Friday, 31 August 2012

Israel to return ancient coffin lid to Egypt - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Israel to return ancient coffin lid to Egypt - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Jane in Egypt 1979

Tomorrow is the first instalment of my first trip to Egypt in 1979. I am sure you will love reading of how things have changed and how many things are still the same. Hopefully it will give you inspiration for your trip to Egypt.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Germany to celebrate centennial of Nefertiti bust discovery - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Germany to celebrate centennial of Nefertiti bust discovery - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online:

Berlin is to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of the magnificent bust of Queen Nefertiti – wife of monotheistic pharaoh, Akhnaten – with an exhibition of objects discovered at the Amarna archaeological site in Upper Egypt where the bust was originally found.

- Sent using Google Toolbar

Before and After Photos of Luxor Temple

Spotted on Facebook, a photo of Luxor temple from the 1890's and a similar view today. At first I thought the door in the first photo was the door to the mosque but further study showed in was in the Tutankhamen colonnade between the first court and the peristyle court. The mosque is behind the pylon in the first court. I guess back then all of the temple must have been used as supports for buildings.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Seventh Day | ČÇáŐćŃ .. Qena governor receives the first steamship Nile from Cairo

News report in Arabic about the first cruise ships doing the Cairo-Luxor cruise of the Nile after 17 years. They are in Luxor today and having a reception at the Winter Palace to celebrate

Seventh Day | ČÇáŐćŃ .. Qena governor receives the first steamship Nile from Cairo: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Royal Valley Golf course

Golf in Luxor: Royal Valley is superb golfing experience. Our 18– hole championship course and its elegant Clubhouse are situated on the East Bank of Luxor, 13 Km from Luxor’s city center and 8 Km from Luxor’s International airport. Royal Valley offers a wonderful combination of year round sunshine and desert golf where you are only moments away from Luxor’s spectacular ancient civilization.

- Sent using Google Toolbar

Egypt’s Morsi appoints Christian, woman and Salafist to presidential team: Brotherhood TV channel - First 100 days - Egypt - Ahram Online

Egypt’s Morsi appoints Christian, woman and Salafist to presidential team: Brotherhood TV channel - First 100 days - Egypt - Ahram Online: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Full Cairo to Aswan cruise route opens

Full Cairo to Aswan cruise route opens: Passengers used to fly in to Cairo and then fly or night train to Luxor where they would board their cruise lines. The opening of the complete waterway means that passengers would be able to board in Cairo and ply the entire 600-mile cruise in one go.

Abercrombie & Kent will be one of the first cruise lines offering a 2013 sailing on the route. Stops along the way will include Nefertiti and Akhenaten's capital of Amarna; Abydos the city associated with the cult of Osiris and the Coptic Christian monasteries of Sohaq.

- Sent using Google Toolbar

THEBES IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM BC South Asasif Conservation Project Conference

Have you booked up for this conference in Luxor yet, it promises to be really interesting and I have heard it is filling up. Loads of great speakers so don't miss it!

South Asasif Conservation Project Conference
: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Gurob Harem Palace Project

I attended this conference on my recent UK trip and they have now published the results on the website.

Gurob Harem Palace Project: Gurob Harem Palace Project Conference 2012
The 2012 Gurob Harem Palace Project Conference, which was organised jointly with the University of Liverpool Ancient Worlds Summer School, took place at the University of Liverpool on Sunday 29 July 2012.

Please see below for abstracts of all papers presented.

The latest news from our 2012 fieldwork – Ian Shaw (University of Liverpool)
Recording the 2011-12 looting at Gurob – Anna Hodgkinson (University of Liverpool)
Gleanings from Gurob: Reinvestigation and Redisplay at the Manchester Museum – Dr Campbell Price (Curator of Egypt & Sudan, Manchester Museum)
Gurob’s trade with the Aegean – Dr Valentina Gasperini (University of Bologna)
Faience bowls and amulets at Gurob – Dr Tine Bagh (Curator, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen)
Culture of Beauty in an Egyptian Palace – Dr Ole Herslund (University of Copenhagen)
Queen Mary's Spoon? – Jan Picton and Ivor Pridden (University College London);
Objects in focus in the Garstang Museum – studying Gurob-related objects.

A detailed report on the conference by Andrea Byrnes can be read on

- Sent using Google Toolbar

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Egyptian pottery: An art of patience and love - Special Files - Folk - Ahram Online

Egyptian pottery: An art of patience and love - Special Files - Folk - Ahram Online: - Sent using Google Toolbar

The water pots talked about in this article can be seen in tomb paintings like Nebamun

Pyramid Texts Online - Language Tools

Pyramid Texts Online - Language Tools: - Sent using Google Toolbar 

Apparently Inscribe has closed but there are still lots of tools out there, this is an excellent resource telling you what there is.

The tomb of Ankhtifi by Kate Gingell and Tayeb Hassan

The tomb of Ankhtifi by Kate Gingell and Tayeb Hassan: - Sent using Google Toolbar 

One of my favourite tombs and just a short drive from Luxor, you actually buy the tickets at Luxor temple

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Best Wishes for a Peaceful Eid from Luxor

It is the last day of Ramadan today and at sunset the last 'iftar'. In my family we are having fish but some people have very elaborate meals like this. Looks scrummy doesn't it. Tomorrow is Eid and traditional Luxor families will have new clothes and will wear them. I bought outfits for the children while I was in the UK so they are really pleased.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Jane in Egypt 1979

Back in 1979, when I was 24, my Dad’s boss said to him one day “Silly question Alec, you don’t know anyone who would be interested in going to Egypt do you. My sister is organising a trip and someone has let her down.” Well of course Dad did, me! Having been dragged and made to queue for 5 hours to see the exhibition of Tutankhamen in 1972 and having bought me loads of books since I first got interested aged 9, he definitely knew someone.

So starting 1st September I will be posting my 1979 diary entries, with photos and commentary. So look for the 1979 tag.

At the time I was living back home with my parents having separated from my first husband, so I was earning with little outgoings. I signed up with Claire Abbott and went along to the pre tour meetings. Now you have to understand back then going to Egypt was a big deal. It was very expensive, it cost me nearly £380, about the same as today! Hardly anyone did it and those that did were mad keen Egyptologists not sun seekers.
At the meetings I first got the idea that I did not know as much as I thought I did, what was Deir el Bahri for example. You can laugh but I seriously did not know, I knew about Hatshepsut of course and her temple but I had not come across that name.  Actually this realisation of just how scant my knowledge has grown and grown. Although I can safely say today that I know a lot, really a hell of a lot more. I also now have a better idea just how much there is out there, although that grows. My percentage seems to go down every year as I discover more things I should know about but don’t!

So back to the holiday, there was lots of preparation, it was suggested we did not wear sandals but enclosed shoes and cotton socks, take shady hats. I had a list sticky-taped in the lid of my suitcase. We attended lectures, film shows and got to know each other. I was working in a Bureau du Change and got currency at staff rates so was able to buy Egyptian pounds. To bring this much into the country was actually against the rules back then, but I decided to take the risk. 

A lot of them attended evening class lectures in London; I lived in Sussex so this was new to me. Some of them had been several times, I was awe struck.  Flying for 5 hours was exotic, although I had been to Zambia to meet family living there. It was all strange and new and so very different to today.
I decided to keep a diary, I have a very bad memory and didn’t want forget one minute of the most exciting holiday of my life, after all I would never come again! Who would have thought I would visit regularly until 2003 when I moved here.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Buy my award winning dissertation e-book or printed

My dissertation, Breasts - Sexy, Sacred or Secular got the award for the best year 4 dissertation at Manchester Uni and if you want to buy it I have it available either as a printed version Breasts: Sexy, Sacred or Secular? by Jane Akshar (Paperback) — Lulu: or an e-book Breasts: Sexy, Sacred or Secular? by Jane Akshar (e-book)

The Dummies Guide to Reading Hieroglyphics

Ok this is my personal insight about learning glyphs, this is not addressed to those clever clogs who are linguists or even to these people that understand English grammar terminology and know about the past participle but to the rest of us that wouldn’t know a grammatically term if it slapped us in the face with a wet kipper.

You are not trying to learn Ancient Egyptian

You are not trying to learn 1000’s or even 100’s of signs

Even professors can't draw artistic glyphs

Most ancient Egyptian texts contain certain phrases and words that are repeated from tomb to tomb to tomb
What you are trying to learn is what certain stock phrases look like, and the transliteration. All transliteration is a way of writing glyphs using the alphabet with some dots and dashes, some people haven’t even got the dots and dashes and will use a standard QWERTY keyboard and it works.

So imagine going round an old graveyard and you don’t speak English but you have been told what the signs look like. So you look for
  • ·         REST IN PEACE
  • ·         BELOVED WIFE
  • ·         GODS LITTLE ANGEL
You find those and you can read them, not because you know English but because that is the kind of phrase you find in a graveyard. So learn these set phrases and you can read a tomb, stele etc. Of course there will be bits that aren’t set phrases but over 90% will be and you have to learn that RIP means Rest in Peace but that is it. On the course I was on we were taught grammar on the third day and it scared the life out of me but I found if I just ignored it and tried to do the exercise without thinking I got a pretty good result. So buy Collier and Manley, read the grammar bits, then forget them and do the exercises, you will be amazed how much you can do.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Firefighters contain blaze in Karnak Complex | Egypt Independent

According to my sources it was normal cleaning of undergrowth and out near the car park lol. 
Firefighters contain blaze in Karnak Complex | Egypt Independent: - Sent using Google Toolbar

I am back home in my wonderful Egypt after graduation and Liverpool Summer School

I am back after a long three weeks in the UK. I can definitely say I prefer Luxor although it was fantastic to meet old friends like Steve Simpson and his very hospitable wife and part of the family. I drove from Heathrow to their place and it was good to get behind the wheel of a car again. Thanks to the eldest daughter for letting me have her room in Poole, Dorset. After all the comments about safety in Luxor the news of three deaths including 2 murders in Dorset in my first two days put thing in perspective. Luxor is definitely the safest place I have ever lived in.
Colette Mason made my graduation special being my own personal Sherpa and photographer. Helping me get to Manchester on the train after my own personal nightmare of going from Heathrow where I dropped the car to Euston with a heavy suitcase and limited mobility. We got to meet with Andy Humphreys from PCG days, yes Colette; Andy Humphreys is Andrew Peter Humphreys. Next day we went to the museum for a special tour by Campbell Price.  I took a quick video of one bit
Graduation was special, I found out when I arrived I had been awarded the Year 4 Best Dissertation; the grin on my face says it all. I also got to see my daughter for the first time for 3 years, although she did confuse a lot of people by arriving with a small child in tow (she was babysitting ok, and does not have anything she needs to tell me). You can catch the graduation ceremony here It was really special. One of the students is a long lost cousin and I got to meet her and her mum for the first time. Also all the great and good in Manchester Egyptology.
Colette and I had a fantastic meal at this Japanese restaurant
I then moved to University Halls in Liverpool, the food was fantastic but the beds were awful.
On the Sunday I went to the Gurob Harem Conference you can view their website for an update. It was good to get presentations by the people involved instead of just reading the website
Monday was the start of summer school, I especially liked the presentations from some of the PhD students as every single thing was brand new to me. Sadly I missed my tutor Joyce Tyldesleys talk and the cheap beds at halls got the better of me and I ended up in hospital Monday night is appalling pain. The ‘happy’ pills I was given in triage were wonderful but I didn’t see a doctor until the early hours so had to sleep.  Bob Connolly’s lecture was the highlight of the conference for me although others were excellent. It was funny how many I knew from Facebook, Twitter and the blog.
I met up with a few friends during the week and on Thursday we had a conference meal at this fab place called the Quarter near the Uni. Friday it fish and chips at the Marine Bar. The weekend was equally busy meeting friends and ravelling to Leeds to spend the night with my daughter. She told me that we were going to have sea bass for dinner and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast but when I got there she didn’t feel like cooking and I was dying for a Chinese and she had eaten the smoked salmon but she made up for it by cooking this fantastic Sunday lunch complete with apple sauce which she dashed to the shop to get.
Then it was back to Liverpool by coach and halls, they had replaced my mattress and done their very very best but I was really looking forward to getting back to a firm mattress. So there I was sleep deprived and it was hieroglyphic week which I was not looking forward to at all. In fact I was dreading it. Glynn Godenho who taught my online course started us off. He was fantastic and if you have struggled with glyphs get on a course with him. He demystified it, gave me confidence and I finally cracked it, loads of light bulb moments also Roland Enmarch was massively supportive and made things make sense. We also had two PhD students assisting at the practical sessions Haley Meloy and Dan Potter who were massively helpful.  Most of the students left at Friday lunch time but me and one other stuck it out to the end and rewarded by cake from Haley.
On my last night at halls I had a visit from relatives, 15 of them!!!!! My uncle 3 out of 4 cousins and their partners, some of their children and even one of their partners. We had a little party in the reception area and the lovely catering staff were doing a buffet upstairs and brought us all the left over’s. We had loads of food and talked over old times. They all remember my parents and of course my wonderful grandmother who first got me interested in Egyptology
Saturday was another challenging day for one of limited mobility as I had to get from Liverpool to Brighton which I did by coach. My friend picked me up from the coach stop and we had a huge Indian meal which was another thing I really craved. Finally some shopping on Sunday for Eid clothes and then on Monday, at last back at Heathrow for my flight home.
It is so good to be back home, with my nice firm mattress, I can tell you I slept well last night. And the fairies had been while I was away leaving me lots of goodies from the UK which I hadn’t had time to buy.