Friday, 25 December 2009

Mummification Museum Lecture - TT33 Padiamenope ala Petamenophis – Pr Claude Traunecker.Petame

TT33 Padiamenope ala Petamenophis – Pr Claude Traunecker.

Sadly this lecture was in French so my notes are from the occasional English slide title

The tomb is situated in the Assasif next to Pabasa. It is the largest tomb in Egypt. In 1737 Richard Pocoke thought it was the subterranean palace of a king. It is described in Description de la Egypt and comprises a succession of rooms with an underground burial area. The opening of the tomb was mentioned in a novel by Paul Ivory

In 1881 W Johannes Dumuchen from the University of Strasbourg commented about the architecture, it is a very atypical layout and mentioned his family mother NamenKhetuset and wife Tudit

The tomb was used as storage for many years and many rooms were inaccessible. The tomb was reopened 5th December 2005. here he showed a photo of the reopening and yours truly was in shot!! I wrote some notes at that time which you may wish to look at the end.

The main areas they are working in is
1) Epigraphic
2) Excavating and clearing
3) Restoration of the mudbrick
He shows 2 uncles, 3 aunts, 5 male cousins and 2 female cousins on his mother’s side

He is described as Royal Scribe, Priest of Montu, chief lecture priest of Nekhbet, overseer of the secrets of the 2 royal cobra and house of morning, who takes care of the great of magic (crown).

There is a massive amount of inscriptions from a number of books of the dead it is like a stone subterranean library, an Osirian temple with him as a priest. All the texts hidden in the burial area are also available at the public levels.

My notes from the opening of the tomb
Today was the official opening of the tomb of Petamenophis (Padiamenope, Xry.y-Hb Hrj-tp) (TT33) by Dr Sabry Abd El Aziz, the deputy of Dr Zahi Hawass. It is located next to the tomb of Harwa (TT39). The tomb is hugely significant, being, well huge. At this point, it is the largest tomb in Egypt and yet we really do not know why the owner of it was so blessed, but perhaps future work may reveal this secret.

Indeed, he was a high official, describing himself as "Seal bearer and Sole Beloved Friend, Lector and Scribe of the Records in the Sight of the King". In this inscription the king is not named, but there is an inscription in the northern part of the great outer courtyard, discovered by Lepidus, with a Plan of the Tomb of Petamenophis, a cartouche containing the name of a King Haremhab (Horemheb?), next to the name of Petamenophis. However, stylistically, many scholars believe that Petamenophis' tomb could not be dated as early as the 18th or early 19th dynasty. In this regard, the tomb appears to date no earlier than the Ethiopian Period (when Nubians ruled Egypt). Some scholars believe that Petamenophis may have lived during the rule of Psammetichus I, the first king of the 26th Dynasty. In any event, Petamenophis must have been, to judge from his titles, a learned man and theologian. It should be noted that there is a statue of Petamenophis in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo.

The tomb of Petamenophis, located in the Assasif section of tombs on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes), was first described in detail by Lepidus in his pioneering work, Officials examining the reliefs within the tomb Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien. The tomb was later visited and described separately by Wilkinson, by Duemichen and others, before Maspero, seeing its deteriorating condition and realizing the necessity of protecting it from despoliation, had it sealed at the end of the last century. It remained closed until 1936 when W. F. von Bissing obtained permission to reopen it with the purpose of performing a definitive survey and publication. Braving the “billions of bats” infesting the place and the thick air (the ventilation shafts “left much to be desired”) he persevered, and within two years (1938) published a detailed description of the finds.
Thereafter, for decades, the tomb was used as a storeroom with boxes, some labelled, some not. There were boxes from the tomb of Tutankhamen with biological matter (plants), statues, sarcophagi and altogether some 1,000 objects. There were registers for some of these boxes. One from 1964 was compiled by the Polish team working at Deir el-Bahri, and showed lists which accompanied black and white photos. This material has now been moved to a storage facility near the Carter House near the Valley of the Kings.

Lately, actually over the last two years, a team from the University of Strasbourg, led by M. Traurecker, has been clearing the first three chambers of this huge tomb and it has just now been opened for a first official viewing. The opening was attended by many important officials from the Supreme Council and other archaeologists working in the area, such as Francesco Tiradritti. The next stage will be the cleaning, restoration and conservation of the tomb. It has important texts such as the Book of the Dead which need to be studied. In fact it is one of the most important, if not the most important, source for sacred texts during the period of Egyptian history. For example, there is also a Late Period version of the Book of Caverns in the tomb, which has yielded otherwise missing parts of this text. But the most amazing thing about this tomb is its sheer size, with some 330 meters of corridors.
It may be some time yet before this tomb is open to the public, but perhaps now we may see an end in sight when the public will be able to explore this vast monument. Perhaps, more importantly, there may be more to learn as work progresses toward that end

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


A new KV-63 Update is now available featuring:

The latest Otto's Dig Diary on Dr. Schaden's plans for the 2010 season
The Valley of the Kings since Howard Carter Symposium - Program summary
Photos from the Howard Carter Symposium and Tea Party (under Photos ~ 2009)

We are also pleased to announce the addition of a Paypal feature on the KV-63 Donation page. This added feature will now allow the mission to except both Domestic and International Donations through a secure channel.

Temples of Millions of Years Colloquium

The program for the upcoming Temples of Millions of Years Colloquium to be held in Luxor from 3-5 January 2010, under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), is now online (in PDF) at:

The purpose of the colloquium is to engage the scientific community in discussions on the royal foundations known as Temples of Millions of Years, and to fully understand their multifaceted functions. Attention will be drawn to the most recent excavations and studies by researchers and scholars in this specific field, including the latest contributions of modern science and technologies to explore, restore and publicize these monuments.

Iman R. Abdulfattah
Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)
3 el-Adel Abu Bakr Street
Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Mummification Museum Lectures - TT28

TT28 Amenhotep – Huy Dr Francisco Martin Valentine 12/12/9

Identified on Friederike Kampp’s catalogue Amenhotep was a vizier, Huy is a common abbreviation or nickname for someone called Amenhotep. The tomb is ahead and down from the XI dynasty tomb TT366 Dyar and next to the XVIII dynasty tomb of TT192 Kheruef. It was discovered in May 1978 by Andrew Gordon and Dieter Eigner and is from the time of Amenhotep III 1387-1348 BC.

There is other evidence about this individual

1) 2 jar inscriptions from Malkata mention Vizier Huy referring to first Heb Sed Year 30
2) Steele BM138 Decree of foundation for a funerary temple for Amenhotep son of Hapu in Year 34 of Amenhotep III
3) Chapel at Gebel Silsila year 35 Amenhotep III Le Grand discovered in 1893. It is very important as the inscriptions talk about the relationship between Amenhotep III and IV and prove that Amenhotep III was not at Amarna
4) Remains from quarries
5) TT55 Ramose tomb there is an unnamed vizier at the front of the tomb making offerings to Ramose. This successor is believed to be Amenhotep – Huy
6) The Amarna letter EA11 from Prince Rib-Hadda seem to establish that he was commissioned to make inspections in Syria/Byblos
7) Statue CG590 from Tel El Basta which has no head or hands show he was an important man in the north
8) Statue BM1068 also with head and hands destroyed has an unusual title man, the main one of Nekten
9) Relief in Sobeks temple which replaced one of Ramose as Vizier of the south

Situated in the middle of the sacred area at the front of Deir el Bahri.

The layout of both tombs is similar and conforms to Kampp’s type VIII which is the biggest and most complicated T shape. It is in poor condition and filled with debris from the XXVI dynasty.

The tomb has a corridor access to a courtyard of 528 sq metres bordered on the north side by columns of which only one remains in a state of partial construction carved into the bedrock of the plateau. In the unfinished west façade of the courtyard there are three holes a central door with two windows. This is similar to TT71 and lets the sun in. This entrance leads to the solar court of 384 sq metres.

The solar chapel used to have 30 closed papyrus columns in three rows of 10. Today only 2 remain and the floor is covered with debris. The solar chapel is bigger than TT192, Kheruef who was Queen Tiye’s steward. The entry space extends into a whole dug in the rock mass designed to be the entrance passage to columned corridor as per other tombs of this period TT192 and TT48 Amen em Hat Surer

At the back there are two niches which would have been illuminated by this sun. Amen em Hat Surer TT148, TT192 and TT28 have similar design. On both sides north and south of the entrance there are two niches probably meant to contain statues of the deceased and would have been lit by the sun coming in through the windows.

The tomb belongs to the type built in the Theban necropolis during the reigns of Amenhotep II and IV. It features a courtyard and a spacious hall chapel whose ceiling is supported by a large number of columns or pillars. These tombs have another longitudinal room, that in some cases have pillars. Down a corridor with several changes of direction leads to a tripartite shrine from which hidden access leads to the burial chamber. TT28 could also have one or two ramps situated in the lower south west corner but only future exploration will confirm this.

Clearly TT28 is unfinished and the longitudinal hall, small room for statues of the deceased and his family remains to be constructed after the solar chapel. The tomb reflects the beliefs held at that time.

TT28, 192 and 55 are very similar both in size and number of columns TT107 Nefer Sekheru, TT48 Amen em Hat Surer and Amenhotep are similar size but fewer columns. TT28 is the biggest

It is in poor condition and very fragile, the debris is 3-4 meters high so they have a lot of work. The inscriptions are fragmentary and smoke damaged. One describes him as beloved Divine Father.

They found some reliefs from the door with some good quality carvings; it is a big jigsaw puzzle 600 pieces so far. Pottery from all periods up to Coptic. These will all be looked at because priorities are different these days and everything is valuable. Also a beautiful ivory woman which drew a gasp of delight from the audience from the late to third intermediate period.

They are doing a short season and will be back in July. So far work identified
• Need to install iron door
• Clear debris
• General survey
• Clear and consolidate objects found
• Identify work needed in the chapel
The Spanish ambassador has visited the site.

Next week TT33

Monday, 14 December 2009

Cairo Memorial Service for Susan Weeks tomorrow

From: AUC President

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Ms. Susan Weeks, wife of Egyptology Professor Emeritus Kent Weeks.

Susan received a Bachelor of Arts in graphic arts from the University of Washington. She and Kent met while working on the Nubian Salvage Project in Upper Egypt. In addition to being one of the foremost archaeological illustrators of the past half-century, she has built a career as one of the best general field archaeologists in Egypt, having worked on sites all over the country, both with her husband and as a specialist called by other teams. Members of the AUC community who knew and worked with Susan will always remember her sly wit (which her quiet demeanor never succeeded in obscuring), her keen and penetrating intelligence, and most of all the immense care and concern that she devoted to her friends, colleagues and students.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her two children, Emily and Christopher, and one grandchild.

Those wishing to send condolences may do so by email care of magdiali @, Dr. Weeks's assistant.

There will be a memorial service at AUC's Oriental Hall on Tuesday, December 15th at 4:00 pm.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Susan Weeks Funeral

The funeral was tonight, in Egypt as everyone is buried immediately there are no facilities to do anything else.

It has been an incredible 24 hours, last night I came back from the lecture having had an wonderful 'welcome back' after my surgery. I had a nice dinner and was watching TV. Seconds later everything change. I got a phone call from a good friend who knows I always attend the lectures checking I was OK. Panic in her voice as she told the story of a European women who had drowned in the Nile after attending the lecture. Seconds later ex pats from all over are calling each other checking. Nobody knows who the missing lady is. I phoned out British Consul Ehab Gaddis and he had heard nothing but promised to phone me back with info.

His news was that a lady had been found and she might be American, could I help. So next thing I know police are phoning us and turn up 12:30 am. Very apologetic but can I help, they have photos, tasteful not upsetting but I don’t recognise her. There was a wedding ring inscribed SLH KRW 8/19/66. I explain this is an American format which does not mean she is American but is a definite clue. I told them husband’s name first (how wrong was I). they left and I set about contacting people. Isabella for Italians Anjte for Germans, Karin for Dutch but the American date format bugs me. I ask on forums and someone suggest Chicago House, I am big friends with the librarian so email her. It is 1am by now and I don’t expect an answer at this time.

2:50 I get a text message. I don’t pick up on it until 3:15 am. Marie thinks it is Susan Weeks. I reply immediately OMG. Then almost immediately get a phone call from Brett at Chicago House. He is with Marie. They think it is Susan. Brett volunteers to contact Kent.

Brett phones me back, Kent had not missed Susan, they had guests that night including Marie and Brett and had gone to bed separately. Brett asks gently is Susan there, Kent replies YES. Brett asks him to check. She is not on board the dahabiyya. It is confirmation we did not need. I often get requests from families for a boat and constantly say safety standards are not the same. We do not know what happened but it would be easy to slip and fall. There is a constant flurry of phones calls trying to identify police to talk to, Brett to get to Kent. It is a nightmare

Around 5 am we are sure, it is Susan, Brett is with Kent, the rest of us are praying. The call to prayer comes out and I spend an hour to praying for her and more for the living kent, the first grand child, the Luxor community. The phone continues

At 6:30 Ibrahim phones me, then call after call shock is the main emotion. Everyone is offering support, helping, wanting to help, the phone never stops, American Warden wanting info for the Embassy, shocked residents and missions. I phone as well, Melinda Hartwig answers with her chirpy reply. I bring her down to earth, I have bad news, she is gutted, Susan is truly loved and respected in the Egyptology community and as a person.

Eventually funeral plans are discussed, HamduAllah she is going to buried in Luxor, we have to wait until the authorities release the body and then with no undertakers or chapels of rest we have to bury her immediately. Mansour Boraik and Ibrahim Soliman senior SCA members spend the entire day helping with authorities, Speaking both English and Arabic and having credibility they are invaluable. The funeral is confirmed, more phone calls ... 5pm. A service that has respect and personality and with a few hours notice. Then we go to Tiba to the foreigners cemetery, a few get lost on the way as it miles away. Flowers on the grave, we honoured her. Then back to Chicago House, to see a tiny man replace the giant Kent Weeks. He starts to remember the good times and the happy life they have together.

Then I am back home, more calls from aboard ... 24 hours of pain, wonder, shock ……………………………… but let us all celebrate Susan Weeks life and remember her words

"Every morning as we walk into the Valley towards the tomb, I count my blessings. It is a privilege to be able to work here and to share it with my husband. Every day is magic still."

RIP Susan Weeks

Susan tragically drowned in the Nile last night, my deepest condolences to Kent Weeks, the Weeks family and the Luxor Egyptology community

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Postcard from Thoth Hill

Dear Jane,
On top of the world! I am glad to have done it. In fact I out-climbed the other two, who may have been younger, but were not in condition, and were the first to call halts. From Mohammed's house it took one and a quarter hours of fairly steep climbing, with some difficult bits.

Also walked round the hebsed? court. As to that, my opinion is that if Montuhotep could climb up the mountain, he didn't need to do any running to prove his virility.
Mike aka Michael on the roof

The Mohammed he talks about is my walking guide, Mohammed Ismail who knows the hills like the back of his hand should you want to do the same walk

Friday, 11 December 2009

Tomb Closures

Obviously I am not quite on top of things not being allowed out but I have heard Horemheb has closed again and Meena is definately closing tomorrow for a few days. The team are in town

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Egyptian Coins

Just had some guests who try and collect coins where ever they go on holiday so we did our best to get them one of every sort. Thought I would share with you

From left to right

1 LE (100 pt = 1LE). These and the 50pt are the ones tourist are most likely to come across. It is silver and gold with Tutankamun on it. You can get them at a bank easily but less easily at shops and exchange bureaus

large 50pt and small 50pt exactly the same design but the newer one is slightly smaller, gold with Nefertari, I think this would make a lovely pendant

25pt with the hole in the middle

20pt I had never seen one of these until today

large silver 10pt again I had never seen one till today

small gold 10pt these I have seen, lovely picture of the citadel

gold 5pt with what looks like a vase on it

Mummification Museum Lectures - Funerary Cones - Dr Kento Zenihiro

Well I wasn't there due to my surgery but Michael Campbell Smith of "Michael on the roof" fame was and took these notes, big thank you. He even took some photos seems like I am redundant.

Funerary Cones
The first of the SCA series of winter lectures was given by Dr Kento Zenihiro of Waseda University, Tokyo in the Mummification Museum Luxor on Saturday 5th December.
Funerary cones, baked clay tapered cones, bearing the titles of the owner of the tomb are found at many sites in Egypt, but the vast majority come from Thebes. The cones, taken from one mould, were inserted in the courtyard of the tomb, above the entrance door to the inner hall.

Cones can come in many shapes. 646 different types have been identified so far, with 21 discovered by Dr Zenihiro in recent years. Cones appear to have a white face for a male, and a red finish for a female. The taper can be long, or short. Different manufacturing methods were used. They appear to come mainly from the 17th and 18th Dynasties, with a revival in the practice under Seshonkh.

Many theories have been advanced for the purpose of these cones. To indicate the sealing of the tomb, as a passport, as an ornament, or perhaps symbolically as meat, bread, the position of roof beams, or as the sun. (Clearly, no-one has the first idea. ed.)

In support of his contention that the inscriptions on funerary cones allowed a methodology which would indicate the status of the owner in comparison to his contemporaries, Dr Zenihiro produced a number of arguments.

Research history on hierarchy in the New Kingdom has concentrated on literary and archaeological sources. Dr Zenihiro believes that funerary cone inscriptions offer a third and more reliable method. Because cones could only accommodate a number of titles, the most important and desirable were chosen, unlike the walls of the tombs, where, with more space, the artist could give full rein to the deceased’s titular. This presents a comparison, and, allows the owners of the cones to be placed more accurately in the hierarchy of the period. The limitations of previous methods meant that only titles from the same genre were compared, only chapels were analysed, the volume of grave goods found did not indicate rank, and sources were contaminated in respect of their dates.

Dr Zenihiro’s research allows us to determine social rank by utilising objects on which selected titles have been written. They were positioned to be read and to impress passers by, a précis of the most important part of the tomb owner’s life.

The lecture was bought to a conclusion by Ibrahim Soliman of the SCA, who voiced the appreciation of the audience for a most interesting opening to the winter lecture programme.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Chaos in Luxor

Apparently President Mubarak is coming to town. How do I know because EVERY boat is being moved out of Luxor. I mean every boat, cruise boats, motorboats, feluccas, everything. Woe betide you if you want a motorboat or felucca for the next few days. No chance.

Well the Queen thinks the worlds smells of paint, Mubarak must think there are no boats on the Nile.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New Ticket Office and Entrance at Luxor temple

You now go in the other side of Luxor temple, the MacDonalds side. The entrance is between the exit and the mosque. You actually go down a flight of steps to the ticket office. This is still the place to buy tickets for Tod and Moalla.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Mummification Museum Lectures restart Saturday

but I am not sure when I will be able to attend so please excuse no notes for a bit

Reconstructions of tombs

Yes I am back in Luxor, not quite firing on all cylinders but back.

This is an interesting website and shows the work being do to make accurate reconstructions of the tombs under threat like Seti I, Tuthmosis III, Nefertari and Tutankamun. These will then be built near to the Carter House at Luxor

Friday, 20 November 2009

Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible

Off to Cairo Sunday for a fairly serious opp, an ovarian cyst and a kidney stone to be removed. What fun ....... not. It will probably restrict my activities for a bit so news might be a bit sparse.

I would truly appreciate any readers who spot anything in Luxor to let me know so I can publish it.

Seti I temple

I have been told that the restoration team are coming back and combined with the dewatering project fingers crossed there is hope for my favourite temple

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Update from Osirisnet

We are pleased to announce the publication of three new or significantly
updated pages on Osirinet:

* The tomb of Nefermenu, TT 365, is the first of a new presentation based on
the site, called "A glimpse!". This name refers to very small tombs, or to
others for which we have very few photographs. TT 365 has been chosen to
inaugurate this new chapter because of it's common courtyard with the tomb
Nefersekheru. It's HERE :

* A major photographic update has been made to the tomb of Nefersekheru,
TT 296, with some 100 new photographs. It's HERE :

* And an article devoted to bindweeds has been written. These plants are
very often represented during the Amarna period, and again, during the
Ramesside period. Their representations are very often overlooked by
visitors, though they carry a high level of symbolism. Discover it in this
document. It's HERE :

Enjoy, and remember that we are always glad to read your comments.

Monuments of Egypt

Monday, 16 November 2009

Visiting the Restored Carter House

Today I took some of my guests to visit the Carter House. Firstly there is no fee (I bet that changes) the opening hours are 6am till 5pm. There is an extremely nice young man called Sayeed who is the newly installed director of the museum. He seems to be taking good care of it as well.

Next month they are hoping the Winter Palace takes over the running of the cafe and I think it will be a really nice place to stop and relax after a trip to the Valley of Kings.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Notes from the Luxor Symposium

There was a handout of abstracts which I have copied here and I also took some notes but these are not complete firstly this symposium will be published and secondly a couple of speakers I have previously published their talks and did not take notes.

Luxor Symposium 4 November 2009-11-05

On 4th November 1922 the steps leading to the tomb of Tutankamun (Kv62) were found by the Howard Carter and his team, an expedition funded by Lord Carnarvon. The discovery on King Tutankamun’s tomb revealed, by all accounts, the best preserved and most intact royal tomb ever found in the Valley of the kings, and has led to a series of successful, international exhibitions and publication focusing on the contents of the tomb.

A direct consequence of this discovery was an increased interest and enthusiasm for Egyptology, resulting in more foreign expeditions at the Valley of the Kings. Moreover, the discovery of another royal tomb continues to be the dream of all Egyptologists until this day.

The year 2007 marked the first Egyptian expedition working in the Valley of Kings, who have unearthed a wealth of important information on the history of the valley. In addition to their quest to find other missing royal tombs, the Egyptian expedition is currently working in the tunnel of the tomb of King Seti I (KV17) and has revealed a lot of information on the tunnel’s construction and function.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is inaugurating the opening of Carter’s rest house, located on Luxor’s West Bank, on 4th November 2009. The rest-house, built in 1910, is closely linked with all the events surrounding Howard Carter’s magnificent discoveries and work. Restored and upgraded by the SCA, the rest-house will include various facilities allowing it to host a permanent exhibition telling the story of Carter’s exceptional discovery. In conjunction with the inauguration, marking 87th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankamun, the symposium entitled Valley of Kings, Since Howard Carter will feature prominent archaeologist and scholars who conducted research related to the Valley of Kings.

The aim of the symposium is to provide a forum for dialogue surrounding the Valley of Kings. The symposium organizers intend to hold future scholarly sessions at the rest house on an annual basis, as a means to encourage scholars working at the site to discuss their finds, ideas, problems and exchange ideas.

Egyptian Expedition Work at the Valley of the Kings – Zahi Hawass

In November 2007, the first all-Egyptian team ever to work at the Valley of the Kings began excavations at four locations:
1) Between KV7 and KV8
2) To the east of KV62
3) In the so called Valley of the Monkeys
4) Inside the tunnel of Seti I (KV17)
This paper will address many significant discoveries, which are enhancing our understanding of one of the most fascinating places in Egypt. Among these discoveries are the means and methods used by the ancient Egyptians to control water and protect the tombs from flash floods. Other important revelations of this expedition include the workman’s huts and magazines to the east KV62, evidence of ancient graffiti throughout the valley and various tomb foundation deposits associated with cult practices.

My notes
They are using DNS and CAT scan technology and laboratory 1 in Cairo museum has had its findings confirmed by laboratory 2. Once these findings have been externally confirmed Zahi will announce them.

There has been no previous all Egyptian excavation and they have been looking at Ramases VIII. They have found 14 new graffiti which are related to the old Userhet graffiti. Also a man made wall and some shafts and places were the ancient workmen stored their lunch. KVC has been relocated under the inspectors hut at the end of the old rest area. The KV64 area published on the internet is just a crack in the valley not a tomb. Dr Zahi stated he does not believe in radar. In ancient times the workman’s huts were used as storage and many bits and pieces were found inside. Then they moved to the Western Valley where foundation deposits were found and radar was used in their search. In the Seti I tunnel back in the 1960’s Sheikh Ali excavated to a depth of 435 feet but at one point he went off the tunnel proper. They have undertaken 300 ft of conservation building stairs and a railway. Dr Zahi believes the tunnel is important and is part of the caves of the roots of Osirus.

Re-Excavating the tomb of Horemheb (KV45) – Geoffrey Martin

This tomb was discovered in 1908 by Theodore M Davies, and was cleared under the supervision of Edward Ayrton. The results were published in the Tombs of Harmhabi and Touatankhamamou (1912). The volume is clearly partial. There is no mention of pottery, and many objects found were not fully published or illustrated. Some problems were unresolved until recently, including the status of the Well Shaft: there was no certainty that Davies had excavated it to the bottom. In the large undecorated room behind the sarcophagus chamber a huge mound of debris awaited investigation. It seemed, partly at least, to consist of material deposited there by the excavators and by those repairing and conserving the monument t the time of the discovery and in more recent years. A tomb of such magnitude and importance clearly needed further work to ensure that all the evidence was available for a complete publication of the artefacts and an accurate section of the Shaft. The sarcophagus, too, demand attention: skeletal material ad debris remained inside, and the lid, repaired and replaced in position after the discovery in 1908, was wrongly orientated.

The Cambridge Expedition to the Valley of kings, funded by Piers and Jenny Litherland, was granted permission by the SCA in 2005 to carry out the projects, and the monument is now (2009) entirely free of debris. A complete catalogue was made of the objects found, including those in the Cairo museum and elsewhere, emanating from the 1908 excavation and from the work of the Cambridge Expedition. From the latter important material came to light, not least many sherds from wine jars, found in the Shaft, part of Horemheb funerary equipment. A number bear year dates 13 and 14 of the king. This new material will prove vital in establishing the true length of his reign, hitherto a controversial matter. Dr Jacobus van Dijk is working on the dockets. All the material is now at hand to begin a study of the objects and human remains found in the tomb by Davies and the Cambridge Expedition, to compare and contrast with material excavated in the near contemporary deposit in KV62 and from earlier, plundered New Kingdom tombs in the valley. The publication will include contributions by David Aston, Edwin Brock, J van Dijk and Roxie Walker.

My notes
Why reexcavate, in the past excavation was done to quickly and the excavation report misses lots of objects. It was only 2 pages long, Ayton’s account was considered too long and was omitted, sadly it is now lost. The shaft and room behind the sarcophagus are now empty of debris. Davies found objects but poorly documented and the debris was thrown into the back room. All the objects are late 18th dynasty. In their debris they found glass inlays similar to those in Tutankamun’s Hathor couch, beads, remnants of arrow heads, sand stone grinders, and wine jars seals. In the well shaft they found blocking stones but not any of the painted pieces. At the bottom they found two rooms a the 8 meter level containing wine dockets showing years 14/15 which indicate his reign was much shorter than thought. In the sarcophagus there were bones of at least three people. Although the tomb was supposedly found in 1908 there is graffiti of 1887 and 1896 which may explain wy pieces that must be from the tomb are in museums.

The West Valley and Amenmesse Projects (1971-2009- Otto Schaden

In 1971 I began my KV experience with an examination of Ay’s tomb WV23 with the aim of proposing to undertake a clearance of the tomb. This was accomplished in 1972 and in the scattered years afterwards the work was advanced. Then in 1992, the Amenmesse Project was initiated, the basic aim being a full investigation of KV10. The led to the discovery of the workman’s huts and the new tomb KV63

My notes
He started in the west tomb in 1971, although John Rommer said he was the first in KV4, archaeology has changed since he started. He was inspired by Elizabeth Thomas’s book published in the 1960’s/ WV25 was full of late burials, it had started as a royal tomb but never finished and there are no deposits. WV23 the pillared hall became the burial chamber. Found lid of sarcophagus, remnants of ushabities which indicated Ay had been buried there. They also found huts fragments of Ay’s burial. WV24 was a shaft tomb and had glass inlay pieces. KV10 the maps were incorrect for the tomb it is not as steep. Lots of flood damage. No evidence of burial but fragments of a queen’s burial, might have been the queen mother. They wanted to find foundation deposits and that led to the discovery of KC63. So far inscriptions on the coffins are for an untitled lady and a royal nurse.

The tomb of Ramases II KV7 - Christian Leblanc
The excavation carried out at the tomb of Ramses II since 1993, has permitted to clear and clean almost the whole underground structure which suffered of at least twelve diluvian rains. At present, only the shaft and two annexes should be excavated before commencing the important work of restoration of the tomb. First of all it is necessary to strengthen the burial chamber, the vaulted ceiling of which has no more pillars to support it. There pillars (eight in number) shivered long time ago under the pressure of swelling marls caused by the consecutive floods. , many skilled surveyors of civil engineering have inquired about the site and some solutions have been proposed. We hope that all these solutions can be submitted to the attention of the Supreme Council of Antiquities so this chamber could be strengthened, which will then be put into worth, according a project which both MAFTO and INSIGHT are working.

Along with archaeological research which brought a lot of information about the history of this burial, it was also possible, during the several expeditions to identify the iconographical wall programme of both corridors and the chambers which we are going to discuss about in our speech.

No notes as the talk was in French

Undecorated Tombs in the Valley of Kings – Donald Ryan

This was a dupplicate talk of one I have documented before.

Tutankamun’s Mask Reconsidered – Nicholas Reeves

Tutankamun’s gold mask is one of the ancient world’s most spectacular artworks, yet more than 80 years after its discovery the piece remains essentially unstudied. This paper draws together what we currently know about the object, focussing particularly on the details of its discovery and the materials and techniques employed in its manufacture. In the context of what we are beginning increasingly to discern about the makeshift character of Tutankamun’s burial, two key questions are posed: Was the mask actually made for the young king? And if not, who might its original owner have been?

My notes

Is this a reused piece, there has been no critical study only artistic ones. Harry Burton’s photos are bland. It I 54 cm by 39cm and 10.23 kilos. It is an official portrait and when discovered had three necklaces and a false beard. The gold of the face and head cloth are different carats and have a different coloured sheen, blue on the face and red on the cloth. There was damage done by Carter removing it from the innermost coffin but there was also damage done in antiquity. There is a hole to attach the flail and a slight crushing to the right hand side. Examination of the inside reveals it is made up of several pieces, face, ears, beard, back panel, front panel, collar, bureaus and the face. The face is the most obvious as the blue is lapis rather than the blue of the nemes head cloth. It seems to have been a construction norm to have a separate face. It was believed that Tutankamun’s face was originally Akhenaton’s face but now he does not believe this.

If Harry Burtons photo there are two discs of foil to cover the ear piercings, the plugs were in place so there was no intention to disguise. Tuthmosis IV was the first king with pierced ears but these are not acknowledged. Akhenaton shows his but not with a hole but a depression. The lotus head from the tomb show Tutankamun as a young boy is the only one that has actual holes showing. It is very rare to see a king with earrings. There is one of Ramses II as a young prince with a side lock of youth and earring. Blackman in her anthropological study notes that sometimes young boys who were the only son in modern Egyptian culture had one ear pierced and this might have been to disguise them. So holes were for young children and Tutankamun’s plugs show that he was older. Other pieces show Neferneferru as beneficial for her husband, so is this a woman. The canopic coffinites have the name inside and they all have functional pierced ears. So could these have been made for a co-regent queen, were these the original ears of Nefertiti put back on a Tutankamun face? Was Nefertiti not buried as a co-regent queen so these goods were needed? Was she buried as a full ruler or back to a queen status? Yes Nicholas left us with loads of questions and thought provoking notes.

The afternoon session was just as interesting but I will let you wait until the seminar is published to read about those.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Opening of the Carter Dig House, Luxor, Egypt

Lord Carnarvon, the 8th Earl gave a speech whilst those on the top table listened. From right to left Samir Farag, Dr Zahi Hawas, Lady Carnarvon, and members of the Carter family.

The plebs enjoyed it too, my friend Ros Eavis-Oliveria and Michael Campbell-Smith (aka Michael on the roof).

They found original surveying equipment, seen here as you go in and in the display stand is one of the bricks that was sent out by Lord Carnarvon to Egypt to build the house for Carter. It is dated 1910. It was a joke between them that it was Castle Carter like Carnarvon had Highclere Castle. (Lady Fiona Carnarvon told me that story)

Harry Burton's camera just outside his darkroom, a tiny space, how he managed I can't imagine.

The original kitchen with some original equipment, don't worry if you come to the cafeteria there is a really posh new kitchen. But this is quite interesting as it had very little in it. Egyptians are amazing at making the most delicious food out of the simplest food and using minimal equipement.

This the dining room, some is original and some reproductions. There is a wonderful decanter and glasses disguised as a stack of three books. the photography of Lord Carnarvon relaxing in the deckchair was probably taken in the verander outside this room.

This is photos of Howard Carter's office, the setting for my photo with Lord and Lady Carnarvon. They had a wonderful letter set on the desk together with fascimilies of drawings and notes. The desk is original.

Dr Zahi Hawass annouced that you can stay in this bedroom for $20,000 USD on the night 4th November 2010 and $10,000 USD on some other selected nights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Lord and Lady Carnarvon at the Carter House

It was absolute mayhem at the Carter House today preparing from the grand opening tomorrow. Millions of people trying to work and millions of people want to have an advanced look stopping the millions of people that were trying to work. Tempers were getting frayed but I am sure it will all be fine.

I had taken one look at the furniture yesterday and came armed with two cans of furniture polish and with the help of my friend Ros we removed the building dust from everything we could find. To be honest there was so much in the air I sure it is all coated again but we did our best.

Whilst we were working Dr Sabry and Dr Wassar arrived and also Lord and Lady Carnarvon. It was such a treat to meet them and of course I had to have my photo taken.

The display panels look fabulous and I am sure people are going to get a lot out of visiting this house. Eventually there will be a replica tomb on the site. We wer given a sneak preview of the ghost of Howard Carter. With the aid of lights, screens, mirrors and glass an image of Carter appears and gives a talk about the discovery of the tomb with slides. It is really excellent, very cleverly done

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Symposium and Opening of the Carter House

I have just heard (thanks for finding out Sharon) that the event on 4th is open to the general public. There are lectures from 9-12 at the Mummification Museum, then the Carter House opening from 12-4 and then more lectures from 4-9. Lots of great speakers including Dr Zahi Hawass, Otto Schaden, Salima Ikram, Donald Ryan and Nicholas Reeves amongst others

Friday, 30 October 2009

Carter House Progress

I was at the site yesterday and things are really moving. Some of the original furnishings are waiting to be put in place including this wonderful thing. Harry Burton's camera. Isn't that just amazing to think he took all those pictures that are on the Griffiths institute website with this.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Cairo Event but put a comment if you would like to see her in Luxor

The American University in Cairo
Sociology- Anthropology-Psychology-Egyptology

Cordially invites you to

Performance Storytelling: Myths and Stories from Ancient Egypt

Dr. Samira Kirollos
A renowned international master storyteller, who lives in London, will be performing four Ancient Egyptian stories


Saturday 7th November 2009
At 7:00 p.m.
Oriental Hall
AUC downtown campus

Monday, 26 October 2009

Request from British Embassy

If you are a British passport holder visiting or resident in Egypt please register with the Consular Section of the Embassy. To complete the LOCATE online consular registration form please go to

It’s a very simple procedure and you can register your whereabouts up to 12 months in advance.
In the event of an emergency affecting British Nationals in Egypt those who have registered on LOCATE will be contacted directly by the British Embassy with guidance or instructions.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Balloons are back

Inshahallah balloons will start flying over Luxor Sunday 25th October

Edited 25/10/09

it was canceled today but looking good for tomorrow

Frances Anthon nee Lindsay

OK this is personal but I just felt it was appropriate. Dealing with Lady Carnarvon recently I was remind of my grandmother. She would have been so made up

Christmas 1964 I was visiting my grandmother Fanny Anthon. I was 9 years old and you know what it is like, it is not a child’s house and you are trying to find things they might enjoy to keep them quiet. Grandma give me a book on Tutankhamen, Christine Desroches Noblecourt’s book in fact, to read. Well I just loved it, in fact so much that on my 10th birthday 23rd March 1965 I was given book tokens and I used them to buy to the paperback for 12/6. bet that takes you back lol

Well Grandma died in 1982, 3 years after my first visit to Egypt, I kept a diary and sent it to her to read when I came back. I also bought her some Egyptian beads, terrible fakes but she loved them. However I did not know she left me such a tremendous legacy. My love for Egypt and a tiny note book that poignant records her love for Egypt and hopes that I might carry it on. It records some TV programs in 1972 50th anniversary of Tutankhamen’s discovery. Notes is her wonderful writing.

When I cleared out my father effects when he died I found them, on the back was this.

Why they were never passed on to me at the time I don’t know. But Grandma they were not burnt. But there are now here with me in Luxor, Egypt. In the same place that the ashes of your son Alec Anthon are scattered in the Valley of the Kings. Thank you Grandma for given me such a wonderful interest.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

BBC iPlayer - Show Me the Mummy

Check this out, not only a Luxor mummy but my prof. Yes Rosalie David head of Manchester. She gave us an exclusive preview at the end of the last academic year in a video lecture. Being on the Manchester course gives you such wonderful opportunities. BBC iPlayer - Show Me the Mummy you have just 6 days and need to be in the Uk or use a proxy.

Kick-Off Ceremony for USAID-supported Antiquities Project In Luxor

I attended the Kick Off Ceremony for the West Bank Groundwater Lowering Project which took place next to the Ramasseum Temple in Luxor today at 10.30. The project is the result of co-operation between the US Agency for International Development(USAID), the National Organization for potable Water and Sanitary Drainage (NOPWASD), the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and the Supreme Council of Luxor City.

In attendance was USAID/Egypt Director Hilda M Arellano, President of the Supreme council of Luxor Dr Samir Farag, Chairman of the National Organisation for potable Water and Sanitary Drainage NOPWASD, eng Hassan Khaled Fadl and Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Upper Egypt, Mansour Boraik together with other Egyptian dignitaries and officials from foreign missions working on antiquities in Luxor.

The ceremony marks the commencement of the construction of a sophisticated drainage system that will decrease ground water levels in the area, thereby protecting five major sites and approximately twenty small temples. Drainage pipes will collect water from the south temple of Medinet Habu to the pump station at the Ramasseum and from the north temple of Seti also to the pump station. This will then be pumped into the Asfun Canal. This technique was piloted at Karnak and Luxor temples with great success.

Christian le Blanc, seen here, is one of the many archaeologists that will be affected by this work, he is working at the Ramasseum but it will also benefit Ray Johnson and his team from Chicago House, also present, who are working at Medinet Habu and many other teams.

Really sorry, my fault

How I got 75th anniversary I don't know 2009-1922 is 87. Must have been a senior moment.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Carter House Restoration and Dewatering on the West Bank

Just got a great update from Ray Johnson of Chicago House. There is an inauguration of the dewatering project tomorrow, yes we all know it was started long ago but this is the official inauguration by the head of US Aid. There are two gravitational drains one starting at Medinet Habu and the other at Seti I temple. They both lead to a pumping station near the Ramasseum, this will then collect the water and pump it into the irrigation canal. They are hoping this will halt the destruction of the monuments. It is critical as the repair work at Medinet Habu is almost being destroyed as quickly as they make it. Chicago House will be starting work this week at their various sites.

Meanwhile yours truly has been continuing to help out at the Carter House restoration. I have been liaising between Lady Carnarvon and Dr Hany el Miniaw the architect in charge of the restoration. Lady Carnarvon is providing a number of display boards with some really atmospheric photos of the house, the two men Carter and Carnarvon and the history of their working relationship. I was over yesterday and today and took some photos of progress so far. The grand opening is the 4th November the 75th (correction 87th) anniversary of the discovery of the first step that ultimately led to the tomb of Tutankhamen. It is such a privilege to be in Luxor at this time and to have a small part in the work. I am a very lucky girl

Sunday, 11 October 2009

"The Asyut Project": Eine Grabung in Mittelägypten/An excavation in Middle Egypt

I had a great day out on Saturday at a conference in Sohag. getting there from Luxor is a bit of a challenge but so worth it. I actually drove down the day before and stayed the night in a really nice hotel in Sohag. Nile Hotel 4* on the corniche. Lovely location, I really recommend the hotel if you want a weekend on the Nile without hassle.

The conference was at Sohag University just down the road. It was a full day program
Two documentary films by Ammar Abu Bakr
Jochem Kahl :Asyut Project
Mahmoud El-Khadragy: Nomarchs of First Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom
Sameh Shafik:Ephigraphic Work
Ursula Verhoeven:New Kingdom Graffitti in tomb N13.1
Meike Becker:Reconstruction of Tomb II
Monika Zoller-Engelhardt:Wooden Models
Andrea Kilian:Offering plates
Magdalena Patolla:Human bones from the tombs of the Old Kingdom
Ahmed Elkhatib:Historic Plant Records
Abdel Nasser Yassin:Islamic Pottery

I am now a complete fan of the First Intermediate Period, the team have a website in English as well as German
"The Asyut Project": Eine Grabung in Mittelägypten/An excavation in Middle Egypt

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

French and Zahi in head to head

Lourve Museum in talks over 5 stolen Luxor paintings

Just last year we were given a lecture about a noble tomb that had a scene hacked out back in the 1960's. Obviously stuff bought back in the distant past is immune but these more recent artifacts are frankly completely illegal and should be returned. Luxor wants its nobles tombs back

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

KV63 Update

From Roxanne Wilson

A new update is available on the KV-63 website (

The update is rather substantial and includes:
• Dr. Schaden’s newest Dig Diary
• A list of new KV-63 articles and publications
• Details on the upcoming Howard Carter Symposium where Dr. Otto Schaden, Professor Earl Ertman and Dr. Salima Ikram will be presenting papers
• Information on ‘Tutankhamun: The Latest Discovery in the Valley of the Kings and the Egyptological Art of Susan Osgood’ (OI/Chicago House & KV-63 Artist)
• 30 new images…. including some never before seen
• and A Special Commentary on the Menkheperre Seal by Dr. Otto Schaden. A mud seal bearing the cartouche of Menkheperre (Thutmosis III).

Monday, 5 October 2009

Ramases III tomb has reopened.

Received from one of my readers, thank you Gérard

Just to let you know that Ramases III tomb has reopened from today.

My recommendation to visitors to Luxor if you want to under Ancient Egypt better and specifically Ramases III do this

- Start the visit in East Bank, Luxor visiting Karnak and particullary the Chapels of Ramses III
- Go to the West Bank, visit Medinet Habu to see his Temple of a Million Years
- Go to Queen's Valley and visit the tombs of one of his wives and two of his children
- Finish by visiting his tomb in the King's Valley.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

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.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Luxor's Marathon

Put February 12th in your diaries as this is the date on Luxor's Marathon. Full details are on the website It is a fantastic route going all round the West Bank of Luxor, runners and temples all mixed in.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Dr Zahi Hawass visits Luxor – part 3 Mosque of Abu Haggag

The last stop on Dr Zahi Hawass tour of Luxor was the formal opening of the renovated mosque. We left the temple of Hatshepsut and proceed to the Nile and Ibrahim Soliman was waiting for us with motor boats which took us across the Nile. A short walk to Luxor temple and he escorted us through the temple as a short cut to the mosque. There was a formal reception with a video describing the renovations. Then we proceed in to the mosque, there was a huge surge of men going into the left hand side of the mosque to the rhythmic chanting of the men. It was a powerful and emotional scene. I snuck round the right-hand side and took some photos. I do encourage you to visit this mosque it is really interesting and you will be very welcome. Avoid prayer times obviously. Back in Dec 2007 I visited the mosque when the renovations had just started. I think the pictures speak for themselves I have tried to match the shots.