Sunday, 31 October 2010

X rated Graffitti at Deir el Bahri courtesy of Richard Sellicks and Jstore

A huge treat for us all, some fantastic photos taken by a much younger Richard Sellicks just a few decades ago lol. For those of you wanting to learn more this Jstore article will help Thought by some to be a comment on Hatshepsut's relationship with Sennenmut

Supreme Council of Antiquities - Breaking News

The new SCA website, much easier to navigate and lots of information.Supreme Council of Antiquities - Breaking News: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, 25 October 2010

Want a job with Zahi!!! - from EEF

*Administrative Assistant, Office of the Secretary General*

The Supreme Council of Antiquities seeks to hire an administrative assistant, for a one-year position, renewable on an annual basis, beginning in mid-April, 2011.

The Administrative Assistant offers support to the Secretary General in administrative tasks requiring native proficiency in the English language. These tasks include, but are not limited to:

-- Editing written correspondence in English from handwritten drafts or dictation.
-- Editing English language reports, articles, and other written material prepared by the Secretary General or his staff.
-- Researching Egyptological and administrative matters in order to support the Secretary General in the decision-making process.
-- Compiling and presenting information in the form of database records, spreadsheets, and narrative reports.
-- Building and maintaining a database of images for use by the Secretariat, including basic manipulation of digital images and identification of images for database records.
-- Assisting with the gathering of content, editing, and uploading of material for the English SCA web site.
-- Coordinating with Egyptian colleagues to carry out assignments as necessary.

The Administrative Assistant works under the direct supervision of the Consultant to the Secretary General.

Desired skills include:
-- Excellent organizational skills.
-- Proficiency in written English.
-- Computer literacy, including standard office applications. Familiarity with Adobe Suite, Filemaker, and/or Dreamweaver a plus.
-- Basic general knowledge of Egyptology, including specialized terms, and familiarity with standard reference works.
-- Proficiency in at least one European language in addition to English.
-- Ability to multitask.
-- Ability to work in a fast-paced and often high-pressure environment.

Please send a copy of your CV, two references, and a writing sample to Noreen Doyle at AND Rania Galal at
Candidates will be short-listed by interview (in person or over Skype) and may also be asked to submit samples of work upon request.

Beth Asbury BA(Hons) MPhil AIfA,
Administrative Assistant,
The Foreign Office of Dr. Zahi Hawass,
Supreme Council of Antiquities,
3 El Adel Abou Bakr Street, Zamalek, Cairo, EGYPT

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Egypt's Plans for Luxor: Vegas on the Nile? - TIME

Egypt's Plans for Luxor: Vegas on the Nile? - TIME: "Luxor has long been Egypt's prize possession. It was here that the ancient Egyptians at one time built their capital of Thebes; where Pharoahs dedicated massive temples to their gods; and where Howard Carter unearthed the world-famous boy King, Tutankhamen, in his tomb full of riches in 1922. 'It has been one of the biggest and most famous tourist attractions for at least 200 years.'says Francesco Bandarin, the head of the World Heritage Center at UNESCO. Adds Mansour Boraik, who oversees Upper Egypt for for the country's Supreme Council of Antiquities, '30% of world monuments lie in Luxor, and 70% of the monuments in Egypt are in Luxor.'

In an effort to preserve the riches — and beef up the number of tourists they attract — local authorities have been pressing an ambitious project to reinvent and revive Luxor; rehabilitating tombs, and expanding the city's tourist infrastructure at a dizzying pace to the tune of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Egyptian authorities are in the process of excavating an ancient 'Avenue of the Sphinxes,' a 2.7 kilometer pathway once lined with the human-headed lion statues from the pharaonic past; after it has been resurrected, the avenue will link the Luxor Temple on one end to the colossal Karnak temple on the other. The plan is to turn the city into an open air museum by the year 2030. 'Luxor needs a pioneer project like this to preserve it for the new generation,' says Boraik of the ongoing work. (From TIME's Archives: The bitter aftermath of the discovery of King Tut's tomb.)

However, all this construction may be at the expense of the current generation of Egyptians living in Luxor. On the project's agenda is the creation of protective 'buffer zones' between local communities and the ancient relics. That is, as some critics suggest, keeping the natives away from the treasures. To turn Luxor into a modern city of five-star hotels and wide pedestrian avenues, the authorities want to push back the crowded slums and mismatched buildings that arose in recent decades. The American consulting firm Abt Associates, which came up with the master plan, describes the eventual results as 'reclaimed lands.' Luxor residents say it is more likely to be the fruit of forced evictions. (See pictures of an exhibition of the treasures of Tutankhamen.)

'They're sending us to the desert,' says Leila Mohammed Ahmed el-Tayyib, whose house is one of hundreds being demolished to widen the street that will run alongside the Avenue of the Sphinxes. 'We want TV cameras to come and film this. It's like Palestine here,' she says, gesturing to the bulldozers. Many of Luxor's residents have watched the transformation with disgust. 'Ninety percent of the people here are angry, but there is nothing they can do,' says Abu Quzaifa, a shopkeeper. Much of the anger lately has swirled around the Avenue of the Sphinxes, where the mass displacement is currently focused. One British archaeologist, who has worked in Luxor for more than a decade, says Luxor's governor Samir Farag wants to move the city back to the pharaonic period. 'Nothing else can exist.'

The government says each family they move is compensated with either 75,000 Egyptian Pounds (about $13,000) or a brand new apartment. But residents say they're often given far less — or nothing at all. 'Half of the house is gone,' says Fatima Abbas, 50, who lives in a partially collapsed shack on the edge of the construction zone. 'We were sleeping when they did this and we woke up when it collapsed on part of our house. Our cow died. The refrigerator and furniture were destroyed,' she says. 'They offered us 15,000 LE to leave. Where? We don't know.'

A polished socialite with gray-blue eyes and a politician's smile, Samir Farag is not shy to acknowledge his opposition. 'It was very difficult to convince the people that this is a master plan is for the sake of them,' says the former chairman of the Cairo Opera House. 'Everybody thinks about himself, what the benefit is for himself.' Indeed, Farag is the man who resurrected the development plans, which Abt Associates had first presented in 1999 only to see the project languish for six years. (See TIME's photo-essay 'Cast in Mud: Child Laborers of Cairo.')

In the five years since Farag took office, the rapid pace of change has shaken this city to the core. Authorities have widened streets, and cleared out the old souk, adding a new design, public toilets and new cafes. The government knocked down homes and paved a huge piazza in front of Karnak Temple, pushing back the locals it claimed were encroaching. The Abt report calls for 6,600 new hotel rooms, and officials say that 18 new hotels are already under construction, including the sprawling 34,000-square-meter Luxor Four Seasons, on the bank of the Nile. The McDonalds has a spectacular view of the 3,300-year-old Luxor Temple, and the colonial-era Winter Palace Hotel nearby is getting a heavy-duty facelift that will expand the hotel right up to the lip of the temple.

To some, Farag is a visionary who has done great things for a developing world town with a lion's share of archaeological riches. 'Luxor, in my view, is very well managed,' says Bandarin, the UNESCO World Heritage head. 'This is a place where 10 years ago, the situation was very bad, physically. Now everything is full of flowers.' To others, however, the new Luxor seems more Vegas than Egypt. The original plan, says the British archaeologist, 'was dismissed by the international community at the time as a pile of rubbish. Basically what they were doing was the investment side of it: how money could be made from Luxor.'

Worse, some critics complain that the dream of a recreated pharaonic Luxor actually is potentially destructive to the antiquities still beneath the surface. Many scholars are angry about the bulldozers and backhoes at work at construction sites — violations of modern archaeological standards — and by what they view as complete disregard to any cultural heritage that isn't from the age of the pharaohs. In 2007, the village of Gurna on the west bank of the Nile was demolished and its residents relocated, due to what authorities said was a damaging proximity to ancient tombs. In the process, Egyptian authorities hastily destroyed a unique village culture that had existed in the hills around the tombs for more than a century, says one Egyptologist. Now located further from the tourist zone, residents of the New Gurna complain of cramped housing and few job opportunities. (Comment on this story.)

And then there is the question of the spectacular Avenue of the Sphinxes. Some experts say that many of the sphinxes were destroyed over the millennia, hacked to pieces or harvested for stone by the civilizations that followed the Pharaohs. '[Egyptian authorities] were told that by every archaeologist and Egyptologist: that if they found anything, it was going to be fragmentary,' says the British archaeologist. The plan moved forward anyway.' Says one Egyptologist: 'There's nothing there.'

Some locals question whether the enterprise makes economic sense. How can Egyptians benefit from all these projects, residents ask, when package tourists stay increasingly cloistered in their boats and hotels, and locals eager to make a living are being quite literally pushed out of town. 'When you fly in now, there's this huge grid next to the airport of streets and electricity and lights but no houses,' says the British archaeologist. 'And that's where they want Luxor people to go. To live in this shithole in the desert, in the undying heat.'

Meanwhile, on the west bank of the Nile, where the prized Valley of the Kings sits, thick bushes of pink flowers along the roadways cannot completely obscure the mud-brick poverty and trash-filled irrigation canals of the villagers who say they have been cut out of the governor's plan for prosperity. 'Samir Farag says, 'Oh, the streets are wider now, it's better,'' scoffs one shopkeeper, who declined to be named for fear of the authorities. 'All these are lies. Tourism is going down and the hotels are empty.'

In the end, many with a stake in Egypt's most celebrated city are wondering what the new version of Luxor is going to look like. Some see a major success; some predict Disneyland; others see a sick joke. Says the Egyptologist: 'I think it will be very shiny.'

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, 18 October 2010

Faculty of Life Sciences say no to online BA in Egyptology but it does not stop there

An announcement has been made on our certificate course
Dear Everyone,
The Faculty of Life Sciences has informed us that “this is not an area for
development that FLS wishes to consider at this time.”

We will keep you fully informed of all developments. In the meantime, we are
unable to answer direct questions about this decision.

Rosalie and Joyce

This is incredible disappointing news but it does not stop here, there are over 300 of us in the Facebook group We-want-an-online-BA-in-Egyptology and I think 300 emails flooding the in box telling them what we think would be a good idea. I have gone on the net and found that Professor Martin Humphries is the Vice President and Dean. Further searching found his email address so get sending emails and when you get a response please post it on Facebook or the comments here.

Points to make
1) The demand is there
2) The technology is proven by the Certificate
3) Financially it could be self funding
4) At the moment Manchester is on the cutting edge this could put them back in the dark ages
5) If someone else does the BA they could also dothe Certificate
6) The demand is worldwide and Manchester could pick up the crème de la crème of motivated students who could well go on to MA and PhD at Manchester.
7) Any other point you can think off and please post it here for others to use
Remember that as with politicians they don’t read
correspondence they weigh it, 2 well crafted emails doesn’t get the response
that 300 short sharp emails will, so please everyone write.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

1st International School in Luxor - visit report

I made a pleasant visit to Luxor’s 1st international school last week. Their name is International German School Luxor; they are now independent . They started the year with 21 students which was a fantastic start and they have a big mixture of nationalities German/Egyptian, British/Egyptian, Egyptian, Italian/Indian. There are 10 kindergarten children and 11 primary (this is much more than other German schools - in Cairo started 8 students 12 years ago).

I am sure the support from Dr Samir Farag whose children go to the Cairo school is no little help. Science, Art and English are taught in English by a Montessori trained American teacher. They are taught history, religion and civics by an Egyptian Muslim who speaks English and German and although Muslim, has studied Christianity.

The atmosphere of the school is bright and welcoming with many examples of the children’s work around.

There was a cute family tree with pictures of the pupils and the leaves representing all the members of their family and hanging from the ceiling were the planets of the solar system.

There was some quality support equipment in all three languages.

I was given little demonstrations in the English and Arabic classes and thought that after only 4 weeks the standard was really high. The children seemed very happy, interested and relaxed. The little ones were listening to a story and one of primary classes was working on the solar system and the other on Arabic.

They are located in a huge villa which they have called Villa Shems (Sunshine House) on the banks of the Nile which even has a small swimming pool which they are making full use of.

They do nature walks in the local area, which is rural and has both agricultural and livestock. The ground floor is for the kindergarten and has a quiet area for naps, facilities for those little accidents that happen at that age. Healthy meals are provided and smelt delicious.

The school year takes account of both local and foreign holidays, I saw Halloween pumpkins, talk of St Martin’s, a German festival and the school had just been closed for 6th October.

I was very impressed to be honest and I think if you have the money it is a great place to send your child.

PS Apologies for the quality of the pictures, I haven’t got a decent camera at the moment and I deliberately didn’t take photos of the kids themselves, these days it is best not to but they were really happy and engaged.

Contact details Klaus Wehmeyer

Friday, 15 October 2010

Al-Ahram Weekly | Heritage | Architecture for the poor

Fantastic News for the Hassan Fathy village, especially the lovely family that live at the house who have tried their best to preserve and promote it.

Al-Ahram Weekly | Heritage | Architecture for the poor: "Overall, those living in New Gourna would benefit from the plan in the form of better housing conditions, and they would be able to capitalise on the national and international attention focussed on the village.

Local businesses could develop as a result of the new emphasis on mud-brick conservation, and villages could become entrepreneurs renting out rooms, running local eateries and shops and setting an example to surrounding communities of the social and economic gains to be made through the conservation and adaptive reuse of their own heritage.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Cancer 'is purely man-made' say scientists after finding almost no trace of disease in Egyptian mummies | Mail Online

I know people often wonder what is the point of studying ancient history. Well this article explains just exactly that. By leanring more about our ancestors and the medical problems they did or didn't have we learn more about how to deal with modern man. interestingly my Egyptology course is part of the Life Sciences part of Manchester University and many of the people that study there do medically related investigation.Cancer "is purely man-made" say scientists after finding almost no trace of disease in Egyptian mummies | Mail Online: "Cancer is a man-made disease fuelled by the excesses of modern life, a study of ancient remains has found.

Tumours were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found.

A greater understanding of its origins could lead to treatments for the disease, which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, 11 October 2010

Flats in Cairo!!!!!

Well just for December and January. A friend of mine in downtown Cairo has a 2 bedroom flat available for rent, it sleeps three persons and is very central. just 10 minutes from the museum. It is his personal flat and he is away for those 2 months. If you are interested please email me.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

First dynasty burials

Richard Sellicks has sent me another load of pictures for all you first dynasty fans, Djet, Den and Khasakemway in 1999......enjoy

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Scottish Lectures

Glasgow Venue - Burrell Collection, Polok Park, Glasgow
Edinburgh Venue - Augustine Church, Edinburgh
(Full details on our website)


Nov 13 - Edinburgh - Dr Elena Pischikova - The South Asasif Project

Dec 11 - Glasgow - Campbell Price – Ian Mathieson Memorial Lecture - The Saqqara Geophysical Survey Project: Past, Present and Future


Jan 15 – Glasgow – Paula Veiga – Osiris Green – His body represented in medicinal plants

Feb 12 – Edinburgh – John J. Johnson – Mummies, Asps and Far Too Much Eye Make-Up: Ancient Egypt in the Cinema

March 12 - Glasgow - Peter Clayton – Jewels of the Pharaohs: What the Tomb Robbers Missed

March 29 – Aberdeen – Diana Brown - Middle Kingdom: The Classical Period of Egyptian Art and Literature Revisited

April 9 – Edinburgh - Jackie Campbell – Pharmacy of the Pharaohs

May 14 - Glasgow - Dylan Bickerstaffe - The Egyptian Labyrinth - A Middle Kingdom Enigma

July 2 - Glasgow - Double Summer Lecture

Joyce Tyldesley – Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt
Steven Snape – Ancient Egyptian Tombs and their Ancient Egyptian Visitors

See moreEgyptology Scotland :: Home

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Son of Ramesses II, Khaemwaset

One the activities on my course this year is to research a son of Ramesses II not Merenptah. Who would you choose?

I choose Khaemwaset, the first Egyptologist. I read a good account of his life in Reflections of Osiris by John Ray and it struck a chord. Wouldn't you like to have this written about you?

"It was the High Priest and Prince Khaemwaset who delighted in this statue of the king's son Kawab, which he discovered in the fill of a shaft in the area of the well of his father Khufu. He acted so as to place it is the favour of the gods, among the glorious spirits of the chapel of the necropolis, because he loved the noble ones who dwelt in antiquity before him, and the excellence of everything they made, in the very truth, a million times."

Below is an account from the British Museum of this interesting character.

British Museum - Sandstone conglomerate statue of Khaemwaset: "n his long reign, Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) had many sons by a number of different wives. The best-known of these is almost certainly his fourth son Khaemwaset, who has left many traces of his activities in Egypt. Early in his life, Khaemwaset was attached to the cult service of Ptah, the god of Memphis. Khaemwaset spent most of the rest of his life in the Memphite region. He is renowned as perhaps being the 'first Egyptologist', as he left large inscriptions telling of his visits to clear and renew parts of the pyramids of Giza and Saqqara. He was also responsible for work on the burial places of the Apis bulls at Saqqara, and may even have been buried there himself. In later times Khaemwaset was recalled as a magician.

This statue was probably intended to be set up in the temple at Abydos. It shows Khaemwaset displaying his piety before Osiris by holding one of the god's symbols, the emblem of the nome (province) of Abydos.

The execution of the statue in a sandstone with a vein of pebbly conglomerate shows the skill with which sculptors could work even the most difficult material.

T.G.H. James and W.V. Davies, Egyptian sculpture (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)

C. Chadefaud, Les statues porte-enseignes de (Paris, 1982)

G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

T.G.H. James, Ancient Egypt: the land and it (London, 1988)

S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Here are some other links

He is even on Facebook!!!

The first cuckoo of spring

In the UK everyone used to look and listen for the sound of the first cuckoo which heralded spring had come. Letters would be written to the Times announcing the fact.

Well I have just seen the first archeologists of the season, actually two in one night. First was Myriam and her whole team coming out of Nile Valley Hotel, they are excavating at Thutmosis III temple and start tomorrow. Don't worry I immediately asked her about giving a lecture lol. The second was one of the team that was excavating last year at Luxor temple, working on pottery. She arrived at Luxor airport while I was waiting for my guests.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

New statue of Amenhotep III uncovered! | - Zahi Hawass

New statue of Amenhotep III uncovered! | - Zahi Hawass: "New statue of Amenhotep III uncovered!

The upper part of a double limestone statue of king Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC) was unearthed at Kom El-Hittan in the west bank of Luxor. Kom el-Hittan is the site of the temple of Amenhotep III, which was once the largest temple on Luxor’s west bank. The temple originally had two entrances: one on the eastern side where the Colossi of Memnon reside, and one at the northern side, where the double statue was located. The statue was found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian team of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, 1 October 2010


I know lots of you envy my chance to attend lectures and would love to learn more. All over the world there are lots of Egyptology Societies who hold lectures and events and welcome new members. I would be quite happy to publicise any of these just send me an email. I have set up a new label so you can find them on the blog. Notice on this one there is a lecture by Dr Elena whose tomb and lecture I have reported on so even in the depths of the UK you can find out the latest.


Venue: New Walks Museum, Leicester
Meetings commence at 2pm
Non-members welcome - £3.50 per meeting

Programme Secretary: Dylan Bickerstaffe. Tel: 01509 650304
Secretary: Trisha Mason. 01455 614741 or trishamason @


September 25th Andrew Collins, Author and Researcher (with Nigel Skinner-Simpson) – Subterranean Giza: The Rediscovery
of the Cave System found by Henry Salt and Giovanni Caviglia in 1817.

October 16th Barry Kemp, The Amarna Trust - The dead of Amarna and what they are telling us; an update on the current
cemetery excavations.

November 20th Peter Clayton, International Best-Selling Author and Finds Specialist – Jewels of the Pharaohs

December 18th Joyce Filer, formerly Curator of Human & Animal Remains, BM Dept. Ancient Egypt & Sudan – The
Adventures of Some Egyptian Mummies


January 15th Elena Pischikova, South Asasif Conservation Project – Rediscovered Kushite Tombs of the South Asasif:
Seasons 2009-2010.

February 19th Lise Manniche, Assistant Professor in Egyptology at the University of Copenhagen - The Colossal Statues of
Akhenaten from Karnak

March 19th Martin Davies, Vice President of the EES & President of The Egypt Society of Bristol – Ancient Egyptian
Tomb Models of Daily Life

April 16th Geoffrey Martin, Edwards Professor of Egyptology Emeritus, University College London – Re-excavating the
Royal Tomb of Horemheb in the Valley of the Kings

May 21st Victor Blunden, Manchester Ancient Egypt Society - Building a Pyramid - The Archaeological Evidence