen Hatshepsut, buying an alabaster pyramid or a week by a pool you can do it the green way with Flats in Luxor.

Flats in Luxor http://www.flatsinluxor.co.uk/ is owned by Jane Akshar and Mahmoud Jahlan, recommended by the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide. It provides unique independent holidays and tours to visitors to Egypt. Whether you want a full holiday arranged or just a camel trip in Luxor they can help you. They also provide Nile Cruises on sailing boats via Sail the Nile http://www.sailthenile.com/

Jane Akshar is also the author of the popular blog http://www.luxornews.net/ which is hosted by Tour Egypt, the premier guide on the web to holidays in Egypt.

The Flats in Luxor page on Responsible Travel is here http://www.responsibletravel.com/preview.asp?Entity=Accommodation&ID=900688

This entry was posted on Monday, July 14th, 2008

Heliopolis

I am really sorry but don’t bother going there. It is a tiny park in the middle of a very insalubrious part of town. You need an extremely reliable taxi driver to get you there. I have no idea of the opening times I had to shout and scream and jump up and down and eventually (after 45 minutes) they let me in on my SCA card. So I have no idea about prices either. The obelisk itself was covered in scaffolding and the other objects in the ‘open air museum’ were few and not particularly good examples. Still I have done it.


osirisnet.net wonderful resource
I noticed the following through EEF. OK it is not Luxor but it has loads of Luxor tombs, fantastic resource.. Next post, another Luxor story, Heliopolis

Hi,
It has been more than 70 years since the last publication (incomplete) of the mastaba of Mereruka in Saqqara, which nevertheless could have seemed well known, since it is open to the public. We are therefore particularly happy and proud to be able to present to you the first complete publication of this beautiful monument, which includes
21 surface rooms and a funeral chamber (those belonging to Mereruka himself). Thanks to more than 150 colour photographs and many drawings and plans (often original), you will indeed be able, we think, to have a different view of this mastaba. The current coverage took nearly one year’s work to Jon Hirst. This will be extended by the production of the portions of the monument belonging to his wife Watekhethor, and to his son Meryteti.

http://www.osirisnet.net/mastabas/mererouka/e_mereruka_01.htm

Enjoy the visit.

Thierry BENDERITTER
www.osirisnet.net
Monuments of Egypt
Presidents and delegations in Luxor after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit
From the Press Office of Dr Samir Farag


Mr. Laurent Gbagbor, President of the Republic of Côte Difoarbziarh visited Luxor on Wednesday after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit with also a group of official delegations from African participants in the Sharm el-Sheikh summit from several states who were keen to watch the various archaeological sites in Luxor before leaving Egypt to return to their country
Gbagbor began his tour accompanied by Dr. Samir Faraj President of the Supreme Council of Luxor, during which he visited the Temple of Luxor, the Museum of Mummification watched and watch the presentation of sound and light at the Temple of Karnak
He also expressed his deep admiration for the beauty of the ancient Egyptian monuments the pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens in the West Bank of the Nile as he visited the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the monastery Marine and two statues of memnon

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Presidents and delegations in Luxor after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit
From the Press Office of Dr Samir Farag


Mr. Laurent Gbagbor, President of the Republic of Côte Difoarbziarh visited Luxor on Wednesday after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit with also a group of official delegations from African participants in the Sharm el-Sheikh summit from several states who were keen to watch the various archaeological sites in Luxor before leaving Egypt to return to their country
Gbagbor began his tour accompanied by Dr. Samir Faraj President of the Supreme Council of Luxor, during which he visited the Temple of Luxor, the Museum of Mummification watched and watch the presentation of sound and light at the Temple of Karnak
He also expressed his deep admiration for the beauty of the ancient Egyptian monuments the pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens in the West Bank of the Nile as he visited the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the monastery Marine and two statues of memnon

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Benz closes for 3 months
Benz the best resturant in Luxor IMHO is closing for 3 months, Ben the owner has to go back to the UK to sort out some stuff. He will cme back in 3 months probably in a new location.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 28th

TT46 TT49
Had a mini update on the excavations going on here. The Redfords are leading a field school, lucky students, and excavated the front of these tombs which had been entered via a robbers entrance. By excavating the original entrance and courtyard they hoped to learn more about the owners. Not a lot of luck there but they have found some nice stuff, including some beautiful 18 dyn carving of hair. What an opportunity for these students to be on an actual dig.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 27th, 2008

Takeaways from Arkwrights
Some recent guests of mine got a lunch box takeaway from Arkwrights. It was roderedthe night before and picked up at 6:40am in time to catch the Aswan convoy. I got a report back this morning.

Highly recommend Arkwrights - Delicious, Fresh & VERY Yummy!

So anyone doing a day trip can get a nice lunch from there. Great if you are not staying in a hotel and can not use their services

This entry was posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Hot Air Balloons in Luxor
Last week there was a major accident at one of the balloon companies, Viking, storage depots. You may have read about it on the news. There have been a number of other accidents recently involving tourists. I have long been an advocate of not choosing your balloon ride on price but checking safety records, insurance etc as well.

Hod Hod Soliman have recently published this response to the accident and I have invited other balloon companies to also respond. If I have missed any company, apologies and I would welcome your response. Please email me and I will publish it on this site.

This is Hod Hod Soliman’s comment BTW the quotes are from EgyptMad http://www.egyptmad.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9292&hl which is an open discussion forum and other balloon companies can make comments.

“Hod-Hod Soliman Balloons built a compound to store their balloons and refuel on farm land on the west bank about 9 years ago. It was completely isolated.
Over the course of the last few years many illegal villas and blocks of flats/small hotels have been built in the area, finally right next door.
So Hod-Hod Soliman moved their gas to privately owned land on the east bank where they have a temporary custom built refuelling and storage building. It is near the middle of a 5 acre garden, with an unimpeded slope of about 100 metres towards the river boundary. Nitrogen, which is of course inert, and no fire risk was stored at the original site until it was discovered that locals thought it was butane gas. It has now been removed.
No smoking and no fires are allowed on the present site and no balloons, lorries or other highly combustible materials are stored there.
Hod-Hod Soliman have suggested to the authorities that re-fuelling should be carried out at the local government approved depots for storing gas for re-distribution locally. The authorities have yet to take action.
Hod-Hod Soliman have been actively trying to find a suitable site, where it can be guaranteed that housing whether legal or illegal will not encroach in the future beyond the bounds of safety. This has proved to be a very difficult task. It is understood that some of the present ballooning premises were originally in isolation, but are now surrounded by housing.
All members of staff of Hod-Hod Soliman have received certificated training in fire-fighting from the local fire service as part of their in-house training.
Constant vigilance is necessary by all who are dealing with highly combustible materials of any kind.”

From my own point of view, I appreciate that balloon companies employ about 60 men each and there are 5 large companies. In addition they use large numbers of microbuses and river launches, so contribute significantly to the local economy.
This is not the first time there has been an accident of this kind. A few years ago there was an incident with Balloons Over Egypt, now known as Sky Cruise, where at least one member of their crew subsequently died of their injuries.
I really don’t think that too much care can be taken. I think the idea of refuelling at a gas supply terminal is a good one. Al Hamdulillah, as far as I know no other company has had a re-fueling problem, including Viking Air.

It is unfortunately true, that no matter what safe-guards are in place, the human factor usually plays a part in any disaster of any kind.

Jane, internationally Pilots are recommended to take off with full gas tanks, with enough fuel to last for twice the expected requirement. Just in case they need to fly for longer due to not finding an appropriate landing site.
They use the first cylinder until there is only 10% left then change to the next, and so on. Usually they have two nearly empty tanks and two full ones at the end of the flight if they start with four. Obviously there are contents gauges on the gas cylinders.

editted with further comment from them

In answer to your question, Hod-Hod Soliman started in 1993. Since then there has not been a claim on their insurance. Al Hamdulillah.

There is a Preferred Code of Practice - Hot Air Ballooning, issued by the major tour operators which is pretty detailed. In one section it says:
“Ballooning is by nature a potentially dangerous sport, all participants must be made aware of the risks involved and the correct actions to take while ballooning. Participants should note that although very remote, the risk of injury still exists and they should not participate in the sport if they are unhappy with the fact.”

I cannot speak for other companies, but I hope that all companies give their passengers an information sheet before the flight, which includes the pilot briefing, and guidance on those who should NOT fly. Included in this should be an opportunity to declare to the supplier or pilot in confidence medical conditions which could affect them or other passengers during the activities.

In spite of this agencies still send people in wheel chairs, on crutches, in plaster - either arm or leg - and visibly pregnant, although very definitely no pregnant woman should fly. The first the balloon company knows about this is when the passengers turn up for the flight!

The information sheet should also make it clear that the company cannot guarantee to fly over a particular area ( as they are borne by the wind) cannot guarantee the length of the flight, as conditions whch are not obvious to the untrained may necessitate a longer or shorter flight for safety reasons.

The care that a company takes over the selection and training of it’s pilots and their supervision after they have qualified in my personal view has a direct bearing on the safety record of the company.

Their email is hodhodoffice@yahoo.co.uk

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Hot Air Balloons in Luxor
Last week there was a major accident at one of the balloon companies, Viking, storage depots. You may have read about it on the news. There have been a number of other accidents recently involving tourists. I have long been an advocate of not choosing your balloon ride on price but checking safety records, insurance etc as well.

Hod Hod Soliman have recently published this response to the accident and I have invited other balloon companies to also respond. If I have missed any company, apologies and I would welcome your response. Please email me and I will publish it on this site.

This is Hod Hod Soliman’s comment BTW the quotes are from EgyptMad http://www.egyptmad.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9292&hl which is an open discussion forum and other balloon companies can make comments.

“Hod-Hod Soliman Balloons built a compound to store their balloons and refuel on farm land on the west bank about 9 years ago. It was completely isolated.
Over the course of the last few years many illegal villas and blocks of flats/small hotels have been built in the area, finally right next door.
So Hod-Hod Soliman moved their gas to privately owned land on the east bank where they have a temporary custom built refuelling and storage building. It is near the middle of a 5 acre garden, with an unimpeded slope of about 100 metres towards the river boundary. Nitrogen, which is of course inert, and no fire risk was stored at the original site until it was discovered that locals thought it was butane gas. It has now been removed.
No smoking and no fires are allowed on the present site and no balloons, lorries or other highly combustible materials are stored there.
Hod-Hod Soliman have suggested to the authorities that re-fuelling should be carried out at the local government approved depots for storing gas for re-distribution locally. The authorities have yet to take action.
Hod-Hod Soliman have been actively trying to find a suitable site, where it can be guaranteed that housing whether legal or illegal will not encroach in the future beyond the bounds of safety. This has proved to be a very difficult task. It is understood that some of the present ballooning premises were originally in isolation, but are now surrounded by housing.
All members of staff of Hod-Hod Soliman have received certificated training in fire-fighting from the local fire service as part of their in-house training.
Constant vigilance is necessary by all who are dealing with highly combustible materials of any kind.”

From my own point of view, I appreciate that balloon companies employ about 60 men each and there are 5 large companies. In addition they use large numbers of microbuses and river launches, so contribute significantly to the local economy.
This is not the first time there has been an accident of this kind. A few years ago there was an incident with Balloons Over Egypt, now known as Sky Cruise, where at least one member of their crew subsequently died of their injuries.
I really don’t think that too much care can be taken. I think the idea of refuelling at a gas supply terminal is a good one. Al Hamdulillah, as far as I know no other company has had a re-fueling problem, including Viking Air.

It is unfortunately true, that no matter what safe-guards are in place, the human factor usually plays a part in any disaster of any kind.

Jane, internationally Pilots are recommended to take off with full gas tanks, with enough fuel to last for twice the expected requirement. Just in case they need to fly for longer due to not finding an appropriate landing site.
They use the first cylinder until there is only 10% left then change to the next, and so on. Usually they have two nearly empty tanks and two full ones at the end of the flight if they start with four. Obviously there are contents gauges on the gas cylinders.

editted with further comment from them

In answer to your question, Hod-Hod Soliman started in 1993. Since then there has not been a claim on their insurance. Al Hamdulillah.

There is a Preferred Code of Practice - Hot Air Ballooning, issued by the major tour operators which is pretty detailed. In one section it says:
“Ballooning is by nature a potentially dangerous sport, all participants must be made aware of the risks involved and the correct actions to take while ballooning. Participants should note that although very remote, the risk of injury still exists and they should not participate in the sport if they are unhappy with the fact.”

I cannot speak for other companies, but I hope that all companies give their passengers an information sheet before the flight, which includes the pilot briefing, and guidance on those who should NOT fly. Included in this should be an opportunity to declare to the supplier or pilot in confidence medical conditions which could affect them or other passengers during the activities.

In spite of this agencies still send people in wheel chairs, on crutches, in plaster - either arm or leg - and visibly pregnant, although very definitely no pregnant woman should fly. The first the balloon company knows about this is when the passengers turn up for the flight!

The information sheet should also make it clear that the company cannot guarantee to fly over a particular area ( as they are borne by the wind) cannot guarantee the length of the flight, as conditions whch are not obvious to the untrained may necessitate a longer or shorter flight for safety reasons.

The care that a company takes over the selection and training of it’s pilots and their supervision after they have qualified in my personal view has a direct bearing on the safety record of the company.

Their email is hodhodoffice@yahoo.co.uk

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Hot Air Balloons in Luxor
Last week there was a major accident at one of the balloon companies, Viking, storage depots. You may have read about it on the news. There have been a number of other accidents recently involving tourists. I have long been an advocate of not choosing your balloon ride on price but checking safety records, insurance etc as well.

Hod Hod Soliman have recently published this response to the accident and I have invited other balloon companies to also respond. If I have missed any company, apologies and I would welcome your response. Please email me and I will publish it on this site.

This is Hod Hod Soliman’s comment BTW the quotes are from EgyptMad http://www.egyptmad.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9292&hl which is an open discussion forum and other balloon companies can make comments.

“Hod-Hod Soliman Balloons built a compound to store their balloons and refuel on farm land on the west bank about 9 years ago. It was completely isolated.
Over the course of the last few years many illegal villas and blocks of flats/small hotels have been built in the area, finally right next door.
So Hod-Hod Soliman moved their gas to privately owned land on the east bank where they have a temporary custom built refuelling and storage building. It is near the middle of a 5 acre garden, with an unimpeded slope of about 100 metres towards the river boundary. Nitrogen, which is of course inert, and no fire risk was stored at the original site until it was discovered that locals thought it was butane gas. It has now been removed.
No smoking and no fires are allowed on the present site and no balloons, lorries or other highly combustible materials are stored there.
Hod-Hod Soliman have suggested to the authorities that re-fuelling should be carried out at the local government approved depots for storing gas for re-distribution locally. The authorities have yet to take action.
Hod-Hod Soliman have been actively trying to find a suitable site, where it can be guaranteed that housing whether legal or illegal will not encroach in the future beyond the bounds of safety. This has proved to be a very difficult task. It is understood that some of the present ballooning premises were originally in isolation, but are now surrounded by housing.
All members of staff of Hod-Hod Soliman have received certificated training in fire-fighting from the local fire service as part of their in-house training.
Constant vigilance is necessary by all who are dealing with highly combustible materials of any kind.”

From my own point of view, I appreciate that balloon companies employ about 60 men each and there are 5 large companies. In addition they use large numbers of microbuses and river launches, so contribute significantly to the local economy.
This is not the first time there has been an accident of this kind. A few years ago there was an incident with Balloons Over Egypt, now known as Sky Cruise, where at least one member of their crew subsequently died of their injuries.
I really don’t think that too much care can be taken. I think the idea of refuelling at a gas supply terminal is a good one. Al Hamdulillah, as far as I know no other company has had a re-fueling problem, including Viking Air.

It is unfortunately true, that no matter what safe-guards are in place, the human factor usually plays a part in any disaster of any kind.

Jane, internationally Pilots are recommended to take off with full gas tanks, with enough fuel to last for twice the expected requirement. Just in case they need to fly for longer due to not finding an appropriate landing site.
They use the first cylinder until there is only 10% left then change to the next, and so on. Usually they have two nearly empty tanks and two full ones at the end of the flight if they start with four. Obviously there are contents gauges on the gas cylinders.

editted with further comment from them

In answer to your question, Hod-Hod Soliman started in 1993. Since then there has not been a claim on their insurance. Al Hamdulillah.

There is a Preferred Code of Practice - Hot Air Ballooning, issued by the major tour operators which is pretty detailed. In one section it says:
“Ballooning is by nature a potentially dangerous sport, all participants must be made aware of the risks involved and the correct actions to take while ballooning. Participants should note that although very remote, the risk of injury still exists and they should not participate in the sport if they are unhappy with the fact.”

I cannot speak for other companies, but I hope that all companies give their passengers an information sheet before the flight, which includes the pilot briefing, and guidance on those who should NOT fly. Included in this should be an opportunity to declare to the supplier or pilot in confidence medical conditions which could affect them or other passengers during the activities.

In spite of this agencies still send people in wheel chairs, on crutches, in plaster - either arm or leg - and visibly pregnant, although very definitely no pregnant woman should fly. The first the balloon company knows about this is when the passengers turn up for the flight!

The information sheet should also make it clear that the company cannot guarantee to fly over a particular area ( as they are borne by the wind) cannot guarantee the length of the flight, as conditions whch are not obvious to the untrained may necessitate a longer or shorter flight for safety reasons.

The care that a company takes over the selection and training of it’s pilots and their supervision after they have qualified in my personal view has a direct bearing on the safety record of the company.

Their email is hodhodoffice@yahoo.co.uk

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Arkwrights - New Supermarket
.

First of all for all non UK people Arkwrights was the name of a small grocers in a sit com set in the 1970’s. The use of the name reflects the market this shop is going after, ex pats and tourists.

The staff were all extremely willing, spoke English and very friendly. They all wore uniform t-shirts and the preparation area for the sandwiches was spotless.


It is expensive but you pay what you get. For example I bought a bowl of salad for 7.70 LE, about 70p, now that is really expensive compared to the price of the products but unless you are making for 20 you could not beat the price. My salad had lettuce, rocket, peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, cucumber all sorts. I could have bought all that much cheaper but not in a quantity for one person. I would have spent the same amount (actually probably more) and ended up throwing loads away because I could not use it. Other things reflected that fact they were imported. So not somewhere you would do you regular shopping but perfect for tourist lunches and ex pat special treats.

Layout was spacious and fridges in full working order It was spotlessly clean and they even had their own packaging.



All together I was very impressed, spent loads more than I intended. I bought a baguette and it stuffed with filling, really tasty. Also some lamb and sauces, they had lots of sugar fee cereals, gingernuts. There was also some great bread, multi grain, loaves, baguettes, French sticks.

They also had this totally willing boy with a name badge Granville, so amusing (if you are a Brit) he really looked the part, well a younger version.


Whoops nearly forgot location it is on the road by the St Josept hotel

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 1st, 2008

West Bank dewatering
At a recent lecture we were told by Mansour Boraik of the SCA that they have started to look into a dewatering project for the West Bank. The proposal would be to have a pipe from Medinet Habu to Seti I. It is certainly needed. These recent photos show the situation at the Ramaseum and Seti I

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Luxor West Bank website
I have been contacted by the owners of the Luxor West Bank website who are in the process of updating and relaunching the website. It is a German/English site and a good resource for everything on the West Bankhttp://www.luxor-westbank.com/indexe.htm

This entry was posted on Friday, May 9th, 2008

Egypt Exploration Society
I just thought I wold do a quick plug for EES as I have just paid my memberships dues. I have been a member for donkeys years and it is great to support something so worthwhile. They produce a very good magazine as part of your membership and even manage to get it posted to me in Egypt so no problems if you outside the UK. Loads of information on the website www.ees.ac.uk

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

New Ticket Prices
I Had Already Heard That Ticket Prices Were Going Up 25% In November And Trip Advisor Have Published A Very Useful List.

I have to say the list is a little odd in places as Nefertari’s tomb is mentioned, the Taftaf is already 4 at the Valley of Kings and 2 at Hatshepsut and other names are spelt interestingly or missing altogether. B is used instead of P e.g. Pabasa is Babasa, but having said that it is a good list as it goes

Http://Www.Tripadvisor.Com/Travel-G294201-C85221/Cairo:Egypt:New.Entrance.Fees.Starting.From.Nov.2008.Html

Archaeological Site Price (Le)
Abdein Palace Museum 15
Abu Seir Pyramids 20
Abu Simbel Temples 80
Akhenaton Tomb 25
Alexandria National Museum 35
Amada Area 45
Anba Samaan Monastery 25
Areish National Museum 25
Ashraf Barespay School (Medressah) 8
Assasif Tomb 30
Aswan Museum 30
Ay Tomb 25
Babaza Tomb 25
Bahareia Oasis 45
Bashtak Palace 8
Beir Yousef 25
Beni Hassan Tombs 30
Beni Soueif Museum 15
Birds’ Villa At Kom El Dekka 15
Catacombs (Kom El Shokafa) 35
Causeway Of Unas Pyramid 5
Citadel Of Saladin In Cairo 50
Citadel Mahka 25
Coptic Museum 50
Dahshur Pyramid 30
Deir El Bahary Temple 30
Deir El Hagar Temple 25
Deir El Medina Tombs 30
Dendera Temple 35
Doush Temple 25 Giza Pyramids Archeological Site 60
Edfu Temple 50
Egyptian Museum 60
Egyptian Treasures Exhibition 15
Ein Aseil 25
El Anfoushy Archaeological Site 20
El Araba El Madfouna At Abydos 30
El Bagawat Area At Oasis 30
El Darb El Asfar 25
El Ghoueita 25
El Ghoury Collection 25
El Hamameya 25
El Harawy House 15
El Kab Tombs 30
El Khoukha Area 25
El Kousair Fortress 15
El Lahoun Pyramid 35
El Mamela Tomb At Esna 15
El Mozawaka 25
El Nasr & El Foutouh Gates 8
El Sebouaa Area<45
El Seheimy House 30
El Sennary House 25
El Set Wasila 15
El Shatby Site 20
El Towed Temple 25
El Zayan Temple 25
Electronic Guide 25
Elwet Abd El Gorna 25
Esna Temple 20
Ezbet Bashandy 25
Fostat City 10
Freizar Tomb 20
Gayer Anderson Museum 35
Gebel El Mawta (Mountain Of Dead) At Siwa 25
Graves Of The Royal Family Of Mohamed Ali 20
Great Pyramid 100
Greco-Roman Museum 40
Hawara Pyramid 35
Heibes Temple 30
House Of Gamal El Din El Zahaby 15
Islamic Art Museum 40
Ismaelia Museum 15
Jewelry Museum 40
Karaneis Area 25
Karnak Temples 65
Karoun Temple 25
Kom Ombo Temple And Crocodiles Museum 30
Kom Osheim Museum At Fayoum 10
Luxor Museum 80
Luxor Temple 50
Malawy Museum 10
Manial Palace Museum 35
Mariet Razna Museum At Zagazig Governorate 10
Matareyah Obelisk 15
Medinet Habu Temple 30
Meidoum Pyramid 35
Meir Metkal School (Medressah) 8
Meir Tomb 25
Mencaura Pyramid (3rd Pyramid) 25
Merit Amoun Statue 25
Mery N Petah Temple 15
Mohamed Bek Abu El Zahaby Collection 25
Mummification Museum At Luxor 50
Mummy Room 100
Museum Of Meit Rehyna ( Memphis Museum ) 35
Mustafa Kamel Archaeological Site 20
Nafisa Al Bayda 8
New Tombs At Sakkara 30
New Valley Museum(Al Wadi El Gedid 30
Nilometer At Rodah Island 15
Nubian Art Museum 50
Open Air Museum At Karnak 25
Pompay’s Pillar 20
Port Said Museum 15
Princes Tombs 30
Queitbay Fortress (Day Visit) 25
Queitbay Fortress (Night Visit) 25
Queitbay Fortress At Rasheid Tower 15
Ramesseum Temple 30
Ramouze Tomb 30
Rashid Archaeological Area 15
Rashid National Museum 25
Refaei Mosque 25
Roman Theatre 20
Romel Cave Museum 10
Royal Chariots Museum 35
Sakkara Archaeological Site 60
Saladin Fortress At Taba ( In Usd) 10 $ Usd
San El Hagar Museum 20
Sebil Ali Bek Al Kebeir In Tanta Free
Sebil And Kottab Of Sultan Queitbay 25
Sebil Island 25
Second Pyramid 30
Solar Boat Museum 50
Sultan Hassan Mosque 25
Taba Museum 15
Taftaf 2
Tanta Museum 15
Tel Basta Archaeological Site 20
Tel El Amarna 30
Temple Of Philae 50
Temple Of Hor-Moheb 25
Temple Of Kalabsha 35
Temple Of Oracle Of Amun At Siwa 25
Temple Of Seti The First 30
Tomb Of Nefertary 100
Tomb Of Bashedu 15
Tomb Of Menna And Nakht 25
Tomb Of Rameses Vi At Valley Of Kings 50
Tomb Of Tutankhamun 100
Tombs Of Roy & Sheroy 15
Tona El Gebel & Ashmounin 20
Tree Of The Virgin At Matareyah 15
Unfinished Obelisk 30
User Hat , Khonsu & Benya 15
Valley Of The Kings 80
Valley Of The Queens 35
Wekalet Al Ghoury 15
Wekalet Bazaraa 20
Zeinab Khatoun House 15
Zewiela Gate 15

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Arabic and Its Role in Egyptology and Egyptian Archaeology - Nicole Hansen
Nicole aka glyphdoctor has written a really interesting article http://www.glyphdoctors.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=1184 I encourage you to have a read of it.

I felt one of her points about Egyptian workmen recognising changes in the soil better than a graduate student was so relevant. Some of these guys have worked on digs for decades as had their fathers and their grandfathers, they have a feel for things which is worth far more than theoretical knowledge IMHO. At the Open Air Museum there is a guy called Ahmed who is a complete whiz at recognising and reassembling, he had retired but they made him start working again as he was irreplaceable.

Her points about the Arabic language and Egyptian specialists are very pertinent as well

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Luxor Airport Taxi Fares Standardised
There is now a big sign at the airport stating the taxi fares to the various hotels on the East Bank. The centre of town is 25, slightly out of town(Sheraton/Hilton) is 30 and the Jolliville and Sofitel are marked as 35LE. That will make getting a taxi at the airport much less hazardous but please remember my post about being generous when it comes to tipping.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Diving in the Nile
My Goggle alerts tell me that various artifacts have been found in the Nile, I am not surprised and in fact think this might discover something I ave always believed in. It is another Ramasseum puzzle, why only one colossus, why an asymmetrical temple? I personally think it was planned to have two, maybe the second didn’t get off the drawing board or maybe it sunk on its way from Aswan to Luxor! Perhaps this search of the Nile will prove me right, that would be soooo cool.

Star Gazing
Micheal on the roof is a bit of a star buff, he has done navigation exams and has a captains licence. He is leaving soon having spent the winter here and last night had a farewell and spot the space station party.

Yes the night sky is so clear here and although there is some background light there is nothing like the UK. So at 19:24 exactly as forecast the space station appeared, it raced across the sky and then disappeared as the shadow of the earth caught it. We were all quite fascinated and my Egyptian husband was entranced knowing there were actually people up there.

So there is another aspect to your holiday in Egypt, check up and see if there is anything special in the nightsky while you here.

BTW the ancients were brill at star gazing, remember the ceiling in TT353

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Toss another steak on the barbie

This is another one of my heartfelt quests for information. At the back of the third south pylon at the Ramaseum there is a great battle scene. Ramases is in his chariot riding into battle, defenders are at the top of the fortress, the artillery are shooting arrows, cavalry are charging, a son of Ramses is about to top a enemy soldier, a lovely lively scene and right in the middle at the bottom they are having a barbecue!!!!!!

Here are some much better images, my photos heavily editted by Hannes from Germany


Well it looks like it, someone is carrying the buns, another person has a jar of wine and there is a small cow. It has always puzzled me as it just does not seem to fit.


Today I was at the Ramasseum and there were some obvious archaeologists sitting there and I asked them about it and they said they were just discussing it themselves. Speculation was that it might have been added later but the content still puzzled everyone.

Does anyone have any idea, I am sure it has been published in French as Christian leBlanc is working there, but I do not read French so that is no help.

Here is another photo taken by Stan


This entry was posted on Monday, April 14th, 2008 at 3:29 pm and is filed under Jane Akshar. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Toss another steak on the barbie”
S Says:
April 14th, 2008 at 6:57 pm
If you can find a copy I would be happy to translate (FR->EN). In the meantime, maybe you can help me with another “mystery” concerning the same scene. When we were there a few weeks ago, we referred to a guidebook that insisted that the enemy leader could be seen being dragged from the river, held upside down and beaten on the back in order to resuscitate him. Looked up, down, left, right. We couldn’t find him. Any help would be appreciated.

Administrator Says:
April 14th, 2008 at 8:14 pm
That is on the back of the second pylon north side, I was told he was Egyptian and had ‘fallen in the water’!!!!!!

khnumhotep Says:
April 15th, 2008 at 11:56 pm
The scene about the ‘enemy leader’ is on the North-west side of the second pylon (just to the left of the colossi as you face the first pylon). A discription of the scene, as well as a line drawing, can be found on the following link. http://www.nilemuse.com/muse/orontes.html A description of the event can be found in Kitchen’s Pharaoh Triumphant, although i don’t have the page number at hand.

As for the scenes at the back of the third pylon. I believe they are often called ‘the siege of cities of Dapur and Tunip’.

Hope this helps.
Ken

Clandestino Says:
April 17th, 2008 at 7:17 pm
This is Dapur… The figure on the left side is one of the son of Ramses’, KhaEmWaset, but MontuHirKhopsef is also be shown on the wall. Other four sons of Rameses is shown by fighting against the fortress of Dapur, carved as warriors wearing shield and sword, SethEmWia, MeriAmoun, Seti and SotepenRa… Opposite of them they’re sirians (with the food and wine…), one of them with the gesture of adoration… Maybe they will offer some food for the egyptians? Don’t disturb, there’re some bread and wine, let us go away…? (The last ist only my idea)

The CEDAE has a serie of superb publications about the Ramesseum, but this part can be maybe one of the 1970′ or 80′ parts. You can find it in CAIRO by CEDAI i’m sure.

Clandes
:-(… i feel my beloved place again…

Clandestino Says:
April 17th, 2008 at 7:23 pm
ps: Maybe it’s a publication written by Goyon, when it helps…

Administrator Says:
April 18th, 2008 at 10:51 am
Well your explaniation is possible but when you look at the scene it seems so out of place. If it was to the side it would make more sense but right in the middle it just does not seem to be part of the original/ I would welcome any other contributions

Administrator Says:
April 19th, 2008 at 12:30 pm
I got a reply via EEF from Daniel Soliman

I wrote my BA thesis on the depictions of sieges of Syrian
fortresses by Egyptians and I discussed this scene as well.
These four people are most likely the inhabitants of the village of Dapuru that is under attack, as their garments are cleary
not Egyptian. According to Wreszinksi, these figures are
the chief of the town, his wife and two daughters ( Wreszinksi,
Atlas zur altaegyptischen Kulturgeschichte II, 109). This is implied
by the fact that they are depicted on a bigger scale than the
common Egyptian soldiers in front of them, reflecting their
relative prestige or rank. A similar phenomenon can be seen
in the tomb of Horemheb at Saqqara, where the Egyptian
scribes bringing in rows of foreign prisoners of war are much
smaller than the enemies. The four figures here seem to bringing
a tribute to the Egyptian victors consisting of an ox, wine and
a basket of breads. This could be interpretated as sign of capitulation. The theme of tribute giving is not unique in such scenes and
occurs in other Ramesside reliefs.

Daniel Soliman

Clandestino Says:
April 20th, 2008 at 11:59 am
I told the same but i’m not a scientist so nobody believed me …
C

Administrator Says:
April 22nd, 2008 at 12:15 pm
I must admit I was swayed by the fact he did his docorate in these scenes but it was the reference that was the clincher ( Wreszinksi, Atlas zur altaegyptischen Kulturgeschichte II, 109).

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Toutankhamon Magazine

Bonsoir,

Since few days, the new issue of Toutankhamon Magazine is available (# 38)

In cover : a new tomb at Abusir (by Miroslav Barta)
Cleopatra VII : the death of Egypt
the cultual relief of Kom Ombo
The fortresses of deserts
Enigmatic text (the golden shrine of toutankhamon)
Image in Ancient Egypt (by Benoit Lurson)
Palermo Stone and Turin Papyrus
Moon in religion
El Tarif
Hermitage Museum
Hippolyte Boussac : unknown egyptologist
Another face of Upper Egypt
and also in our web site :
podcasts and forum
www.toutankhamon-magazine.com
next issue : end of may 2008
best regards,

francois tonic
redactor of chief

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Seti I Temple

I have blogged about this so many times and really hoped something was happening but although the blocks were dismantled and left to dry nothing has happened to them. Just look at these two, is string really supposed to keep things together. It breaks my heart

New discovery?

Courtsey of EEF

One of those curious Egypt State Information Service reports which I felt belonged in this past thread (March 2):

Press report: “The first excavation team was formed” http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Culture/000001/0203000000000000000967.htm

“Culture Minister Farouk Hosni named the first antiquities excavation team under Dr. Zahi Hawas Secretary General of the Antiquities Supreme Council to operate in Valley of the Kings in Luxor to unearth a number of tombs of kings and queens including Ramses the Second and Thutmose the Second. Dr. Hawas said the unearthing of those tombs would be regarded as the most important discovery since that of Tutankhamen tomb, especially as the excavation operations in the western bank was monopolized by foreign missions.”

“Ramses II” makes no sense — likely Ramses VIII was meant.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Rumour of a find in the Valley of Kings

I have no idea if this is true or not but there is a rumour going round that a doorway has been found in the Valley. It has been hidden again awaiting the arrival of Dr Zahi Hawass.

Editted
How interesting I received an email as a reuslt of this story pointing me to this story
http://www.legendarytimes.com/index.php?op=news&func=news&id=5877

Nefertiti’s Tomb Found? Sensational Discovery in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings!

BASEL, Switzerland, March 11, 2008.

Nefertiti’s Tomb found? Sensational discovery in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings! Once again, a new tomb was discovered underneath the desert sands, as reported by the German-language MYSTERIES Magazine in its next newsstand issue.

So far, the Egyptian Department of the Antiquities has kept silent about the exact location of this discovery. As MYSTERIES has now revealed exclusively on its webpage, the tomb, which was discovered in November 2007, is allegedly located in very close vicinity of King Meren-Ptah (KV . Could it be the last resting space of Ramesses VIII? Hardly, because the discovery appears to be a “stepped entrance” which points to a significant Amarna Ruler Tomb from the 18th Dynasty - possibly even to the legendary and elusive last resting place of Pharaoh Akhenaten or his wife Nefertiti!

After the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 and the Tomb Depository KV 63 in 2006, this is only the third significant discovery in the Valley of the Kings in the last 85 years. It can be expected that Zahi Hawass will hold an international press conference soon informing the public about this sensational discovery, especially since he also made another “significant discovery” with the famous tomb of Pharaoh Sethos I.

Text courtesy of Luc Buergin, Publisher of MYSTERIES Magazine, Switzerland.


This entry was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Statue of Pharaonic queen discovered in south Egypt

LUXOR, Egypt (AFP) — Egyptian and European archeologists on Saturday announced they had discovered a giant statue of an ancient pharaonic queen on the spectacular south Egypt site of the Colossi of Memnon.

The statue represents Queen Tiy, the wife of 18th dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep III, and stands 3.62 metres high (almost 12 feet).

It was discovered around the site of the massive Colossi of Memnon twin statues that command the road to Luxor’s famed Valley of the Kings.

Two sphinx representing Tiy and Amenhotep III as well as 10 statues in black granite of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, who protected the pharaohs, we also found by the archeologists and presented to reporters and senior officials.

Culture Minister Faruq Hosni hailed the discovery as a “formidable” entreprise and told reporters he expected the statues to be erected for public view next year.

They will be joined by two 15-metre-high (50 feet) statues, excavated in recent years, which will be placed 100 metre (yards) behind the Colossi of Memnon as part of an “open air museum.”

“Once these new colossi and the other new discoveries are put in place… this site will become one of the most important open air museums of the pharaonic period,” the head of the archeological team Hourig Sourouzian said.

The Colossi of Memnom are massive quartzite sandstone statues, some 20 metres high, which used to guard a temple dedicated to Amenhotep III that was destroyed in a devastating earthquake in the 1st century AD.

Over the centuries the rising waters of the Nile River inundated the rest of the site.

Archeologists hope to rehabilitate the site within five years.

Considering this site was thought to be empty the amount of finds they are making is wonderful. You can see loads of working going on as you walk along the raod from the colossus to the ticket office.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Latest Update from KV63

20 MARCH 2008

By now…. many of you may have noticed the absence of regular updates from me concerning our 2008 season at KV-63.

In January, with my departure to Egypt imminent, I elected to keep a routine doctors visit and was surprised to discover I needed emergency abdominal surgery to alleviate some chronic intestinal bleeding. Now post surgery…I should hasten to add that I feel much better.

However, factoring in the required six weeks of recovery time and the evaluation of some new medication it was necessary to [again] revise my departure date for early March. Until a few days ago there was still a faint glimmer of hope that we might salvage a shortened season for March-April. Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law intervened, as there has been considerable delay in obtaining my medicine that prevents the recurrent bleeding. Therefore, with great reluctance, it is again necessary for me to postpone our 2008 season.

It is too early to give exact dates, but we are considering a season running from late 2008 through early 2009. Specific work dates will be made available on the website as we finalize our plans. During the remainder of 2008 we will strive to increase our treasury as the cost and amount of materials needed for the pending seasons is considerable.

Many close friends, colleagues, and KV-63 staff members have remained quiet about my surgery out of respect for my privacy. Therefore, I appreciate everyone’s kindness, understanding and sincere patience during this problematic period. A ‘special’ thank you to Dr. Zahi Hawass and the SCA as they have been most understanding and sympathetic to the difficulties encountered in the quest to resume our work in the King’s Valley.

Mudir Otto Schaden

This entry was posted on Friday, March 21st, 2008

www.dendara.net

I was told by Ibrahim Soliman that Dr Sylvie Cauville had given free access to publications of Dendara on this website. My internet connection is far to slow to get a download so anyone that does and can give any feedback would be my friend for life

Edited - Ann from Belgium turned out to be that friend. Here are her comments

I had a look at the Dendara-website and I can easily believe that your internet connection is too slow.
There are in fact 3 gigantic papers to be downloaded.
The first (of 25 MB) is in fact exactly 414 pages. I opened it and had a look. It is in a very precise study (in French) of what you can see in the Dendera temple. It starts with a portico and every single hieroglyph is carefully copied. Here and there are some explanations given.
I do think that this is a very valuable book for an Egyptology student visiting Dendera in the future.

Didn’t look at the 2 other papers (the 2nd being 44MB, the third “only” 19).


This entry was posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Alec Anthon 22/7/1925 – 22/2/2008

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments I got about the piece on my Dad. He actually died yesterday so forgive the lack of blog entries etc for a bit. Well this is my blog so I will do what I like it is not Luxornews but it is my news so farewell Dad




1945 Uncle Barry, Dad, Grandma, Grandad

My Dad, I was always so proud of him, of his languages mainly and his larger than life personality as well. My Dad was someone else; when I was a teenager it was my Dad we used to phone to pick us up when we missed the last train. It was my Dad that told my mum those were “herbal cigarettes” all those years ago. He was so proud of me too.

And I am so glad he had something to be proud of. In his last few weeks he saw me appear in the Daily Telegraph being recommended for my guiding in Egypt. And it was his mother that had originally got me interested. Before he died and whilst we could still talk together I thanked him for bringing me up so cosmopolitan that I could take on marriage to an Arab. Most girls who bring home an exotic and foreign boyfriend have a father who would be horrified. My Dad just wanted to practise his languages.

I got him to help me with some special cards: one was thank you in all his languages the other was I love you, it was so typical of my Dad that he knew more I love you’s than thank you’s. 28, sometimes when I tell people they think I am joking but it was true. He even taught languages, in fact he taught Russian to a Russian. A man living in the UK was losing his Russian and came to my Dad for language lessons. Dad was a Fellow of the Institute of Linguists. The first languages he learnt were from his Dad, Swahili and Afrikaans, the last he was still learning. Japanese and Hungarian. Just a couple of years ago he did a GCSE in Latin.

1964 Hanover State Fair

He was also musical, I remember after church on Sundays he would practise on the organ. The Sunday lunch would be spoiling but he would be playing away on the organ. Standing next to him in church and being embarrassed how loud his voice was and how noticeable. Seeing him in opera, in drama. A larger than life character. You never forgot Alec Anthon.

1989 Marriage to Barbara
When he went to live at Forest View I helped Barbara, my step mum, clear his room. It was a very bitter sweet experience. So many memories of my childhood and my Anthon family. A unique and unusual family of whom I am inordinately proud.

In my home in Egypt I have two little amulets of Egyptian Gods, we are pretty sure that they are original. Dad bought them in 46 or 47 when he was in the army in Egypt. His mother lectured on Egypt. I have her notes. And now I live in Egypt. Dad never made it out to my life there but he saw the photos and he met my husband Mahmoud. I remember when we visited him in the UK he careful bought some halal meat so Mahmoud feel at home. The fact it was raw and there was nothing to cook with it was hysterical to us both. Muslim my husband might be but a carnivore he is not but he so much appreciated the thought.

I will always be so very proud that my Dad was unusual and eccentric. Thanks Dad for giving me my life and so many wonderful memories.





This entry was posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Press report: “Middle Kingdom burial is found in Luxor”

New tomb discovered
From EEF



http://www.guardians.net/hawass/discoveries/
middle_kingdom_burial_is_found_i.htm

“An intact 11th dynasty burial of a man called Iker has been unearthed
in the Dra Abul Naga area on Luxor’s west bank. (..) The burial was
found by a Spanish archaeological mission during routine excavation
work in the open courtyard of TT11, the tomb of Djehuty. ”

No info about this on the Proyecto Djehuty website, yet,
nor in any Spanish papers AFAICT.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008

The truth about new Gurna/Qurna

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/883/feature.htm
Vindicating Qurna
Historic Qurna on the Theban necropolis is no more, but the reputation of its inhabitants as bandits and thieves lingers on and the site lacks attention, says Jill Kamil



The Supreme Council of Antiquities has achieved its goal. It has evicted what it regards as squatters (in fact 10,000 long- standing residents) from an area known as Sheikh Abdel-Qurna, one of Luxor’s most important archaeological sites, where they lived over and among the tombs of the nobles. Apart from a few of the most decorative and brightly-decorated mud-brick houses, most of the homes belonging to the people, known as Qurnawis, have been demolished.

Speaking on the occasion of the opening of the new community for the displaced residents in December 2006, Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the SCA, expressed delight at their relocation and mentioned that the tombs could now be adequately protected. The foreign press picked up on this and justified the demolition of the houses by propagating a myth that the Qurnawis were thieves who traditionally pillaged artefacts to sell to tourists and who had done terrible damage to the tombs.

The accusation is not deserved, and Al-Ahram Weekly wants to set that record put straight. To quote Egyptologist Nicole Hanson, who said in a paper presented at the Egyptologists’ Electronic Forum some time ago, “Our Egyptological predecessors of the 19th century were just as involved in this trade (i.e. the pillaging of monuments) as the Qurnawis.”

Hanson spoke with passion. She pointed out that the negative perception of the Luxor west bank population was an outcome of European and Egyptology-induced labour relations, and that “Qurnawi incorporation into a global system includes the international demand for antiquities, the vagaries of economic downturns, and the steady stream of archaeologically- focussed foreign tourists largely ignorant about contemporary Egyptians.” She claimed that racist remarks about the Qurnawis were hypocritical and should be ended, and added that the label “west bank bandits” was an attribution contradicted by historical and anthropological research. On the contrary, recent studies of unexcavated tombs in Qurna revealed that some were inhabited by local craft producers making of fake antiquities for tourists through to the 1990s.

Hanson indicated that, with each generation of archaeologists, methods and technology had emerged that made it possible to recover more and more information about the past. That methodology and technology, however, did not exist in theory or in practice in the 19th century. Champollion himself was involved in illicit antiquity dealings with the residents of Qurna while was working on ‘Belzoni’s Tomb. “If such things happened today, yes we might be right to criticise it because now we practise archaeology in a totally different way,” Hanson said,

Qurnawis have lived among the tombs of the nobles for some 200 years, not for the purpose of pillaging the tombs but to provide a service to late 18th and early 19th-century Egyptologists, who employed them to excavate the tombs of the nobles. These, unlike the royal tombs which were burial places, were for loyal and trusted subordinates: the Pharaoh’s chief vizier, treasurer, or keeper of the vineyards, and were funerary rooms and burial chambers combined. Decorated with scenes of everyday life, they shed a flood of light on life and times in the New Kingdom in 1567-1320 BC.

With the help of the Qurnawis, the tomb of Nakht, scribe of the granaries under Thutmose IV, was released from the encroaching sand. They also played a part in the uncovering of the tomb of Userhet, royal scribe in the reign of Amenhotep II, and the even more famous tombs of Rekhmire, an outstanding vizier in the reign of Thutmose III, Sennufer, overseer of the gardens of Amun under Amenhotep II, and Menna, which has some of the most beautiful representations to be found of harvest, feasts and hobbies.

If the workmen from these tombs settled in Qurna, close on the heels of archaeological excavation came tourists in search of culture and souvenirs — real or fake. To cater to demand the Qurnawis started to produce forgeries — or fakes if you like, because these “antikas” so closely resembled the original that it was sometimes difficult to tell the difference. They frequently set up temporary workshops in undecorated tombs to produce them, which accounts for the fact that fakes have sometimes been found in an archaeological setting, much to the confusion of scholars.

John Gardner Wilkinson and other early Egyptologists described art and craft production on the Theban necropolis on sale to tourists, and let it be added that Egyptologists themselves were not averse to filling their museums in Europe with sections of decorated walls.

Back in the 18th century Charles Sonnini, the first visitor to the necropolis to make reference to ” banditti ” residing in Qurna, yet acknowledged that in their antiquities’ dealings with him they displayed “as much integrity and fairness as if they had been the most honest people in the world”. He remarked, however, on the desolation of the place and the poor living standards of the people, adding incidentally that he was in no personal danger. Sonnini, and others like him, branded the Qurnawis as thieves and robbers for no other reason than that they were poor and looked forbidding. Unfortunately this reputation clung to them and was repeated by Europeans ad nauseam until it caught on with Egyptians. These are racist remarks, and they are also hypocritical. As Hanson remarked, “Our Egyptological predecessors of the 19th century were just as involved in this trade, but at the other end. If the Qurnawis were ‘bandits’ then we need to call the Egyptologists of those days the ‘kingpins’ for whom the Qurnawis did the dirty work.”

When the bureau of the World Heritage Committee met back in August 2001 to consider reports from a mission to Qurna, it recommended that the Egyptian authorities freeze the ongoing “unplanned demolition” of houses at the village of Qurna and requested technical assistance from the World Heritage Fund to prepare a management plan for the site. This stressed the need to reduce the population of the village of Qurna, ensure a decent standard of life to residents who wished to stay on as official wardens of the site, and “enhance and protect the traditional character of the urban environment from the present chaotic development.” The bureau furthermore recommended the preparation of a plan to determine archaeological areas of Qurna which should be explored and protected, and study the conditions required to allow some residents to continue living in that part of the village where houses were allowed to remain.

It cannot be sure how carefully these recommendations were followed. What is on record is that six years later the Luxor authorities ordered the demolition of all the mud brick houses in the village. “In just five minutes,” it was reported by Agence France Presse on 3 December 2006, “under the deafening roar of bulldozer engines, three long- abandoned houses were the first to go…” It was a stage-managed affair that included a fashion show of children who paraded in ancient Egyptian costumes to the beat of drums. Suited government officials were on hand to give enthusiastic speeches in front of the television cameras.

Some “3,500 families will leave for a better life. It’s the most important resettlement operation since the rescue of Abu Simbel in Nubia some 40 years ago,” announced Luxor’s governor Samir Farag, while Hassan Amer, an Egyptologist and Cairo University professor who was born in a village south of Qurna, was not so optimistic. “They will turn Qurna into a city of the dead without caring much for the living and their history,” he said.

The residents of Qurna have resisted interference for more than half a century, and despite all efforts to move them they have refused to budge. “They turned up their noses when different destinations were offered,” government officials noted, accusing them of resisting eviction because they wanted to remain on site in order to continue to pillage the tombs. In fact, what has not been understood, or ever acknowledged, is that Qurnawis are of Arab stock, not fellahin who are tillers of the soil. When Hassan Fathy’s “ideal village” was built for them on the floodplain, they refused to live in it because it was on agricultural land, not at the edge of the desert where they felt they rightfully belonged.

New Qurna is located at the edge of the desert, but the relocated villagers are now far from the steady flow of tourists from whom they have traditionally made a living. They are, in fact, as much a part of the urban fabric of the Theban necropolis as the tombs they once excavated. So strange that even the few Qurnawis who have been allowed to remain on in their brightly painted houses to cater to the tourist tourists are still not able to shake off the lingering, unjustified reputation as grave robbers and thieves — and neither, by the way, have those who have been forcefully settled further north. “It is time that we accept the state of the antiquities trade in the 19th century for what it was — a very early form of archaeology”, Hanson said.

The Weekly heartily agrees. Let us put an end to those said stories that are still perpetrated by official guides, and in guide-books, and accept that the Qurnawis form part of a larger and more complicated picture.

As for the site of Qurna itself, there is no sign of the official wardens recommended by the World Heritage Committee. No apparent steps have been taken to “enhance and protect the traditional character of the urban environment”. And as for “the preparation of a plan to determine archaeological areas which should be explored and protected,” … well, not even the rubble from the demolished houses has been cleared from historical Qurna.

Editted, got the following comment

I would appreciate it if you would make some corrections to the above article. My name is spelled Hansen not Hanson and it was not me who said “”Qurnawi incorporation into a global system includes the international demand for antiquities, the vagaries of economic downturns, and the steady stream of archaeologically- focussed foreign tourists largely ignorant about contemporary Egyptians” but rather Kees van der Spek who said that. A friend was complaining to me two weeks ago about how Jill Kamil had a tendency to be careless with facts even when encouraged to check them but I never expected to experience it myself so soon!

contact@glyphdoctors.com


This entry was posted on Monday, February 11th, 2008

Christine el Mahdy

Received an email from Michael Eastwood

I’ve just heard that Christine died yesterday. She was one of the very best tutor’s. Her book on Tutankhamun was one of the best written about any Pharaoh.
I only found out by chance that she had died when I emailed the Taunton Egyptology Society to enquire as to how she was doing (she had been very ill for some time).
Maybe you could mention her death on your blog. I’m sure that a lot of people like me would really like to know.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 8th, 2008

Flats in Luxor mentioned in the Daily Telegraph

Nice mention by one of guests Drusilla Beyfus http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/main.jhtml?xml=/travel/2008/02/07/sm_activitynile.xml&DCMP=ILC-traffdrv07053100

A subsequent visit with Jane Akshar, an independent tour guide, took me into the smaller, off-the-beaten-track but none the less fascinating tombs of Ay in the western Valley of the Kings followed by the tombs of the nobles Roy and Shu Roy. They were wonderfully free of people like us.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Toutankhamon Magazine is available, #37.

bonjour

Since a few days, the new issue of Toutankhamon Magazine is available, #37.

Contents of this issue [NB: articles are in French] include :
- Egyptian prehistoric : special article about Qurta and El-Hosh, with long interview of Dirk Huyge
- Golden chapels of Toutankhamon : the enigmatic texts
- Hatshepsut
- funerary rituals
- the image on Ancient egypt (article of Benoit Lurson)
- Punt revealed ! The news discoverries about Punt and his localisation !
- Nefertari : her tomb, her life, her monuments, with explanation about her beautiful tomb (with some photos)

and also in our web site :
- podcasts and forum
www.toutankhamon-magazine.com

next issue : end of march 2008

best regards,

francois tonic
redactor in chief

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

TT71 Senemut


Yes I made it up there. OK they got a taxi to take me way up the mountain, past the tomb of Menna and Mohammed Ismail and Michael Campbell-Smith dragged me up bits. Mohammed pulling and Michael pushing but I made it and it was worth it.



The views up there were fantastic.Firstly I had no idea how big it was and how much other stuff is up there.  This photo is looking up to the tomb top left and below bottom right is the hole that lead to his parents tomb.

It is T shaped and size wise is not dissimilar to Rekhmire and the remaining colour is superb. One wonders what it must have looked like. Visiting it makes the theory of Francisco Martin Valentine that TT 353 is a cenotaph even more convincing. There is no way with a huge imposing tomb like this, overlooking Karnak and Deir el Bahri that you would swap it for a tiny place like TT353. That obviously has some secret and special purpose, nothing to do with the actual burial.

 
There were a number of places on the walls where glyphs had been carved in a steele arrangement and subsequently damage, presumably removing Senenmut’s name. Others had been left like this one.

Lots of colour high up on the ceiling, really vivid and also in a little room to the side.



Around it there are carvings in the rock, one is a block statue of Senemut holding Neferrere and another is the figures of a man and women who is supposed to be Hatshepsut and Senenmut but we were not sure. Does anyone have any more information on these? (Found out later it was his brother Senemen).

We actually climbed right to the top to the tomb of Sheik Abu Gurna which reminded me a lot of the tombs in Abu Hagag. The views are spectacular showing you all of the Assasif and Gurna as well as the temple of Mentuhotep and Hatshepsut. I had never seen them from that angle.So my legs are aching and I doubt I will climb there again but I have done it.

Edited I received an email from Dr Karl H Leser giving me the link to his website www.maat-ka-ra.de  . It has loads and loads of answers to the questions and is totally fascinating. In both German and English..

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

A tale of two museums

Not strictly Luxor news but I am sure you do not mind.

Firstly I have been affected by the internet cable problem and have had limited access for some time. Emails are taking days to get through; I do hope they fix it soon. As for surfing the net forget it.

Secondly I have been to Cairo and had a great couple of days there.

I spent the first day doing some business and then went to the Cairo Museum. I must admit it defeated me. I went round looking at my favourite things but every time they look shabbier and in urgent need of TLC it really disheartens you. The museum was built a long time ago and is in urgent need of some modern display cases above all else. It will be moving to its new home at Giza and the sooner the better as far as I can see. After a couple of hours I gave up, I just could not enjoy anything and just wanted to get a duster out.



Contrast my next day when I went to Sakkara. I had been chatting to Dr Sabry of the SCA and when he heard I was going there he totally took over my plans. He gave me the contact details of the Director of Sakkara. Dr Osama who then made sure I was taken round by his staff. I had heard great things about the Imhotep museum and we were actually given a guided tour by its director Mr Ahmed. I do love an enthusiast and boy was he one. He obviously loves his museum and its collection and delighted in showing and explaining everything to us. After the previous day at Cairo it was such a joy to see things housed properly with great explanations and lightening.



There was one particular display of the starving figures from Unas causeway which was lit in such a way that all the delicate relief work showed perfectly. I was so impressed.



As for the walls from the underground chamber they were totally delicious. My photo shows them in all their glory. I was given such hope for the future of the treasures of Egypt by seeing what can be done in this wonderful museum. If you go to Sakkara you must see it. They also have a side room where they display the latest discoveries at Sakkara. This is an excellent idea because often you read about new things in the press but can not get a look at them.

We then went to the step pyramid itself, I think we chose the windiest day for years, the previous day I swear I felt sleet in central Cairo. It was so cold as well. I had not been there for decades and it was totally different for me. When I had visited before I had done so in the height of summer. The heat fries your brain and it is so hard to take things in. Going there in the cold meant you were able to really see things. IF you have a choice about which time of year you visit Egypt try and go for November to March, it is much more enjoyable. This time I really noticed the features preserved in stone that were originally in organic materials and they had copied. We had a really good guide provided by my Cairo partner Mohammed Zakaria; he took us round and even pointed out where he thinks there are some unexcavated ceramics. I do like it when you get an Egyptology guide who has learnt a language rather than language student who has painstakingly learnt a language. Mohammed was really knowledgeable. He had worked with Zahi Hawass briefly and what is more he spoke excellent English. He has only just started doing English tours as his best language is Italian. His wife who is also a tour guide does Japanese!!!

After going round the complex with him we then were taken to the tombs of the Butcher and the two brothers by one of the inspectors Mr Turkey (I do hope I have spelt all these names correctly). This was a treat for our guide as he had never been in these tombs, they are reserved for VIP’s we were told. Not quite sure how I managed to come into that category lol. The picture here shows the glyph that means hairdresser.


There were some fascinating scenes inside of pedicure, manicure and hairdressing. As well as a real women breast feeding, not a goddess and pharaoh but real life scene. Mr Turkey spent some time translating the hieroglyphics for us and really knew the tombs well. He pointed out that the access at the back (by which the tomb was discovered) was done by robbers who obviously knew exactly where the tomb was and probably built it. This tomb has the two men in a very affectionate pose and has had the nickname of the gay tomb but we were told it was nothing like that at all. Actually all over modern Egypt you see men kissing and hugging and this is normal friendliness (like a lot of Mediterranean countries) so it is felt the relationship was similar. The butchers tomb was unfinished and a great opportunity to see the progression of tomb carving and decorating. Some the glyphs were of the highest quality I have seen.

We finished off at Meriruka and Teti, the latter I had not been two before. It was a bit challenging to go down but not that bad. I had seen pyramid text in Unas years ago but not such lovely carved ones as these.

We were that about 5 hours and during that time we saw countless buses come and go and it seemed the average time was an hour. If you do go there INSIST on spending longer and don’t miss the museum. There is so much to see, we missed two other tombs that were open even with our extended stay.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

KV64 latest

On my trip back to the UK I got hold of a copy of Horus magazine. It carries a regular feature by Dr Zahi Hawass which is always interesting. This time is said……….

this winter, the Supreme Council of Antiquities will begin new excavations in the Valley of Kings. ……We will also use radar in the area around the tomb of Tutankhamun to see if Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves is correct or not in his previous identification of a radar anomaly here as ‘KV64′

Interesting times

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 24th,

Even more at Karnak

This is getting ridiculous I can not keep up.

Even more discoveries at the front of Karnak, on the left in front the first pylon they have found a Ptolemaic bath house. I spoke to Mr Mansour and he is going to give a lecture on it in 2 weeks times at the Mummification Museum.





Also at the Khonsu temple Ed Johnson is doing loads of restoration. I know this picture is poor quality, obviously I couldn’t use flash. But it gives you an idea of what he is doing. He is also going to give a lecture next week about what he is doing.



This entry was posted on Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Rain!!!!!!

No internet for 2 days as it rained on Monday night for hours, all the electricity on the West Bank was turned off. Apparently people on the East Bank looking over thought we had disappeared When it did come back on I could not connect to the internet. In fact we had to relay our telephone cable then it eventually worked.



BTW I heard the morning after the storm the villagers from Gurna were up in the hills searching for anything washed down.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Geological and Geochemical Analysis of Nile Sediments and Ancient Ceramics - Dr Hany Hamroush

Edited 26th Jan, Dr Hany sent me an email correcting my notes and I have reposted his corrected version. It was so nice of him to do this and much appreciated.

January 21st, 2008 Geological and Geochemical Analysis of Nile Sediments and Ancient Ceramics – Dr. Hany Hamroush

This was one of the not to be missed lectures. Dr. Hany was a superb communicator who brought the complicated subject to life and made it fascinating. He is very well qualified and has worked with many equally well qualified geologists and archeologists such as Prof. Rushdi Said, who wrote the best geology references about the geology of Egypt and the river Nile in Egypt as well as the late Dr. Michael Hoffman, who went to Egypt for the first time in 1969 as participant in the American Museum of Natural History’s Hierakonpolis Expedition. He helped in the excavation of the ancient city of Nekhen and spent time at the locality of HK14. This was the first excavation of a Predynastic Upper Egyptian settlement (i.e., just before the unification of Egypt and the rise of the first State in History) in over 35 years. Dr. Michael Hoffman is the author of “Egypt before the Pharaohs”. Also, Dr. Hamroush was able to pursue his research career under the supervision and support of Prof. Ralph Allen of the University of Virginia who is one of the main founders of Archaeological Geochemistry in the States.

The lecture was sufficiently complicated that I think without his slides my notes make no sense, so I will summarize.

The Nile has two main sources from three main tributaries (the Blue Nile & the Atbara river from Eastern Africa and the White Nile from Central Africa) and then flows for more than 2000 km without any further inlets. This makes it suitable for analyzing and identifying its deposits: sand and mud as to their source. So you can find out whether the main deposits were coming from Central Africa or East Africa. The rocks of central Africa are of Precambrian age and mainly of granitic composition but those from East Africa are from the Tertiary age of basaltic composition. Natural weathering and transportation of these rocks mean that their broken fragments ( i.e., sand and silt size fractions) and their chemically altered fragments (i.e., clay size fraction) flow down to the delta. Dr. Hany has investigated Nile sediments of all ages and by ordinary physical methods it is impossible to identify differences. They apparently all look the same. The physical characteristics are as follows:

• Gravel – non existent

• Sand (2 mm – 0.063 mm) – significant amounts

• Mud (0.063 – 0.004 mm) – majority

However, the source of the sand grains and their composition can be identified by analysis of their light mineral fraction while heavy minerals in the sand size are so sparsely present as to be unfairly represented in the sample. The trace elements in the light sand fraction give you a chemical fingerprint detectable by advanced techniques such as Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and can be related to the relative contribution of the sediments from the two sources mentioned above as a function of time. It should be noted that the clay fraction, which is the principal component of Nile mud, is produced by Chemical weathering of the original rock materials which can alter their authentic chemical composition. So Dr. Hamroush analyzed sand grains of only a certain size and composition which means he was able to identify Nile sediments from different times.

He was able to draw a graph showing the variation of selected trace elements in sand size grains of Nile sediments over time to indicate whether they had come from central Africa or eastern Africa.

With the collaboration of Prof. Daniel Stanley of the U.S. Natural History Museum who dug several bore holes in the Nile delta to a depth more than 40 meters, Dr. Hamroush tested his proposed model further. Analysis of the cores showed that when you have a high lanthanum over lutetium (La/Lu) ratio in the light sand fraction of Nile sediments, then this means a larger volume coming from central Africa whereas a high Chromium over Scandium ratio (Cr/Sc) means Ethiopian origins. The time period covered was 25,000 -3,000 BP (before present). He was able to define the relative contribution of the sediments of the two sources as a function of time and to correlate this to the level of the Mediterranean Sea and the development of the Nile Delta at the time. A rise in sea level coupled with lots of Nile sediments from its sources meant that the sediments had fanned out forming the delta area.

Ceramics

The impact of all this on ancient ceramics is a multidisciplinary field. Using a variety of techniques such as

• Petrography and microscopic studies

• SEM-EDX

• X Ray diffraction

• INAA

He was able to chemically analyze various ancient samples of pottery from the Neolithic and Predynastic periods and determine the raw materials used to make it and whether it was local to the area or not. Such analysis could be used to trace bartering and exchange of pottery in various places.

It was a fascinating lecture and a whole new area for me. It would be interesting to see the analysis of organic materials being fitted into this as well.

Dr. Hamroush ended the lecture by saying that although this model was developed through years of research with his professors, he is still faced with the challenge that the industry of manufacturing ceramics was a highly localized activity. Therefore there is a need to measure the geochemical characteristics of all the possible clay sources in Egypt and its potential neighboring sources before starting the reconstruction of ancient exchange (REAL TRADE) patterns.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 21st, 2008

The new marina at Al Gezera, Luxor

New Development in Gezera



As a direct result of my blog entry expressing concern about the new development in Al Gezera and its affect on my buildings I have met with General Mohammed Metwally who is charge of the West Bank development Thanks to Dr Samir Farag for arranging this for me. The general confirmed that all my buildings are not affected by the development at all. Which is good news for anyone wishing to buy from us. He showed of the plans for the Al Gezera area and they are ambitious. I hope you can see from the photo that where there is currently a big car park will be turned into a marine making it easy for people to board the motor boats. There will be many facilities for tourists, cafés and bazaars. The whole character of the West Bank will change. Personally I feel both sad and happy about this.

It is will be good as there will be more work and opportunities for the people of the West Bank, more tourists will come here. But the real village life will be lost and that saddens me as that is the attraction for me personally living there. Many of my husband’s friends are losing investments they made in property at Ramal. Hamdulallah we are not affected but we are sad for our friends. But you can not turn back this clock and rather than rueing the loss of the past I think it is important for West Bankers to grasp the opportunities this will bring.

As well as the plans for Al Gezera, General Mohammed also showed us plans for a new hotel complex at the back of the Hassan Fathy village is a similar style.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Delicious Death

So many apologies to you all for the lack of postings and no lecture write ups. Having a few family issues at the moment. Thought the following would explain it all.

As lots of you know my father is dying of cancer. His death will be a much more different thing than the death of my husband, Ayman, 6 years ago. When my husband died he did not bring closure, especially to my daughter. He said he did video tapes but he never did. My fathers death is much better. He has been told he has an aggressive tumor, inoperable and untreatable. When I spoke to the cancer nurse she told me it was ok to visit him after Xmas ‘but not too long’. Last week I went to the UK for one week and i visited every day and mostly we talked about trivialities although he gave me one peace of information which made me feel good. My mother who I always thought was repressed, boring and with no joy of life apparently was a bit of a goer. She had a torrid affair with a married man, I am so pleased. Dad took her away from this bloke. So my boring old fart of a mother was a goer. RESPECT

I managed to organise a trip to the ballet for him last Wed, it was a bit physically challenging for him to get the the seats, the best I could manage at short notice. But he loved it. I should explain he speaks Russian fluently and even taught it and this was a performance by the Russian state orchestra and ballet. It was about 20 mins drive and he was taken by a member of the Russian Society he set up. He loves music, plays violin and organ and also sang in choir and opera. So this was perfect for him

Although he had made lots of mistakes and did negative things in my life I did not even think about it. I thanked him for my life and bringing me up so I was cosmopolitan enough to marry Mahmoud and live in Egypt. I said everything you should do under these circumstances. I hope someone loves me enough to do the same.

I gave him memories, laughter, emotion and love in his last weeks. I am so glad

When I think about the difficulties with my daughter and everything I am going through I realise the importance of giving. Of giving even a delicious death. My fathers death will be delicious. He has done the things, seen the events and had the love. Can we ask more than a delicious death?

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2008

More updates from the Ramasseum

I was passing today and got this update. Between the storage magazines and the Amenhotep II temple they have discovered a processional way with jackal head sphinxes. Just like the ones at the temple of Merenptah. Apparently there were approx 37-40 of these. This replica is of gypsum and they are carving a stone version.

Demolishing the West Bank

I got a Goggle alert this morning about demolitions in Gurna. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/16/africa/ME-GEN-Egypt-Tomb-Evictions.php.

It was not only at Gurna but also just along the road from me. Some shops were torn down, nobody was expecting it and of course they are nowhere near the antiquities. Al Gezira village is on the flood plain, the pharaohs didn’t build there. Now everyone is worried what exactly is going on and it is difficult to get information. I am ready to jump in front of the bulldozers with my British passport to protect my home, I hope it does not come to that. Especially if they are using tear gas.

It is all in aid of making Luxor an Open Air Museum for the tourists, Dr Samir Farag the local Governor is responsible. There is no consultation with local businesses like mine that bring hundreds of people to Luxor and keep the money in the local economy. Only with the big multi nationals who care little about Luxor or its people but a lot about their overseas profit margins. Many tourists have no clue this is being done.