Friday, November 15, 2013

Amarna, Autumn News for 2013 by Barry Kemp and Anna Stevens




"The continuing uncertainty about security in Middle Egypt has meant a modification to the autumn plans for working at Amarna. At the end of September, the police advised that they wished us to postpone opening the expedition house.

The plan for the second stage of the project to enter the information recorded on the object records cards from the current excavations (that extend back to 1979) into a database was, nevertheless, carried through, but based instead in the Amarna Project office in Cairo instead of at Amarna. A team of volunteers (Melanie Pitkin, Reinert Skumsnes, Conni Lord, Megan Paqua, Rebecca Bradshaw) spent much of October doing this and, by the end, had completed the work. The database now contains over 36,000 entries, which will now be copy-edited in preparation for launching the database online as an open access research tool for scholars interested in the material culture of New Kingdom Egypt.

The digitization of the huge number of object records is part of a scheme that is gathering momentum to convert the bulk of the expedition's records into digital files and to tie this to a scheme of ordering the most important information about the site into an Amarna Digital Atlas. The first element has, of course, a security aspect. Any archive that is composed of paper and film is vulnerable. Digitization enables multiple copies to be made. It is a large project but one that has been made feasible by a generous donation, specifically for this purpose, by Peter Borromeo.

The second element, the Amarna Digital Atlas, was conceived some years ago and is described on the project's web site:


Much work was done at the time in creating outline digital versions of key maps and plans. The project has now been given fresh impetus as a result of collaboration with the Egyptian section of the Berlin Museum, as announced in the project's newsletter, Horizon, issue no. 11 (Summer 2012), page 10.

The other piece of work planned for the autumn was to continue the recording of fragments of statues and carved blocks recovered from the re-clearance of the Great Aten Temple and stored in the site magazine. This has now been postponed until early 2014. The time has been spent instead on the preparation (with the assistance of Miriam Bertram) of a longer report on the temple intended for the project's web site and on further preparation of the North Palace report.

More recently, the police have relaxed their cautious policy on the use of the expedition house. A two-day visit to the house has proved possible, enabling a meeting with some of the local inspectors to discuss plans for next year. February should see a resumption at the Great Aten Temple. In addition to taking forward the cleaning and planning of the foundations, it is important to begin the consolidation of the mud-brick pylon, the base of which is now exposed to the elements. For this, new mud bricks, made to the original large size using a compression technique, will need to be produced. The best time for buying the main ingredient, enriched soil from the fields, is now when many of the fields lie empty ahead of the sowing of new crops, due to begin very soon. Four trailer loads have now been ordered for delivery to the temple site to await the opening of a new brick-making yard in the new year.

Thanks to the generosity of many people, including those who attended lectures given in Orange County, California and those who make donations through the Amarna Research Foundation, we have gathered some of the money we need for next year. But we still need more before our target is reached.
Please, if you can, donate to the project via the Amarna Trust section of the BigGive site:


Many of you will receive copies of the Amarna Trust's free newsletter, Horizon. Issue number 13 was mailed early in September. It is also available as a pdf on both our web sites:



Barry Kemp/Anna Stevens 11 November 2013.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Definitely closing this time!


After a couple of attempts to keep Egyptology News going, this is just a quick note to point out the self-evident fact that I no longer have the time to keep either the blog or the associated Twitter account up to date.  For those on Twitter I recommend @Bennu, run by Vincent Brown.

The final straw was when Google Reader closed and Feedly lost all my newly imported feeds.  Life's just too short, sometimes.

I've disabled comments so that I can leave the old posts up as an archive without having to worry about monitoring the blog but you can still email me on the address shown in the right hand column.

Thanks to everyone.
Best
Andie

Friday, June 21, 2013

News from 1st June to 21st June

Much embarrassment. Has three weeks really passed since my last post?  I knew that it had been a while but I had no idea that it was that long.  Apparently time also passes when you're up to your ears in chaos! 

Here's the usual, albeit belated roundup, with an emphasis in the media on the terrible looting of Egyptian sites.  It needs highlighting, so that's a good thing, but it is a ghastly outcome of the so-called revolution that it is happening at all.   Other stories, with much better news, are inevitably overshadowed but should not be forgotten.

This is, inevitably, a rather long post.  Sorry!



The recently excavated Avenue of the Sphinxes,
Luxor (photograph taken in early 2011)




Fieldwork
A new discovery has been made at the Hyksos fortress at Tell el Yahodiya in the Nile Delta. With photos. Luxor Times http://bit.ly/14mzhOK
Remains of a town inhabited from around 2000BC until the Graeco-Roman era discovered in Qalioubiya area. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/13YLOaL

Town of admin staff and workers who built Giza pyramids suffered multiple flash floods in Old Kingdom. New Scientist http://bit.ly/18Xk8Zy

4 minute YouTube video, in Spanish, re recent work at Qubbet el Hawa (Aswan), including opening of a sealed chamber. http://bit.ly/17iwwE3

Arqueólogos españoles hallan un doble sarcófago de 4.000 años en Egipto http://qwapo.es/16D8NKT

Acceden a una cámara intacta de más de 4.000 años en la necrópolis faraónica Qubbet el Hawa, Aswan. Europa Press http://bit.ly/14fOVeT

Update on work being carried out in Karakhamun’s burial chamber. South Asasif Project http://bit.ly/1bERhpT

Update from recent excavations at Abydos. Penn Museum Artifact Lab http://bit.ly/11X4yEG 

Archaeos excavating in the Sudan have uncovered a necropolis where hundreds of small pyramids once stood. Archaeology http://bit.ly/117JS1c

Human bone study at Amarna and other topics. I have copied the latest email update from the Amarna team to my blog at http://bit.ly/13MSp8p

Gebel el Silsila Survey Project season finale - lots of info and some great pics http://bit.ly/198HZ8P

A section of a New Kingdom stele listing offerings made to gods was discovered at Matariya in Cairo. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/OXjl0m 


Research

Polish scientists will examine how climate changed in Egypt thousands of years ago. Nauka W Polske http://bit.ly/14aEPvt

Pyramids of Giza built by trade unions of hired workers? Pravda http://bit.ly/10VfGCO

Unpublished 18th century manuscript on hieroglyphs, believed lost, now presented by the Griffith Institute: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/bracci-special/

A previously unknown album of drawings by Amelia Edwards recently identified in the GI Archive. Griffith Institute http://bit.ly/1bMEbXR

Elephant and giraffe hair? No problem! Includes 18th Dynasty elephant-hair basket. Penn Artifact Lab http://bit.ly/17fGFRY

More re conservation work by Massachusetts General Hospital on mummy Padihershef. Washington Post http://wapo.st/18VX7ni

The Edinburgh Casing Stone – A piece of Giza at the National Museum of Scotland. Arkysite http://bit.ly/17ldAU5

Scientists investigate a 3,000-yr-old mummy discovered in Scotland after more than 7 decades in storage. Channel4 http://bit.ly/15Gegzu

Boston hospital cleaning 2,500-year-old mummy of Padihershef. PhysOrg http://bit.ly/14laVXz

The mysteries of the Egyptian hairstyles by Collection Correspondent Monika Zgoda. UCL Collections blog http://bit.ly/12qDvJ2 


Heritage Management and Looting

Why does Shura Council’s culture, tourism + media committee want to modify present antiquities law? Al Ahram Weekly http://bit.ly/149TXch

More re the armed gang that attacked 5 Aswan tombs, robbed their contents + dug several holes nearby. Al Ahram Weekly http://bit.ly/11QKgwI

Activists in Cairo and Alex call for protests aimed at saving local historical site from destruction. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/11O1Jqt

More re looting at Dashour, Abusir al Malaq and elsewhere. With slideshow showing some of the travesty. Triblive http://bit.ly/1c2ZxAf

Ancient Heliopolis under threat. Daily News Egypt http://bit.ly/1bX7bMu

Forbidden by Islam, grave-robbing has exploded since the 2011 revolution. More from TribLive re looting in Egypt http://bit.ly/16fPWoj

More re the looting of Egypt’s ancient Roman Antinopolis. Hurriyet Daily News http://bit.ly/11GZzbl

Human bones lie scattered with broken ancient mud bricks at the looted settlement site of El-Hibeh. TribLive http://bit.ly/14dcftx

We only sell real thing, Egyptian grave-robbing family in village of Abu Sir al Malaq boasts. TribLive http://bit.ly/11G0bxY

Dr. Monica Hanna, an Egyptian archaeologist, risks life, career to expose looting. TribLive http://bit.ly/14cS5Qr

Depressing account of looting: Unchecked looting guts Egypt’s heritage with 1 ancient site 70 percent gone. TribLive http://bit.ly/16aUmgk

Minister for Antiquities says new committee will confront worsening conditions near Giza Pyramids. Daily News Egypt http://bit.ly/164JtMR

A nobles' tomb site, not yet fully excavated, has been looted in Aswan. 4 other Aswan sites looted too. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/ZX0l7D

Antiquities ministry forms National Committee on heritage sites and plans monthly reviews. Daily News Egypt http://bit.ly/15XW18Y

Cultural non-profit complains of lack of access to Egyptian heritage site thanks to high fee. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/16aSfJp

Antiquities ministry leads a new govmnt committee that will aim to protect UNESCO World Heritage sites. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/17agvQi

Ministry for Antiquities awaiting the green light from Cairo Governorate to begin renovation. Daily News Egypt http://bit.ly/19wDJjA

Ministry of Antiquities issues a statement regarding monuments’ security. Daily News Egypt http://bit.ly/1a14TO8

After years of neglect the Abbey Church of the Apostles in Atfih in Giza regains its original splendour. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/183i7eX

Looting continues of sites, urban and rural, contributing to the dramatic loss of Egypt’s heritage. Daily News Egypt http://bit.ly/18XmSpK 



Books

Book Review: C.Bilsel. Antiquity on Display: Regimes of the Authentic in Berlin's Pergamon Museum. OUP 2012. BMCR http://bit.ly/10CUbfd 

Book Review: Andrew Monson, From the Ptolemies to the Romans: Political and Economic Change in Egypt. CUP 2012 BMCR http://bit.ly/11k1nro 


Conferences

The synopses for eleven of the ARCE 2013 panel sessions is now ready for your enjoyment. Emhotep http://bit.ly/16ZjL0Z 

27th International Congress of Papyrologists / XXVIIe Congrès international de papyrologie. What's New In Papyrology http://bit.ly/17rsrgW 

3DPetrie will give a workshop at the Museums Association conference in Nov '13 in Liverpool. More information: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/petrie/research/3dpetrie/3dpetrie-news/2013-06-21MA-conference …

1st International Conference on Heritage Conservation & Site Management, Cairo, 8-11 Dec 2013: http://www.heritage.edu.eg/index-en.htm 


Museums and exhibitions
260 yrs ago the British Museum came into being: 7 June 1753, the British Museum Act received royal assent. Brit Mus http://bit.ly/17tfVMS 

A plan to restore security in museums and archaeological sites across Egypt is finally going ahead. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/199PfkK 

The Post Office Museum in Attaba recalls the days when pigeons, camels and boats transported mail. Egyptian Gazette http://bit.ly/11PAsE7 

The revamped State Information Service page about the existing and new Egyptian Museums in Cairo. SIS http://bit.ly/19kowQ0 

Unwrap a real mummy – Museum visitors explore historic artifacts using state of the art 3D reality capture. http://buff.ly/1bWexzS 

The mystery of the spinning statuette (II) http://wp.me/pfm2O-zB 

Eternal Egypt Lives on in the Hall of Ancient Egypt at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Houston Press http://bit.ly/11nWpO6 

Somewhat confused story about the continuing decay of a mummy in the Hyderabad museum. Deccan Chronicle http://bit.ly/11kBmfw 

Chiddingstone Castle has a new display of its Egyptian artefacts after shipping exhibits out to America. ThisIsKent http://bit.ly/1bMCJEI 

Slideshow: Chiddingstone Castle in UK loans Egyptian artefacts to Houston (US) museum. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-22773779 …

Two new exhibits at Philadelphia's Penn Museum offer a new way to look at race, war and mummies. Penn Live http://bit.ly/1264hPN 

Janet Kamien, internationally renowned consultant who brought museum exhibits to life. Chicago Sun-Times http://bit.ly/15XHytz 

Exhib of photo portraits explores how cultural achievements of ancient Middle East contributed to modern life. O.I. http://bit.ly/11mn6y4 

Art at Villa Borghese's Egyptian Museum back in Cairo. ANSAmed http://bit.ly/16RCbk6 

Secret Egypt, at Worcester City Art Gallery/Museum, will bring together more than 100 objects. Worcester News http://bit.ly/10T9bnx 

El sótano de la La Casa de los Botines en León albergará mascotas embalsamadas hace más de 25 siglos. Ushebtis http://bit.ly/17kGjbN 

Heracleion, lost for 1200 years below Mediterranean sea, set to go on display. With map, video and pics. Daily Mail http://dailym.ai/16M0lMP 

Ancient Egpyt (and T-Rex) in Chicago: The Field Museum and the Oriental Institute Museum. Egyptian Archaeology blog http://bit.ly/16RxNBF 

Antiquities ministry employees closed Cairo's Egyptian Museum to tourists in protest re pay, contracts. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/1b0fLcR 


Smuggling and repatriation

Director-general of Repatriation, Antiquities Department, resigns citing poor cooperation at Ministry of Antiquities http://bit.ly/ZtFGHW 

Egypt asks UN to help stop auction of rare Quran manuscript that vanished from Al-Azhar mosque in 18thC. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/13ec8ia 


Free online articles


A brief journey into medical care and disease in ancient Egypt by Richard Sullivan. http://bit.ly/19j4GVt . Via @historyancient

Did the Ancient Egyptians of the Old, Middle & New Kingdom ever reach Malta and the Central Mediterranean? http://ow.ly/maA9s 

Article in Spanish: Antes de Tutankhamon. Ushebtis http://bit.ly/17E7TAS 

Rule and Revenue in Egypt and Rome: Political Stability and Fiscal Institutions http://ow.ly/lHzO0 


Journals and Magazine  


The new issue of the British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan (Issue 20, May 2013) is available free online http://bit.ly/169qXDH 

Cahiers de Karnak 14, english summaries : http://www.cfeetk.cnrs.fr/index.php?page=karnak-14-resumes …


Digital Projects


Official launch of the Karnak project (v. 0.) based on a comprehensive inventory of documents + inscriptions. CFEETK http://bit.ly/1168es0 

Historians and Digital History: Why Do Academics Shy Away from Digital History? ActiveHistory http://bit.ly/13zEWBM 


Travel and Tourism

Travel and tourism: "Come to Egypt – you'll have the place practically to yourself." The Independent http://ind.pn/148urEE 

US embassy in Cairo instructs nationals to avoid Giza Plateau, citing recent 'criminal conduct' in area. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/15p82UC

More re concerns about uncontrolled behaviour of some vendors and parking attendants at Giza plateau. Al Ahram Weekly http://bit.ly/17rvpSr 

Ahram Online has more on the outcry over Luxor's newly appointed governor, a story that has been taken up worldwide. http://bit.ly/11QI2O3 

Concerns for tourism as new governor is member of militant group responsible for 1997 Luxor massacre. The Guardian http://bit.ly/13VaErX 

Luxor tourism workers protested re new Islamist governor linked to a group responsible for 90s terror shooting. ABC http://abcn.ws/127mHzB 

Tourism insiders voice misgivings over new Luxor governor, a leading member of a formerly-violent group. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/17TEh2s 

New governor appointed to Luxor, good choice or the last nail in the coffin? Luxor Times http://bit.ly/1bMFVjU 

Another new committee, this time to address harassment at the Giza pyramids. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/13O3Aii 

Exploring the Fayoum Oasis. Egyptian Gazette http://bit.ly/10XGR3z 

Minister of Antiquities says US embassy warning over Giza pyramids is baseless. Ahram Online http://bit.ly/16yU86O 

Avec 14,6% de touristes en plus par rapport au premier trimestre 2012 le début de l'année semble positif. Ahram Hebdo http://bit.ly/18NiY06 

  
Job Opportunities

New opportunity for training in risk management at World Heritage sites. UNESCO http://bit.ly/16QLopl 


Obituary

Obituary: Kew botanist Nigel Hepper, author of Pharaoh’s Flowers: the Botanical Treasures of Tutankhamun (1990) http://ind.pn/16CjyRd 


Miscellaneous 

An "insanely rare" pottery seal mold from Tutankhamun's workshop up for auction at Antiquities Saleroom. Art Daily http://bit.ly/17i3DXJ 

Following in the footsteps of a British woman who believed she was the reincarnation of a priestess. Thailand Nation http://bit.ly/11nadZb 

Congratulations to UCLA Egyptology for the NEH grant in Digital Humanities http://tinyurl.com/lokjme8 

Call for submissions: The 2014 edition of *The Archaeology Channel* International Film and Video Festival. http://bit.ly/12LCP19 

Interview with Zahi Hawass, who is clear of legal charges, free to travel and plans a comeback tour. Live Science http://fxn.ws/10Vx5yJ 

Architect Hassan Fathy is perhaps Egypt's most renowned architect from the 20th century, but why? Cairobserver http://bit.ly/15H5cef 

Doing more in Egypt. Latest blog post from Egypt Exploration Society Director Chris Naunton.EES Director's Blog http://bit.ly/16B0nqW