Showing posts with label Cairo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cairo. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2018

New Discovery, Cairo: New Archaeological Discoveries in Matariya, Heliopolis


One of the inscriptions credits the creator God Atum as being responsible for the flood of the Nile, likely dating to the Late Period (664-332 BC). Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

A German-Egyptian archaeological mission working in Matariya, ancient Heliopolis, has uncovered a number of inscribed stone fragments from the 12th and 20th dynasties and the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt.

The discovery was made during excavation work carried out on debris piles located near a limestone burning installation near 4th and 2nd century workshops in the south-eastern section of the innermost enclosure of the Sun Temple.

Ayman Ashmawy, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities and the head of the Egyptian team, explained that work in the area has yielded much evidence that shows the reusing of the main temple of Heliopolis, with fragments of small statues found in the temple inventory from other historical periods. The work was accompanied by archaeological and archaeo-zoological studies.

Dietrich Raue, the head of the German team, said that the mission has excavated the area located to the east of the obelisk of Matariya, where it found a mud brick enclosure and a limestone staircase leading to a higher level by passing a channel with a false door, which was probably connected to rituals that took place in the innermost section of the temple at the obelisk.

Raue told Ahram Online that an inscription crediting the creator God Atum as being responsible for the flood of the Nile was also found. The inscription likely dates to the Late Period (664-332 BC). Many of these structures bear traces of reuse and destruction by fire.

Khaled Abul-Ela, director of the Inspectorate of Ain Shams and the Matariya archaeological site, said that a shelter has been constructed to protect the blocks on display at the open-air museum in Matariya.

The work was carried out under the supervision of the Project Department Sector at the ministry and supported by the cultural preservation programme of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The open-air museum houses basalt reliefs and reliefs of the Heliopolis temple for Atum of Nektanebu I, limestone reliefs and inscriptions from the Ramesside era, as well as selected finds from the necropolis of Heliopolis.

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.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Discovery, Cairo: New Discovery in Matariya Shed Light on The Shape of King Psamtek I Colossus

A frieze of falcons found in the temple
The 4,500 fragments of King Psamtek I's colossus reveal its original size and shape. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Egyptian-German excavation mission at Matariya, Heliopolis, uncovered roughly 4,500 fragments of King Psamtek I's quartzite colossus, parts of which were first discovered last year at the nearby Souq Al-Khamis archaeological site.

Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian antiquities department at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, said that these fragments, along with the previously discovered 6,400 pieces, allow researchers to calculate the original size and shape of the colossus, which was deliberately destroyed.

One of the uncovered fragments 
“The new fragments confirm that the colossus once depicted King Psamtek I standing, but it also reveals that his left arm was held in front of the body, an unusual feature. A very carefully carved scene on the back-pillar shows the kneeling king Psamtek I in front of the creator-god Atum of Heliopolis,” Ashmawy told Ahram Online.

He added that the majority of the fragments were found in south of the colossus' pedestal. The temple area was left open, Ashmawy added, probably during the Fatimids Era when the temple walls were dismantled to be reused in several Islamic buildings.

Dietrich Raue, Head of the German mission, explained that excavation work was accompanied by a geomorphological and geophysical survey which revealed many fragments of a quartzite gate belonging to Ramses II and (1279-1213 BCE, 19th Dynasty) and Nektanebo I (379/8–361/0 BCE, 30th Dynasty) near the latter's temple in Matariya.

Raue pointed out that the geophysical survey had indicated a number of areas with a large number of fragments of the former temple. Within the four ruined walls of the temple, he said, some exceptional finds were made.

Among them were a fragmented frieze of falcons, part of a gate of Merenptah (1213-1203 BCE, 19th Dynasty) as well as parts of a colossal Ramesside sphinx carved in red granite.

“It seems evident that Nektanebo I added his building to a major temple built at an earlier date,” Raue told Ahram Online. The archaeologist asserted that excavation work in the area has led to the discovery of new room units from the mid-Ptolemaic era.

Some fragments reveal the known practice of reusing of older pharaonic temple items from previous periods during the 2nd and 1st millennium BCE. The work was accompanied by archaeobotanical and archaeozoological studies for the identification of plant and animal remains at the site.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

News, Cairo: Exhibition of Artifacts from Deir al-Bersha to Open Thursday at Egyptian Museum in Tahrir

The exhibition celebrates 120 years of excavations at the Minya governorate site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

A temporary exhibition highlighting 120 years of archaeological excavations in Deir el-Barsha in Minya will open Thursday evening at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Under the title Life in Death: The Middle Kingdom at Deir el-Bersha, the exhibition will be officially inaugurated by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Belgiun Ambassador to Egypt Sibille de Cartier and German Ambassador Julius Georg Loew.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, KU Leuven University in Belgium and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany. The event will be attended by the head of the Belgium-Germany Archaeological Mission, a number of ambassadors to Egypt from foreign counties, Egyptian members of parliament and top officials at the antiquities ministry.

Elham Salah, Head of the Museums Sector at the ministry, told Ahram Online that the exhibition will be on display for 30 days and will showcase 70 artifacts from the discoveries at Deir Al-Bersha, which were previously spread throught the museum’s various galleries or concealed in its basement.

“The artefacts will for the first time be displayed together,” she pointed out, revealing that the objects include the distinguished funerary collection from the tomb of Sepi III.

Among Sepi III's artefacts are the rectangular box coffins, inscribed with religious funerary texts, known as coffin texts, which helped the deceased to travel through the afterlife. Also among the displaed items are wooden models found in the tomb, which often depicting activities from daily life such as making food and drink.

The aim of such models was so that the deceased could enjoy these activities in eternity. Trays found in the tombs of Sepi I, Sepi III and Nehri I will also be on display. These trays, Salah said, are unique as they are made of painted cartonnage, consisting of a layer of gypsum.

The individual offerings on these trays are also made of cartonnage, painted in intricate detail, allowing for the easy identification of objects.

Sabah Abdel-Razek, General-Director of the Egyptian Museum, said that the site at Deir Al-Bersha is located 280 km south of Cairo and is best known as the burial place of the Middle Kingdom governors of el-Ashmunein (c. 2055-1650 BCE).

The governors built elaborately decorated tombs high on the North Hill of the Eastern Desert cliffs, while important officials were buried in tomb shafts in the vicinity of their lords.

The earliest excavations at Deir el-Bersha began in 1897 when the French Egyptologist Georges Daressy began exploring the site on behalf of the Egyptian Antiquities Service. His most spectacular find was the intact burial chamber of Sepi III.

The first Egyptian Egyptologist, Ahmed Kamal, continued to work at Deir el-Bersha from 1900-1902. He excavated several of the elite shaft tombs on the North Hill, including those of Amenemhat and Nehri I.

During their expeditions, she explains, Daressy and Kamal discovered an impressive collection of exemplary Middle Kingdom funerary equipment, such as wooden tomb models and decorated coffins. The majority of these objects are kept in the Egyptian Museum and many will be on display in this exhibit.

In 1915, American Egyptologist George Andrew Reisner excavated for two months at Deir el-Bersha. His most important discovery was the nearly intact tomb of governor Djehutinakht IV or V. Since 2002 KU Leuven University has resumed excavations at this site, reinvestigating several of the areas where these prior excavations took place.

KU Leuven University has also collaborated with the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz since 2009 on excavations of five large tomb shafts in front of the tomb of governor Djehutihotep, most of the contents of which are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Friday, February 23, 2018

News, Cairo: Museum of Islamic Art to Display Replicas in Cairo's Metro Stations

The photo and replicas exhibition at Opera Metro station aims to increase archaeological awareness among Egyptians. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) organised a photo and replicas exhibition of its treasured collection at the Opera Metro station in collaboration with the Metro company and Ministry of Transportation.

Elham Salah, head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the exhibition is a new initiative launched by the ministry to raise archaeological and art awareness among Egyptians, as well as encouraging them to visit the MIA. She added that the initiative will be applied across all Metro stations in due course.
More About Islamic Art Museum News Click Here 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

News, Cairo: AUC Shares Hassan Fathy Archives to Help Restore New Gourna Village

Documents, drawings and images from the Hassan Fathy Collection held at the AUC's Rare Books and Special Collections Library have been used to plan the village restoration project. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The American University in Cairo's (AUC) Rare Books and Special Collections Library has been assisting with a project to restore New Gourna village in Luxor, providing original drawings, documents and images from the AUC’s Hassan Fathy Collection.

Built between 1946 and 1949, New Gourna village has experienced significant deterioration in recent decades, inspiring several plans for its restoration that have not come to fruition until now.

A UNESCO-sponsored project, however, is set to succeed in preserving pioneering architect Hassan Fathy’s well-known experiment at constructing an ideal village, a plan that perfectly embodies the innovative architect’s mission and values.

With the help of the special collections library and the backing of UNESCO, the National Organization for Urban Harmony was able to concretize plans for revival of the site and restoration of its buildings, guided by the original materials from the Hassan Fathy Collection.

“We’re happy to see the Hassan Fathy Collection used for restoration purposes,” said Ola Seif, assistant director and curator for photography at the Rare Books and Special Collections Library.

“For the past 10 years, it has been a wonderful source for many researchers worldwide, and soon, AUC Press will publish a thoroughly researched book titled Hassan Fathy in His Time. So the collection is really being explored as Hassan Fathy would have liked it to be, and to serve the purposes of his architectural ideology.”

Considered one of the first architects to make “appropriate technology” a principle of designing modern buildings, Fathy constructed the New Gourna village around the unique needs of its inhabitants.

In the process, he was able to assist in relocating an entire community that had previously been living near archeological Pharaonic sites. To build a “better village,” Fathy used local materials and traditional mud bricks, thereby empowering those in need to build their own affordable housing and reflecting the community’s connection with its environment.

The library was also central in curating an exhibition for the project’s launch event that was recently held at the Cairo Citadel. Through photographic archives, the exhibition traced the original construction of the village and Fathy’s architectural style, paying homage to his vision for New Gourna.

The final segment of the photographic gallery presented digital images that offered a peek into plans for reconstruction of some of the New Gourna buildings. Tarek Waly, CEO of the Tarek Waly Center and consultant for the restoration project, also introduced the main strategies for restoration. Additionally, Ghaith Fariz, director of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States, spoke to the significance of Fathy’s architecture and ideology.

The first stage of the project will tackle the village khan and mosque. Later stages will move on to rehabilitating the theatre, marketplace, Fathy’s residence, the village hall and main square, with plans to also increase the efficiency of the roads approaching the site. 

The project involves plans to reuse the buildings according to the needs of the villagers, with the possibility of converting some areas into artist studios, a cultural centre, a centre for youth and, potentially, a training centre to continue communicating Fathy’s mission and methods.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Re-Opening, Cairo: Egyptian Monuments Reopen

Three Mameluke monuments in Islamic Cairo are to be reopened to the public after restoration. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref. 
Three Mameluke-period monuments, the Al-Muayyedi Bimaristan, the Tekkeyet Al-Bustami and the Darb Al-Laban Gate in Islamic Cairo are to be reopened to the public next week after restoration work.

A Bimaristan is a Mameluke hospital, while a tekkeya is a Sufi charitable building. The buildings have been shrouded in scaffolding for the past three years as restoration work continues, with it being slated to finally come off next week.

The monuments, like others in heavily populated areas, were suffering from environmental dangers, including air pollution, high subsoil water levels, high levels of humidity, water leakage, the effects of a decayed sewerage system installed 100 years ago, and the adverse effects of the 1992 earthquake that increased the number of cracks in their walls, leading in some cases to partial collapse. 

“One of the most serious causes of the damage to the buildings has been encroachment from the monuments’ neighbours who used the tekkeya for example as a residential building and the bimaristan as a garbage dump,” Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, director of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project that supervised the work, told Al-Ahram Weekly.

He said the walls of the three monuments had cracked and partly collapsed, masonry was damaged, and the condition of the ceilings was critical. Decorations were heavily damaged and several parts were missing, while most of the flooring was broken.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said the restoration had been carried out according to the latest scientific methods. “Every effort was made to ensure that all the original architectural features were retained,” he said, adding that the restoration of the buildings had had important advantages in that individual monuments were being preserved for future generations and the entire neighbourhood was being revived and upgraded.

Abdel-Aziz said that the aim of the restoration was mainly to strengthen and consolidate the monuments and protect them from future damage. The walls were reinforced, cracks were treated, façades were consolidated, missing and decayed stones were replaced, and masonry was cleaned and desalinated. Tilted pillars and walls were readjusted to their original positions, broken woodwork was re-installed and missing parts were replaced with others of the same shape, size and material.

The ceilings were consolidated and insulated with special material to prevent the leakage of rainwater into the monuments. A special system was also designed to accumulate rainwater in one place and feed it into the main sewage system.

The areas surrounding the three monuments were cleaned, restored and upgraded in order to be venues hosting cultural events as well as for holding workshops to raise the cultural awareness of their inhabitants.


The Al-Muayyedi Bimaristan was built by one of the most important Circassian Mameluke sultans to rule Egypt, Al-Muayyad Sheikh Al-Mahmoudi, who reigned between 1418 and 1420 CE. The Bimaristan is the second public hospital still remaining from the period after that of the Mameluke sultan Qalawun built in 1284 in Al-Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo…. READ MORE.

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.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

News, Cairo: Egyptian Museum Displays Works of Deir Al-Medina Artisans

The month-long exhibition, which marks the centenary of French excavations at Deir Al-Medina, opens on Thursday night. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square opens a temporary exhibition on Thursday night focused on the artisans of Luxor's Deir Al-Medina archaeological site.

Titled “The Artisans of the Pharaohs through their Artworks”, the month-long show also marks the centenary of French archaeological research, excavation and restoration at the site.

On show for the first time will be a collection of 52 artefacts discovered by the French mission at Deir Al-Medina, along with documents and photos from the archive of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO), Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online.


The artifacts, she explains, reflect the daily life, the faith and the funerary rituals of the Deir Al-Medina artisans. Among the most important objects are a statue of Sanejem, lintels of kings Amenhotep I and II, as well as a painted limestone ostraca.

New discovery, Sakkara: Hawass Announces New Archaeological Discovery in Saqarra

The Egyptian Mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the ...