Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Replica Tutankhamun tomb opened in Luxor today

I attended the opening and I have to say that once you are inside it is n different from the real thing except you can take photos. It has some nice display boards explaining things and a short film but the thing I find most interesting was the missing south wall which was removed to get the artefacts out

Dr Salima, Dr Elena and Katherine

Sponsors, Ministers and the Governor

Inadvertent selfie

Dr Elena congratulates James on the authenticity

Missing south wall

Display Boards

This is a link to the BBC report

BBC World News - The Travel Show, 03/05/2014 GMT, Replica Tutankhamun tomb opens in Luxor

Monday, 28 April 2014

Basel Egyptologists identify tomb of royal children

At last some hard information with photos, thanks to Ken Griffin for the link

Basel Egyptologists identify tomb of royal children

Who had the privilege to spend eternal life next to the pharaoh? Close to the royal tombs in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, excavations by Egyptologists from the University of Basel have identified the burial place of several children as well as other family members of two pharaohs.

Basel Egyptologists of the University of Basel Kings' Valley Project have been working on tomb KV 40 in the Valley of the Kings close to the city of Luxor for three years. From the outside, only a depression in the ground indicated the presence of a subterranean tomb. Up to now, nothing was known about the layout of tomb KV 40 nor for whom it was build and who was buried there.

The Egyptologists assumed that it was a non-royal tomb dating back to the 18th dynasty. They first cleared the six meter deep shaft which gives access to five subterranean chambers and then recovered the countless remains and fragments of funerary equipment.

The scientists discovered mummified remains of at least 50 people in the center chamber and in three side chambers. Based on inscriptions on storage jars, Egyptologists were able to identify and name over 30 people during this year's field season. Titles such as "Prince" and "Princess" distinguish the buried as members of the families of the two pharaohs Thutmosis IV and Amenhotep III who are also buried in the Valley of Kings. Both pharaohs belonged to the 18th dynasty (New Kingdom) and ruled in the 14th century BC.

The analysis of the hieratic inscriptions (related to hieroglyphics) revealed that tomb KV 40 contains the mummified remains of at least 8 hitherto unknown royal daughters, four princes and several foreign ladies. Most of them were adults, however, mummified children were also found: "We discovered a remarkable number of carefully mummified new-borns and infants that would have normally been buried much simpler", describes Egyptologist Prof. Susanne Bickel the findings. "We believe that the family members of the royal court were buried in this tomb for a period of several decades."
The identification of people buried in the proximity of the royal tombs gives the team of researchers important insight into who had the privilege to spend eternal life close to the pharaoh. "Roughly two thirds of the tombs in the Kings' Valley are non-royal. Because the tombs do not have inscriptions and have been heavily plundered we so far have only been able to speculate on who lies buried in them", explains Susanne Bickel in regard to the importance of the findings for the field of Egyptology.

Even though the tomb was looted several times in Antiquity as well as at the end of the 19th century, the researchers found countless fragments of funerary equipment, such as fragments of coffins and textiles. "The remains and the walls have been heavily affected by a fire that was most likely ignited by the torches of the tomb raiders", suspects Susanne Bickel. The fragments of various wooden and cartonnage coffins indicate that tomb KV 40 was used a second time as a burial ground: long after the abandonment of the valley as royal necropolis, members of priestly families of the 9th century BC were interred here.

Anthropological analyses as well as further examination on the burial goods will deliver important insight into the composition of the pharaonic court of the 18th dynasty as well as the conditions of life and the burial customs of its members. 

50 mummies discovered in Luxor tomb | Egypt Independent

50 mummies discovered in Luxor tomb | Egypt Independent

Another report but no more hard information, my source thinks it was something discovered 3-4 months ago and just announced. As son as I get any further information I will pass it on

Ägyptologisches Seminar: University of Basel Kings' Valley Project

It will be worth keeping an eye on this website for more details of the Valley of Kings discovery, could this be all the missing girls from the 18th dynasty, exciting

Ägyptologisches Seminar: University of Basel Kings' Valley Project

Valley of Kings discovery

I have just been told it was between KV46 and KV64, more as I find out,

That might be 26 and 64, hard information is tricky to find out 

Got some hard info from this link it is KV40!!!!

Almost 60 royal mummies discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Almost 60 royal mummies discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: A cachet of royal mummies has been unearthed inside a rock-hewn tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor's West Bank, Egypt's antiquities ministry announced on Monday.

The tomb contains almost 60 ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th dynasty along with the remains of wooden sarcophagi and cartonnage mummy masks depicting the facial features of the deceased, Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Cornwall versus Luxor, which would you choose?

Don't forget Flats in Luxor offers a bed and breakfast option!

A visit to the village at Deir el Medina

One of my favourite sites is the workman’s village at Deir el Medina. It was established under Tuthmosis I and inhabited until the end of the Ramesside period. We know a lot about the villagers for several reasons. One they were literate and wrote things down on the ancient equivalent of scraps of paper, shards of pottery and limestone called ostraca. Secondly their village was built of stone not mud brick because of its location far from the cultivation so it has been preserved. Thirdly their unique tombs with their combination style of noble and royal decoration.

At the site there is a mini visitors centre with informative display boards and a model of the original village under Tuthmosis I. You can see that they lived on top of each other and there would have no concept of privacy, very like modern Egyptian villages. The display also shows the various stages of expansion, once under Tuthmosis III and lastly in the Ramesside period. Many of the owners of the homes have been identified as their names are inscribed on door jambs, lintels etc. The houses were quite large with several rooms, some pillared.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Congratulations to DOCTOR Mansour Boraik

Just got a phone call from Mansour letting me know and I know many readers of the blog will wish to join me in congratulating Mansour on the completion of his PhD and wish him all the best in the future.
Doctor Mansour Boraik

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Gebel el Silsila Survey Project: Seven weeks in - Stela of Amenhotep IV, Easter daredevils and Sham el Nessim

Gebel el Silsila Survey Project: Seven weeks in - Stela of Amenhotep IV, Easter daredevils and Sham el Nessim

Lots and lots of great info and pictures from our Luxor girl Maria


Certainly the sight and documentation of the stela was worth the
trouble! With a clear due-north orientation and situated some 14 m above
the current ground level, this piece has captured the interest of
Amarna researchers and Akhenaten fans for generations, and thankfully it
is one of few monuments that has been protected by any modern
interference mainly due to its inaccessible location. However, as is the
case with many pre-Amarna scenes of the Atenist ruler, the depictions
of Amun, the king himself, and selected parts of the text have suffered
from the doom of damnatio memoriae. Thankfully for us, some of the
outlines of the previously deep carvings have survived the harsh
treatment of atenists, and a full reconstruction will be possible due to
our photographic documentation, acetate copies, and Dr. Martinez’
digital epigraphic skills.
Also, while being in this beautiful northern part of the
site, it was natural to record in detail the gorgeous Predynastic rock art
panels that are located nearby. Giraffes, hunter scenes, boats and other motifs
that have captured the essence of our Predynastic ancestors’ everyday life, all
came to life through the work of a good camera combined with acetate drawings!......................

Monday, 21 April 2014

Really weird April weather here in Luxor | Jane Akshar

Really weird April weather here in Luxor | Jane Akshar

We don’t normally expect hot weather to start until the end of May but
the last few days have been around 42/43 c and VERY HUMID. Really weird.
Add to that no blue sky’s and sunshine as it is hazy and overcast I am
wondering if I am still in Luxor.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

New discoveries at Deir el Medina

One of my guests got talking to an Egyptologist at Deir el Medina who told her that he had found a shrine dedicated to Nut and also the Opet festival. I have no more details than that but worth keeping your eye out for news

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Fit for a king: Tutankhamun’s replica burial chamber - Opening 1st May

I have been told this will open 1st May

Fit for a king: Tutankhamun’s replica burial chamber - The proof of all this, soon, will be in the pudding. Although the closure of the original tomb of Tutankhamun was announced by the Egyptian authorities in 2010, it will remain open for a while, in tandem with the facsimile. “I want people to come in and actually say, ‘My goodness, I can’t tell the difference!’” Lowe says. More importantly, those lucky enough to be able to compare the two versions will be able to pronounce on what is becoming a controversial issue: can any imitation hope to capture the spirit and magic of an original experience? And indeed, can it be called an imitation at all when it so closely resembles the original that no one can tell the difference?......................

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Two Coptic Lions Stolen from Luxor Temple

Two artifacts have been stolen from the open air museum at Luxor temple. This blog has pictures of them, if you see them please let the authorities know.

Dorothy King's PhDiva: Two Coptic Lions Stolen from Luxor Temple

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Resurrection-at-Thebes- - Al-Ahram Weekly

Resurrection-at-Thebes- - Al-Ahram Weekly: At Wadi Al-Hittan on Luxor’s west bank, the two lonely Colossi of Memnon are seated, greeting visitors to the Theban necropolis. However, last week things were different from usual, as the temple that the monoliths once safeguarded is progressively re-emerging from oblivion for the first time since its collapse 3,200 years ago after a massive earthquake...............

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Animal Welfare of Luxor - Newsletter

I just received the newsletter from this wonderful charity, they really do sterling work and they are the only animal charity on the west bank where I live. There are heartwarming stories about the animals, updates on the centre and even a new trustee! I do encourage you to get in touch with them and give them your support (even money if you can). You can sign up for the newsletter here and the main website is Animal Welfare of Luxor - Animal Welfare of Luxor Egypt