Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egypt

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Ayman Wahby Taher with the latest news from Egypt and details of a new museum at Saqqara. ANCIENT EGYPT www.ancientegyptmagazine.com October/November 2006 VOLUME 7, NO 2: ISSUE NO. 38 EDITOR: Robert B. Partridge, 6 Branden Drive Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8EJ, UK Tel. 01565 754450 Email ancientegyptmag@aol.com ASSISTANT EDITOR: Peter Phillips CONSULTANT EDITOR: Professor Rosalie David, OBE EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS: Victor Blunden, Peter Robinson, Hilary Wilson EGYPT CORRESPONDENT Ayman Wahby Taher PUBLISHED BY: Empire Publications, 1 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1HW, UK Tel: 0161 872 3319 Fax: 0161 872 4721 ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Michael Massey Tel. 0161 928 2997 SUBSCRIPTIONS: Mike Hubbard PRINTED BY:...

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  1. CONTENTS features ANCIENT EGYPT www.ancientegyptmagazine.com October/November 2006 From our Egypt Correspondent VOLUME 7, NO 2: ISSUE NO. 38 9 Ayman Wahby Taher with the latest news from Egypt and details of a new museum at Saqqara. EDITOR: Robert B. Partridge, 6 Branden Drive Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8EJ, UK Friends of Nekhen News Tel. 01565 754450 Renée Friedman looks at the presence of Nubians Email ancientegyptmag@aol.com 19 in the city at Hierakonpolis, and their lives there, as revealed in the finds from their tombs. ASSISTANT EDITOR: Peter Phillips CONSULTANT EDITOR: The New Tomb Professor Rosalie David, OBE 26 in the Valley of the Kings EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS: The fourth update on the recent discovery and the final clearance of the small chamber. Victor Blunden, Peter Robinson, Hilary Wilson EGYPT CORRESPONDENT ANOTHER new tomb in the Valley Ayman Wahby Taher 31 of the Kings? Nicholas Reeves reveals the latest news on the PUBLISHED BY: possibility of another tomb in the Royal Valley. Empire Publications, 1 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1HW, UK Royal Mummies on view in the Tel: 0161 872 3319 Fax: 0161 872 4721 Egyptian Museum 35 A brief report on the opening of the second mummy room in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Michael Massey Tel. 0161 928 2997 The Ancient Stones Speak Pam Scott, in the first of three major articles, gives a SUBSCRIPTIONS: 36 practical guide to enable AE readers to read and Mike Hubbard understand the ancient texts written on temple and tomb walls, statues and stelae. PRINTED BY: Warners (Midlands) plc, The Maltings, The Rekhyt Bird Manor Lane, BOURNE, Lincolnshire, Kenneth Griffin explains how the many representa- 45 tions of the lapwing are much more than a simple PE10 9PH, UK image of a bird; they have a more significant meaning. DESIGN AND SETTING: Peartree Publishing and Design, Per Mesut: for younger readers 56 Albert St, Manchester M11 3SU, UK 54 In this edition, Hilary Wilson looks at pomegranates. FRONT COVER DESIGNED BY: David Soper Main image: Face of a coffin from tomb KV63. Photo: courtesy of the University of Memphis Mission. regulars TRADE DISTRIBUTION THROUGH: Diamond Magazine Distribution Ltd. From the Editor 4 Subscribe 56 Rye Wharf Road, Harbour Road, Maps of Egypt 4, 5 Back Issues 57 Rye, East Sussex TN31 7TE, UK Timeline 5 Book Reviews 58 Tel: 01797 225229 Bits and Pieces 6 Egyptology Society Details 62 Fax: 01797 225657 Readers’ Letters 52 Events Diary 64 Subscribers’ Competition Winners 55 Netfishing 67 ISSN: 1470 9990 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 3
  2. From the EDITOR y schedule of articles for inclusion in AE was duced some remarkable discoveries, so we wish all the M KV63. completely disrupted this year by the discovery of a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings, tomb expeditions well for another productive season. Whilst foreign missions only work in Egypt for rela- tively short periods, the work of the Egyptian Supreme I am not really complaining, for I was as fascianated as Council of Antiquities is an all-year-round operation and anyone to find out what the contents of this tomb might often the opportunity is taken in the quiet season, when be. Thanks to the splendid cooperation of members of tourists are limited, to carry out much routine mainte- the University of Memphis Team and with images sup- nance and inspection of the sites. It is always fascinating plied by them and the Egyptian Supreme Council of when returning to Egypt to spot the many changes and Antiquities, I have been especially pleased to have been improvements being made. able to include a total of four articles in consecutive edi- You will have all read about the huge amount of civil tions, telling readers of the progress of the excavation. engineering and archaeological work being undertaken The fourth and final account of the discovery and in the centre of Luxor and around the temples of Luxor clearance of the tomb is included in this edition, and I and Karnak. Most of the work is due to be completed by am surprised to find that this means we have devoted a the start of the tourist season. I am looking forward to total of twenty-five pages to the discovery, undoubtedly seeing what has been going on when I make my planned the best and fullest account of the find so far, and sec- visits at the end of this year. ond-best only to any official and more formal book pub- One of these visits will be our magazine trip to Cairo lished by the team (in the not too distant future we hope). in September (this issue had to be completed before the Work on the contents of the tomb will continue when trip, so I will bring you news of it in the December issue). the new season begins and if there are any new develop- If this trip goes well (and there is no reason to assume ments, I hope to be able to bring them to you. I am sure otherwise) we will consider other trips in the future, pos- you will have found the articles of interest. My main frus- sibly a week in Luxor. tration was the time delay in getting the latest news to Prices for trips to Egypt and to Luxor in particular you, which is always the problem with a bi-monthly pub- have been remarkably cheap this summer and I know a lication date. number of people who have taken advantage of this. For Almost literally as I was putting the finishing touches to those willing to put up with the building works in Luxor the last KV63 article came news of another possible and the very high temperatures, the rewards are great, previously unknown tomb in the Valley of the Kings. notably being able to visit the main sites without the Nicholas Reeves, Director of the Amarna Royal Tombs huge numbers of visitors there in the peak season. Project has written an article on the information avail- Tourist numbers have increased dramatically, although able at this stage. The prospects are exciting, but also, as on-going concerns about the political stability of coun- you will see from his article, challenging. The news has ries around Egypt may have influenced the decision of already caused some interest and debate and rather than some to travel at this time. It is, however, nice to see the make my own comments here, I will let you read both sites full of people, and if you happen to be there at a the KV63 article and the article by Nicholas Reeves first busy time you just need to bear in mind that most groups and add my comments and observations (for what they spend a surprisingly short time there, and it is quite easy are worth) after. No doubt AE readers will have their to find some peace and quiet at the larger sites. own views. RP I know some of you have noticed (and commented favourably upon) the fact that our “News from Egypt” Detailed Map of Thebes section has been spreading over an increasing number of pages in recent issues. I was squeezing Ayman’s reports into a fixed and lim- ited number of pages, and they really warranted more space. I have now decided that the quality and amount of information from Ayman deserves as much space as I can manage. The number of pages allocated is not now set in concrete and will vary depending on the amount of news and photos available. Most articles are not time-critical; I suppose it is one of the “joys” of being Editor that, having reached the stage when an issue is full, I often find out about new discov- eries and information. If it is clear that readers would want to share this news as soon as possible, some shuf- fling around of articles is inevitable. By the time this October issue lands on your doorstep, the excavation season in Egypt will be back in full swing, with the onset of the cooler weather. The last season pro- 4 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  3. MAP of EGYPT Time-line Dynasties Pharaohs Famous Periods Maps and Time-line by Peter Robinson. ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 5
  4. BITS and PIECES News and views from the world of Egyptology News of an award Professor Gaballa Ali Gaballa of the University of Cairo spoke on the work of Ahmed Fakhry, an Egyptian ongratulation to Professor Gaballa Ali Gaballa, archaeologist who pioneered research in the desert and C who has just been awarded one of the highest honours in Egypt, the 2005 “State Prize for Social Sciences”. This is awarded by the Higher Council was amongst the first to realise the importance of the sites, as well as the problems they faced. Tony Mills and other members of the Dakhleh Oasis of the Supreme Council of Culture. Project covered their long-term work at the Oasis, and Professor other speakers covered communication between the Gaballa worked Oases and the Nile valley. for many years at It was clear from the presentations that, far from being the University of provincial backwaters, the Oases were an important Cairo and from part of Egypt; over the last few years, our knowledge of 1997 to 2002 was the area has increased dramatically. the Secretary Many of the sites are remote, some are being dam- General of the aged by simple erosion, others are in close proximity to Supreme Council modern towns and villages and are in danger of being of Antiquities. He lost beneath modern buildings, and others are being is now a Professor deliberately damaged and vandalised. at the University It was, however, in the closing remarks by Rudolph of Cairo and is a Kuper from the University of Cologne, that the real special consultant problems facing the many sites were highlighted. and advisor to the Tourism in the Oases has increased, and this presents Minister of real problems at many of the sites, which are often less Culture. than secure and open to anyone. The award is in An increased population in the “New Valley”, with recognition of his people being encouraged to move to the Oases from the many years of Nile Valley, has meant that, whereas the local inhabi- work, especially in tants were familiar with their monuments and appreci- the area of cul- ated them, others new to the area often realise the ture and antiqui- “value” of them, and damage and looting has increased. ties. The presence of more archaeologists often exacerbates this problem, for the implication is that there must be something of value there. The discovery of a hoard of British Museum Colloquium gold in the temple of Dush in Kharga Oasis a few years and Sackler Lecture, 2006 ago did not help. Only recently at least two mud-brick temples have been flattened by a bulldozer, in an f you are ever planning a holiday in the UK and attempt to discover such treasure. I want to guarantee a sunny week, then you can do lit- tle better than choose the same dates as the annual British Museum Colloquium and Sackler Lecture, held Further south, one of the most remote hieroglyphic inscriptions has been deliberately vandalised, and this has to have been done by someone in a tour group vis- each year in mid-July, which invariably enjoys (or suffers iting the area, for that is the only way anyone can get from) the hottest and sunniest weather of the year. there. This year was no exception; on one of the days This news was quite depressing, but on the positive London experienced its hottest July temperature on side, measures are now being put in place to secure the record. The air-conditioned lecture theatre was proba- sites, and the Gilf Khebir, in the south west corner of bly the best place to be for the evening lecture and two- Egypt, is to be made a National Park, which will restrict day Colloquium. and control visits to the site. The Sackler Lecture, given this year by Dr Laure In Dakhla, there are plans for a new museum dedicat- Pantalacci, set the scene for the theme of the ed to the Oases of the Western Desert and it is hoped Colloquium, “Egypt’s Great Oases: the Archaeology of that a programme of education will encourage all the Kharga, Dakhla and the Roads of the West”. people who live in the area to see the antiquities as part At the Colloquium, a series of lectures by experts from of their own heritage, important for their livelihood and around the world presented papers on various aspects of for tourists, rather than something to be plundered. the archaeology of the Oases, and much new informa- The annual British Museum Colloquium and Sackler tion and research was revealed. Lecture is open to anyone. Tickets usually go on sale in 6 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  5. bits and pieces June each year. Details of the 2007 Colloquium will be included a photograph of the best preserved example, included in AE, when available. and it is the second lion that was cast), reveals this to be correct. Hourig was not certain when the plaster cast was More on the Lion of Amenhotep III made, or when the lion was placed at the Citadel. Older guide books about the citadel state that two lions were n AE 33 (Dec. 2005/Jan. 2006) an article featured located there at the base of the steps of the Police I a “new “ lion of Amenhotep III, at the Citadel in Cairo, which was very similar to the two well-known lions of Amenhotep III from Soleb, now in the British Museum, but only one is there now. Perhaps casts of both lions were once located there? The Soleb lions came into the collection of the British Museum in London.. Museum in 1835. It does seem an extraordinary amount Two other similar lions of Amenhotep are known of work to mould the lions in the UK and to send a cast from Tanis, but the question was raised, where did this (or casts) to Egypt, so it is possible that the lions were example come from? One of the Tanis lions was moved cast when they were still in Egypt, en route to the UK. to Cairo and I did wonder if this was the one now at the However, at the end of the nineteenth century and in Citadel. the early years of the twentieth, many international In AE issue 34 (Feb./Mar. 2006), the lion was men- museums exchanged plaster casts of some of their best- tioned again as, following a visit to Cairo, the Tanis lion known objects. This was a time when few travellers went was spotted in a garden at Zamalek, in Cairo, leaving to Egypt and when there were hardly any books on the the issue of the original location of the Citadel lion wide subject; museums were quite happy to display casts. The open. British Museum sent casts of many of its objects all I am pleased to say that the problem has been solved, around the world, as far afield as Australia. In return, thanks to Hourig Sourouzian, the Director of the casts of objects in other collections were sent back and, Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple in the main sculpture gallery, the Museum displayed for Conservation Project. many years a number of casts of statues from the Hourig saw the article in the magazine, and her Egyptian Museum in Cairo. knowledge of the sculpture of Amenhotep III meant As museums filled up with newly-excavated statues, that she knew that the “Citadel lion” was actually a cast the casts were removed and placed in storage. of one of the British Museum Soleb lions! Close exam- It is most likely, therefore, that the lions were cast as a ination of the less-well preserved of the two lions (I special request from the Egyptian Museum, in return for ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 7
  6. bits and pieces examples of The original their main lion was dam- exhibits. The aged and in casts of the several pieces, Soleb lions and has been (and other stat- repaired in the ues) may have British Mus- been sent to the eum (the best- Egyptian preserved lion Museum. is still in one When such piece). Parts of casts were the statue have removed from been restored, display, they but an ancient were often sent repair to the to other institu- base, visible in tions and this is the original, is probably how, not part of the and when, the Soleb lion casts were moved to the cast. Citadel. The question remains, though … what has happened I am not sure what sort of plaster was used, but it is to the other cast? There have been many improvements clearly very hard, for the Citadel example is undamaged and restorations at the Citadel and if the other lion has (other than ancient damage seen on the original). The survived, perhaps it is still there somewhere. The Citadel exposure to the air and the pollution in Cairo over a peri- is a fascinating place to visit and there is now a great od of a hundred years, or possibly even more, has given deal to see there; AE readers should keep their eyes the lion a unique and well-weathered patina, which is open for the missing lion! why I thought it was carved from limestone (unlike the originals, which are carved in pink granite). RP Cairo Return £139 rtn Alexandria Return £149 rtn Luxor Return £235 rtn Hotels - Tours - Middle East Cruise Bookings 8 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  7. From our EGYPT CORRESPONDENT News from Egypt Touring Exhibition in Japan from the Re-Opening of the Coptic Museum Egyptian Museum in Cairo in Cairo special Exhibition has been put together that will t the end of June, President Hosni Mubarak for- A tour ten Japanese cities over a period of two years. This is a token of gratitude for Japan’s major support for the establishment of the new Grand A mally re-opened the Coptic Museum in Cairo, following a major refurbishment that has cost over £E30 million. Museum of Egypt to be built at Giza. In his address during the opening ceremony, the Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni said the Coptic Museum is one of Egypt’s most important museums, with a collection of over one thousand three hundred objects on display in twenty-six galleries. Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Zahi Hawass said, during a tour of the museum conducted by the President, that the restoration project included the addition of a new gallery devoted to the history of churches in Old Cairo and that a special gallery for temporary exhibitions has also been built. The restoration began in 2003 and meant that the museum was closed for almost three years. The Museum has an important collection of manu- scripts, some of which date back to the fourth century AD, including thirteen bibles. The collection also fea- The Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni tures textiles, icons and woodwork, as well as many large explained that the Exhibition of over three hundred pieces of stone sculpture and carvings from sites around pieces would include many objects discovered during Egypt. the last forty years by the Japanese Waseda University’s archaeological mission to Egypt. One of the objects, a Middle Kingdom cartonnage New Appointment by the SCA mask (shown above, photo: J. Rutherford) was temporarily on display in the new Imhotep Museum at Saqqara. r Zahi Hawass is pleased to announce a new Found at South Abusir and belonging to a man called Senw, it was in a very damaged and delicate state. To enable it to go on the tour, it has been expertly con- D appointment, that of Adel Hussein Mohamed to the post of General Director of Sharkia. Adel began his career with the Supreme Council of served, by conservators Richard and Helena Jaeschke, Antiquities in 1979, where he worked as an Inspector in using the latest techniques for the conservation of car- Minia; in his later career he held Directorships of the tonnage (linen and plaster). New Valley, Ain Shams, Saqqara and the Giza ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 9
  8. from our Egypt Correspondent Pyramids. Adel brings much expe- rience to his new job in the Nile Delta, which is rich in antiquities. He is responsible for six missions work- ing together with Egyptian archaeol- ogists on the main sites at Tell Basta, Tanis and Qantir. I am sure many of our readers have visited these sites and will continue to do so in the future. The Serapeum at Saqqara Adel is extremely happy to be in his new role and he is looking forward to his Egyptian colleagues and mis- n AE issue 33 (December 2005) I mentioned the sions uncovering more ancient artifacts from this area. ANCIENT EGYPT magazine wishes him every success for the future. I huge restoration and conservation project being undertaken by the SCA at the Serapeum at Saqqara. The Serapeum (the burial vaults of the sacred Apis Bulls), which has been closed to visitors for many years New Development Plan for Saqqara now, has been in serious danger of collapse and the impressive and costly repair work by the SCA is still on- he SCA has recently announced a development going. The scale of the work can be seen from these pic- T project for Saqqara, following the opening of the New Imhotep Museum. The project is to be completed in thirty months and will cost £E40 million. tures. Initial restoration included the building of stone arches inside the vaults to prevent the collapse of the roof, but this was not enough and heavy steel girders are The work will be in three stages: now being fitted in the damaged parts of the vaults. Work like this, out of sight and not noticed by visitors, is 1. Preparing the area for improved systems for tourism. 2. Building new administration offices, conservation laboratories and improved security systems. 3. Cleaning modern graffiti from tombs, providing humidity systems and testing equipment for them. The project will also help to improve the documenta- tion of tombs with the help of the Italian Mission and may involve about six hundred tombs in the area. At present only seventeen tombs are open to visitors and this number will be increased. A new storage museum with improved security will be built to house objects from excavations. This will help students of Egyptology and secure and conserve the antiquities. Above left: the new General Director of Sharkia, Adel Hussein Mohamed. Photo: J. Rutherford. Above right: the entrance to the Serapeum at Saqqara. Photo: RP. Right: view of one of the corridors inside the Serapeum, showing the new stone arches to support the roof, the additional scaffolding now needed as a temporary measure and some heavy girders waiting to be fitted into place as a more permanent measure. Photo: J. Rutherford. 10 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  9. from our Egypt Correspondent essential to ensure the long-term survival of this impor- tant monument and, hopefully, to allow visitor access once more. Neferhotep at Karnak n AE 32 (October 2005), I reported on the finding I of a statue of Neferhotep I in the temple of Karnak. Found beneath the foundations of the obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut, the figure of the king had then been only partly revealed, but it was clear that it formed part of a double statue with the second figure of Neferhotep still buried. The statue was covered up again, but new excavations have now taken place by archaeologists from the Centre Franco-Egyptian d’Etude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK) and more of the statue has been uncovered, including the superbly preserved second figure of the king. Top left: one of the burial vaults in the Serapeum at Saqqara. The heavy girders are needed to prevent the roof of the vault from collapsing. Beneath the girders can be seen the wooden protective covering over one of the great granite sarcophagi of the sacred bulls. Photo: J. Rutherford. Top right: the double statue of Neferhotep I as revealed by new excava- tions. The second figure of the king, to the right, is still partly buried. Right: detail of the face of the second image of the king. Photos: courtesy of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Centre Franco-Egyptian d’Etude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK). ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 11
  10. from our Egypt Correspondent Neferhotep is shown holding hands with a double of Discoveries in the “Hidden Valley” at himself, probably his ka. The statue, as can be seen from Farafra Oasis the photographs, is buried deeply; its large size and the fact that it is an integral part of the foundations of the he “Hidden Valley” is a five-hundred-metre- temple mean that it is not certain that it can be removed from the site. AE issue 34 (Feb. 2006) featured an article on T square valley located sixty kilometers north east of Farafra Oasis, and is not a well-known area, even to people who live in the Oasis. Neferhotep I. An Italian team from Naples University has recently discovered there a settlement from very ancient times. The team was headed by Prof. Barbara Barich and More on the Foundation Deposits recently Giulio Lacarini and has been successful in finding shel- discovered at Karnak ters, knives and bracelets. Carbon dating of objects sug- gests a date of around 7700 BC. n the last issue of AE, I reported on the discovery of Archaeologists believe that the shelters formed a small I foundation deposits with objects bearing the name of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut. All the objects, which included pottery (now restored, community of about twenty people. A cave, thought to be sacred, was also found cut into a nearby mountain. Inside, there were a number of rock art representations as much of it was broken when found), models of cop- of sheep, gazelles and ostriches, together with hand- per or bronze chisels, and gold and faience cartouches, prints and some graffiti. have been removed from their find site, and I can now bring you some photographs of them: Treasures of Dakhla Oasis he Fifth International Conference of the T Dakhleh Oasis Project took place in the summer in Cairo. It was well attended with an interna- tional gathering of scholars who have excavated and studied at the Oasis and were able to talk about their fields of work. Papers were also given on a range of sub- jects from Dutch, French, German and Egyptian experts on rock art, graffiti, pottery and studies carried out at Kellis, the ancient Roman Period village now called Ismant Al Kharab. The head of the Dakhleh Oasis Project is Anthony J. Mills, who has worked in the Oasis for nearly thirty years – the team has carried out research in the Oasis since 1978. At least twenty-five Roman temples have been found in Dakhla, the best-preserved being the Temple of Deir el Hagar, which, under a team headed by Anthony Mills, was restored during the 1990s. Some graffiti on a mud-brick wall still remain there – the names of team members from an expedition visiting the site the late1800s. To mark the opening of this year’s conference, Dr Wafaa El Saddik, Director of the Egyptian Museum in Left: the foundation deposits recently discovered in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, by the Centre Franco-Egyptian d’Etude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK). From top to bottom: - Restored pottery objects from the deposit. Note the green faience car- touches in some of the bowls, which is probably how they were origi- nally buried. - A closer view of some of the faience cartouches. - Details of some of the many bronze or copper chisels found in the deposit. Photos: courtesy of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Centre Franco-Egyptian d’Etude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK). 12 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  11. from our Egypt Correspondent Cairo, and Dr Zahi Hawass, head of the SCA, organ- ised an exhibition in Room 44 of the Egyptian Museum entitled “Treasures of the Dakhleh Oasis”. Some objects have never been on display to the public before, so I went along to see this small but very beautiful dis- play of objects from the Old Kingdom, Late Period and Roman times. I have chosen two objects out of the collection to write about. The first is the anthropoid coffin that was found with four others in a single chamber of a tomb at Ein Tirghi in 1986, and is from the First Persian Period. The other coffins from the same tomb are in the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. It was probably a family tomb, because the inscrip- tions on the coffin lids show a family relationship. This particular coffin was displayed in a glass case and was the main feature of the exhibition, due to its well-placed position in the room. The excellent lighting attracted me to it straight away. The coffin is highly decorated and brightly painted, especially the facial features, wig and trunk of the body. It is made out of small pieces of wood, a common fea- ture during this period, because wood was scarce. Some analysis of children’s bodies found at Ein Tirghi shows that they suffered from anaemia. A small percentage of children died at birth. Adults were short in height and the average life expectancy was the mid-twenties. The second exhibit is a collection of seven glass vessels I was informed that room 44 in the Egyptian Museum found at the Roman village of Kellis (Ismant al- will hold all temporary displays and exhibitions on a Kharab). The one I want to mention is the “Gladiator rotation basis, so be sure to check out this room on your Jug”, which is highly decorated on all sides and is paint- next visit to the museum. ed in beautiful colours on pale and darker green glass. It My thanks to Dr Hawass and the Director of the depicts a scene of a gladiator in combat; he has dark Egyptian Museum, Dr Wafaa El Saddik, for allowing curly hair and is stretching out his left hand holding his me to take photographs of this very special exhibition. shield. In his right hand he is holding a dagger. In anoth- er scene a gladiator is shown wearing a helmet and Above left: the head of a painted coffin from the First Persian Period, crouching down. The referee, depicted in white cloth- found at Dakhla Oasis. ing, waves his rod or stick. Looking at the vase closely Above: the glass “Gladiator Jug” also from Dakhla. you will see many colourful floral motifs around the neck and base of the vase. To me this is the very best of Photos: Ayman Wahby Taher, courtesy the SCA and the this glass vessel collection. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 13
  12. from our Egypt Correspondent The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III at Luxor In AE issue 35 (April 2006), we reported on the remarkable finds made by the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project, under the Directorship of Hourig Sourouzian. Many significant finds of fragmentary statues of Amenhotep III have been found and also a large num- ber of granite statues of the goddess Sekhmet. The dis- coveries were a surprise to all concerned, at a site that has been plundered and excavated since antiquity and that many thought would reveal nothing new. Hopes will be high of more discoveries when the new excavation season gets underway at the end of the year. Above top: view of the Sekhmet statues as first uncovered. Above: moving a large block. Right top: a closer view of one of the Sekhmet statues. Right: lifting some heavy blocks. Note the face of a colossal statue of Amenhotep III. Photos: courtesy of the SCA. 14 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  13. from our Egypt Correspondent The Imhotep Museum at Saqqara was also venerated in late pharaonic Egypt as a wise man and patron of medicine. gypt’s first “site” museum was opened in late I myself couldn’t wait to see this outstanding museum, E April this year. The idea of a series of new muse- ums at specific archaeological sites in Egypt was suggested in the early 1990s but it was kept under wraps so I went along early one morning to do my own explo- ration tour for readers of AE. Built of stone, the new museum is built right at the until 1997. base of the Saqqara plateau. Many of you will know where the ticket office for the site is (or actually was, for it has moved), opposite the Valley Temple of King Unas. The new museum is to the right of the road, past this point and on the edge of the cultivation. The ticket office has been moved to this area too and there is space for visitors’ coaches and cars to park. The architects of the new building have incorporated elements of ancient Egyptian architecture in their design, notably many dating to the Old Kingdom. Parts of the exterior and interior design pay homage to the ancient architects and builders, but result in a splendid modern building, spacious and attractive and a superb setting and home for the objects it contains. When Dr Zahi Hawass took office some four years ago as the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ Secretary General, several museum projects had already been put on hold. Dr Hawass has strong beliefs about the preser- vation and protection of Egyptian monuments and he wanted to pursue the idea and ensure that visitors to the great sites could also see objects found there. In the past objects were either moved to the Egyptian Museum in the heart of Cairo, or simply placed in storage at the sites. Continuous excavations and lack of space in the Egyptian Museum meant that many objects worthy of display, which helped to tell the history of the monu- ments and sites, were hidden from view. With support from the Culture Minister, Farouk Hosni, Dr Hawass developed the plans for the first of the site museums, to be built at Saqqara. At the same time, plans for the extension to the Luxor Museum were drawn up, and the completion of this extension is some- thing of which the SCA is justly proud. The new museum at Saqqara has been called the “Imhotep Museum” in honour of the Vizier of King Djoser. It is believed that Imhotep was the architect for the king’s great funerary complex and pyramid and he Top left: the entrance to the Imhotep Museum at Saqqara. Left: the base of a statue of king Djoser. Photos: J. Rutherford. Above: a splendid Old Kingdom wooden head with inlaid eyes, moved to the Imhotep Museum from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Photo: RP. ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 15
  14. from our Egypt Correspondent the early Dynastic Periods right up to Greek and Roman times, and even beyond into the Coptic era. (I had bet- ter mention that the last two Egyptologists on the list are very much alive and well, and still working.) This hall, named the “Saqqara Missions”, also has a display of discoveries by Dr Hawass. The two of his I would like to mention are the anthropoid painted coffin cased with gold from the Late Period and the copper medical instruments from the tomb of Qar the physi- cian. The third hall, named “Saqqara Style”, displays the various styles of art found in the history of Saqqara, fea- turing a collection of stone vessels used for cosmetics On arrival, I was asked if I wanted to see the special documentary film before going into the museum, but I was so keen to see the display I declined this invitation, for the moment, and went into the museum first. The electronic doors opened and I walked into the cool air conditioning of the main hall. Firstly, you encounter the solid base of a statue of the Third Dynasty king Djoser, on which are inscribed the king’s name and titles and also Imhotep’s name. The feet are shown stepping on the nine bows of Egypt, which represent foreign countries. The base is on a four- month loan from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The Museum’s major objective is to display the most significant artifacts discovered on the Saqqara site, those that help explain the history and purpose of this huge archaeological site. Apart from one or two moved from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, all the objects have come from antiquities storage magazines and have never been on display to the public before. In the second hall, high up on the wall, is a list of archaeologists who have excavated in Saqqara from 1850 to 2006. Many of the names will be familiar to AE readers; they include some of the best known deceased and living Egyptologists, such as Auguste Marriette, Gaston Maspero, Jean Phillippe Lauer, Walter B. Emery, Alain Zivie and Geoffrey T. Martin – archaeologists who have made discoveries dating from from the Early Dynastic period. Amongst other objects are clay vessels and huge alabaster pots in various shapes. More than forty thousand vases carved from hard stone were found beneath the Step Pyramid. Many of these are from the First and Second Dynasties and it is believed Djoser placed them in his tomb. Top left and above: view of the “Imhotep Architecture” hall, which includes examples of relief and stone architectural features from the Step Pyramid complex. Ribbed columns are shown and also elements of a “palace façade” feature. Left: some of the fine alabaster vessels from the site. Photos: J. Rutherford. 16 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  15. from our Egypt Correspondent The fourth hall, named “Imhotep Architecture”, which is open-plan and the largest of the galleries, dis- plays the architectural style of Djoser’s funeral complex at the site. Items include the remains of columns, and a frieze of cobras brought from the façade of the Southern Tomb’s cult chapel for protection. When you visit the complex of Djoser, many of the elements of the building have been restored. The museum display shows original blocks, the way in which fallen blocks were pieced back together, and also how the buildings were originally con- structed. Visiting this gallery will make a visit to the pyramid complex at the top of the plateau much more rewarding. Some larger objects dominate the centre of the gallery, including a headless statue of King Djoser, and an unusual “Snake Pillar” which Dr Hawass has pub- lished under the title of “A Fragmentary Monument of Djoser from Saqqara”. This publication has helped many Egyptian scholars including myself with their studies. Above: the painted wooden head of a woman from one of the New Kingdom tombs at Saqqara, discovered by Alain Zivie. Left: a fine example of an Old Kingdom statue from one of the tombs at Saqqara. Most of the monuments open to visitors at Saqqara date to the Old Kingdom, but the site was in continuous use from before this time right up to the Roman Period. Photos: J. Rutherford. ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 17
  16. from our Egypt Correspondent At the back of the fourth hall stands a full-sized copy dedicated to him and his life’s work at Saqqara, espe- of the blue-tiled wall of the Step Pyramid’s Southern cially his efforts in restoring the Step Pyramid complex. Tomb, showing King Djoser in a ceremonial dress for Here there is a wonderful display of some of his per- his jubilee, known as the Heb-Sed. The Southern Tomb sonal belongings, which include his hat, camera, com- is closed to visitors, so this exhibit provides an opportu- pass and tools. He worked in Egypt for around seventy- nity to see the unique reliefs of Djoser and the stunning five years until his death in 2001. Be sure not to miss this blue colour of the tiles. Many of the tiles in this display room because it is so different from the others. are originals. As I walked back out of the air-conditioned museum I think the masterpiece of this gallery is a small bronze into the brilliant sunshine, I decided to seek some rest in statue showing Imhotep seated and holding a papyrus the Visitors’ Centre to watch the ten-minute documen- stem. No contemporary image of Imhotep is known and tary film on Saqqara, produced by National Geographic in most of the representations we have date to the Late conjunction with the SCA. The room is very spacious Period of Egyptian history. His tomb, which many with comfortable seating on all three sides. believe has to be at Saqqara close to that of Djoser, has In the middle of the room stands a small model of the not been found, despite the efforts of archaeologists for Step Pyramid complex and behind this is the wide almost two hundred years. screen. The film is in English and is narrated by the The fifth hall, named “Saqqara Tombs”, provides you Egyptian film star Omar Sharif. Dr Hawass gives a short with information about the contents of the tombs. On introduction to Saqqara Museum and Dr Alain Zivie show is a coffin with remains of blue colours, and a cof- talks briefly about his discoveries. I found the film very fin text inscribed on its inner sides painted in black on a informative and well worth the time. yellow base. A rowing boat was also found, and this is During my visit, I saw a reasonable number of tourists on display above the coffin. This room pays tribute to and visitors, but in my opinion it needs many more to the many archaeologists at Saqqara who have made dis- come to the museum. coveries of funerary ware such as offering tables, false If you visit Saqqara with a tour, there will probably doors and amulets, all of which can now be seen, many not be time to visit the museum and it is doubtful if for the first time. many of the more popular tour companies will include The sixth and final hall, named “Lauer’s Library”, is the museum on their itineraries. Hopefully, the more serious and specialist tour companies will see the new museum as an absolute must for visitors. It is easy to make a special visit to Saqqara, but if you are making your own way there, then do make sure you have the time to visit the museum and can spend as long as you like there. The facilities are of the highest stan- dard, consisting of restrooms, shops, and a cafeteria. The complex is well designed and features a walk through palm-tree-lined paths to the museum entrance. The ticket price is £E15 for tourists for the museum only and I believe you can also buy a combined ticket, which will include the museum and the other sites at Saqqara. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you visit the museum because all the buildings are fully air-con- ditioned. The important thing is not to miss it. Ayman Wahby Taher Ayman is currently a full-time lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Mansura, Egypt. Prior to this he Above: a fine blue/green faience broad-collar from one of the tombs at worked for the Supreme Council of Antiquities for Saqqara. Photo: J. Rutherford. seven years under the guidance of Dr Zahi Hawass. He is also a qualified tour guide in Egypt. 18 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
  17. AE Suppor ting Eg yptolo gical Causes: 2006 The Friends of Nekhen AE bringsyou the fifth report on the excavations and research at Hierakonpolis (ancient Nekhen), supported by the Friends of Nekhen. Renée Friedman, the Director of the Hierakonpolis Expedition, looks at Nubians at Hierakonpolis. hen embarking on a project at a site as large cate diamond pattern, which thanks to modern consoli- W and at least superficially featureless as the desert portion of Hierakonpolis, the first order of business is to conduct a surface survey and figure out what dants, we were able to recover still in position. Despite the disturbance of the graves, we found a sur- prising amount of new information about the appearance you’ve got. This is exactly what Walter Fairservis and and profession of the Pan Grave people. Many graves still Michael Hoffman did in the early years of the Expedition contained remnants of leather garments, often dyed red beginning in 1964, making inventories of, and assigning and occasionally decorated with charming leather tassels, locality numbers (HK6, HK29, etc.) to, the various fea- in addition to elaborately woven fringed cloth with which tures identified throughout this immense site. These sur- they apparently lined their leather kilts. Large quantities veys revealed not only interesting facets of the Predynastic occupation, but also the presence of three discrete cemeteries of the Nubian inhabitants of Hierakonpolis in the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period: HK21A and HK47 located at oppo- site edges of the site; and HK27C in the centre, near the Fort. All three were assumed to belong to the Pan Grave cul- ture – Nubian mercenaries, probably the Medjay of Egyptian sources, who were brought in to defend Egypt during the troubled times of the Second Intermediate Period. Cemeteries of this distinctive culture have been detected all along the Nile Valley, but the people remain a mystery. We still do not know for certain who they were, where they came from, and where they went when the job was done. They were first discovered by Flinders Petrie, who coined the name “Pan Grave” because their shallow round graves resembled frying pans, and indeed some of them do. Test excavations at HK21A in 2001 uncovered six of these pan-like graves, all unfortunately badly plundered, but with enough of the characteristic incised pottery and jewellery to mark their presence. Far richer and better preserved were the graves at HK47, which had been dug deeply into the loose white sand and lined with multi-coloured goat and cow skins. Although all of the burials had been plundered, the funer- ary offerings left outside the graves escaped untouched. These above-ground offerings are typical of Nubian funerary practices and here included a number of pots (Egyptian and Nubian) and baskets as well as a little bot- tle, which had been deposited together with a leather bag containing a kit for making carnelian beads. The leather of the bag had deteriorated, but still preserved was the band of woven beads that once adorned it. White, blue, and dark blue faience beads were used to create an intri- Excavating a pan-shaped grave in the Pan Grave cemetery at HK21A. ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006 19
  18. Left: an offering deposited outside one of the Pan Graves included a little jar and a leather bag containing a bead-making kit. Photo: J. Rossiter. Above top: the C-Group cemetery in the shadow of the Fort. Photo: J. Rossiter. Above: a Thirteenth Dynasty scarab, our first find from the C-Group cemetery. Photo: J. Rossiter. Below left: the woven bead pattern on the leather bag from the Pan-Grave offering. Photo: J. Rossiter. Below: the plaque bead armlet after conservation. of beads were also found, some still on their string, thus little doubt about their day jobs. Examination by physical preserving the original pattern. These included a com- anthropologists shows that the people interred here were plete bracelet of stunning garnet beads, and an armlet of mainly young men, seventeen to twenty-five years of age, rectangular mother-of-pearl plaque beads, one of the of over-average Egyptian stature, (171 to180 centimetres; most characteristic elements of Pan Grave attire. By piec- 5' 6" to 5' 9"), with strong muscle attachments in their ing together the bits of raw hide thong remaining in one legs, as one might expect of military professionals. set of beads, conservator Fran Cole was able to recon- Colourfully adorned with tasselled leather garments, struct the armlet revealing its original curve over the arm. fringed kilts, and bespangled with beads at neck, arms, A leather bow grip, bow string and arrow shafts with the wrist and ankle, they must have been an impressive sight. trimmed feather fletching remarkably still in place leave Intriguing as this Pan Grave cemetery was, it was no 20 ANCIENT EGYPT October/November 2006
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