Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Dr Zahi Hawass visits Luxor part 1 – Carter House

On the West Bank on the round about that leads to the valley of kings there is a mud brick house which was used by Howard Carter when he was excavating there. It was built around 1910 as there are commemorative bricks with that date. It is not the house on the hill but at ground level. For many, many years there have been rumours that it was going to be made into a museum about the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen but nothing seem to happen.

Well all that is changing, as you can see from the above plan there is an ambitious plan to redevelop the entire area and to refurbish the Carter House at the same time. If you look at the detail plan you can read in English the description of the various rooms, it looks as though it is going to a very interesting visitor centre.

It is being driven by this man who when I asked his name told me he was a Major General. Apparently if you are a General for 3 years you become a Major General and he has been a General for 6 years, so I ended up calling him Major, Major General and never found out his real name. He is driving the project forward big time and expects to have it finished by 4th November otherwise as we would say ‘heads will roll’. He certainly seemed to have a lot of power as my driver translated some of his conversation for me and he was defiantly barking out orders. The army will be brought in and they will work round the clock.

The house is in a shabby and dilapidated state but the architect Hany El Miniawy has done projects like this before. Try Googling on his name and you will be very impressed, he is a top notch guy.

He has to turn this

in to this

Quite a task considering its present state, I asked him if he was worried about ground water issues on this mud brick development if they landscape and this needs watering. He proceed to blind me with science but it was obvious he knew what he was talking about and had taken that in to consideration. Apparently the building is made of heba or green bricks, green referring to their maturity rather than their colour, on a good foundation. The water table is far away and the building itself will be protected.

So we were ready for our big wigs to arrive. First Dr Zahi Hawass came and the architect spent some time with him explaining the various stages.

Then Dr Zahi was interviewed by the media, sadly everything was in Arabic but there are lots of details on Dr Zahi Hawass’s website http://www.drhawass.com/blog/press-release-new-developments-luxor.

Lastly Dr Samir Farag, the governor of Luxor arrived to be shown the site. Then we all raced of to Hatshepsut’s temple …… more of Dr Zahi's visit to come when we go to Hatshepsut and the mosque of Abu Haggag


Kate Phizackerley said...

Jane for some reason the press release seems to have been removed from his blog.


Bluesilver said...

The plan for the visitor centre looks very good and interesting. Since I am working for archaeological site management in Egypt, it would be nice to see the plan in details. Could you tell me where I can find the plan?

Jane Akshar said...

Kate No idea why the press release has gone.

Bluesilver I suggest you contact the architect

Bluesilver said...

Thank you, Jane.

Bluesilver said...

Thank you, Jane.

genesto said...

I am trying to get in touch with Hany El Miniawy as soon as possible. I need to discuss the possibility of applying the principles and practices of his organization, ADAPT, to rebuilding Gaza, which has about 7000 demolished homes to reconstruct and cannot import conventional building materials, such as concrete and steel, due to the Israeli embargo.

I am planning on discussing his program at a conference I am attending in Qatar next week, which will explore ways of rebuilding Gaza. So, anyone with Hany's contact info please contact me at gsoeng@aol.com.

Thank you,

Gene St.Onge,PE,SECB
Principal, St.Onge and Associates
Oakland, CA