Showing posts with label Zahi Hawass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zahi Hawass. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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



Thursday, November 9, 2017

News, Giza: Exploring Egypt's Great Pyramid From The Inside, Virtually

A team of scientists who last week announced the discovery of a large void inside the Great Pyramid of Giza have created a virtual-reality tour that allows users to 'teleport' themselves inside the structure and explore its architecture.
Using 3D technology, the Scan Pyramids Project allows visitors wearing headsets to take a guided tour inside the Grand Gallery, the Queen's Chamber and other ancient rooms not normally accessible to the public, without leaving Paris. "Thanks to this technique, we make it possible to teleport ourselves to Egypt, inside the pyramid, as a group and with a guide," said Mehdi Tayoubi, co-director of Scan Pyramids, which on Nov. 2 announced the discovery of a mysterious space inside the depths of the Pyramid.

The void itself is visible on the tour, appearing like a dotted cloud. "What is new in the world of virtual reality is that from now on you are not isolated but there are several of us, you're in a group, you can take a tour with your family. And you can access places which you usually can't in the real pyramid."

While partly designed as a fun experience, the "collaborative immersion" project allows researchers to improve the technologies they used to detect the pyramid void and think about what purpose it may have served. The pyramid, built in around 2,500 BC and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was a monumental tomb soaring to a height of 479 feet (146 metres). Until the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889, the Great Pyramid stood as the tallest manmade structure for more than 4,000 years.

While there are passage ways into it and chambers in various parts, much of the internal structure had remained a mystery until a team from France's HIP Institute used an imaging method based on cosmic rays to gain a view inside. So-called muon particles, which originate from interactions with rays from space and atoms in Earth's upper atmosphere, are able to penetrate hundreds of metres through stone before being absorbed. That allows for mapping inside stone structures.

"Muon tomography has really improved a lot due to its use on the pyramid and we think that muography will have other applications in other fields," said Tayoubi. "But we also wanted to innovate and imagine devices to allow the wider public to understand what this pyramid is, understand it from within." When looking through their 3D goggles, visitors can see the enormous stones of the pyramid as if they were real, and walk virtually along its corridors, chambers and hidden spaces. As they approach the pyramid from the outside, the tour even includes audio of Cairo's deafening and ever-present traffic.

Friday, November 3, 2017

News, Giza: ScanPyramids Mission Rushed in Announcing 'Discovery of New Void’ in Giza’s Khufu' - Egypt Antiquities Ministry

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said on Thursday that researchers in the ScanPyramids mission were mistaken in publicly announcing that they "discovered a new void space" inside the Great Pyramid of Giza before first discussing their findings with senior Egyptian and international Egyptologists, who have been commissioned by the ministry to study the issue. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
In an article published in the journal Nature on Thursday, an international team of researchers said they have found a hidden chamber in Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The team said “the 30-meter (yard) void deep [they identified] within the pyramid is situated above the structure's Grand Gallery, and has a similar cross-section.The purpose of the chamber is unclear, and it's not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind.”

The researchers explained that they “made the discovery using cosmic-ray imaging, recording the behavior of subatomic particles called muons that penetrate the rock similar to X-rays, only much deeper.”

Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that publishing the findings in an ongoing research by ScanPyramids project in a scientific  journal such as Nature Journal before discussing these findings with leading Egyptologists was a mistake.

“The findings of the ScanPyramids research project have to be first discussed scientifically among scientists and Egyptologists and then reviewed by the scientific committee, which was tasked by Egypt's ministry of antiquities to supervise research on the matter. This committee is led by renowned Egyptian Egyptologist Zahi Hawass with the participation of the well-known American Egyptologist Mark Lehner and Czech Egyptologist  Murslav Barta,” Waziri added.

“These experts have previously said that the existence of void spaces inside the pyramids is not a new thing and this is a well known fact among Egyptologists," Waziri said. “It was too early at this stage in their study to publish that there was a new discovery,” Waziri added.

An official Egyptian archaeologist, who requested anonymity, told Ahram Online that he believes the mission broke the Egyptian antiquities laws and regulations by announcing findings  to the media through video conference, and, therefore, might be barred by Egyptian authorities from continuing their research.

More News About Pyramid Scan Project

Thursday, August 3, 2017

News: Zahi Hawass Awarded Golden Gala of Magna Graecia Film Festival in Italy

Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass receives the Golden Gala award of the Magna Graecia Film Festival held in Catanzaro in Italy. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

In a gala event attended by more than 3,000 spectators at the Magna Graecia Film Festival in Catanzaro in Italy, former minister of antiquities and renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass was awarded the festival's Golden Gala for his devotion to archaeology.

During the award ceremony, Hawass said that Egyptians and Italians love one another and he believes that Italy and Egypt can rebuild relations.

"I know that there are big problems between our two countries, and I feel very unhappy to not see an Italian ambassador in Cairo or an Egyptian ambassador in Italy, but I believe our two nations can work hard to be able to reestablish a strong relationship," Hawass said, speaking at the Magna Graecia Film Festival in the southern Italian town of Catanzaro.

Hawass spoke at the screening of the film "Il Loto e Il Papiro" (The Lotus and the Papyrus) written by Francesco Santocono and announced that the film will be screened in Egypt at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 10 September.

"I know that many think Egypt isn't a safe place right now, but it's not so," Hawass said, adding that "Our country Egypt, is actually a safe one. In three years I have received 3,000 American visitors and I want Italians to return to Egypt. There's not any danger, I assure you."

He also pointed out that there are several new discoveries that would be announced within the coming months, among them latest results of the Scan Pyramid Project started almost two years ago to explore the interior design of the Khufu pyramid and whether it houses other hidden chambers or corridors, as well as the results of the scan of the Valley of the Kings in September undertaken by an Egyptian-Italian team from Turin University.

Magna Graecia Film Festival has become one of the most anticipated film festivals for Italian cinema lovers. The 2017 edition was dedicated to late renowned Italian actor Marcello Mastroiann.

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.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Short Story: The Myth of Red Mercury

The myth of red mercury, a substance supposedly found in the throats of ancient Egyptian mummies, is still widespread in Egypt, writes Zahi Hawass.

The stories of tomb robberies are amazing but also tragic. The robbers do not realise that by cutting scenes and reliefs out from ancient temples and tombs they are damaging not only the history of Egypt but also that of the world as a whole.

During the 25 January Revolution, Egypt went through difficult times. On 28 January 2011, over 1,000 people sneaked into the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. That night, the police had left Cairo and the city did not have a single policeman on the streets. We have to thank God for saving the museum, because the people who sneaked inside it did not find the gold room or the room containing the golden mask of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

When we entered the museum the next day, we found many gilded statues thrown on the ground. But the museum as a whole was saved because the mummy room was locked and the building was dark, so the robbers could not find its location. If these people had found the mummy room, the royal mummies could have been destroyed.

“Red mercury”, one of the things the robbers may have been looking for, is a mythic substance for many Egyptians. They believe that in the throats of mummies there is a liquid called red mercury. If someone possesses this liquid, he or she will be able to control the spirits and become rich. Of course, there is no such thing as red mercury, but many people still believe in it all over Egypt. A daughter of a friend of mine called me one day and said that her father had held a zar (a kind of religious ceremony) at his house and brought in a Moroccan magician who had made her father believe that he could summon up the djinn, or spirits, to provide him with red mercury.

The secretary of an Arab prince also once called me and said the prince would like to meet me. I agreed. The prince came and said that he would make the story short. “My mother is very sick, and we have taken her to doctors in Egypt and all over the world, but she is still sick. A sheikh who lives near us told me that the remedy for my mother was in the hands of Zahi Hawass.” I did not know what to say, because I did not understand why he was telling me what he was saying. “I am an Egyptologist and not a doctor,” I said.

A few months later, he called me one evening and said he wanted to see me. On his arrival he said, “I have $100,000 in my bag. If you will give me some of the liquid you have, I have the same amount at my hotel.” I realised that he was referring to red mercury. I told the prince that there was no such thing as red mercury. I found out from the prince that the reason he had come to me was because I had been working on a major excavation called the Valley of the Golden Mummies in the Bahareya Oasis and had found a large cemetery full of mummies dating to the Roman period and covered with gold.

The people of Bahareya had become rich because of the production of wine, and it was wine that everyone in ancient Egypt wanted to drink in the afterlife. The discovery of the mummies happened by accident when the antiquities guard of the Temple of Alexander the Great in the Oasis had been riding his donkey whose leg fell into a hole. He looked inside and saw mummies covered in gold. We excavated the discovery, which the foreign press called the “Tutankhamun of the Greek and Roman Period”... READ MORE.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

News: Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass Appointed IFPSD Cultural Heritage Ambassador

The International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development chose Egypt's Hawass for his contributions to the field of archaeology, in both excavation and conservation. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Renowned Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass has been selected by the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development (IFPSD), an affiliate organisation of the United Nations, as its official "Ambassador for Cultural Heritage."

Sally Kader, the President of IFPSD said the federation chose Hawass for his contribution to the field of archaeology, in both excavation and conservation. "His major discoveries in Egypt are known all over the world," Kader said, adding that Hawass was "able through his passion and TV shows to reach the households of people from all over the globe."

Kader will announce Hawass' appointment at a special ceremony on 19 April at the UN headquarters in New York City. The event will be attended by most of the Ambassadors of the United Nations, along with world experts and contributors in the fields of culture, museums and archaeology.

Hawass told Ahram Online that he was deeply honoured to receive the title, saying he would speak at the event about saving the archaeological and cultural heritage of Syria, Libya, and Iraq. "I would work in cooperation with the Arab League, archaeologists from all over the world, as well as American institutions to save these endangered archaeological monuments," Hawass said.

"Our task is to create a database for these monuments, so we can monitor any objects that could be stolen. Also, we aim to train the archaeologists and museum curators of these countries on how to save their monuments in archaeological sites, and efficient methods for protecting treasured collections [respectively]."

Hawass referenced Syrian archaeologist Khaled El-Asaad who gave his life to protect Syria's cultural heritage, saying he should be honoured as a symbol for all archaeologists. After the announcement, Hawass said he would meet with Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit to draw comprehensive plans to protect cultural heritage in these conflict zones.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

News, Cairo: Egyptologist Hawass Refutes Reports Colossal Statue Was Damaged During Excavation

Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany found the massive eight-metre statue - believed to be of Ramsis II - submerged in ground-water in Cairo last week, and used a winch to recover it. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The newly discovered statue suggested to be for King Ramses II. 
Photo by Magdi Abdel Sayed
In the wake of the discovery of a colossal statue assumed to be Ramses II in Cairo earlier this week, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass refuted local media reports that charged the use of a winch to haul part of the monument out of the pit it was found in damaged the artefact.

Hawass, a former antiquities minister, told Ahram Online that using a winch was “the only efficient way” to remove the 7-ton piece of the statue from the two-metre ditch. “Souq El-Khamis area in Matariya where the statue was discovered is a very important archaeological site which does not have any complete statues, tombs or temples,” Hawass said.

Initial reports by some Egyptian media outlets had suggested that the winch had damaged the statue, or had broken it into pieces. However, according to ministry officials, the statue was discovered already in pieces.

Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany found the massive eight-metre statue submerged in ground water last week, which they say probably depicts revered Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

The discovery, hailed by the antiquities ministry as one of the most important ever, was made near the ruins of Ramses II's temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis, located in the eastern part of modern-day Cairo in the working-class neighbourhood of Matariya.

Head of the newly discovered statue of king Seti II. 

The site was subjected to deterioration and damage during Egypt’s Christian period because the area was used as a quarry for constructing other buildings, Hawass said. “It is impossible to find any complete full-sized statue,” Hawass said, adding that any statue that would be uncovered in the future will be found in pieces, like this one.

He argued that the Matariya area, a poor suburb of Cairo, suffers from three main problems. Its modern residential houses were built on top of the remains of ancient Egyptian temples and tombs which are submerged in subterranean water extended from two to four metres deep. “This is a fact that made it too difficult to transport or remove any of the blocks [from these structures].”

Hawass told Ahram Online that he called the German excavation mission head, Dietrich Raue, who sent him a complete report on the excavations with photographs revealing the lifting process. “The transportation and removal process of any heavy colossus like the one discovered is carried out in collaboration with the head of workmen from the upper Egyptian town of Qift who are skilled and very highly trained in such work,” Hawass said.

Hawass explained that similar workmen work in the Saqqara necropolis and belong to the El-Krity family, who have been able to transport and lift up a large number of huge sarcophagi and colossi that each could reach 20 tons.

Hawass also said that the newly discovered statue definitely belongs to the 19th dynasty king, Ramses II, because it was found at the entrance to his temple. He noted that the area, in which he had carried out excavations, held the remains of temples belonging to pharaohs Akhenaton, Thutmose III and Ramses II. “I am very happy to hear about such a discovery because it will not only reveal a part of ancient Egyptian history but it will also help promote tourism to Egypt,” Hawass said.

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 ...