Monthly Archives: July 2010

King Tutankhamun’s Chariot to Travel From Egypt Heading to New York.

King's chariot

King’s chariot

A chariot once owned by Tutankhamun, the boy-pharaoh who ruled Egyptmore than 3,300 years ago, is to travel to New York to join an exhibition on the king’s life and death, Culture Minister Faruq Hosni said.

A light vehicle with worn tires, the chariot is thought to have been used for hunting expeditions by the young king — and may have contributed to his death, according to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which cited Hosni in an e-mailed statement today. Computerized tomography, or CT, scans of Tutankhamun’s mummified body indicate the young king fractured his left leg shortly before he died, possibly after falling from his chariot, the council said.

“As we discover more about Tutankhamuns death, we may find that this very chariot is an important piece of the puzzle that we’re been working for decades to solve,” said council Secretary-General Zahi Hawass in the statement. Besides the fracture, recent medical research suggests the king was also suffering from malaria and a form of sickle-cell disease, he said.

Exhibits from Tutankhamun’s tomb that have toured the U.S., Canada and Europe since 2005 have netted Egypt $100 million, Hawass said in an interview in January. The government has also been renovating ancient sites such as the Valley of the Kings, where the boy-pharaoh’s tomb was discovered in 1922, to increase revenue from foreign visitors.

Tourism, which accounts for 12.6 percent of jobs, is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency and brought in $10.76 billion last year, according to the tourism ministry.

The chariot, which is traveling outside the country for the first time in three millennia, will be exhibited at the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York.

Reference: bloomberg.com

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Cultural Tourism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Recent excavations and restoration in Beni Suef museum in Upper Egypt.

Coffin in the collection of the Beni Suef Museum (Photo: SCA)

Coffin in the collection of the Beni Suef Museum (Photo: SCA)

As part of the Ministry of Culture’s initiative to refurbish and develop museums around Egypt, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is reorganizing the layout of the Beni-Suef museum in Upper Egypt.

Cultural Minister Farouk Hosni explained that the museum refurbishment involved extending the museum’s display area and transferring the administrative offices into the basement.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the whole museum is undergoing restoration. The building suffers from major water damage due to subterranean water, which has seeped into some of the walls of the museum’s galleries. New lighting and security systems are also being installed.

Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector in the SCA, said that excavations at Ehnasia, an archaeological area in Beni-Sueif, recently uncovered remains of a temple that can be dated to the reign of king Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). Inside the remains of this temple, excavators uncovered ten cartouches of Ramesses II and beneath them a relief saying that the ruler had built this temple for himself in Ehnasia. The excavation team, said Abdel Aziz, will continue excavation of the temple during the next archaeological season.

A collection of mud-brick structures dated to the fourth and fifth century AD were also found at the site. A collection of terracotta statues depicting Isis, Aphrodite and Horus were found inside along with pots and clay lamps.

Reference: drhawass.com

Posted by: Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Cultural Tourism, Discoveries in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II have been unearthed in the excavations in Upper Egypt’s Ehnasia archaeological area.

Rameses II

Rameses II

The remains of a 3,000 year old temple dating from the reign of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II have been unearthed in the excavations in Upper Egypt’s Ehnasia archaeological area.

Ramesses II ruled Egypt from 1279-1213 BC and was the son of Seti I, whose secret ‘tomb within a tomb’ was uncovered in June in the Valley of the Kings in central Egypt.

‘Inside the remains of this temple, excavators uncovered ten cartouches of Ramesses II and beneath them a relief saying that the ruler had built this temple for himself in Ehnasia,’ the Adnkronos Culture And Media quoted

Sabri Abdel Aziz of Egypt’s Supreme Archaeology as saying.

A collection of terracotta statues depicting Isis, Aphrodite and Horus were found inside along with pots and clay lamps, he said.

The team of archaeologists will continue excavation of the temple during the next archaeological season, Aziz added.

Ramesses IIis regarded as one of Egypts most powerful pharaohs and was nicknamed ‘the Great Ancestor’ by his successors.

Reference: sindhtoday.net

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Cultural Tourism, Discoveries in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who were the pyramid builders?

After comparing DNA samples taken from the workers’ bones with samples taken from modern Egyptians, Dr Moamina Kamal of Cairo University Medical School has suggested that Khufu’s pyramid was a truly nationwide project, with workers drawn to Giza from all over Egypt. She has discovered no trace of any alien race; human or intergalactic, as suggested in some of the more imaginative ‘pyramid theories’.

Effectively, it seems, the pyramid served both as a gigantic training project and – deliberately or not – as a source of ‘Egyptianisation’. The workers who left their communities of maybe 50 or 100 people, to live in a town of 15,000 or more strangers, returned to the provinces with new skills, a wider outlook and a renewed sense of national unity that balanced the loss of loyalty to local traditions. The use of shifts of workers spread the burden and brought about a thorough redistribution of pharaoh’s wealth in the form of rations.

Almost every family in Egypt was either directly or indirectly involved in pyramid building. The pyramid labourers were clearly not slaves. They may well have been the unwilling victims of the corvée or compulsory labour system, the system that allowed the pharaoh to compel his people to work for three or four month shifts on state projects. If this is the case, we may imagine that they were selected at random from local registers.

The Pyramids

The Pyramids

But, in a complete reversal of the story of oppression told by Herodotus, Lehner and Hawass have suggested that the labourers may have been volunteers. Zahi Hawass believes that the symbolism of the pyramid was already strong enough to encourage people to volunteer for the supreme national project. Mark Lehner has gone further, comparing pyramid building to American Amish barn raising, which is done on a volunteer basis. He might equally well have compared it to the staffing of archaeological digs, which tend to be manned by enthusiastic, unpaid volunteers supervised by a few paid professionals.

Reference: bbc.co.uk

Posed by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

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Skeletons of prehistoric whales have been discovered in a valley north of Lake Qarun in Egypt.

A timeline of whales evolving.

A timeline of whales evolving.

Many skeletons of prehistoric whales have been discovered in a valley in Egypt, and officials Saturday said it might be an entirely unknown species.

A complete skull, two jaws, 20 vertebrae and some ribs were found in a valley north of Lake Qarun in Egypt’s Fayoum region, Xinhua reported citing the ministry of environment.

The vertebrae and some teeth belongs to a bigger whale, believed to be a previously unknown species.

The discovery has enriched the historic record of presence of whales in Egypt, the officials said.

Lake Qarun was a freshwater one in the prehistoric era but today is a saltwater lake. Ancient Egyptians used to live around the lake, fishing and hunting animals.

There are 10 species of the baleen whales including the blue whale which is the largest mammal on the planet while the teethed whales that have about 60 different types of whales.

Reference: news-views.in

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Discoveries in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

King Tutankhamun: The Golden Age of the Pharaohs.

 

King Tut

King Tut

After more than 30 years, the treasures of Tutankhamun make their long-awaited return to New York in a dazzling, once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. This New York engagement will be the last opportunity to see these priceless artifacts before they leave North America forever. Hurry and get your tickets today!

Being more than twice the size of the exhibition that took New York by storm in the 1970s,King Tut: The Golden Age of the Pharaohs offers something for people of all ages. Adults and kids alike will enjoy gazing at over 130 amazing treasures belonging to both King Tut and many of the most significant rulers of ancient Egypt! Objects from King Tut’s tomb include his royal diadem (crown) and one of four gold and precious stone inlaid canopic coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs.

Complete your King Tut experience with the ultimate Egyptian adventure! It’s a 24 minute 3-D journey into Egypt. See how archaeologists discovered the tomb of the lost pharaohs. Learn how and why the ancient Egyptians mummified the dead. Discover how ancient mummies can help cure modern diseases and experience it all in 3-D! King Tut offers hand-held audio guides for fascinating details on key artifacts and lunch can be prepared for your group at the in-house cafe!

Over six million people have attended the King Tut Exhibition worldwide.

Source: viator.com

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Cultural Tourism, Sightseeing Tours | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two new rock-hewn painted tombs discovered at Saqqara necropolis.

False door of the tomb of Shendwa (Photo: Sandro Vannini)

False door of the tomb of Shendwa (Photo: Sandro Vannini)

Two rock-hewn painted tombs considered as two of the most distinguished tombs ever found from the Old Kingdom were discovered last week at Saqqara necropolis.

Cultural Minister, Mr. Farouk Hosni, announced today that the tombs were found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian mission at an area called “Gisr El-Mudir” located to the west of the Step Pyramid of Djoser. The team has been working in the area since 1968.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who is also the leader of the excavation mission said that the tombs belong to a father, Shendwa, and his son, Khonsu. The father’s tomb consists of a painted false door depicting scenes of the deceased seated before an offering table. The door also bears the different titles of the tomb’s owner who was a top governmental official during the Sixth Dynasty (2374-2191 BC). He was the head of the royal scribes and the supervisor of the missions as well as other honorary titles.

False door of the tomb of Khonsu, son of Shendwa (Photo: Sandro Vannini)

False door of the tomb of Khonsu, son of Shendwa (Photo: Sandro Vannini)

The tomb’s burial shaft is located directly beneath the false door, 20 meters below the ground level. When Dr. Hawass descended into the tomb he realized that it was intact and had not previously been plundered by tomb robbers. Unfortunately Shendwas’s wooden sarcophagus had disintegrated due to humidity and erosion. Beside the sarcophagus, a collection of limestone jars was found including five offering vessels carved in the shape of a duck. Upon opening the vessels, Dr. Hawass discovered that the bones of the ducks were still intact.

Source: drhawass.com

Posted by: Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Discoveries in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Ruler of the Nile,” “Daughter of gods,” and “Empress of the Mediterranean”, Nefertiti.

Nefertiti

Nefertiti

Ruler of the Nile,” “Daughter of gods,” and “Empress of the Mediterranean” or let us say Nefertiti; she was the female pharaoh who followed Hatshepsut and remained more controversial than her precedent. Nefertiti was the Queen of Egypt and co-ruled Egypt between 1379 and 1358 BC. She was the daughter of Ay (who would become Pharaoh after Tutankhamun’s death) and the beloved wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti and Akhenaten had six daughters but no sons. Her name literally means ’a beautiful woman has arrived’.

As a woman, Queen Nefertiti followed the tradition of being her husband’s partner in life, and as much she supported Akhenaton in his religious mission. Akhenaton made a unique impression on Egypt’s history, when he began to promote the worship of one god above all others – the ’sun-god’ Re or Ra. The queen actively involved in her husband’s restructuring policies, she is shown wearing kingly regalia, executing foreign prisoners. Both – Nefertiti and Akhenaton – were said to be very much in love and at times inseparable. Many pictures show the whole family in domestic scenes. She seemed to be a beloved wife and mother. King Akhenaton’s love was noted as legendary – the following is a love letter/poem to his Queen Nefertiti:

…The Heiress, Great in Favour, Lady of Grace, Sweet of Love, Mistress of the South and North, Fair of Face, Gay with two Plumes, Beloved of the Living Aten (the king), the Chief Wife of the King whom he Loves, Lady of the two Lands, Great of love, Nefertiti, Living Forever and Ever…”

Throughout the Eighteenth Dynasty royal women played a significant and visible role in state and religious affairs. Nefertiti continued this tradition by actively assisting her husband in his attempt to convert Egypt to monotheism; she was an enthusiastic supporter and a full partner in the process of spreading the new religion. No look at the life of Nefertiti would be complete without a review of this religious revolution. She was influential in establishing one of the world’s first monotheistic religions. Moreover, Nefertiti was pictured killing the enemies of Egypt in a scene normally reserved for pharaohs and she was shown with her husband awarding gold to royal favorites at the Window of Appearance.

By Year 14 of Akhenaten’s reign Nefertiti had disappeared from view yet there is no record of her death nor has her mummy or place of burial been found.  This has led to considerable speculation as to what happened.  Some have suggested that the royal couple had a falling out and Nefertiti was banished in disgrace to her palace, Aten’s Castle.  Others are quite convinced that Nefertiti changed her name to Smenkhkare, adopted the guise of a man and ruled as co-regent with her husband.  The majority view is that Nefertiti died of natural causes (possibly the plague) as a great and honored queen.

Source: sis.gov.eg

Posted by: Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.


Categories: Ancient Egypt, Cultural Tourism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tunnel Discovered in King Seti I Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Decorated piece of wall fragment from the tunnel (Photo: SCA)

Decorated piece of wall fragment from the tunnel (Photo: SCA)

The Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, announced that a tunnel in the tomb of King Seti I(1314-1304 BC) has been discovered by Dr. Zahi Hawass and his team in the Valley of the Kings. They’ve been searching for this tunnel for over twenty years in the West Bank necropolis.

Dr. Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the head of the mission, finally succeeded in completely excavating the 174m long tunnel after several seasons of work that began in November 2007. The tunnel was cut into the bedrock near the end of the beautifully decorated tomb of Seti I. In addition to excavating the tunnel, the team braced the walls and ceiling with metal supports. They also built a wooden walkway over the original stone staircase of the tunnel to preerve it and installed a mining car system to remove rubble from the team’s excavations. During their work, the mission uncovered many shabtis and pottery fragments that dated to the Eighteenth Dynasty (1569-1315 BC). Several limestone ostraca fragments, as well as a small boat model made of faience were also found. During their excavation of the staircase, the team found that three of the steps were decorated with red graffiti.

Shabti discovered in the tunnel of Seti I (Photo: Sandro Vannini)

Dr. Hawass said that when he went inside the tunnel ofKing Seti I for the first time he noticed that the walls were well finished and that there were remains of preliminary sketches of decoration that would be placed on the walls. Unfortunately none of this was every completed. Dr. Hawass added that he was very surprised to find a second staircase inside the tunnel. It appears that the last step was never finished and the tunnel ends abruptly after the second staircase.

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Reference: drhawass.com

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Discoveries in Egypt, Sightseeing Tours | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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