Saturday, 31 December 2011

Jazz Night 2nd Jan

The Marsam Hotel is having a Jazz Night Starring Ahmed Harfoush. The songs will be mostly english - classical jazz.

The night will be the 2nd of January 2012, a Monday. @ 8pm Entry is 10Le, But dinner will be at 7pm for 50Le (people that come for dinner and show don't have to pay entry ofcourse)

We ask that if Groups over 4 want dinner to book ahead 01003426471 - Natasha mobile.

Thank You, hope to see you there, Natalie

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Postcard from Thoth Hill

Michael on the roof walked up to Thoth Hill with my walking guide Mohammed Ismail. They used a new route which only took 90 minutes which Mohammed had found. Michael is reasonable fit but closer to 80 than 70, he says it is a stiff climb but not too bad, so a good walker should have no problem. This temple is unique as far as we know being on top of a hill and worth a visit.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

15 years in the tomb of Harwa - Francisco Tiradritti

did find it tricky to take notes and have put question marks where I am not entirely clear what was said, anyone that would like to clarify for me would be my friend for life. :)

The team started work at the tomb of Harwa in 1996 although a survey had been done a year earlier. Harwa was a very important official, Great Majordomo of the God’s wife of Amun or Divine Votaress and there are 8 known statues of him (see the website also for a life of Harwa see ) and they are in different styles the ones in the Cairo Museum and Assuan are Old Kingdom, the block statues are New Kingdom and there is a shrine that is Middle Kingdom. This is because the 25th Dynasty was part of the Pharaonic Renaissance of Egypt. Although all periods had copied previous styles the Nubian Kings specialised in this by with a Nubian twist.

In the 25th dynasty Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el Bahri was still in use so Harwa built his tomb on the causeway of Mentuhotep.

The tomb decoration follows a pattern that Francesco calls the Path of Harwa, as you go from the first courtyard through the tomb you also go through Life, Death and Rebirth.

Due to the condition of the tomb plywood has been put on the pillars one so the fragments can be put in place and second so the missing decoration and text can be drawn. Helpfully the tomb of Pabasa which they also have a concession to, copied Harwa and they are able to use it as a reference and model for reconstruction. There is a large database of blocks, over 8000 and it is on the internet which means all the scholars working on the tomb are able to access it where ever they are, currently protected by a password they hope eventually to open it up.

In the 2nd pillared hall, when they started excavating it was completely covered by bats’ guano and the slide showed the enormous thickness of this which had to be cleaned off.

On the southern wall of the passage between the second pillared hall and the shrine there is a figure of Anubis, originally looking one way he was plastered over and turned to face the other way. Because part of the plaster had fallen off when the artists of Pabasa copied the scene the also copied part of the alteration.

Although Old Kingdom style identical offering bearers are on the walls the Nubian twist was to make each of them unique.

Francesco believe that the artists, judging by the style, went from Memphis to Karwa, Sudan by the 3rd cataract and then to Thebes.

Objects Found
They have found envelopes address to Howard Carter and of Eismann Semenowsky a painter; fragments papyri, fox hole, two late Roman funerary portraits, demotic papyrus, Book of the Dead papyri, pottery, mummies, seals, a vase of Isis with holes in her breast to pour libations.

They are working on publishing and hope to have it in traditional and e-book format. So you will have to wait for that for more details.

Next week Miriam Ayad of the American University of Cairo is going to talk about the Opening of the Mouth Ritual.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Chicago House Library Luxor has original copy of book said to be destroyed in fire last week - Books - Ahram Online

please ignore this, the newspaper got it complete wrong.

Chicago House Library has original copy of book said to be destroyed in fire last week - Books - Ahram Online: Librarian Marie Bryan, manager of Chicago House Library it Luxor, has announced that they have a handwritten copy of the famous book ‘Description De l’Egypt’ and that it is open for researchers and Luxor habitants to read.

Bryan said the copy they have consists of 20 volumes, compiled during the campaign when Napoleon came to Egypt in the eighteenth century by a number of scholars and scientists from a range of disciplines. The book’s full title in English is ‘Description of Egypt: the collection of researches and observations on Egypt during the French campaign.’

Egyptian authorities announced the loss of the original copy of the book in the fire of the Egypt Scientific Institute during the cabinet office clashes, sparking considerable controversy. It has since transpired that there are several printed copies of the book which was published more than 200 years ago.

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Good old Chicago House, they have some fantastic books there.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Avenue of sphinxes to open to public in March - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Avenue of sphinxes to open to public in March - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: During an inspection tour of Luxor’s archaeological sites, the Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim announced that the Avenue of Sphinxes will be partly opened to public by mid March. “We have chosen a date that coincides with the opening of the Berlin International Tourism Market on 13 March 2011,” Ibrahim told Ahram Online.

He explained that a 150 metre long section out of the 2,700 meters of the avenue will be ready for the public after restoration, promising to solve all technical and financial problems in order to resume restoration work in the rest of the avenue.
The Avenue of Sphinxes was built during the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo I of the 30th Dynasty. It replaced another built in the 18th Dynasty by Queen Hatshepsut (1502-1482 BC), as she recorded on the walls of her red chapel in Karnak Temple.

According to this record, Hatshepsut built six chapels dedicated to the god Amun-Re on the route of the avenue during her reign, indicating that it had long been a place of religious significance.
However, over the span of history the avenue was lost, with some of its sphinxes destroyed and whole stretches buried in sand and build on.

Five years ago, in the framework of the Ministry of Culture, a programme to restore ancient Egyptian monuments with a view to developing the entire Luxor governorate into an open-air museum, a project was planned to recover lost elements of the avenue, restore the sphinxes and bring the place back to its original aspect.

During his tour with Luxor Governor Ezat Saad, Ibrahim visited American Research Centre excavation and restoration sites in Khonsu temple as well as monuments of the 18th and 19th dynasties at Karnak temple.

- Sent using Google Toolbar

Friday, 23 December 2011

StickingFestival's Channel - YouTube

Lots more videos of the Stick Dancing. StickingFestival's Channel - YouTube

Translation from Google

National Thtaib festival is a festival held every year on the oldest Egyptian territory has seen since the dawn of history the finest arts and excelled torch light and civilization, a city which hosts the festival since its inception in 1994 the first city of Luxor under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Governorate of Luxor. The festival involved several different teams of folk groups of the General Directorate of Folk Art of the General Authority for Cultural Palaces, and accompanied by a set of flute band Nile folklore associated with the logging circuit.

For the fifth consecutive year the honor to host the shorter fifth session of the logging festival, which takes square Abu pilgrims as one of the numerous cultural festivals that have become the name of Luxor, which adds to the city tourism conferences and festivals are known by the side of cultural tourism.
Despite what is known about the art of logging as a folk art associated with Upper Egypt, but that the roots of this art back to the era of the ancient Egyptians, as recorded on the walls of Pharaonic temples and tombs of ancient art becomes popular reflects the Egyptian environment exclusive to the south of Egypt. Which underscores the civilization extended throughout history.

: المهرجان القومي للتحطيب هو مهرجان يقام كل عام على أعرق أرض مصرية شهدت منذ فجر التاريخ أروع الفنون وأبدعت مشعل النور والحضارة وهي المدينة التي تحتضن هذا المهرجان منذ نشأته الأولى في عام 1994 مدينة الأقصر تحت رعاية وزارة الثقافة وبالتعاون مع محافظة الأقصر . ويشارك بالمهرجان عدة فرق مختلفة من فرق الفنون الشعبية التابعة للإدارة العامة للفنون الشعبية بالهيئة العامة لقصور الثقافة، وبمصاحبة مجموعة المزمار من فرقة النيل للفنون الشعبية المصاحبة لحلبة التحطيب.

وللعام الخامس على التوالي تتشرف الأقصر باستضافة الدورة الخامسة لمهرجان التحطيب والذي يقام بساحة أبو الحجاج كواحد من المهرجانات الثقافية المتعددة التي أصبحت تحمل اسم الأقصر التي تضيف للمدينة سياحة المؤتمرات والمهرجانات بجانب ما اشتهرت به من سياحة ثقافية.
وعلى الرغم مما عرف عن فن التحطيب باعتباره أحد الفنون الشعبية المرتبطة بصعيد مصر، إلا أن جذور هذا الفن تعود إلى عصر قدماء المصريين كما هو مسجل على جدران المعابد الفرعونية والمقابر الأثرية ليصبح فن شعبية يعبر عن البيئة المصرية الخالصة لجنوب مصر. الأمر الذي يؤكد على حضارة ممتدة على مدار التاريخ.

ولأول مرة في مصر تقوم الإدارة العامة للفنون الشعبية بعمل نقل مباشر لأحداث المهرجان وحلقات التحطيب أثناء فترة المهرجان

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Syrian Market

By the side of Luxor temple there is a fabulous market of Syrian goods. My late husband was from Syria and I have many lovely pieces from there, Syrian Damascus, inlaid goods and many other items. The market had many, many more. Bridal wear including honeymoon wear, dresses, carvings, kitchen wear. The customers are mostly Egyptian but I encourage you to have a look. Not sure how long it is there for.

I talked to one store holder commiserating on the troubles there and he said it is all media, there are no problems in Damascus and it is just a small number of people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like we keep saying about Luxor.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Saidi (Upper Egyptian) Music in front of Luxor temple

The crowds enjoy the the music.

Egyptian musicians from Upper Egypt play a form of folk music called saidi (Upper Egyptian). Metqal Qenawi's Les Musiciens du Nil are the most popular saidi group, and were chosen by the government to represent Egyptian folk music abroad. Other performers include Shoukoukou, Ahmad Ismail, Omar Gharzawi, Sohar Magdy and Ahmed Mougahid.

From Wikipedia
The music of Egypt has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians credited one of their Gods Thoth with the invention of music, which Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to civilize the world. The earliest material and representational evidence of Egyptian musical instruments dates to the Predynastic period, but the evidence is more securely attested in the Old Kingdom when harps, flutes and double clarinets were played. Percussion instruments, lyres and lutes were added to orchestras by the Middle Kingdom. Cymbals frequently accompanied music and dance, much as they still do in Egypt today. Egyptian folk music, including the traditional Sufi dhikr rituals, are the closest contemporary music genre to ancient Egyptian music, having preserved many of its features, rhythms and instruments.

They also played recorders and clarinets. In general, modern Egyptian music blends these indigenous traditions with Turkish, Arabic, and Western elements. Arabic music is usually said to have begun in the 7th century in Syria during the Umayyad dynasty. Early Arabic music was influenced by Byzantine, Indian and Persian forms, which were themselves heavily influenced by earlier Greek, Semitic, and ancient Egyptian music. The tonal structure of Arabic music is defined by the maqamat, loosely similar to Western modes, while the rhythm of Arabic music is governed by the awzan (wazn, sing.), formed by combinations of accented and unaccented beats and rests. Typically ancient Egyptian music is composed from the phrygian dominant scale, phrygian scale, Double harmonic scale (Arabic scale) or lydian scale. The phrygian dominant scale may often feature an altered note or two in parts to create tension. For instance the music could typically be in the key of E phrygian dominant using the notes E, F, G sharp, A, B, C, D and then have a A sharp, B, A sharp, G natural and E to create tension.

Since the Nasser era, Egyptian pop music has become increasingly important in Egyptian culture, particularly among the large youth population of Egypt. Egyptian folk music continues to be played during weddings and other traditional festivities. In the last quarter of the 20th century, Egyptian music was a way to communicate social and class issues. Among some of the most popular Egyptian pop singers today are Mohamed Mounir and Amr Diab.
Religious music remains an essential part of traditional Muslim and Coptic celebrations called mulids. Mulids are held in Egypt to celebrate the saint of a particular church. Muslim mulids are related to the Sufi zikr ritual. The Egyptian flute, called the ney, is commonly played at mulids. The liturgical music of the Coptic Church also constitutes an important element of Egyptian music and is said to have preserved many features of ancient Egyptian music.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Stick Dancing Festival in front of Luxor Temple

Tahtib (Arabic: تحطيب taḥṭīb) is the Modern Egyptian term for a traditional form of Egyptian folk dance involving a wooden stick, also known as "stick dance" or "cane dance". It is sometimes also described as a "stick-dancing game", or as a highly ritualized mock fight accompanied by music. Also known as Raqs al assaya

From Wikipedia
The stick
The stick itself is about four feet in length and is called an Asa, Asaya or Assaya, or Nabboot. It is often flailed in large figure-8 patterns across the body with such speed and violence that the displacement of air is loudly discernible. There is another form practised from horseback known as “Horse Stepping” which uses a stick that is nearly 12 feet (3.7 m) long.

Although the dance form originally started as male-only, there are women who perform dressed as men and dance with other women. Another female version of stick dancing has been developed with a flirtatious and generally less aggressive style, and incorporated into cabaret or Raqs sharqi performances. The stick used for this type of dancing is generally thinner, more lightweight and hooked at one end like a cane, and generally embellished with metallic-coloured foil or sequins. The costume worn is usually folkloric: a simple Baladi dress, although Ra's el Assaya (Dance of the Stick) is often performed as part of the popularized cabaret dance set. Performance styles include balancing the cane on head, hip or shoulder.
The music used in Tahtib features the tahvol (bass drum) and mizmar (folk oboe). The tahvol is a double-sided drum worn with a shoulder strap so it hangs sideways in front of the drummer and is played with two sticks. The right hand uses a heavier stick with a hooked head to beat out the "dums" which drive the heartbeat of the rhythm, while the left hand uses a light twig as a switch to produce rapid-fire staccato "taks". (Dum = the deep sound from striking the center of the drum with the right hand or with a knobbed stick; Tak = the higher sound from striking the edge of the drum with the left hand or with a light switch).

It is possible that English Morris(Moorish) dancing is a descendent of this.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mummification Museum Lecture - Merenptah Sarcophagi Reconstruction - Edwin Brock

Merenptah Sarcophagi Reconstruction – Royal Ontario Museum – Edwin C Brock Director
It was wonderful to be back at lectures again and with a brand new projector and screen. Mansour Boraik welcomed us all back; he also mentioned that whilst the trouble has been going on Luxor has remained safe and quiet for the antiquities and visitors alike. Ted Brock and he had worked together at Memphis and more recently on the dewatering project due to be published soon. Mansour hopes to reopen the tomb at the end of February. There was an attendance of about 100.
Ted Brock then started the lecture. Permission for this project came just before the revolution so consequently work did not start until April. Merenptah was he 13th son of Ramses II and his eventual successor; he reigned for 10 years and was middle aged when he came to the throne. Unusually he had 4 stone sarcophagi; Ted has been studying for a dissertation on royal sarcophagi of New Kingdom pharaohs after Akhenaton. In 2003 there had been a project to restore the sarcophagus of Ramses VI KV9 run by USAID and ARCE. The inner coffin had been smashed to pieces so that the outer coffin of red granite could be reused. That had a 1 meter thick base. (There is a piece about this and here

With Merenptah there are 4 sarcophagi 3 of red granite and the 4th of Travertine, Egyptian alabaster. The lids are
• 1st lid in chamber H( where it had been left after the 3rd box had been moved to Tanis in XXI dynasty
• 2nd lid cartouche shaped with an effigy of the king left in situ in chamber J on modern limestone blocks found in 1903 on its side by Carter
• 3rd lid (and box) was reused by Psusennes I however the remaining glyphs show that it was originally made for Merenptah when he was crown prince. It also has a effigy of the king
The fragments of the sarcophagus were stored by Carter in chamber FA. Aidan Dobson has a line drawing of the various lids in his book about mummies and they hope to do the same for the bases. The decoration on the third box, because it was made for Merenptah as a prince, shows a difference collection of gods and goddesses than would be for a pharaoh.

The sarcophagus were moved into the tomb AFTER it was carved and decorated and this created a lot of problems as the door jams were not wide enough. Larges squares were also carved out to allow for the wooden beams that were used to get it into the tomb. The door jams were then replaced by sand stone blocks.
Ted had started back in the 1980’s to sort the heap of fragments into by box. He then followed with test assemblies. New fragments were also found by the French cleaning the lower chambers and the SCA excavating outside the tomb. The test assemblies and fragments groups were drawn by Lyla Pinch Brock. Once documented the proper assembly could be made, they used epoxy resin and sometimes drilled and pined with stainless steel rods.

When complete they then decided where to place it. The second sarcophagus lid had been left in situ supported on limestone pillars, it was decorated inside and out, the end of the lid echoes the tomb ceiling. This was moved (easy to say but difficult in engineering terms to do). The pit where it was then cleared, the travertine piece left in situ, modern limestone blocks put in place to hold the box, the broken corner of the travertine was also repaired. A new floor was made, the size of this was guessed at using the damage done to the decorated tomb to estimate the original height of the box at 42cm. The entire floor was not put in place just that needed to support the walls of the box. The fragment groups were put in place using levers and rollers much like the ancients would have done. The floor trimmed to fit. They have managed to restore about 1/3 of the box and you can see the scorch marks where fire was sued in conjunction with cold water to crack the stone.
The lid could not be put back in place on top of the box as that would have raised the height so much that the effigy would no longer be visible so they have put it to the side on a plinth and expect to install mirrors and lights so the inside decoration can be seen by visitors. Lyla has also drawn on the empty spaces outlines of what would have been there.
In the question and answer Ted noted that it is was very unusual to have some many stone Sarcophagi.
Mansour also mentioned that the beard of Psusennes had been found and restored in place.

The next lecture will be Francesco Tiradritti on the tomb of Harwa and will take place Monday 26th December

As ever I welcome corrections

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa raises EGP 16,500 for Luxor Orphanage | Al Bawaba

Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa raises EGP 16,500 for Luxor Orphanage | Al Bawaba: - Sent using Google Toolbar

From Luxor Foods aka Pork in Luxor

Good Morning,

Just to let you know that there are still seats on our HURGHADA SHOPPING TRIP. You still can book Today and Tomorrow. We go on Wednesday 21th.


You still can order Today and Tomorrow. Your order will be ready for pick-up on Thursday 22nd, at the LUXOR FOODS OUTLET at BROODJE HOLLAND, all in time for you to finish your X-mas Dinner plans.
Please let us know if you would like a German Folder.

From all of us at LUXOR FOODS,


Thursday, 15 December 2011

University of Basle in Valley of Kings from EEF

The University of Basle is conducting surveys on undecorated tombs in the Valle of the Kings.
Many photos and tomb plans of the undecorated tombs KV 26, KV 29, KV 30, KV 31, KV 37, KV 40, KV 59

Beside KV40 a new discovery was made:
"During the preparations for the protective brick wall on the north side of KV 40, we discovered a manmade feature under a heap of big stones, only 1,5 m from the shaft edge of KV 40. (Fig. 6) The feature measures 1 m by ca. 2 m. Because of its close position to KV 40, it could be a funerary deposit for this tomb. Due to its small size, it could also be just the beginning of an unfinished shaft."




Wednesday, 14 December 2011

5th National Festival of Sticking - المهرجان القومي الخامس للتحطيب

Luxor friends: did you know that the 5th National Festival of Sticking is taking place in Abu el Haggag from 17th - 21st December? No? Well, now you do!

Thanks to Morag Brand

5th National Festival of Sticking - المهرجان القومي الخامس للتحطيب: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Luxor Lectures start 18th Dec - Ted Brock on tomb of Merenptah

Great news, just heard from Mansour Boraik that lectures will restart at 7pm at the Mummification Museum. The first lecture will be Edwin Brock on the work in the tomb of Merenptah. Please pass on the good news

Irynefer Open again while TT1 is closed

I am republishing this post from August 2010 as Irynefer has reopened again. Visit quick

TT290 Irynefer opens for tourists

I must be completely mad I heard that TT290 Irynefer had been newly opened for tourists and instead of going there early I went at 12:30. It was hot, very, very, very hot but it was worth it. When you buy your ticket for Deir el Medina at the ticket office there is a sign up saying Sennedjem is closed for restoration and they have opened Irynefer in its place. Although the English is a little ambiguous lol.

It is at the far end of the village and slightly up the hill. They have made a new shelter and sign for it. It is part of the normal Deir el Medina ticket and instead of Sennedjem which is being restored you get Irynefer. It doesn’t have any of that nasty plastic screening so please be careful with backpacks and brushing the walls if you visit.

The burial chamber is barrel vaulted and very nicely decorated. The round walls are on the north and south ends and the entrance is in the East wall.

Along the north wall the owner and his wife are adoring and they are wearing very Ramaside clothing, his kilt has a high back and her dress is elaborately pleated. There is a figure of Kephri as well as a god I am not familiar with who was lying along the top of a shrine or pylon, had rams horns and a feather on top of his head. According to Porter and Moss it was Sobek. It was like a sphinx pose and there was a snake in a wave above his back. There was a sen priest behind Kephri who is seatd in front of an offering table. In the second register the deceased was adoring Osiris and two guardians at the gate . There are 42 judges (I counted) and they go around from the north to the west wall. Shu and Maat are seated on left.

Also on the west wall there are also snakes and feathers alternating with baboons representing Thoth at the end. On the curve of the ceiling there are several ibis headed gods as well as a lot of familiar Gods, including the goddesses Isis and Nephytys. The deceased stands in front of falcon (Horus) with a flail. Then the deceased is being led forward by Anubis to Osiris. Above that are 5 star gods alternating red and green faces with the stars next to them.

On the south wall there is a large figure of Anubis and a mummified body lying on a lion headed couch.

The east wall is the most interesting, there is a vignette of a silhouetted human figure, apparently the shadow of the deceased a ba bird and a ba bird in flight and a black sun. Then there is Hathor (according to Porter and Moss Mehitwert-cow) lying down beside a lake, then a winged Nut with a green body and a red dress with white ribbons, although her shoulders are square onto you one breast shows which is decidedly odd looking. On the bottom register there are two vignettes one of a mummy mask on a pylon and the other of a head rest on a pylon. Complimenting Osiris on the west wall we have Ptah with the deceased and his parents. The deceased is offering a large Maat figure. Then there are two white wigged figure of a man and woman his parents Siwazyt, a priest(Head of the bark of Amun) and Tausret, his mother both wearing very Ramaside garments. the parents are shown much larger size than the deceased due to their rank. The middle register has two trees with a red sun and the deceased and his wife, Mehytkhati, adore a white calf in-between the tress. In the bottom register there is a phoenix or benu-bird in a boat with the deceased with his son on the left. The top register has the deceased drinking from a lake in front of a palm tree, similar to Pashedu but the palm tree is in front in that tomb.

I had a lot of difficulty find any information about this tomb, especially with Chicago House being closed but did find this article which speculates that spell 135 is about a solar eclipse and is in this tomb.

Osirisnet only has an intro, this image was an old cached one from Osirisnet but the current page says under construction.

Edited Ken Griffin very kindly sent me this "The tomb of Irynefer is published
Bruyère, Bernard and Charles Kuentz. La tombe de Nakht-Min et la tombe d'Ari-Nefer (= MIFAO, 54, 1), see especially Pp. 67-152." as well as directing me to Porter and Moss and I have given my description a good edit based on that info

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A conference in Luxor via the EEF

Dear Colleagues,

The American-Egyptian mission South Asasif Conservation Project would like to announce a conference "Thebes in the First Millennium BC" in October 2012. The full text of the announcement may be found below.

Dr. Elena Pischikova
Director, South Asasif Conservation Project, SCA



The main focus of this conference is current archaeology and research on tombs and temples of the Twenty-fifth - Twenty-sixth Dynasties in the Theban area.

Papers on other Egyptian sites and monuments of the Kushite and Saite Periods are also invited from all areas of research including archaeology, art history, history, chronology, religion, linguistics and anthropology.

The conference is organized by the South Asasif Conservation Project team as the first event in a series of regular conferences on Egypt in the First Millennium BC. We expect it to become a place for Late Period scholars to share information on the latest archaeological discoveries and research. The amount of work done in this area is growing every year and we feel the need for a regular gathering place where scholars can bring their questions, ideas, and suggestions, which will encourage discussion. Therefore, the format of the conference will combine presentations with discussion panels to give more room for communication.

The conference will be accompanied by field trips to the archaeological sites related to the period, including the Kushite and Saite tombs of the South Asasif necropolis. For more information on the South Asasif Conservation Project visit our website

The main topics featured at the conference will include
• Kushites in Thebes
• Archaism
• Private tombs, their architecture, decoration and concepts
• Style and iconography of Kushite imagery
• Religious Texts: Book of the Dead, Pyramid Texts, Coffin Texts,
• Hours Ritual, Opening of the Mouth
• Burial equipment
• Pottery

The conference is planned as a four-day event including papers and field trips. The first day of papers will be dedicated to the South Asasif necropolis. The speakers will include the mission members of the South Asasif Conservation Project. The other days will be dedicated to Twenty-fifth - Twenty-sixth Dynasty monuments in the Theban area and outside. The proceedings of the conference will be published.

October 1-4, 2012

Mummification Museum, Luxor

No more than 200 words

March 31, 2012

If you express interest in participating or attending the conference you will receive an information package and registration form. Please send all the inquiries to

We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Best wishes,

South Asasif Conservation Project
Elena Pischikova
Julia Budka
Kenneth Griffin

Monday, 12 December 2011

Made in Egypt - real Egypt - Folk Arts - Folk - Ahram Online

Made in Egypt - real Egypt - Folk Arts - Folk - Ahram Online: 2 / 3

Bright colours of blue, green, red, orange, yellow, fuchsia and purple capture the eye the minute anyone walks into the large hall of the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development (AUEED) headquarters in Cairo at its annual exhibition.

When spectators are lured towards the enchanting colours to focus on the details, they also notice the Egyptian art displayed on canvases hung on the walls, textiles on the counter in the middle and the cushions laid out haphazardly in the corner.

Village of Akhmim

Samira Attia, the gallery curator approaches visitors with a big smile as she does rounds around the gallery introducing the art from a village called Akhmim. She talks of its long history in textile crafts and presents the impressive art pieces on display.

“Welcome to the village of Akhmim, governorate of Sohag,” Attia announces to guests with a smile.

“Textile art and crafts have long been the heritage of Upper Egypt, especially that of Akhmim, whose name dates back to Ancient Egypt,” she explains.

“The craft has been with the Akhmim women for over a thousand years and it has been our aim since the foundation was established to develop this craft and highlight Egypt's heritage identity, so we founded the Akhmim Community Centre.”

The Akhmim Community Centre produces nowl (woven textiles) inherited from Ancient Egypt and has been the trademark of Akhmim ever since. Around 133 girls and women, ageing from 20s-50s, are involved in the production, in addition to embroidered mats and spontaneous art works.

All should represent Islamic, Coptic, or Ancient Egyptian art, “nothing foreign nor modern, in order to keep the Egyptian heritage alive,” Attia confirms.

Women of the village carry out the inherited craft from one generation to another. “We don’t interfere in the designs those young girls offer,” Attia tells Ahram Online. “This is their original work; they choose the topic of their artistic canvases from the environment they are exposed to...Colour choices and arrangement come from their instinct and talent within,” she proudly comments on those Upper Egyptian young artists.

Through the number of field trips the girls go on – including their natural surroundings – girls of Akhmim draw nature and human activities with a piece of chalk on each textile canvas. Afterwards, as Attia explains, “comes the needlework of embroidered drawings of Upper Egypt and from field trips to public gardens here in Cairo, and so forth.”

Safaa Ismail is among the latest generation of weaving artisans and presented one of the most unique pieces. “Through her short trip in Balteem, she drew the Egyptian folklore dances of villagers and a horse,” Attia explains.

“This is the result of a year and half of handmade crafts that present the Egyptian tradition,” says AUEED exhibition manager

Each hall of the AUEED premises leads to another smaller one. The woodwork of another Upper Egyptian Village, Hegaza, near the governorate of Luxor is presented here.

Village of Hegaza

Hegaza, a village in Egypt, was formerly known as Al Hegaz, after what is today Saudi Arabia, or Al Hagaz, in medieval times. The village was one of the resting spots for Egyptians along the way to perform the pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam.

The Hegaza woodwork-training centre produces decorative items, kitchen equipment, games and furniture, involving around 80 young male graduates in the production.

“Large chunks of wood are cut into raa’t and bolat (several thick layers) and are left for over two years to completely dry out,” Nader explains. “Young men of Hegaza engrave and reform the whole piece of wood to produce the artistic piece and kitchenware they desire.”

“From a single chunk they make wooden jars, jugs, plates, and chessboards, etc.,” he demonstrates.

Products are left in the original colour of the wood chunk it came from, keeping its natural beauty without dyes or paint.

“The wood used to make plates and kitchenware is called Sarso’ and inherited from generations,” he gives more details.

Originally men of Hegaza used to work on woodcrafts using logs from orange trees and olive trees until the Sarso’ wood was discovered. What distinguishes the Sarso’ wood is its varied shades in each log, ranging from light beige to chocolate brown, giving each piece an artistic and harmonious choice of colours, “suiting every taste and design of the household,” reveals Nader.

In the same breath he emphasises the importance of representing core Egyptian traditions in crafts and design.

When those young men of Hegaza graduate from the Hegaza woodwork-training centre, “the AUEED grants groups of ten graduates or less the capital to start their own workshop,” he says.

“We finance the workshops, buy equipment and help distribute and market their products through something like this exhibition in addition to the recently-established Fostat Shopping Centre in Islamic Cairo,” Nader says.

Community centres in Akhmim and Hegaza are only two projects of the entire AUEED.

The proceeds of both projects go to the centres of both villages with a percentage given to artists and craftsmen of this exhibition.

Open until 17 December
65 El Obeissi Street
Daher, Cairo

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Hashem apartments and tours, Alexandria, Egypt

Found some great contacts in Alexandria. Now if you are into the later periods on history and Roman history this is the place!!!! Hashem apartments and tours, Alexandria, Egypt: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Camels and horses in Luxor

Luxor isn’t just tombs and temples but camels and horse drawing carriages as well. These camels were being taken for a ride rather than the other way round. Whenever I see this I wonder how on earth they manage to get the camels in the back of the truck.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Luxor Foods : Pork in Luxor

Our wonderful friends at Luxor Foods have added a huge extra range not only pork, bacon and ham but saukraut, red cabbage and loads of other Christmas goodies do pop in and see what they have. Love this little video

A peaceful Ain Sokhna by the sea - YouTube

A friend who lives at Ain Sokhna wanted to show her very safe area of Egypt too. Egypt is not Tahrir Square.

The videos where shot yesterday in Tulip Resort, on the Red Sea/Suez Strait coastline in Ain Sokhna which is about an hour or so outside of Cairo and a mere 40 kms from Suez. Close by is Stella Di Mare Resort which hosts 3 international hotels, and the largest golf course in the region. Ain Sokhna is also the home of DP World port. (DP World being the port operators that the USA was all concerned about managing their ports, and is one of the largest port operators in the world)

And the dogs in the video are the baladi dogs that just kind of hang around and are the sweetest dogs and were very excited to become movie stars and do their bit to represent Egypt as a safe place.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Animal Welfare of Luxor

Driving to pick up people from the airport the other day I saw a new building with AWOL on it, contacted Pauline and she directed me to a website update. Most animal welfare charities are based on the East Bank yet so much of the rural life takes place on the West so I as a West Bank girl I am delighted to support them (and they have helped with my cats as well).

Animal Welfare of Luxor its efforts on the animals of El Marise and Armant which are the main villages of a very large agricultural area on the west bank of Luxor, just to the south of the main bridge across the river Nile. This is the bridge that you cross over on your way to the ancient sites of the west bank. You may well see us working actually on the bridge or anywhere on either side of this stretch of road. At this moment in time it is difficult Click Here to see pictures of El Marise where AWOL looks after the give you a more precise location as to where to find us on any given day due to us being mobile throughout this area. We would like to meet you whilst you are in Luxor so please Click Here for our contact details and information on where we can meet that you can print off and bring with you.

Looking to the future Animal Welfare of Luxor purchased land in 2009 in order to build the AWOL Centre. The land is ideally located as it is both really easy for the local people to bring their animals to, as well as for visitors to find as they will go right past it when they go to the west bank by road. It was very time consuming, and at times most frustrating, to obtain all the correct building permissions, but once we had them we started building in late March 2011, even though we still lacked the required funds to complete the project.

It is going to be quite different having a centre as well as being mobile but will allow us to do much more for the animals. We will in due course look forward to welcoming you at the centre and we are doing all we can to get everything sorted out and the necessary funds raised, but as this is a long term project it is vital that we get things right, in order to do our very best for the animals and people of this poor area, not just for today but for the future.

The Associated Press: Statue of Egyptian king Amenhotep III found

The Associated Press: Statue of Egyptian king Amenhotep III found: CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a large statue of king Amenhotep III who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago and who was the grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities says the latest find was made at the king's funerary temple in the southern city of Luxor.

Thursday's statement says the 44 feet (13.5 meter) tall statue is made of colored quartzite. It is composed of several large pieces that once put together will depict the king as standing.

Amenhotep III ruled from 1390-1352 B.C.

The latest find comes after several other relics of the king were unearthed last year in his mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor.

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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Drive Thru Temple of Tuthmosis III

After all the events of the last few weeks it is lovely to get back to some Egyptology. Today I was privileged to go around the Funerary Temple of Tuthmosis III with Dr. Myriam Seco Álvarez. First thanks to Mansour Boraik for arranging this for me. I find Tuthmosis III a really interesting character and his temple building on the West Bank adds to the enigma. We tend to assume that pharaohs build one temple on the West Bank and yes this is what most do. But Tuthmosis built three and at this point in time we do not understand the relationship between the three. We have the small temple at Medinet Habu which when it was built would have been the only temple at that site, we have the temple at Deir el Bahri and then the temple Dr Myriam is excavating. This is located close to the Ramasseum and in the fact the road goes right through the first courtyard, so one side of the road you have the mud brick first pylon and the other side the very large terraced remainder. (one hopes that eventually the road will be moved and the area under the road excavated as it has never been).

There is quite a lot of information on the team website and I also have notes from a lecture that Myriam gave

Going round today you can see that the team have done masses of work, loads of excavation and restoration. From the road the temple looks like it is made of mud brick but when you go to the top terrace and see all the stone fragments you realise that mud brick comprised only a very small part. Also the builders have made use of the natural landscape, carving into the bedrock in some places. Interestingly the temple appears to have been built on a necropolis for Middle Kingdom/ 2nd Intermediate Period and they have found a number of tombs, some intact/reused with pottery and mummies. It makes you wonder why he used that site, whether it was significant.

The stone fragments are beautifully carved and some have vivid colour on them and are worthy of museum display. The team hope to reconstruct and display what they have found but there is a LOT of work still be to done. Parts of the site are still unexcavated, lots needs recording, even more needs restoration. I suspect that Dr Myriam is going to be there a long time.

When you are on the upper terrace the layout of the temple is more obvious, split between Hathor and Amun, with separate entrances, the former being a late addition to the temple structure and boundary wall breeched in order to allow access.