Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Timeline of my disable access campaign

Aug 2016 I bring a mobility scooter back from the UK and start doing site visits.
Sept 2016 I blog my site visits with the scooter
Oct 2016 First paper produced and presented to Minister and Governor at the world tourism conference
Apr 2017 Email Response from Ministry
May 2017 Site visit with men from Ministry
May 2017 Site visit with John Sherman of ARCE
Jul 2017 Proposal produced with Joanne Stables
Jul 2017 Meeting with Helm
Jan 2018 News reports improvement planned at Karnak and Luxor
Feb 2018 Evidence of improvements

Mar 2018 Flats in Luxor introduces ramps to our apartments
Apr 2018 Site visit to Karnak to view the improvements and meeting with the minister 

Jun 2018 Zahi Hawass supports the campaign!

To go from idea to implementation in less than two years is amazing and makes comments about Egyptian time redundant :)

To read all the blog entries http://luxor-news.blogspot.com.eg/search/label/Disabled
Site Visit with the men from the ministry

Site visit with John Sherman

Meeting with Helm

Article in Nile Magazine

Improvements start at Karnak

Ramps at added at Flats in Luxor
Meeting with the Minister to review changes

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Free Wheelchairs at Karnak Sound and Light

This is so exciting, things are really moving in Luxor on the disabled front. When President Sisi said 2018 was the year of the disabled he was not kidding Go Ya Masry

Two Discoveries in Luxor and Aswan by Egyptian Missions In Luxor

An Archaeological Egyptian Mission from the Ministry of Antiquities working at  the south part of Karnak Temples’ 10th pylon, has uncovered architectural elements of god Osiris-Ptah-Neb shrine.
Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities announced and pointed out that the shrine is one of the most important shrines to be constructed for god Osiris inside the temples of Karnak during the late period because it is located at the southern side of god Amun-Re Temple and not to the east or north side as known in the ancient Egyptian belief.
The shrine is located to the south of the 10th  pylon of god Amun-Re temple, in the area between both temples of Amun and Mut to the east of the Avenue of Sphinxes.
Essam Nagy, Head of the Mission explains that the shrine dates back to the late 25th Dynasty, when the importance god Osiris appears was linked to the Avenue of Sphinxes and Mut temple.
The architectural elements uncovered by the mission consist of the entrance of the shrine, columns and inner walls, as well as  remains of a third chamber, foundations stones and the shrine’s floor.
Nagy said that the discovery includes also a collection of Pottery, the lower part of a siting statue, part of a stone panel depicting an offering table filled with a ram and a goose, which are symbols of god Amun the master of Karnak temples. On top of the panel there is the winged sun-disk.
The shrine depicts the names of Kings Taharka and Tanout Amun, the last king of the 25th Dynasty.

In Aswan, another Egyptian mission discovered a head of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius with a wavy hair and beard. Dr. Ashmawy describes the head as unique because it is rarely to find statues that belong to such emperor.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Karnak Disabled Access - Update

Accessibility Path

Mohamed A Fahmy has been keeping his Facebook friends up to date with the changes at Karnak. It looked like work had finished so we decided to do a site visit to check out the improvements. Sharon Davidson came as my personal photographer lol. She is a very good photographer with a good camera. Mohamed also met up with us with his camera.

Outside the temple there are still the same problems getting from the car park to the visitor centre. A few signs shown the best route for wheelchairs would have helped.

Inside the temple there were huge improvements, ramps and smooth flooring in the main tourist route. But the more remote places had no changes so my previous report on Karnak is still accurate. http://luxor-news.blogspot.com.eg/2016/10/hidden-luxor-east-bank-disabled-report.html But as we were going round Mohamed heard that the Minister was coming on a visit. Dr. Khaled Anany the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities was one of the first people I approached with my ideas about improving access.

I was lucky enough to give him all our feedback from the morning visit and he told us that this was the first stage and more improvements were coming. The access is being extended and will cover more of the temple. It was a lucky coincidence to meet him and to be able to chat. I also got interviewed about the campaign I started in 2016

Access from the car park
Ramp hidden in the shop
Look out for the ramp leading to the entrance
New Ramp

Gentle Slope

New Accessible Path
Loose surface causes wheels to bog down
Some ramps are still too steep
Ramp to Festival Hall of Tuthmosis

The Minister observes the ramp in use
Being interviewed about the campaign

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

"Karnak is 80% accessible"

Mohamed A Fahmy has just posted the most exciting picture. Looks like I need to pay another visit to Karnak. Hope there is more planned at other temples.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri – Zbigniew Szafranski

The Highlights of the Recent Results of the Polish-Egyptian Archaeological and Conservation Mission of the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri – Zbigniew Szafranski

The temple is a very unique site, indeed it is a UNESCO site. The Poles have been working there since 1961 following in the footsteps of the Americans who followed the British. Their work has concentrated on the upper terrace.

The main sanctuary had a name change from Neferere the daughter of Hatshepsut to Ahmose the mother of Hatshepsut when Neferere disappeared from the historical record in the 11th year.

Wooden butterfly joints joined many of the large blocks

The main shrine is important for our knowledge Amen Re

The barque shrine was destroyed by Akhenaton and restored by Horemheb who left evidence with the cryptographic version of his name.

The second room shows the purification of the statues by Tuthmosis III and Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut is show as a king in the 2nd year of the joint reign not the 7th as some scholars have said.

The depiction of Hatshepsut was destroyed but is still visible as it was done with chisels faithfully following the outline.

There was lots of black soot and when this was removed it showed Hatshepsut with a red skin. This is very significant as women were traditionally showed with a yellow skin. However Hatshepsut wanted to show herself as a king, which had to be male. (There is a paper on skin tones at Deir el Bahri Andrezi Cweik : Red, Yellow, Pink : Ideology of skin tones).

There are a lot of burial shafts from the 23rd and 25th dynasty. There was an earthquake approx. 1000 BC and lot of temples were destroyed. However these were still perceived as holy places and suitable for a necropolis.

Inside the main shrine they have done a lot of restoration in high relief , from just a few pieces because it was known exactly what they were part of the rest of the decoration can be derived. He showed an example of sema-tawy ( usually translated as "The Uniter of the Two Lands" and was depicted as a human trachea entwined with the papyrus and lily plant. The trachea stood for unification, while the papyrus and lily plant represent Lower and Upper Egypt). And another restoration was of the sister of Hatshepsut who died young Nefrubity.

The inner rooms had windows and between 28th Jan and 6th Feb the rising sun would light up the statue in the sanctuary. We do not know the exact date as we don’t have the statue to fix the date,

It was found that the limestone structure had moved by 1 mm and this is being closely monitored and replacement plaster has been used to seal the cracks..

They are using electronic/digital methods to document, hundreds of photos are taken and then these are ‘stitched; together to produce documentation of the whole

The glyphs around the niche identify the temple as the millions of years but it had many other functions. There is also a sun court and worship of the royal Ka. In the sun court three niches were originally planned with the third niche being dedicated Ahmed the mother. But this was changed to a chapel dedicated to Anubis

Much use was made of Hatshepsut’s cryptographic name and when Tuthmosis II removed her name this was left.

Queens were very important and get a lot of mention similar to Queens to the 17th dynasty like Tetishri. So Tuthmosis I is shown with his mother and Hatshepsut with her mother. Neferere was planned to be the next queen but her early disappearance (death?) meant Tuthmosis III took over. (Tuthmosis then restricted the importance of women and during his reign the Gods Wives of Amun disappeared as a title.)

In the North West corner a part of the temple looks very Greek in style with its columns. During this time there were immigration of styles, there are 280 columns and pillars in the temple a completely different style to the Old Kingdom structures

The lower Anubis chapel had a degree of movement also the Hathor chapel. Iron frame works had to be constructed to protect the structure and make it stable

Hatshepsut disappeared in the 21st year (death?)

The colossus has been incorrectly reconstructed so they are taking it apart and redoing it.

The have left the entrance to one Third Intermediate Period burial visible.

They intend to reconstruct the sphinxes avenue, after being missing for 80 years the fragments were located in the wooden boxes in the tomb of Harwa

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Coffins - Helen Strudwick

We have had a series of lectures that are very visual and hard to described with just notes.

Helen Strudwick on Coffins was a case in point. It was deeply fascinating showing inscriptions and CT scans. She works at the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge and they have been investigating the coffins in their collection to try and understand them better especially their construction. There is evidence that coffins were bought off the shelf and stored. The colours of the inscriptions is the big clue. The wood was often local wood and was made into planks like the workshop of MeketRe. Wood was scarce so often reused with joints being recarved and plaster being used to fill  the missing pieces.