Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Back Home, Naples: Italy to Return to Egypt Collection of Artifacts Smuggled into Naples - Prosecutor-General

Egypt's prosecutor-general has announced that the Italian prosecution in Salerno, Italy has agreed to return to Egypt a collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts that were seized by Italian authorities in May as they were being smuggled into the European country.

According to a statement by the Egyptian Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek, a representative of the Egyptian prosecution will travel to Italy to supervise the procedures to return the artifacts.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anani has also been tasked by the Supreme Council of Antiquities with travelling to Italy to supervise the delivery of the ancient Egyptian artifacts.

In May, Italian authorities seized in Naples a huge collection of artifacts from several countries, including from Egypt.

According to officials in Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities, the objects were stolen from illegal excavation sites, as there are no records of the artifacts in Egyptian museums.

The artifacts include a collection of pottery from different ancient Egyptian eras, as well as parts of sarcophagi and coins. Also among the artifacts were objects from Islamic Egypt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Discovery, Edfu: New Discovery in Egypt's Edfu Reveals Roman Era Settlement, Pre-Dynastic Cultural Links

An Egyptian-American archaeological mission involving Yale University has uncovered a flint quarrying area that has been dated to several archaeological periods at the Elkab site in Edfu, on the west bank of the Nile near Aswan. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The discovery was revealed during the Elkab Desert Archaeological Survey Project at Bir Umm Tineidba, located at the juncture of Wadi Hilal Road. The mission discovered a wealth of archaeological and epigraphic material, including numerous concentrations of rock art, primarily of the Pre-Dynastic and Proto-Dynastic periods; burial tumuli of the Proto-Dynastic period; and another thus-far unrecorded Late Roman settlement.

John Coleman Darnielen, head of the Yale University team, said that the mission found three rock art sections revealing important scenes of the Naqada II and Naqada III Dynasties (ca. 3500-3100 BCE), providing evidence for the continuity and interaction of artistic styles of the Eastern Desert and Nile Valley.

“The most impressive image may be dated to ca. 3300 BCE, depicting animals, including a bull, a giraffe, an addax, a barbary sheep and donkeys,” Darnielen said. The image provides important clues to the religion and symbolic communication of Pre-Dynastic Egyptians before the invention of the hieroglyphic script, he said.

Wadi of Umm Tineidba is also the location of several burial tumuli that appear to belong to desert dwellers with physical ties to both the Nile Valley and the Red Sea. One of the tumuli, he said, was the burial place of a woman of age ranging between 25-35 years old at the time of her death.

She was probably one of the local desert elite and was buried with at least one vessel in the standard Nilotic style, as well as with a strand of Red Sea shells and carnelian beads, alluding to her desert and Red Sea associations. Additional tumuli at the site may reveal further evidence concerning these desert people.

To the south of the rock inscription and tumuli sites lies a Late Roman-era settlement with dozens of stone structures. The ceramic evidence, as well as comparative material, indicates that the site dates to between 400 and 600 CE.

This Late Roman site complements the evidence for similar archaeological sites in the Eastern Desert, and once again fills a gap in an area once blank on the archaeological map of the area. “The newly discovered rock art at Bir Umm Tineidba reveal a desert population coming under increasing influence from the Nile Valley during the time of Dynasty 0,” Darnielen asserted.

It also shows the adoption of Nile Valley imagery and its proper understanding by a group whose earlier art has more in common with that of other Eastern Desert sites. The rock art and burial tumuli discovery shed more light on the understanding of the integration of “marginal” groups into the early pharaonic culture and state.
For Reading All Related Posts of New Discoveries Click Here 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Recovered Artifacts, France: Nine Smuggled Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Recovered From France

Among the artifacts were fragments of a sarcophagus, two cat statues, and a human head carved in basalt. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
A collection of nine smuggled artifacts recovered from France were handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Ministry of Antiquities on Thursday.

Eight of these artifacts were seized from a passenger travelling to London at a train station in France in 2012, according to Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, head of the repatriation department at the Ministry of Antiquities, speaking to Ahram Online. Among the artifacts were five fragments of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, two cat statues, and a human head carved in basalt.

The collection was confiscated by the French police and, after a series of legal and diplomatic procedures to prove ownership, Egypt recovered the artifacts in 2014.

The Ministry of Antiquities followed up the case over the following years in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign affairs, until French authorities returned the artifacts to the Egyptian embassy in Paris at the end of 2017, Abdel-Gawad told Ahram Online.

The ninth object was observed in the collection of a Parisian auction hall, and monitored by the Ministry of Antiquities. It was found to be one of a number of artifacts stolen from the storage of Elephantine Island in 2013. The ministry undertook legal procedures to prevent its sale, recovering and returning it to the embassy at the end of 2017. The object is a wooden mummy mask covered with plaster.

Monday, June 11, 2018

News, Giza: Egypt's GEM Announces Pre-Qualification Stage for Bidding on Facilities Management

The submission of pre-qualification applications is scheduled for Tuesday, 24 July, after which a list of qualified applicants will be announced mid-August. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Towards the rear of the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), where the granite colossus of King Ramses II proudly stands, Egypt's ministers of investment and international cooperation, antiquities and tourism, and Giza's governor, gathered along with a group of foreign ambassadors to Egypt.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced Sunday in a press conference addressing local and international companies and consortiums the opening of a pre-qualification stage for those hoping to bid for the contract to manage and operate facilities at the GEM complex overlooking the Giza Plateau. The press conference was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, and supported by the Ministry of Tourism.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said that GEM's facilities include a conference centre for 1,000 people, a cinema for 500 people, 10 restaurants, with two overlooking the Giza pyramids, food courts, bookshops and other retail outlets, a traditional arts and crafts centre, and a multifunctional building that could be for administrative purposes or as a boutique hotel.

El-Enany asserted that the Ministry of Antiquities is the only authority responsible for the management and security of GEM‘s treasured collection as well as anything related to antiquities, such as exhibition halls, the maintenance and restoration centre, and the children’s museum.

Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat said that GEM, the largest and most significant cultural project in process globally, is going to be a wonderful tourism attraction that blends history with a modern and authentic twist. “Egypt is the world’s capital of cultural tourism,” she pointed out, adding that nothing will make a bolder statement than when this magnificent museum has its official opening.

"And to complement GEM, the Giza Plateau is undergoing a massive renovation project to include boutique hotels, restaurants and cinemas and we’re determined to give all that come to visit the most wonderful experience," Al-Mashat said. "The whole undertaking will reflect the splendor of Egyptian history in an attractive and modern way for international visitors, and for everyone throughout Egypt," she added. Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr expressed her happiness to be at GEM to announce the launch of the prequalification stage of bidding for the facilities management contract.

She described the GEM complex as a state-of-the-art, world class destination, and cultural and touristic hub comprising large investment opportunities. “These opportunities are available online on the investment map where investors are encouraged to explore the area and location and see nearest facilities services and other landmarks,” she pointed out… READ MORE.

Monday, June 4, 2018

News: Qena Mosque Whose Minaret Collapsed is Not on Egyptian Heritage List - Says Official

A nearly 300-year-old mosque whose minaret collapsed in Qena governorate on Sunday morning is not on the country’s antiquities list, the Supreme Council of Antiquities has said. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Several websites and social media platforms published articles about the collapsed minaret of El-Tayeb Mosque in the city of Qus, accusing the Ministry of Antiquities of negligence.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, denied blame and asserted in a press release that the minaret and the mosque were not registered on Egypt’s antiquities list for Islamic monuments because they did not meet the required archaeological criteria and standards.

Gamal Mostafa, head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish Antiquities Department at the antiquities ministry told Ahram Online that the minaret was the oldest architectural element of the mosque, and in 2005 the Ministry of Endowments rebuilt the mosque due to its bad construction and architectural condition. Al-Ahram Arabic reported the mosque was originally built in 1147 AH (1734-5 AD).

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

News, Cairo: Part of Arcade Ceiling Collapses at Cairo's Medieval Sarghatmish Mosque and Madrassa

Five wooden beams that were installed during the restoration work carried out at the mosque in 2005 collapsed, leading to a collapse in the ceiling of one of the arcades. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The restored wooden beams holding up the ceiling of part of the arcade in the medieval mosque and madrassa of Sarghatmish collapsed on Tuesday morning, Egypt’s antiquities ministry has said.

Gamal Mustafa, head of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department at the ministry, told Ahram Online that five wooden beams that were installed during the restoration work carried out at the mosque in 2005 to hold up the wooden ceiling of the mosque qibla’s riwaq (arcade) had collapsed.

He said that there are no casualties reported and the mosque, located in Cairo’s Sayyeda Zeinab, is in good conservation condition, except for the fallen beams, and the decorative element that runs along the upper level of the mosque’s main façade.

An engineering company will now consolidate the mosque to avoid any further risk, and start the restoration of the ceiling, Mustafa said, while a cleaning crew from the Arab Contractors cleans the debris.

The mosque-madrassa comprises an open court with a water fountain at its centre, surrounded by eight marble pillars and four iwan (vaulted halls). The mihrab (the point faced during prayer) of the mosque has a panel of white marble with a medallion in the centre and four quarter-medallions in the corners.

Hidden among the leaf and stem forms of the arabesque design are six birds and five hands. On the north corner of the facade are finely carved mashrabiya (wooden lattice) windows.

14th-century treasure

The mosque is located in Saliba Street close to such important Islamic monuments as the mosque of Ibn Tulun, the madrassa and sabil-kuttab of Sultan Qaitbay, the Gayer Anderson House, the mosque of Raghri Bardi and the mosque and madrassa of Hassan Pasha Tahir.

Until the 14th century, the area was dotted with waste and rubbish heaps along with cemeteries and private estates. The redevelopment of the citadel under Sultan Al- Nasser Mohamed led to the transformation of this zone into an urban area, and Saliba Street became a major thoroughfare. Princes built town houses, palaces, mosques and schools in the area.

The mosque and madrassa of Sarghatmish are attached to the northeast wall of the Ibn Tulun mosque and were originally part of the Ibn Tulun complex, but were later turned into houses. 

In 1356 these houses were demolished by Prince Sarghatmish, a Mamluk in the reign of Al-Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalawun, so he could build his own mosque and madrassa.

This renowned Mamluk prince was the jamandara (wardrobe keeper) of Al-Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalawun. His prominence dates from the reigns of Al-Nasser's minor sons, when he took an active part in battles waged on their behalf. In 1354, supporting Prince Shaykhu, he was one of the principal agents in the re-election of Sultan Hassan, and after Shaykhu's assassination he became the amir kabir or "great prince".

He was virtual ruler of Egypt for Hassan, who in 1358 had Sarghatmish thrown into prison and put to death. He was buried under the dome of his madrassa. The Sarghatmish madrassa is a good example of the type founded in the mid-14th century by Mamluk emirs in support of higher Quranic studies, prophetic traditions and jurisprudence.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

News, Alexandria: Egyptian Authorities Foil Attempt to Smuggle Roman-Era Coins Through Port of Alexandria

The archaeological unit at Alexandria Port, in cooperation with the customs department, succeeded in foiling an attempt to smuggle 30 archaeological coins out of Egypt on last Wednesday. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref.

According to Hamdy Hamam, head of the Central Administration of Seized Antiquities Units at the Ministry of Antiquities, customs officials reported the discovery of the coins to the port's archaeological unit, which in turn assigned an archaeological committee from Alexandria's Graeco-Roman Museum to inspect their authenticity.

The committee then verified the authenticity of the coins and seized them according to Egypt’s Antiquities Law No. 117 of 1983 and its amendments.

The seizure consists of 22 bronze coins dating back to the early Roman era and the period between the first and third centuries CE. Also discovered were five bronze coins dating back more than 135 years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Discovery, Nile Delta: Greco-Roman Bath, Artifacts Discovered at San El-Hagar Archaeological Site in Egypt.


Wriiten By/ Nevine El-Aref: An Egyptian archaeological mission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities has uncovered sections from a huge red brick building that might be part of a Greco-Roman bath at San El-Hagar archaeological site in Gharbeya governorate.

The mission has also uncovered a collection of pottery vessels, terracotta statues, bronze tools and coins, a stone fragment engraved with hieroglyphs and a small statue of a lamb.

Head of the mission Saeed El-Asal told Ahram Online that the most notable artefact discovered is a gold coin of King Ptolemy III, which was made during the reign of his son King Ptolemy IV (244 – 204 BC) in memory of his father. The diameter of the coin is 2.6cm and weighs about 28g.

One side of the coin depicts a portrait of King Ptolemy III wearing the crown while the other side bears the Land of Prosperity and the name of the king.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Recovered Antiquities: Cairo International Airport Officials Foil Attempt to Smuggle Old Manuscripts out of Egypt


The find includes a document that dates back to the 16th century. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Officials of the Antiquities Unit of the Customs Department at Cairo International Airport on Sunday foiled an attempt to smuggle a collection of old manuscripts and documents that date back several centuries out of Egypt.

Hamdy Hammam, head of the Central Administration of Seized Antiquities Unit told Ahram Online that the manuscripts were contained in three books, while ten other documents were packed in seven separate parcels on their way to an Arab country.

According to Ali Ramadan, director of the Archaeological Unit at the airport's cargo village, one book is entitled Summary of the Speeches of the Princes of the Holy House.

The 277-page text is imprinted with red and black ink and bears several dates from 948-1299 Hijri (1541/2-1881/2 CE). 

The second book includes of 20 pages and is dated 28 Jumada II 1334 Hijri (1915/6 CE). The third has 56 pages and bears the date 1265 Hijri (1848/9 CE).

The ten documents belong to the Egyptian Survey Authority and are dated from 1239 to 1251 Hijri (1823/4 - 1835/6 CE).

An archaeological committee from the Ministry of Antiquities has inspected and verified the authenticity of the items. 

The documents and manuscripts were confiscated according to Antiquities Protection Law, No. 117 of 1983 and its amendments, and will be held until the investigation's conclusion.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New Discovery, Sakkara: Egypt Uncovers Tomb of Great Ramesses II Era General in Saqqara

Material found so far at the site testifies to the high status of its General Iwrkhy and his family. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref.

Professor of Egyptology at Cairo University Ola El-Aguizy has announced the discovery of an important tomb belonging to the great Ramessess II era General Iwrkhy in Saqqara, in a speech delivered to attendees of the Faculty of Archaeology Prom 2017. The tomb was discovered in the New Kingdom necropolis south of the Causeway of King Unas in Saqqara, during the last excavation season in 2017/2018.

El-Aguizy, head of the mission that uncovered the tomb, said it most likely dates to the reigns of both Sethi I and Ramesses II. The site has yet to be fully excavated, but has already provided a wealth of material testifying to the high status of its owner and his family.

The tomb belongs to General and High Steward of the estates of Ramsses II in the Domain of Amun. His name is inscribed on the tomb along with that of his son Yuppa and grandson Hatiay -- the latter occupying a significant position in the inscriptions on the walls still in place.

Iwrkhy began his military career under King Sethi I and reached the highest positions in Egyptian court during the reign of Ramesses II. His tomb appears to mimic the style of contemporary tombs in the area, which include a forecourt, statue room with adjacent plastered vaulted storehouses, perystile court and western chapels (which have yet to be excavated), El-Aguizy said.

Archaeologists believe the general came to Egypt as a foreigner, one of many who settled here and managed to reach high positions in the court of the New Kingdom.

The scenes that remain on the walls of the statue room and on blocks found buried in the sand show a number of unusual scenes, many related to Iwrkhy's military career, and foreign relations with neighboring countries. These include an image of moored boats unloading Canaanite wine jars.

One block, most likely detached from the northern wall, shows an exceptional scene of an infantry unit and charioteers crossing a waterway with crocodiles. Preliminary studies of the scene determined that its fortified walls represent the eastern borders of Egypt.

The scene has only one parallel, depicted on the outer north wall of the hypostyle court of Karnak temple in Thebes. The scene shows Sethi I coming back from a victorious campaign against the Shasu Bedouins, entering Egypt by the same waterway with crocodiles.

The remains of such fortified walls were recently discovered by archaeologist Mohamed Abdel Maksoud and his team on the site known as Tell Heboua I and II on the Pelusian branch of the Nile in Eastern Qantara, North Sinai.

Discoveries in the Saqqara tomb also show signs of active daily life in this garrison, including wine cellars and livestock depicted on the walls. The scenes of the high steward's tomb are quite exceptional, with artistic features characteristic of the time of Sethi I and Ramesses II. This indicates that the tomb was constructed over a number of phases.

The prominence of the names of Iwrkhy's family -- Yuppa and Hatiay -- suggests that this may have been a family tomb. Further excavation of the sanctuary and shaft are needed to confirm this.

Monday, May 7, 2018

News: New Survey Confirms No Hidden Nefertiti Chamber in Tutankhamun's Tomb

The result of a third radar survey shows conclusively that there are no hidden chambers in the tomb. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref.

After almost three months of study, a new geophysics survey has provided conclusive evidence that no hidden chambers exist adjacent to or inside Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced the results, adding that the head of the Italian scientific team carrying out the research,

Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin, is to provide all the details of the ground penetrating radar (GPR) studies during his speech to be delivered on Sunday evening at the ongoing Fourth Tutankhamun International Conference.

Waziri said that a scientific report was submitted on Sunday morning to the Permanent Committee for Ancient Egyptian Antiquities by Porcelli and his team, which included experts from the nearby University of Turin and from two private geophysics companies, Geostudi Astier (Leghorn) and 3DGeoimaging (Turin), who collected GPR data from the inside of Tutankhamun’s tomb in February 2018.

According to the report, which Ahram Online has obtained, Porcelli said that the GPR scans were performed along vertical and horizontal axes with very dense spatial sampling. Double antenna polarisations were also employed, with transmitting and receiving dipoles both orthogonal and parallel to the scanning direction.

Porcelli asserted that the main findings are as follows: no marked discontinuities due to the passage from natural rock to man-made blocking walls are evidenced by the GPR radargrams, nor there is any evidence of the jambs or the lintel of a doorway. Similarly, the radargrams do not show any indication of plane reflectors, which could be interpreted as chamber walls or void areas behind the paintings of the funerary chamber. “It is concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, that the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers or corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the GPR data,” Porcelli said in the report.

This is the third GPR survey to be conducted inside the tomb in recent years. It was designed to stop the controversy aroused after the contradictory results of two previous radar surveys to inspect the accuracy of a theory launched in 2015 by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, who suggested that the tomb of queen Nefertiti could be concealed behind the north and west wall paintings of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber.

The theory was supported by former minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty, who agreed to conduct two GPR surveys. The first was conducted by a Japanese professional who asserted with 95 percent certainty the existence of a doorway and a hall with artefacts.

The second radar survey was carried out with another high-tech GPR device by an American scientific team from National Geographic, who rejected the previous Japanese results and asserted that nothing existed behind the west and north wall of Tutankhamun's burial chamber.

To solve the difficulties encountered by the two preceding surveys and provide a conclusive response, the current antiquities minister, Khaled El-Enany, who took office in March 2016, decided to discuss the matter at the second International Tutankhamun Conference, which was attended by a group of pioneer scholars and archaeologists who decided to conduct a third GPR analysis to put an end to the debate.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

News Giza: Egyptian Antiquities Minister Assures That Last Week's Fire did Little Damage to Grand Egyptian Museum

El-Enany with media at the GEM
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany escorted members of the media on a tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza to show that the fire that broke out at the museum last week did little damage to the museum. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref.

The visit included a tour of the museum buildings as well as the display of the King Ramses II colossus and artifacts at the GEM’s conservation centre.

Last Sunday, a minor fire broke out on the wooden scaffolding on the museum’s rear façade. No one was harmed and no artifacts were damaged in the fire. One hour after the fire broke out, the museum’s fire station, with aid from Civilian Security fire trucks, succeeded in extinguishing the flames, Mostafa Waziri Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said at the time.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the blaze. The GEM is currently under construction, with scaffolding positioned outside several buildings. 
The museum is being built to house antiquities from ancient Egypt, including many items currently held at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square. A partial opening is planned for later this year.

News, Giza: Last Chariot of The Boy King Tutankhamun Arrives Safely to GEM

The sixth and last chariot of King Tutankhamun is one of the prized artifacts from the Tutankhamun collection now housed at the GEM. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref. 
Completing a collection of 5,200 Tutankhamun artefacts, the Egyptian Ministry of Defence has offered the Ministry of Antiquities the sixth and last chariot of the boy king.

In a gala ceremony, Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany received the sixth and last chariot of Tutankhamun at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). The others were previously transferred to the GEM’s laboratory centre.

El-Enany said that the chariot was discovered in 1922 in Tutankhamun's tomb. He described the GEM as “a gift” from Egypt to the world. He also thanked the Ministry of Defence for offering the chariot to the GEM and its transport from the Military Museum at Salah Al-Din Citadel to the GEM.

"It is the first time to display the six chariots together since their discovery in 1922," Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online, adding that it took nine years to assemble and restore the chariots upon their discovery. This particular chariot was sent to the Military Museum in 1987.

Eissa Zidan, head of restoration at the GEM, said the chariot was padded with special materials to absorb any vibrations during transportation. State-of-the-art technology and modern scientific techniques were used in order to guarantee the safe lifting and moving of the chariot from its display at the Military Museum.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Back Home, Cyprus: Egypt Restores 14 Smuggled Artifacts

Director of Cyprus' Department of Antiquities, Marina Solomidou,
handed over 14 artifacts to Egypt
CAIRO - 2 May 2018: Director of Cyprus' Department of Antiquities, Marina Solomidou, handed over 14 artifacts to Egypt on Tuesday; the artifacts were stolen and illegally smuggled from Egypt in the late 1980s. 

This came on the sidelines of the initiative entitled “Nostos: Reviving Roots,” which was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Cypriot and Greek counterparts in Alexandria on Monday. In this regard, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani expressed his thanks to the Cypriot authorities for their continuous cooperation with Egypt to restore these artifacts. In the same context, Director General of the Retrieved Antiquities Department of the Antiquities Ministry Shaaban Abdel Gawad stated that the process of repatriation began in 2017 when Interpol conversed with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. 

Abdel Gawad revealed that these artifacts date back to the ancient Egyptian era. They were smuggled after the Antiquities Protection Law had been issued in 1983, and arrived in Cyprus in 1986.  He further remarked that the Ministry of Antiquities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and the International Cooperation Office coordinated to send urgent letters to Cyprus, stressing Egypt’s right to retrieve the artifacts, especially considering that the Cypriot law allows for antiquities trafficking. 

Abdel Gawad said that the restored pieces comprise of an alabaster vase decorated with the name of king Ramses II, in addition to 13 ushabti figurines and amulets of different shapes, sizes and materials, including amulets for goddesses Sekhmet, Neith and Isis. Upon invitation from the Cypriot authorities, Abdel Gawad travelled to Cyprus to inspect these pieces, which were kept at the Cypriot antiquities museum in Nicosia. Gawad delivered a lecture highlighting the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Antiquities to restore the smuggled artifacts and to make new archaeological discoveries in Egypt ..... READ MORE. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

News, Luxor: Karnak Temple Will Soon Be Accessible to The Disabled - Egypt's Antiquities Minister at Luxor Ceremony

The southern axis of Karnak, which links it to the Avenue of Sphinxes, is also set to open for the first time. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
In recognition of both World Heritage Day and Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali's declaration of 2018 as the year of Egyptians with disabilities, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry on Friday announced that Karnak Temple would soon be accessible to the disabled.

Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany and Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr toured around Karnak Temple and its southern axis in order to examine the latest work at the site. The visit was attend by Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, top ministry officials, members of Egypt's Parliament and ambassadors of foreign countries to Cairo.

El-Enany told Ahram Online that special visitors' pathways were created throughout the temple to ease the visits of those with physical disabilities. Special signs for the disabled were also installed. The additions make Karnak Temple the first archaeological site in Egypt to be more friendly to those with special needs. The project was carried out in collaboration with an NGO named Helm (Dream), which advocates on behalf of disabled Egyptians.

El-Enany also inspected ongoing work to link the temple's southern axis with the Avenue of Sphinxes. The southern axis runs north to south and extends from the courtyard of the Karnak cachette in front of the seventh pylon all the way to the 10th pylon. Waziri noted that this is the first opening of the southern axis to tourists.

Mostafa Al-Sagueer, director of the Karnak Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes development project, said that the project is in full swing in hopes of opening soon. He added that the ministry carried out the project in collaboration with the Engineering Authority of Egypt's armed forces.

Friday, April 27, 2018

News, Luxor: Ramses II Colossus Revealed in Egypt's Luxor After Restoration

The colossus of Ramses II was unveiled at Luxor Temple as part of Ministry of Antiquities celebrations of the World Heritage Day. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Ministry of Antiquities celebrations of World Heritage Day extended to Luxor as Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr inaugurated a new display at Luxor Museum after the transfer of 122 artefacts from the King Tutankhamun collection at the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the ministry, said that the new display includes of 186 artefacts that were recently discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank. The objects include a collection of ushabti figurines (statuettes), painted mummy masks, anthropoid sarcophagi jewelleries, and a beautifully carved statuette of Isis Nefret, the singer of the god Amun.

El-Enany and Badr then went to Luxor Temple to unveil the colossus of King Ramses II after restoration. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the colossus once adorned the façade of Luxor Temple but collapsed during a destructive earthquake in antiquity.

He continued that the restoration and reconstruction of the colossus took almost six months in collaborate with the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces and Luxor Governorate who provided the restoration material required.

Waziri added that the statue was found broken into 14 blocks of different sizes. The largest two were the head of the statue and the base, representing 40 per cent of the original colossus. The colossus is carved in black granite and weighs 65 tons at a height of 11.7 metres. It depicts Ramses II standing wearing the double crown, his left leg in front of him.

Ahmed Orabi, general director of Luxor Temple, said that the colossus was found during excavation works carried out by Mohamed Abdel Kader in 1958 to 1960, which also uncovered other colossi. 

This colossi is the second to be restored by the Ministry of Antiquities. The first was completed last year. It is carved in black granite, weighs 75 tons and stands at a height of 11 metres. It depicts Ramses II wearing the double crown, his left leg in front of him. Beside him stands a 1.5 metre statue of his wife, Queen Nefertari.

Monday, April 23, 2018

News, Cairo: Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Will Not Remove Historical Pulpits From Mosques

The ministry has denied as unfounded reports that it would remove 55 pulpits from mosques in Egypt. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
In a statement, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities has denied that it will remove 55 historical pulpits from Islamic mosques in Egypt, describing the reported news as unfounded.

Secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said the ministry has not and will not remove any historical pulpits from Islamic mosques in Egypt. It only transferred the lanterns of Al-Refaie Mosque after seven of them were stolen but recovered three weeks later in January 2017.

It also removed one pulpit of Abu Bakr Mozher Mosque after parts of the metal decorations of its door were stolen a week ago.

Waziri pointed out that in January 2017 the Permanent Committee for Islamic and Coptic Antiquities decided to document all artefacts inside Islamic mosques in an attempt to protect and preserve them.

The lanterns of Al-Refaie Mosque were taken to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), scheduled to be partly open by the end of 2018.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New Discovery, Upper Egypt: Rare Oririan Temple and Marble Head of Marcus Aurelius Unearthed in Luxor and Aswan

Egyptian archaeologists made the surprise discoveries recently at the temples of Karnak and Kom Ombo. Wriiten By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egyptian archaeological missions in Upper Egypt have made two rare discoveries, unearthing a marble head of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Aswan and an unusually positioned Osirian temple in Luxor.

The Luxor discovery was made at the southern side of Karnak Temples’ tenth pylon, with archaeologists revealing architectural elements of a Late Period shrine dedicated for god Osiris-Ptah-Neb.

The well-preserved find consists of an entrance, foundation remains, columns, inner walls and ruins of a third hall located at the eastern side. Paving stones from the shrine floor were also uncovered, along with other extension structures built during a later period.

Essam Nagy, head of the archaeological mission, described the discovery as important because the shrine is not located on the eastern or northern side of the Amun-Re temple in line with the ancient Egyptian belief. Rather, it is on the southern side, pointing to the importance of the Osirian belief at that time.

Also uncovered were a collection of clay pots, remains of statues, and a winged frame relief decorated with offering tables bearing a sheep and a goose. The relief, Nagy said, bears the name of kings Taharka and Tanut Amun, the last ruler of the 25th Dynasty.

In Aswan, meanwhile, an Egyptian mission working to reduce the subterranean water level at Kom Ombo Temple uncovered a marble head of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Aymen Ashmawi, head of the ancient Egyptian Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the head depicts Emperor Aurelius with wavy hair and beard. He describes the head as "unique", saying that statues of the Roman ruler are rare. The head is now in the archaeological store, awaiting restoration and preservation work.

Monday, April 16, 2018

New, Giza: Luxor Museum's Tut Collection Moved to Grand Egyptian Museum.

A collection of 122 artifacts from the King Tutankhamun collection previously housed at the Luxor Museum was successfully transported to its new home in the Grand Egyptian Museum late Tuesday night. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
A gilded bust representing the cow goddess Hathor
The collection includes baskets, boxes, a wooden chair, a bed and a chariot, among other pieces. Among the most treasured, is a gilded head of the goddess Hathor, according to Tarek Tawfik, Supervisor General of the GEM.

A number of other artefacts shed light on funerary ritual practices and daily life during Tutankhamun's roughly ten-year reign.

Eissa Zidan, head of restoration at the GEM, told Ahram Online that all pieces had been restored before transportation and were packed over a period of nine days and according to the latest scientific techniques.

He added that a Japanese team of archaeologists helped the Egyptian team in packing and transporting Tutankhamun's funerary chariot in a specially-designed vehicle to protect against vibrations.

The Grand Egyptian Museum, located on the Giza plateau, is set to open later this year.