A slower paced day, after the last few weeks of hopes and tears. Just a scene from day to day life at my desk, busy being a good little Scribe of Thoth…
February 24, 2011
February 19, 2011
One tool I have found invaluable throughout my study of Egyptian language has been Paul Dickson’s excellent Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. This dictionary, made freely available in PDF format has the advantage of being able to searched by the “Find” features of the Adobe Acrobat reader. It might not sound much, but to the frustrated student it might as well be a gift from Thoth Himself!
With my last laptop stolen not long ago, I stupidly had not kept a backup copy of the file, and found that the old links to the file online were now dead. After much nashing of teeth I finally managed to get hold of a copy of Scribd, which has to the the most use unfriendly website I have ever come accross, and wound up being so hard to access under the “upload your own file” scheme, I forked out for a subscription just to get this (open source, freely distributed) file.
So, to save my readers the frustration, behold!
(PDF file, 18.3mb)
I am redistributing this work in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike 2.5 License. I recognise Paul Dickson as the creator of this work. Click here to view a copy of this license, or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, United States.
February 19, 2011
Summary of sites affected across Egypt – either confirmed or strongly suspected. Data pooled from Egyptopaedia and others.
Alexandria Area (All confirmed by ZH/SCA 5th Feb):
- Anfushi Necropolis – SAFE
- Alexandria National Museum – Rumour of fire incorrect. SAFE
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina – SAFE
- Buto (Desouk) – Attempted break-in to magazine unsuccessful. Two thieves caught.
- Chatby Necropolis – SAFE
- Greco-Roman Museum – SAFE
- Kom el-Dikka (Amphitheatre) – SAFE
- Kom El-Shuqafa – SAFE
- Marine Museum – SAFE
- Mosaic Museum – SAFE
- Pompey’s Pillar – SAFE
- Qantara Museum (Nr. Ismailia) – Magazine looted. 288 objects recovered (4th Feb.), and 5 more (8th Feb.)
- Sa el-Hagar – SAFE
- Tell Basta – Attempted looting. Military arrested thieves. Reported 18th Feb by ZH.
- Tell el Dab’a – SAFE
- See earlier report on Cairo Museum thefts.
- See the Eloquent Peasant for a continuously updated record of artefacts confirmed lost/found/damaged. Photographic record of items is being compiled. LINK
- Cairo University magazine entered. No further details available at present. (ZH 17th Feb) LINK
- Tomb of Hetep-Ka at Saqqara entered. False door looted. (ZH 17th Feb) LINK
- Saqqara magazine (Nr. Teti pyramid) entered. No further details at present. Other magazines at Saqqara affected(?) (ZH 17th Feb) LINK
- Tomb of Rahotep at Abusir entered. Fragment of false door looted. (ZH 17th Feb) LINK
- Dashur (DeMorgan magazine, German mission) – Looted. Date of looting uncertain, perhaps multiple times. Eight amulets confirmed missing. (14th Feb. Al Ahram – LINK)
- Tomb of Maya – SAFE (9th Feb ZH)
- Giza – SAFE (various sources)
- Conflicting information. Blue Shield inspection (Austrian mission) reports nothing stolen, but could not locate magazine facility. Dr. Wafaa el Saddik reports magazine has been looted. ICOM suggests looting may have actually been vandalism, and lost in translation.
- Lahun – Signs of illicit digging. (Lahun Survey Project, 3rd Feb) LINK
- Karanis – Magazine attempted break-in unsuccessful. Now safe. (Lahun Survey Project, 3rd Feb) LINK
- Lisht – Unsuccessful attempt to rob tomb. (ZH 17th Feb) LINK
- Abydos – Unconfirmed report of widespread illicit digging and looting of storerooms amidst lack of security presence. (Egyptian Dreams, 13th Feb) – LINK. However ZH (2nd Feb) reported as safe.
- Akhmin – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Beni Hasan – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Dendera – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- El Hibeh – Looted. Now secure. (ICOM) – LINK
- Karnak – Attempted entry by looters on 28th Jan. Repulsed by locals. (Egyptopaedia, 4th Feb) – LINK
- Luxor Temple – SAFE (Chicago House, 8th Feb) LINK
- West Bank Sites – SAFE (Chicago House, 8th Feb) LINK
- Kom Ombo – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb)
- Edfu – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Philae – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Elephantine – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Nubian Museum – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Kalabsha – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Aswan Nobles Tombs – SAFE (ZH, 2nd Feb) LINK
- Kharga Museum – Unconfirmed report of looting. (Louay Mahmoud Saied, 9th Feb)
- Berenice – SAFE (Egyptology Blog, 3rd Feb) LINK
February 18, 2011
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From the blog of Zahi Hawass: http://www.drhawass.com/blog/further-updates-state-egyptian-antiquities
I am very sad to announce that several important antiquities sites have been vandalized. After a preliminary inventory had been taken, Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector of the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs, reported to me the following incidents: At Saqqara, the tomb of Hetepka was broken into, and the false door may have been stolen along with objects stored in the tomb. I have arranged for a committee to visit the tomb this coming Saturday to compare the alleged damage with earlier expedition photos. In Abusir, a portion of the false door was stolen from the tomb of Rahotep. In addition, break-ins have been confirmed at a number of storage magazines: these include ones in Saqqara, including one near the pyramid of Teti, and the magazine of Cairo University. I have created a committee to prepare reports to determine what, if anything, is missing from these magazines. The Egyptian Military caught and released thieves attempting to loot the site of Tell el Basta; the military also caught criminals trying to loot a tomb in Lisht. There have also been many reports of attacks on archaeological sites through the building of houses and illegal digging. I have asked the sector heads in the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs to prepare full reports for each site under their jurisdiction.
February 18, 2011
Apologies for the delay, I know this already out there. Personal circumstances have intervened, but I feel it is important this information is re-broadcast as widely as possible.
Along with the damaged items at the museum, a list of items known to be missing has now been made available from the SCA. More items may also be unaccounted for, but these are confirmed:
1. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess
2. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun harpooning. Only the torso and upper limbs of the king
3. Limestone statue of Akhenaten holding an offering table
4. Statue of Nefertiti making offerings
5. Sandstone head of an Amarna princess
6. Stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna
7. Wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya (11 pieces)
8. Heart Scarab of Yuya
NOTE: Since the press release was issued, the Heart Scarab of Yuya , wooden fragments belonging to the damaged New Kingdom coffin, one of the eleven missing shabtis of Yuya and Thuya , and fragments belonging to the statue of Tutankhamun being carried by the goddess Menkaret have been recovered. These were found scattered across the museum grounds, or within the building itself. Furthermore, the statue of Akhenaten offering was found in one of the museum trash cans, though the offering table (detached) is still unaccounted for.
Source: SCA Press Release 12/feb/2011 – Link to PDF file
Updates: Zahi Hawass personal blog – http://www.drhawass.com/blog/update-current-state-antiquities – and other sources.
September 13, 2010
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I was fortunate enough to visit the Egyptian Museum in Turin earlier this year in an unofficial tutor group visit with Rosalind Janssen, and the size and breadth of the collection is amazing, including some pieces of great importance to Egyptology. However, the jewel in the crown of their collection is undoubtedly the tomb assemblage of the Foreman Kha from Deir el Medina, which was found completely intact with a wide array of grave goods.
As such, news of the museum arranging a temporary exhibition of Kha’s tomb assembleage in a completely new manner and with much more space and modern display grabbed my attention. The museum website also has a panoramic video display of the exhibition room, which can be found here
During my visit the assemblage was on it’s normal (permanent) display within a small room in the museum with items displayed together in much the same order in which they were found. Whilst this really does help give some sense of how the tomb (TT8 – Biblio – Wikipedia) had been laid out and equipped, it did make some items hard to study closely, and the gallery is subject to overcrowding. So, if you get the chance to visit whilst the exhibition is running, you will quite literally get a completely new perspective on artefacts that give one of our best insights into the material lives of commoners.
September 4, 2010
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On Thursday I was fortunate enough to be in Birmingham, where the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University is currently hosting an exhibition of Egyptian objects – Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt.
The exhibition launched in June, and is running until the 18th January 2012. Admission is completely free, and no tickets are required. A series of lectures and gallery talks are taking place during the exhibition. Details are available on the exhibition website.
The exhibition showcases highlights from the Myers Eton College Egyptology collection, which was put together by British army officer William Myers in the late 19th century. The exhibition itself is only small, but is of interest as the objects are not normally on public display. There is also an accompanying catalogue which has some interesting contributions on subjects such as personal piety and religion in the home, and is well put together. Had I had the required £15 I would certainly have purchased it, especially since this exact same subject (the division between sacred and profane in Egypt) came up in an in depth discussion just a few days before.
The highlight of the collection for me was undoubtedly the pectoral pictured above. The photograph does not nearly do this piece justice. It is a beautiful and exquisitely worked piece of jewellery made from electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, and greatly treasured in Egypt). It was probably excavated from Dashur and is dated to the 12th Dynasty. The Horus and Set motif almost certainly means it is from a Royal context, though we have no idea for which Pharaoh it was originally commissioned, or if it was buried with Him, or re-used by a successor. It made a pleasant contrast to see some Royal / State objects side by side with their private counterparts.
August 30, 2010
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Source: State Information Service
Egypt is cooperating with the Italian government to carry out a comprehensive project to develop and upgrade the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo.
The renovation project will turn the museum into a culture hub, Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni said.
Not truly news, as Italian involvement in the refitting of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (aka. Cairo Museum / Egyptian Museum) in Midan Tahrir has long been mooted. The current plans is that the Egyptian Museum will remain open after the Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza opens, with the current collection being divided between the two, the theroy being that this will reduce the pressures on storage, and conservation at the Cairo site, and allow more items to be on public display.
The official museum website can be found here, though is offline at the time of writing.
January 14, 2010
Source: State Information Service - 14/01/2010
I assume, unless someone can tell me otherwise, that the “Ram Road” mentioned here is a reference to the Avenue of the Sphinxes.
October 23, 2009
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The controversy over five 3,200-year-old ancient Egyptian tomb fragments removed from Egypt and put on display in the Louvre in Paris has finally come to a close, reports Nevine El-Aref
Following two weeks of sometimes difficult negotiations with the Louvre Museum in Paris over the fate of five ancient Egyptian tomb fragments dating back over 3,000 years, France agreed this week to hand the five painted fragments back to Egypt.
According to Egypt’s Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, President Hosni Mubarak received a telephone call from French President Nicolas Sarkozy in which Sarkozy confirmed that the five fragments, stolen from a tomb in Luxor, would be returned to Egypt. Hosni added that the conversation had emphasised the deep cultural relations between Egypt and France and the friendship between the two presidents.
Hosni said that preparations were now underway between the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), the Louvre and Egypt’s embassy in France in order to ensure the safe return of the fragments next week.