Saturday, October 31, 2015

Re-Opening, Luxor: Tomb of Tutankhamen’s Viceroy in Luxor Opens After Renovation Completed

Offering scenes inside one the 3 newly discovered tombs.
The antiquities ministry facebook page
CAIRO: Three tombs, belong to ancient Egyptian high official during the New Kingdom Period (1580 B.C.-1080 B.C.) were opened for public Thursday for the first time since excavation, the antiquities ministry stated.

The newly opened tombs are located at the Qurnat Mar‘I archaeological site; part of the Theban Necropolis on west bank of Luxor. “It was used as a cemetery for officials of the New Kingdom administration in Thebes. During the Islamic era, the site was named after a Muslim Sheikh strongly believed to have been buried on the summit of the site,” archaeologist Sherif el Sabban told The Cairo Post Friday.

One of the three tombs belonged to “Imn hotep – Huy” who held the title of “Viceroy of Egypt and the Governor of the Southern Lands” during the reign of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, according to the statement.

The tomb is well preserved with scenes showing Huy being greeted by Khay, the High Priest of King Tut, said Damaty.

The second tomb belonged to Amenemonet who held the title of “the Divine Father of the temple of Pharoah Amenhotep III,” Damaty said.

“Although incomplete and small, the tomb is very well preserved. It was discovered in 1917 and contains offering scenes representing Amenemonet, whose name means “Amon of the Valley,” making offerings to several ancient Egyptian deities including Ptah-Sokar,” Damaty said.

The last tomb belonged to Amenemhab who held the title of “the Herdsman of God Amun Re during the New Kingdom Period,” Damaty said, adding that the opening of the new tombs comes in the framework of the ministry’s strategy to encourage tourism.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Re-Opening, Kharga Oasis: Tourism Minister to Inaugurate Hibis Temple

Facade of Hibis Temple.
CAIRO: Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty will inaugurate today the 2,500-year-old Temple of Hibis in Al Kharga Oasis after the completion of its 10-year-old renovation project, Youm7 reported.

“The 72 million EGP ($90 million) project started in 2005 and included the restoration of the temple’s walls, carvings and paintings along with the drainage of groundwater present from the agricultural lands surrounding the temple,” Damaty told Youm7.

Located in Al-Kharga Oasis 600 kilometers southwest of Cairo, the temple dates back to the reign of Persian King Darius I in the 27th Dynasty (c. 525 B.C.), and was also used as a garrison until 330 B.C., former Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Abdel Halem Nour el-Din told The Cairo Post Wednesday.

“The renovation project was entirely carried out by Egyptian experts from the antiquities ministry. Its opening comes in the framework of the ministry’s strategy to introduce new points of interest to Egypt’s tourism movement,” Damaty was quoted by Youm7.
Being surrounded by agricultural lands, the Hibis Temple has been severely damaged during the past five decades due to the groundwater and the locally rising water table caused by farming and irrigation activities in the area, Damaty said. A double wall cofferdam of 13 meters deep was created around the temple to prevent leakage, he added.

“A Sphinx Avenue flanks the façade of the limestone temple and goes through its gates, courts and sanctuary. It also contains evidence of use in later periods, including the early Christian and Islamic periods, when the temple is strongly believed to have been used by Muslim Pilgrims en route to Mecca,” said Nour el-Din.
Source: Cairo Post– By/ The Cairo Post
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News, Giza: ‘Scan Pyramids’ Project Hopes to Decipher Ancient Secrets

The Scan Pyramids project will detect hidden chambers, corridors, and doors inside the pyramids. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Logo of the Scan Pyramids project
Starting November, the pyramids of Giza will be subject to a non-invasive survey in an attempt to unravel their secrets four millennia after their construction.

“Several theories have been brought forward during the past century to understand the method that the ancient Egyptians used to construct the pyramids but all are still scientific hypotheses,” Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online.

Eldamaty continued, saying that the Scan Pyramids project is a new means to learn how the pyramids were built and understand the reason behind the pyramid-shaped design. The scans will also detect the existence of any hidden chambers, corridors, and doors inside the pyramids.

Eldamaty explains that this would be implemented through radiographic muons, (a process similar to x-ray, but much more deeply penetrating), infrared thermography, photogrammetry, scanning, and 3D reconstruction. The most innovative technologies will be used by researchers from three universities: the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University, Université Laval of Quebec, and Nagoya University of Japan.

“Their goal is to probe Egypt’s largest pyramids, without touching them or drilling the slightest opening,” Eldamaty asserted. Phase one of the project will scan four masterpieces of the Fourth Dynasty: the Bent and Red pyramids of King Senefru at Dahshur necropolis, fifteen kilometers south of Saqqara, as well as Kings Khufu and Khafre’s pyramids on the Giza plateau. The project will last at least until the end of 2016, at which point a second phase of scanning will take place for other Egyptian pyramids

Mehdi Tayoubi, president of the Paris-based Heritage Innovation Preservation (HIP) Institute, said that the project is entirely dedicated to the advancement, sharing, and transfer of knowledge. "Our desire is to form a team of international experts to discuss and confront the theoretical and technological approaches to archaeology," Tayoubi said. "The idea is to unlock the mystery of the pyramids.”

Experts at the conference with Zaazou, Eldamaty and Hany Helal
"A similar attempt was made 30 years ago, but this is the first project at a global level using cutting-edge technology to look inside the pyramids," Tayoubi told Ahram Online.

"Many theories have been proposed, either explaining their construction or their structural anomalies, but archaeologists and scientists have yet to settle on a concrete theory explaining how the structures were built," Professor Hany Helal, who heads the mission of the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University pointed out.

“We are physicists and engineers and the pyramids were built by engineers so we should be able to understand our ancient Egyptian counterparts. But we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of our dear archaeologists.”

"Our goal is to use techniques that bring concrete results. Then the Egyptologists will interpret them," Helal told Ahram Online, adding that during the 1980s he participated in a similar studies but the surveying technique used at that time was not fully developed like the current one, so the results were not achievable. But it made us understand more about the pyramids.

“With this mission we, perhaps, will not be able to resolve the mystery of the pyramids, but we are making progress, testing new processes, and without a doubt we will have a better understanding of what these pyramids hide within its massive walls,” Helal told Ahram Online. If we obtain concrete results, he continued, our procedures would be used for other monuments in other sites and even in other countries.

Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the infrared and muon technologies would be used to look for a possible hidden chamber in King Tutankhamun's tomb, which may be the burial place of Queen Nefertiti, as British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves posited in his recently revealed theory.

Archaeologists have never discovered the mummy of the legendary beauty. Reeves, who was in Luxor in September to probe his theory, believes a hidden door in Tutankhamun's tomb could conceal the burial place of Nefertiti. The Permanent Committee for Ancient Egyptian Antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities has already approved the use of radars to search within the boy king's tomb but the concrete search is still awaiting the security clearance.

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou announced that the ministry is to launch an international campaign entitled "2016 is the Year of the Pyramids." This campaign, he told Ahram Online, would be an effective promotion campaign like #ThisIsEgypt, which was launched last week during actor Morgan Freeman's visit to the country.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Egypt Is Safe: Poland Eases Travel Warnings on Egypt - Tourism Minister

CAIRO: The Egyptian Tourism Ministry announced Tuesday that the Polish Authorities have eased their travel advisory against some touristic destinations in Egypt.

The decision follows a meeting between the Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou and the Polish ambassador to Egypt Michał Murkociński, according to the statement.

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lowered its travel warning to the Egyptian Red Sea resorts of Hurghada, Sharm al-Sheikh, Safaga, El Gouna and Marsa Alam, the statement added.

“Being one of Egypt’s main sources of hard currency, the political leadership supports tourism and thus high security measures have been taken in touristic destinations to ensure safety and security of tourists,” the statement quoted Zaazou as saying. The decision comes after the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July raised its travel warning to the said Egyptian Red Sea resorts to the third, “orange” level, meaning it advises its nationals not to travel there.

Nearly 594,000 Polish tourists visited Egypt in 2010; the number of Polish tourists to Egypt has dropped to 182,000 over the course of the past 10 months, according to the statement. Several European countries including Germany, Italy, Ireland, Denmark and Spain lifted their travel bans to Egypt during the end of 2014.

Egypt received over 14.7 million tourists in 2010. Since the 2011 uprising, however, the number of visiting tourists dropped to 9.8 million. In 2012, the number of tourists rose to 11.5 million but fell again in 2013 to 9.5 million with revenues of $5.9 billion.
Source: Cairo Post – By/ Rany Mostafa

Yanni in Egypt - Only Two Days Left

Yanni with Mr. Hesham Zaazoa, Tourism Minister promoting the new Hashtags #ThisIsEgypt.

Also Yanni Official Twitter Account has tweeted two days ago a video message before heading to "The Dream Concert" Live at the Pyramids in Egypt on Oct 30 and 31. Expressing how he felt being so welcome in Egypt. Find the Video Below.

He said that" he feel exciting for performing in front of the great Pyramids, he also said that it gonna be phenomenal concert, he looking for meeting with all his fans in the concert.

Related Post:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

News, Luxor: Antiquities Ministry Approves Radar to Search King Tut’s Tomb for Hidden Room

CAIRO:  The Permanent Committee of Egyptian Antiquities approved the use of non-invasive radar to prove a theory that Queen Nefertiti’s crypt may be hidden behind King Tutankhamen’s, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty stated Thursday.

“The approval came after comprehensive study made by the committee to ensure the devices will not harm the inner walls, carvings of the tomb. The archaeology team now have the green light and can begin the first stages of exploratory work after the completion of the required security permission,” Damaty said.

If the scholars were able to prove their theory, “this would be a new step that could lead us to a most significant archeological discovery in the 21st Century,” he added.

“The construction of Tutankhamen’s tomb was not completed when the young Pharaoh unexpectedly died at the age of 19, thus the tomb of Nefertiti who had died 10 years earlier, was partially adopted for Tutankhamen’s royal burial,” British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves said briefing his theory to reporters in a press conference held at the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) last month.

During the conference, Reeves had passionately defended his theory saying that his careful examination of the ceiling of the tomb has revealed a “line that extends along the ceiling from the antechamber to the edge of what he believes is the false door leading to Nefertiti’s undisturbed tomb.”

This supports my theory; “Tutankhamen’s burial chamber was a part of the corridor leading to the false wall behind which Nefertiti’s tomb lies. After the sudden death of the boy king, the area before the wall was extended to accommodate his sarcophagus and the four huge shrines.”

Bird’s eye view of Tutankhamun’s tomb
During the conference, Damaty announced the ministry’s next step was to carry out radar and thermal imaging that would help establish whether there are secret rooms hidden behind the burial chamber of Tutankhamen. He added that a conclusion on Reeve’s theory is to be announced by the end of this year.

Reeves’s theory was developed after he examined ultra-high resolution images published by Factume Arte; an art replication establishment that created a facsimile of Tutankhamen’s burial chamber in 2014.

In the images, Reeves noted some cracks in the northern and eastern walls of the tomb. He suggested they mark two passages, leading to Nefertiti’s tomb that were blocked, plastered and painted. Among the other clues is that neither the tomb nor the mummy of Nefertiti has been found yet. Tutankhamen’s tomb was the most intact ever discovered in Egypt. Close to 2,000 objects were found inside.
Source: Cairo Post – By/ Rany Mostafa

News, Dahshur: Egypt Launches ‘Scan Pyramids’ Project

King Senefru's Bent Pyramid at Dahshur

CAIRO: The international project to scan Egypt’s pyramids to better understand their architecture and interior design, using non-invasive radar, is scheduled to launch Sunday, announced Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty.

The Bent Pyramid, built by the founder of the 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Sneferu (2,613 B.C.- 2,589 B.C.) was selected to be the first pyramid that will be subjected to “non-invasive and non-destructive surveying techniques,” Damaty stated.

“The pyramid was selected because it is the first known attempt to build a true pyramid and also due to its unique architectural design,” he added.

The Scan Pyramids project, scheduled to be launched in a press conference at a five starts hotel overlooking Giza Pyramids Sunday, will begin at the end of October.  “It is a joint venture between Japan and Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, with additional support from the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute (HIP), France,” according to the statement.

The project has already been approved by the permanent committee of the Ministry of Antiquities and has obtained all necessary permissions from concerned authorities.
Source: Cairo Post – By/ Rany Mostafa

Monday, October 26, 2015

News, Suez: Egypt's Suez Museum Celebrates National Day with Military History Exhibition

Relief showing a Pharaoh with a captive displayed at the Suez exhibition
(Courtesy of Elham Salah)
An exhibition on Egypt's military history was inaugurated Saturday at the Suez National Museum, marking heroic resistance to Israel in the 1973 war. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref

Entitled "Leaders and Weapons: Flashes of Egypt's military history," the Ministry of Antiquities celebrates Suez National Day at the Suez National Museum through the inauguration of a temporary exhibition displaying Egypt's military history.

The National day of Suez commemorates the heroic resistance of the local citizens in the city on the Suez Canal during the October War between Egypt and Israel.

Residents who opted to stay home after the 1967 war of Suez foiled on October 24th the attempt by Israeli army tank divisions to capture the city.

Elham Salah, director of the museums section at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the exhibition will last for three days and visits to the museum would be free of charge on the days of the exhibition, starting today (Saturday).

Salah explained that the exhibition relates the history of Egypt's army since the ancient Egyptian era through to modern times.

It includes 50 artefacts that are carefully selected from the Suez Museum's collection, whether exhibited or stored. 

The objects include of a collection of statues depicting renowned ancient Egyptian military leaders, limestone reliefs depicting captives, as well as a number of weapons such as swords, guns, silver armor and arrows.

On the fringes of the exhibition, a play and an operetta were organised, as well as a sports day for school children.

News, Fayoum: Ancient Greco-Roman Kiman Faris Renovation Project Has Been Completed - Antiquities Minister

Kiman Faris Open Air Museum. Antiquities Ministry facebook page
CAIRO: The conservation project of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Kiman Faris has been completed, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty announced in a statement Saturday.

Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman statues and other architectural details found at the site have been under restoration by ARCHiNOS Architecture since 2012, said Damaty. The organization also was responsible for the presentation of the artifacts that came to the site from rescue excavations in preparation for turning it to an open-air museum, he added.

The display scheme of the artifacts is managed by the American, Dutch, New Zealand team excavating and conserving the site, according to Damaty.

“Kiman Faris was one of the largest Greco-Roman cities in the Fayoum. It was established by the Greek king Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285 B.C. – 246 B.C.) and was originally inhabited by the mercenaries of his army. The site was a religious center for the worship of God Sobek; the crocodile God. The population of the prosperous city was estimated at 2,800 people,” archaeologist Fathy Khourshid told The Cairo Post Sunday.

The earliest archaeological origins are at the city’s South Temple and can be traced to the 1st century B.C., he added.

“The exhibited pieces are among the few physical remnants of this once prominently important city and its grand temple. The work was done as part of the URU Fayoum Project (University of California, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and University of Auckland) under the supervision of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities. It is funded by the United States Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation,” ARCHiNOS said in its webpage.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hollywood in Egypt: Zaazou, Morgan Freeman Launched ‘This Is Egypt’ Tourism Promotion Campaign

Morgan Freeman, Zaazou at Giza Pyramids promoting Egyptian tourism
CAIRO: Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou and actor Morgan Freeman launched the “This Is Egypt” campaign designed to promote Egypt’s limping tourism sector, Youm7 reported. The duo launched the campaign during their visit to Giza Pyramids Friday.

Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Despite a few instances of apparent recovery, instability and political turmoil continue to challenge the sector. The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 9 percent in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

Freeman, 78, is scheduled to travel to resume filming his new National Geographic documentary series entitled ‘The Story of God.”

The Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning star landed in Cairo Sunday where he shot scenes for his documentary in the city’s landmarks including the Egyptian Museum and Islamic Cairo.

“The Story of God” is scheduled to air in 2016 on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Mundo in the U.S. and globally in 171 countries and 45 languages, according to
Source: Cairo Post – By/ The Cairo Post

News, Giza: Over 200 Landmarks to Lighted Up UN Blue on 70th Anniversary Yesterday

Pyramids and Sphinx lit blue marking UN 70th Anniversary
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — More than 200 landmarks in 60 countries from the Pyramids in Egypt to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York will be lit up in blue — the official color of the United Nations— on Saturday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the world body.

The global celebration will kick off in New Zealand and then at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It will move across countries and continents to the Great Wall of China, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the Alhambra in Spain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and many other sites.

New Yorkers actually got a sneak preview of the celebration because U.N. headquarters was lit up in blue Friday night as well.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that “by turning the world U.N. blue for a day, we can light a way to a better tomorrow.”  Oct. 24 is the anniversary of the entry into force of the U.N. Charter in 1945 and is celebrated as U.N. Day.

The General Assembly unanimously approved a declaration Friday reaffirming the faith of the 193 member states in the United Nations on its 70th anniversary and the U.N.’s determination “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” It says the U.N. charter unites all member states “in diversity beyond our differences of language, culture or religion, today as 70 years ago.”

The secretary-general told the assembly that the U.N. over seven decades has brought “freedom to millions, dismantling colonialism, defeating apartheid and defending human rights for all, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.”

But he said “violence, poverty, ill-health and abuse plague far too many people, especially women and girls,” and more people have fled their homes than at any time since World War II because of conflict, oppression and fear. Nonetheless, Ban said, “without the United Nations, our world would be a far bleaker place.”
Source: Cairo Post – By/ The Cairo Post

Thursday, October 22, 2015

News: Abu Simbel’s Biannual Solar Alignment Observed in Aswan

CAIRO: Aswan celebrated the Abu Simbel Temple solar alignment phenomenon which was observed Thursday morning.

Ministers of tourism, antiquities and irrigation, dozens of tourists, 55 French tour operators along with Aswan Governor Mostafa Youssry were present during the celebration.

“At 05:35 a.m., the sun’s rays struck the temple’s sanctuary and illuminated the faces of the statues of Ramses II, God Ra-Horakhty and God Amon-Ra and leaving the statue of Ptah, the God of darkness in darkness. The sanctuary went dark again at around 05:45,” tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen told The Cairo Post Thursday.

The temple was built so that the phenomenon occurs twice a year; Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and on Feb. 22, which marks the pharaohs’ coronation day, Abdel Mohsen said.

Folk band celebrates Abu Simbel Sun Aligment.
Hassan Mohamed-Youm7
Abu Simbel is the seat of two rock-cut temples that were built by Ramses II (1279B.C.–1213 B.C.); the great temple which was basically dedicated to God Amon-Ra and the temple of Queen Nefertari, the pharaoh’s wife, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban previously told The Cairo Post.

“In the 1960s and during the construction of the High Dam in Aswan, UNESCO launched a universal campaign to rescue the twin temples along with other Nubian monuments to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, a massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the dam,” said Sabban.
Source: Cairo Post– By/Rany Mostafa

Short Story: Where is the tomb of Queen Nefertiti?

There is no evidence to support the theory that the tomb of Queen Nefertiti lies behind the walls of the tomb of Tutankhamun, writes Zahi Hawass.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves has written an article advancing the theory that there are hidden rooms behind the walls of the tomb of Tutankhamun. He has based this theory on the Factum Arte data produced by Adam Lowe for the Friends of the Valley of the Kings Association and the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Reeves is thus completely depending on secondary materials rather than on any primary sources.

He claims that there are rooms located behind the north and west walls of the tomb of Tutankhamun and that this tomb had a much earlier design prior to being used to house Tutankhamun. Finally, he believes that Queen Nefertiti was buried there.

He has made additional statements to the effect that the scene in the tomb showing King Ay performing the religious ritual known as the Opening of the Mouth actually portrays Tutankhamun performing the ritual for Queen Nefertiti and that she ruled after the death of Akhenaten under the name of Smenkhkare.

Others have claimed that this tomb was not designed for Nefertiti, but for Kiya, who in Reeves’s opinion was the mother of Tutankhamun. These statements were made during the tenure of the late Gamal Mokhtar as the head of antiquities in Egypt. Mokhtar completely rejected the theory, and I also thought that it had been put forward before by another scholar. I thought it could help in drawing attention to Egypt without giving still more publicity to Reeves.

Any scholar who knows archaeology should discuss his theory in the presence of scholars who know the Valley of the Kings and are working there now. Instead, this theory was analysed by Egyptologists who have never worked in the valley or written a single article on Tutankhamun or his tomb. Reeves has gained a lot of publicity for saying nothing.

At the same time, it has been said that Reeves is bringing Japanese radar to Egypt to look at what is behind the walls of the tomb. Here, we should go back to when Reeves was a member of the expedition working under Geoffrey Martin, who brought Japanese radar equipment and identified the location of KV63. He published the location of the new tomb on his website and even drew a plan of it.
Bird’s eye view of Tutankhamun’s tomb
I started the first Egyptian expedition to excavate in the Valley of the Kings and began the work in front of the tomb of Tutankhamun, working in the same spot that Reeves has indicated. But what he has interpreted as a tomb is actually a crack in the rock. When Otto Schaden from Memphis State University found the true location of KV63, Reeves announced that it had in fact been his idea, and as a result he lost my respect.

Moreover, according to scientists, radar is not useful in archaeology and has not been used to make discoveries. The use of radar in this case is simply designed to give more publicity to Reeves. According to Hani Halal, a former minister of higher education, radar is useless, but a new technique called infrared thermography can tell us the location of doors and rooms behind tomb walls.  I believe that Reeves’s theory has no scientific basis because the 3D photographs he used cannot be used to give correct readings and anything can be imagined from them. Reeves has imagined his information and used it to pursue his habit of always saying things to attract the media.

In conversation with a scholar who has worked at the Valley of the Kings, we discussed the theory and agreed that the traces on the walls of KV62 are based on a reading of the publication of Factum Arte’s work. They are merely the traces of the chisels of the ancient masons and the outlines of two doors that were never carved. It is premature to suggest that the doors give access to hitherto undiscovered chambers containing the tomb of Nefertiti.

The great Egyptologist Howard Carter worked inside the tomb for ten years. If anything was behind those walls he would have found it. When archaeologists find a tomb, they look everywhere to discern if anything is hidden behind the walls. I remember visiting Otto Schaden when he was working to record the artifacts in KV63. He said that he would look to see if anything was hidden behind the walls of one room of the tomb during the next season.

Carter also removed the plaster from the niches that contained the five magic bricks in the tomb of Tutankhamun. If you examine the photographs taken by Harry Burton, you can see that there is no indication of the existence of a room behind the wall.

Queen Nefertiti left Thebes after her husband Akhenaten, and she is shown worshipping Aten with him in murals. She bore him six daughters. It can also be believed that she ruled for a few years and changed her name to Smenkhkare, but there is no way that the priests of Amun would have let her be buried in the Valley of the Kings.

I think she was buried at Amarna, like Akhenaten, and that her mummy could have been moved to Thebes later, as happened when Tutankhamun moved the mummy of his father Akhenaten to Tomb 55. When DNA analysis was carried out on the remains of the two fetuses and the mummy in KV21, this research showed that the mummy belonged to Queen Ankhesenamun, the daughter of Nefertiti and the wife of Tutankhamun.

the northern wall of Tutankhamun’s tomb
In the tomb, beside this mummy, there was also a headless mummy. I believe that this could be the mummy of Nefertiti, who was buried beside her daughter, as was the case in KV35, where Queen Tiye’s mummy was found next to the mummy of her daughter, known as the Younger Lady.

KV62, which was used for the burial of Tutankhamun, was originally made for Ay, but because of the sudden death of Tutankhamun he was buried there instead. The tomb then used for the burial of Ay in the Valley of the Monkeys is similar to KV62.

The existence of a tomb within a tomb is not found during Dynasty 18, but it happens in Dynasty 19. Tutankhamun also would never have been buried in the tomb of his stepmother, further discounting Reeves’s theory that Nefertiti was originally buried there.

He has suggested that the scene on the north wall does not show Ay performing the Opening of the Mouth ritual for Tutankhamun, but Tutankhamun performing it for Nefertiti. I cannot believe that any scholar could write this, because we see the names of Ay and Tutankhamun written above the scene and no mention of Queen Nefertiti.

Reeves says that the golden mask of Tutankhamun belonged to Nefertiti and not to Tutankhamun because of a hole in its ear. If he had read any basic books on ancient Egyptian art, he would know that holes in the ear have been found on both males and females from this time.

I have talked to almost all the scholars who are working in the valley and are experts on this period, and all of them have rejected this theory and do not want to be involved in this non-scientific dialogue. KV32 and KV21 provide the template for queenly tombs in the Valley, and they do not have a corridor that turns right but have straight axes or, if anything, have one that turns left. The cultic design of the tomb is also problematic.

The architecture of the tombs was dictated by a series of required rooms, the exact layout and disposition of which were dictated as much by the practical possibilities offered by the rock as anything else. The entrance corridor of KV62 was so small that Howard Carter had to cut away the door jambs to remove the shrine panels. If there was a larger tomb hidden within KV62, the first thing the ancient masons would surely have done would have been to enlarge the corridor, as was done in KV55. In order to construct the panels around the sarcophagus, the north wall would have to have been painted first so that all the panels could be rested against this wall while they were set around the sarcophagus.

Tutankhkamun’s burial goods contained many items prepared for another individual. As Reeves himself has pointed out, many of these (the shabtis in particular) have a feminine form. It is entirely possible that these grave goods originally belonged to a set of burial equipment prepared for Nefertiti as king. The very fact that these goods were made available for Tutankhamun suggests Nefertiti was not buried as a king and that her likely final resting place is at Amarna.

I have to give credit to Mamdouh Eldamaty, the minister of antiquities, who has been able to draw international attention to Egypt. But he needs to look at the evidence to stop this man who uses his imagination to announce nonsense. I suggest that he invite foreign scholars to give their opinions.

Finally, if we really thought there were rooms behind the walls of the tomb, what would we do? Would we make holes in the painted walls? All this is evidence that proves that this theory is dust and that it will eventually fly away with the wind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

News, Luxor: Tourism Minister Receives 1st Direct Charter Flight from Netherlands to Luxor

CAIRO: Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou received the first direct charter flight coming from Netherlands to Luxor Sunday evening, according to a statement by the ministry.

Zaazou said the route will become “a weekly flight” and will be followed with more direct flights to the tourist city of Luxor.

He also underlined that the presence of Dutch media on the flight “will have a great impact on reflecting a real positive image on the Egyptian tourism, especially in Luxor, which is one of the important tourist destinations in Egypt.”

According to him, the flight is one of the outcomes of the “continuous efforts from the ministry and the government to restore the tourism movement in Egypt in general and in Luxor in particular.”

The statement added that, in the same context, Zaazou received a total of 120 Ukrainian travel agents during their tour in Luxor on board of MS Lady Mary Nile cruiser. The agents are planning to promote Egypt’s Nile cruising tourism in the Ukrainian market.

“The Ukrainian tourist is used to visiting Egypt to enjoy beaches, but [his/her] visit to Luxor will provide him a unique tourist experience in winter season,” Zaazou said to the Ukrainian delegation.
Source: Cairo Post – By/ The Cairo Post

Story of Tutankhamun mask (14): VIDEO - Restoration of Tutankhamun Mask Underway at Egyptian Museum

The mask's beard was accidentally detached from its chin during a cleaning process in 2014. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.

German restorer Christian Eckmann is the restoration project leader
(Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Egyptian and foreign press flocked to the second floor of the Egyptian Museum on Tuesday to bear witness to the beginning of restoration work on Tutankhamun's gold funerary mask.

Two weeks ago restorers removed the mask from its permanent display in the jewellery hall so efforts to restore it can begin after an accident and subsequent botched restoration job a year ago damaged it.

When museum officials in 2014 accidentally rocked the mask during a cleaning process the beard became detached from the chin on the mask. They then hastily used the wrong substance to reattach it.

In room 55, on the same floor as the mask's permanent display, a team of experts have been examining the mask to ascertain the most appropriate method and substances to use in its restoration.

German restorer Christian Eckmann, a project leader, told Ahram Online the team is carrying out microscopic studies on the mask to inspect its condition and work out how best to go about removing the epoxy resin applied a year ago.

Eckmann said those studies will be completed next week and restoration will start immediately after. "At the moment I cannot specify a completion date, but it could last 30 days," Eckmann told Ahram Online, adding that safely removing the epoxy resin will require patience.

Eckmann and antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty will hold a press conference at the museum on Tuesday afternoon where they will announce details of the restoration project.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

News, Giza: Pyramids, Sphinx in Blue to Celebrate UN's 70th Anniversary

Over 180 famous landmarks throughout 50 countries worldwide, including Egypt's pyramids, will be lit up in blue, the official United Nations' color, to celebrate the organization's 70th anniversary on October 24.

Other landmarks that will participate in the celebration by lighting up in blue include the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, the Empire State Building in the United States, the Hermitage Museum in Russia, the Ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Westminster Hall in England, the Tree of Heaven tower in Japan and the Alhambra Castle in Spain.

"Participating in this campaign gives Egypt a unique opportunity to highlight our commitment to the United Nations' principles of dignity and prosperity for all. We are pleased to partner with the United Nations to light up the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx with the blue color of the UN," said Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry.

The United Nations is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and we are delighted that the event coincides with Egypt's winning of the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council, said Anita Neroda, Resident Representative of the United Nations in Egypt.

The United Nations headquarters in New York will be lit in blue for two nights, October 23 and 24.  Hashtags  #UNBlue and #UN70 will be used to cover the event on social networking websites.

Hollywood in Egypt! Morgan Freeman Arrives in Egypt to Film National Geographic Documentary ‘The Story of God’.

Hollywood icon Morgan Freeman seen on Qasr el-Nil bridge near Tahrir Square
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou will meet with famed U.S. actor Morgan Freeman, who is in Egypt for a documentary, at the pyramids in an effort to promote tourism, according to a Monday statement by the ministry.

Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman, 78, has arrived in Egypt to ‘immerse himself in Egyptian culture’ and traditions for a new National Geographic documentary. The documentary, aptly titled ‘The Story of God’ given Freeman’s previous role as ‘God’ in ‘Bruce Almighty,’ has also seen Freeman travel to Turkey, according to Hurriyet Daily.

Freeman, who was photographed while filming along the Nile River in downtown Cairo, is expected to visit a number of historical sites in Egypt including Khan El-Khalili, The Citadel of Saladin, Tahrir Square, and of course the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Freeman an crew member at Old Cairo’s al-Moez Street
in preparation for the National Geographic
documentary ‘The Story of God’
Freeman is yet to visit Saqqara, a large burial ground with several pyramids, Aswan, Luxor and Madinet Habu, where the Temple of Amun and Temple of Ramsis III are located. His five-day agenda also includes a Nile cruise.

Pictures of Freeman in Cairo’s street were met by Egyptian social media users with much excitement.

Story of God’ is a documentary that follows the 78-year-old actor as he immerses himself in different religions and traditions from across the world. Freeman is expected to explore ancient Egyptian faith and will be shooting a number of scenes at ancient Egyptian sites during his visit to Egypt. It remains unclear whether Freeman will be travelling to other parts of Egypt.

Last year, Tom Hanks also visited Egypt to shoot a scene in Hurghada along the Red Sea. ‘A Hologram for the King’, a film by German director Tom Tykwer and starring Tom Hanks, is based on a 2012 novel by Dave Eggers which tells the story of a failed American salesman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell an idea of his to a wealthy member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family.