Showing posts with label Luxor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luxor. Show all posts

Sunday, November 8, 2020

News, Esna "2":Egypt-German archaeological mission resumes conservation and documentation of Temple of Esna.

A joint Egyptian-German archaeological mission is resuming the conservation and photographic documentation work on the Temple of Esna, on the west bank of the Nile some 55km south of Luxor.
The mission's work began in 2018, but was disrupted due to the coronavirus outbreak, and resumed in September.
Over the centuries, the temple suffered from the accumulation of thick layers of soot, dust and dirt.

Bird droppings and wasp nests covered the temple's Inscriptions and salt crystals affected the colors of the temple and caused some flaking of the reliefs.
Hisham El-Leithy, head of the Documentation Centre, said that "since December 2018, the mission has conducted five conservation and documentation campaigns.
The conservation team cleaned mechanically layers of soot, dust and dirt, and the bright colours of the inscriptions can now be appreciated, especially the astronomical decoration of the ceiling of the temple.

"The mission expects the current campaign to conclude its task in the early months of 2021.
The Temple of Esna dates back to the Roman period.
 Construction began during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, and its decoration was finished during the time of Emperor Decius, between 249-251 CE.
The temple is dedicated to the ram god Khnum and his divine consorts.
During the 19th and 20th centuries the Temple of Esna suffered from urban encroachment, and houses of the villagers were built all around it.

The temple was in fact accessed through one of the houses.The temple was reported to have been used as a storage facility for the villagers’ cotton crop during the reign of Mohamed Ali Pasha.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

News, Esna: Egypt’s city of Esna is slowly regaining its glory amid renewed interest in its heritage.

Egypt’s city of Esna is slowly regaining its glory amid renewed interest in its heritage
The Ministry of Antiquities and an urban development company, with US funding, are advancing a major project to revive tourism in the city of Esna in Luxor governorate, by not only promoting its ancient heritage but also by implicating the locals.
The city of Esna, located on the banks of the Nile River just 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the south of Luxor, is undergoing an ambitious project to document and preserve some of its key heritage sites. The work aims to reposition the city as an important cultural destination on Egypt’s tourist map and pave the way for its economic development and sustainable revitalization.
Rediscovering Esna’s Culture Heritage Assets (RECHA) project is being implemented by the urban development company Takween along with the Ministry
of Antiquities and Luxor governorate, and is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). 
The program started in 2016, but has been presented to the public this year and its first tourist promotion video was released Sept. 28, on World Tourism Day.
“It is a project where we are trying to test a model to see [how] provincial cities like Esna can capitalize on their cultural assets, both tangible and intangible.
And how these can become an agent for economic development in the city,” Kareem Ibrahim, CEO and co-founder of Takween and RECHA’s project director, told Al-Monitor.
The history of Esna dates back to the Pharaonic era, when it stood as the capital of one of Egypt’s regions at the time.
The city remained important for over 2,000 years as a hub of trade and commerce that left behind assets and wealth of the Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic, Islamic and modern eras. 
Its prominence, however, started to fade at the beginning of the 20th century with the rise of Luxor as a major tourist destination in the country, in a process that eventually led to its gradual deterioration before being forgotten.
Today, Esna stands as a frequent stop for Nile cruises given that its city center is home to the Temple of Esna, dedicated to the ancient deity Khnum.
Its construction began during the 18th Dynasty of Egypt and was completed during the Ptolemaic and Roman period. Esna is also famous for its barrage bridges, including the now-obsolete one built in 1906 by the British and the modern Electricity Bridge from the 1990s.
Yet Ibrahim said that the current tourism model has a very limited impact on local residents, given the little interaction between them and tourists.
To change this dynamic, RECHA has been primarily devised as an urban development project that initially focuses on locals rather than on tourists.
This way, the project aims to first integrate residents, improve their living conditions and bring economic benefits for them, and with the intention that this will ultimately make it appealing for tourists as well.
“The problem is that in Egypt you have large numbers of tourists and revenues, but what really stays with the local communities is minimal,” Ibrahim said. “In places like Esna tourists go to the temple, buy a ticket and leave, so whether you have 40,000 or 1 million visitors a year, it does not really matter. We are trying to change that.”

The most important building that the project has aimed to preserve is the 18th century Wakalat al-Jiddawi, a two-story building that used to work as a caravanserai and stands today as a witness and representative of Esna’s commercial importance and its thriving economic life in the 18th and the 19th centuries. 
The building, listed as a monument in the 1950s but never properly restored, is located in the intersection of the city that overlooks the street of the bazar and the Khnum Temple. It can become a tourist and social center.
RECHA has also restored facades of about 10 other significant buildings, which are not listed as monuments, in an attempt to draw the attention of locals, government officials and visitors alike.
Finally, the project has also restored parts of Al-Qasareya Street, which is a typical, mostly covered street that runs from north to south and holds most of the city’s economic activity. Before the intervention, more than half of the more than 110 shops in Al-Qasareya — which is famous for its fabrics, sewing tools and tailor shops — remained closed. 
But Ibrahim said that people are starting to reinvest and visit the area again.
“The market [before the renovation] was not very busy and most customers were afraid to come because the street was not paved, the market was not well lit and its wooden ceiling was [about] to fall,” said Adel al-Ansari, the owner of a clothing store located on Al-Qasareya who renovated his shop at the same time when the area was restored.
“After the restoration the situation became different and safer. [Now] it is much better.
There is a boom, which will encourage more people to work and open shops that were closed,” Ansari told Al-Monitor, explaining that he himself is planning to expand his shop and buy another one.
Other hidden gems from Esna that RECHA aims to capitalize on are the city’s corniche, where its old barrage and some of its most notable historical buildings and palaces stand, as well as the city center, home to several other significant buildings and street vendors. 
Another remarkable site in the area is the only oil press that still remains in Esna from the more than 30 presses that used to work in the city over the past two centuries.
“The importance of the project lies in the preservation of the remaining architectural heritage [of the city],” Ahmed Hassan, head of the Esna and Armant areas at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told Al-Monitor. 
“The second goal is to make tourist visits longer; instead of tourists just visiting the temple [encourage them] to visit other buildings that are being restored around the city.”
The project is working on management plans to define the future use of the different sites that have been preserved, and it is also developing a tourist map of the city for marketing and promotional purposes.
RECHA has received funding to keep working until 2024.
“Before we got involved it was only the temple that was known. There was nothing else,” Ibrahim said. “What we are trying to do is to show that the city has a lot to offer, just like many other cities in Egypt.”
He added, “If given the right care and attention, Esna can become a multidestination site, rather than a single destination one."
As part of its efforts to preserve and foster Esna’s intangible activities in order to maintain its local environment, RECHA is also conducting different workshops to build the human capacity of locals. 
These put a special emphasis on tourism and on the skills of craftsmen. They have already encouraged partnerships between the city administration, businessmen from the area and locals.
“During [one of] these workshops we conducted field visits; we were trained as tourist guides and on how to deal with different age groups to deliver information in a suitable manner,” said Rehab Mukhtar Abdel Haris, a graduate of Egyptian archaeology at South Valley University who participated in a workshop and has already led several school trips on guided tours within Esna.
She told Al-Monitor that the handicraft workshops devoted to housewives and girls who have not completed their studies are also “very useful” given that “they can practice these crafts at home” and sell them.
“It is a 360-degree program,” Ibrahim said. “We are focusing on physical, marketing and economic components, and on the human capital, to give a boost to the city.”

Sunday, September 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New Discovery, Luxor: 3,000-Year Old Tattooed Mummy Belonged to Top Official or Elite Woman, Studies Reveal

Four years after its discovery in Deir El-Madina on Luxor’s west bank, it has been revealed that a unique tattooed 3,000-year-old mummy belonged to an elite woman or a top official. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the discovery is important because this is the first time an Egyptian mummy has been found to have figurative tattoos.

Waziri said that previous tattoos found on mummies were only a line or a dot, not whole scenes like the ones on this mummy and not drawn on several parts of the body.The mummy, Waziri said, has 30 tattoos depicting a wild bull, a Barbary sheep, a lotus flower, a baboon and the udjat eye. They are drawn on the mummy’s upper arm, shoulders, back, and neck.

The nature of the tattoos suggest that the mummy, discovered in 2014 by a mission from the French Institute for Oriental Studies, belonged to a member of the elite. Using state of the art techniques and x-rays, the scientific and archaeological studies carried out on the mummy showed that it belongs to a 25 to 34-year-old woman who lived between 1,300 and 1,070 BC. The studies have also revealed that the large number of tattoos on her body may have been indented to signal prestige or indicate an important religious role.

The mummy is currently stored in tomb TT 291 in Luxor so it can be maintained in an environment similar to which it had been stored for millennia. More studies and research will be carried out in an attempt to reveal the name and position of the tattooed mummy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

News, Luxor: Karnak Temple Walkways Renovated For The Handicapped

The Antiquities Ministry announced on Monday the paving, equipping, and renovation of walkways between Buildings 7 and 10 of the Karnak Temple complex, in order to accommodate the walking-impaired. 

The announcement came as part of a larger plan by the ministry to rehabilitate archaeological sites and open museums to better suit visitors with special needs.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa al-Waziry reported that these walkways will be built along the temple’s second axis. The project will also link the first and second axes of the southern sector with the side corridors next to the Holy Lake.

Waziry also announced that the restoration work of Akh-menu, built by King Thutmose III, is complete. The old work of the 1990s have been removed to make way for newer restoration methods. He added that the internal compartments of Khonsu Temple and the statues of King Seti II have also been renovated.

According to archeological officials, the renovation of walkways in Luxor sites is a part of a project sponsored by the Luxor Governate’s local authorities, in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities, to increase accessibility across the city.

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 ...