Showing posts with label Egypt news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt news. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

News, Esna "3" : Temple Restoration Reveals Previously Unknown Names of Ancient Egyptian Constellations.

The restoration of an ancient Egyptian temple in Esna, located about 60 km south of the ancient capital of Luxor in Egypt, has uncovered the original colors of the temple inscriptions and images, and revealed previously unknown names of ancient Egyptian constellations.
The temple of Esna, dedicated to the Egyptian deity Khnum, is one of the last examples of ancient Egyptian temple architecture.
Only the vestibule, called the pronaos, of the original temple complex survived, because it was used as storage facility for cotton during the 19th century CE.
The building measures 37 m long, 20 m wide, and 15 m tall, and was decorated mainly during the Roman period (1st to 3rd century CE).

The roof is supported by 18 columns with wonderfully varied floral capitals in the form of palm leaves, lotus buds and papyrus fans; some also have bunches of grapes, a distinctive Roman touch.
It is decorated with astronomical scenes, while the pillars are covered with hieroglyphic accounts of temple rituals.
“In Egyptian temple architecture this is an absolute exception,” said Dr. Daniel von Recklinghausen, a researcher in the Department of Egyptology at the University of Tübingen.
“The work on the elaborate decorations probably took up to 200 years.”
“The real wealth, the inscriptions, was recognized by the French Egyptologist Serge Sauneron, who pushed ahead with the excavation of the temple and published the inscriptions in full,” the researchers said.
“But without the original colors, Sauneron could not recognize them under the layers of soot and bird excrement.”
“Now, the layers have been removed and the temple looks in part as it may have done some 2,000 years ago.”

“In addition, it now offers new approaches for Egyptology research,” said Professor Christian Leitz, director of the Department of Egyptology at the University of Tübingen.
“The hieroglyphics that Sauneron explored were often only very roughly chiseled out, the details only applied by painting them in color.”
“This means that only preliminary versions of the inscriptions had been researched. Only now do we get a picture of the final version.”
During the restoration, the scientists found the descriptions of the Big Dipper (Mesekhtiu) and Orion (Sah) constellations.
They also discovered inscriptions about the previously unknown constellations, including the Geese of Ra (Apedu n Ra).

“In the area of the astronomical ceiling, many inscriptions were not executed in relief, but only painted in ink,” Professor Leitz said.
“They were previously undetected under the soot and are now being exposed piece by piece.”
“Here we have found, for example, the names of ancient Egyptian constellations, which were previously completely unknown.”
Source:sci-news

News Egypt: Egypt’s Supreme Committee for Museums Display Scenario completes placing Amun’s mummies in New Administrative Capital Museum.

The Supreme Committee for the Museums Display Scenario has completed placing the mummies of the priests and priestesses of the god Amun, in their show cases in the Museum of Egyptian Capitals in the New Administrative Capital. 

Dr. Ali Omar, head of the Supreme Committee for the Museum Display Scenario at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, explained that these mummies arrived in the museum last week, coming from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, in order to enrich the display of the Museum of Egyptian Capitals in the new Administrative Capital.
He added that their show cases were prepared and sterilized in a special way to preserve the mummies inside. 

Mr. Moamen Othman, head of the museums sector at the ministry, said that these mummies were discovered in the royal cache in Deir el-Bahari in 1881, and belong to the mummy of Najm, the wife of Harihor, the chief priest of Amun, whose eyes were inlaid with white and black stones, which gives the feeling that they are still alive as well as wearing natural wigs and eyebrows.
 
As for the mummy of Nasi Khonsu, the second wife of the chief priest of Amun Banjum II, he said that it is considered a distinct example of the development of the mummification method of the 21st Family, where the eyes covered with stones and the dark yellow color of the skin gave a sense of vitality and freshness.  
 
As for the mummy of Banjum II, the high priest of Amun, Othman added that her skin was colored yellow and dark red, and the mummy was wrapped in thin linen with colored fringes.  
 
And the mummy of the grandfather of Ptah uf Ankh from Dynasty 21, fingers and toes are decorated with rings.  As for the mummy of Hanutawi, the wife of the chief priest of Amun, Banjum I, with a face Plump to show vitality.
 
Dr. Mona Raafat, the General Supervisor of the Museum of the Capitals of Egypt, explained that the museum received, during the past week, more than a hundred artifacts coming from a number of museums and archaeological storages; including the storages of the museums of Luxor, the royal carriages in Bulaq, Suez and the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, and the archaeological site of Mit Rahinah. She said that work in the museum is progressing in preparation for its opening.
 
She added that these artifacts have been selected carefully to enrich the museum display scenario to tell the history of the Egyptian capitals through different historical eras.
 
She pointed out that one of the most important pieces in the museum is a collection of Talatat stones depicting King Akhenaten and his wife Queen Nefertiti from the Luxor Museum storage, they are now being restored in preparation for their display; in addition to a Cuban carriage and a Kalash and a model of a war carriage which was a gift  to King Farouk.
 
The museum also received a number of mummies from the Egyptian Museum, mummies of priests and senior statesmen, in addition to a number of canopic jars and a wooden box inscribed with a picture of the god Anubis, to be displayed in the museum's funeral ritual hall.  This is in addition to a wonderful double statue of King Merenptah and the goddess Hathor from Mitt Rahman.
 
The Museum of the Capitals of Egypt tells the history of the Egyptian capitals through different eras. It consists of a main gallery in which the relics of a number of ancient and modern capitals are displayed. There are 7 capitals; namely Memphis, Thebes, Tell El-Amarna, Alexandria, Islamic Cairo, Khedivial Cairo.  The patterns of life are represented in each historical period of each capital separately, such as decorative tools, tools of war and fighting, the system of government and various correspondences.
 
As for the second section of the museum, it is a wing that represents the after life in ancient Egypt. It consists of the tomb of Tutu, which was discovered in 2018 in Sohag Governorate, in addition to a hall for mummies, coffins, and two shelves containing canopic jars and a set of false doors and alternate heads that simulate religious rituals in  Ancient Egypt.
 
The museum’s display will use modern technology, where the exhibition galleries are equipped with screens displaying an interactive panoramic film showing the history, and an illustration of each of the ancient Egyptian capitals.
Source:egypttoday

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

New Discovery, Sakkara "3": Egyptian dig crew steals the show in ‘Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb’

A lone workman picks through soft rubble, lit by a ray of light from above as he delicately sifts through the sand and debris.
His mattock clinks on something and he calls to his colleague, who joins him in the pit, brushing away the sand to reveal a small statue. It’s an astonishing discovery.
Except that you have to wonder how contrived the setup is, given that the camera crew is already down in the pit with the two men, zooming in on their expressions of wonderment as the dust, which has remained undisturbed for centuries, lifts into the air.
There are a lot of moments like this in Netflix’s “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” documentary, as a small team of Egyptian archaeologists uncover a tomb that has been untouched for 4,400 years, leading to a glut of further discoveries and some staggering breakthroughs with regards to ancient Egyptian culture.

And while some of these moments – as well as a slightly forced narrative about
the team racing against the end of the season – appear cultivated to sprinkle extra drama on this remarkable film, they are easily forgotten when the filmmakers, led by director James Tovell, focus on the team, and their connection to Egypt’s ancient history.
Despite being blessed with no shortage of incredible moments of discovery, “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” is at its most remarkably moving when the local workforce and experts are given the opportunity to explain just how and why this history resonates so intently. 
Whether it’s digger Ghareeb sharing a rest break with his son, Dr. Amira Shaheen being moved to tears as she tries to empathize with long-dead Egyptians, or foreman Mustafa finding kinship with his ancestors in their use of the same tools, it is these human interactions, and the palpable excitement of the exhausted workers as treasure after treasure is pulled from the sand, that linger longest in the memory. 
And those special examples of human connection that make it easy to forgive the more contrived moments.


Source:arabnews

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

News, Abu Simble: Egypt prepares for solar alignment in Abu Simbel temple amid coronavirus

The solar alignment where the sun illuminates the face of the statue of Ramses II is considered a major event in Pharaonic history and holds many secrets of the pharaohs.
This phenomenon occurs twice a year in the Temple of Abu Simbel in the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt, a scene that attracts the world’s attention.
Maj. Gen. Ashraf Attia, governor of Aswan, said in a press statement Oct. 22  that preparations have been made by all parties involved to receive tourists, both foreign and Egyptian, flocking in to witness this phenomenon. He stressed that precautionary and preventive measures against the coronavirus have been taken.
Attia added that it was agreed with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Ministry of Culture not to hold the celebration that usually takes place on the sidelines of the biannual event, in a bid to prevent many people gathering.
King Ramses II is known as Ramses the Great, the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt, who led many military campaigns in the Levant. 
At the age of 14, Ramses II took over the reins of power from his father Seti I.
Twice a year, the sun illuminates the face of Ramses II, passing over a 60-meter (197-feet) distance until it reaches the Holy of Holies room, where the king lies. The sun also passes over the Ramses II statue for 20-25 minutes at dawn of Oct. 22, which coincides with the start of the flood and agricultural season in ancient Egypt. On Feb. 22, the sun announces the start of the harvest season.
The Holy of Holies is a room in the temple that is home to the statue of Ramses II and, sitting next to him, the God of the Sun Ra, the gods Re Hor Achti and Amun, and Ptah, the god of darkness.
According to Egyptologist Wassim al-Sisi, ancient Egyptians were geniuses in astronomy and all sciences. He told Al-Monitor that the world’s scientists acknowledged that the sun phenomenon over the statue of Ramses II is a great miracle, as the sun passes over the statue twice a year — on Ramses II’s birthday and the day of his coronation.
Sisi added that at the same time the sun also illuminates the statues of Re Hor Achti and Amun.
“The great surprise is that the sun illuminate’s half of the face of the god Ptah, the fourth god in the Holy of Holies room.
Ptah symbolizes the night and the day, or the light and the darkness,” Sisi said.
He noted, “This phenomenon embodies the gigantic efforts made by Egyptian pharaohs in the world of astronomy to serve all humanity."
Sisi said that the pharaohs were successful in creating a great astronomical phenomenon, while the rest of the world struggled to come up with a calendar.
“Back then the lunar calendar was common.
We had found an archaeological papyrus that read, ‘Save me, Amun. Summer and winter are overlapping and intertwining,’” Sisi said.
“This solar phenomenon proves that Egypt under the pharaohs revealed back in 4242 B.C.
that the earth was part of the solar and not the lunar system. This is why we, Egyptians, have to celebrate the fact that Egypt set for the world the correct solar calendar for the year — with 366 days,” he said.

Sisi pointed out that civilization begins with written records. 
"Before civilization there was what is called civilization quest.
Ancient Egyptians assured the world since 4241 B.C.
that a year is made up of 365 days. This indicates that nearly 500 years of astronomical research had been done to pave the way for this [discovery],” he said.
“For instance, the First Dynasty began in 5619 B.C., and not 3003, as the British Museum claims.
This was proved by recent studies,” Sisi said.
The British Museum had previsouly confirmed that the First Dynasty comprised three kings, but nine royal tombs of the First Dynasty were later found in 2016 in several areas in Egypt.
Elhami al-Zayat, a tourist expert and head of the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels, told Al-Monitor that the sun phenomenon on the statue of Ramses II is seen as one of the greatest events in the world, which has a major positive impact on Egytian tourism.
“The timing, however, of this [biannual] event does not suit many tourists, especially students who are usually caught up at schools or universities at these times of the year. But the Temple of Abu Simbel, in general, is seen as one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt,” Zayat said.
He added, “This event is occurring this year amid exceptional circumstances, namely the coronavirus pandemic that has negatively affected the turnout of foreign tourists."
Zayat said that the pandemic has dealt a blow to the tourism sector not only in Egypt but the entire world.
“Several major tourist companies laid off a large number of their workers, not being able to pay salaries.
The tourism industry has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus since its outbreak until now.
Zayat called on the world’s governments to save the tourism sector from collapse, by offering tourism companies financial aid, especially since the global movement of tourists has drastically dwindled compared to previous years.
Sisi added that at the same time the sun also illuminates the statues of Re Hor Achti and Amun.
“The great surprise is that the sun illuminate’s half of the face of the god Ptah, the fourth god in the Holy of Holies room. Ptah symbolizes the night and the day, or the light and the darkness,” Sisi said.
He noted, “This phenomenon embodies the gigantic efforts made by Egyptian pharaohs in the world of astronomy to serve all humanity."
Sisi said that the pharaohs were successful in creating a great astronomical phenomenon, while the rest of the world struggled to come up with a calendar.
“Back then the lunar calendar was common. We had found an archaeological papyrus that read, ‘Save me, Amun. Summer and winter are overlapping and intertwining,’” Sisi said.

“This solar phenomenon proves that Egypt under the pharaohs revealed back in 4242 B.C. that the earth was part of the solar and not the lunar system. This is why we, Egyptians, have to celebrate the fact that Egypt set for the world the correct solar calendar for the year — with 366 days,” he said.
Sisi pointed out that civilization begins with written records. “Before civilization there was what is called civilization quest. Ancient Egyptians assured the world since 4241 B.C. that a year is made up of 365 days.
This indicates that nearly 500 years of astronomical research had been done to pave the way for this [discovery],” he said.
“For instance, the First Dynasty began in 5619 B.C., and not 3003, as the British Museum claims. 
This was proved by recent studies,” Sisi said.
The British Museum had previsouly confirmed that the First Dynasty comprised three kings, but nine royal tombs of the First Dynasty were later found in 2016 in several areas in Egypt.
Elhami al-Zayat, a tourist expert and head of the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels, told Al-Monitor that the sun phenomenon on the statue of Ramses II is seen as one of the greatest events in the world, which has a major positive impact on Egytian tourism.
“The timing, however, of this [biannual] event does not suit many tourists, especially students who are usually caught up at schools or universities at these times of the year.
But the Temple of Abu Simbel, in general, is seen as one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt,” Zayat said.
He added, “This event is occurring this year amid exceptional circumstances, namely the coronavirus pandemic that has negatively affected the turnout of foreign tourists."
Zayat said that the pandemic has dealt a blow to the tourism sector not only in Egypt but the entire world.
“Several major tourist companies laid off a large number of their workers, not being able to pay salaries. The tourism industry has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus since its outbreak until now.”
Zayat called on the world’s governments to save the tourism sector from collapse, by offering tourism companies financial aid, especially since the global movement of tourists has drastically dwindled compared to previous years.

Source:al-monitor

News: In Egypt the mummies return. But will tourists in a pandemic?

Saqqara, a dusty necropolis south of Cairo, has become instrumental in Egypt's fightback against a tourist slump.
It's been an extraordinary year for archaeological discoveries at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, where separate finds have unearthed scores of sarcophagi and a host of artifacts, including an obelisk and a unique, bejeweled statue of the god Nefertum.
This, following the reopening of the 4,700-year-old Djoser's Step Pyramid in March after a 14-year, $6.6 million restoration.
In early October, 59 sarcophagi, around 2,500 years old, were uncovered. Wonderfully preserved with their original colors and hieroglyphs, their unveiling was an opportunity to reach a prized audience: tourists. Alongside press, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities invited dozens of foreign ambassadors, who subsequently shared images and details across social media.
"The discovery entered into the hearts of everyone all over the world," former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass tells CNN.
"I think the ambassadors really sent a message to their countries about the pleasures of Egypt, because we need tourists to come back."
Tourism in Egypt had been growing in recent years, according to Kevin Graham, Egypt editorial manager at research and advisory company Oxford Business Group (OBG). "At the beginning of 2020 there was the expectation that this growth trend would continue," he tells CNN.

Then the pandemic happened. International flights were suspended in March along with the closing of archaeological sites and museums. Commercial flights didn't resume until July.
OBG calculates tourism contributed over 9% of Egypt's GDP in 2019, and while domestic tourism has continued to an extent, Graham adds, international tourism plummeted.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its forecast for tourism expenditure in Egypt this fiscal year from $17.8 billion to $2.7 billion.
Egypt has had more than 107,000 confirmed cases and more than 6,200 deaths from Covid-19 at the time of writing, and more than 1,00 cases in the past week, per John Hopkins University. 
New deaths and cases peaked in June.
While the pandemic rumbles on, the tourism sector is regrouping.
In July, a smattering of attractions reopened including the Great Pyramids of Giza, along with hotels issued with government safety certificates indicating they met World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. 
In September, more archaeological sites reopened, and the Egyptian government announced further measures to support the sector, including extending visa fee exemptions for tourist hotspots Luxor, Aswan, the Red Sea and South Sinai until April 2021, and delaying repayments on utility bills and debts for tourism-related companies.

Amr Karim, general manager for Travco Travel, one of Egypt's largest travel operators, says after a "drastic decline," the past three months have seen a "gradual increase in beach holidays," with bookings coming from across Europe.
Visitors to Egypt are currently required to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their flight departure, although arrivals at some airports on the coast are allowed to take a $30 PCR test then quarantine until they receive their results.
Travco is implementing WHO regulations and is disinfecting hotel rooms, public spaces and vehicles, while staff are using face masks, sanitizing tools and social distancing. Karim notes the proportion of elderly travelers is down while there's been a rise in travelers under 50, and that tourists are, by and large, sticking to their hotels.
He anticipates a "boom" in tourism to ancient sites by the third quarter of 2021.
"The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has been exerting monumental efforts in the last few years to enhance and shed light on Egypt's archaeological treasures," Karim says, citing new archaeological sites, events including the parade of 22 royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to their new home at National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, and the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

After years of groundwork, these efforts will culminate in the opening of the GEM in 2021. Cairo's vast new museum -- nearly half a million square meters and built at a cost of over $1 billion -- is nearing completion close to the site of the Pyramids of Giza. 
The treasures within will include an 83-ton, 20-meter (66 feet) granite statue of Ramses the Great and over 5,000 artifacts from King Tutankhamun's burial chamber -- the first time the blockbuster haul will be displayed in the same place.
"It is hard to make any predictions in the status quo," says Karim. "It all depends on the medical revelations and vaccines in progress to combat the Covid-19 pandemic ... We are hoping for the best."
Hawass remains bullish -- understandable, given he's been involved with the GEM for two decades -- and is optimistic 2021 will be better than 2020.
"I really think that Egypt is more safe than other countries," he says. "We need tourists back."

Source: edition

Monday, November 2, 2020

News Egypt "2" : Historic day for Egypt’s tourism as 3 museums opened at once: Al-Anani.

Saturday was a historic day for Egypt’s tourism industry, as three important museums inaugurated in one day, according to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani.
The minister’s remarks came during President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s inauguration of the museums, which are the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum, the Kafr El-Sheikh Museum, and the Royal Carriages Museum in Cairo. Combined, the establishment of the new museums cost nearly EGP 1bn.
During his speech, Al-Anani reviewed the state’s efforts in the field of museum sector, development and restoration of archaeological sites, and archaeological missions in Egypt. 
The minister also presented the working plan for the museums that were inaugurated on Saturday.

Sharm El-Sheikh Museum
Al-Anani said that the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum is the first museum of antiquities in the Red Sea resort.
The idea of establishing the museum, located on an area of 191,000 sqm, dates back to 1999. Work on the project began in 2003, before stopping in 2011 during the 25 January Revolution. Work on the EGP 812m museum then resumed in 2018.
The museum includes three halls for displays, in addition to an entertainment area that includes a number of restaurants, bazaars, traditional crafts shops, an open theatre and squares for celebrations and events.

Kafr El-Sheikh Museum
The minister said that the Kafr El-Sheikh Museum is the first museum of antiquities in the ancient governorate.
The idea of establishing the museum dates back to 1992, after Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate allocated a 6,800 sqm plot of land inside the Sana’a Park.
This would be used to establish a national museum documenting cultural heritage, and aims to spread archaeological and cultural awareness of the Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate’s heritage, and for the nearby governorates.
The construction work on the museum began in 2002, but was stopped in 2011, before being completed in 2018. 
This took place after a cooperation protocol between the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate was signed in 2017, with the total cost of the project reaching EGP 62m.
The museum consists of three main exhibition halls, displaying artefacts from the excavations at the Tell Al-Faraeen archaeological area, in addition to other archaeological areas from Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate.

Royal Carriages Museum
Al-Anani also spoke of the opening of the restoration and development project for the Royal Carriages Museum.
It is considered one of the oldest quality museums in the world and one of the most important vehicle museums in the world.
The idea of ​​establishing the museum dates back to the reign of Khedive Ismail in the second half of the 19th Century. During this period, a building was designated for Khedivial chariots and horses in Bulaq, and was initially called the Khedivial Stirrup Department.
During the reign of King Fuad I, the building was renamed the Administration of the Royal Stables. The building was converted into a historical museum after the July 1952 revolution.
In 2002, the museum was closed to commence with an integrated restoration and development project, but the project ground to a halt in 2011.
Work resumed again in 2018. The museum, which cost a total of EGP 63m, covers a total area of 6175 sqm, and consists of several halls.
Al-Anani affirmed that work resumed at the three museums following a years-long hiatus since 2011, based on presidential directives.
There has been an emphasis on giving utmost importance to all projects for the maintenance, restoration and security of Egyptian antiquities, and the development and establishment of major and regional museums.

News Egypt: Egypt's President Sisi re-opens 3 museums after coming to a halt in 2011.

Khaled el-Enany, Egypt's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, gave a speech during President Abd El-Fatah El-Sisi’s inauguration of three new museums in three different governorates Saturday.
They are the museums of Sharm El-Sheikh, Kafr El-Sheikh and the Royal Chariots museum in Cairo. 
This emphasizes the unprecedented support Egypt gives to the tourism and antiquities sector. 
In addition to showcasing Egypt’s unparalleled history and civilization through the establishment of museums that tell the story of this unique civilization and its different historical eras. 
Enany, said in his word "that today is an exceptional day in the history of Egyptian tourism and antiquities, as 3 important museums are opened in the governorates of Sharm El-Sheikh, Kafr El-Sheikh and Cairo, at a cost of nearly L.E 1 billion."
During the speech, the minister implored the state’s efforts in museum projects, development and restoration of archaeological sites and archaeological work in Egypt.
In addition to that, he presented the work progress of the three museums that were inaugurated. 
Enany pointed out that the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum is the first museum of antiquities in the picturesque coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh. 
He added that work started in the museum in 2003 and then stopped in 2011. He said that Kafr El-Sheikh Museum too, is the first museum of antiquities in the ancient governorate of Kafr El Sheikh, stating work started in it in 2002 and then stopped in 2011.
Enany talked about the opening of the restoration and development project of the Royal Carriages Museum, which is one of the oldest museums in the world and one of the most important carriage museums in the world.

Moreover, he said that its restoration and development project started back in in 2002 and that it stopped in 2011. 
The minister further said that work was resumed in the three museums due to the directives of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, after it was halted for years since 2011.
He added that the president directed the government to give all projects of maintenance, restoration, preservation and protection of Egyptian monuments, in addition to the development and establishment of major and regional museums utmost importance.
In addition, Enany explained that "today’s openings show the political and financial support the political leadership gives to preserving the heritage and antiquities of Egypt; and to building and developing museums."
He also said that the resumption of work in all antiquities and museum projects, that have been suspended for years, contributes to providing a diverse tourism infrastructure in all governorates. 
In addition to that, it creates new tourist attractions and offerings. Those diversified offerings cater the various interests of tourists.
He added that Sharm El Sheikh Museum and Hurghada Museum, both offer visitors and tourists a unique experience and an opportunity to enjoy Egypt’s beautiful beaches and at the same time learn about the ancient Egyptian civilization; mixing leisure and culture. 
The minister concluded his speech by reiterating that the museums that were opened will contribute to increasing the tourism in addition to archaeological awareness of Egyptians, especially children and youth, to get to know the rich and unique civilization of their country. 
After the opening of the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum, the minister took a memorial photo with all the museum employees in appreciation of their relentless efforts to carry through work in the the museum until its official opening became a reality.

Source:egypttoday

Sunday, November 1, 2020

News, Egypt: Hollywood's Enduring Fascination With 'The Mummy'.

The early October announcement that Egyptian archaeologists had unearthed 59 highly-preserved, sealed wooden coffins that are at least 2,500 years ago sent the international media into overdrive, with Google offering nearly 11 million search options for 'mummy discovery 2020.'
The find was remarkable; mummified remains wrapped in cloth and buried in ornately decorated sarcophagi with brightly-coloured hieroglyphic inscriptions.
The discovery was the first since Covid-19 mostly shut Egypt's museums and archaeological sites and reduced tourism to a trickle.
What's interesting is that – to be frank – a mummy is much like most other mummies. 
Sure, there may be more colour, but the basic concept remains the same; and yet, these artefacts of ancient Egyptian history have had a spellbinding effect on the west since the first mummy – named 'Ginger' for its red hair – was exhibited at the British Museum in 1901.
The first Hollywood mummy movie, 1932's The Mummy, was a smash hit and since then, Hollywood has produced close to 100 mummy related films.
So, what explains the western world's fascination with Egyptian mummies? It's not like they are the world's only examples of well-preserved, ancient human remains. 
And they aren't the oldest. One mummy, that that was DNA tested, was found to be 28,000 years old. 
Called Paglicci 23 due to being found in the Paglicci Cave in Apulia, Italy, it predates the oldest Egyptian mummies by 25,000 years.
There are Chinese mummies, there are South American mummies and there are frozen or preserved-in-a-bog specimens; some of which are in excellent condition.
There's something about ancient Egypt that has lured western scientists, tourists and movie makers for generations. Hollywood is infatuated with mummies, but even Tom Cruise couldn't save the disastrous 2017 film 'The Mummy.
The intended attempt to create a new franchise – on paper – had everything going for it: a great cast, a spookier story, a sexier mummy, but it bombed, badly. Universal Pictures put up US$345 million – no doubt banking on Cruise's star power – but the movie ended up losing the studio as much as US$95 million.
You would think after that they would have learned their lesson, but no, internet rumours abound of a 2021 Mummy re-re-boot, this time starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
Every studio is denying it, but the fact there are fan-made trailers for a non-existent concept movie online attests to the staying power of Egyptian mummies.

Hollywood should have let things be with the well-received 1999 The Mummy remake starring Brendan Fraser, a film that mixed adventure and humour well. The movie and its cast didn't take themselves too seriously and audiences enjoyed the ride.
But of course, Hollywood executives love to beat a dead camel and made half-a-dozen squeals and prequels and spinoffs, most of which got lost in quicksand.
And it's not just mummies that Hollywood seems infatuated with. The whole 'mystical Egypt' trope has spawned dozens of films, with The Scorpion King, Legion of the Dead, and even X-Men: Apocalypse, whose villain was some sort of ancient Egyptian king-mummy, to cite just a few.
It might be fair to credit or blame French scholar Jean-François Champollion with this enduring fascination. Champollion was the man who, in 1822, finally cracked the code to Egyptian hieroglyphics. He'd become entranced by hieroglyphics after spending time in the service of Napoleon Bonaparte as French armies rampaged through Syria and Egypt in 1798, partly in a bid to weaken Britain's control of India.
That French invasion also gave birth to another enduring western myth related to Egypt: that the nose of Great Sphinx of Giza was shot off by French troops doing target practice. Modern scholars have debunked the claim and archaeological research has concluded that it was broken with instruments sometime between the 3rd and 10th centuries CE, but by whom remains a topic for debate.
But back to the mummies.
Some praise the sophistication of ancient Egyptian mummification. Reports note the 3,000-year-old mummy of Pharaoh Seti I looked like he was sleeping after being discovered in 1881.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, however, has a deeper answer than just how pretty the mummies look. 
In one word, it's 'intrigue.' In an article for the Institute regarding Egypt, Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, Mia's curator of African art notes, 'There's something about the mystery of it all. 
Things are hidden — in pyramids, in tombs, in sarcophagi. There are false doors. Even hieroglyphs require a code to understand them.'
Mystery does indeed abound. 
King Tutankhamun's mummy was buried inside three coffins nested inside each other like Russian dolls, those were then hidden inside a sarcophagus, which was in turn hidden inside a frame, all of which was entombed inside four shrines. Why he required nine coverings is fascinating and allows each observer to 'choose your own adventure,' if you will.
With so much still unknown about ancient Egypt, the mystery is sure to continue to entice travellers, scientists and of course, Hollywood.

Source:menafn

News , "2" : Researchers Decipher The Secret Ingredients of Ancient Egyptian Ink.

An analysis of 12 ancient papyrus fragments has revealed some surprising details about how the Egyptians mixed their red and black ink – findings which could give us a lot more insight into how the earliest writers managed to get their words down on the page.
We know that ancient Egyptians were using inks to write at least as far back as 3200 BCE. 
However, the samples studied in this case were dated to 100-200 CE and originally collected from the famous Tebtunis temple library – the only large-scale institutional library known to have survived from the period.
Using a variety of synchrotron radiation techniques, including the use of high-powered X-rays to analyse microscopic samples, the researchers revealed the elemental, molecular, and structural composition of the inks in unprecedented detail.
"By applying 21st century, state-of-the-art technology to reveal the hidden secrets of ancient ink technology, we are contributing to the unveiling of the origin of writing practices," says physicist Marine Cotte from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France.
The red inks, typically used to highlight headings, instructions, or keywords, were most likely coloured by the natural pigment ochre, the researchers say – traces of iron, aluminium, and hematite point to this being the case.More intriguing was the discovery of lead-based compounds in both the black and the red inks, without any of the traditional lead-based pigments used for colouring.
This suggests the lead was added for technical purposes.
"Lead-based driers prevent the binder from spreading too much, when ink or paint is applied on the surface of paper or papyrus," the team writes in their study.
"Indeed, in the present case, lead forms an invisible halo surrounding the ochre particles."
As well as explaining how the ancient Egyptians kept their papyrus smudge-free, it also suggests some pretty specialised ink manufacturing techniques.
It's likely that the temple priests who wrote using this ink weren't the ones who were originally mixing it.
"The fact that the lead was not added as a pigment but as a drier infers that the ink had quite a complex recipe and could not be made by just anyone," says Egyptologist Thomas Christiansen, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
"We hypothesise that there were workshops specialised in preparing inks."
Interestingly enough, the preparation of red ink inside a workshop has also been mentioned in a Greek document dated to the third century CE, backing up the idea of specialised ink mixing in Egypt and across the Mediterranean.
This technique of using lead as a drying agent was also adopted in 15th century Europe as oil paintings began to appear – but it would seem that the ancient Egyptians discovered the trick at least 1,400 years earlier.
The researchers are planning more tests and different kinds of analysis, but what they've found so far is already fascinating – another example of how modern-day scientific instruments can unlock even more secrets from the past, even down to coloured ink.
"The advanced synchrotron-based microanalyses have provided us with invaluable knowledge of the preparation and composition of red and black inks in ancient Egypt and Rome 2,000 years ago," says Christiansen.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

New Discovery, Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' Review: Egypt excavation documentary plays out like an ancient true crime show.

Think of ancient Egypt and the first things that probably come to your mind are buried treasures, curses, and 'The Mummy' (whether that is the Brendan Fraser or the Tom Cruise version probably depends on how old you are). Nevertheless, unless you are someone who is extremely interested in the subject and well-versed, whatever comes to your mind is potentially offensive. 
This comes from a principle known as orientalism.
The word was coined by the late Palestinian-American philosopher, Edward Said, to describe how Westerners would often exoticize the Middle East and Asia -- for instance, think of 'Aladdin' (both the original and the remake are guilty of being orientalist) or even, 'The Mummy'.
It is not often you see a documentary on Egyptology that does not involve an offensive outtake, but with Netflix's latest documentary, 'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb', you can expect something completely different. 
For one thing, almost everyone featured in the documentary is Egyptian -- as one archaeologist says, because they are looking at the stories of their own ancestors, they have a different perspective than those coming from outside.
That difference is something you can see and feel throughout the documentary. As the excavations and the artifacts are shown, not once do these people forget that they are handling the remains of people who were once living and the experts featured treat everything with the utmost respect. 

'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' is also very emotional -- and it is quite unexpected for a documentary that features many shots of just people digging through sand. 
We meet many people who work on the Saqqara excavations, including archaeologists Hamada Mansour and Mohammed Mohammed Yousef, and digger Ghereeb.
In the nearly 120-minute long documentary, we learn just as much about the story of these people as we learn about Wahtye, the ancient Egyptian priest who is the focus of the dig at the ancient burial ground.
At one point, as Hamada is excavating in a shaft as others carefully look on, he accidentally disturbs the wooden coffin, and as the pieces of wood fall, so does your heart. 
The unraveling of Wahtye's story is just as intense as the anticipation with which the dig proceeds -- they need to find something substantial before the budget runs out for the season so they can extend it to another season. 
The documentary is filled with incredible finds -- like the first mummified lion ever found (a lion cub), and a statue for which its three broken parts were found separately in separate seasons. 
Another fascinating aspect of the documentary is the presence of women among the men who are digging through the tombs of ancient Egypt.
Three of the experts featured in the documentary are women -- the hieroglyphics expert Nermeen, the anthropologist and rheumatology expert, Amira Shaheen, and funerary archaeologist and archaeozoologist, Salima Ikram. 
All three women do an incredible job of piecing together a story from thousands of years ago, just from the bones and objects they find.

There is, of course, one thing that stays with the viewer long after you've watched 'Secrets of Saqqara Tomb'. Hamada says that the Bubasteion Necropolis at Saqqara is strange because it does not give the archaeologists what they are expecting -- and "that's a wonderful thing.
" He says this twice, the second time comes when just as the men are cleaning up everything as the budget runs out, they discover something extraordinary.
 You would not expect a documentary on archaeology and history to bring tears to your eyes in the end, but that is exactly what 'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' does.
'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' is now streaming on Netflix.
Source:meaww

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

News: Lead-based Inks Were Used as Driers in Ancient Egypt.

Anew study conducted by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark has discovered that lead compounds in red and black inks were present in the 12 samples of Egyptian papyri analysed by them. Papyrus is a material that was prepared in ancient Egypt and used for writing or making ropes.
As per a report in the Science Daily, the researchers were surprised to find these two elements in papyri. They believe that the inks were used for their drying properties and not as pigments.
Using advanced synchrotron radiation-based X-ray microscopy equipment, researchers investigated the red and black ink present in the 12 samples.
Speaking about the research, UCPH’s Thomas Christianse, an Egyptologist who is also the first author of this paper, said that papyri fragments are taken from the Tebtunis temple library and the inks that have both lead-based and iron-based compounds.
Sine Larsen, a Chemistry professor at UCPH and co-author of this study, informed that while iron-based elements are found in red inks, lead-based compounds are present in both the inks.
She added, “Since we did not identify any of the typical lead-based pigments used to colour the ink, we suggest that this particular lead compound was used by the scribes to dry the ink rather than as a pigment.”
This new study is significant in understanding the use of inks as driers in ancient times.
A previous study on 15th-century European oil paintings had given similar results. In that as well, the application of lead-based drying technique was discovered to make the paintings.
It is established that Egyptians must have discovered the drying properties of the lead-based compounds 1,400 years earlier than Europeans.
The report says that it has been established earlier that in Egypt, inks were used as early as 3200 BC to write text.
Black ink was used to write the body while red ink was used as a highlighter, marking heading and keywords.
Source:news18

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: 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 ...