Showing posts with label Pharaonic Artifacts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pharaonic Artifacts. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Short Story: Remembering A Pharaoh

The life of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep II is being relived in a major exhibition in Milan, reports Nevine El-Aref.
It seems that the shadow cast over Italian-Egyptian relations is about to disappear. The ambassadors of both countries have returned, and the ancient Egyptians will be spending the autumn in Milan in “The Extraordinary Discovery of Pharaoh Amenhotep II” exhibition inaugurated last week at the city’s Museum of Cultures (MUDEC).

It tells the story of the 18th-Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep II, son of Thutmose III, the sovereign of a lavish court and heroic central figure in a rich historical period that historians have baptised a Golden Age.

A wonderful display of artifacts and photographs has been carefully selected from the most important ancient Egyptian collections in the world for the Milan exhibition. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has loaned nine pieces, and other source institutions include the Stichting Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the National Archaeological Museum in Florence, and the Giovanni Barracco Museum of Ancient Sculpture in Rome. These museums and other private collections have loaned for the occasion statues, weapons, items from daily life at court, burial assemblages and mummies.

The exhibition also sees the collaboration of the University of Milan, which has loaned the original excavation documents for the Pharaoh’s tomb, as well as the collaboration of the Milan civic museums network, in particular the Castello Sforzesco Museum that has provided finds from its Egyptian collections while it is temporarily closed for renovation.

The exhibition poster featuring a beautifully carved marble bust of Amenhotep II can be seen everywhere on display in Milan, in the city’s streets, stations, shops and restaurants. The MUDEC where the exhibition is being held has been turned into an ancient Egyptian ceremonial arena for the occasion. To the music of harps, young men wearing golden nemes (ancient Egyptian head coverings) and silver kilts in the ancient Egyptian style with golden collars and belts greet exhibition visitors.

Further inside the exhibition, the atmosphere becomes more dramatic, providing an impressive setting for the granite, limestone, marble, wooden, golden and faience objects on display. All in all, visitors are taken into a truly epic experience to explore the life and history of Amenhotep II in a succession of poetic dramatisations as well as an audio-visual demonstration......  READ MORE.

Monday, July 17, 2017

News, Cairo: AUC Hands Over to Egypt 5,000 Artifacts From Past Archaeological Excavations

The American University in Cairo is to transfer nearly 5,000 Islamic, Coptic, Pharaonic, Greco-Roman artifacts to the possession of the Egyptian state. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Coins
AUC has been in legal possession of these antiquities since the 1960s, ensuring their preservation. “Though we legally possessed these artifacts and scrupulously preserved and protected them over so many years, we took the initiative to transfer these important antiquities to the Ministry of Antiquities because we felt that this should be their rightful home,” said AUC President Francis J Ricciardone. “Egyptology has been one of AUC’s most beloved fields over many years. In collaboration with the ministry, we have always strived to advance the field globally, through both our scholarship and our demonstration of responsible stewardship,” he added.

Former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs Zahi Hawass commended this collaboration. “I am thrilled to know that AUC gave its antiquities collection to the Ministry of Antiquities as a gift,” said Hawass, who had officially stated in 2011, while serving as minister, that all artifacts in AUC’s storage were registered and documented with the ministry.

An Islamic clay lamp
The nearly 5,000 pieces were registered and reviewed in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities. They date from a time when archaeological material, after a stringent review, did not have to remain exclusively in the hands of the Egyptian Antiquities Organisation (now the Supreme Council of Antiquities).

The bulk of the materials consisted of fragments of everyday pottery, such as bowls, ulnas, jars and lusterware vessels. Most of the materials could be dated back to the 10th and 11th centuries. Some of the objects in the collection had been legal gifts to the university. 

“The materials from the excavation often seem humble, but they help fill in the blanks to understand what people ate, their social class and trade in the region,” said Distinguished University Professor Salima Ikram and head of the Egyptology unit at AUC’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology.

Clay fragments 
“The pots, for example, can point to how people lived and the technologies used at the time, and can demonstrate artistic influence on ceramic production and decoration.”

Specifically, AUC acquired most of these artifacts during joint excavations in the Fustat area led by the late George Scanlon, professor emeritus in AUC’s Department of Arab and Islamic Civilisations who became a prominent name in the field of Islamic archaeology. “George Scanlon’s work at Fustat was invaluable, as it set the stage for Islamic archaeology in Egypt,” said Ikram. 

“He and his colleagues helped create the discipline, fusing art history, archaeology and texts in an effort to understand the administrative, sacred and secular lives of the inhabitants of Fustat, one of the first Muslim capitals of Egypt.”

Ikram had reviewed the Pharaonic materials in AUC’s possession, while Scanlon was responsible for the Fustat materials. The objects were regularly checked against the list made by AUC and the Egyptian Antiquities Organisation. “The Fustat objects had already been catalogued by Dr Scanlon, who excavated them, so they were fully recorded,” said Ikram. The discovery of these artifacts was shared between Egypt and the American mission at that time.

A ceramic tile 
After this excavation, the diverse antiquities were brought to AUC, and the university came to legally possess these artifacts in accordance with the Egyptian Antiquities Law No 215 for 1951, which previously allowed foreign excavations in Egypt to keep 50 percent of their findings. The remaining 50 percent of the artifacts went to the Egyptian state. Throughout AUC’s period of custody over the collection, the materials were kept under close surveillance, and were securely stored to prevent damage. The special storage room, locked behind two secure doors, was equipped with protected cupboards to ensure the safekeeping of the materials.

The same committee from the Ministry of Antiquities responsible for the recent handover had collaborated closely with AUC over the years to conduct reviews of the collection twice a year, keeping records of the inventory and maintaining photographic documentation.

In May 2017, the Ministry of Antiquities assigned a special committee to review the inventory of antiquities at AUC, comparing it to its own government records. They worked with AUC’s Office of Legal Affairs to ensure that all antiquities were preserved and documented in the handover. “This [transfer] is incredible news, and I hope that any institution that owns antiquities not shown in museums would give them back,” said Hawass.

“AUC President Francis Ricciardone will be remembered in history because of his courage, power and honesty to take this decision,” Hawass added.

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 ...