Monday, 31 May 2010

Update from osirisnet

The news page for May has been launched :


Tombs of Egypt

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Nubian "Green" Holiday Village in Luxor, Egypt

A Nubian "Green" Holiday Village in Luxor, Egypt: "A Nubian 'Green' Holiday Village in Luxor, Egypt

History, culture and nature. The beauty of Egypt -ancient and modern- is famous internationally. Now, visitors from all over the world can enjoy all these and even more in a new complex of ecologically friendly villas in Luxor.

(PRWEB) May 26, 2010 -- Villas in Luxor from Flats in Luxor, the perfect holiday escape experts.

Its creators aimed at constructing a Nubian village in the 21st century, respecting the local architecture and the natural environment.

Thus, the one bedroom villas are set amidst newly planted fruit trees and a thriving vegetable plot which supplies the complex's restaurant, and they were built by craftsman from Edfu with traditional domes and arches.

The accommodation consists of a large main room or studio with a double bed and dining area followed by a wet room with shower, toilet and wash hand basin and a small kitchen. Outside a shady veranda overlooks the Theban Hills. Stairs lead to the roof, perfect for bird watching and star gazing, just one mile away from the Nile!

Residents of the village have access to a swimming pool, children's pool, library, free Internet and restaurant.

As Jane Akshar, co-owner of the complex says 'Looking for that hassle free holiday, want to help the local economy, need a more adult environment then our villas could be perfect for you. A hotel room with a kitchen set in lush grounds, admist the local Egyptian village. Within view of historical sites like the temple of Hatshepsut. This is what Egypt is all about!'

A member of the Flats in Luxor Group

The new villas belong to the Flats in Luxor group, founded in 2003 by Jane Akshar and Mahmoud Jahlan. Since then, they have accommodated thousands of visitors, many of whom return to enjoy the Egyptian hospitality.

Today, 7 years after their creation Flats in Luxor Group, which is registered in Egypt, have 4 apartment blocks with 21 flats, the Nubian Eco Village and the Upside Down Villa. They featured in the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Boston Globe and have entries in the Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Responsible Travel, Tour Egypt, Trip Advisor and Virtual Tourist. The first business in Luxor to be officially recognised as 'green', the group uses local products and staff, low energy bulbs and green energy.

For more information please contact Jane Akshar. T. +20 103 564540 or visit the website:

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Message from Kent Weeks re Susan Howe Weeks

Dear Friends,

Susan Weeks, who died last December 12th, will be remembered as an outstanding artist, ceramist and student of Egyptian folk arts and crafts. Her many contributions are among the most respected in these fields.

To honor Susan’s memory and work, her family, friends and colleagues have established the Susan Howe Weeks Memorial Fund at the American University in Cairo. The fund will be used to further work in areas of Susan’s particular interests:

· to establish in AUC’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library an archive of Susan’s extensive collections of notes, journals, manuscripts, and drawings in the fields of ancient Egyptian art, Egyptian and Bedouin folk arts and crafts, ethnoarchaeology, ancient and modern ceramic studies, natural history, and techniques of scientific illustration, and to fund acquisition of works in these fields for the AUC Library;

· to support seminars and short courses in these subjects at AUC, and to support annual lectures by recognized authorities from around the world. All will be freely available to students and scholars of all nationalities.

We believe that this program will serve as a fitting tribute to this very talented lady, and will recognize her long-term commitment to Egypt and to the education of future generations who will continue to study and document its culture.

We hope that you will consider joining us and make a contribution to Susan’s Memorial Fund. All contributions are welcome, and all are US tax deductible. They may be sent to: The Susan Howe Weeks Memorial Fund

American University in Cairo

420 Fifth Avenue (3rd floor)

New York, NY 10018.

Checks should be made payable to “The American University in Cairo,” and marked “For Susan Weeks Memorial.” You may also contribute by Visa or MasterCard: simply send your card number and expiration date and the amount to be charged. (Please ask if you wish to contribute in sterling, euros or Egyptian pounds.)

Thank you for remembering Susan and for helping to ensure that the example she set will continue to inspire and inform.


/s/ Kent R. Weeks s/ Catharine Roehrig /s/ Salima Ikram

Theban Mapping Project Metropolitan Museum of Art American University in Cairo

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Exhibition by Marianne Bryand

This was held at the Mubarack Public Library. Dr Samir Farag officially opened the exhibition. Marianne is handicapped since birth and confined ot a wheelchair. She communicates by computer or by pointing her nose at a card with phrases and the alphabet. She paints with a brush strapped to her nose. Not only does she paint but she also write poetry and children's stories.

Monday, 24 May 2010

More Art in Luxor

I have been informed that there is an exhibition that is being opened tonight at 7pm at the Susan Mubarack Library, apparently Marianne Brandt is a handicapped lady living in Egypt who paints with her nose and writes children's stories. The exhibition is for week

Saturday, 22 May 2010

News from Sofra

Sofra Restaurant and Café is closed from Tuesday the 1st of June 2010 until Thursday the 15th of July 2010.

Sofra Restaurant and Café in Luxor, Egypt will be closed for renovation commencing Tuesday the 1st of June 2010 to make improvements to the kitchen, hoping to make the most of the space. We hope that the renovation will give our chefs the opportunity to improve their culinary skills.

Sofra Restaurant and Café will re-open on Friday the 16th of July 2010.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Colossus Thoth Statues discovered in Luxor

"A red granite colossus of the ancient Egyptian deity of wisdom,
Thoth, was unearthed at the northwestern side of King
Amenhotep III's funerary temple on the west bank of Luxor.
Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced the find today, explaining
that the statue is 3.5 meters tall and 140 cm wide, and was discovered
during routine excavations carried out by an Egyptian archaeological
team led by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme
Council of Antiquities (SCA).
Hawass said that evidence at the site where the colossus was found
suggests that more colossi could be found here, as a similar statue
5 meters in height was discovered there last year.
Afifi Rohayem, the assistant of the mission's director, said that the
site could contain an avenue of Thoth statues that once outlined the
original path leading to the temple.
Traces of these colossi were first uncovered at the site during the
execution of a development project aimed at controlling the
subterranean water level on Luxor's west bank. As part of the
process Dr. Hawass assigned a special excavation mission to
explore the site. "

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Egyptian Marathon

Egyptian Marathon: "The 18th Egyptian Marathon will be taking place at Luxor City on January 28th 2011"

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sphinx Avenue

After my tour of Karnak Mr Mansour Boraik took me along the whole length of Sphinx Avenue, by car thank heavens as it was scorching. At the area just in front of Khonsu temple they have found further evidence of the embankment found outside Karnak temple.

Mr Mansour said it has changed our perception of the Nile river bank in the times of the pharaohs. The scene on the back of the second pylon at Karnak shows the boats being pulled along by people on the bank. It must have been this very embankment which extended from Karnak to an unknown point. It disappears under housing but could well have extended to Luxor temple. This tells us so much about the procession between these temples. In the top of the picture you can see the sphinxes which go from Khonsu temple. He would be very interested in comments about this.

Further along near the airport road they have found a Nilometer. Very large with well cut steps. This has just been announced by the SCA.

"The remains of a fifth century AD church and a Nilometer have
been uncovered this week during routine excavations carried out
by an Egyptian mission at the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor. (...)
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the
remains of the church were found on the second section of the
path, which is divided into five sections. Archaeological investigations
revealed that the church was built with limestone blocks that
originally belonged to Ptolemaic temples. The blocks are very
well preserved and decorated with scenes depicting Ptolemaic
and Roman kings offering sacrifices to ancient Egyptian deities.
(...). One of the church's blocks contains information concerning
the 26th dynasty mayor of the Luxor area, Muntomhat (664-525 BC).
Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of Ancient Egyptian department at
the SCA, said that at the avenue's fourth section, the mission has
also discovered remains of cylindrical sandstone Nilometer with
spiral steps. It is seven meters in diameter; inside, a collection of
New Kingdom (1569-1081 BC) clay vessels has been unearthed.
Mansour Boraik, General Supervisor of Luxor monuments, said
that a collection of foundation stones used to install sphinx statues
has also been discovered. Some of the stones are decorated with
scenes depicting King Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC), who began
construction on the avenue of Sphinxes to connect Luxor temple to
Karnak temple. (..)"

In front of Luxor temple the line of sphinxes has been extended, these are all original, not reproductions.

Sphinxes were used by many later eras from Romans to modern Luxorians. They are leaving the Roman structures in place. Kilns, wine making, churches etc all set between sphinxes. This is part of the history of the avenue and he wants to preserve it. Even the destruction of the sphinxes is part of the history. The church is built from reused blocks.

Here is a piece from the church showing crosses.

They are still finding loads of things as they excavate, objects, structures everything and anything.

The last thing he showed me was the new site management. The site will be free, at various places there will be access points where people can walk down and see the sphinxes and the other remains. This is one behind the Susan Mubarak library.

On the airport side of the avenue there will be a road and he is going to promote my idea of encouraging calaches to go along this road showing the tourists the sites. It is going to be illuminated. He expects the whole avenue to be open by the end of the year. They are going to open the Khonsu gate and there will be access from there.

Certificate in Egyptology (KNH Centre for Egyptology - The University of Manchester)

Certificate in Egyptology (KNH Centre for Egyptology - The University of Manchester): "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Short Courses in Egyptology (KNH Centre for Egyptology - The University of Manchester)

Short Courses in Egyptology (KNH Centre for Egyptology - The University of Manchester): "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, 10 May 2010

Help in Egypt

I came across this organisation and thought they deserved a bit of publicity.Welcome Page: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Sunday, 9 May 2010

New Discoveries at Karnak

I had an exhausting morning with Mansour Boraik, would you believe we had a meeting on the hottest day this year. He got Salah to show me the new stuff at Karnak and then we drove the whole length of Sphinx avenue stopping at the various bits so he could show me what they had found and how they intended to site manage the Sphinx Avenue, I will try and write that up tomorrow.

Back to Karnak, they are excavating the area to the right of the first pylon. There used to be houses and bazaars there. Further excavations have revealed the heating room. Just at the bottom of the picture

Here is a better shot and you can see how much lower it is than the rest of the bath.

Would you believe they have found another bath, this time Roman. This is believed to be the entrance.

Here is the actual bath and you can see the short flight of steps leading down to it.

Having reported on the field training schools it was nice to see all the young inspectors at work.

Salah El Masekh, Mr Mansour’s assistant took me round and showed me some of the finds.

He had found a drainage hole and at the bottom were loads of amulets, broken jewellery etc. These bracelets were of glass.

They fit on the wrist nicely.

But the big find is a false door of UserAmun, someone who we have few relics of. Two funerary cones was the sum total until this was found. He has two tombs TT61 which Salah said was small and unfinished and probably built in the early years of Hatshepsut. TT131 is much richer, bigger with good reliefs but with no hole for the false door, which is of good quality, red granite. Sorry you can't read the glyphs the sun was in the wrong position but if I manage to get better shots I will publish them.

Mr Mansour gave me a draft of his paper which he expects to publish soon. He thinks it might have come from TT61, Salah speculated it might have stood alone in Karnak as it mentions Ipet Sut, the name of the temple. It has an Amarna erasure so must have been exposed. His father Ahmose was a vizier and although he had 5 sons and 5 daughters they were priests and in the army. However his nephew Rekhmire did become a vizier.

Thanks to Salah and Mansour for a great visit.

PS it is scary to think how much more there is to find

Luxor's holiday temples of boom - Times Online

We made the Sunday Times, whoop whoop Luxor's holiday temples of boom - Times Online: "Jane Akshar, 55, a former IT consultant who moved from London after meeting her Egyptian husband, Mahmoud Jahlan. The couple have been developing properties on the west bank for eight years. Although they keep most of them for holiday rental, they sell a few on a shared freehold basis: among them is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 220 sq metre flat with a big terrace, priced at £100,000. It’s in Goubli, a block of flats with its own pool and restaurant. Other three-bedders there bring in about £7,500 gross rent a year, says Akshar, who offers a marketing and management service (

Saturday, 8 May 2010

1st International School in Luxor - further meeting

Their next meeting, will be on Thursday, 20th of May, 7 pm in the Sonesta. Office hours for questions, information and application will be on 21st and 22nd from 10am - 12 am, also from 5pm - 7 pm also in the Sonesta-Hotel. There you also can get the application papers in the business-center.
Kate Baker in the Sonesta-Hotel is our contact person.

Please pass this information on to as many people as possible

Friday, 7 May 2010

Swansea Conference to be streamed

I just informed that the Swansea Conference is going to be streamed especially for all us people living in Egypt.

thank you Swansea

1st International School in Luxor - Meeting Report

There were three people giving the presentation
Muriel Plag (email she is a German government appointment and a trainer of teachers for 5 years
Gamal Nawara (email from Cairo school, 12 years
Klaus Wehmeyer(email who will be the new head of Luxor school

They presented apologies from Samir Farag and Mandouh Phillipe.

There was a comprehensive information pack given out.

The idea for the school came after a class trip one year ago to Luxor and they found there was no international school in Luxor. It gained momentum when they went to Samir Farag with the idea and he told them his grandchildren went to the Cairo school.

My notes from the presentation.

Their mission is to integrate different nationalities, cultures and religions using the Montessori system. The school day is 08:15 to 16:00 and they provide healthy meals and snacks. There are breaks, playtimes and time to do homework. Languages are taught by native speakers. There is Arabic for religion and civics, English is taught in Grade 1 and Pre School, maths is taught in German and French is taught at Grade 5. They have not totally decided on what the final exam will be could be International Baccalaureate or German DIAP. In Cairo it is DIAP. There will also be an option for Thanaweya, the Arabic exam so children leaving the school can go on to Egyptian Universities.

The school starts on 18th September in a villa, location should be decided this week. Eventually the school will move to Teba, transport will be provided. There will be Kindergarten, Nursery and Grade 1 and 2. They are hoping for 10 students in each class as a start up.

In their Cairo school out of 250 KG students 245 speak only Arabic so they have experience of teaching children German and English from scratch. The nursery day can be 8-2 or 4. There is a 10% discount for parents applying this year. They need a minimum of 2-6 kids in each class 15 in total. In Cairo they started 12 years ago with 19 children and now have 750. They are now offering bursaries to worthy students in Cairo. They can offer extra German 30 hours a week. They can have one class for several grades 1-4, 5-7 and 8-10.

There were a lot of questions.
Children outside the start up age range, IF there was sufficient demand then they would think about doing classes.

Teacher recruitment was possible but they need kids first. the more kids the more teachers.

Extra German could be offered

A lot of comment and questions about the price
KG 1,900 € Preschool 2,440 € and grade 1-4 2,900€. 10% discount first year, 25% on second and subsequent children. The meeting thought this was very high for Luxor; hardly any Egyptian families could afford that. Also for many ex-pats they are not employed by international companies. I suspect that if demand was strong enough they would move on this. Volumes have to matter to them as well. A number of people were filling in the application forms with caveats as their kids were the wrong age or the price was too high. The feeling was if we gave them the chance to see demand and comments they might be more flexible as they want to start this. Tonight and tomorrow morning they are on site at the Sonesta for questions.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

BBC News - Calls for better pay in Egypt getting louder

If you have ever wondered about the baksheesh culture I think this article explains a lot. BBC News - Calls for better pay in Egypt getting louder

Egyptians do share so if you give to one person you will his entire extended family benefits.

1st International School in Luxor

I have received an email with a flyer, please see below. I have no other information but if you are interested please go to the meeting. Great news for Luxor.


First International School in Luxor

International German School

Lessons in German and English
Education from 2 years to graduation age
Full time school with homework supervision
Education based on the principles of the Montessori system
Final examinations will be the DIAP(German International Arbitur)
Strong co-operation with recognised German School in Cairo

The school will start September 2010 with Kindergarten(2-4), Pre School(4-6) and Elementary(Grade 1 and 2)

We invite you to the information evening Thursday May 6th 7pm Sonesta Hotel, Luxor

Also for more information Friday 5-7 pm and Saturday 11-1

Monday, 3 May 2010

Susan Mubarack Library - Luxor

For ever one in Luxor thinking of doing the Manchester Egyptology Course I have good news. Justine Norbury who works at the library went through the reading list and has identified the following books that are available there. There are still lots missing but Justine is trying to get others added to the purchasing lists as it is such a good basis for an Egyptology library.

The library is situated on the airport road just on Sphinx Avenue

Book available in the Mubarak Library, Luxor:

Aldred, C Egyptian Art in the days of the pyramids, 3100-320BC
Aldred, C Egyptian Art in the days of the pyramids, 3100-320BC
Baines, J. and Malek, J. (1980 revised 2002), Atlas of Ancient Egypt, Oxford.
Bonnet, C. and Valbelle, D. (2006), the Nubian Pharaohs: Black Kings on the Nile, Cairo and New York.
Bowman, A.K. (1990). Egypt after the Pharaohs, Oxford.
Carter, H. and Mace, A.C. (1923-33), the Tomb of Tut.Ankh.Amen, 3 Volumes, London.
Clayton, P.A. (1994), Chronicle of the Pharaohs, London
Dodson, A.M. and Hilton, D. (2004), the Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, London.
Edwards, I.E.S. (1961 revised), The Pyramids of Egypt, London
Freed, R.E. et al. (1999), Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen, London and Boston.
Gardiner, A.H. (1957: various later editions), Egyptian Grammar, Oxford
Harris, J.E. and Wente E.F. (1980), an X-ray Atlas of the Royal Mummies, Chicago and London.
Hoffman, M.A. (1980; revised 1991), Egypt before the Pharaohs: the Prehistoric Foundations of Egyptian Civilization, London and Austin, Texas.
Hornung, E. (1983), Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: the One and the Many, London.
Ikram, S. and Dodson, A. (1998), the Mummy in Ancient Egypt, London.
James, T.G.H. (1992), Howard Carter: the Path to Tutankhamun, London and New York.
Kemp, B.J. (1980 revised 2005), Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization, London and New York.
Kitchen, K.A. (1982), Pharaoh Triumphant: the Life and Times of Ramesses II, Warminster.
Lehner, M. (1997), the Complete Pyramids, London.
Malek, J. and Forman, W. (1986), In the Shadow of the Pyramids: Egypt during the Old Kingdom, London.
Parkinson, R.B. (1991), Voices From Ancient Egypt: an Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings, London.
Quirke, S. (1992), Ancient Egyptian Religion, London
Redford, D.B. (1984), Akhenaten: the Heretic King, Princeton
Reeves, N. (2001), Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet, London.
Reeves, N. (1990), the Complete Tutankhamen: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure, London.
Reeves, N. and Wilkinson, R.H. (1996), the Complete Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs, London.
Robins, G Egyptian Painting and Relief
Roehrig, C.H. ed (2005), Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Schafer, B.E. Ed (1998), Temples of Ancient Egypt, London and New York.
Simpson, W.K. ed. (2003), the Literature of Ancient Egypt: an Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry, 3rd Edition, New Haven and London.
Smith, WS the Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt
Spencer, A.J. (1982), Death in Ancient Egypt, London
Thomas, A.P. (1988), Akhenaten's Egypt, Aylesbury
Tyldesley, J. (2005), Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt, London
Tyldesley, J.A. (1996), Hatshepsut: the Female Pharaoh, Viking/Penguin, London
Verner, M the Pyramids: The mystery, culture and science of Egypt's great monuments
Walker, S. and Higgs, P. eds (2001), Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth, London.

Watson, P Egyptian Pyramids and Mastaba tombs
Weeks, K.R. (1998), the Lost Tomb: the Greatest Discovery at the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamen, London.
Wilkinson, R.H. (2003), the Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, London.
Wilkinson, R.H. (2000), the Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, London.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

BBC News - The decline of Egypt's traditional galabeya

Let's hear it for the galabeya, it is sensible clothing for Egypt. Luxor men chose very elegant versions and look really smart. Especially on men of a certain size :)

For the past 30 years Egypt has witnessed the decline of the galabeya.

Peasants in the fields still wear it, but western-leaning businessmen wear suits.

One independent politician, however, is pushing for its return.

Christian Fraser reports from Cairo.

BBC News - The decline of Egypt's traditional galabeya