Monday, 28 September 2009

Which one is the Carter House?

Yes I have been confused for years as well, various drivers and guides will tell you as you enter the road leading to the Valley of the Kings that the house you can see is the Carter House. I hope my photo makes it clear. The one at the very top of the hill is the Stopplaere House and below is an excellent description. Also on this website you can find many photos.

"The Stopplaere House, which dates from the year after New Gourna was completed, was designed as both a guest house for the Department of Antiquities and the headquarters and apartment of Dr. Alexander Stopplaere who was the chief restorer of the Department at that time. The architect's drawings of the house, which went through several revisions, all convey the difficulty of combining these two diverse entities into one, showing how the architect was struggling with the duality of functions involved.
The first scheme he attempted uses a square plan to group both sectors around two perfectly balanced parallel courtyards that are divided by a bisecting wall. The demands of a ridge-like, linear site, however, which is strategically located at the summit of a step ridge overlooking the main entrance into the Valley of the Kings and Queens at Luxor, eventually forced the opening up of the plan into an elongated rectangle. A skylit gallery, of a kind that first appeared in the Hamid Said house, is used to join both sides of the residence, and the bisecting wall of the original concept finally emerges as a fully expressed buttress in the finished building, effectively separating the main entrance and its garden from the private quarters of Dr. Stopplaere.
In spite of the fact that no "as-built" drawings for this project exist, the small collection of initial sketches that have survived provide a rare insight into the creative thought processes of the architect, and show how actual site conditions began to inform a beginning design idea. The photographs of the actual building are equally important in that they include interior views of both the rooms and the courtyards. As is the case with so many of Fathy's surviving works today, access into the Stopplaere house is now very restricted, which gives these interior views added significance."

The house in the grove of tree at the bottom is the Carter House, so called Castle Carter 2. He had previously had a house at Medinet Habu called Castle Carter 1. According to TGH James in the winter of 1910/11
“Carter had by them been working for Carnarvon for two seasons and it must have become clear to both that there was to be a future in their association….A gesture in the direction of putting down roots in Thebes, presumably with an eye to future work, was the building by Carter of Castle Carter II. It was designed by himself along vernacular line – solid, roomy, four square, with a central hall with a dome…. In no time he would be receiving guests, there was much to be admired ‘Carter has built himself a delightful house at the north end of the necropolis and moves in soon’ (Weigall): ‘Theo and I had a charming afternoon with Mr Carter in his new house – so well built and arranged and pretty – it looked like the abode of an artist and scholar (Mrs Andrews); By noon we had reached the new house that Carter had built for himself… and it being very warm, we determined to call upon Carter and take drinks off him. I was glad to have an opportunity of looking over his house, which is delightful, simple mud walls, not rendered conspicuous by any plaster, very little furniture but what there is artistic (Gardiner).”
. Many years later after the discovery and clearance of the tomb it would be described
“ very comfortable, a house much above the standard of field bases and of frequent champagne”
also taken from James’s excellent biography of Carter.

Today when I was at the site the architect Dr Hany was showing me photos of various pieces of furniture that had been left in the house and which he intends to restore to their former glory. He was also much struck by the wooden electrical fittings which are ideal for what is available in Luxor, the climate and the times. The work is proceeding at a tremendous pace and the house is already looking much nicer than its neglected state shown here in my photos

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Urgent Request for help, interior photos of the Carter House

You may remember this article

I have just had a visit from Hany El Miniawy who is the architect in charge of restoring the Carter House, he was asking for help with interiors. Can anyone point me at any photos of the actual Carter house, interiors only or typical dig interiors from that period.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

New theory on Tutankamun's parents but will Zahi back it?

Heads up from one of my readers who attended a recent lecture. Apparently for the last 6 months, Zahi Hawass has been scanning and taking DNA from mummies. And he is going to make a big announcement this month about Tutankhamen's parents.

The lecturer in question gave an interesting theory on who he believes to be Tutankhamen's parents. - Amenhotep III and Queen Sitamun. Claiming that Akhenaton was actually his brother! It was all based on a co-regency theory, and it also backs up the inscriptions that were from Tutankhamen-claiming that Amenhotep was his father.

Anyone got any more details or any comments!!!!! (Stands back and puts on flame proof suit)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Warning - no photos/cameras in Valley of Kings

Just had a guest return from the Valley of Kings today and absolutely no photos. she is a savvy girl and went to the inspectorate who she knows and they confirmed. So be warned

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Exclusive Interview: Dr Zahi Hawass in Indianapolis | Heritage Key

Good Bye Zahi Hawass. He has confirmed his retirement here. I for one will miss him I think he has done a fantastic job to raise the profile of EGYPTIAN Egyptology. Also Inspectors here have much more pride in their work and opportunities for training. Exclusive Interview: Dr Zahi Hawass in Indianapolis | Heritage Key

Monday, 14 September 2009

Think Like a User - tips for creating effective websites

Think Like a User - tips for creating effective websites I am sure you are thinking what on earth has this got to do with Egyptology, Absolutely nothing at all but it is the new business venture of my best friend, Colette Mason, who did my original website all those years ago. With a Goggle page ranked 5 blog any links I put up really count so it is the least I can do for the best web designer I know. What she is doing is passing on the tricks of her trade and how she makes successful websites and all those SEO tips to drive up your page ranking and get you in the search engines. Really important stuff for anyone setting up in business.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Swimming Hieroglyphic

A bit of fun sent to me by our friends at Maat Productions They organise group trips to Egypt from Australia and are going to be staying at my flats. They sent me this as a suggestion for my swimming pool.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

New Excavations starting next Saturday at Luxor Temple

Mansour Boraik informaed me today that they are going to start excavating the tell or mound behind the Pasha's house. It is the last part of medieval Luxor apart from the mosque inside the temple and very important. He expects the excavations to last about 6 months, it will be very interesting to see what they dig up.

He also gave me some information about the house next door. Apparently it will stay while the occupants are living.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Update from Ray Johnson of Chicago House

I recently got an email from Ray Johnson. You have to admire Chicago House for making all their publications available online.

I have spent almost all of my summer with my team proofing and printing our latest volume, 'OIP 136, Medinet Habu IX, The Eighteenth Dynasty Temple Part 1, the Inner Sanctuaries.'
I am proofreading the text booklet now. It's going to be a big one! 3 inches thick and 25 pounds (groan!). But at the same time it will be available for free PDF download from the Oriental Institute Publications web site, along with everything else we have ever published. Most of the Egyptian titles are available now - check it out! We are tremendously excited about this wonderful program that will make everything we have ever done available to everyone free!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

More photos of the Pasha's House

There were two of these colonial style buildings side by side. There photos were taken today as you can see the one that was the party head quarters has almost gone. the other is still standing, but who knows for how long.

Gurna, Ramla, the foreigners cemetery, the new Heritage Centre, mosques, churches and many, many houses are being demolished all over Luxor. Can nothing be done?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Devastating News about the Pasha's house

Edited, here is a pictures as requested

I was driving back from the airport last night and saw they have started attacking the wonderful old houses on the corniche by Luxor temple. Today I got this email
Dear Jane,

I found your address on your website while searching articles related to my grandfather (Yassa [Pasha] Andraos)'s house in Luxor. I noticed from your blog that you are very interested in Luxor news.

I write to you in despair, as my family have learned that in spite of all the legal procedures and judgements in our favour, Mr. Samir Farag has started to demolish my grandfather's house. You may not know that prior to being occupied by the National Democratic Party and the 'Niyaba Idariya', this house witnessed historical events, from receiving Saad Zaghloul - who could only go to that house since my grandfather was the honorary consul of Italy and therefore had diplomatic immunity -, to being visited by kings and queens from all over the world.

Moreover, the house as you may well know is of architectural interest, as per the book 'Egypt: the Living Past', TGH James; photographs by Graham Harrison, London: British Museum Press in association with the Egyptian State Information Service, 1992, page 146. It is considered a national historic patrimony, according to the authorities (hay'at al tansiq al hadary).

How come the head of Luxor City has the freedom to destroy our history even against the law and judgements made by the Egyptian Court? Is Luxor's history limited to Ancient Egypt or is it also history through the ages?

Is there anything you know about all this? I know for sure that the Andraos house is not in the way of the Karnak-Luxor project, so what is it? Religion? Another blow to the once 'pashas' so hated by Nasser (to whom Farag is incidentally related by marriage)? I would feel better if I could understand. I thought we had a respected judicial system but it seems to me that almighty centres of power are still more effective in my country!

Best regards,
Leila Henein

I wish there was something I could say, I am gutted, I loved those houses. They are destroying Luxor and making it into Disney land.

A big thank you to all my readers

and especially to those people that have clicked on the Google Ads. I have just received my first payment, once you get to $100 USD they pay you. Ok it took 6 months but still it is a very nice little bonus. I have to pay my university fees this month so that will definately help.