Sunday, March 30, 2014

Baharyia Oases Lodge: Sands Eco Lodge

Spanning 36 acres and overlooking a valley of spacious greenery and rolling hills, Sands Baharia will introduce you to cities of ancient wonder throughout the Baharia Oasis, while making you feel at home in an ecological paradise.The Zen-style lodge is an environmentally sound refuge that offers an experience that is ethnic-chic coupled with individually tailored quality service. Sands Baharia is a travel destination with an experience that embraces the local heritage while promoting water conservation, energy efficiency, and the recycling of the resort's products. Building architecture, interior decoration and land construction are made from indigenous materials that are harmonious with the traditional lifestyle of the breathtaking Western Desert.

Official website: Click Here
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Friday, March 28, 2014

New Discovery, Abu Sir: The Czech mission found Old Kingdom Mummy

The Czech mission working in Abu Sir directed by Dr. Mirislav Barta discovered a Skelton of a high official called "Nefer" at the time of King "Neferirkare" of the 5th Dynasty. The tomb was discovered last year in November and this season the excavation continued.
The mummy was found when the stone sarcophagus was opened to find the Skelton and a stone headrest under the head.

Ali Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian department said "The tomb of Nefer is an unfinished stone tomb in a funerary complex of four corridors. The eastern corridor belong to Nefer and a family member; it includes 5 shafts and a false door with inscriptions of Nefer titles.
Nefer was the Priest of the funerary complex of King Neferirkare, he held many titles include "Overseer of scribes of the royal documents, overseer of the golden house and Secret keeper.

Nefer's wife called Nefert Hathor and she held a title of "Hathor Priestess"
Alaa Shehata, director of Sakkara antiquities said " A group of Symbolic pots were found as well as 31 small faience jewellery pieces golden beside fingers and toes stalls which were all transferred to the warehouse No. 1 in Sakkara.

As for Dr. Miroslav Barta, the head of the Czech mission working on the site, he said "The work on not finished yet and we hope to discover more inscriptions and antiquities of this important historical era of the Old Kingdom."

Source: Luxor Times

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Discovery, Luxor: Two new Amenhotep III statues were unveiled in Egypt

Two new statues of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III were unveiled Sunday, adding to two renowned statues of the ancient pharaoh that had previously been discovered.

Archaeologists revealed the statues in the temple city of Luxor along the west banks of the Nile River in southern Egypt. The monoliths are made of red quartzite and are additions to the two statues, believed to be 3,400 years old, of Amenhotep III that have become major tourist attractions.

Hourig Sourouzian is leading the project to conserve the temple of Amenhotep III, who became king when he was 12 years old. "The world until now knew two Memnon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III," the German-Armenian archaeologist said, according to Agence France-Presse, adding that the two restored statues have endured severe weather conditions for centuries.

"The statues had lain in pieces for centuries in the fields, damaged by destructive forces of nature like earthquake, and later by irrigation water, salt, encroachment and vandalism," she added. “This beautiful temple still has enough for us to study and conserve."

The newly revealed statue, which is 38 feet tall and nearly 12 feet wide, shows Amenhotep III seated with his hands on his knees. He is wearing a royal pleated kilt with a large belt with zigzag lines. Amenhotep III's wife Tiye stands to his right, wearing a large wig and a long tight-fitting dress. 

Archaeologists said the statue of the pharaoh’s queen mother, Mutemwya, which was originally beside his left leg, is missing. The second statue that was revealed on Sunday of a standing Amenhotep III was constructed at the north gate of the temple in Luxor.

Archaeologists also showed a well-preserved alabaster head of yet another statue of the 18th dynasty ruler of Egypt. Thought to have died in 1354 BC, Amenhotep III inherited an empire that spanned from the Euphrates to Sudan, according to archaeologists, and was able to maintain Egypt's position mainly through diplomacy. Amenhotep III lived until he was about 55 years old but became sick and prematurely senile. However, he was a prolific builder and was buried in a huge, rock-cut tomb. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baharyia Oases Attractions: 7 attractions to visit in Bahariya Oases

(1) Temple of Alexander:
The temple of Alexander the Great located in the Bahariya Oasis, about three miles East the old capital of Al-Qasr. the Temple has the distinction of being the Macedonian ruler's only known temple in Egypt. IT was built during Alexander's lifetime and dedicated to Amun and Horus.
* More PicturesClick Here

(2) Baharyia Museum:
Also known as Bawati Museum or the Mummy Hall, the museum contains discoveries from a vast cache of mummies found in Bahariya. The Greco-Roman mummies were found by chance when a donkey stumbled into a hole in the desert in 1996.  
* More Pictures: Click Here

(3) Chapels of Ain el-Muftella:
The Temple of Ain el-Muftella may have once served as the city center of El Qasr which is today the modern town of Bawiti in the Bahariya Oasis. It was most likely built around the time of the 26th Dynasty, though some sections of the temple may date from earlier in the New Kingdom. The temple was probably added to by both the Greeks, and later the Romans.  Most of the temple sections  were built by a high priest named Zed-Khonsu-efankh who's brother, Sheben-Khonsu was governor of the district during the reign of Ahmose II. After the death of Sheben-Khonsu, Zed-Khonsu-efankh also took on his brother's role as governor.
* More Pictures: Click Here

(4) Tomb of Amenhotep:
the tomb, located at Garet-Helwa, about two miles south of Bahariya's modern capital, Bawiti (ancient El Qasr), was discovered by George Steindorff in 1900. The tomb can be dated between the late 18th and early 19th Dynasty, which traditionally made it the oldest known tomb in the Oasis. However, recent excavation appears to be turning up some tombs that predate this one. It is very possible that tombs form the 12th Dynasty may even turn up.
* More Pictures: Click Here

(5) Heritage Museum: 
Oasis Heritage Museum located about 2 km East of the Bawiti town’s edge on the road to Cairo, it created by Mahmoud Eed, a self-taught artist inspired by Badr in Farafra. Some feel that his fired-clay statues are more expressive than Badr's, but Mahmoud has yet to enjoy the same success abroad.
* More Pictures: Click Here

(6) Valley of the Golden Mummies: 
The 2000-year-old cemetery was found when the donkey of an antiquities guard stumbled into a hole at the side of the road about 6km south of Bawiti, near the ruined Temple of Alexander. Further investigations revealed what could be the most spectacular discovery since Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamun
* More Pictures: Click Here

(7) Tomb of Bannantiu:
This tomb is undergoing conservation measures in order to save its still vibrantly colored decorations. Entering the tomb, now by way of a metal stairway, directly to the right of the entrance is a painted image of the tomb owner. He has a shaved head and stands behind Anubis, who is introducing him to Amun, in the form of Kamutef, the "bull of (Amun's) mother", and Horus. Three hieroglyphic lines for this scene translate as "words spoken by Anubis, Lord of the Cemetery, the great god Lord of Hetret.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

NEWS: Fundraising campaign for Grand Egyptian Museum launched

On March 19, 2014
During a press conference held Wednesday evening at the site of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim launched a fundraising campaign to help in the construction of the museum, planned to be completed in 2015. The campaign is launched within the framework of a collaboration protocol signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Chamber of Tourism Establishments, on the one side, and the Ministry of Antiquities on the other.

According to the protocol, said Ibrahim, the Ministry of Antiquities is to collect a $1 fee on every night a tourist spends in any hotel in Egypt. "This dollar is an optional fee,” asserted Ibrahim, adding that it would be paid if the tourist agrees to help in the construction of the GEM, aimed to be one of the world’s great heritage landmarks.

In parallel, archaeologist Bassam El-Shamaa launched a local fundraising campaign to support the construction of the GEM through asking all Egyptians to pay LE2 each. “This will not only help in the construction of the GEM, but also increase the awareness of Egyptians towards their cultural heritage,” El-Shamaa pointed out. El-Shamaa told Ahram Online that in collaboration with officials in the government and the Ministry of Antiquities, a safe and regulated method will be provided in order to collect the money legally.

El-Shamaa promised that every donor would be given a ticket for free entry to the GEM for 10 days. The museum complex will centre on the Dunnal Eye, an area containing the main exhibition spaces. From this central hub a network of streets, piazzas and bridges will link the museum's many sections. The design is by Shih-Fu Peng of the Dublin firm Heneghan, winners of an international architectural competition held in 2003 to furnish designs for the GEM.

On March 20, 2014
Less than twenty-four hours after launching a fundraising campaign for the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, contributions from Egyptian donors had reached a total of LE 52 million.

Antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a statement that Al-Ahly Bank had offered $1.5 million (LE10.5 million) to finance the construction work of the display building and another $3.5 million (LE24 million) for the museum’s library. Banque Misr has offered LE12 million to finance the equipment needed for the school associated with the museum, while the Sewiris family, one of Egypt’s richest business dynasties, contributed LE5 million.

Ibrahim told Ahram Online that the Ministry of Tourism has made its own contribution of LE5 million, to be paid at the end of 2014, and another amount of LE 25 million, which will be paid over five years. 

The museum project is 65 percent funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is providing a $300-million soft loan to be repaid over 30 years at an interest rate of 1.5 per cent
Source: Ahram Online 19 March / 20 March 

Related Posts:

The official website for the Grand Egyptian Museum  Click Here 
Copyrights for pictures by GEM

Location of the Grand Egyptian Museum to the Pyramids of Giza

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bahariya Oases Attractions: Valley of the Golden Mummies

Years ago, an antiquities guard was riding his donkey. The leg of the donkey fell down and a hole was discovered because of this event. The Inspectors of Antiquities of Baharia started an excavation in this area and found the beginning of a cemetery of mummies.

In March 1999, I took a team of archaeologists, architects, restorators, conservators and engineers and started the largest expedition ever done in Egypt. Dr. Zahi Hawas said.

We established a large camp in the area which is located about 6 km from the town of El Bawiti, the capital of Baharia Oases. We conducted a survey and found out that the cemetery extended about 6 km square. We started the excavation in four tombs only and found 105 mummies inside of them. The mummies are in good condition which shows the richness of the people in that time.

They are of four kinds:

  • Mummies which are guilded, covered with a very thin layer of gold;
  • Mummies covered with cartonage and scenes depicted, such as gods and goddesses. For example, Anubis of the embalment, Osiris, Isis, and the four children of Horus as well as the god Toth. All these gods are connected with the judgement;
  • The third type are mummies inside anthropoid coffins (these are coffins made of pottery with human faces);
  • The last style are mummies wrapped with linen.

Lots of artifacts were found near the mummies, such as statues of mourning ladies made of pottery. Other artifacts, such as different types of pottery in the shapes of God Bes, the dwarf god of pleasure and fun. Also, other artifacts including bracelets, earrings and coins were found. The study of these coins reveal that this find is dated from the Greek Period to the Roman Period.

The Tombs consist of an entrance, delivery room and two burial chambers. One of the mummies is a guilded lady with her head turned toward the face of her husband with love and affection. Others are buried as a family group, with their children. The mummies of the children were covered with gold. Another woman has a crown with four decorative rows of red-colored curls. The third and fourth rows are missing significant pieces. Beneath the crown the hairstyle is similar to that of Terracotta statues. Behind the ears appears the goddess Isis on one side and Nephthys on the other - these protect the deceased with their wings. The decorative scenes show an abbreviated form of the judgement of the dead. In these scenes we see the god Osiris on his throne while Anubis weighs the heart of the dead against the feather of Maat. Meanwhile, Toth records the result of the weighing process and reports it to Osiris.

Anubis, who is portrayed on the mummies, played an important role in several ways. First is his well attested role in the judgement scenes - it is he who operates the scale on which the heart is weighed against the feather. Second is his performance of the embalming - a basic condition for rebirth. Anubis protects the body of the deceased and assists in its revival. Therefore, we find Anubis in the representations on coffins and mummy masks performing mummification rites.

The Uraeus appears on the head of some of the mummies belonging to non-royal persons, this probably indicates desire of the deceased to have a transfiguration similar to that of a king. In the Roman Period, different elements appear - such as crowns and the use of a kings or gods beard of Uraeus, were taken from the royal cult and used by the public.

We expect to find at least 10,000 mummies in this cemetery. We preserved mostly all the mummies in situ, but we did move only a few to a room in the Baharia inspectorate to show them to the public.

For more pictures: 

Visit our website:

Egyptography Collection Vol. 05 - Bahariya Oases, Western Desert

Book BY Amazon : 
Valley of the golden Mummies 
by ( Dr. Zahi Hawas

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NEWS: Egypt's Alexandria library in world's top 20

Alexandria's library has been selected as one of the 20 best in the world by the leading travel guide Fodor's

Fodor's list of the World's 20 Most Stunning Libraries places the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on par with others such as the Biblioteca Angelica in Rome, one of the first public libraries in Europe, and the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England.

The Fodor's website says that the new Alexandria library "certainly evokes the glory" of the original, which was a major centre of learning from the third century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, after which it was destroyed in what historians say could have been a fire or a series of attacks, possibly by Julius Caesar.

The modern library, opened in 2002, is praised for its reading room, "tilted toward the sea like a sundial," and the glass roof that "allows plenty of light," as well as its extensive collection.

See photos of the other libraries on the Fodor's website here.
Source: Ahram online by Kevien Dean 

  • Official website for Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Click Here
  • More pictures for Library of Alexandria: Click Here 

Related posts:
Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Related posts for the city of Alexandria

Thursday, March 13, 2014

BACK HOME: Repatriate 8 ancient Egyptian objects were seized by New York customs

During his visit to the United States, Minister of Antiquities has finished the procedures to repatriate 8 ancient Egyptian objects were seized by New York customs in 2011 in an attempt to smuggles them into the USA.

Egypt has proven its right to repatriate them and they will be back in Egypt during this month beside another 3 objects still negotiating about them in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The objects are clearly a result of illicit digs in different sites.” Minister Said.  

The seized Antiquities include a wooden coffin lid bears coloured inscriptions and shows a woman wearing a wig and representation of winged Goddess Nut beside the decreased with different Gods. The 186 cm height coffin dated back to the Third Intermediate Period (Ca. 1070- 712 B.C)

Also two mummies linen plastered and hold coloured paintings include winged scarab beetle carrying the sun disc as well as hieroglyphics inscriptions show the babe of the deceased. 

The objects include Mummy cartonnage dated to Third Intermediate Period as well as models of wooden boats dated back to the Middle Kingdom and limestone statues some of which are dated back to the Third Intermediate Period and other dated back to Late Period.
Source: Luxor Times

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Short Story: King Tut, a God reborn

The pharaoh Tutankhamun, popularly known as King Tut, was mummified with a fully erect penis, according to a recent study. Standing proud at a stiff 90-degree angle, the erection was not simply for show, but was used to battle his father’s attempt to introduce drastic changes in Ancient Egyptian religion.

Buried in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, King Tut’s highly unusual embalmment did not stop with his perpetual state of arousal; he also had his heart removed, and his mummified corpse and coffins were slathered with a dense coat of black liquid.

While Tutankhamun’s burial peculiarities have been the subject of both scholarly research and media buzz in recent years, Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist and professor at Cairo’s American University, has come forward with a possible explanation for them.

How one boy’s penis defied an entire religion?

In her paper, which appears in the journal Études et Travaux, Ikram suggests the burial anomalies were not caused by mistakes during the embalming process, but were instead intentional efforts to make the boy king look like Ancient Egypt’s god of the underworld, Osiris, with the erect penis symbolizing the latter’s powers of regeneration.

“The erect penis evokes Osiris at his most powerfully regenerative moment, and is a feature of ‘corn-mummies,’ the quintessential symbols of rebirth and resurrection,” Ikram wrote in her paper. Corn-mummies were artificial, nonhuman mummies made of grain and other materials. They were created to honor Osiris.

In addition, the covering of liquid made the pharaoh’s skin resemble Osiris’ pitch-black skin. The missing heart was in reference to a legend in which Osiris was cut apart by his brother Seth, after which his heart was then buried.

Transforming the boy king into Osiris might have been an attempt to combat the religious revolution started by pharaoh Akhenaten, who many believe was King Tut’s father.

Akhenaten wanted Egyptian religion to focus worship on the sun disc, Aten, destroying images of other deities in the process. King Tut wanted to reverse these changes and bring back the traditional worship of multiple gods.

Researchers have yet to uncover another Egyptian mummy with King Tut’s unique features. “As far as I know, no other mummy has been found thus far with an erect penis,” Ikram told LiveScience.

It is interesting to note that shortly after Tutankhamun’s mummy was discovered, his penis broke off from the rest of the corpse. This led the media to speculate it had been stolen. 

“Osiris” on fire

At one point, thanks to the god-awful amount of black, sludge-like material that the embalmers administered on the boy king’s corpse as well as his coffins, Tutankhamun’s mummy caught fire. Archaeologist Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb in 1922, wrote, “the most part of the detail is hidden by a black lustrous coating due to pouring over the coffin a libation of great quantity.”

“The mass of oils and resins applied to Tutankhamun’s body might also allude to the black color associated with Osiris as lord of the land of Egypt, dark with the rich soil of the inundation, and the source of fertility and regeneration,” Ikram stated in her paper. 


Unlike most other mummies, King Tut lacked a heart, or its usual replacement, the heart scarab.

“This organ was a key component for the successful resurrection of the body,” said Ikram, referring to the Egyptian afterlife myth in which the heart was weighed against a feather to decide whether or not the soul was worthy of being resurrected.

Ikram believes the missing heart was not a result of theft, but is rather an allusion to Ancient Egyptian mythology. According to the story, Seth butchered Osiris, then buried his heart. Ikram observed that the way King Tut’s body was sliced open to remove his internal organs was particularly “brutal,” which may be another reference to Seth’s savagery.

 A god reborn

Aside from the mummy’s erect penis, thick coating of black goo, and absence of a heart, other evidence points to King Tut being deliberately made to channel Osiris.

For example, a decoration on the north wall of the burial chamber depicts King Tut as Osiris himself.

“Tutankhamun is shown as a fully fledged Osiris – not simply a wrapped mummy,” observed Ikram. “This representation of the king as Osiris is unique in the Valley of the Kings: Other tombs show the king being embraced by Osiris or offering to him.”

Though Ikram stresses that her ideas regarding King Tut’s mummy are speculative, Carter himself thought that the embalmers were depicting the pharaoh and Osiris as one.

“Perhaps Carter’s emphasis in his notes during the unwrapping and examination of the mummy is more correct than even he thought: the king was indeed being shown as Osiris, more than was usual in royal burials,” wrote Ikram.

The pharaoh’s embalmers, and Tutankhamun himself, may have been pressured to treat his corpse in such a way in reaction to the religious upheaval brought about by his father.

“One can speculate that at this delicate historical/religious time, it was thought that the usual modes for the transformation of the king were not sufficient, and so the priest-embalmers prepared the body in such a way so as to literally emphasize the divinity of the king and his identification with Osiris,” stated Ikram