Monday, 26 March 2018

Lecture Thursday 29th on Gebelin 6pm Thebes Hotel

Ibrahim Soliman has arrange another lecture to delight us on the excavations at Gebelin and here is a picture of Wojciech Ejsmond and Daniel Takacs analysing ornaments in the rock temple of Hathor
I think it is going to be Daniel giving the lecture and here is a link I found

Monday, 19 March 2018

The Myth of Egypt in the Western world Francesco Tiradritti

I did start to take some notes but gave up because the lecture was so visual. You can tell Francesco is an art expert. He has such an eye for noticing detail. He went through how much Egyptian iconography was evidenced in the west, a lot of paintings, architecture, festivals and drawings, He noted that when a new religion comes along like Christianity they either reject pagan imagery or accept and assimilate.

After the end of the pharaohs true knowledge of what the hieroglyphs meant and what the Egyptians believed disappeared as the language changed to Coptic and then to Arabic. But that did not stop people using the images. It was fascinating to see to evidence of pyramids, Anubis sphinxes, Isis and bulls. All over the world and in the most unlikely places like Brazil.

Once the hieroglyphs were translated then the mythology ceases as the true facts were known

Next week he is going to cover the influence in Islam

Flats in Luxor is now disabled friendly

We have installed a ramp into our ground floor apartment at Al Gezera which means wheelchair users can access the flat independently. Our doors are 30 inches wide and apparently standard wheel chairs are 26 inches wide. So we are the first flats in Luxor to cater for the needs of wheelchair users. If this proves popular we will make changes at our other apartments to make them disabled friendly.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Lecture 17th March

Dr. JJ Shirley
Theban Tomb 110: New Information on the Life & Career of Djhuty
Luxor Mummification Museum
17 March 2018

PS sorry about the late notice I have only just been informed

Monday, 12 March 2018

Isis the Egyptian Goddess who conquered the Roman world. Francesco Tiradritti

Isis the Egyptian Goddess who conquered the Roman world. Francesco Tiradritti

(There is another lecture next week Sunday 18th at Thebes Hotel)

Francesco had been instrumental in producing an exhibition about Isis from Ancient Egyptian times till today. What happened to Egypt after Pharaonic times? Dan Brown doesn’t get everything wrong! There is evidence of Isis in the Islamic world. Studies in Egyptomania have increased as the influence of Egypt is discovered. The west thinks its origins are in the Greek and Roman world but there is more Egyptian influence than people realise.

The Pyramid texts have the first mention of Isis. Isis is part of the creation myth of Atum who created Geb and Nut separated by Shu. Geb and Nut produced Osirus, Isis, Seth and Nephthys. The iconography of Osirus shows him mummiform, wearing the white crown flanked by two ostrich feathers from his role in the judgement. Whereas Seth’s iconography is disputed and confusing. Francesco says that this reflects his role as the god of chaos, his very iconography is chaotic.

The story of Osirus is a Cinderella story but instead of a shoe we have a coffin. Seth held a big banquet and a gorgeous coffin was tried on but it fitted Osirus perfectly the lid was slammed shut and Seth deposed of the body, both by drowning and chopping it up. This is where Isis comes into the story. She appears as a powerful magician who reassembles Osirus and then conceives Horus.

Until the NK Isis was just a wife but from the Ramesside period she becomes more important. In the tomb of Horemheb you can see this. Hathor used to be the principle goddess for women but now Isis starts usurping her iconography, the cow horns and sun disk. Hathor becomes the goddess of the west representing dead women. In the Late period there are more examples of the horns and sun disk.

Once Isis was pregnant with Horus, Seth did not give up attacking her and trying to cause a miscarriage. The tyet (Egyptian tjt), sometimes called the knot of Isis or girdle of Isis, was what she used to protect the unborn child with magic. This knot then became used by women 1) as a sort of Tampex (this analogy caused a great deal of amusement at the lecture as Francesco searched for the right word) 2) to prevent miscarriage.

Magic was a bit part of Ancient Egyptian life; after Horus was born Seth sent scorpions and snakes to attack him. This story was carved on stele. Magic potions were created by pouring water on these texts and drinking the water. Thus protecting the drinker

Isis gains further magical powers when she gets Ra to reveal his secret name. She gathered his drool and made a snake of it. The snake attacked Ra and he begged Isis to cure him which she would only do if he revealed his secret name. This gave her the same power of Ra which made the most powerful goddess.

Isis was worshipped in various centres all over Egypt.

At Abydos Seti created various chapels and put his own in between Isis and Osirus in the Osirus mini complex to negate the effect his name which was based in Seth had on his legitimacy to rule.

There is a 22nd dynasty temple to Isis in front of the Queens pyramid at Giza that is identified as the burial place of Isis.

There is another location (I missed the name) that is supposed to be her birthplace used in Ptolemaic times.

In Coptos she is identified as the wife of Min

At Philae she was worshipped until 5th century AD

At Meroe (Sudan) she was shown winged for protection

Often she can be identified by the Isis knot at the top of her dress. In later times she is identified as the wife of Serapis a god created by Manetho, connected with the Apis bull. Serapis was a Graeco-Egyptian god. The cult of Serapis was introduced during the 3rd century BC on the orders of Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm. The king was associated with Serapis and his wife with Isis. This new Isis was worshipped in Alexandra and the Fayoum. The rest of Egypt still worshipped the old Isis. The religion gets VERY complicated in these times.

Another Isis is the harvest goddess connected with Renenutet and Demeter she was spread by the Roman army to Athens, Ephesus and is shown wearing Roman clothes with her Isis knot. Also associated with Sybil. Spreading to Roman

Yet another Isis Pharos from Alexandra the Pharos lighthouse and she is shown with flowing robes blown by the wind. In fact there were many variations like is Isis Pelagia, "Isis of the Sea," but there were three main versions. The Pharaonic traditional Isis, the Ptolemaic and the Roman

A book Metamorphis Apolia (not sure if I got the name right) depicted Isis but an incorrect English translations change the depiction of Isis.

The film Cleopatra shows a fairly accurate depiction of the arrival of Cleopatra in Rome. Rome and Italy has many mentions of Isis like the Plaza Isis near the Colosseum and from Rome the cult of the Roman Isis went all over the world as Serapis became the Emperor and Isis the Empress Pompeii, Hungry, Britain anywhere the Romans went she went.

There is an Isis linked to Sirus the star in fact there were so many Isis when they did the exhibition they could not find them all.

Roman Isis even went back to Luxor, at Luxor temple at the front there is a chapel to Roman Isis which was in existence at the same time as the Pharaonic Isis at Deir El Shewit.

Isis even goes into Christianity and there are depictions of the Virgin Mary with an Isis knot.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Useful links

1)      Site visits

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Oldest Tattoos

Previously, archaeologists had thought only women wore tattoos in the ancient past, but the discovery of tattoos on the male mummy now shows body modification concerned both sexes.
The researchers believe that the tattoos would have denoted status, bravery and magical knowledge.
The mummies were found in Gebelein in the southern part of Upper Egypt, around 40km south of modern-day Luxor.