Friday, 22 December 2017

Campbell Price's trip report to Luxor

Great report from Campbell about his visit to Luxor with photos.

XIIth International Congress of Egyptologists 9 to 14 November 2019

Newsletter of the International Association of Egyptologists says: "We are delighted now to confirm that the next event (i.e. XIIth International Congress of Egyptologists) will take place in Luxor, from 9 to 14 November 2019."

Flats in Luxor will be offering accommodation at a special price for conference participants.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Stick Festival 21-25 Dec

National Festival of Tahtib, Luxor temple, Abu el Hagag square, 21-25 December. Thanks to Mohamed A Fahmy for the heads up

Monday, 11 December 2017

Dr Campbell Price – Perfected Forms Functions of Non-Royal Sculpture in the Late Period

Dr Campbell Price – Perfected Forms Functions of Non-Royal Sculpture in the Late Period

Where Rosalie talked about the purpose of the space in a temple Campbell wants to talk the purpose of statues in a temple. His PhD was on rituals through the evidence of statues.

He extensively studied the statues from the Cachette at Karnak. These were found under the court in front of the 7th pylon. They were discovered between 1903 and 1905 by Georges Legrain working under the supervision of Gaston Maspero, and represent the largest find of statuary ever made in Egypt and perhaps anywhere in the world. Some 20,000 artefacts were found including nearly 1000 statues with over half were private statues from the 1 millennium BC. The rest included 17,000 bronzes, wooden statues, offering tables, stele.

These statues are densely inscribed non-royal hard stone statues from 25th to early Ptolemaic period. There is an online website which means anyone can look at the statues and Campbell said it was a model of how to present a museum catalogue.

The Cachette location is the centre of the Karnak complex and this may be significant. Due to the high water table it was described as fishing for status and context was lost, some wooden status did not survive. In fact they had to stop for safety reasons and it may well be there is just as much again to be found. (At another lecture I attended there was some mention that with the dewatering project perhaps it is worth having another go?)

Bernard V. Bothmer studied these statues and a 1930’s label describes the inscriptions as non-interesting!! In fact the inscriptions are very interesting and inform us about two things.

·         Family tree and genealogy information similar to that found at Deir el Medina
·         Historical Art. The stylistic analysis was very subjective. With him saying he could recognise them in real life from their portraits. This assumes realism rather than idealism about the portrait. (Would you show yourself as fat and bald if this was going to be your eternal image)

Campbell thinks there is a third thing we can learn is how the statues were used in the space, the conceptualism. Rosalie told us about the space but without the statues we have an incomplete picture.

What was the motivation of having your statue in the temple rather than in your tomb? It would seem this indicated a level of insecurity about continued offerings at the tomb. By having your statue in the temple you could ensure to receive the continued offerings that took place there. Your statue would get food, drink, and incense, have processions got past, and hear hymns. Some of the inscriptions support this idea “…one of his following..” “…united with the god back against the wall …”

Offerings were present firstly to the god, then to the royal ancestor, then the priest ate them. But private statues could get a small slice of this action. The design of the statues often facilities this with large flat surfaces on which offerings could be laid. However this could cause problems and there are other inscriptions that beg people to dust and clean the statues and remove waste offerings.

By being in the Cachette Court statues were in a key position to still receive offerings even though they were buried.

On type of statue, Naophorous, where the private individual is embracing the shrine of the god or the god himself. This could ensure you got offerings, weren’t damages, and were kept clean. Status of the individual with Osiris are more common than Amun.

Statues are distributed all over Karnak often by doorways or entrances to chapels, places where you might be seen. Some were made by a son to make his family divine, to live again. JE 36728 is an example of archaising the art showing a family group. The inscription says “causing his wife to be young eternally”.

Pediamenope TT33 was an antiquarian and he says “….recite in order to make the monument complete” By having a range of statues of every possible style you could encourage people to visit your statue because it was so unusual. Another inscription said a gift of the king, was this copying an older piece.

Healing statues, these had inscription on them that might cure people. Water would be poured over them and then the water could be drunk and it would magically have the ability to cure AND you could ensure offerings.

An interesting question was asked by Ray Johnson, what were Campbell’s thought on the reason for the Cachette. Obviously another one of these subjects with many views. Campbell thought it was a massive foundation offering.

Campbell has a blog, facebook and twitter

Sunday, 10 December 2017

"A Great Discovery in Luxor "

From Facebook with lots of photos

Since the beginning of 2017 ,Dr/ Khaled El-Anani and Dr/Mostafa Waziri have made a string of archaeological discoveries including the discovery of Userhat tomb in 18th of April and other tomb in 9 of September and today the discovery of the two tombs .
On Saturday, Dr/ Khaled El-anani (minister of antiquities) announced the discovery of two ancient tombs at Dra abu el –Naga (cemetery for the noblemen) in the west bank of the Nile at Luxor.
The first tomb bearing a number of "150" dates back to 18th dynasty and contains a cartouche carved on the ceiling of the rectangular hall bearing the name of king Thutmose 1, Among the artifacts found inside the tomb are more than one hundreds funerary seals , and contains two burial shafts located in the northern and southern sides of the tomb .In the southern one , a burial chamber to Isis-Nfrt (may be the owner of the tomb ).
Dr/Mostafa Waziri "Secretary general of the supreme council of Antiquities " said that the other tomb bearing a number of "161" . The tomb has a wall paintings on the southern side of the western wall represented the owner of the tomb presented the offerings to the gods .The artifacts found inside were mostly fragments of wooden coffins.
This happened during the largest festival at Luxor governorate with the attending of Dr/ Ghada wali "minister of social solidarity ", Christina Georgieva "world bank chief executive officer " , Ambassador of Serbia , Mohammed Badr "Governor of Luxor" , Dr/Mostafa Waziri "Secretary general of the supreme council of Antiquities " and a number of audio-visual media at the local and international level .
Mohammed Badr "Governor of Luxor" said that we made a restoration to one of the largest statue at Luxor temple and thanked all the missions worked in the archaeological sites in the governorate especially the Egyptian mission .

Saturday, 9 December 2017

More on the new tomb via the wonderful EEF

* MoA Press release 9-12-2017:

"As the Ministry of Antiquities declares that year 2017 is the year of discoveries in Egypt, Minster of Antiquities Dr.
Khalid El-Enany announces today Saturday 9/12/2017, the discovery of a new tomb and the re-discovery of an older one at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.
Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Head of Egyptian excavation mission explains that both tombs were given special numbers by German archaeologist “Frederica Kampp” during the 1990s.
The first tomb has the number of “Kampp 161” and has never been excavated before while the second one has the number of “Kampp 150” and archaeologist Kampp started its excavation until reaching its entrance gate but never entered it.
Since then both tombs were left untouched until the Egyptian archaeological mission started its excavations during the recent archaeological season.

# Tomb Kampp 161

It is located to the north of tomb No. TT225, and the tomb of city’s councilor Userhat (Kampp 157) uncovered in April.

Although the name of the tomb’s owner is yet unidentified, the wall paintings, engravings and inscriptions found in the tomb suggest that it could be dated to the era between the reign of King Amenhotep II and the one of King Thutmose IV.

Owner of the tomb:
The owner of the tomb is yet unknown

Architectural Planning:
The tomb has a court lined with stone and mud-brick walls. It has a six meters deep burial shaft at its southern side that lead to four side chambers.
The tomb’s entrance is located at the eastern side with a sandstone fa├žade without any inscriptions. It leads to a rectangular hall with a Niche. Studies reveal that the tomb was reused in antiquity.

The inscriptions of the Tomb:
All the inscriptions are found on the western wall located at the tomb’s northern end. It shows two feast scenes. The first depicts a person, probably the deceased’s brother, presenting offerings and flowers to the deceased and his wife.
The second scene is found below the first one and shows a number of guests standing in four rows among which a row consists of three men and three women. The first man in the row is the Keeper of the storeroom.

The artifacts discovered inside the Tomb:
Most the discovered items are fragments of wooden coffins. The most important are:
A large wooden mask which was originally a part of an Osirian coffin A small painted wooden mask.
A fragment of a gilded wooden mask in a bad condition of preservation.
Four legs for wooden chairs that were among the deceased funerary equipment.
The lower part of a wooden Osirian shaped coffin decorated with a scene of goddess Isis lifting up her hands.

# Tomb Kampp 150

It is located to the south of tomb Kampp-157 and next to tomb

According to the cartouche of king Thutmosis I found engraved on the ceiling of one of the tomb’s chambers, it could be dated to the end of the 17th Dynasty and the beginning of the 18th Dynasty

Owner of the tomb:
The tomb’s owner is unknown yet but there are two possibilities.
The first suggests that the tomb could belong to a person named “Djehuty Mes” as his name was engraved on one of the walls.
The second possibility sees that the owner could be the scribe “Maati” as his name and the name of his wife “Mehi” were inscribed on 50 funerary cones found in the tomb’s rectangular chamber.

Architectural Planning:
The tomb has five eastern entrances that open on a rectangular hall partly damaged with two burial shafts. The first one is located at the northern side and the second is at the southern side. Another two chambers were found which one of which has a niche and two burial shafts of ten and seven meters deep.
A burial of a woman named “Isis Nefret” was found. Studies suggest that it could be the mother of the tomb’s owner. Inside the burial a wooden coffin painted with yellow and different ancient Egyptian scenes was found along with 36 Ushabti figurines. A very special ushabti depicting Isis Nefret in the form of Osiris is found. It is 60 cm tall and painted in white, red, green, blue, yellow and black.

Tomb’s Inscriptions:
The tomb has only one inscription on one of its northern pillars.
It shows a scene of a seated man offering food to four oxen, the first one is kneeling in front of the man who is giving it herbs.
The scene also depict five people while fabricating funerary furniture.
The entrance of the long hall inscribed with remains of hieroglyphic text with the name of “Djehuty Mes.” The ceiling of the chamber is inscribed with remains of hieroglyphic inscriptions and the cartouche of King Thutmose I.

The artifacts discovered inside the tomb:
100 funerary cones
Painted wooden funerary masks
A collection of 450 statues carved in different materials such as clay, wood and faience Small box in the shape of a wooden coffin with a lid. It was probably used for storing an Ushabti figurine of17 cm tall and
6 cm large
A collection of clay vessels with different shapes and sizes A mummy wrapped in linen where its hands are on its chest in the Osirian form. The mummy was found inside the long chamber.
Studies suggest that the mummy could be for a top official or a powerful person

* Note the tombs had already numbers, Kampp -150- and Kampp -161-, which refers to the survey of (excavated and unexcavated) tombs by Friederike Kampp in Die Thebanische Nekropole. Zum Wandel des Grabgedankens von der XVIII. bis zur XX. Dynastie (Mainz 1996). So different numbering than the TT numbering.

BTW if you want to join the EEF mainling list which I highly recommend details are here 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Egyptian antiquities minister to announce newly discovered mummy mask

Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany is set to formally announce the discovery of two tombs at Draa Abul Naga in Luxor on Saturday, one bearing a painted wall.
According to a source who requested anonymity, the tombs belong to two top officials from the New Kingdom (16th to 11th centuries BC); the mummy mask of one of the deceased was also discovered.
In September the minister as announced the discovery of the tomb of god Amun-Re’s goldsmith in Draa Abul Naga.
The tomb had a rich funerary collection and a large number of ushabti funerary figurines, gilded coffins, mummies wrapped in linen and funerary mask and cones were unearthed.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Amen Hotep Huy AT 28 Dr Francisco Jose Martin Valentin

As I went in Ibrahim Soliman told me the lectures are coming back every Sunday which is brilliant news. AND we have another lecture this Sunday by Dr Campbell Price on Perfected Forms - The Functions of Late Period Non-Royal Sculpture. Spoilt or what

The Tomb belonging to Amen Hotep III vizier, Amen Hotep Huy 28 seasons 2009 – 2017 Dr Francisco Jose Martin Valentin

Image result for francisco martin valentinTonight’s lecture was very fascinating as Dr Francisco had some interesting things to say on the co-regency between Amenhotep III and Akhenaton. This is one of these subjects that if you get four Egyptologists in the room discussing it you will get five different theories so it was fascinating to hear his views.

The project started in 2009, the location of the tomb is close to the causeway of Hatshepsut and the purpose of the project was to protect to the tomb.

The tomb is unfinished and follows a pattern of a longitudinal hall, followed by a smaller room, then a larger room followed by a hypostyle hall with 30 columns in three rows. Very influenced by the tomb of Kheruef TT192. The central way has columns in various stages of decoration. There is a statue Amenhotep Huy CG590 and vizier year 30-32, he was southern vizier. The tomb has suffered Damnatio memoriae with specific damage to the body and face.

In 2009 the entrance was covered and there was a lot of debris filling the tomb. It had been reused for burials and mummification preparation in the late 20th, third intermediate period and late period. There was graffiti of the worship of Osiris. A shabti of high clergy of the 3rd intermediate period Padi Iry Khonsu had been found. He was a relative of Osorkon. By 2010 they had cleared the entrance to the tomb (the slides showed an amazing difference).

Dr Francisco spoke about his conclusions regarding the co-regency of Amenhotep III and Akhenaton. He thinks there was a short co-regency of 2-3 years followed by a period of co-existence of 8 – 9 years. (During the question and answer sessions at the end I asked what he meant by that and roughly Amenhotep III was the living God and Akhenaton was the actual ruler).

The inscriptions showed a mixture of Amenhotep III and Akhenaton cartouches with both being described with royal titular. He believes this def indicates a co-regency. There was a co-regency at the first Heb Sed

Interesting one title says beloved of the ruler of Ipy Sut (Karnak) which is Amen Re. The inscriptions are similar to Kheruef (published by Chicago). In the 27th day of the 2nd month in the 30th year there were two viziers of southern Egypt, Amenhotep Huy and Ramose evidence by the Soleb temple in years 29-31 Amenhotep Huy was Amenhotep III vizier. Ramose was Akhenaton’s. There is strong evidence that work on the tomb stopped suddenly and dramatically.

There are the same mistakes in the inscription in Kheruef and Amenhotep Huy indicating the same artist. Instead of the sign U19 (the adze) I10(the snake) is used.
They have reconstructed the pillars as it is most important to preserve these inscriptions. The columns are 4.25 high and 1.75 wide at the base, closed papyrus capitals.

They found an intact burial from the 22nd dynasty of a Wab priest. Ceramics from the jubilee and an interesting solar stele RN 10683-17 with a depiction of the sun between the mountains like the sign N27

A book is being published of a preliminary report

Campbell Price to give a lecture on Sunday

Sunday 10th December, 7pm at the Mummification Museum Dr Campbell Price on Perfected Forms - The Functions of Late Period Non-Royal Sculpture

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Prof Rosalie David – The Temple of Sethos at Abydos Mummication Museum Lecture

It was great to be back at the Mummification Museum for a lecture. There is another on Thursday at 7pm Dr Francisco Martin-Valentine talking about Amen-hotep, Huy Tomb AT 28. And another on Sunday at 5pm subject to be announced.

Tonight’s lecture was live streamed on Facebook by Moamen Saad if you check his Facebook page you will find it.

Prof Rosalie David – The Temple of Sethos at Abydos – Analysing the wall scenes and decoration.

Prof David has been working on mummified remains at Manchester but her PhD was on the subject of Abydos.

Abydos is central to Egypt not only geographically but religiously because of the cult Osiris. It wasn’t that long since the Amarna period and Seti wanted to reaffirm religious orthodoxy and the legitimacy of his line. Her PhD was to analyse the decoration and assess whether it was just pictorial or ritual. Although it is now accepted as ritual, back in 1967 this was not known.

A temple had 4 aspects
·         Island of Creation
·         House of the God
·         Development from hut shrines
·         Position of the king

Island of creation
The ancient Egyptians believed creation started with an island emerging from an expanse of water. There was a stick in the island and a bird alighted on it and all temples were based around this concept and follow the same pattern. Except Abydos is different it is L shaped with several sanctuaries. The Osirion is the cenotaph of the god. Rosalie believes that it originated in the Old Kingdom because of its similarity to Chephren’s temple.

Two temples can be divided into cult and mortuary. Cult is for the worship of the god. Mortuary is for the worship of the god and the king both during his lifetime and after his death. A cult ritual was the same ritual and a mortuary had the same ritual plus worship of the ancestors. It seems weird to us but the king would actually worship himself as a dead defied being.

Scenes can either be formal depicting historic events, e.g. battles, royal family members and coronation or they can be cultic rites. Abydos has mortuary depictions with the addition of Osiris rituals.

In First and Second courts the pylons have gone and the roof has been concreted over in the hypostyle hall so the view looks very different. The decoration is by Ramses II, the courts were open and the scenes are propaganda and historic showing battles, royal princesses and depicting him as the pious son of Seti.

The many columns are not needed to support the structure; they are representing the plant forms on the island of creation. The decoration is formal showing the king and the gods. It provides a processional way to the sanctuaries. There are 6 sanctuaries which means there are 6 chances to observe the ritual. They can be compared to other temples and papyrus like the Berlin papyrus which had 66 rituals of Amen.

The ritual which they though was essential to the continued existence of Egypt consists

  • ·         Awakening the statue of the God
  • ·         Cleansing with water and incense
  • ·         Putting on clothes, makeup and insignia
  • ·         Prayers and meals 3 times a day
  • ·         Putting the statue to bed

An interesting side point is because the priests and their families partook of this rich diet of meat and alcohol they suffered side effects. Atherosclerosis which was thought to be a modern disease has been identified and Rosalie has written an article published by the Lancet.

As well as these rituals for the statue the sacred bark would have been censed. Additional there is the ritual of the royal ancestors or Amenhotep I. We have temple reliefs, stele and papyri describing this. This took place in the left part of the temple, the extra rooms, the 7th chapel and the gallery of the lists. The suite of rooms Nefertem Ptah Sokar Hall and rooms was an important part of this. In the hall of barks there was a sandstone ledge that was used for barks and offerings.

The corridor of the bull was decorated with magical/mythological scenes not ritual. In this area you also have the foundation of the temple scenes. One room, the butchery room was separate from the rest for pious reasons.

The Osiris Mysteries took place in the Osirion and Osiris complex. The raising of the Djed pillar is the most notable part. The second Osiris hall is the hall of life.

The scenes are
·         Decorative/Formal/Propagandist
·         Historical
·         Ritual

Doing the analysis
Rosalie had to look at who was in the scene what they were doing and what they were saying. The entire temple had to be transliterated, Sequence had to be established and finally identify the function and use. There was a lot missing so it was a difficult task. The results were originally completed in 1971. A 2nd edition was published in 1981. In 2016 it was revised and has ALL translation, line drawings, transliteration and plates.

You can get the book on UK amazon or US Amazon