Thursday, September 24, 2020

Egypt News : Siaw Oasis reopens archaeological and tourist sites.

Archaeological and tourist sites opened to visitors in Egypt’s Siwa Oasis on September 1.
Fathi Diab, Director-General of Siwa Antiquities, announced that the sites are committed to enforcing all COVID-19 precautionary measures, included mask-wearing and social distancing.
Indoor archaeological sites allow visits from groups of no more than seven, whereas outdoor and open sites have no capacity restrictions.
Located in the Western Desert, Siwa Oasis is famous for its lengthy nine-month tourist season, which boasts moderate weather.
Siwa receives many local and foreign tourists at archaeological sites such as the Gebel al-Mawta (Mountain of the Dead), Shali Mountain, Mount Dakrur, Oracle Temple, Umm Ubaydah Temple, and other Pharaonic, Roman, and Islamic monuments.
Egypt reopened its borders for tourism on July 1, and has gradually allowed hotels and tourist sites to resume operations. The government is enforcing strict anti-coronavirus measures to ensure the safety of both tourists and citizens.

News Egypt, Hawass: Restoring Nefertiti’s Bust to Egypt is Popular Demand.


Egyptian archaeologist, Dr. Zahi Hawass said that Egypt was able to prove that the bust of Queen Nefertiti came out of the country, illegally. Hawass added that it was stolen, and it must be restored.

Hawass expressed that the bust was obliterated and smuggled to Germany.

He pointed out that he is now collecting signatures from Egyptian and foreign intellectuals to restore Nefertiti’s bust to Egypt.

It was stolen and came out of Egypt, illegally. He said: “I want to turn the demand to return Nefertiti’s opinion to popular demand. We don’t want to involve the government in this matter.

Source:lomazoma



New Discovery, Sakkara "9": Archaeologists Find 27 Coffins at Egypt’s Saqqara Pyramid

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 27 coffins inside a large burial ground in an ancient city south of Cairo.
The coffins have remained unopened since they were buried more than 2,500 years ago, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said this week.
The burial ground is near the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, said Neveine el-Arif, a ministry spokeswoman. She said 13 coffins were found earlier this month in a newly discovered, 11 meter-deep well. Last week, 14 more were discovered in another well.
The ministry showed video of the coffins, which were covered with colorful ancient Egyptian writing. Other artifacts found in the two wells were also shown.
In March, Egypt reopened the Step Pyramid at Saqqara after a 14-year restoration effort that cost around $6.6 million. The pyramid is believed to be the first ever built.
The Saqqara area once had at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid. It also held hundreds of tombs of ancient officials, ranging from the 1st Dynasty, 2920 B.C.-2770 B.C., to the Coptic period, 395-642.

Archaeologists are still working to discover more about the history of the coffins, el-Arif said. She added that more information and some “secrets” would likely be announced next month. Additional coffins are expected to be found in the area, she said.
In recent years, Egypt has often announced new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats in an effort to bring more tourists to the country.
Last year, archaeologists found a burial ground containing hundreds of mummified animals.
The Saqqara area is part of Egypt’s ancient city of Memphis. It also includes Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh, as well as the famed Giza Pyramids. The ruins of Memphis became a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
In October 2019, archaeologists found 30 ancient wooden coffins with writings and paintings in the southern city of Luxor.
The Luxor coffins were moved to be shown to the public at the Grand Egyptian Museum. Egypt is building the museum near the Giza Pyramids.
Egypt’s financially important tourism industry has suffered from years of political problems and violence since the 2011 uprising that removed longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
The industry has also been hurt by the coronavirus crisis. In July, the country restarted international flights and reopened major tourist areas, but the number of visitors remains low
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

New Discovery, Minya: Pharaonic tomb discovered in Egypt.

Cairo, Sep 22 (IANS) Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that a pharaonic tomb has been discovered in the country's Minya province.

The tomb was unearthed by an Egyptian mission working at the Tuna al-Gabal archaeological site, Xinhua news agency quoted Mostafa Waziri, head of the ministry's Supreme Council of Antiquities, as saying on Monday.

A limestone coffin and a collection of 'ushabti' (funerary figurine used in ancient Egyptian religion) statues made of faience were found inside the tomb, Waziri said, adding that all the pieces were in good condition.

Initial inspection indicated that the tomb belongs to a person called Jahouti Umm Hoteb from the 26th Dynasty which ruled Egypt between 664-525 B.C., he added.
The official revealed that the person worked as the supervisor of the thrones, adding that he was the son of Hersa Est, whose coffin was uncovered by the same mission in 2018.
Source:menafn

Hurghada International Airport: Egypt's Hurghada airport receives first flight by Swiss Chair Airlines since virus hiatus

Egypt’s Hurghada has received the first flight operated by Swiss Chair Airlines from Zurich after a flight suspension that had been in place since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, a statement by the civil aviation ministry said on Sunday.
Egypt’s popular tourist resort towns Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh have been receiving more international flights in the past weeks, after the country reopened its airspace to regular flights in July.
Since the resumption of flights, foreign tourists in tour groups have been allowed entry into three coastal Egyptian governorates: Red Sea, Marsa Matrouh and South Sinai.
Egypt requires travellers arriving in the country to present a negative PCR test result certificate for the coronavirus. The test must be taken no more than 96 hours prior to arrival.
However, travellers entering Egypt at any of four airports in the Red Sea governorate and South Sinai can take a coronavirus test upon arrival.
Egypt hopes that the resumption of regular flights will boost its coronavirus-hit tourism sector, an essential source of foreign currency.

Egypt News "2" : Egypt cuts highways across pyramids plateau, alarming conservationists.

"The roads are very, very important for development, for Egyptians, for inside Egypt," says head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "Know that we take good care of our antiquities sites everywhere in Egypt."
Egypt is building two highways across the pyramids plateau outside Cairo, reviving and expanding a project that was suspended in the 1990s after an international outcry.
The Great Pyramids, Egypt's top tourist destination, are the sole survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the plateau is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The highways are part of an infrastructure push spearheaded by Egypt's powerful military and championed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is building a new capital city to ease the population pressure on Cairo, home to 20 million people.
The northern highway will cross the desert 2.5 km (1.6 miles) south of the Great Pyramids. The southern one will pass between the Step Pyramid of Saqqara - the oldest one - and the Dahshur area, home to the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid.
Each highway appears to be about eight lanes wide.
Critics say they could cause irrevocable damage to one of the world's most important heritage sites. Authorities say they will be built with care and improve transport links, connecting new urban developments and bypassing central Cairo's congestion.
"The roads are very, very important for development, for Egyptians, for inside Egypt," said Mostafa al-Waziri, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "Know that we take good care of our antiquities sites everywhere in Egypt."
Some Egyptologists and conservationists say the highways will disrupt the integrity of the pyramids plateau, pave over unexplored archaeological sites, generate pollution that could corrode monuments, produce litter and expose closed areas packed with hidden archaeological treasures to looting.
Al-Waziri said existing roads were much closer to the pyramids and carried a lot of tourist buses. "That is why we are doing a lot of development," he said, noting plans to use electric tourist buses within the plateau to avoid pollution.

The highways, which will dissect the plateau into three, will cross a section of ancient Memphis, one of the world's biggest and most influential cities for almost 3,000 years.
"I was flabbergasted by what I saw," said former senior UNESCO official Said Zulficar, who visited a portion of the southern highway two months ago. "All the work that I had done nearly 25 years ago is now being put into question.
"Zulficar led a successful campaign in the mid-1990s to suspend construction of the northern highway, a branch of Cairo's first ringroad. UNESCO said it had requested detailed information on the new plan several times and asked to send a monitoring mission.
The state press center referred a Reuters request for further comment on the plans to a communications advisor of the tourism and antiquities ministry, who could not be reached.
Construction began well over a year ago in desert areas largely out of public sight and became more visible around March, Egyptologists and Google Earth images indicate.
On a recent visit, Reuters journalists saw heavy machinery clearing fields and building bridges and junctions along both highways. Hundreds of uprooted date palms lay in piles.
The southern highway is a part of Cairo's second ringroad that will connect the western satellite city of Sixth of October to the new capital city east of Cairo via 16 kilometers (nine miles) of desert on the pyramids plateau, farmland and a corner of Memphis.
In 2014, the World Bank estimated congestion in the greater Cairo area cut about 3.6 percentage points off Egypt's output.
"The road cuts through archeologically unexplored cemeteries of the little-known 13th Dynasty, in walking distance of the pyramids of Pepi II and Khendjer and the Mastabat el-Fara'un", said an Egyptologist who knows the area.
The person was among six Egyptologists Reuters spoke to. Most of them declined to be named for fear of losing clearance to handle antiquities.
One said caches of statues and blocks with hieroglyphs had been unearthed since highway construction began; the antiquities authority said on its Facebook page these had been discovered on nearby private property.
Memphis, said to have been founded in about 3,000 B.C. when Egypt was united into a single country, was eclipsed but not abandoned when Alexander the Great moved the capital to Alexandria in 331 B.C.
It extended more than 6 square kilometres, the Nile valley's largest ancient settlement site.
The new road comes close to the ancient city's commercial districts, its harbour walls and the former site of an ancient Nilometer, used to measure the height of the annual flood, said David Jeffreys, a British Egyptologist who has been working on Memphis for the Egypt Exploration Society since 1981.
It also endangers a Roman wall that once bordered the Nile that Jeffreys said few people were aware of.
"Memphis has long been neglected, even by Egyptologists, as it is a complicated site to excavate," another Egyptologist said. "But it is enormously rich, bursting with temples, archives, administrative buildings and industrial areas."


Monday, September 21, 2020

New Discovery, Saqqara "8" : Egypt tomb Sarcophagi buried for 2,500 years unearthed in Saqqara.

A total of 27 sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago have been unearthed by archaeologists in an ancient Egyptian necropolis.
They were found inside a newly-discovered well at a sacred site in Saqqara, south of the capital, Cairo.
Thirteen coffins were discovered earlier this month, but a further 14 have followed, officials say.
The discovery is now said by experts to be one of the largest of its kind.
Images released show colourfully painted well-preserved wooden coffins and other smaller artefacts.

Saqqara was an active burial ground for more than 3,000 years and is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site.
Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven't been opened since they were buried," Egypt's antiquities ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement adds that Egypt's Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani initially delayed announcing the find until he could visit the site himself, where he thanked staff for working in difficult conditions down the 11m-deep (36ft) well.
Excavation work is continuing at the site as experts attempt to establish more details on the origins of the coffins.
The ministry said it hoped to reveal "more secrets" at a press conference in the coming days.
Other artefacts discovered around the wooden coffins also appeared to be well-crafted and colorfully decorated.
In November, a large cache of mummified animals discovered in 2018 by archaeologists near the Step pyramid of Saqqara were displayed to the public for the first time.
The discovery included mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.


Source:BBC




New Discovery, Saqqara "7":14 Fully Intact and Sealed Coffins Discovered after 2,500 Years in Egypt’s Saqqara.

The Saqqara necropolis southwest of Cairo has yielded yet a new discovery of 14 intact and sealed sarcophagi estimated to be 2,500 years old. The sarcophagi, or ornate coffins, are made of wood and still retain some of their original colour.
This discovery brings the total number of newly unearthed coffins to 27, after 13 were discovered in similar condition earlier this month in a neighboring burial shaft.
The total number of coffins and artefacts buried in this site are as yet unknown according to Waziri, but El-Enany said that it “includes the largest number of coffins in one burial since the discovery of the Al-Asasif cachette.”

Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, who heads this archaeological mission, stated that details on the excavation will soon be communicated officially in a press conference in Saqqara.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has published a series of videos teasing at footage of the discoveries, in the most recent of which Minister Khaled El-Enany declares that this is only the beginning. In a video published earlier this month, Waziri and world-renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass show a few shots of the colourful, newly unearthed discoveries.
                              

Sunday, September 20, 2020

News, Giza: GEM receives 2,000 ancient artefacts from across Egypt.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza has, amid tight security provided by Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Police, received 2,000 artefacts for display in its various halls.
The artefacts were previously located at the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the Museum Store in Tell El-Yahudiyeh in the Nile Delta, and at the Giza Pyramids antiquities area.
GEM General Supervisor Atef Moftah said that, following the arrival of the new collection, the museum is now home to about 54,000 artefacts. 

“Among the most important pieces received on Saturday are two columns of pink granite from the reign of King Ramses II, each measuring 6 metres high and each weighing 13 tonnes,” Moftah said, “They will be displayed in the Great Staircase following the museum’s opening.”
Issa Zaidan, Director General of Executive Affairs for the Restoration and Transfer of Antiquities at GEM, said that the process of transporting and receiving antiquities is proceeding according to the specified schedule. The museum’s opening has been delayed to 2021, due to the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He added that 47 wooden pieces have also been transferred from the second Khufu boat located at the Giza Pyramids Plateau. A total of 1,053 wooden pieces from the boat now call the GEM home.








New Discovery: El-Assasif new discoveries continue to amaze.

CAIRO - 16 October 2019: Sources at the Ministry of Antiquities revealed that work is still underway to extract the coffins discovered in El-Assasif area in Luxor.
Numerous breathtaking artifacts appeared to excavators of the Egyptian archaeological mission led by Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, where coffins are being extracted while many are still buried deep in the ground. The number of coffins is expected to rise in the next couple of days before the ministry’s official announcement on the findings on Oct. 19.
Sources at the Ministry of Antiquities confirmed to the press that the number of sarcophaguses discovered in the cemetery of El-Assasif, west of Luxor reached on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 29 colored coffins belonging to senior statesmen and middle class individuals in the 18th, 25th and 26th ancient Egyptian dynasties.
Among the discovered artifacts are two small colored sarcophaguses likely belonging to two children buried in the ancient cemetery.
On Tuesday Oct. 15, officials at the Ministry of Antiquities conducted a full inspection of the coffins and the cache found arranged and stockpiled on top of each other in a very distinctive state of preservation.

It is likely that the coffins were exhumed and buried again to re-use the tombs at Mount Qurna, in successive eras from the ancient Egyptian state.

The press conference will be attended by international and local media outlets, in addition to officials of the ministries of antiquities and tourism, and leaders of various foreign countries to celebrate this historic event and contribute to the promotion of tourism in Egypt.
Professional restorers and archaeologists began to open the coffins one by one to find out their contents which turned out to be human remains belonging to a number of individuals of the ancient Pharaonic dynasties. Those coffins were prepared for burial in the tombs of the middle class families in the cemetery of El-Assasif.

The Ministry of Antiquities stated that after completing the comprehensive inspection of the findings, officials at the Ministry of Antiquities and the Supreme Council of Antiquities will hold an international press conference in Luxor on Oct. 19 to reveal all the findings in the area and explain to the world the endless magic of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

The press conference will be attended by international and local media outlets, in addition to officials of the ministries of antiquities and tourism, and leaders of various foreign countries to celebrate this historic event and contribute to the promotion of tourism in Egypt.
Source:egypttoday

Thursday, September 17, 2020

News, EgyptAir: EgyptAir announces international travel promotion.


EgyptAir announced on Thursday its launch of a promotional campaign called “We won’t stop traveling”, which offers customers a discount of up to 20 percent on international airfare. 
The promotion aims to provide customers with flexible travel options and encourage them to enjoy flying again under the airline’s COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Customers have the option to pay a deposit on a flight voucher that will
secure them a discount to use on a future international flight. 
There are three discount tiers:
– Customers paying a deposit of LE300 will receive a 10 percent discount. 
– Customers paying a deposit of LE500 will receive a 15 percent discount.
– Customers paying a deposit of LE700 will receive a 20 percent discount. 
Vouchers will be available from September 20 to October 20, and can be bought in-person at Egyptair offices or by calling the airline. They are valid for one year after their purchase date. 
EgyptAir currently operates direct flights to more than 35 international destinations, and plans to increase the number of available destinations as more countries reopen for international travel. 

New Discover, Saqqara "6" : Egyptologists discover rare coffin cache in Giza.

When Egyptians hid several sealed coffins deep into a shaft some 2,500 years ago, they probably thought they would be there for all eternity, undisturbed, while their occupants travelled forth to greater things.
Once their souls had successfully passed through judgment by the god Osiris — easy peasy if you were from the upper class — they went on to an eternal paradise, The Field of Reeds, where everything which had been lost at death was returned and one would truly live happily ever after.
Alas, the Field of Reeds will have to wait, as they will probably end up at the massive new Egyptian museum in Cairo.
On Sunday, Egyptian officials announced the discovery of a collection of more than 13 intact sealed coffins dating back to about 2,500 years ago, China Daily reported.
The coffins were found at an archeological site in Saqqara necropolis in Giza, said the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a statement.
The coffins, along with three sealed niches, were unearthed inside an 11-meter-deep shaft, according to the statement.


Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany and Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), visited the site on Sunday and inspected the excavation work in the shaft, China Daily reported.
“The discovery marks the largest number of coffins found in one burial place since the discovery of the Asasif Cachette,” the minister said, referring to the discovery of 30 ancient coffins in October 2019 at Asasif cemetery in Upper Egypt’s Luxor Province.
“The discovery in Saqqara includes a wonderful collection of colored wooden coffins whose colors and inscriptions are still in a good condition despite the passage of 2,500 years,” said Waziri, who leads the Egyptian archeological mission in Saqqara.
Waziri said the exact number of the unearthed coffins as well as the identity and titles of their owners have not yet been determined, but they will be found out in the coming few days as the excavation work still continues.
“The mission continues excavation work on the site and it is expected to result in many other new discoveries of shafts, colored wooden coffins and statues,” the SCA chief added.
Initial studies revealed that the coffins are completely sealed and have not been opened since they were buried inside the shaft, China Daily reported.

Source:asiatimes

Egypt's tourism minister suggests unifying international precautionary measures for travel.

Egypt's Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled El-Anany suggested on Wednesday that the international community form a committee to unify anti-coronavirus precautionary measures for the travel and tourism industry in light of the different policies adopted by each country, a statement by the ministry said.

The minister made the remarks in a speech at the opening of the 112th session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The session was attended by Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia, Secretary-General of the UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili, and 170 ministers and officials responsible for tourism from 24 countries.

According to the statement, El-Anany's proposal was praised by the attendees and the secretary-general of the World Tourism Organisation.
El-Anany began his speech by thanking Pololikashvili for his visit to Egypt in August, which was his first outside Europe after the emergence of the coronavirus, the statement said.
The Egyptian minister also told the UNWTO council about the precautionary measures and health safety protocols taken by Egypt to ensure the safety of tourists, citizens and workers in the tourism sector, in addition to reviewing Egypt's successful experience of resuming tourism.

On 1 July, Egypt announced the gradual resumption of international flights at its airports nationwide in line with the resumption of beach tourism in the South Sinai, Red Sea, and Matrouh governorates.
More than 600 hotels nationwide have been allowed to reopen after adhering to the safety protocols announced by the authorities and at a reduced occupancy of 50 percent.
El-Anany concluded his speech by calling for using and activating the slogan "Travel Today," instead of the organisation's current slogan "Travel Tomorrow," in order to preserve this important industry, which provides tens of millions of job opportunities to the world's citizens.

Source:ahramonline

Egypt News :Egypt cuts highways across pyramids plateau, alarming conservationists.

MEMPHIS, Egypt (Reuters) – Egypt is building two highways across the pyramids plateau outside Cairo, reviving and expanding a project that was suspended in the 1990s after an international outcry.

The Great Pyramids, Egypt’s top tourist destination, are the sole survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the plateau is a UNESCO world heritage site.

The highways are part of an infrastructure push spearheaded by Egypt’s powerful military and championed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is building a new capital city to ease the population pressure on Cairo, home to 20 million people.

The northern highway will cross the desert 2.5 km (1.6 miles) south of the Great Pyramids. The southern one will pass between the Step Pyramid of Saqqara – the oldest one – and the Dahshur area, home to the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid.

Each highway appears to be about eight lanes wide.

Critics say they could cause irrevocable damage to one of the world’s most important heritage sites. Authorities say they will be built with care and improve transport links, connecting new urban developments and bypassing central Cairo’s congestion.

“The roads are very, very important for development, for Egyptians, for inside Egypt,” said Mostafa al-Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. “Know that we take good care of our antiquities sites everywhere in Egypt.”

Some Egyptologists and conservationists say the highways will disrupt the integrity of the pyramids plateau, pave over unexplored archaeological sites, generate pollution that could corrode monuments, produce litter and expose closed areas packed with hidden archaeological treasures to looting.

Al-Waziri said existing roads were much closer to the pyramids and carried a lot of tourist buses. “That is why we are doing a lot of development,” he said, noting plans to use electric tourist buses within the plateau to avoid pollution.

MEMPHIS

The highways, which will dissect the plateau into three, will cross a section of ancient Memphis, one of the world’s biggest and most influential cities for almost 3,000 years.

“I was flabbergasted by what I saw,” said former senior UNESCO official Said Zulficar, who visited a portion of the southern highway two months ago. “All the work that I had done nearly 25 years ago is now being put into question.”

Zulficar led a successful campaign in the mid 1990s to suspend construction of the northern highway, a branch of Cairo’s first ringroad. UNESCO said it had requested detailed information on the new plan several times and asked to send a monitoring mission.

The state press centre referred a Reuters request for further comment on the plans to a communications advisor of the tourism and antiquities ministry, who could not be reached.

Construction began well over a year ago in desert areas largely out of public sight and became more visible around March, Egyptologists and Google Earth images indicate.

On a recent visit, Reuters journalists saw heavy machinery clearing fields and building bridges and junctions along both highways. Hundreds of uprooted date palms lay in piles.

The southern highway is a part of Cairo’s second ringroad that will connect the western satellite city of Sixth of October to the new capital city east of Cairo via 16 km of desert on the pyramids plateau, farmland and a corner of Memphis.

In 2014, the World Bank estimated congestion in the greater Cairo area cut about 3.6 percentage points off Egypt’s output.

“The road cuts through archaeologically unexplored cemeteries of the little-known 13th Dynasty, in walking distance of the pyramids of Pepi II and Khendjer and the Mastabat el-Fara’un”, said an Egyptologist who knows the area.

The person was among six Egyptologists Reuters spoke to. Most of them declined to be named for fear of losing clearance to handle antiquities.

One said caches of statues and blocks with hieroglyphs had been unearthed since highway construction began; the antiquities authority said on its Facebook page these had been discovered on nearby private property.

Memphis, said to have been founded in about 3,000 B.C. when Egypt was united into a single country, was eclipsed but not abandoned when Alexander the Great moved the capital to Alexandria in 331 B.C.

It extended more than 6 square kilometres, the Nile valley’s largest ancient settlement site.

The new road comes close to the ancient city’s commercial districts, its harbour walls and the former site of an ancient Nilometer, used to measure the height of the annual flood, said David Jeffreys, a British Egyptologist who has been working on Memphis for the Egypt Exploration Society since 1981.

It also endangers a Roman wall that once bordered the Nile that Jeffreys said few people were aware of.

“Memphis has long been neglected, even by Egyptologists, as it is a complicated site to excavate,” another Egyptologist said. “But it is enormously rich, bursting with temples, archives, administrative buildings and industrial areas.”

Source: egyptindependent

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Egypt News : Egypt cuts highways across pyramids plateau, alarming conservationists.

Egypt is building two highways across the pyramids plateau outside Cairo, reviving and expanding a project that was suspended in the 1990s after an international outcry.
The Great Pyramids, Egypt’s top tourist destination, are the sole survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the plateau is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The highways are part of an infrastructure push spearheaded by Egypt’s powerful military and championed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is building a new capital city to ease the population pressure on Cairo, home to 20 million people.
The northern highway will cross the desert 2.5 km (1.6 miles) south of the Great Pyramids. The southern one will pass between the Step Pyramid of Saqqara – the oldest one – and the Dahshur area, home to the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid.
Each highway appears to be about eight lanes wide.
Critics say they could cause irrevocable damage to one of the world’s most important heritage sites. Authorities say they will be built with care and improve transport links, connecting new urban developments and bypassing central Cairo’s congestion.
“The roads are very, very important for development, for Egyptians, for inside Egypt,” said Mostafa al-Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. “Know that we take good care of our antiquities sites everywhere in Egypt.”
Some Egyptologists and conservationists say the highways will disrupt the integrity of the pyramids plateau, pave over unexplored archaeological sites, generate pollution that could corrode monuments, produce litter and expose closed areas packed with hidden archaeological treasures to looting.
Al-Waziri said existing roads were much closer to the pyramids and carried a lot of tourist buses. “That is why we are doing a lot of development,” he said, noting plans to use electric tourist buses within the plateau to avoid pollution.

New Discovery, Saqqara "5": Egypt announced the discovery of 13 completely sealed coffins dating back more than 2,500 years.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced Sept. 7 the discovery of 13 completely sealed coffins dating back more than 2,500 years in a deep burial shaft in the ancient Saqqara region of the Giza governorate, south of Cairo.
According to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, the burial shaft is about 11 meters (36 feet) deep. The shaft contained wooden coffins with paint still intact and stacked on top of each other. Anani posted video footage from the archaeological discovery site on his Instagram account, with a caption that read, “An indescribable feeling when you witness a new archeological discovery. Stay tuned for the announcement of a new discovery in Saqqara. Thank you to my colleagues in the ministry.”
According to the ministry's statement published on its Facebook page, a preliminary study showed that the coffins are completely sealed and have not been opened since they were buried. It is likely that more coffins will be discovered in the niches near the shaft, it added. One of these niches was opened and wooden coffins and archaeological pieces were also found.
Al-Monitor spoke to Mostafa Waziry, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities who is currently leading the Egyptian archaeological mission in Saqqara. He said, “Saqqara is a promising region. It is one of the most important archaeological regions that still has unrevealed secrets. More work and more archaeological excavations are required to uncover more of its secrets and treasures. Work is underway to define the identity and titles of the occupiers of these 13 coffins, which were found after 2,500 years.”
He explained that a team of Egyptian restoration workers began restoring the 13 archaeological coffins, adding that archaeological excavations are continuing in the region, and that indications are promising and usher in more new discoveries.
Waziri noted that this new discovery is not the first in the archaeological region of ​​Saqqara, as archaeological discoveries have remarkably increased during the past years. “This has resulted in many international archaeological missions working in this region to race against time trying to explore hidden treasures,” he added.
He said the increase in the number of archaeological discoveries recently is due to the resumption of foreign archaeological missions after a hiatus of a number of years. “There are currently 300 archaeological missions from 25 countries, including some that are operating for the first time in Egypt such as the joint Egyptian-Chinese archaeological mission. Add to this the increase in the number of Egyptian archaeological missions, which for the first time in the history of Egypt reached about 50 missions working in various archaeological sites across the country.”
Waziri praised these Egyptian missions made up of prominent workers, technicians and archaeologists, and hailed their work to reveal the ancient Egyptian civilization to the world.

The Egyptian antiquities missions resumed excavation works in August, after they were suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While taking into account preventive measures, the missions are now operating in four regions, namely Tuna El-Gabal in Minya, the Saqqara antiquities region, the Pyramids in Giza and al-Asasif region, west of Luxor, according to Waziri.
In September 2019, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities had announced its approval of the work of about 240 foreign archaeological missions, including one Spanish and one American mission, in addition to 40 Egyptian archaeological missions, at various sites during the new archaeological season.
The 2019 announcement came at the launch of the winter excavation season. Although expectations were high that the archaeological season would be exceptional, the coronavirus outbreak ended the work of all foreign missions.
In recent years, the Saqqara region has witnessed several important archaeological discoveries. The ministry announced in December 2018 the discovery of a tomb that belongs to Wahtye, a high priest who served during the reign of King Neferirkare in the Old Kingdom’s Fifth Dynasty. The 4,400-year-old tomb was intact and well preserved with distinguished colors. It measures roughly 10 meters (33 feet) in length and three meters (10 feet) in height. The tombs’s walls are decorated with colorful scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family. It contains large colored statues of Wahtye carved in rock.
In July 2018, excavation works in Saqqara carried out by the Egyptian-German mission of the University of Tubingen uncovered a mummification workshop with connected burial chambers dating back to the 26th and 27th dynasties (664-404 B.C.). The announcement was made during the archaeological survey works in the Cemeteries of the Sawy Age, located south of the Pyramid of Unas in Saqqara. The mission also found a gilded mummy mask inlaid with semiprecious stones that covered the face of one of the mummies in one of the attached burial chambers. 
The Egyptian archaeological mission also found in April 2019 a tomb in Saqqara for a person named Khuwy who was one of the nobles living in the era of the Fifth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom. The mission uncovered this tomb while documenting the collection of pyramids that belong to King Djedkare Isesi, a ruler of the Fifth Dynasty.
At the end of last year, the ministry unveiled a huge cache of ancient artifacts and mummified animals in Saqqara. The discovery consisted of a tomb with a number of mummified cats and a statute of a big cat. Crocodiles, cobras and scarab beetles are among the other mummified creatures found at the site, along with statues of other animals and birds. The discovery of the cache, which dates back to the seventh century B.C., includes wooden boxes decorated with hieroglyphics.
                        

Source: al-monitor


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

1st group of French tourists after resumption of cultural tourism in Egypt enjoys Egyptian Museum.

CAIRO – 15 September 2020: The first tourist group from France visited the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, after they visited the Saqqara and Dahshour antiquities areas. That came about 14 days after the resumption of the cultural tourism movement in Egypt. 

The tourists enjoyed a tour at the archaeological area, and expressed their happiness to visit Egypt to get acquainted with its grandiose ancient civilization.
The French group wished that the details of the archaeological discovery and closed coffins that have been recently found in the Saqqara area would be announced while they are in Egypt, as the promotional clips that were published about the discovery dazzled them.

Egypt’s Minister of Tourism & Antiquities Khaled el-Anani held a meeting last week with several investors, representatives of cultural tourism and hotel managers in Luxor, to discuss the conditions of the tourism sector in the governorate and listen to their requests and proposals to stimulate and revitalize the cultural tourism movement after its resumption in early September.

Egypt’s Saqqara receives first tourist group from France .

The Saqqara Antiquities Region, most famous for tal tourism in Egypt. he Step Pyramid, received its first tourist group on Monday, about 14 days after the resumption of cultur

Egypt suspended international flights at all its airports on 19 March, in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, with flights only resuming again on 1 July. Egypt resumed inbound tourism, starting on 1 July, to three governorates as a first stage, namely the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh. Then it resumed tourism activities in Luxor and Aswan in early September.

The tourist group, which travelled to Egypt from France, enjoyed a tour of the archaeological site. They expressed their happiness at being able to visit Egypt and its various sites of ancient civilisation. The group also highlighted their desire to know further details on the recent archaeological discoveries in the area, which included the discovery of a cache of still closed coffins.

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities recently published promotional films on the archaeological discovery found at Saqqara, although the full details have yet to be announced.

The tourists said that the promotional videos were effective at drawing their attention to the discovery, and have whetted their appetite to know more, particularly regarding the contents of the coffins.

Source:daily news egypt

Luxor and Aswan floating hotels to reopen in October.

The floating hotels have begun executing the protocol and policy changes that will allow them to obtain certification to reopen at the beginning of next month, as confirmed by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Upon certification, the hotels will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity. 
Luxor and Aswan have 130 floating hotels, he said, 30 to 50 of which are expected to resume business initially, given that the return of tourism is anticipated to be gradual. 

Following the announcement, Egypt’s numerous tour agencies began coordinating trips, Agamy said, pointing out high demand from many countries, including Japan and Spain.
Tourism investors have offered the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled al-Anani, a number of ideas to revitalize the industry after operations resumed in early September, Agamy mentioned.
Some of the proposals included administering a PCR analysis for tourists upon arrival at Luxor and Aswan airports.

The test is currently available for those flying into Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada airports, and its availability is expected to contribute to an increase in tourism within the two governorates, he added.
The Luxor and Aswan governorates petitioned for an extension to the “Spend Summer in Upper Egypt” initiative, which was launched by the ministry to encourage tourism in Upper Egypt by offering 50 a percent discount on full ticket prices for foreign visitors at museums and archaeological sites.
They have requested extending the initiative to December.

The governorates also called for a reduction in domestic airfare to Luxor and Aswan, another measure they believe will help stimulate tourism in the region.
Anani promised to consider all requests and proposals, stressing that the state will spare no effort to promote the tourism sector.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed an increase in the coming months of inspection campaigns on hotels and archaeological sites, in order to ensure that places are adhering to the government’s precautionary measures and safety controls.

 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Return of Russian flights will work in Egypt’s favour: EJB

The return of Russian flights to Egypt is a very positive decision in favour of the country’s tourism and its sustainability, according to Mohamed Kaoud, head of the Tourism and Aviation Committee at the Egyptian Junior Business Association(EJB).
“The efforts made through the state, ministries and sovereign bodies reflect the ability of Egyptian negotiators to achieve gains on the negotiating table after the unfortunate plane crash in 2015,” Kaoud, who is also CEO of Egyliere Travel, said.
He indicated that Russian tourism is a main pillar in Egypt’s tourism in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, and called for a reconsideration of the return of charter and regular flights between Egypt and Russia.

Kaoud also noted that there is a need to study the reactivation of regular flights between Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports, and St Petersburg and Moscow airports, particularly targeting large group tourism and luxury travel.

Russia and China account for the largest percentage of luxury tourism worldwide, and regular aviation deals with a different type of flying experience between Egypt and Russia is essential to cater for this segment.

Kaoud stressed the need to strengthen Egyptian-Russian relations through direct investments, whether through partnerships, or attracting Russian investors in the hospitality sector.

This could take place through hospitality project partnerships in the form of hotels, restaurants, yachts, and beaches. It would occur in much the same manner as those partnerships Russian investors have set up in Monaco, France, Turkey, Greece and the UK.

Kaoud added that the development of appropriate plans during the next period will work to increase the number of Russian tourists.

“Developing real plans that are applied on the ground will increase Egypt’s reserves of US dollars coming from Russian tourism, which would reach to the billions,” he said. “This indicates that there should be a focus on the quality of services and security for the Russian market, and other markets, because any mistake as Russian tourism returns will create a crisis that may complicate the future relationship.”

Kaoud noted that hospitality stakeholders in Egypt must visit decision-makers in Russia and open further cooperation channels with Russian companies to attract tourism again. Egyptian businessmen should also consider joint ventures in a consortium that acquire shares in major tour operators and tourism companies that influence the destination flourishing.

He also emphasised the need to support and strengthen bilateral international relations between the two countries in accordance with health and safety standards. This would ensure that tourists returning home to Russia can undertake PCR analysis on demand once they return home, and do not suffer any side-effects from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Russian market holds great potential in terms of ensuring the Red Sea area’s tourism sector flourishes again, alongside other industries directly and indirectly related to the tourism and hospitality sectors. Once the flow of tourism from the country restarts, it will also provide a significant amount of foreign currency and foreign direct investment (FDI) to Egypt’s Economy.