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Ayman's blog

Rock paintings in Tsodilo Hills, Botswana.

Tsodilo (also referred to as the Tsodilo Hills) is a site in Botswana that contains one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world. It has been claimed that in an area of just 10 square km (6.21 square miles), more than 4000 or 4500 individual paintings (scattered over 400 rock art sites) have been found. As a result, Tsodilo has been referred to as the ‘Louvre of the Desert’.

The archaeological record of Tsodilo provides a chronological account of human activities and changes in the environment over at least 100,000 years, though not continuously. Thus, the rock paintings at this site span from the Stone Age all the way until the 19th century AD. It has, however, been pointed out that these paintings have not always been dated accurately.

The “Family” of Tsodilo

Tsodilo is situated in the Okavango Sub-District, Ngamiland District, northwestern Botswana, and is close to the country’s border with Namibia. This site lies in the Kalahari Desert, and is made up of huge quartzite rock formations. To the east of Tsodilo are ancient sand dunes, whilst to its west is a dry fossil lake bed. The Tsodilo range is made up of four main outcrops, and is revered as a sacred site in the landscape by the indigenous peoples who live in the area.

Map of Botswana.

Map of Botswana. (Public Domain)

An artist’s reconstruction of life at Star Carr, where recent excavations have uncovered evidence of a thriving Mesolithic settlement.

The oldest known engraved pendant in Britain, a small piece of shale dating back about 11,000 years, has been discovered at a Stone Age site in Yorkshire, England.

Archaeologists found the pendant at the Mesolithic site of Star Carr in 2015. The team of researchers wrote in an article in Internet Archaeology:

“Engraved motifs on Mesolithic pendants are extremely rare, with the exception of amber pendants from southern Scandinavia. The artwork on the pendant is the earliest known Mesolithic art in Britain; the `barbed line` motif is comparable to styles on the Continent, particularly in Denmark. When it was first uncovered the lines were barely visible but using a range of digital imaging techniques it has been possible to examine them in detail and determine the style of engraving as well as the order in which the lines might have been made.”

The team, led by archaeologist Nicky Milner of the University of York, wrote that they used microwear and residue analysis to determine whether the pendant was strung and worn. They also wanted to know if the lines had been made easier to see by painting it, as was the case for some amber pendants found in Denmark. 

The paper says the combination of scientific and analytical techniques had not been used before and may be a model for analyzing artifacts in the future. In addition to three archaeologists, the team had a physicist and an anatomist.

A composite image of the phasing of the engravings.

A fine wool textile dyed red and blue, found at Timna. The textile used the various colors of natural animal hair to create black and orange-brown colors for decorative bands.

A team of archaeologists has discovered a collection of textiles of diverse dye colors and designs about 3,000 years old in an Edomite tin mine in Israel. Textiles this old are rare because they are made of organic materials and usually disintegrate long before modern times.

“The ancient copper mines in Timna are located deep in Israel`s Arava Valley and are believed by some to be the site of King Solomon`s mines,” says a press release from the American Friends of Tel Aviv University. “The arid conditions of the mines have seen the remarkable preservation of 3,000-year-old organic materials, including seeds, leather and fabric, and other extremely rare artifacts that provide a unique window into the culture and practices of this period.

Fabric sample discovered by archaeologists in the ancient Timna mines.

Fabric sample discovered by archaeologists in the ancient Timna mines. (Tel Aviv University)

Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University is the head of the team excavating the Timna mines. The Edomites are believed to have operated the mines. They were a semi-nomadic who had a complex society and warred with the kingdom of Israel.

Terra cotta image of Maya Rain God Chac at San Francisco`s de Young museum.

Around the world and throughout history many rulers who’ve taken power have said their authority is ordained by God. In Europe it was called the divine right of kings and in China the mandate of heaven. Apparently people in the ancient Maya societies of Mesoamerica had a similar concept, though we don’t know what they may have called it.

Some researchers working at a prehistoric site in Belize believe that a group of manmade mounds near a sacred cave were used in royal accession ceremonies by a king seeking approval of the deities.

Archaeologists Holley Moyes, Mark Robinson, and Keith M. Prufer wrote in the February 2016 issue of the closed-access journal Antiquity:

“The cave of Kayuko Naj Tunich is believed to have been the location of the accession ceremonies for the royal dynasty of the ancient Maya Uxbenká polity in southern Belize. Little is known, however, about the structures referred to as the Kayuko Mound Group that lie close to the cave. Excavations have now provided evidence for the date of this complex, and experimental research has estimated the labour costs involved in its construction. The results suggest that while both the mound group and the cave were involved in the celebration of royal accession, the former acted as a short-lived festival site in contrast to the enduring significance of Kayuko Naj Tunich.”

Site of the 2,100-year old Roman tavern, featuring the pits of taboon ovens for bread, a huge dining section to the right, a drainage system and millstones.

A recent archaeological find in Lattes, France may provide insight into how the Romans dined 2,100 years ago. Archaeologists have discovered a structure that they believe to be a tavern, in an area that had been conquered by the Romans during that time. Lattes lies on the southern-border of France, on the Mediterranean Sea. The discovery of the tavern is an interesting one, in that this is the earliest Roman restaurant discovered to date.

Initially believed to be a bakery, USA Today reports that archaeologists now think that what they have uncovered is an ancient tavern. The archaeological findings include three indoor gristmills, and three ovens, which would have been used to bake flatbread. These findings go beyond what an individual home would require, and suggest that the site once hosted a tavern where the Romans could dine out.

The kitchen of what looks like an ancient tavern, with three reddish circles where the three ovens -- for baking flatbread and other dishes -- once stood.

The kitchen of what looks like an ancient tavern, with three reddish circles where the three ovens -- for baking flatbread and other dishes -- once stood. (Lattes Excavations)

During his visit to the excavation site today as a part of the general site management and development for the area, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty announced the discovery of a southern part of mud brick historic northern wall of Cairo in Al Gamaliya. It is believed to be a part of the old Fatimid wall. 

Mohamed Abd ElAziz, minister`s assistant for Islamic and Coptic antiquities department, said "The project practically started in the middle of 2015. No antiquities were found in the excavation pits number 1 and 2. The discovered part of the wall was unearthed during excavation in pit number 3."


Abd El-Aziz added "A whole series of studies will take place in order to continue excavations to unearth the rest of the wall and confirm authenticity and dating to the Fatimid period."


#Egypt #Cairo #Archaeology #History #Antiquities #Islamic 


Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty at KV57 (tomb of Horemheb) in the Valley of the Kings, speaking about the theory of Dr. Nicholas Reeves who is present too. It was recorded on their second day of their visit to Luxor examine evidences in the tomb of the boy King and other tombs of the same era in their pursuit to reveal what`s behind the walls of the tomb which was discovered in 1922 by British explorer Howard Carter.
 
For more exclusive footage and detailed account of what happened in Luxor, watch this space ... Only with Luxor Times 

http://youtu.be/BxBq4mnJAZY


 
#Egypt #KingTut #Nefertiti #Luxor #ValleyoftheKings #Egyptology #Archaeology #FactumArte #AncientEgypt

On 1st of October, Cairo airport will receive a statue dated to 6th Dynasty back from France.

The statue was stolen from Sakkara antiquities warehouse. The person who had possession of the statue decided to return it to Egypt when he knew it was stolen and smuggled. 
Mr. Ahmed Ali, head of repatriated antiquities department, said "The wooden statue is 33cm length. 
It is a cosmetic spoon depicts a swimming woman."

It will be received by a committee of the Egyptian Museum upon arrival. 

#Egypt #Cairo #Egyptology #Archaeology #Antiquities #AncientEgypt #Makeup


Photo: courtesy of MOA 
Decorative wall

A Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 BC – c.1700 BC) rock-cut tomb was discovered recently in El-Lisht, Egypt, which was the ancient archaeological site of the Dahshur necropolis. The tomb is located to the south of the pyramid of Senusret I.

Excavations led by Mohamed Youssef (Dahshur antiquities director) and Dr. Sarah Parcak (University of Alabama), uncovered the tomb, which is dated to the 12th Dynasty, the reign of King Senusret I (also known as Sesostris I and Senwosret I, ruled c. 1971–1926 BC). The tomb belongs to a man who is identified as the royal stamp bearer.

The entrance gate of the tomb.

The entrance gate of the tomb. (Ministry of Antiquities)

According to Ahram Online, the tomb is carved into the bedrock and has a mud brick ramp. The engravings discovered on the walls depict the stamp bearer at work, with family, and while hunting.

Wall scene depicting the deceased during hunting trip.

Conservation of Ötzi, the Iceman.

Italian scientists are attempting to give Ötzi the Iceman a voice. By using CT scans of his throat and the tissue around his voice box, the researchers believe there is a chance to recreate the sounds of his voice with sophisticated software.

The Independent reports that the researchers plan to recreate the “timbre and color” of Ötzi’s voice. With that information “specialists in Bolzano and Padua plan to get the world’s oldest mummy to “speak” stone-age vowels.”

Rolando Füstös, an ENT consultant at San Maurizio Hospital, who is leading the new project, told the Independent that there are particular difficulties the team has to face by working with the 5,300-year-old, body conserved in a sterile, glass box at 7˚C (44.6 ˚F) and 100% humidity:

“For a start, we can’t use MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans because of the condition of the mummified body. The other problem is the position he’s in, with his arm across his throat, which makes the CT scanning more difficult. But providing there are no more unforeseen difficulties, I’m fairly confident we will be able to synthesize the sound of his voice within the next few months.”

The German-Egyptian mission working in Matariya, Old Heliopolis, has successfully unearthed more stone blocks of the royal chapel of King Nectanebo I of the 30th Dynasty.

Last April, the mission discovered the lower part of the royal chapel and this discovery today continues the work on the chapel. (More about the discovery from April, you can visit the link HERE)

At that time Dr. Dietrich Raue, head of the mission, said “It is expected to discover the remains of the chapel during the next excavations seasons. Dr. Raue also pointed out that the temple mud brick wall of 15meters width was discovered and hope to find more elements in the temple area in the future.”
Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, said “The mission also successfully uncovered small limestone parts of ancient columns as well as a part of a ceiling shows shapes of stars belong to Nectanebo I temple.”

Dr. Mahmoud Affifi, Head of ancient Egyptian department, said “The team discovered a part of the statue of King Merenptah which was discovered last season beside part of a statue of King Nectanebo I. Also parts of mud brick wall was discovered which represents a part of the old wall used to surround old Heliopolis.”   

Mr. Khalid Abo Elala, director of Matariya antiquities, said “The discovered stone blocks belong to King Nectanebo I and they measure between 75cm to 1.25 meters made of basalt. The blocks show inscriptions with the names of Egyptian nomes at that time as well as bas-relief depicting God Hapi carrying offerings of the Nile. We are looking forward to more discoveries by the mission to reveal more about this era of history.”   
  

#Egypt #Cairo #Archaeology #Egyptology #AncientEgypt #History #Heliopolis  

Photos are courtesy of MOA
Dr. Nicholas Reeves at KV57 (tomb of Horemheb) in the Valley of the Kings, speaking about his theory. This video was recorded on the second day of his visit to Luxor accompanied by Dr. Mamdouh El Danaty to examine evidences in the tomb of the boy King and other tombs of the same era in their pursuit to reveal if there is more behind the walls of the tomb which was discovered in 1922 by British explorer Howard Carter.
 
For more exclusive footage and detailed account of what happened in Luxor, watch this space ... Only with Luxor Times 

https://youtu.be/g42k32J0ico


 
#Egypt #KingTut #Nefertiti #Luxor #ValleyoftheKings #Egyptology #Archaeology #FactumArte #AncientEgypt


On Wednesday evening Luxor celebrated the 93rd anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamon’s tomb which was held at Hatshepsut temple at Deir El Bahari.
 
At the event, the editor of Luxor Times was talking with the Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty. Most of the conversation was regular friendly chat “off the record”.

Then the minister was asked to answer one question on video for Luxor Times readers without prior notice of what the question would be.
You can watch the short video below.


Bottom line is:  The Infrared Thermo graphic scanning which will take place on Thursday and Friday is a primary step on the way to examine very carefully what could be behind the walls of KV62 (tomb of the Golden King) according to Dr. Nicholas Reeves’ hypothesis.
The confirmed results will be announced when the ministry officials see appropriate and announce the following step.


Videos of Dr. Nicholas Reeves and the Minister of Antiquities talking about the search for “the hidden chambers behind the walls of King Tut’s tomb” can be found on Luxor Times Youtube Channel HERE



Follow Luxor Times for the latest news of Egyptian history.


#Egypt #Luxor #Nefertiti #Egyptology #Archaeology  #Valleyof theKings
    
Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, minister of antiquities, told Luxor Times that the permanent committee approved in its meeting yesterday the proposal from Dr. Nicholas Reeves to use radars in King Tutankhamon tomb (KV62) in the valley of the kings in order to determine if there is any hidden rooms behind the northern and western wall of the golden king`s tomb. 


The minister emphasised that this step was taken after making sure that the radars and equipment that will be used will not affect the tomb, its walls or painted scenes in anyway.

The elementary work will start as soon as all permissions granted. 

Dr. El Damaty also said "This could be a big step in the discovery of the century if Dr. Reeves studies and theory is proven to be correct." 



#Egypt #Luxor #Antiquities #KingTut #Nefertiti #Discovery #AncientEgypt 

The Ministry of Antiquities, Faculty of Engineering – Cairo University and Heritage, innovation and preservation (HIP) Institute - Paris joint scientific mission started the first experiment using infrared thermography to detect the temperature of the Tutankhamun walls, the experiment lasted for 24 hours stated Dr. Eldamaty, Minster of Antiquities.

The preliminary analysis, added Eldamaty, indicates the presence of an area different in its temperature than the other parts of the northern wall. In order to certify the results, Eldamaty said, a number of experiments will be carried out  to determine more accurately the area marking the difference in temperature. A study of the acquired results will be analyzed as well.
Eldamaty further added that a longer time is needed (one week or more) using the thermography technique in order to confirm the results.
Possibility of using other methods is being studied in the mean time to help identify the area different in temperature.

#egypt #Luxor #KingTut #Egyptology #Archaeology 


Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, minister of antiquities, in the valley of the kings to reopen the tombs of Hormoheb (KV57) and Thutmosis III (KV34).
The two tombs will be open for public as a part of the rotation system working in the valley to open tombs after restoration and close others for needed restoration.

The tombs which will be closed are Ramses III (KV 11) and Ramses IX (KV6)




#Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #Luxor
Results of Scan Pyramids mission show great potential of new discoveries inside 

Scan Pyramids project`s team joint the ministry of antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, at the Giza plateau to announce the elementary results of the infrared thermography scan of the great pyramid of Khufu.

A video of the minister, Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty talking at the press conference being held at the moment in the Giza plateau. 

The potential of a corridor in the middle top of the pyramid but more extensive and precise scanning to be conducted.

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty asked all Egyptologists especially interested in ancient Egyptian architecture to brainstorm to try to find why there would be a different there. 


#Scanpyramids #Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #Giza #Greatpyramid
The chapel was discovered when the Tourism and Antiquities police arrested a few people who were digging illegally under a house near Edfu temple in Aswan. 

Nasr Salama, director of Aswan antiquities, said "The visible scenes imply the chapel could be 12 meters in height. 
The discovered part shows some scenes represent Ptolemy VIII offering justice symbol "Maat" to Horus while Hathor standing behind him and there is a cartouche with the king`s name before his figure."

The chapel runs under the nearby houses and the ministry at the moment studying the different options to unearth the rest of the chapel.



#Egypt #Aswan #Antiquities #Egyptology #Archaeology #Illicitdigs 

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty has announced the results of the Geo Radar which was used in the tomb of Tutankhamon (KV62) You can watch the video below of the minister`s announcement at the conference.


What`s the story behind the scenes?

The crucial 48 hours in the search for Nefertiti. with behind the scenes footage in Luxor Times. Stay tuned!


#Egypt #Luxor #Egyptology #Archaeology #Nefertiti #KV62 #KingTut #ReevesNefertiti
The committee of the ministry of antiquities received the repatriated mask from the ministry of foreign affairs after it was repatriated from Germany.
Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty said that the mask is now transferee to the restoration labs at the Egyptian museum in Tahrir to do the required restoration before it will be displayed at the repatriated antiquities exhibition which will be held soon.


#Egypt #Cairo #AncientEgypt #Egyptology #Archaeology 
This morning at Sakkara, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, minister of antiquities, accompanied with governor of Giza and Dr. Alain Zivie (head of the French mission who has been working on the site since 1996 and discovered the tomb of Maia) visited the tomb after the completion of the cleaning and restoration of the tomb.


Maia’s tomb will be open to public for the first time soon.

Dr. El-Damaty said "During the recent cleaning of the tomb, an ostracon was found inscribed with the title of "Mistress of Women" which made the team believe that Maia wasn`t only King Tutankhamon`s wet nurse but she probably had a higher position if she held the title "Mistress of Women" even though the "wet nurse" is the most known title of her.

The minister added "There is a possibility that Maia could be the sister of Tutankhamon who is called "Meritaten"." In the royal tomb of Meketaten (Elder daughter of Akhnaten) in Tell Amarna there is a scene depicting "Meritaten" breast feeding (nursing) a baby who is believed to be "Tutankhamon"


Dr. Mahmoud Affifi, head of Egyptian antiquities department, said "The tomb was reused heavily in late periods and Greco-Roman time as cats cemetery where original scenes and inscriptions were covered with stones and building material. The cleaning process included removing all those addition to show the tomb as it was in its original state."

Dr. Mahmoud Affifi mentioned that the tomb will receive the visitors soon in the near future.

Below a video of Minister of Antiquties, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty talking to Luxor Times about what is possible to be found behind the walls of King Tutankhamon`s tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV62) and the link with Maia`s tomb in Sakkara.

Last year, there was a sarcophagus dated back to Third Intermediate Period (TIP) discovered in the tomb during clearing the debris. (More information HERE)






Photos and video copyrights: Luxor Times magazine

Photographer: Mohamed Anwar



#Egypt #Cairo #Giza #Sakkara #Saqqara #KingTut #NewKingdom #History #Archaeology #Egyptology #KV62 #TIP 

FAfter 68 days since the famous golden mask of King Tutanhamon was moved from its display case and taken into room number 55 for restoration. It is finally back to where it belongs in the Egyptian museum in Tahrir. 

Dr. Manding El Damaty (Minister of Antiquities),  Christian Eckmann (German conservation specialist), Dr. Stephan Seidlmayer (Head of DAI Cairo) and the representative of German ministry of foreign affairs spoke at the press conference which was held at the Egyptian museum on Wednesday evening.
The mask which was moved on the morning on 10th of October, it was moved back to its case amongst the other King Tutankhamen`s treasures on Wednesday evening after closing hours of the museum. The moving actually started 4:45pm and the mask was already in its place by 5:30pm under the supervision of Dr. El Damaty, Dr. Khalid Anany (Director of The Egyptian Museum) and Dr. Moamen Othman (Head of restoration department at the museum).

More details with exclusive videos and more photos will be published soon on Luxor Times new site @ www.luxortimes.com





Photos copyright: Luxor Times magazine
Photographer: Mohamed Anwar

#Egypt #Cairo #KingTut #Egyptology #Museum #AncientEgypt  
Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty accompanied with Dr. Hany Hilal announced the results of phase two of Scan Pyramids project in a press conference held today and just finished at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) 

The conference was full in scientific details on what happened and the next steps. 
The video below is the summarizing of the conference Egyptological results by the minister of antiquities.


More about the technology used on Scan Pyramids site here 

http://www.scanpyramids.org/layout/spm/press/About_ScanPyramids-en.pdf



#Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #ScanPyramids
During the current season of Lund university mission in Gebel el Silsila, near edfu- north of Aswan, directed by Dr. Maria Nilsson, the mission discovered 6 rock-cut statues inside shrines number 30 and 31.

Egyptologists Ricardo Caminos worked 9 seasons at the sites between 1955 to 1982 but he described shrine No. 30 as totally destroyed due to earthquakes in ancient times and erosion which covered the site with large stone blocks.

Gebel El Silsila survey project managed to uncover and clean the shrines which led to discover the rock-cut statues. 

Statues are all dated to New Kingdom, two of them are in shrine No. 30 and they represent the shrine owner in Osirian position with his arms crossed on his chest and wearing a shoulder length wig, sitting next to his wife who puts her left arm on her husband` shoulder while her right arm on her chest.

The other 4 statues were found in shrine No. 31. The statues are of the shrine owner "Neferkhewe" who held he title of "overseer of the foreign lands" during the time of Thutmosis III and his family.
The four figures of "Neferkhewe", his wife, daughter and son show them all seated next to each other. 

#Egypt #Archaeology #Egyptology #Aswan #Friendsofsilsila #History #Discovery
 
Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, minister of antiquities announced today the discovery of the first case of Scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency) in ancient Egypt. 
AKAP (Aswan-Kom Ombo archaeological project) directed by Dr. Maria Carmela Gatto and Dr. Antonio Curci discovered a skeleton of a child who died younger than one year old was buried in predynastic Nag Quarmila settlement. (3600-3800 BC) 



#Egypt #Aswan #Egyptology #Archaeology #AncientEgypt   



Photo courtesy of MOA
 

At the construction site of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) with the pyramids of Giza in the background, Luxor Times had this short interview with Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty.


In the video below, the minister explains how far the project of Scan Pyramids reached so far and the coming step.



#Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #ScanPyramids


Since August when Luxor Times breaking news about the Christmas present went viral, (check here) people have been wondering if it will actually happen and photography will be allowed in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.
 Many professional and amateur photographer took the opportunity for the free photography between 1st of December 2015 till 7th of January 2016 and took thousands, if not even millions of photographs of the ancient Egyptian masterpieces hosted at the museum.

Now, the news we would like to share with our reader that photography will be allowed with no dates limitation.

Dr. Khaled El-Enany, General director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, told Luxor Times today "There will be photography ticket for 50 Egyptian pounds for both Egyptians and non-Egyptians. The tickets are being printed at the moment and will be available in the next few days."

So ladies and gentlemen, get your cameras ready.
P.S: of course no flash allowed or photography in royal mummies rooms.





Photos are © of Luxor Times magazine
Photographer: Mohamed Anwar



#Egypt #Cairo #EgyptianMuseum #Egyptology #AncientEgypt  

Since their restoration and conservation project started in 2013 and 2014, those sites were closed.
On Saturday, Minister of Antiquities Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty (accompanied by Mohamed Abd Al-Aziz, assistant to the minister for Historical Cairo and May Al-Ibrashy, Al Atharline intiative cooerdinator) reopened the Islamic sites for public.  The sites are in Khalifa area not far from Fatimid Cairo’s famous street “Muizz Street”.


The conservation project was funded by the United States Department of State`s U.S. Ambassadors Fund for cultural Preservation and implemented by Athar Lina initiative under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities.

Dome of Shajar Al-Durr (1250 A.D) 

The Mamluk historian Taqiyy Al-Din Al-Maqrizi states that this building consisted of a mausoleum with a religious school attached to it. No traces of the school exist today although there is indication that the main (north-western) entrance was preceded by a portico. The building as it stands today consists of a square chamber of an internal area of ca. 50 square meters with brick masonry walls topped by a keel-shaped dome pierced by 8 windows. The transitional zone consists of two tiers of squinches with interstitial tri-partite windows. 

Its most significant features include:
1. The glass mosaic prayer niche (Mihrab), the only intact example of its kind in Cairo. It has as its central motif a tree of pearls, in clear reference to Shajar Al-Durr`s name.
2. The beautiful patterns of painted vegetal and geometric decoration on the dome interior on the transitional area and between the upper windows, revealed by the conservation project. 
3. The carved stucco decoration, particularly that on the interior walls above the Mihrab and the three doors. It is an excellent example of its genre and fairly well preserved.
4. The foundational frieze of painted wood on which Shajar Al-Durr is named as the founder and described as the Sultana, mother of Khalil.
5. The lower wooden frieze, a reused Fatimid frieze with Kufic inscription possibly taken from the Fatimid palaces in Bayn Al-Qastayn, currently Al Muizz street. 
6. The painted beams used for hanging lamps particularly that in front of the Mihrab with newly revealed traces of a Quranic inscription.


Shajar Al-Durr conservation project 

Traces of painted decoration could be seen on the dome interior. Closer examination showed that that original geometric and vegetal decoration painted in blue-green had been Coates with a thin layer of plaster. It was painstakingly removed using scalpels, consolidated, coated with a protective layer and retouched using stippling technique only where was clear indication of the original design.
This rare example of painted decoration is unparalleled in Cairo with the possible exception of the nearby dome of the Abbasid Caliphs.
 
The conservation project of the shrines of Al-Sayyida Ruqayya, Al-Ja`fari and Atika

All three domes suffered from serious structural damage. In the case of Al-Sayyida Ruqayya, rising damp laden with salt led to the disintegration of the stone columns and partial collapse of the portico wall. The walls of Al-Ja`fari and Atika had vertical cracks due to differential settlement. 
The most serious was a through crack running Dow Arika`s dome. All walls were grouted with like mortar, damaged and collapsed masonry was rebuilt, cracks were repaired and longitudinal tie beams of wood were installed to increase the tensile strength of walls.
A wooden collar was inserted at the base of Antika`s dome to protect it against damage in the case of differential settlement. Because the stone columns in Al-Sayyida Ruqayya were not original, the damaged elements were replaced and all column bases were insulated with less sheets to protect against rising damp.

With the exception of the inner surfaces of the dimes and transitional zones, the walls were plastered with a modern cement render sometimes applied over a priming coat of bitumen. It was removed where necessary and replays texted with lime render. 

The panels, inscriptions and decorative friezes of carved stucco were consolidated, cleaned and grouted where needed. The decoration was reconstructed only where there was clear indication of the original design. All stucco features were in need of cleaning, grouting, crack repair and partial fixation but the biggest challenge was the main Mihrab of Al-Sayyida Ruqayya which also required cross-sectional reinforcement using linen thread inserted through the stucco layers. 
The foundational inscription running along the base of Al-Sayyida Ruqayya dome interior was grouted, reinforced, cleaned and missing paint was retouched using stippling. The painted ribs were also cleaned and grouted. 

Architectural and decorative features of the domes of Al-Ja`fari and Atika

The dome of Al-Ja`fari is plain while that of Al-Sayyida Atika is fluted on the outside and ribbed on the inside. Not much remains of the stucco decoration in Al-Ja`fari but it must have been similar to that of Antika with a band of Quranic inscriptions framing them. 







#Egypt #Cairo #UNESCO #Hertiage 

Photos are ©Luxor Times magazine

Photographer: Mohamed Anwar
Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, minister of antiquities, accompanied by H.E. Arturo Avello Díez del Corral, Ambassador of Spain to Egypt, visited the site of the Spanish mission at Dra Abu El-Naga, tombs of Djehuty and Hery (TT11 and TT12).

Dr. José Manuel Galán presented to the minister the work of the mission in the courtyard of TT11 and inside the tomb as well as the latest finds which one of them was only half an hour before the minister`s visit.
Afterwards, the minister was joined by a part of the mission`s team to visit Luxor Museum where there are on display some of the artifacts discovered by the mission in the past couple of years including the Rishi coffin of 17th dynasty and the linen with the name of Amenhotep II.


More photos and exclusive videos will be published soon .... On Luxor Times



#Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #Luxor #Heritage  

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, Minister of Antiquities, announced the discovery of a large wooden boat discovered to the south of Mastaba AS54 in Abusir by the mission of Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University directed by Dr. Miroslav Barta.

The minister said "The discovery is important as this is the only boat of the Old Kingsom to be discovered next to non-Royal tomb which emphasis the status and rank of the Mastaba owner and his relation to the King at that time even though his name still unknown so far as the offering chapel which supposed to have his name and titles is in a bad condition. (P.S: Czech mission finds in 2009/2010 suggest the mastabas is for Huni. You can find Dr. Miroslav Barta paper here) 

The unique feature of the boat is that some wooden wedges and the robes that hold throw idem beams together still intact and visible which helps to give an idea on how boats were built in ancient Egypt since most of the boats were discovered so far were in a bad shape except for King Khufu`s boats.
The discovery took place while cleaning the area to the south of Mastaba AS 54 where the 18 meters long boat unearthed as well as pottery and they are all linked (Mastaba, boat and pottery) as al dated to the end of 3rd Dynasty and beginning of 4th Dynasty (Old Kingdom ca. 2550 B.C)
Dr. Miroslav Barta said "The Czech Institute will launch a project during this year to study the techniques used to build the boat in cooperation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INS) at Texas A&M university." 



#Egypt #Cairo #Egyptology #Archaeology #ThisisEgypt
Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb discovered in El-Lisht. The Egyptian-American mission directed by Mohamed Youssef (Dahshur antiquities director) and Dr. Sarah Parcak (University of Alabama) discovered a Middle Kingdom tomb in El-Lisht to the south of Senusret I pyramid.


“The mission has been working on documenting and preserving the result of illicit digs which took place after 25thof January 2011 turmoil.” Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, Minister of Antiquities, told Luxor Times.

The discovered tomb belongs to a High official dated to 12th Dynasty at the reign of Senusret I. The tomb owner held the title “Royal seal bearer”

The mission will be holding a series of training session for Egyptian archaeologists working for the ministry of antiquities on the latest techniques to document and protect the sites using satellite technologies.






#Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #SarahParcak #LuxorTimes




Luxor Times Egyptology Awards 2016

Coming soon


#LuxorTimes #Luxor #Egypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #ScanPyramids #ThisIsEgypt #GEM #KingTut
rock art, petroglyphs, Kimberley, Australia, oldest, paintings, Wandjinas, Aboriginal, indigenous

Australian Indigenous art is the longest unbroken tradition of art in the world. It is so old in fact, that examples have been found that depict long extinct megafauna. Now a push is underway to establish just how old it really is. It is expected that the research will reveal a date of at least 50,000 years, placing it among the oldest rock art in the world.

Indigenous Aboriginal history is believed to span a period of between 50,000 and 55,000 years with some estimates indicating an Aboriginal presence in Australia some 80,000 years before the arrival of the first Europeans. Prior to colonization, there were hundreds of indigenous Aboriginal groups with some 250 distinct languages spoken across the continent. Each group also had its own cultural and artistic traditions.

Rock Art of the Kimberley

One of the richest regions for rock art is the Kimberley region of north-western Australia, one of the earliest parts of Australia to be settled and an area where traditional Aboriginal law and culture is still active and alive. The Kimberley has tens of thousands of rock art sites spread across more than 400,000 square kilometres (an area about three times the size of England).

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a group of scientists, researchers, and traditional owners is now studying the rock art of the Kimberley in order to establish as accurate a date as possible for the paintings.

Pyramid of Queen Khennuwa at the royal necropolis at Meroe.

After almost a century, archaeologists are re-entering the burial chambers of the mysterious Queen Khennuwa, who remains a mysterious personality of the Kingdom of Meroe.

The archaeologists re-opened the tomb to increase documentation and research on the queen and site. According to Heritage Daily, the burial chambers were completely decorated with executed paintings and hieroglyphic texts, many of which are still in a good state of preservation. It was identified as the tomb of Queen Khennuwa due to the inscriptions in hieroglyphic texts.

The pyramid of Queen Khennuwa was excavated in 1922 during the excavations in ancient Nubia by George A. Reisner of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. However, the documentation created by his team wasn`t complete, it contained only a few photographs and a few hand copies of inscriptions. This lack of information about the burial led archaeologists from the Qatari Mission for the Pyramids of Sudan (QMPS) to ask for permission to re-open the tomb.

The Southern Cemetery of Meroe, where Queen Khennuwa’s tomb is located.

The Southern Cemetery of Meroe, where Queen Khennuwa’s tomb is located. (TrackHD/CC BY 3.0)

UFO entering Volcano

One of the most interesting latest videos of UFOs is the video of what appears to be an unidentified flying object (UFO) entering the Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico which was recorded on May 30 by the daily video monitors of Televisa, a Mexican media company.

Televisa monitors the volcano on a daily basis and this video is a time lapsed video, which means video images taken at a specific interval. A special effects expert who has worked for the US Navy and Congress in Washington, was asked by Huffington Post about the authenticity of the video and, after analysing the video, he concluded that the video appears genuine.

However, he says that since the video is time lapsed, the speed that you see is not the real speed and if played at real speed then the speed is similar to aircraft speeds. This doesn’t mean that it is an aircraft though, although he suggests that it may be an ‘illusion’ giving you the impression that it goes down while it goes away. If you watch the video carefully that may be the case but it is not for sure.

It is interesting to mention that there was a similar video taken last year by the same company showing another object, cigar shaped this time, entering the volcano. Mutual UFO Network suggested that this may have been a meteor.

The reality is that since it is a time lapse video, it is difficult to say with certainty.

By John Black

Bacteria caused Justinian Plague

Justinian was one of the most powerful emperors of Byzantine. His goal was to restore the power of the Roman Empire and for that reason started a series of military campaigns to reclaim land that was once part of the glorious Roman Empire.

However once he started his campaigns a deadly disease appeared in the middle of the sixth century AD. It is suggested that the disease was brought through rats from Egypt and spread to the Mediterranean countries. When it reached Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, it is said that it killed almost half the citizens of the city population. Almost 50 years after the beginning of the plague the casualties of the pandemic numbered between 25 and 100 million in Europe and Asia.

A historian of that Era, Gregory of Tours, wrote that when the Plague started, a number of unusual events took place during the years of the plague. Brilliant lights appeared in the sky and other celestial phenomena. It was so intense that they believed that it was a punishment of God and was identified with the apocalypse.

We are not sure if extra-terrestrial beings were responsible for the Plague, but scientists recently believe that they have identified the bacteria responsible for the Plague and is called Yersinia pestis. The same bacteria is also connected to other pandemics in the history of humanity such as the Black Death who was responsible to have killed more than 60% of Europe’s population in the 13th century. The research took place by investigating the DNA of 6th century skeletons that were found in Germany where the bacteria was identified.

Mysterious Voynich manuscript  `genuine message`

The 15th Century Voynich manuscript is considered to be the most mysterious text ever uncovered as it has never been decrypted despite over a century of attempts to uncover meaning and more than 25 different analyses from top minds around the world.  This has led some to claim that it is nothing more than an elaborate hoax. However, a new study published in the journal Plos One, suggests that the manuscript does hold a genuine message and may have been constructed to hide secret information.

The 240 page book, which uses a cryptic language and numerous illustrations depicting astronomical, biological, cosmological, herbal and pharmaceutical themes, was discovered in 1912 by a Polish-American named Wilfrid M. Voynich. Numerous studies have shown that the unknown language does show similarities to known languages and the latest finding supports the hypothesis that there are meaningful words and messages within the text. 

Marcelo Montemurro, a theoretical physicist from the University of Manchester, UK, has been analysing the manuscript’s linguistic patterns for years and believes he is getting closer to unravelling its mysteries.  Using a computerised statistical method to examine patterns of how the words were arranged, Dr Montemurro and colleagues found evidence that content-bearing words occur in clustered patterns where they are required as part of the information being written. Moreover, the semantic networks show that related words share structure similarities, which is a pattern observed in known languages.

Lone Signal Project - METI and SETI for Extraterrestrials

For 60 years, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been scanning our universal horizons for signs of intelligent life, listening and waiting for a signal to come bouncing back to Earth.  But now, beginning in just four days time, a new strategy is being added into the mix – Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI).

The METI concept involves a more active approach in that instead of waiting for a signal to reach us, a message will be sent out from Earth into outer space, in the hope that it will be picked up by any intelligent alien race that is out there. 

The first long-duration METI project will be launched on 17th June by Lone Signal, a crowd-funded project set up by a group of businessmen and entrepreneurs utilizing the Jamesburg Earth Station radio telescope in Carmel Valley, California, which was constructed in 1968 to support the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.

“As soon as I can remember, I looked up at the stars and I thought, ‘Is there anybody looking back at me?’ I think there’s just an inherent curiosity we all have,” Lone Signal chief marketing officer Ernesto Qualizza said. “We all want to see what’s on the other side of the next hill, and this is an extension of that curiosity.”

The Lone Signal project is unique in that it is not only sending out one message, as previous projects have done. It will be sending out a continuous stream of content received from contributors from all over the world. Anyone with an internet connection will be able to send their own message or photo through the Lone Signal programme, offering a way to unite people around the world in the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.

 Ancient Egyptian Statue Moving - Manchester

A 4,000-year-old ancient Egyptian statue locked away in a secure display case at the Manchester Museum in England has shocked curators by rotating on its own.

The 10-inch tall statue of a man named Neb-Senu, which was originally an offering to the god Osiris, was recovered from a mummy’s tomb more than 80 years ago and has been on display ever since.  But just in the last three weeks, the statue has started turning around without any human intervention.

"I noticed one day that it had turned around. I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key." curator Campbell Price said.  “But the next time I looked, it was facing in another direction — and a day later had yet another orientation."

Ancient Egyptians believed that if a mummified body was damaged or destroyed then the statues buried along with them could act as an alternative vehicle for their spirit. There are also myths and legends associated with Egyptian curses that take effect when a tomb has been disrupted. 

Price claims that he and other Egyptologists are not usually superstitious about those types of things and his first concern was that someone was getting access to the statue and moving it, so he set up a camera to record the statue day and night. When viewing the video of the statue at high speed, the rotation of the statue can clearly be seen without any human intervention.

Physicist Brian Cox believes that the statue is moving as a result of differential friction – a subtle vibration between the statue and the glass shelf it is placed on. This explains why the statue only appears to be moving when visitors are in the museum.  Price, however, is still sceptical since the statue has been on the same surface for 80 years and has never moved before.

Neanderthal skull discovered along the Strait of Gibraltar.

Researchers at the University of Barcelona believe that they may have evidence that hominids entered Europe through the south of the Iberian Peninsula 900,000 years ago. Evidence for their claim comes from a new dating of African hominid and primate remains that were found in the Victoria Cave in Cartagena, Spain.

Lluís Gibert, researcher and professor in the Faculty of Geology at the University of Barcelona told the news agency SINC:

“Until now, the dominant theory asserts that the human migration from Africa to Europe took place by going north around the Mediterranean and arriving at the peninsula through the Pyrenees; but our work, and others before, suggest that hominids came from the south on different occasions. Previous studies of different hominid remains, lithics, and African fauna in the Orce (Baza basin, Granada) sites, have already suggested a migration from the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula around 1.3 million years ago, independently from other hominids that tried to go around the Mediterranean.”

The study has focused on new fossils found in the cave and stone tools (from the same period) unearthed in a nearby settlement, during a coincidental drop in the sea level. This research also included other experts at the University of Barcelona, such as Carles Ferràndez and María Lería.

A set of skulls found buried in a stone cist inside a prehistoric house at Shkārat Msaied in Jordan.

Archaeologists have made an unusual discovery in a prehistoric village in Jordan – the skeletal remains of more than 70 people that had been allowed to decay and then dismembered. After this, their bones were sorted by type, and the collections were buried in stone cists inside houses. Researchers have suggested the practice may have been based on a belief about keeping the dead and their spirits among the living.

Haaretz reports that the discovery was made at Shkārat Msaied, a 9,000-year-old village in a valley just north of Petra, by a team of archaeologists from the University of Copenhagen.

“This well-preserved site is of archaeological and historical importance as it was inhabited in a period marked by crucial developments in subsistence strategies as people began to experiment with cultivation of plants and herding of animals,” reports the Shkarat Msaied Neolithic Project.  “The semi-arid landscape on which the Shkarat Msaied site is situated was mainly occupied by mobile hunter-gatherer groups, living in circular shaped buildings of more substantial character than previous and with a rich and diverse material culture.”

The people who lived in Shkārat Msaied 9,000 years ago built large round stone houses, inside which they buried their dead. Credit: Moritz Kinsel, Shkārat Msaied Neolithic Project, University of Copenhagen.

Detail of the Abydos King list in Egyp

Abydos is one of the oldest ancient Egyptian cities (3,100 – 332 BC), and is one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Egypt. Many ancient temples and tombs can be found there, offering a glimpse into ancient Egyptian history, the people who lived during those times, and the historical events that occurred. Abydos developed into a very important cult site in ancient Egypt, as eventually it became very desirable to be buried there. One of the most important sites in Abydos is the Temple of Seti I. Within this temple is a list of seventy-six Egyptian kings. This list has served as an important tool in piecing together ancient Egyptian history, and in identifying the rulers from that time.

Drawing of the cartouches in the Abydos King List.

Drawing of the cartouches in the Abydos King List. Wikipedia, CC

Egyptian Alexandria - Ancient underwater finds

Alexandria, located on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt, has seen many changes in its 2,300 year history. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C., at its height it rivalled Rome in its wealth and size, and was the seat for the Ptolemaic dynasty. However, through history not all agreed on the how to regard the Hellenistic city with a royal Egyptian past. An underwater temple discovered by marine divers off the eastern coast shed light on the pharaonic nature of ancient Alexandria.

Ptolemaic Alexandria has been regarded, in academic circles, not as part of Egypt, but as a separate Greek polis, or city-state, by the borders of Egypt. Peter Green, Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin, confirms that Alexandria was not regarded as part of Egypt during the time of the Ptolemies, writing “Alexandria was ‘by’ Egypt, yet not of it.”1

Alexander the Great founding Alexandria.

Alexander the Great founding Alexandria. Public Domain

Underground bases and Aliens

Deep in north central New Mexico is the sleepy little town of Dulce.  Dulce is located on the Archuleta Mesa on the Colorado - New Mexico Border.  It is home to about 3000 residents and is the capitol of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.  For as small and as insignificant as this remote location may sound, it became the center of controversy in the early 1980`s.  Physicist and inventor, Paul Bennewitz claimed he had discovered an underground base occupied by extraterrestrials near Dulce.  His story quickly spread through the UFO community.  Allegations th at surround the base include human abductions ("alien abductions") by these extraterrestrial beings.  He also asserted that the extraterrestrials were engaging in the development of advanced technology including genetic manipulation.  Their plan, according to Conspiracy Theorists, is to control the government and gain ultimate control of the Earth by means of a New World Order.  Stories have emerged regarding an untoward alliance between humans and the inhabitants of the Dulce base which include ties to shadow governments via secret societies such as the Illuminati, the Masons, the Bilderberg Group and the Skull and Bones. 

Dulce is not the only place on earth where it is believed underground bases exist, but it is the one which has received the greatest notoriety in recent times.  Subterranean bases, according to Conspira cy Theorists, can be found around the world with major active outposts all across the United States, Australia, Antarctica and South America.  These bases are connected to each other via a series of channels which connect one base to another.  There are even assertions that one of these tunnels leads to an active base beneath the Vatican which has been exerting control over western civilization for centuries.

Stonehenge, located near Salisbury in the English county of Wiltshire.

Analysis of remains from the famous megalithic site of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, have revealed the relics of 14 wmen. According to researchers, the women were very important to the society of their time and their burials suggest that Stonehenge was a site with more gender equality than most people believe.

During the latest excavation, more remains of women than men were discovered at Stonehenge. In 2008, archaeologists discovered remains of about 200 cremated adults. According to the researchers in the latest study, it was surprising to find hints at gender equality in the burials.

Their results go against the common portrayal of prehistoric man as the one in charge of the site with barely a woman in sight. The newest discovery also confirms the importance of women in the societies which were buried there.

A group of people performing Neo-Druid (Druid) rituals at Stonehenge in 2007.

A group of people performing Neo-Druid (Druid) rituals at Stonehenge in 2007. (CC BY SA 2.0) Results of a current study suggest that Stonehenge was a site with high gender equality.

The most recent excavation was focused on the place known as Aubrey Hole 7, one of 56 chalk pits dug outside of the stone circle. It is dated to the earliest times of Stonehenge, in the late 4th or early 3rd millennium BC.

The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome

Few are aware that in the heart of Rome there sits a 2,000-year-old pyramid constructed as the burial tomb for a Roman praetor named Caius Cestius.  It is Rome’s only surviving pyramid from ancient times, however, decades of neglect left the white marble exterior covered in grime and corroded by pollution.  Thanks to a wealthy Japanese clothing magnate, the Pyramid of Cestius has just received a facelift and is now open for exclusive tours.

Associated Press reports that Yuzo Yagi, who heads a clothing and textile company, provided 2 million euros toward the restoration of the pyramid, and it is now back to its shiny white marble exterior.  Furthermore, the pyramid is being maintained and cleaned every few months by a team of free-climbers, eliminating the need for costly scaffolding.

The tip of the Pyramid of Cestius, now back to its shiny white surface

The tip of the Pyramid of Cestius, now back to its shiny white surface (public domain)

Evil Eye

Last year, archaeologists in Croatia found a remarkable 1,800-year-old ring with an ‘eye’ that was used to protect the wearer from spells or a bad curse, often referred to as the ‘evil eye’.  The belief that a look of envy or dislike from another person could cause injury, bad luck or even death for the person at whom it is directed has existed for at least 5,000 years and has often led to individuals taking protective measures, such as wearing particular items of jewellery. 

The ring was one of about 200 items recovered two metres under soil in the eastern town of Vinkovci, an area known to be occupied long before the Roman period.  While the unearthed ceramic items date from the first to the sixth century AD, the unusual ring was dated to the third century. On the ring there is an outline of a rabbit or a mouse nibbling a flower, a symbol of happiness, while above the edge of the ring there is an eye, symbolising protection from misfortune.

Written record of the evil eye goes back to around 3,000 BC to the Sumerians who left behind a clay tablet inscribed with a prayer to ward off the curse. Remarkably, a similar prayer is still used today in many cultures around the world, particularly in the Mediterranean.

It is believed, however, that the believe in an ‘evil eye’ goes back to the upper Palaeolithic period as 10,000-year-old drawings have been found on cave walls in Spain which appear to depict symbols to ward off the evil eye.

Sonic Levitation

One of the existing theories for the building of pyramids and other megalithic monuments is that sonic levitation was used, which means instruments that could levitate heavy objects and make them easier to move. More recent stories include techniques that are used in some areas in Tibet where, with the help of drums and trumpets, they can levitate large stones on the slopes of mountains and move them wherever is needed for building walls. Dr Jarl has provided a detailed description and drawings of this process – allegedly he even filmed the event.

A similar process was suggested to have been used for building the coral castle in the US, another controversial and relatively recent event. The coral castle is a stone structure that was built by the Latvian American Edward Leedskalnin, who said that he had discovered the techniques that Egyptians used to build the pyramids, techniques related to levitation/antigravity technologies. He never revealed his secrets. It took him 28 years to build the castle from about 1923 to 1951and refused to allow anyone to view him while he worked. He did the castle completely on his own carving more than 1,000 tons of rock. Although nobody heard any sounds from him building, if he used sonic levitation it doesn’t mean that the sonic levitation methods used sound waves audible to humans.

The Ancient, Fortified Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

UNESCO World Heritage sites are not only renowned for their cultural and natural importance, but are often used in the film industry. Who can forget the scene at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when the heroes leave the Al Khazneh, a World Heritage site in Petra, Jordan, and gallop off into the sunset? Perhaps less dramatic, but equally impressive are the scenes shot at the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, located in the North African country of Morocco. Scenes from numerous films have been shot at the Ksar of Ain-Ben-Haddou, including Oliver Stone’s 2004 film, Alexander (specifically used as the back plate of the Hindu Kush), Stephen Sommer’s The Mummy (1999) and John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King (1975).   

The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri

The name Deir el-Bahri means ‘Northern Monastery’, indicating that the site was once used by Christian monks. Prior to the coming of Christianity, however, the site in the Valley of the Kings was a complex of mortuary temples and tombs built by the ancient Egyptians. One of the most famous of the mortuary temples at Deir el-Bahri is the Temple of Hatshepsut.

Hatshepsut is arguably one of the most formidable women in ancient Egypt. After the death of her husband, Thutmose II, Hatshepsut served as co-regent to her nephew and stepson, the infant Thutmose III, who would eventually become the 6th pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. The roughly 22 year reign of Hatshepsut is generally regarded as one of Egypt’s most prosperous, and major accomplishments were achieved by this extraordinary pharaoh, including the construction of her mortuary temple in Deir el-Bahri.

Sculpture of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

Detail, Sculpture of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, c. 1473-1458 B.C. Hatshepsut is depicted in the clothing of a male king though with a feminine form. Wikimedia, CC

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