Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The minister of antiquities visited several historic sites in Assiut on Saturday, allocating EGP 300,000 as a preliminary budget to start excavation work at Meir necropolis, and became the first minister to visit the ancient El-Muharraq monastery. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
During an inspection tour of several archaeological sites in the governorate, the Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany gave the go-ahead to begin a comprehensive plan to restore the Meir tombs, located 12km west of El-Qussiya town, and to develop the site to be more tourist-friendly and provide more services to visitors.
The necropolis consists of a collection of 15 rock-hewn tombs, which were unearthed last century by British Egyptologist Aylward Blackman. Only nine are open to visitors.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the tombs date back to the Old and Middle Kingdoms, from the sixth to the twelfth Dynasties, and include tombs of priest and rulers of the fourteenth Nome, or regional division, of Egypt at that time.
He explains that the tombs contain unusual painted scenes, characterised by their naturalistic qualities. Many of them shows highly detailed scenes of daily life, including industry, cultivation and sports, with a distinct local style.
Among the most distinguished is the one belongs to Ni-Ankh-Hpepy who was the chancellor of sixth dynasty King Pepi I. The tomb is painted with scenes depicting offerings of cattle, birds, and food, as well as fishing scenes. The tomb of Senbi, a nomarch (provincial governor) and overseer of priests during the reign of twelfth dynasty King Amenemhat I, has many offering, agricultural and manufacturing scenes.
El-Enany also visited El-Muharraq monastery, noted for the important role it played during the visit of the holy family to Egypt. The monastery was the final place on their journey.
Waziri told Ahram Online that to commemorate El-Enany’s visit, as he is the first minister of antiquities to visit the monastery, the monastery’s abbot, Bishop Bigol, and the monastery’s board of directors, reproduced a replica of an icon depicting the Holy Family’s journey to Egypt, and offered it to the minister.
The visit included a tour around the monastery’s old and new churches and its fortress.
The minister also met with Bishop Bigol to discuss several archaeological matters and to solve any problems. Waziri said that Bishop Bigol highlighted the successful cooperation between the ministry and the monastery.
El-Muharraq monastery was built on the Qosqam mount in the fourth century AD. The monastery has three churches, the oldest of which is the Church of the Virgin, which was built on the site of a cave where the holy family spent six months and ten days during their flight to Egypt.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Recovered Artifacts, Hurghada: Hurghada Airport Officials Foil Attempt to Smuggle 18th-Century Coptic Icon
The antique religious object was seized at Hurghada International airport as a passenger attempted to smuggle it to Germany. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The trio icon
Antiquities officials at Hurghada International Airport foiled an attempt on Monday to smuggle an antique Coptic icon out of Egypt.
According to Naglaa El-Kobrosly, director of the Antiquities Units in Egyptian Airport, a passenger was attempting to smuggle the 18th century religious object to Germany.
Monday, October 23, 2017
The object is carved of limestone and decorated with a cross and Coptic texts. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Egyptian archaeologists in Luxor have stumbled upon a decorative Coptic tombstone buried on the eastern side of the Sphinxes Avenue, under Al-Mathan Bridge. The tombstone is carved of limestone and decorated with a cross and Coptic texts, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online.
The exact date of the object has not yet been ascertained, nor the identity of the deceased. However, Mostafa Al-Saghir, director of the Sphinxes Avenue, said experts are now studying the tombstone find out.
The excavations in the Sphinxes Avenue are part of a Ministry of Antiquities programme to restore the area and transform it into an open-air museum. The avenue was the location for the procession of the Festival of Opet, which included priests, royalty and the pious, who walked from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple. Some 1,350 sphinxes, with human heads and lion bodies, lined the 2,700-metre- long avenue, and many of them have been now been restored.
The avenue was built during the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo I to replace an earlier one built in the 18th Dynasty, as recorded by Queen Hatshepsut (1502-1482 BC) on the walls of her red chapel in Karnak Temple. Hatshepsut built six chapels dedicated to the god Amun-Re on the route of the avenue during her reign, demonstrating its longevity as a place of religious significance.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
News, Cairo: Metro Station Police Foil Security Guard's Attempt to Steal Artifact from Coptic Museum
The museum worker had hidden the stolen piece under his clothes. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Police arrested a man today at Mar Girgis metro station in Old Cairo, on suspicion of stealing an artefact from the Coptic Museum, general-secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Amin, announced.
Amin told Ahram Online that the alleged criminal was a security guard at the museum, and during his shift he chopped off a wooden decorative element from a door panel from the church of St Barbara.
The man hid the stolen piece inside a plastic bag under his clothes and left the museum after finishing his shift.
The police arrested him at the metro station, which is a short walk away from the museum.
Elham Salah, head of the museum department within the antiquities ministry, told Ahram Online the case was sent to the general-prosecutor and the stolen item was now in police possession during investigations.
According to Coptic tradition, St. Barbara lived in the Levant during the third century AD, and who tortured and killed after she became a Christian.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Restorers at the Monastery of St. Bishoy near Cairo have uncovered frescoes depicting saints, martyrs and angels. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
One of The Paintings Discovered At The Monastery
Restorers working at the Monastery of St. Bishoy in the Wadi El-Natroun area have uncovered a number of medieval-era wall-paintings and architectural elements in the monastery's old church.
“While removing the modern layer of mortar from the walls of the monastery's old church, several coloured wall-paintings were uncovered,” Mohamed Abdellatif, deputy antiquities minister for archaeological sites, told Ahram Online.
He explained that the paintings date from between the 9th and 13th centuries AD, which will help archaeologists to determine the original architectural style of the church and the dates of its construction.
According to historical books and religious documents, he said, the church was subjected to changes and modifications in its architecture in 840 AD, during the Abbasid era, and in 1069 AD, during the Fatimid caliphate.
“The most distinguished paintings are those on the western and eastern walls of the church,” he said, describing the painting on the western wall as showing a woman named as Refka and her five sons, who were martyred during the persecution of Christians by the Roman empire.
The painting on the eastern wall depicts three saints and an archangel, and features Coptic writings below. El-Nemr explained that when restorers removed the modern additions they stumbled upon the ambon, an elevated platform that is a feature of many orthodox churches.
The newly discovered ambon is made of mud-brick covered with a layer of mortar and decorated with a red cross. Some geometric drawings, crosses and lettering were also found in various parts of the church.
The conservation project by the antiquities ministry has been ongoing since 2015, when a number of monasteries in the Wadi El-Natroun area experienced flooding.
The Monastery of St. Bishoy is around 100 kilometres north-west of Cairo, and is located along the Cairo-Alexandria highway. It has a collection of buildings, including five churches and a fort, as well as the tomb of the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, who died in 2012.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
An exhibition on Egypt’s Coptic 'martyrs' from the early Coptic era until the present was inaugurated on Thursday at Cairo’s Coptic Museum. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Senkesar book/ Photo by Ahmed El-Nemr
The exhibition pays homage to Egyptian martyrs across the span of the country’s history with a focus on Copts who were killed during the period of religious persecution by the Romans in the early Christian era as well as Egyptians (whether Christian or Muslims) killed in terrorist attacks in recent years. The exhibition spans up until the most recent deadly sectarian attack against Christians in December 2016 at the St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Cairo, which killed 28 Copts.
Ahmed El-Nemr, the supervisor general of the Coptic Antiquities Documentation Department, told Ahram Online that the exhibition put on show ten artifacts carefully selected from the museum’s treasured collection and banners displaying martyrs. The artifacts, he pointed out, include three icons, a relief, a copy of Al-Senkesar (a book commemorating the life of Coptic Saints) as well as glass and clay oil chandeliers.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
The 'Egypt, The Cradle of Religions' exhibit will be inaugurated tonight at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany will inaugurate Thursday evening the “Egypt, the Cradle of Religions” temporary exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. The exhibition comes as part of the ministry’s framework to organise a series of temporary exhibits in an attempt to raise cultural and archaeological awareness.
Elham Salah, the head of the Museums Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the exhibition put on show a collection of 57 artefacts that were carefully selected from the Egyptian Museum, the Coptic Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art.
The exhibition aims to shed light on religion in Egypt since ancient times; from the monotheistic era of King Akhenaten to the appearance of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Among the objects on display are the Terracotta head of the oldest ancient Egyptian deity discovered in Beni Salama, the statue of priest Hotep Di If from the third ancient Egyptian dynasty, a relief of King Akhenaten and his family worshipping the god Aten, and a relief of the goddess Isis and the god Harpocrat from the Greaco-Roman era.
Wooden boxes that were used as holders of the Torah and religious silver pots are also among the objects on display, as well as icons depicting the Virgin Mary and Jesus during their voyage to Egypt, and a copy of the Holy Quran and a silver Islamic-era chandelier decorated with foliage ornaments.
Six Islamic-era lamps recently recovered after being stolen from Cairo’s Al-Refai Mosque will be on special display within the exhibition, as well as items that were recently seized in Egyptian ports before they could be smuggled abroad.
Friday, January 6, 2017
The Six Artifacts on Display at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir
The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir has put on display six Coptic-era artifacts at its entrance as the January Pieces of the Month in celebration of the Coptic Christmas on 7 January.
Sabah Abdel-Razak, director-general of the Egyptian Museum, explains that the artifacts were carefully selected from the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo and include two pieces of Coptic textiles and three wood carvings.
The first piece of textile has overlapping decorations colored in beige and brown with a cross in the middle.
The second is part of a Coptic robe with plants and geometric decorations, colored in black, dark beige and red. Its lower part ends with tassels colored with blue and gray.
The first of the three wood carvings is decorated with images of an angel, a saint holding a book, and the Virgin Mary carrying the baby Jesus.
The second carving is gilded and decorated with the image of two saints; Irene, whose name means peace, and Foteine, meaning the bright one. An image of Christ is depicted in the middle, with the names of all three written in Greek above each image. The third carving depicts the Virgin Mary carrying the baby Jesus and has a metal cover with ancient Russian writing.
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 ...
The myth of red mercury, a substance supposedly found in the throats of ancient Egyptian mummies, is still widespread in Egypt, writes Zah...
A collection of 71 artifacts were transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum in preparation for its opening in 2020. Written By/ Nevine El-A...
New Discovery, Kafr El-Sheikh: Remains of Royal Ancient Egyptian Artefacts Uncovered in Tel Al-PharaeenAt least one of the pieces uncovered in Kafr El-Sheikh dates to the reign of King Psamtik I. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref. An Egyptian e...