Monday, 31 January 2011

31st Jan Interview with Jane

Colette writing on Jane's behalf again.

Jane poses the question - when will the other 82 million Egyptians get a chance to have their voices heard?

The sensationalist coverage of the violence in Tahrir Square is not reflecting the experience of millions of people in Egypt.

The danger is, with these extreme images on 24 hour repeat, the more fearful foreigners may become of travelling to Egypt in the months to come.

Foreign money from Tourism is a main source of income for many Egyptian families and Egypt as a nation.

Jane says someone should be speaking up for the others............ the question is.... when?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

News from Egypt, Luxor, 30th January 2011

Hi, - Colette here again, posting on Jane's behalf.

Another telephone interview giving Jane's eye-witness account of what's happening on the West Bank and how the locals are protecting the antiquities. Situation different to Cairo.

Phone contact has been patchy. Will try another interview tomorrow.

Jane says thanks for the support and not to worry. She is safe, her staff and their families are safe.

Journalists please call +20 (0) 103 564 540 if you would like to contact Jane.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A Message from Jane about the News in Egypt

Hi Readers,

It's Colette Mason here - I am a friend of Jane's. We spent 2 weeks together earlier in January.

Jane has no internet access in Luxor, and so I have interviewed her over the telephone (+20 (0) 103 564 540) and shared the call via Youtube.

If you are staying with Jane soon, give her a call, as she has no email access right now. Her cell phone works ok.

Please share this video - it's important that people are made aware that the images in the press in Cairo and Alexandria are very different to the situation in Luxor. Support the voice of the local people.



Thursday, 27 January 2011

Today in Luxor Egypt

I can only tell you what I see and hear here and what the people I know say. Luxor learnt a bitter hard lesson when the tourists at the temple of Hatshepsut were massacred by terrorists. Despite the locals doing all they could to protect ‘their tourists’, despite the fact it was they not the police that caught the gunmen, despite the fact they did everything they could; the results were dire for Luxor.

You see other places have manufacturing, large farms, service industry. It is both Luxor’s blessing and its burden that all it has is tourism. So in the lean years after the massacre people starved, lacked medicines and died. I know families where there are no children surviving who were born around that time. For every tourists there were 100 touts, even today levels have not returned to those of before Hatshepsut. The big tour companies take all the business.

So whilst a Luxor man will agree prices are too high, there are no jobs, he will do this whilst driving the tourist to the airport, taking them on a tour, sailing them on the Nile. His priority is earning a living and the only living in Luxor is servicing tourists and he knows if they are scared, they will stay away and he and his family will suffer. So that is why I have seen no gatherings, no demonstrations, no riots just people going about their daily lives and trying to earn a crust.


If you want to keep up to date with what is going on at TT11 this is the website, in Spanish but Google translate does a good job. DIARIO DJEHUTY 2011: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Egypt travel advice

From the UK AuthoritiesEgypt travel advice: "Updated: 26 January 2011

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary and Safety and Security - Political Situation (demonstrations on 25 January). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in Egypt.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Everything is peace and quiet in Luxor

In fact we are getting excited about the Symposium and the Marathon and events in Cairo seem a long way away.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Symposium this Saturday

I haven't got full details but I know it is at the Heritage Centre. As soon as I get anything detailed I will post it.

Someone sent my this program, thanks Dave

Update on Sphinx Alley

Had a great update visit to Sphinx Avenue, lots of new things there as well as at Karnak.

This is the new bit of the avenue that has been found, it leads toward the Nile from the Mut temple.

Mansour Boraik took me around and explained the various objects. There were some things I saw that are not published yet so sorry no photos of those but keep an eye on the press. Everything else is in the public domain. I have a lot of time for Mansour, very academic man and very generous of his time.

Some of the restored sphinxes look particularly good.

Awaiting restoration.

You can see the damage done to the avenue when it was under water.

Here you can see the sockets of the flag poles used during the Opet festival. Notice how they are not in a straight line.

Mansour talked about how the faces of the spinxes vary according the artist carving them. He has published quite a lot about this site in the if you want to read more.

Some of the problems the avenue still faces form the people living around it. Here a herd of goats cross it.

The proposed site management is truly excellent. This is an example but Mansour wants to have other similar ones along the road. The idea is to have viewing areas. This one is behind the Heritage Centre

In ts early stages but this will be a pool of papyrus and lotus, similar to that at the Cairo museum.

Along this route where they have found structures of interest there have inset the wall so these can be displayed. This is a Roman winery.

Here is a photo looking up from the avenue to the Heritage centre. As you can see it will make a nice stop, there are plans for a cafe etc.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The prospects for young men in Luxor

I am sure that visitors to Luxor who get annoyed by the hassle wonder why on earth these men don't get a proper job. Here is a little story to show the reality.

This photo is of a young man that works in an alabaster factory. I have known him quite a few years. He did very well at school and his parents sacrificed to send him to university where he did even better. So why is he working in an alabster factory.

When he was at university he was promissed a job if he passed well in his year. In fact he was in the top five but after years no job had materialised. It was very frustrating, he applied for jobs outside and inside of Egypt. So this highly educated young man, with excellent English ends up working in an alabaster factory.

Imagine if you haven't got a good degree, or haven't got a degree at all, never even finished school, how on earth are you going to get a job. Hence the hassle that tourists experience, these young men have no opportunities, no chance. There is no other work in Luxor other than tourism.

There is a happy ending to this particular story, after 6 years waiting he has finally got a job as a geologist.

So please be understanding of the hassle, they really have no choice.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

TT181 on Osirisnet


We present to you today the tomb of Nebamon & Ipuky, TT181, so-called "tomb of the two sculptors". This beautiful monument, entirely covered by our photographs, is one of the tombs which has undergone more action of pillagers who removed many pieces of the walls. We have recovered many of these and offered a virtual reconstitution of some scenes. Finally we re-examine the reports of relationship between the characters.

The tomb includes a scene of the reverence of king Amenophis I and his mother, queen Ahmes-Nefertari. This is also found in numerous Ramesside tombs, so we have made a separate small summary of this Theban cult.

Hidden Karnak

Everyone knows there is a lot more to Karnak than the usual tour guide will show you. The site is huge and there lots of areas that hardly ever see a tourist. That is inside but on the outside there is a huge excavation going on which most people don't notice.

This is a picture showing the wooden bridge that is part of the exit and most people just walk over it. But you can see that it is actually over a huge embankment.

In later times the Nile has moved leaving this embankment and the area in front of Karnak free for building. It seems to have been considered special in some way and baths for cleansing/healing or similar were built.

Discoveries are still being made, this pots have just been discovered, aren't they wonderful.

This one still has its stopper in place.

The Ptolemaic baths are two circles where the user would have sat in the cubicle with his feet on a granite stopper. Behind him was a shelf with his towel.

OK I could resist not posing but actually I am sitting on the edge of the cubicle not inside it. There was some restoration there that I felt safe to sit on lol

If you look at the detail of the mosaic you can see the fish are actually outlined in lead.

You can see how close all this is to the first pylon. Salah was explaining that their latest thinking that the small lake shown in the tomb of Neferhotep was actually under the hyperstyle hall and that this embankment shows how far the Nile has shifted.

This is a much higher level and shows the Roman baths, built centuries later. Salah speculates that this might mean there is a third bath system which was used in the intervening period.

Finally decent pictures of the Useramun steele, I did publish a picture before but the sun was in completely the wrong place and you could not see a thing, these pictures are so much clearer. He is the uncle of Rekhmire and what on earth his stele is doing on the East bank is anyone's guess

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Aboudi's Bookshop Grand Opening

Everyone's favourite bookshop had its grand opening on Thursday 20th.

This bookshop has been providing great books in Luxor for 3 generations and is the primary outlet for all good Egyptology books in Luxor, probably in Egypt. It had recently moved locations from next door to the old Winter Palace which is being redeveloped to next door to MacDonalds behind Luxor Temple.

There were lots of local dignitaries and people from AUC publications.

and Egyptologists

I felt like a kid in a candy shop looking at all the great books. The old black and white photos were tempting as well.

Particularly liked this one aimed at kids

but decided I couldn't afford the one by Zahi at £2,600 GBP!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Int. Egyptian Marathon Luxor

Int. Egyptian Marathon Luxor: "Pictures of the International Egyptian Marathon in Luxor. These photos show the years 2002 - 2010. Next marathon is NEXT Friday 28th Jan. 2011 - I hope to see many people from Luxor cheering the runners and inlineskaters!

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Not a lecture but a talk :)

This coming Saturday, 22nd January, there will be an illustrated talk by Paul Duggan entitled "The Move to New Gurna"
Paul is a city planner by profession and has spending a year studying the move of the people to New Gurna and the how they are adapting to their new homes.

The talk will be held at the El Mesala Hotel and starts at 7pm.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Luxor declares state of emergency ahead of anticipated floods - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

Luxor declares state of emergency ahead of anticipated floods - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online: "Luxor declares state of emergency ahead of anticipated floods
After last night's heavy rain, the governorate is on high alert, fearing possible floods

Luxor governorate has set up a state of emergency plan in case of flooding which may occur as heavy rains are predicted to continue. The governorate is holding a committee made of managers and personnel in the health, logistics, veterinary medicine, irrigation and agriculture sectors. It is also working on plans for rescue measures.

Moreover, the governorate has also made arrangements to pump water away from archaeological sites.

However, head of Luxor Airport Samy Abdel Moneim stated that flights will continue as scheduled.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Honestly the rain last night wasn't that heavy, I am British, we know what rain is like. But Luxor is not geared up for rain with no drains, gutters and exterior electric connections. So they are wise to be prepared. The last time we had heavy rain was 1994 and that caused deaths and a lot of damage.

Egypt Exploration Society

Egypt Exploration Society: "Study Day: Forensic Aspects of Ancient Egypt
Event Info

Host: University of London
Type: Education - Lecture
Time and Place

Start Time: Saturday, 5th March 2011, 11:00 am
End Time: Saturday, 5th March 2011, 5:00 pm
Location: University of London, Garden Halls
Street: Cartwright Gardens
City/Town: London WC1
View Map
Contact Details

Phone: 07973 695 168

A study day presented by Joyce Filer BA DipArch MSc MSc, formerly Curator of Human Remains , Dept of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum, London.

For further information please contact Richard (details above). A printable booking form can be downloaded by clicking the link above.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, 17 January 2011

King Tut’s tomb: Part II | The Art Newspaper

King Tut’s tomb: Part II | The Art Newspaper: "CAIRO. Tourists to Egypt will soon be able to visit the tomb of Tutankhamun without setting foot in the Valley of the Kings. A €500,000 life-size facsimile of the Boy King’s tomb and sarcophagus are to be installed in the revamped Suzanne Mubarak Children’s Museum in Cairo (slated to open early this year). The copy, created using the latest scanning technology, will eventually join replicas of the tomb of Tuthmosis III and a room from Nefertari’s tomb in a visitor’s centre planned for 2012 near British archaeologist Howard Carter’s home at the entrance of the Valley of the Kings.

The facsimile, created by Madrid-based workshop Factum Arte in collaboration with Zahi Hawass, the director general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the University of Basel, the Friends of the Royal tombs of Egypt and the Foundation for Digital Tech­nology in Conservation, are part of the council’s long-term preservation of King Tut’s tomb which currently attracts 1,000 visitors per day. The large number of visitors and drastic temperature fluctuations are causing concern for the tomb’s survival.

“No one has seen the tomb like this,” said Adam Lowe, the director and founder of Factum Arte, who added that the tomb’s current condition, in particular the temperature and glass panels that protect the walls, make a proper examination difficult. “You can think in the facsimile and then go back to the original and confer,” he said.

Included in the facsimile will be a lost “Isis” fragment known only from a photograph taken by Harry Burton shortly after Carter’s discovery of the tomb in 1922. The 1.8m x 1.4m fragment is from the southeast corner of the Throne Room. The photograph, now at Oxford’s Griffith Institute, shows that Carter had carefully removed the fragment and placed it in a wooden box filled with bran. “It’s most likely in a storeroom in Egypt,” said Lowe, who consulted several Egyptologists when creating the colour copy. “The aim of this type of reconstruction of missing parts of important sites is to focus attention on the biography and movement of things—once an object becomes the focus of attention new information about it normally emerges. In this case, I am hoping [the fragment] might be found,” said Lowe.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Rain in Luxor

We are having our annual/bi annual rain storm and boy is it cold. Just lost electric for 20 minutes. There are puddles on the road!!!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Haremhab, The General Who Became King | Current Exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

OK who could lend me the price of an airfare to the US, this I would like to see. Haremhab, The General Who Became King | Current Exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum of Art: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

My new websites - what do you think?

Over the last two weeks I have been having a major website upgrade. A very good mate has come out to Egypt and worked with me. We used wordpress which means people can put up comments and we would love any of you that have stayed with me here in Luxor or done a tour with me to comment.... and of course tell all your friends.

Holiday Rental - Flats in Luxor

Nile Cruises - Sail the Nile

Villas - Nubian Eco Village

Property Sales - Egypt Property for Sale

We have also put up loads of You Tube videos this is just one channel, there is one for each site

and have Facebook Fan Pages!/flatsinluxor all sorts and would appreciate support and of course 'Likes'

Dilemmas of life in Egypt's tipping economy | Khaled Diab | Comment is free |

Dilemmas of life in Egypt's tipping economy | Khaled Diab | Comment is free | "When I pay baksheesh, I do so partly because it is a social norm but mostly out of a sense of guilt at the wide economic gulf generally separating me from the person I am tipping. And in a society where the LE 35 minimum wage (less than £4) is irrelevant, where labour protection is a joke and where social safety nets are tattered and threadbare, baksheesh helps somewhat to redistribute wealth and, at its best, is an informal expression of social solidarity and cohesion.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Website Follows Johns Hopkins Archaeologists in Egypt

John Hopkins are back.Website Follows Johns Hopkins Archaeologists in Egypt: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Weather in Ancient Egypt

A few of us on Facebook were discussing weather in Egypt. Last night I went out with three layers on, thermal long johns, pj bottoms and trousers lol. Night time in the Egyptian winter is cold although the days are sunny warm. The locals go round in layers of clothing and scarves, the babies are bundled up in blankets. Now we were trying to recollect depictions of warm clothing in Egyptian Art. Or examples of warm clothing. Was it that the ideal after life weather was spring and autumn. Has anyone done a phd on this subject (if they haven't someone should) I would be most interesting in reading it.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Egypt: Missing pieces of colossal statue unearthed

Egypt: Missing pieces of colossal statue unearthed: "Egypt: Missing pieces of colossal statue unearthed

The Associated Press
Sunday, January 9, 2011; 8:49 AM

CAIRO -- Archaeologists have unearthed six missing pieces from a 3,400-year-old colossal double statue of a powerful pharaoh and his queen.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement Sunday the fragments of the statue of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye were discovered on the west bank of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor.

An Italian team restored the statue after it was first unearthed in 1889, filling in the missing pieces with modern stonework.

The recovered fragments were from the right side of Amenhotep III's chest, crown and leg, and a section of the queen's leg, left arm and foot.

The original pieces will be fitted to the statue, which is on display in the main hall of Cairo's Egyptian Museum.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, 8 January 2011

No Lecture tonight but Inshah'Allah next week

According Mr Mohammed at the Mummification Museum, he was quite specific in asking me to tell people they are not cancelled merely some temporary glitches

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New lighting system at Valley of the Kings means longer visitor hours for ancient Egyptian tombs | Heritage Key

New lighting system at Valley of the Kings means longer visitor hours for ancient Egyptian tombs | Heritage Key: "The thousands of tourists that daily visit the heritage site will now be distributed throughout the day, from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

No news yet on when this will start but I think it will be soon

Monday, 3 January 2011

Lots of digs visible from the road

Just driving from the crossroads to the valley of nobles there were lots of digs visible from the road and there is a good chance of seeing something.

Some words of etiquette

1) no photos of closed sites, it is against the rules, they have the right to seize and remove all photos on your memory stick

2) don't wander onto the site, these digs are closed sites and you are not allowed on them

3) don't annoy the archeologists. Now sometimes they have the time and inclination to talk to visitors but do remember they are actually working and need to concentrate. Don't interrupt

Having said all that it can be quite interesting to spend 15 minutes watching them at work, kids are often fascinated. I saw work at Tawsert, Amenhotep II, Amenhotep III, Tuthmosis III and the Ramasseum all from the main road.

At the entrance to the Ramasseum they have installed plinths indicating the location of the jackal headed sphinxes that lined the avenue. There is a reproduction there but if you want to see the real thing there are examples at the temple of Merenptah

Sunday, 2 January 2011

BBC News - Egypt's president calls for unity after church bombing

BBC News - Egypt's president calls for unity after church bombing: "Hours after the attack, President Mubarak went on state television to express his shock and vow to track down those behind it.

'This act of terrorism shook the country's conscience, shocked our feelings and hurt the hearts of Muslim and Coptic Egyptians,' he said.

'The blood of their martyrs in Alexandria mixed to tell us all that all Egypt is the target and that blind terrorism does not differentiate between a Copt and a Muslim.

'We are all in this together and will face up to terrorism and defeat it.'

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

I am most impressed with President Mubaracks reaction, it really shows how he has managed to lead Egypt for so long.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

No lecture tonight

Sorry for the late notice but as far as I can find out there is no lecture tonight