Showing posts with label Tutankhamun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tutankhamun. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

News, Giza: Tutankhamun's Diadem and Other Artefacts Transported from Egyptian Museum to GEM


A collection of 614 artefacts arrived safely at the Grand Egyptian Museum. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

A collection of 614 artefacts were transported from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) by the pyramids on Monday. Osama Abu El-Kheir, general director of the Conservation Department at the GEM, said that the collection contains 11 objects from the treasure sof King Tutankhamun, among them the king’s diadem.

Also included are items from the Old Kingdom to the Late Period, including a wooden box of King Amenhotep II covered with a layer of a white mortar and engraved with the king's cartouche and a hieratic text, as well as a collection of Osirian statuettes and a limestone statue of the fifth dynasty’s top official in the royal palace, Senefer, and a 26th dynasty relief bearing the image of a sphinx. The transfer of Tutankhamun’s diadem was really a challenge,” Eissa Zaidan, head of the First Aid Restoration Department at the GEM told Ahram Online.

He explained that the diadem was in a very poor conservation condition. The restoration team used all the required scientific methods to protect the diadem and covered it with special kind of antibacterial and anti-acidic foam to guarantee its safe arrival, he explained.The new museum is scheduled to open in 2020.

Monday, May 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

New, Luxor: Supreme Council of Antiquities Denies Claims of New Discovery in King Tutankhamun’s Tomb

Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Mustafa Waziri denied on Wednesday media reports that a15-metre-deep hole was discovered behind the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb during a third radar survey carried out on the western and northern walls of the king’s burial chamber. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The survey started early in February and lasted for one week. Director of the Department of Foreign Missions Mohamed Ismail told Ahram Online that the head of the survey team says that at least three weeks are needed to study the results of the survey.

Ismail also denied media reports of a new archaeological discovery in the area, describing these reports as a breach of the antiquities law, which stipulates that any announcement should first be approved by the ministry’s permanent committee in order to ensure scientific credibility.

In 2015, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves published a theory suggesting that the northern and western walls of Tutankhamun's tomb house hidden doorways that could lead to the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, the wife and co-regent of the monotheistic King Akhenaten and the golden king’s step mother.

Reeves’ theory was based on his examination of 3D photos of the tomb. Former Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh El-Damati was enthusiastic about the theory and asked reeves to travel to Luxor to prove his hypothesis. Two radar surveys and an infrared examination have since been conducted, but have given inconclusive results.

A Japanese radar survey suggested the existence of void spaces, while a survey by an American team asserted that there is nothing behind the walls. Meanwhile, the infrared researchers asked to re-examine the walls as the environment inside the tomb was not conducive to accurate results. The third radar survey was then conducted by an Italian team from Turin University to settle the matter.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

News, Luxor: Radar Scan Underway to Search for Hidden Chambers in Tutankhamun’s Tomb

The northern and western walls of king Tutankhamun's tomb
On Thursday, experts from Italy and Egypt began a "decisive" search at the tomb of King Tutankhamun on Luxor’s west bank to reveal if there are any chambers hidden behind its northern and western walls. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The search involves utilising ground-penetrating radars to detect the presence of empty spaces or corridors hidden behind the walls of the boy king’s burial chamber.

In 2015, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves published a theory suggesting that the northern and western walls of Tutankhamun's tomb house hidden doorways that could lead to the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, the wife and co-regent of the monotheistic King Akhenaten and the golden king’s step mother. Reeves’ theory was based on his examination of 3D photos of both walks.

Former minister of antiquities Mamdouh El-Damati was enthusiastic about the theory and asked reeves to travel to Luxor to prove his hypothesis. Two radar surveys and an infra red examination have since been conducted, but have given inconclusive results. A Japanese radar survey suggested the existence of void spaces, while a survey by an American team asserted that there is nothing behind the walls.

Carter examining Tutankhamun's coffin
Meanwhile, the infrared researchers asked to re-examine the walls as the environment inside the tomb was not conducive to accurate results. To put an end to such conflicting results, Mohamed Ismail, supervisor-general of the Permanent Committee at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that a third radar survey has begun inside and outside Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The survey took place after approval was given by from security authorities, the Permanent Committee and the board of directors of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“This step was taken according to recommendations suggested at a press conference held last year at the Grand Egyptian Museum to discuss the results of all the scans; the step is a reflection of the Ministry of Antiquities' keenness on ensuring scientific credibility,” Ismail said.

Ismail explains that researchers from the Italian University of Turin led by Egyptologist Franco Porcelli are now conducting state-of-the-art, non-invasive "decisive geo-radar measurements" inside the tomb for six days.

Tutankhamen's tomb, discovered in 1922, was a unique find among the pharaonic tombs in Luxor's Valley of the Kings due to the wealth of its contents. Unlike most of the other tombs, it had not been plundered in ancient times.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

News, Luxor: Searching for The Tomb of Tutankhamun's Wife Ankhesenamun

A team of archaeologists led by Zahi Hawass may be closing in on the resting place of the boy king's wife. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
An Egyptian archaeological mission led by renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass began excavation work in the Valley of the Monkeys, a section of the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank, to search for an 18th Dynasty tomb “probably” of the wife of the boy king Tutankhamun, Ankhesenamun.

Mostafa Wazir, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities told Ahram Online that the team is working in the area near the tomb of king Ay, the successor of king Tutankhamun, in search of a yet unidentified 18th Dynasty tomb. He pointed out that in 2010 the team uncovered in this area four foundation deposits which suggest the existence of a tomb. According to ancient Egyptian traditions, he asserted, such deposits have to be dug after the completion of any tomb but digging deposits before the construction of any temple.

Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass told Ahram Online that in 2010 the team has unearthed inside these deposits a collection of knives and clay pots from the reign of king Amenhotep III, the father of the monotheistic king Akhenatun and the grandfather of the golden king Tutankhamun. “This suggests that the tomb could belong to one of Tutankhamun’s family members, probably his wife Ankhesenamun,” Hawass told Ahram Online. He added that radar survey carried out earlier has detected the existence of an anomaly five meters below the ground level. Some suggest that it could be the entrance of a tomb.

"Until excavations were conducted, archaeologists couldn't be certain of the tomb's existence. And if so we do not know for sure to whom it belongs," Hawass said, adding that "it could be anything, until we excavate." Ankhesenamun was the wife of Tutankhamun but married Ay not long after Tutankhamun’s death. Due to the location of the evidence, Hawass and his team think that any undiscovered tomb may belong to her. The Valley of the Monkeys, also known as the Western Valley, earned its name from local inhabitants because of the walls paintings which king Ay’s tomb, which depict 12 monkeys.

Friday, December 22, 2017

News, Giza: Chariot and Clothes of Egypt's Tutankhamun Transported to GEM

The collection of King Tutankhamun is being transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) ahead of its soft opening in 2018. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is receiving another three artefacts of the King Tutankhamun collection — a chariot and two of his shirts, from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

The collection of King Tutankhamun is being transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) ahead of its soft opening in 2018.

Tarek Tawfiq supervisor general of the GEM, told Ahram Online that the chariot is the third to be transported to the GEM. 

Tutankhamun had six chariots. He explained that the move comes within the framework of an Egyptian-Japanese project between the Ministry of Antiquities and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to pack and transport 71 artefacts now on display at the Egyptian Museum to their new permanent exhibition spaces in the GEM.

Tawfik said that among the 71 artefacts was a collection of reliefs of founder of the ancient Fourth Dynasty Senefru and a collection of 65 objects from Tutankhamun’s funerary collection, including three funerary beds, five chariots and 57 pieces of textile.

Director of first-aid restoration at the GEM, Eissa Zidan, said the restoration team had consolidated the wooden surfaces of the chariot as well as weak points in joint areas. The chariot, he said, was packed and transported as one item with the chair of the throne.

Zidan pointed out that the artefacts were padded with special materials to absorb any vibrations during transportation. State-of-the-art technology and modern scientific techniques had been used in order to guarantee the safe lifting and moving of the chariot from its display case at the Egyptian Museum. The team had also used acid-free packing materials.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Short Story: New Gold of Tutankhamun

Gold appliqué sheets from Tutankhamun’s chariot were put on display at the Egyptian Museum this week, revealing the technology used to decorate ancient Egyptian vehicles, writes Nevine El-Aref .

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was buzzing with visitors this week who had flocked to the institution’s second floor to catch a glimpse of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s unseen treasures.  Glittering against black backgrounds inside glass showcases, a collection of gold appliqué sheets that once decorated the boy-king’s chariot had been put on display for the first time 95 years after its discovery.

When British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, he stumbled upon a collection of decorative gold sheets scattered on the floor of the treasury room near the chariot. Due to its poor conservation, Carter put the collection in a wooden box that has remained in the depths of the museum’s storage rooms ever since.

In 2014, a joint project by the Egyptian Museum, the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, the University of Tübingen and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz carried out an archaeological and iconographic analysis of this important but largely ignored collection supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a research body, and the German foreign office. It is this collection that has now been placed on display.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany described the exhibition as “special and important” because it not only highlights a very significant subject but also celebrates the 60th anniversary of the reopening of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo after its closure in 1939 due to World War II.

“The exhibition is a good opportunity for the public to admire for the first time one of the golden king’s unseen treasures,” El-Enany said, adding that several artifacts from Tutankhamun’s treasured collection were still hidden in the Egyptian Museum. “This will not last long,” El-Enany promised, saying that all the boy-king’s unseen and non-exhibited artefacts would be transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau after its soft opening at the end of 2018.

Director of the German Archaeological Institute Stephan Seidlmayer said that studies carried out on the appliqués had revealed that they once adorned the horse-trapping, bow-cases and sheaths of weapons associated with Tutankhamun’s chariot. They exhibited unusual stately and playful designs, combining ancient Egyptian patterns with Levantine motifs, he said.

“They attest to the large network of social and cultural interconnections which has characterised the eastern Mediterranean from antiquity to the present time,” Seidlmayer said. He added that scientific analyses using the latest technology had revealed the sophisticated composition of the artifacts which rank among the highest products of ancient craftsmanship.

They reflect the wide-ranging trade network which incorporated the nearer and farther regions of the Near East and the Mediterranean that extended into parts of Middle and Western Europe. Raw materials, food products, and luxury goods were traded along different routes by land and sea.READ MORE.        

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

News, Luxor: Free Visit to Tutankhamun's Tomb, 17 October

To celebrate 200 years since the discovery of the King Seti I tomb, a free visit to King Tutankhamun's tomb will be available to Seti tomb visitors 17 October. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Ministry of Antiquities is offering visitors to King Seti I tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor's west bank a free visit to the neighbouring King Tutankhamun's tomb.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the free visit would be only for one day, Wednesday, 17 October, for King Seti I visitors. He explains that the free visit to the Tutankhamun tomb comes within the framework of the ministry's celebration of the 200the anniversary of the discovery of the King Seti I tomb.

King Seti I ruled during the 19th Dynasty and his tomb is among the deepest and longest of all tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It is 100 metres long and was uncovered by Italian archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni in October 1817.

The tomb later became known as the "Apis tomb" because a mummified bull was unearthed in a side room off the burial chamber.

News, Giza: Tutankhamun's Second Bed Transferred to New Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza

The second ceremonial bed of King Tutankhamun was escorted on Monday from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza, in preparation for its soft opening in mid-2018.

The bed was moved using a specially made hydraulic vehicle to prevent any vibrations that might cause damage, with a team of 20 archaeologists supervising the process, said Tarek Tawfik, the GEM's general supervisor.

The first gilded bed and a funeral chariot from Tutankhamun's tomb were transferred last May as part of a plan to move 1,000 artifacts to the GEM.

The Grand Egyptian Museum had been scheduled to open in 2015, but its construction has been delayed due to the expense involved, amounting to more than $1 billion.

Located at the foot of the Giza Pyramids, the GEM is not yet complete. However, when it finally opens it will display the collections of the current Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square, including many objects that are kept in storage.

The new complex is expected to host more than 100,000 relics, including 4,500 items of Tutankhamun treasure discovered in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

News, Giza: Tutankhamun Artifacts Moved to Grand Egyptian Museum Ahead of Soft Opening in 2018

Zidan During Restoration on The Oars
Mummified dates, grains and small model boats were among the objects moved in this most recent batch, an operation that required careful packing and essential restoration work. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities has transported another batch of items from the Tutankhamun collection to their new home at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau.

The ancient Egyptian artifacts were moved on Sunday from their current location at the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo to the GEM ahead of its soft opening in early 2018.

Tarek Tawfik, supervisor general of the GEM, said the new batch of artifacts includes dried and mummified seeds and fruits, as well as several model boats crafted from wood and a small wooden chair painted in white plaster.

Prior to the move, the objects were subjected to essential restoration work, courtesty of the GEM's First Aid Restoration department.

Eissa Zidan, the department's director, said the artifacts – including dried dates, onions, garlic, wheat, barely and doum – were all transported safely.

He said that the restoration staff used scientific methods to pack and transport the items. They also compiled a detailed report on the current condition of all items prior to the move. Zidan said the objects would undergo further restoration at the GEM.

The GEM is due to open in April 2018, with two areas accessible to the public: a large hall containing the entire Tutankhamun collection; and the Grand Staircase collection of major objects and statues from Ancient Egypt.

The process of transporting items from Downtown to the GEM started in the summer of 2016, while the transfer of the Tutankhamun collection began earlier this year.