Thursday, 26 January 2017

Balady handicraft Qurna Egypt

Balady handicraft Qurna Egypt

Hay up again!

A slightly belated Happy New Year!

Here is some good news to start 2017.

The exhibitions
about Robert Hay's Qurna of 1826 and other exhibitions that were part of
Qurna Discovery have been remounted and are there for all to see again.

In May 2010 the Governor of Luxor's big machines demolished the
buildings we had just restored. The exhibitions themselves were rescued
and have been 'in store' at Abdu Daramalli's lovely craft centre in
As-Siyul – about 3 km north.

In December we put them up again – at last! In addition to all the
panels we had before, a third Hay Panorama is now also on show for the
first time anywhere in the world, and in 2015 I made a panel to
illustrate the working of a traditional thresher that Abdu had rescued.

Balady Handicraft Qurna is open every day except Friday, 9-12.00 see

are many beautiful things made by women, men and children at the Centre
for you to buy for yourself or as presents – scarfs, rugs, children's
clothes, embroidered table linen, pottery, jewellery – all hand-made by
people being taught and employed at the Centre.

If you have a group who wishes to visit outside normal open hours, the
Centre could be opened specially for you – please phone Abdu on

You can get to the Centre by taxi, or on a local arabiyya to As-Siyul.

are on the Balady website at 

I hope that your guests can take the time from a busy 'ancient history'
schedule to see the more recent history of the people who lived on the
Theban Hills, and buy some of the craft works that they are still

Please encourage them to go and visit the Balady Centre.
Please encourage them to buy some of the hand-made craft works.

Thank you to all those who first made Qurna Discovery a reality way back
in April 2001.
Thank you to Abdu and family, friends and helpers for its new home.
Insha'allah this fourth home will happily be its final one.

from Caroline Simpson

New sleeper cars to Luxor and Aswan to attract more tourism - Daily News Egypt

New sleeper cars to Luxor and Aswan to attract more tourism - Daily News Egypt: Watania Sleeping Trains and Catering Services Company decided to provide luxurious cabins from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor and back with a capacity of 34 passengers on tourist sleeper trains starting last Sunday to transport tourist groups, according to an official at the company

The official said that travel prices in tourist sleeper trains include $110 for a single room, $80 for a double room, and $40 for a seat for foreigners, while Egyptians will pay EGP 400 for a unified ticket.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Where did the design come from for the top of the pylon

I am sure we have noticed the curved bit at the top of a pylon. Where did this idea come from?

This example from Philae shows the curve on top of the pylon and the gateway.
 This example is a false door of Tuthmosis III at Medinet Habu and this gives us a big clue with the reproduction of organic elements in the stone. you can see the rolled up doormat on the top of the actual door entrance.

There are other example of stone reproducing organic elements of Sakkara for example and other false door examples with rolls at the top of the opening. Ancient Egyptians were very fond of reproducing organic elements in stone representations. So back to our pylon.

Around Egypt you will find fronds stuck in the top of mud brick walls, like this example. This is a possible the explanation of the curved top. Notice how the wall slopes towards the top.

What do you thinks?

Monday, 16 January 2017

Friday, 13 January 2017

Mansour Boraik in the UAE

I just got a message from Mansour and I know many readers of this blog will be interested to know what he is up to.

I'm doing well and excavating in an Iron Age site where I made some great discoveries and for the first time in UAE we have found some Ancient Egyptian seals for Thutmosis 3 and Amun Re. Also last month I found a very rare golden crown. I missed Egyptology but I published three papers this year about my work on Luxor and Middle Egypt. Also a book about the project of the Sphinxes Avenue will come out soon in ltaly.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

New Excavations at Edfu

There is a new lecture been uploaded  if you have been wondering what is going on there.

Presented by Nadine Moeller, Associate Professor of Egyptian
Archaeology, Oriental Institute (and Gregory Marouard, Research Associate,
Oriental Institute)

The Origins of Two Provincial Capitals in Upper Egypt: The Two Sister-Sites
of Tell Edfu and Dendara

The ongoing fieldwork at Tell Edfu has recently focused on the excavation of
a settlement quarter dating to the 3rd millennium BCE which pushes back the
origins of the town of Edfu to the 4th Dynasty (ca. 2550 BCE). The newest
addition to the Oriental Institute’s fieldwork program in Egypt, at the
ancient provincial capital of Dendara, has also led to new insights into the
oldest settlement remains and the original foundation of this city. This
lecture will provide an overview of the most recent results from both sites
offering a comparative perspective on the long-term development of early
urban centers in southern Egypt.

Nadine Moeller and Gregory Marouard | The Origins of Two Provincial Capitals in Upper Egypt - YouTube

Monday, 9 January 2017

Another Luxor Pass review

Luxor pass.
After some initial teething problems getting the ticket sorted it was plain sailing for the next 5 days.
I was greeted with smiles each time I used it at the 40 or so tombs and temples I visited. 
I hadn't been to Luxor before and this ticket really helped make it an enjoyable stay.
Guy Thompson

Review of the Luxor Pass

One of my recent guests wrote up her recent experience of the Luxor Pass

My review of the Luxor Pass by Karen English

Reasons for buying my pass

I am a student (half price pass!) and had five days in a row to pack in as much sightseeing as I could manage – and I didn’t want to faff about with cash for each ticket individually purchased and the time involved in going to various different ticket offices! I have a bad back and knees and thus mobility sometimes causes issues for me. With one ticket, I could do as much as I liked every day without feeling obliged to overstretch myself due to having bought a ticket for various tombs – or feeling it was too much trouble to go back to the ticket office to buy extra tickets for more tombs on good days! I also had ideas of perhaps returning to Nefertari’s tomb daily for the max of 10 minutes that they permit inside it!

How did I get my 5-day pass? 

I took along my hosts husband Mahmoud to assist with finding the Antiquities Office in Luxor! He knew where it was (just up the side street from Luxor Museum) but still he got sent to various different places and kiosks until finally being shown the correct place! Go prepared – take a passport sized photograph of yourself, a photocopy of your passport and cash in US $. I also took proof of being a student (my NUS Extra card). Also, be prepared to sit in their office for 30-45 minutes as it takes them ages to sort out the paperwork (well, it is Egypt!) At least they are happy cheery people and you get to walk out of the office with your pass  Before you leave, do take Mr Ahmed Khalifa’s telephone number on his business card with you – just in case of problems accessing sites.

What was my experience of using the pass? 

After initial scrutiny of the pass – most guardians allowed access to the tomb whilst they took the pass to their managers with queries. The pass was always ready to be handed back to my guide or myself upon re-appearing out of the tomb! Some of the guardians were extremely excited by the sight of the pass - they were intrigued, calling over other guardians to see it and passing it around. Hopefully educating the other custodians! I felt really accepted and welcomed at places with my pass. I feel it showed them that I was a “serious” tourist, keen to see as much as I could in the 5 days, rather than a “happy snapper” tourist that got out of a taxi, took photos, and got back inside the taxi without paying or strolling inside the temples (yes, I saw that on my travels!)

Did I feel it was good value for money? 

 If you visit Seti 1 or Nefertari as a one-off, it is currently 1,000 LE per tomb per visit ($55-$60). So, if you went to both of those, you’ve already spent $110+. If you had to pay full price for the pass, the remaining $90 soon disappears at the other sites. For example - Karnak temple alone (with the open air museum and Mut temple etc) is $10 – and another $15 to go to the Valley of the Kings with Tutankhamuns tomb, Ramesses VI and Ay. Financially, I know I saw far more than the cost of the pass – but then I worked out I saw roughly 38-40 tombs (let alone temples etc)! For me, the feeling of being able to do as much or as little as you want to see daily was for me the main plus point of the pass. I could point at something and the guide and driver would stop and we’d visit it!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Flats in Luxor: Luxor Cemetery 30 Dec 2016 by Geoff Olson

Luxor Cemetery 30 Dec 2016 by Geoff Olson

Many thanks to Geoff for these links. You may not
known that there is a dedicated cemetery in Luxor for foreigners. It is
located at Tiba and Geoff has added it to Google Maps
should you want to visit. You will need to give any taxi driver
directions so make sure you have details on your phone. 25°42'60.0"N

32°46'46. Street 3 Egypt

It was moved to this location in 2009 and the move was actually the
subject of a Channel 4 documentary showing the work of Peter Mitchell -
The Exhumer. Here is link to his photos

Geoff's photos are here Luxor Cemetery 30 Dec 2016 - Google Drive
If anyone here is interested in visiting contact the guard in advance, his name is Magdi and his number is 0127 7092261.