Thursday, February 27, 2014

Aswan: Nubia & its treasures in Black & White

Black & White Pictures Click Here

Along the Nile, stretching from the south of Aswan's Fourth Cataract and up to Egypt's border with Sudan, lies the ancient land of Nubia. The word Nubia is derived from the ancient Egyptian “Nbu”, meaning gold, in reference to the abundant gold mines dotting the area. Famed for its wealth and pre-historic multilayered civilisation, the "Land of Gold" was in the 1960s flooded by Lake Nasser — the High Dam's water reservoir.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SEE EGYPT (10): Aswan

As we are finalizing the city of Aswan in our blog, and will publish next week our blog for the Nubian Culture, we decided to share with you another video about Aswan and its treasures.

The below video was published by the Ministry of Tourism
Treasures of Aswan II

Full information about Aswan and the Nubian culture

Related video " Treasures of Aswan I " 

NEWS: Gods of Egypt a Hollywood blockbuster

FIRST there was The Great Gatsby, then The Lego Movie and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. 

Now Sydney will be the backdrop for another Hollywood blockbuster — mythical adventure movie Gods of Egypt, starring Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The $75 million prodcution also stars rising Australian actor Brenton Thwaites and Courtney Eaton. 

The “adventure epic” centres on young thief Bek (Thwaites) who joins the mythical god Horus (Coster-Waldau) on a quest through the palaces and pyramids of ancient Egypt where they encounter the Sun god Ra (Rush) and the dark god Set (Buytler) whom they must prevail against to “rescue Bek’s one true love from the afterlife”, according to a recent synopsis.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner will announce today that the Gods of Egypt production has been secured for Sydney, after competition with Melbourne, and the NSW Government helped secure the production through NSW Trade & Investment’s State Investment Attraction Scheme. 

“Securing the production of Gods of Egypt for NSW will create an estimated 400 jobs in the local film industry and contribute around $75 million in direct production expenditure to the NSW economy,” he said. 

“The NSW Government has worked hard to put the state on the international film production map over the past three years. 

“These productions have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in NSW, including substantial amounts in regional areas, creating hundreds of jobs.”

Related post: 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Abu Simbel: Black & White treasures of Abu Simbel temples

Dear friends and colleagues, 

We are going back to Abu Simbel, to publish the " Black & White treasures of Abu Simbel temples", as we did while sharing with you the " Black & White treasures of Aswan " and will follow with " Black & White treasures of Abydos temples".

Thanks for your support and enjoy the,
" Black & White treasures of Abu Simbel temples"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

NEWS: 4,600-Year-Old Egyptian Pyramid

Sakkara Step pyramid as a sample for what was discovered 
Decades before the great pyramids at Giza took shape, a modest stepped pyramid arose at a site now known as Edfu. Archaeologists from the University of Chicago have been studying the 4,600-year-old stone structure since 2010, gathering information about its purpose and attempting to protect it from modern encroachment.

Contrary to many news reports this week, this is not a new discovery. In fact, the pyramid's existence has been known since at least 1894. The archaeologists involved in the recent research declined to comment on their work. Because it is ongoing, "the archeologists don't feel comfortable giving media interviews about the project at this time," a university spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. But the university and the American Research Center in Egypt have published a number of reports as work on the pyramid has progressed. Here's what's known, and what has been discovered over the past few years.

The Edfu pyramid is located about 500 miles (800 kilometers) south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo. Until the recent archaeological excavations began, it wore a shroud of sand that had accumulated for many centuries. The structure is one of several identical pyramids built at about the same time in early provincial centers in southern Egypt—Seila in the Fayum, Zawiet el-Meitin, Abydos, Naqada, Hierakonpolis, and Elephantine near Aswan. 

First, the Edfu pyramid and its six counterparts were likely symbols of royal power. The king ruled from Memphis, near modern Cairo. These engineered mounds of stone would have served to remind people in the provinces who was really in charge of their lives, and that Egypt was a unified political state. Second, the provincial pyramids may have been places where people worshipped the king, who was believed to be a living god.
For more Info: National Geography 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

NEW DISCOVERY, Luxor: Blocs belongs to the missing parts of Colossi of Memnon.

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim announced that the European Egyptian mission directed by Dr. Hourig Sourouzian working at the site of Amenhotep III temple at Kom El Hitan on the West Bank of Luxor, discovered quartzite blocs belong to the missing parts of the northern colossi of Memnon. The discovered blocs are parts of the right arm and the decorated royal belt of the colossus.

Those parts, according to the minister, were lost in the ancient days as a result of an earthquake that caused complete destruction of the temple and all was left of it were the colossus of Memnon.
At the moment, there is an ongoing project to reinstate the discovered parts to their original statues using the latest restoration techniques.

Ali Al Asfr said "The blocs measure between 88cm height and 76 cm width. The mission also found parts of the royal crown as well as other parts of the bases of the two colossi.

Source: Luxor times 

Related posts: 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Aswan related: Mövenpick Elephantine Island Resort

Pleasing its guests with a spectacular view over the river Nile from the 230 elegant rooms, suites and villas, the Mövenpick resort Aswan offers a unique location elephantine island. It lies within walking distance of the historical Island, touristic sites, central station and cultural hotspots.

With its unique view of the panorama Restaurant & Bar 360 degree over looking to the Nile from the highest point, serving international and local cuisine at Orangrie restaurant and spacious swimming pool and meeting room with natural daylight and Wi-Fi internet, the hotel offers a perfect balance between business and leisure

Review from clients according to trip advisor:
  • Lovely hotel on an island in the Nile
  • Perfect Hotel in a Prime Location
  • Heaven in Aswan
  • This is heaven
  • Relaxing hotel with an outstanding location
  • Luxury with an old school feel
  • Gorgeous; Luxurious; Pretentious

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pele the legend at the Pyramids of Giza

NEW DISCOVERY: Pharaoh power-sharing unearthed in Egypt

Egypt’s antiquities ministry on Thursday revealed what it called conclusive evidence that revolutionary pharaoh Akhenaten shared power with his father.

Scholars had long debated whether Akhenaten, who tried to revolutionise ancient Egyptian religion, had shared power with his ailing father Amenhotep III.

The evidence came from the tomb of a pharaonic minister in the southern city of Luxor, inscribed with the cartouches of both pharaohs.

It was traditional for a minister’s tomb to be adorned with the cartouche of the ruler.
The inscriptions found in the minister’s tomb by an Egyptian-Spanish team dated back to a religious celebration marking Amenhotep III’s 30th year in power, roughly eight years before his death and Akhenaten’s ascension around 1,300 BC.

It is “definitive evidence of the co-regency between Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV,” said antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim in a statement, referring to Akhenaten by his early title.

Akhenaten, who tried to impose monotheism with the worship of Aten, the sun disc, later fathered the famed boy king Tutankhamun.

Source: Daily news 

Friday, February 14, 2014

NEW DISCOVERY, Luxor: 17th Dynasty Rishi coffin discovered in Dra Abu El Naga

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Antiquities announced the discovery of a 17th Dynasty (ca. 1600 B.C.) wooden coffin in Dra Abu El-Naga. The sarcophagi has the mummy of its owner in a good state of preservation. The lid bears a hieroglyphic inscription shows the name of the deceased.

The Minister said "This discovery is important because this type of coffin is rare, it is called Rishi coffins (Rishi is the Arabic word for Feathery) as it is decorated with a feather design which is typical type of the Second Intermediate Period." The Minister referred that more studies needed to define the name and titles of the coffin owner but initially we can tell he was a High official.

The coffin was discovered under the front yard of the tomb of Djehuty by the Spanish mission working on the site (directed by Dr. Jose M. Galan) while excavating the layers dated back to the Middle Kingdom.

Ali Al Asfar, director of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities department, said "The coffin measures 2 meters long , 50cm width and 42cm hight. The lid has exquisite carvings and the colours are very well preserved."

Abd El Hamid Karar, director of Luxor antiquities said "The work started last month. In the beginning of this week, we discovered 3 burial shafts of which two were robbed by ancient tomb robbers while the third was found intact. The third burial shaft is 4 meters deep and it ends with a room in the southern side. That room was sealed with uneven mud bricks and when it was removed, the coffin was discovered."

As for Dr. Jose Galan, he said "The mission has been working on Dra Abu El-Naga for 13 years. Last year, a wooden coffin for a 5 years old child was found dated back to 17th Dynasty beside a group of wooden Ushabtis wrapped in linen."
Source Luxor Times

Thursday, February 13, 2014

NEW DISCOVERY: Ancient mastaba tomb found in Egypt

A collection of 180 ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines and a limestone sarcophagus found in a mastaba tomb in Egypt's Dakahliya.

During routine excavation work at Tel Tabla archaeological site in the Delta city of Dakahliya, an Egyptian archaeological mission discovered a mud brick mastaba tomb from the Late Ancient Egyptian period. The tomb consists of a number of burial shafts. 

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said that inside one of the burial shafts, excavators uncovered a limestone anthropoid sarcophagus of a lady called Werty, the daughter of Rtrs. Beside the sarcophagus, added Ibrahim, a large collection of 180 ushabti figurines carved in wood and limestone  was unearthed. 

Aly El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egypt section at the Ministry of State for Antiquities told Ahram Online that the newly discovered sarcophagus is 1.77 metres tall and 70 centimetres wide. Inside it lays Werty's mummy in a very preserved condition. 
The sarcophagus lid, explained El-Asfar, features Werty's figure in the Osirian position. Ancient Egyptian prayers are also carved on the lid.  El-Asfar pointed out that the ushabti figurines were transferred to the archaeological site's lab for restoration while excavators are busy digging for more funerary objects. 
Source: Ahram Online on February 05, 2014

Mohamed Ibrahim, added in a press release that the three skeletons can be dated to the Late Ancient Egyptian period. A collection of 14 amulets were found buried beside one of them. The most important amulet is one depicting the Triod gods of Amun, Horus and Neftis.

Beside the second skeleton, Ibrahim said, a collection of 29 amulets was found, among them a heart shaped scarab and garnet amulets. Beside the third skeleton excavators uncovered 12 amulets featuring the Udjat eye of Horus. Ali El-Asfar, told Ahram Online that the Egyptian excavation mission uncovered two anthropoid limestone coffins with a mummy inside.

Inside the first coffin the mummy is covered with gilded carttonage and decorated with hieroglyphic text and the cartouche of King Psamtiak I from the 26th Dynasty. The mummy is in a bad state of preservation due to high levels of humidity. A wooden box filled with ushabti figurines and amulets was also found along with 300 faience ushabti figurines partly damaged. Among the amulets found inside the box, El-Asfar said, is an Alba bird bronze amulet. 

Mohamed Abdel Samiaa head of the Central Administrative Section for Lower Egypt pointed out that the second coffin has a similar wooden box inside with 286 ushabti figurines and the remains of the deceased. Tel El-Tabila is a necropolis of a Late Ancient Egyptian period and houses a collection of tombs dated between the 22nd and 26th dynasties.

Source: Ahram online on February 09, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Aswan Attractions: Bird watching another taste of the city

Egypt occupies a significant strategic geographical position as a bridge between continents offering migratory species the perfect route for their annual flights from Europe and Asia.

A wide variety of Egyptian habitats ranging from high rugged mountains to desert and tropical style jungle along the Nile basin, give it a unique character plus the diversity needed to attract an extremely wide range of bird life.

There are over 487 species of birds found in Egypt with about 150 being resident. The others are annual visitors from Europe and Asia with the primary migrations south in the fall and the return in the spring months.

In recent years Aswan has become an essential part of the itinerary of any birder visiting Egypt. It is often visited on the way to or from Abu Simbel but deserves more than a brief stop.

Conveniently situated at the head of Lake Nasser and roughly midway between the popular birding areas of Abu Simbel and Luxor, Aswan also has historical interest in the Temple of Philae, now relocated on an island in the Nile.

This is an area of great scenic beauty, a wonderful climate and excellent birding and should not be missed.

Birds typical of the Nile Valley are common at Aswan and include Egyptian Goose, Osprey and Spur-winged Plover and terns including Gull-billed Tern and White-winged Tern. Pied Kingfisher is abundant as is Little Green Bee-eater. Passerines include Nile Valley Sunbird and Common Bulbul and a wide range of migrants occurs during passage periods. Black-shouldered Kite is common in the farmland surrounding Aswan and Egyptian Nightjar has been seen here. Namaqua Dove has recently become established in the area.

In and around The First Cataract Islands Protectorate Saluga & Ghazal, the travelling birder may find up to 7 heron species, including Striated Heron Butorides striata.

When the Nile is running low, mostly from end of October – end of January, you can find on the mudflats and sandbanks up to 23 species of waders and 10 species of ducks. Nearly every year African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris has been observed here during this time.


The Ancient Egyptians were very aware of the birds around them and often portrayed them in their art. The god Horus was usually represented as a falcon, or as a man with a falcon's head. In Egyptian hieroglyphs (a phonic system) the name 'Horus' was written as r.w, and apparently pronounced Hāru, meaning 'Falcon'. Thoth is usually depicted in human form with the head of an ibis. Ra is primarily depicted as a man in artwork, often with a falcon's head, much like Horus.

Scene from a tomb in Beni Hassan, Minya

     Scene from a tomb in Sakkara, Giza

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       A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Egypt
       by Richard Porter (Author) 
       David Cottridge (Photographer)

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