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Ancient Egyptian pottery lion, found in Nekhen/Hierakonpolis - Late Predynastic/Archaic period


Late Predynastic/Archaic period Egyptian pottery lion who now lives at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum
via wikimedja commons

Red Granite Lion from Gebel Barkal in the Sudan, re-inscription by Tutankhamun 1400 BCE. British Museum, London

Red granite lion of Amenhotep III

From Soleb, Sudan

18th Dynasty, around 1370 BCE

A lion with many names….

This lion is one of a pair collected from the Meroitic site of Gebel Barkal by Lord Prudhoe, which is why they are sometimes called ‘Prudhoe lions’. Originally from the Temple of Soleb in Nubia, the lions acted as guardian figures before a temple built by Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BCE), an elaborate monument to the cult of the king as a deified 'lord of Nubia’, embodied by the lion.

The inscriptions on both lions reflect their re-use by many rulers. Originally inscribed by Amenhotep III, they were renewed by Tutankhamun (1336-1327 BCE), along with an indication that they were moved by his successor Ay (1327-1323 BCE). In the third century BCE the Meroitic ruler Amanislo moved the lions south to his city of Gebel Barkal and engraved his names on them. …

Also from the British Museum website:

Red granite statue of lion of Amenhotep III: this lion is depicted in a recumbent pose, forming a mirror image to its companion piece. It lies on its side: the forepaws crossed, the farther of the hind paws emerging from under the nearer one, the tail curling forward around the rump and resting on the base.

The sculpture combines marvelously the stylized mane and hair with a naturalistic treatment of the body. The muzzle projects realistically, with solid jawbones and raised veins. A stylized circular mane frames the head, and the fur is rendered by a raised surface on the chest, the shoulders, and the back. The eyes are hollowed and were probably inlaid. The whiskers are incised on the muzzle; small, round protuberances in the ear suggest the tufts of hair.

The naturalistic treatment of the physiognomy is enhanced by anatomical details - for example, the twisted hind paws, of which the farther one is turned upward. On the external side of the paws, the folds are marked by deep furrows. The rump is treated with a bold modeling of musculature; and parallel depressions alternate with raised ribs on the flank.

The lion was later reinscribed several times. First a four-column text was engraved on the breast, identifying the monument as “The good god, lion of rulers, wild when he sees his enemies treading his path, [it is the king] … divine ruler of Thebes, who brought it.” The royal cartouche, in which only the last signs are preserved, could belong to Akhenaten. Shortly afterward, a text of Tutankhamun’s was inscribed on the base, stating that the king renewed this monument for Amenhotep III. Ultimately, during the reuse of these lions in Gebel Barkal, the two cartouches of the Kushite ruler Amanislo were added on both lions.These cartouches occupy the left forepaw, because of the anterior four-column inscription. It was probably also at that time that the names of Tutankhamun in the third and fourth cartouches on the base were erased (with the exception of “Amun” and a remnant of “ankh”) to be replaced by those of Amanislo, on a plaster patch that is now lost, leaving the original particle of Amun, common to both names.

Ed. Note: Oh, and they’re 111cm (43.7in) high, 216cm (85in) long, and each weighs about 5000 pounds (2268kg)!!!

Old caption:

The strange winged creature to the right, standing in front of the serpent in this scene represents several destructive forces, good and bad, inherent in various Egyptian gods. These powers were not normally represented in specific shapes; hence, the unusual being here, like the winged figure in the large stone relief also in this case, is not a single god but a representation of several abstractions. The god Bes was one of the deities associated with this composite being; as a guardian of women and children, he acquired the role of protector of the birth of kings and of the sun, which sprang forth anew each morning from the underworld, where it had been threatened by snakes during the night. The images of the child and the snake on the papyrus reflect these concepts.

Current caption:

The standing winged creature seen here is known as the nineheaded Bes figure, a divine protector of the birth of the king and of the sun. This form of Bes was closely associated with the evening and the night part of the solar cycle. He thus also played an important role as guardian of sleeping women and children, particularly against the dangers of the night, represented here by the noxious creatures contained in the oval upon which he stands. The firebrands that surround him represent destructive forces directed at anyone who approaches.

Papyrus, 7th - 4th century B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, a: Glass: 7 ½ x 26 3/8 in. (19 x 67 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 47.218.156a-d

That snake is high.

Also, I want me some Anubis slippers, too!


Pschent is the Hellenized (Greek-ised) word for the Double Crown - in Egyptian Shemty or Sekhemti, The Two Powerful Ones. It is the combined form of the crown of the South, the Hedjet, which was also known as the Lady of Dread and the Deshret, the crown of the North, which was called the Lady of Spells.
Taken from the book A Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Possession of FG Hilton Price
Published in London, 1897

Taken from the book A Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Possession of FG Hilton Price
Published in London, 1897

Taken from the book A Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Possession of FG Hilton Price
Published in London, 1897

Nefer pendants and beads


1550–1295 B.C.E.

Length of string: 39.9 cm (15 11/16 in.) Height of jackal: 1.4 cm


Electrum and glass

Twenty-four electrum nefer pendants; two triple nefer pendants; fifty-one barrel beads. Strung with grouped ball beads of dark and light blue glass. Center: gold jackal amulet.
The New Kingdom (1570-1070 B.C.E.) saw a great flowering of the jeweler’s art as improvements in the manufacture of faience (a quartz bodied ceramic) combined with the invention of glass-making to produce a dazzling variety of ornaments in new forms and colors.

Between 1900 and 1907, acquired in Egypt by Goddard Du Bois (b. 1869 – d. 1925) and Josephine Cook Du Bois (b. 1864 – d. 1961), New York; 1945, gift of Mrs. Du Bois to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 27, 1945)


Alabaster (calcite) canopic jars: Duamutef, Qebesenuf behind

Taken from the book A Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Possession of FG Hilton Price
Published in London, 1897

The sun rises from the mound of creation at the beginning of time. The central circle represents the mound, and the three orange circles are the sun in different stages of its rising. At the top is the “horizon” hieroglyph with the sun appearing atop it. At either side are the goddesses of the north and south, pouring out the waters that surround the mound. The eight stick figures are the gods of the Ogdoad, hoeing the soil.

Twenty-first Dynasty (c. 1075–945 BCE)

Scanned from the book Ancient Egypt, edited by David P. Silverman, p. 121; photograph from the Book of the Dead of Khensumes


Predynastic/Protodynastic/Archaic Egyptian goodies - Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

An unusual angle - the famous bust of Nefertiti..
It was found in 1912 in the studio of the royal sculptor Thothmes at Amarna

Block statue of Senmut with Hatshepsut’s daughter Neferura

Painted Tunic
1275 BCE (circa)
New Kingdom
This tunic, with one long sleeve attached, bears a painted image of the goddess Hathor, shown as a cow emerging from the mountain of the West. Hieroglyphs above the cow describe her as ‘Hathor foremost of Thebes, lady of heaven, mistress of the gods’. Around the animal’s neck is a necklace with a sistrum (an emblem of Hathor) attached; between the horns are two feathers and a solar disc. The first line of the inscription below gives the title ‘mistress of the house’ and the name (unfortunately unclear but ending in ‘-imentet’) of the woman who dedicated the tunic; the second line repeats the name and epithets of Hathor.

It has been described as a child’s tunic, but it is more likely that it was specially produced as a votive offering to the goddess. Many types of votive objects were deposited in temples all over Egypt as gifts expressing devotion to deities, who, it was hoped, would in turn favour the donor. This and similar textiles may have been donated by women to the cult, perhaps accompanying specific prayers for children or successful childbirth. However, none of the inscriptions make reference to this. Another suggestion is that the tunics may have been used to clothe divine images; there is some evidence from the titles of the persons named on them that only those connected with the Hathor cult presented such garments. They presumably had to be stored carefully in the temples to maintain and protect the decoration and efficacy of the object.

Hathor was a popular deity with associations ranging from joy to music and dance, and was also one of the few state gods to whom ordinary people could appeal. Her cult was very prominent on the West Bank at Thebes, near the temples of Deir el-Bahari. The motif of the cow emerging from the western mountain, associated with burial and rebirth, is extremely common at Thebes. The rock-cut Hathor shrine containing a statue of the goddess as a cow, which was discovered in 1906 between the Middle and New Kingdom temples, embodies this idea in three dimensions (Cairo, JE 38574-5).
(Source: The British Museum)

omg do want lol

An ancient Egyptian harbor has emerged on the Red Sea coast, dating back about 4,500 years.

“Evidence unearthed at the site shows that it predates by more than 1,000 years any other port structure known in the world,” Pierre Tallet, Egyptologist at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and director of the archaeological mission, told Discovery News.

Built at the time of the Fourth Dynasty King Khufu, [who built] the Great Pyramid of Giza, the port was discovered by a Franco-Egyptian team of archaeologists at Wadi el-Jarf, nearly 110 miles south of the coastal city of Suez.

The site was first explored in 1823 by British pioneer Egyptologist Sir John Garner Wilkinson, who found a system of galleries cut into the bedrock a few miles from the coast. He believed they were catacombs.

“The place was then described by French pilots working on the Suez Gulf during the 1950s, but no one realized that it concealed the remains of an ancient pharaonic harbor,” Tallet said.

Tallet has been excavating the area since 2011 with archaeologist Gregory Marouard, of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, topographer Damien Laisney of the French National Center for Scientific Research, and doctoral students Aurore Ciavatti and Serena Esposito from the Sorbonne University. The team first focused on the most visible part of the site: the galleries described by Wilkinson.

The excavation revealed 30 of these galleries, measuring on average 65 feet long, 10 feet wide and 7 feet high.

Inside the galleries Tallet and his team found several fragments of boats, ropes and pottery dating to the early fourth dynasty. Three galleries contained a stock of storage jars, which probably served as water containers for boats.

Underwater exploration at the foot of the jetty revealed 25 pharaonic anchors — and pottery similar to that uncovered in the galleries — all dating from the Fourth Dynasty.

About 200 meters from the sea side, the archaeologists also found the remains of an Old Kingdom building where 99 pharaonic anchors had been stored.

“Some of them were inscribed with hieroglyphs, probably with the names of the boats,” Tallet said.

Most interestingly, the storage galleries also contained hundreds of papyrus fragments.

Among them, 10 were very well preserved.

“They are the oldest papyri ever found,” Tallet said.

Many of the papyri describe how the central administration, under the reign of Khufu, sent food — mainly bread and beer — to the workers involved in the Egyptian expeditions departing from the port.

But one papyrus is much more intriguing: it’s the diary of Merrer, an Old Kingdom official involved in the building of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. [AKA Cheops]

From four different sheets and many fragments, the researchers were able to follow his daily activity for more that three months.

“He mainly reported about his many trips to the Tura limestone quarry to fetch block for the building of the pyramid,” Tallet said.

“Although we will not learn anything new about the construction of Khufu’s monument, this diary provides for the first time an insight on this matter,” Tallet said.

Edosan hipped me to this story :)

Chapter IX.

This interesting deity is considered one of the great primeval gods of Egypt, and from earliest times to the end of the nation his distinctive characteristics appear to have suffered no change. So great was the reverence paid to him throughout the land that the whole country became known as Het-ka-Ptah, "the house of the soul of Ptah," which by the Greeks was pronounced Aigyptos, and by us "Egypt," though originally it was only the name of the city of Memphis, the most ancient capital of the nation.

With singular unanimity all the Egyptologists agree that the name of Ptah, (by the Greeks written "Pthah"), can be recognized, letter for letter, in the well known Hebrew verb patach, "to open," "to begin," and derivatively, "to carve, to engrave, to make a sculpture." Each of these meanings thoroughly supports our interpretation of the significance of Ptah, who stands for the idea of Revelation, the Divine Word, the creative Logos which was in the beginning with God. By it were all things made that were made; by it the Infinite created, [in Hebrew bara, "carved"], all things out of His own Divine substance, and by it He opens His Infinity to His human creatures in representative types or letters which in ancient times were carved upon tablets of stone. Ptah is generally represented as a man clothed in a close-fitting garment or mummy shroud, with face and hands bare, while on his head is a skull-cap without any crown or other emblematic ornaments. He is sometimes seen standing, sometimes sitting on an ornamental chair or throne, holding in one hand a roll of papyrus, and in the other a writer's pen ;* but whether standing or sitting there is always beneath him a kind of pedestal, the name of which is Maat, (= truth), "shaped like a cubit rod which is the sign for truth and just measurement." (Wiedemann, p. 131.) When standing he holds in his two hands the usual staff, combined with the ankh and a miniature djed-pillar, and at his back there is again the djed-pillar with its three degrees, while from the back of his neck there extends into the highest degree of the djed-pillar the menat, formed like a pendant bell-shaped flower.

Every one of these emblems is full of significance, representing various truths of the Doctrine concerning the Word.

1). The close-fitting garment or mummy shroud represents the letter of the Word, in itself dead, while the naked face and hands represent the internal sense which in places is open even in the letter. The Assyrians and Babylonians in the same way represented the letter of the Word by their god Nebo.** The bald head with the skull-cap again represents the letter of the Word in which, as a whole, spiritual truths are not apparent, (compare the "bald head" of Elisha, who represents the letter of the Word).

2). The papyrus-roll and the writer's pen speak for themselves as signs of the written Word. The pedestal of "truth" also, is the self-evident emblem of the letter of the Word as the basis of the internal senses. The staff represents the Word as the "firmament" which confirms and supports the interior truth, while the ankh in his hands is the universal emblem of spiritual life and holiness. Thus we find that the Ancient Egyptians were well acquainted with the "New" Church Doctrine that the letter of the Word is the basis, firmament and containant of the internal sense, and that in it the Divine Truth is in its fulness, in its holiness and in its power.

3. The djed-pillar behind Ptah speaks volumes concerning that internal sense behind the letter which is contained in a series of three successive degrees, while the menat, -- the emblem of conjunction and delight, -- is a symbol of the affection and delight which is extended especially to those who enter into the inmost sense of the Word, -- the sense which treats of uses, of goods, of love to the neighbor and to the Lord, and which like a flower exhales the fragrant delight of perception.

Porphyry states that Ptah came forth from an egg which issued from the mouth of Khnum, and the monuments describe him as "the Lord of Truth;" "the very great god who came into being in the earliest time;" "the Father of the mighty fathers; Father of the beginning; he who created the sun-egg and the moon-egg;" he from whose eye the gods came forth, while men came forth from his mouth. Ptah is recognized as the primeval creative power; not such as the sun, for he is never represented with any solar emblems, "but as an abstract idea of intellectual power." A bas-relief in the island of Philae shows him turning upon a potter's wheel a lump of clay, or, as others say, a chaos-egg, from which all things were made, just as Khnum, Amon and Ra are represented in the same creative act. But their distinctive emblems show that the One Creator is thus variously represented as to His distinct essentials, just as a Newchurchman might, without contradicting himself, ascribe the act of Creation successively to the Divine Love itself, to the Divine Wisdom, to the spiritual Sun, and to the Word.

Regarded originally as the creative Logos, Ptah became gradually invested with the character of a demiurge and master architect and designer of everything created, as the chief god of all handicraft, the great artificer in metals, as smelter, caster, sculptor and engraver of all forms in the universe. By the Greeks he was identified with Hephaistos or Vulcan, (= Tubal-cain, the "loud-sounding smith," the "instructor of every artificer in brass and iron"), but Hephaistos was a very subordinate deity as compared with Ptah, and Wiedemann shows that "Ptah has no essential connection whatever with Hephaistos," (R. A. E., p. 137), unless it be, as he suggests, that the name of Hephaistos was originally derived from Ptah.

Many of the Egyptologists recognize the close relation of Ptah with the Ibis-headed god Thoth. The attributes and associations of the two are, indeed, very similar. Ptah, like Thoth, figures as the scribe of the gods, and like him is called "Lord of maat," i. e., of "truth." The goddess Maat, the wife of Thoth, is also said to be the wife of Ptah, and Dr. Budge comes very close to the true interpretation of the two deities when he states that "Thoth was in reality only a personification of the intelligence of Ptah." (G. E. i:516.) For though both of them represent the Word, Thoth more particularly stands for the understanding of the Word in its interior sense, as is evident from his emblems: the Ibis bird, the udjat eye, the crescent moon, etc. ...

*"The writings of Ptah" are referred to in the book of the dead. (G.E. i:502.)
**In Hebrew, nebu, a prophet, from naba, to bubble forth, to utter inspired sentences. The name is frequently used as part of personal names such as Nebuchadnezzar, Nabopolassar, etc.

Outdated in some ways (e.g., 'anch" and "tet" instead of "ankh" and "djed," etc), but interesting. It has large, mostly fascinating illustrations, and also seems rather spiritually useful.

Torino - Egyptian Museum - The God Ptah

Diorite, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII reign of Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC). Temple of Amon, Thebes.

Creation was thought to occur through the word of Ptah, whose cult center was in the city of Memphis. Ptah wore mummy wrappings, and the close-fitting cap and straight beard of craftsmen and smiths. Ptah holds the hieroglyphic symbols “ankh” (life), “djed” (stability) and “was” (strength). According to the inscription on the base, king Amenhohep III dedicated the sculpture.

Statue of Ptah.
According to the inscription King Amenhotep III dedicated the sculpture.
Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III.
1390-1352 B.C.E.
From the temple of Thebes.
Egyptian Museum, Turin.

Statue of Ptah, dedicated by Amenhotep III - 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom

Turin Egyptian Museum

Torino - Egyptian Museum - The God Ptah

Limestone with plaster restoration (head); Temple of Amun, Thebes.

The God grasps the symbols “djed” (stability), “ankh” (life), and “was” (strength). The names of the God and pharaoh appear on the sides of the throne and the hieroglyph for mankind is shown as birds with arms raised in adoration before the ankh-sign of life. The God’s head has been restored in plaster.

The cartouche on our right reads Neb Maat Re - Amenhotep III (the great).

Statue of Ptah, dedicated by Amenhotep III - 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom
Turin Egyptian Museum

God Ptah

Sculpture from Thebes (Luxor)
(Turin, Egyptian museum)

The cartouche on our right reads Neb Maat Re - Amenhotep III (the great).

This exquisite statuette depicts Ptah standing on a platform shaped as the hieroglyph for Maat. His body is enveloped by a tightly fitting robe leaving exposed only his hands with bracelets on wrists holding a was-scepter; he wears a skull-cap, a broad collar and a pleated artificial beard. The eyelids, brows, collar, bracelets, beard and its strings and the eye and the ear of the finial of the scepter are inlayed with gold. The right, back and left sides of the platform bear a line of hieroglyphs.

Height 19 cm
Articulated Scarab Amulet
Egyptian, Faience, 18th - 20th Dynasty (1570 B.C.E. - 1070 B.C.E.) "...this scarab is designed to protect the mummy from harm. This particular example is extraordinary because of the fine level of craftsmanship used in constructing the legs of the beetle. The spell on the reverse is one of protection with a large cobra threatening death for disturbing the body. This specimen was recovered at Memphis."

Sounds perfectly reasonable.

Where do I get mine, and does it work against spammers?

“Pa-Di-Mut standing before the god Osiris. Coffin lid of Pa-di-Mut. Late Period. 3022. The Field Museum, Chicago.” (by Chris Irie)
...Well before the construction of the pyramids, Hierakonpolis was one of the largest urban centers along the Nile -- a vibrant, bustling city containing many of the features that would later come to typify Dynastic Egyptian civilization. Stretching for over 3 miles along the edge of the Nile flood plain, already by 3500 BC it was a city of many neighborhoods and quarters.

Over a century of archaeological research, continuing with the present Hierakonpolis Expedition, has confirmed this vast site's central role in the transition from prehistory to history of the rise of early Egyptian civilization. ...
Up to 70 percent of British men and half of all Western European men are related to the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, geneticists in Switzerland said.

Scientists at Zurich-based DNA genealogy centre, iGENEA, reconstructed the DNA profile of the boy Pharaoh, who ascended the throne at the age of nine, his father Akhenaten and grandfather Amenhotep III, based on a film that was made for the Discovery Channel.

The results showed that King Tut belonged to a genetic profile group, known as haplogroup R1b1a2, to which more than 50 percent of all men in Western Europe belong, indicating that they share a common ancestor.

Among modern-day Egyptians this haplogroup contingent is below 1 percent, according to iGENEA.

"It was very interesting to discover that he belonged to a genetic group in Europe -- there were many possible groups in Egypt that the DNA could have belonged to," said Roman Scholz, director of the iGENEA Centre.

Around 70 percent of Spanish and 60 percent of French men also belong to the genetic group of the Pharaoh who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

"We think the common ancestor lived in the Caucasus about 9,500 years ago," Scholz told Reuters.

It is estimated that the earliest migration of haplogroup R1b1a2 into Europe began with the spread of agriculture in 7,000 BC, according to iGENEA.

However, the geneticists were not sure how Tutankhamun's paternal lineage came to Egypt from its region of origin. ...

Ta much, dear MSiegel

Funerary Papyrus of Hunefer. The Sungod as a great cat killing the serpent of darkness.

A relief from the tomb of Nebamon from Thebes. Musicians and dancers accompany a feast. New Kingdom period.

A life sized figure of a jackal carved of wood and overlaid with a thin coat of plaster.

Anubis was the guide and guard along all paths. His priests were seers and healers.

This famous statue is from Tutankhamon's tomb.

A silver vase in the form of a pomegranate from the tomb of Tutankhamon.

Ed. Note: There was a saying that gold in Egypt was as plentiful as dust, but silver was as rare as the pomegranate.
Yes, Virginia, the Ancient Egyptians loved a nice, bad pun.

Red breccia vessel in the shape of a bird. Late Predynastic.

Wig with inlaid diadem from a royal statue. 19th Dynasty.
A French architect campaigning for a new exploration of the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza said on Thursday that the edifice may contain two chambers housing funereal furniture.

Jean-Pierre Houdin -- who was rebuffed three years ago by Egypt in his appeal for a probe into how the Pyramid was built -- said 3-D simulation and data from a US egyptologist, Bob Brier, pointed to two secret chambers in the heart of the structure.

The rooms would have housed furniture for use in the afterlife by the pharaoh Khufu, also known as Cheops in Greek, he told a press conference.

"I am convinced there are antechambers in this pyramid. What I want is to find them," he said.

In March 2007, Houdin advanced the theory that the Great Pyramid had been built inside-out using an internal spiral ramp, as opposed to an external ramp as had long been suggested.

He proposed mounting a joint expedition of Egyptian antiquities experts and French engineers, using infrared, radar and other non-invasive methods to check out the hypothesis.

The idea was nixed by Egypt's antiquities department. A Canadian team from Laval University in Quebec will seek permission this year to carry out thermal imaging from outside the Pyramid to explore the theory, Houdin said. ...
What excites us about the past is being there: feeling the heat as we climb a Mexican pyramid; adjusting our eyes to the light in the Pantheon; watching the paint peel off the walls of Tutankhamun's tomb. Peeling paint? If, in the brief, crushed tour of the Egyptian boy-king's rooms at Luxor we don't actually see it happen, we can certainly return later and note the damaging spread of holes and spots. Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, has had enough of it. He promises that the tomb, and two others, will close by the end of the year. To keep tourists happy, he has commissioned a replica.

It won't be the first. You can already see one in Las Vegas: until recently, Tut's tomb graced the Luxor Las Vegas Hotel, filled with replica treasures. Now it has been installed in the city's Museum of Natural History. So will the Valley of the Kings become a Las Vegas Strip, more tat than Tut? Is there no other way?

There can be no disputing the problem. Howard Carter emptied Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, leaving four rooms cut from the rock, one of them covered in paintings. It was recognised immediately that the sterile environment had been compromised: Carter's chemist found "air-infections" the day after they broke in. Those were nothing, however, compared with the humidity, fungi and dust wafted through the tomb by a thousand or more visitors a day. Cue staining, crumbling and erosion of the paint. Short of sand-blasting it, you would be hard pushed to devise a more efficient mechanism for destroying the 3,300-year-old art. ...

As he was possibly the grandfather of King Tutankhamun, this statuette of Amenhotep the Third was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Amenhotep the Third is portrayed here in a squatting position, wearing the Blue Crown and carrying the scepter and flail. He wears a real gold necklace with beads that are probably glass.

The statuette was suspended by a looped gold chain to be used as a pendant.
Valuing Chairs: Dr. Zahi Hawass' Chair versus King Tut's Throne
Submitted by Prad on Mon, 08/17/2009

Dr Hawass recently announced that he is looking to raise $2,000,000 for his "Chair of Egyptology". Now I don't know about you, but I find that to be one pricey chair! That said, boasts a $17,000,000 valuation* (well okay - it is priceless, but in this economy, everything apparently has its price). That said, Dr Hawass' "Chair" is also priceless as the amount will be invested back into Egyptology, and will aid the careers of future budding Egyptologists. Personally, I'm pretty happy with a £5 stool from the local market, but then I'm easily pleased. ...

* Price - or rather, Value - Comparison:

The $17,000,000 is the amount offered to the Cairo museum for King Tut's throne in 2000. They weren't willing to sell for that price at all. The chair is made using gold leaf, opposed to the golden mask, which is solid gold. Just the gold in Tutankhamun's mask alone is worth about $1.5 million - and gold prices are still rising. There's also the value of the precious stones and jewelry and - the main price-determining factor - the fact that it's King Tut's and unique.
Tut at the de Young – Know Your Boy King: #2, Anubis the Protector
Friday, July 3rd, 2009

It’s Tut! It’s dazzling! As you know by now, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs has opened at the de Young Museum.

Now these days, you can’t travel without protection so what better Protector could you find than Anubis, the jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian mythology.

And here he is, from far away, it’s 25 foot tall metal Anubis being installed up in Yelp-rated Pier 39 ...

Egyptian Case Mod is Fit for a Pharoah
June 9th, 2009 By Jai

Chris Kramer decided to do something different during summer holidays and what he ended up was building an Egyptian themed computer mod. He used some really specialized jewelry metal working, and lapidary skills which involve gemstone cutting and polishing, stone working, several dozen pounds of limestone tiles and a stuffed dog in order to create an authentic Egyptian themed case mod that transports us back to the days of pharaohs and hieroglyphics.

The idea was not to create something highly technical but something that is artistic and drool worthy, and hence the only geek components that went into the project were some components and a computer system board. He recreated partially the Tutankhamen chariot scene and in order to get some authentic hieroglyphic text, he used several passages from E. A. Wallis Budge’s “The Egyptian book of the Dead”.

With some amazing LED lights, jewelry, Egyptian art and painting, the case looks almost like Queen Cleopatra’s armoire and the computer that sits within it is almost a juxtaposition of cultures. The stuffed dog sits regally over the case as if it is guarding a new kind [of] tomb. ...

The kids are back in school, and it seems the rest of us are back to the "same-old, same-old" once more. I don't really remember the last time I got that cliché assignment to write about the summer break, but that doesn't mean I have not been busy. "Doing what?" you might well ask, and I would have to reply with "Building yet another computer, of course." My project this time was not one selected for the technology aspect, but one I wanted to do just for the "artistic" modification phase.

In the QuetzalMod Feathered Serpent case, I suggested that one did not have to use anything other than some simple craft techniques to create a unique, personalized, computer chassis. However, for this project, I applied some of my more specialized jewelry metal-working and lapidary (gemstone cutting and polishing) skills. Add a dash of rough stone working, sixty or seventy pounds of limestone floor tile, and a stuffed dog and I created my EgyptianMod case. Oh yeah, I did add a computer system board and some other components in there somewhere too.

Starting with an approach like the Quetzal case, I took a decent five 5.25-bay Nzxt Nemesis gaming case (it was on sale, what can I say...) and promptly stripped the case down to the side panels and frame. As with the other system, I covered the side panel window with steel sheet. In place of the front bezel, I attached lengths of 3/4 inch square aluminum tubing to extend out beyond the front of the chassis to enclose the drive bays. Two brass plates were cut for front doors and riveted to sections of piano hinge. The lower door fastens with a simple cabinet latch, and covers the front fan opening and provides access for the power switch and LED indicator lights. The upper door covers the five 5.25 inch drive bays and has a strong magnet glued on the outside; a second magnet glued inside the aluminum tubing creates a hidden magnetic latch.

The tile store suggested using epoxy to attach the tile to metal, but I was concerned about differences in expansion and contraction of the metal and stone, and have seen epoxy shear away from metal under those conditions. Discussing this with them, I asked about silicon adhesive, which would be much more flexible; they agreed this should work fine as long as the surface was rough enough to bond to. To prepare the case for the limestone tile, I used a coarse grinding wheel over the top, sides and front doors. ...

... With the limestone shell complete, it was time to get creative. Before starting this part of the construction phase, I had sifted through numerous books on Egypt, Egyptian Jewelry, Tutankhamen, hieroglyphics, and did lots of Internet photo searches for inspiration or possible source material. Rather then depicting some static deities just standing or sitting, I ultimately decided on a composite hunt scene for one of the panels and a partial recreation of a Tutankhamen chariot scene for the other. For some "authentic" hieroglyphic text, I selected several translated passages from "The Egyptian Book of the Dead" by E. A. Wallis Budge. ...

[Ed. Note: Curious the way the last image is broken up in places, like an ancient papyrus scroll. ;) ]
Record-breaking and other oddities
6.06.2008, by Michael

Visitors to Vienna bear testimony of an oddity right before landing in our city. But the real weird things are expecting them downtown during EURO 08. ...

Once arrived in downtown Vienna visitors will be welcomed by an Anubis figure of seven and a half metres height. The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), currently staging an exhibition on the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, nominated the God of Death Rites the patron of the Austria National Team. We hope that this is no bad omen. For protection reasons probably the Anubis statue was clad in a huge red shirt and white shorts.

In the immediate vicinity of the dog-headed deity the temporarily largest coffeehouse in town will be opened. Around the Maria Theresa monument in between the Museums of Fine Arts and Natural History the area of some 2,700 square metres is meant to combine football enjoyment and taste. The area has a capacity for 1,000 people who will be offered additional treats. The Coffee Academy will be informing on the history of coffee, the Strudel bakery will offer strudels and famous coffeehouse literature works will be read on stage - Viennese coffeehouse culture as event for the masses. ...

From the circular main hall of the Sackler Library in Oxford, an unassuming corridor leads to a staircase that takes you down below street level. Through a door marked "archive", office ceiling tiles and fluorescent lights stare down on a cheap blue carpet and a row of grey rolling stacks.

The hum of the air-conditioning lets slip that this ordinary-looking room is hiding something special. The temperature is held at 18.5C (65F), several degrees cooler than the sunny July day outside, while a humidifier keeps the moisture level tightly controlled. For those grey stacks contain the forgotten secrets of the most famous find in Egyptology, if not all of archaeological history: the tomb of Tutankhamun.

This is the Griffith Institute – arguably the best Egyptology library in the world. One of its most prized collections incorporates the notes, photographs and diaries of the English archaeologist Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun's resting place in 1922. The only intact pharaoh's tomb ever discovered, it contained such an array of treasures that it took Carter 10 years to catalogue them all. Yet despite the immense significance of the discovery, the majority of Carter's findings have never been published, and many questions surrounding the tomb remain unanswered.

Jaromir Malek is the soft-spoken keeper of the archive whose own Tutankhamun project is nearing completion. By making all of Carter's notes available online, Malek wanted to ensure that the public would have access to the full extent of the discovery – and to spur Egyptologists into finishing the job of studying the tomb's contents. He has ended up creating a model that other researchers hope will transform the field of archaeology.

The effort has taken even longer than Carter's gruelling excavation. It began in 1993, when Malek says he realised that fewer than a third of the artefacts from Tutankhamun's tomb had been properly studied and published, a situation he describes as "unacceptable".

A total of 5,398 objects were found in the tomb, covering every aspect of ancient Egyptian life, from weapons and chariots to musical instruments, clothes, cosmetics and a treasured lock of the royal grandmother's hair. A few, like Tutankhamun's gold burial mask, are instantly recognisable, but many are not well known, even to experts.

Part of the reason is that Carter died in 1939, just seven years after his excavation ended, and before he could fully publish his findings. "He started working on the final publication, but he was physically and mentally exhausted after a very hard 10 years," says Malek. By all accounts a difficult man to work with, Carter had no collaborators left to continue his work when he died. And while the artefacts themselves are held in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, Carter's notes were donated to the Griffith Institute, where they have lain largely undisturbed ever since. ...
Radiocarbon dating was used to show that the chronology of Egypt's Old, Middle and New Kingdoms is indeed accurate.

The researchers dated seeds found in pharaohs' tombs, including some from the tomb of the King Tutankhamun.

They write in the journal Science that some of the samples are more than 4,500 years old.

Radiocarbon dating of ancient Egyptian objects is nothing new.

But this time, the scientists say, they were able to use a very precise statistical technique to actually verify the Egyptian history.

"The very first dating done with radiocarbon was dating Egyptian material of known dates, to check that [the method] worked," said Andrew Shortland from Cranfield University in the UK.

"Now, for the very first time, [we] managed to get radiocarbon techniques so good, that we can do it completely the opposite way around. We can say, from using radiocarbon, whether the Egyptian history is correct or not. ...

Ta much, dear MSiegel
Not content with managing the household it appears women in Ancient Egypt were also keeping the budget in the black with some home-based manufacturing.

That is the conclusion an Australian team has drawn by using synchrotrons to analyse the synthetic turquoise that was popular during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten around 1300BC.

Archaeologist Dr Mark Eccleston will outline his findings at the Melbourne Museum in a lecture tomorrow as part of National Archaeology Week.

Eccleston says Egyptian 'faience', a fine-glazed quartz ceramic of distinct turquoise colour, was a common material used in items ranging from simple beads to religious artefacts.

He says while it was known that larger factories were used to produce the faience, his research has shown less prestigious pieces could also have been produced in ovens in household courtyards.

"There is an increasing amount of evidence that work was done in the home to provide extra income for the household," says Eccleston, from La Trobe University in Melbourne.

"Large state industries were effectively sub-contracting labour and the household would get something in return, for example more food."
Women's work

Eccleston says that because women did work in the home, he believes these cottage-type industries were undertaken by women, and possibly even children.

Among the evidence he points to is artefacts made from faience that have been found in household courtyards.

Eccleston has also shown that faience can be 'cooked' at home by demonstrating this in a replica 1300BC bread oven.

"People said you couldn't make a bread oven that hot, but we showed you could," he says.
Enigmatic material

Eccleston says faience remains "an enigmatic" material to archaeologists as little is known about how and by whom it was made and exactly what materials it was created from.

In his project with La Trobe University physicist Dr Peter Kappen, Eccleston has placed small faience beads in a synchrotron beam to determine the raw materials, and from where those materials were sourced.

He says the synchrotron can reveal levels of detail never before possible about the structure of raw materials used to make ancient glazes and the minerals used to colour them.

"By being able to tell where these raw materials were sourced, we'll be able to answer other questions about the economy of trade in bronze and metals, how industries were set up and how materials were distributed throughout society for different purposes," says Eccleston.

He says the work has shown the copper is barely present in the glaze, which raises questions about the method of its extraction.

"It may be they were leaching copper out of bits of metal in some solution," says Eccleston.
Urine test

The collaborators will now test a number of solutions, including urine, to see if a similar result can be achieved.

"We know copper was used, but it is like trying to replicate a chocolate cake," says Eccleston.

"You know it is chocolate, but what type of chocolate? Is it 85% Lindt or Cadbury dairy milk?"

Eccleston says they aim to replicate the creation of faience in the laboratory using a mineralised solution.

He says they will then compare this with ancient faience, to see if they have found the right recipe.

Eccleston says the aim of their study is to demonstrate the success of the technique in the hope of accessing artefacts in the Berlin museum from Akhenaten's capital Amarna, excavated by German archaeologists about 100 years ago.

Ta much, dear Edosan
King Tut returns to NY for last leg of U.S. exhibit
Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:38pm BST
By Walden Siew

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - More than 30 years after King Tut's last visit to New York, the golden boy is back.

"Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," which opens Friday and runs to January 2, contains more than 130 rare artifacts, twice the number of treasures shown in the 1970s exhibit.

It includes items used for royal burial practices and daily life in ancient Egypt, King Tut's viscera coffin, containers for the boy king's mummified liver, his chariot and an exhibit explaining new DNA and medical techniques that may unlock more discoveries about the Pharaoh's royal family and how they died. ...

... I’ve been investigating the particular way in which the Pyramid Texts are arranged in Behenu’s pyramid. Confining the analysis to just the one section of the north wall of Behenu’s sarcophagus chamber I began translating the middle section as it is the easiest to see. ...

...the name ‘Behenu’ is the first word that is recognised. She has the title “Osiris Behenu”. Observe that Behenu’s name is not enclosed in a cartouche. This is because Behenu is a Queen. But she still takes the title of Osiris in death as all Kings do.

One phrase is repeated several times:

Osiris Behenu, take the Eye of Horus, ….

This is then followed by a particular offering that can be seen in smaller closed boxes at the bottom of columns. These include items such as bread, beer, geese, ox, fruit, vegetables, water, etc. This format is recognisable as the Offering Ritual which is found on the north walls of those pyramids inscribed with the Pyramid Texts.

So the next step was to compare the Behenu texts with the arrangement of the Unas texts.

There are some slight variations in spelling and the sections are arranged differently but Behenu’s texts are very nearly identical to those of [King] Unas. ...

...The artist's skill in drawing which is exhibited by the paintings in all periods is marvellous, but the greatest skill is certainly displayed in the fishing and hunting scenes, and in those which are commonly found in tombs. Even in these, however, the artist often breaks away from his fetters of conventionality, and depicts some ludicrous or amusing incident quite out of keeping with the general character of the subject. The sense of fun which the Egyptian possessed in all periods of his history must have found an outlet in many comic sketches on papyri, but unfortunately besides the so-called satirical papyri very few examples of such have come down to us; touches of realism which western artists would not have included in their compositions occur every here and there, but these are due rather to an attempt to be true to nature than to depraved ideas. ...

... This small, red carnelian scarab has a vertically arranged bottom inscription, which consists of three lines of right reading text with a cartouche in the center. An oval line frames the inscription. The text contains the name and title of crown princess Neferura, daughter of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, and a formula wishing her life. The highest point of the back is the pronotum (dorsal plate of the prothorax). Pronotum and elytron (wing cases) have fine single borderlines and double separations lines. The line flow almost regular, only the partition lines between pronotum and elytron overlap slightly. The trapezoidal head is flanked by quarter-ovoid eyes. The trapezoidal side plates have curved outer edges, and the clypeus (front plate), which is very large in comparison to the head, has four frontal serrations and a central base notch. The extremities show natural form and vertical hatch lines for the tibial teeth and pilosity (hair), the background between the legs is deeply hollowed out. The oval base is symmetrical.

The scarab is longitudinally pierced, and was originally mounted or threaded. It functions as a name seal and user-individualized amulet of crown princess Neferura. The scarab should secure the individual existence (wish formula: "who may live"), divine relation (title: "divine consort"), and royal status (cartouche) of the crown princess, and the red color her magic protection. The material, carnelian, was especially used for protective amulets and the Egyptians believed that it would intensify the magical potency. The scarab could have been a personal amulet of the princess, but, it is also possible that it was given to a private person to guarantee the crown princess' patronage. Scarabs made of dark red carnelian were popular for the female members of the court in early 18th Dynasty. ...
Annenberg Exhibition

The scarabs shown here are part of a collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which were studied and documented by USC’s West Semitic Research Project. A catalogue of the collection was published by Johnna Tyrrell of UCLA and Cara Cooney of LACMA. The scarabs further served as the basis for a number of undergraduate research projects at USC, under the supervision of Johnna Tyrrell and Lynn Swartz Dodd, Curator of the USC Archaeological Research Collection. ...

Scarab with Separate Wings

Nets made of faience beadwork became a fashionable feature of mummy wrappings in the Late Period. Faience amulets formed part of the beadwork pattern and served to protect the mummy through their magical properties. This scarab is one of the finer examples of such amulets. It served as a substitute heart that would ensure continued existence in the hereafter.
o Medium: Faience, glazed
o Dates: ca. 712-342 B.C.E.
o Dynasty: second half of XXV Dynasty-XXX Dynasty
o Period: Third Intermediate Period-Late Period
o Dimensions: Scarab: 11/16 x 1 5/8 x 2 1/2 in. (1.8 x 4.2 x 6.3 cm) Wing: 1 5/16 x 3 3/4 in. (3.4 x 9.6 cm)
Selected stylis/zed Scarabæus sacers - Scarabs.
Clicking the images may produce useful sites/pages.

Ain't this thing a h00t?! It's plastic, but it still enavarices meh.
I found it last night - at a now-defunct shopping site - and have never seen anything quite like it. It links to a functional shopping site, Gentle Categorian.

Click the scarabs tag for more ancient, Coleopteran goodness.

... 11) Scarabs
Faience scarab on the golden frame and limestone scarab with the name of Ramesses II and the name of Tutankhamen was found on another faience scarab. There was a large granite scarab but without inscription. All of them were found in the Rooms A and B of Shaft A. ...

During the process of mummification, amulets of different kinds were placed on the body or wrapped in the mummy bindings to protect the deceased from the dangers of the underworld. At the center of these arrangements of amulets was usually a "Heart Scarab" containing a special spell related to the "Book of the Dead," a pectoral with a scarab centerpiece, or a winged scarab made of Egyptian faience (a glazed ceramic-like material).
On its right wing the scarab displays the Benu-bird in a sacred boat. And on its left wing is the squatting figure of the god Osiris. The bottom inscription has the name and title of the owner and spell 30B of the Book of the Dead.

18th-19th Dynasty

Recitation of Osiris: (the) head of beverages depot, Pa-en-Ptah: / Heart (that I received) from my mother, heart (that I received) from my mother, heart of my (different) ages, do not stand up against / me as witness; do not contradict me in the court; do nothing against me in front of the deities; / do not treat me with hostility in front of the Keeper of the Balance. You are my Ka (life-force), which is in my body; the creator, / who makes the limbs of my body whole; you may come out to the beautiful place, which is there prepared for me. Do not cause my name / to stink in the presence of the members of the court, who make people to resurrected (at) the beautiful place. Excellent is it for the posers; a pleasure is it / for the judge. Do not speak lies against me beside the great god. / See, you are elected to exist (as a justified one).

21st-22nd Dynasty

On the back of the scarab:
Priest of Amun, Bak-en-Djehuti, who is justified. / May he live.

18th-19th Dynasty

... The hieroglyphic text which covers the underside of the scarab is a formula taken from chapter 30B of the 'Book of the Dead'....
The Tutankhamun Exhibit
Jewelry and Ornamentation

It is evident from the tubular projections at both ends that the beetle, or scarab, was attached to a larger ornament, and the damaged condition of the projection at the back end suggests that the missing part was torn from the scarab by the ancient robbers. What is surprising is that they should have discarded an object that contained so much gold. The blue inlay on the back was first identified by Carter as lapis lazuli, and it seems to show all the characteristic markings of that stone, but in the brief description of the scarab in his card catalogue the material is said to be glass. The inlay is, however, composed of several small pieces fitted together; such a method of construction would not be suitable for glass, which could be molded to the shape of each cloison, but it would be the most convenient way of using lapis lazuli. ...
... The relic was stolen in 2004 from the Valley of Kings, near Luxor, home to the tombs of dozens of Pharaohs and Egyptian nobles when the stepfather was vacationing there.

The stepson felt the curse of the pharaohs was undeniably not a myth — and decided to return the looted Egyptian carving which he claims has fatally cursed his family.

Upon the German’s return to Europe his troubles began when he was struck with an inexplicable fatigue and fever, progressing to paralysis, cancer, and ultimately death, according to the anonymous note.

The Egyptian embassy in Berlin sent the fragment back to Egypt where it was handed over to the Supreme Council for Antiquities, where a committee of experts will determine its authenticity. ...
"Manuel de Codage"
A standard system for the computer-encoding of Egyptian transliteration and hieroglyphic texts

by Hans van den Berg
The Book of Caverns
by Taylor Ray Ellison

The Book of Caverns appears to have originated [during] the...20th Dynasty. ...It seems almost to emphasize that previous text[s] had been too soft on those deceased who fail their judgment in the afterlife, while at the same time focusing also on the rewards of those who do. It is, in fact, one of our best sources [of] the ancient Egyptian concept of Hell.

The Osireion, [the] well known cenotaph of Seti I located at Abydos, along with his mortuary temple, has the first known version of The Book of Caverns that is nearly complete [-] its upper register [is] damaged. It is found directly across from [a] rendering of the Book of Gates on the left wall [of] the entry corridor. Hence, it appears to be a relatively late funerary text of the New Kingdom, not showing up at all until the 19th Dynasty, and not making it into the tombs within the Valley of the Kings until the following reigns. A deviated version of the final depictions are given a dominant position in the decorative theme of the sarcophagus chamber in the tombs of Merneptah (KV8), Tausert (KV14) and Ramesses III (KV11), so versions of this book may have also been inscribed on earlier gilded shrines around the sarcophagi. Unfortunately, these earlier shrines are lost to us, so that possibility may never be known.

[...]The third corridor of the tomb of Ramesses IV (KV2) in the Valley of the Kings...employ[s] the earliest versions of the first and second sections of The Book of Caverns rather than the traditional Amduat passages, and then repeats these passages twice more in the room behind his sarcophagus chamber. [During] the reign of Ramesses VI (KV9), we find an almost complete version of the book, here as in the Osireion, opposite the Book of Gates in the front half of the tomb - though due to the limited wall space, some passages had to be continued on pillars and in the upper pillared hall as well. ...[T]he tomb of Ramesses VII (KV1) has a similar arrangement to that of Ramesses VI on the right wall, here only the first corridor is decorated, with a small excerpt from The Book of Caverns' second section. Later though, in the Tomb of Ramesses IX (KV6), there were selections from the first four sections on the right wall[s] of the first and second corridors. However, in the sarcophagus chamber we also find parts of the two remaining sections of the book.

Afterwards, bits and pieces of The Book of Caverns appears here and there, during various periods. ...[T]he first section and passages of the fourth section, or example, along with the concluding representations, were included on a 21st Dynasty papyrus of Nedjmet. There is also a Late Period version in the tomb of Petamenophis that has yielded otherwise missing parts of the text, and another Late Period version containing the first two sections of the book...inscribed on the Nilometer at Roda Island. Though used rarely on late sarcophagi, one example exists which includes the book's first two sections, along with parts of the Amduat and the Litany of Re. ...

First section

Second section

Third section

Fourth section

Fifth section

Sixth section

Seventh section

This is a fairly useful site for the most part, but it is a bit dodgy in places; this guy's writing in particular is weird and very uneven. It's plagiarism-y.

The images are often superb though, as you have seen, Gentle Categorian.
The Book of Gates is the principal guidebook to the netherworld found in 19th and part of the 20th Dynasty tombs of the New Kingdom, though it makes its first appearance to us with the last king of the 18th Dynasty. The most complete texts we find in tombs appear in the tomb of Ramesses VI and on the sarcophagus of Seti I. It was meant to allow the dead pharaoh to navigate his way along the netherworld route together with the sun god, so that his resurrection could be affected. It emphasizes gates with guardian deities whose names must be known in order to pass them. This is actually a very old tradition dating to at least the Book of the Two Ways in the Coffin Texts, where there are seven gates with three keepers at each. The Book of Gates narrates the passage of a newly deceased soul into the next world, corresponding to the journey of the sun though the underworld during the hours of the night.

We first know of the 'Book of Gates' in the late 18th Dynasty, but passages from the book appear in the burial chambers and first pillared halls of most tombs thereafter. Like the Amduat, but somewhat of a more sophisticated text, this book references the hours of the night, but referred to as the 12 gates and emphasis is placed on the gates as barriers. It deals with the problems of the underworld, such as Apophis, justice, material blessings and time.

The infinity of time was symbolized by an apparently endless snake or doubly twisted rope being spun from the mouth of a deity. Time is thought of as originating in the depths of creation, and eventually falling back into the same depths....

The soul is required to pass though a series of 'gates' at different stages in the journey. Each gate is associated with a different goddess, and requires that the deceased recognise the particular character of that deity. ...













Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead is the modern name for ancient Egyptian manuscripts containing compositions drawn from a repertoire of about 175 individual 'chapters'. These were named by the Egyptian the 'chapters for coming forth by day'. The corpus derives in large part from the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC) Coffin Texts, and appears first on coffins and shrouds of the royal family in the 17th Dynasty (1650-1550 BC); from the reign of Hatshepsut (about 1450 BC) until the Roman Period (after 30 BC) the Book of the Dead was included in numerous elite burials, written on papyrus rolls; in the 26th Dynasty the sequence of chapters was standardised into a series of over 150 'chapters', most with their own vignette. Individual chapters occur on other funerary equipment, such as the shabti, headrest, amulets, heart scarab, and also on the coffins, sarcophagi and walls of burial chambers and offering chapels (Forman/Quirke 1995: 183).

Fragment of a book of the Dead (early 19th Dynasty)

300-30 BCE

The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead Lives

A scene from 'The Chapter for Being Transformed into a Benu-bird' from the papyrus of Ani.

The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead is an important document to understanding the religion of the ancient Egyptians. Based on the earlier Pyramid Texts which were inscribed on the walls of Old Kingdom pyramids, the Book of the Dead was usually inscribed on papyrus and buried with the king’s body.

The Book of the Dead could be thought of as a manual for the deceased and vital for the soul’s safe passage through the afterlife.

The term “Book of the Dead” is actually a modern term and was not what the ancient Egyptians knew it as. To them it was referred to as “The Chapters of Going Forth by Day” and as such had a more positive connotation. Later it was adapted and became known as the “Book of Breathings”.

The papyrus of Amen-em-hat, which dates to around 300 BC, has just received a new lease of life. Part of the papyrus had been on display in the Royal Ontario Museum for many years but lying hidden in the storage vaults of the museum was another large section of the papyrus, still rolled up as it was when it was buried with the body of the ancient Egyptian King thousands of years ago.

It wasn’t until a student from the German University of Bonn sent an enquiry in 2003 to the ROM that it was realised they’ve been in possession of the rest of the papyrus since it was given to the Museum a hundred years ago. ...

... Archaeologists found this papyrus in the burial of Nany (NAH-nee), a woman in her seventies. She was a chantress (ritual singer) of the god Amun-Re and is referred to as "king's daughter" (probably meaning she was daughter of the high priest of Amun and titular king, Pinodjem I). As was customary during the Third Intermediate Period, her coffin and boxes of shawabtis (figures of substitute workers for the afterlife) were accompanied by a hollow wooden Osiris figure, which contained a papyrus scroll inscribed with a collection of texts that Egyptologists call the Book of the Dead. The ancient name was the Book of Coming Forth by Day. It is more than seventeen feet long when unrolled. The hieroglyphic inscriptions were written by a scribe, and the illustrations were drawn and painted by an artist.

The scene depicted here shows the climax of the journey to the afterlife. Nany is in the Hall of Judgment. Holding her mouth and eyes in her hand, she stands to the left of a large scale. Her heart is being weighed against Maat, the goddess of justice and truth, who is represented as a tiny figure wearing her symbol, a single large feather, in her headband. On the right, Osiris, god of the underworld and rebirth, presides over the scene. He is identified by his tall crown with a knob at the top, by his long curving beard, his crook, and by his body, which appears to be wrapped like a mummy except for his hands.

At his back hangs a menat as counterweight for his collar. In front of him is an offering of a joint of beef. Jackal-headed Anubis, overseer of mummification, adjusts the scales, while a baboon--symbolizing Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing - sits on the balance beam and prepares to write down the result. Behind Nany stands the goddess Isis, both wife and sister of Osiris. She is identified by the hieroglyph above her head. Nany has been questioned by the tribunal of forty-two gods about her behavior in life. She has had to answer negatively to every question asked in this examination, often called the negative confession.

In this scene Nany has been found truthful and therefore worthy of entering the afterlife. Her heart is not heavier than the image of the goddess of Truth. Anubis says to Osiris, "Her heart is an accurate witness," and Osiris replies, "Give her her eyes and her mouth, since her heart is an accurate witness."In the horizontal register above the judgment scene, Nany appears in three episodes: worshiping the divine palette with which all is written, praising a statue of Horus, and standing by her own tomb. Nany had a second papyrus roll with texts entitled What Is in the Underworld (Amduat) wrapped into her mummy in the area across her knees. ...

Book of the Dead of Nebseny. From a Memphite cemetery, probably Saqqara, 18th Dynasty, around 1400 BCE

Taminiu's funerary papyrus, Third Intermediate Period, ca. 950 BCE

Book of the Dead. 350 B.C.E.


Mine is a heart of carnelian, crimson as murder on a holy day. Mine is a heart of cornel, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers. I am the broken wax seal on my lover's letters. I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself. I pace the halls of the underworld. I knock on the doors of death. I wander into the fields to stare at the sun and lie in the grass, ripe as a fig. The souls of the gods are with me. They hum like flies in my ears. I am. I will what I will. Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix.

What modren folk call Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead is also found carved on heart scarabs:

"Heart of my mother, heart of my mother, heart of my (actual) being, do not rise up against me as a witness; do not contend against me in the court of judgment; do not make opposition against me in the presence of the keeper of the balance. You are my bodily ka, a Khnum who has invigorated my limbs. When you ascend to the perfection from which we have come, do not cause our names to stink to the entourage who create mankind in their proper stations, but rather may it go well with us and with the listener, so that the judge may rejoice. Do not devise lies against me in the presence of the god, for your reckoning is at hand."

... The objectives of this project are:

* to relocate the 'lost tombs' of New Kingdom officials last seen at Saqqara in the 19th century
* to restore these monuments to their former splendour
* to publish their wall reliefs and paintings, sculptures, and other finds
* to identify those fragments from these tombs which are now in museums all over the world
* to study the organisation, structure, and layout of the cemetery as a whole
* to shed new light on the careers of the tomb owners, on funerary ritual, art and architecture

This site tells you about our motivations, our expectations, and above all ... about our achievements! ...

Amduat, «What is in the Netherworld» was used in Ancient Egypt as a generic name for descriptions of the netherworld, but in modern Egyptology is reserved for the oldest of these compositions which has the original title of «Treatise of the Hidden Chamber».
We know it since the time of queen Hatshepsut, ca. 1470 B. C, and during the 18th dynasty it forms the exclusive decoration on the walls of the royal burial chamber. In Ramesside time (19th and 20th dynasty), it still belongs to the standard decoration of royal tombs, besides other Books of the Netherworld. The only non-royal person in the New Kingdom who has used an Amduat for his tomb is the vizier (highest official) Useramun who was in office under Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III.
After the end of the New Kingdom (1070 B. C), the Amduat was copied on papyri and on coffins and became now available for priests and their relatives. It was still prominent in tombs of the Late Period and on royal or non-royal sarcophagi until the Ptolemaic Period. Quotations from it are still found in the Roman Period.
Whereas the Book of the Dead is composed of individual spells with no fixed sequence, the Books of the Netherworld follow a strict pattern. The earlier compositions (Amduat and Book of Gates) are divided into twelve sections which correspond to the twelve hours of the night, text and pictures always forming a unity. Thus for the first time in history, the world beyond death is described here in word and image.
In addition to the long, illustrated version of the Amduat, a short version, without illustrations, is found in the tombs and on papyri. It is a sort of abstract or summary, listing important names and adding further remarks on the usefulness of the book. Only Tuthmosis III, in the upper pillared hall of his tomb, adds 741 deities from the Amduat to this catalogue, enemies excluded. Stars are added to express the desired ascent of the Ba-soul to heaven.
During the 18th dynasty, all texts are written in cursive hieroglyphs which were used for religious texts on papyri. For quick orientation, introductions and instructions are written in red, the rest black. Starting with Tutankhamun, the writing changes to normal hieroglyphs which are usually coloured. In our text, we transcribe the cursive forms into normal hieroglyphs and follow, wherever possible, the version of Amenhotep II, but in some places it had to be corrected or completed; the red parts (rubra) are mostly identical in the tombs of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II, but Tuthmosis, trying to follow the orientation of the hours according to the text, had to rearrange some of the registers (each hour but the first is divided into three horizontal sections, the registers). Normally, in the center of each hour the sun bark is placed, showing the sun god in his ram-headed, nocturnal form (the ram is one of the signs for the Ba-soul) passing through the Netherworld....

1st Hour

2nd Hour

3rd Hour

4th Hour

5th Hour

6th Hour

7th Hour

8th Hour

9th Hour

10th Hour

11th Hour

12th Hour

You now know where the Sun goes, and what He goes through every night.

Bonus: stick-figure Egyptians rock.
The Coffin Texts - The Book of Two Ways

The Coffin Texts, which basically superseded the Pyramid Texts as magical funerary spells at the end of the Old Kingdom, are principally a Middle Kingdom phenomenon, though we may begin to find examples as early as the late Old Kingdom. In effect, they democratized the afterlife, eliminating the royal exclusivity of the Pyramid Text.

If the dating of examples in the Dakhla Oasis at the Balat necropolis is correct (Old Kingdom), these would be the oldest known coffin texts, though we can be certain of the text found in the First Intermediate Period pyramid of Ibi (8th Dynasty) at South Saqqara. While examples of the text have been discovered from the Delta south to Aswan, our major sources of the texts are found in the later necropolises, especially of regional governors (nomarchs), of the 12th Dynasty, particularly at Asyut, Beni Hasan, Deir el-Bersha, el-Lisht and Meir.

The necropolis which probably yielded the largest number of coffin text spells was Deir el-Bersha, the necropolis of the ancient city of Hermopolis. By the end of Egypt's Middle Kingdom, the coffin texts were refined into the corpus of the Book of the Dead (Book of Coming Forth by Day), though we may continue to find the spells in burial chambers of the New Kingdom, Third Intermediate Period and early Late Period. Spells 151, 607 and 625 were particularly popular during these later times.

Mostly, as the modern name of this collection of spells implies, the text was found on Middle Kingdom coffins of officials and their subordinates. However, we may also find the spells inscribed on tomb walls, stelae, canopic chests, papyri and even mummy masks.

The earliest known research on the coffin text was done by C. R. Lepsius, who in 1867, published the first copies from coffins that had been removed to Berlin. Afterwards, there were several publications made of the texts from individual coffins, but between 1904 and 1906, Pierre Lacau published many of the Middle Kingdom coffins as part of the Cairo Museum's Catalogue generale. Based on this work, he set out individual spells of the coffin text in a series of articles entitled, "Texts religieux" in a publication called Receuil de travaux between 1904 and 1915.

Early on, one part of the coffin text known as the Book of the Two Ways, received special attention. Found on the floor of the coffin of Sen, Hans Schack-Schackenburg published this text in 1903 and in 1926, Kees detailed it in a publication. ...

This Middle Kingdom coffin wall lives at the Detroit Institute of Arts - I've been gawking at it for around 40 years and I love it.

Sedment Tomb 2111

A shaft tomb with a chamber (bricked up), belonging to Khenty-khety (his body is described as 'middle aged man')

Measurements: 1.32 x 1.19 x 2.71 (chamber); 1.19 x 2.56 x 3.68 (shaft)

Date: late First Intermediate Period - Early Middle Kingdom

Finds: pottery, headrest, wooden model, two coffins

The outer coffin is recorded by Petrie...

... Though many are unique to individual coffins, de Buck divided the coffin text into 1,185 spells, with some being assigned to larger compositions such as the Book of the Two Ways. These spells, which always refer to the deceased in the first person singular, attempt to imitate the language of the Old Kingdom, though they are actually produced in the classical language of Middle Egypt. They are inscribed using hieroglyphs, or occasionally early hieratic. Unlike the Pyramid text, they are almost always titled, though at times the title may come at the end of the text.

Usually written in vertical columns, the columns are sometimes split in order to save space. Red ink is utilized for emphasis and as divisions between the spells. However, some important spells are completely written using a red pigment. ...

... The pyramid texts describe different stages in the rebirth of the pharaoh (or queen) into a uniquely royal afterlife within his or her pyramid, and were arranged on the walls as if to be read by the deceased from beyond the grave.

As with the spells of the later Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead, there is no one single standard edition. Each pyramid employed a different selection of spells, taken from what must have been a much larger collection of texts. Maspero's texts included more than four thousand lines of texts - the earliest, most important and extensive expression of religious thought to have survived from anywhere in the ancient world.

Further royal burial chambers decorated with Pyramid Texts were later discovered, including four by the Swiss archaeologist Gustave Jéquier between 1926 and 1933. These belonged to the 8th Dynasty King Ibi and the 6th Dynasty Queens Wedjebten, Neith and Ipuit. The recent find of Ankhesenpepi at Saqqara suggests that there are doubtless more examples of texts waiting to be discovered. ...

... Coffin Texts became popular during the Middle Kingdom. Whereas the Pyramid Texts were only made available to the royalty of the Old Kingdom, the Coffin Texts were accessible to anyone who could afford them. These spells would be inscribed upon the actual coffins, usually painted in closely crowded columns of cursive hieroglyphs inside the deceased's coffin. There are over a thousand spells, and many of these texts were derived from the earlier Pyramid Texts. ...

Coffin Texts, spell 261 (III, 382 - 389), Middle Kingdom (ca. 1938 - 1759 BCE) - text in coffin of Asyut (Cairo 36444) and in inner coffin of Msht (Cairo 28118) - hieroglyphic text in Buck, de, 1935-1961.


"O You nobles who are in the presence of Lord Atum, behold, I have come to You ! Fear me in proportion with what You know !

It is I whom the Sole Land made before there came into being the two meals on Earth ; when he sent forth his sole eye ; when he was alone, going forth from his own mouth ; when his million Kas were there, the protection of his companions ; when he spoke with Khepri, with him, over whom he rules ; when he took Hu upon his speech.

It is I who am the very son of Who-bore-Atum, born before he had a mother.
I am under the protection of the command of the Sole Lord.
It is I who give life to the Ennead.
It is I who act as he pleases, father of gods, lofty of standard, who make the gods effective in accordance with the command of Who-bore-Atum.
The august god who eats and speaks with his mouth.

I have kept silence, I have bowed down, I have come shod, O Bulls of the Sky, I have seated myself, O Bulls of Nut, in this my dignity of 'Greatest of Lords of Kas'. Heir of Atum.

I have come, so that I may take possession of my throne and that I may gather unto me my dignity, for all was mine before You came into being, You gods. Go down upon your haunches ! For I am a magician !"

...The earliest version can be found in the pyramid of Unas at Saqqara (5th Dynasty). The texts were the prerogative of the kings (although they have also been found in the pyramids of the three queens of Pepi II). In later centuries, some of the texts appeared on the coffins of high officials and form part of the so-called Coffin Texts. Even later, a wider section of the population would have access to related texts by means of the Book of the Dead. Some heavily revised sections of the Pyramid Texts appear in temple rituals from the New Kingdom onwards. Pyramid Texts are also known from the Late Period, surviving on tomb walls, coffins and papyri. It is assumed that these derive directly from Old Kingdom examples, mainly because of the accuracy of the copies and the preserved orthography. An interesting point is that they include spells that are not known from the Old Kingdom itself. ...

The Pyramid Texts are hieroglyphic inscriptions that are cut upon the walls of the chambers and corridors of five Old Kingdom Pyramids at Saqqara from the 5th and 6th Dynasties Built for Unas, Teti I, Pepi I, Merenre I, and Pepi II.

These texts represent the oldest religious literature known.

The main theme in the Pyramid Texts is the Pharaoh's glorious resurrection and ascension to the Afterworld. ...

Chaotic, random and seemingly unrelated……...but they're all in the same 'place' so they must be related. Experts consider them to be magical formulae and “not coherent”. They make constant reference to the cosmos and another invisible world that is intertwined with ours. It is accepted that the Sun and an invisible life force are central to existence, and there is constant affirmation of the greatness and power of heaven, or the 'other' existence. The universe is seen as an ocean and made of water.

So say the Pyramid texts, the very earliest of all our ancient [sacred] writings.

Now let's look at recent evidence from scientific sources.

Chaotic, random and seemingly unrelated…….but they're all in the same 'place' so they must be related. The magical and incoherent world of quantum theory and particle physics formulae. The scientists now talk of the existence of a universe in which each particle has an unseen partner. There is another world, a world hidden from view, which co-exists with ours. A parallel universe that is intertwined with ours. The Sun pumps out an invisible life force that is central to existence, and the scientists now use words like waves, ocean and liquid to describe the universe.

Sound familiar? ...
The Egyptians didn't even learn about slavery until a middle eastern people invaded them in the 12th Dynasty.

Do a little research, Ms "Journalist."
Egypt 500 Years before the Great Pyramid
(around 3000 BC)

"Not long after 3000 B.C. the shadowy outline of predynastic Egypt begins to assume a sharper definition. Then, for the first time, we are confronted by written records of the First and Second Dynasties and can trace in hieroglyphic form the names Narmer ..."
(M.E.L. Mallowan, in: Emery 1961: 17) ...
About 30 Egyptian mummies found in ancient cache
Mon Feb 9, 2009

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian archaeologists have found about 30 mummies and at least one unopened sarcophagus in a burial chamber about 4,300 years old, the government said in a statement on Monday.

They found the chamber in the desert on the western side of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, one of the earliest large stone structures in the world, dating from about 2,650 BC.

The mummies appear to vary in age. One dates from about 640 BC while the unopened sarcophagus, which is made of limestone and sealed with plaster, is probably much older.

"We think it is Old Kingdom, maybe Fifth Dynasty," archaeologist Abdel Hakim Karar told Reuters. The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,494 BC to 2,345 BC.

It is unusual to find intact burials in well-known necropolises such as Saqqara, which served the nearby city of Memphis, because thieves scoured the area in ancient times.

The archaeologists expect to open it later this week and they may find amulets among the mummy wrappings. ...
'Bout the same as the Reuters article above, but with another picture.
Some of these are links, Gentle Categorian.

I hope I don't find myself standing next to one of these, saying, "This hideous replica."

Edit [a few minutes later, after seeing a slideshow]:
It's probably great for kids and folks who don't know what the real things look like, so I won't go. You can't make me.

This is indeed a hideous replica. It doesn't even look like him, and look at those ears! OMFG!

A couple pics of the real thang:

Not the best angle, but it's hard to find the good angles when photographing it full face. There are a lot of bad photos of it.

That's a great angle.
For Marielaem and MSiegel:

New Kingdom - Late Period

Some of Tutankhamon's sandals
New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty

These have a gilt lotus; the pair above are gilt and the footbeds bear images of Egypt's enemies

Silver sandals of most curious design
New Kingdom - Late Period

New Kingdom - Late Period
A useful site indeed!

Dutch and English.

Footed bowl - probably late Naqada I-early Naqada II, ca. 3750-3550 BCE

...The bowl standing on feet is very similar in form to the Egyptian hieroglyph meaning "to bring." Since none of the known bowls of this type comes from a well-understood context, archaeologists cannot interpret their original use. Perhaps vessels like this were placed above a tomb to present offerings from the living to the deceased, a practice that was an established part of funerary ritual in pharaonic Egypt. Alternatively, they may have held offerings to a deity...

Or kamut puffs, maybe.
Ancient Egyptian city unearthed in Sinai
28 May 2008

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Archaeologists exploring an old military road in the Sinai have unearthed 3,000-year-old remains from an ancient fortified city, the largest yet found in Egypt, antiquities authorities announced Wednesday.

Among the discoveries at the site was a relief of King Thutmose II (1516-1504 B.C.), thought to be the first such royal monument discovered in Sinai, said Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. It indicates that Thutmose II may have built a fort near the ancient city, located about two miles northeast of present day Qantara and known historically as Tharu.

A 550-by-275-yard mud brick fort with several 13-foot-high towers dating to King Ramses II (1304-1237 B.C.) was unearthed in the same area, he said.

Hawass said early studies suggested the fort had been Egypt's military headquarters from the New Kingdom (1569-1081 B.C.) until the Ptolemaic era, a period of about 1500 years.

The ancient military road, known as "Way of Horus," once connected Egypt to Palestine and is close to present-day Rafah, which borders the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Archaeologist Mohammed Abdel-Maqsoud, chief of the excavation team, said the discovery was part of a joint project with the Culture Ministry that started in 1986 to find fortresses along that military road. ...
Articulated Scarab Amulet Egyptian, Faience, 18th - 20th Dynasty (1570 B.C. - 1070 B.C.) Like the above example, this scarab is designed to protect the mummy from harm. This particular example is extraordinary because of the fine level of craftsmanship used in constructing the legs of the beetle. The spell on the reverse is one of protection with a large cobra threatening death for disturbing the body. This specimen was recovered at Memphis.

Sounds perfectly reasonable.

Where do I get mine, and does it work against spammers?

This is Ka-aper, a Fifth Dynasty village leader.
The statue is nicknamed "The Sheik-el-Beled" for an interesting and amusing reason: when it was unearthed it was found to uncannily resemble the current local headman, the Sheik-el-Beled. The workers were fair astonished, as you may well imagine, and the Sheik was summoned.
He all but fainted when confronted with his all-too-eerily-accurate ancient wooden Doppelgänger.
Anubis, God of Dead, Floats Down Thames
The Associated Press
Monday, October 1, 2007

LONDON -- A giant statue of the ancient Egyptian god of the dead floated down the Thames on Monday, turning heads as it crossed under London's Tower Bridge.

The 25-foot fiberglass representation of the jackal-headed god was taken down the river on the back of a cargo ship to Trafalgar Square, where it will stand for three days before moving to various locations around the capital. ...

... Organizers said the presence of the 5.6-ton black-and-gold statue was a nod to ancient Egyptian belief that Anubis escorted the dead to the underworld and protected them on their journey.

"That's really his role here, today: He's protecting the Tutankhamun exhibition as it leaves America and heads for the U.K," said Ken Kelling, spokesman for Visit London, the city's tourism authority.

More than 300,000 tickets already have been sold or reserved for the exhibition, which runs until Aug. 30, 2008 organizers said.

An 8-metre golden Anubis, the ancient Egyptian jackal-headed God of the Dead, passes under Tower Bridge in London. Monday Oct. 1, 2007. The model is to promote the "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" exhibition which will run in London from November 15th 2007 to August 30th 2008. (AP Photo/Geoff Caddick/PA)
Egypt's Largest Pharaoh-Era Fortress Discovered, Experts Announce
Dan Morrison in Cairo, Egypt
for National Geographic News
July 27, 2007

The largest known fortress from ancient Egypt's days of the pharaohs has been unearthed near the Suez Canal, archaeologists announced on Sunday.

The massive fortress, discovered at a site called Tell-Huba, includes the graves of soldiers and horses and once featured a giant water-filled moat, scientists said. ...

... The discovery was part of a broader effort called the North Sinai Archaeological Project, which was started in 1991 to identify and protect archaeological sites that were threatened by an industrial agriculture project.

The fort, called Fort Tjaru (or Tharo), was unearthed by a team led by Mohammed Abdul Maqsoud of the SCA. The fort dates from the 18th and 19th Dynasties (from 1560 to 1081 B.C.).

Tjaru's mud brick walls were 42 feet (13 meters) thick, enclosing an area 546 yards (500 meters) by 273 yards (250 meters). Twenty-four watchtowers loomed over the parapets. A deep moat ringed the entire complex.

It was the biggest in a chain of 11 fortresses that stretched from Suez to the present-day city of Rafah on Egypt's border with the Palestinian territories. ...

Hot damn! This is part of The Horus Road!

The "Hyksos'" reign over Egypt didn't 'fade' by any stretch of the imagination, BTW. They were chased out of Egypt in wars that generated national chaos, seas of blood, and the deaths of three Theban 'Princes' who had genuine blood-rights to the throne.
The entire country's system of government was overhauled and changed at the beginning of the 18th Dynasty and Amon, a local god of Thebes (an unimportant backwater town which became the new capital), began to grow in popularity and prosperity.
...KV60...was first discovered by Carter in 1903. It lies in front of the entrance of KV 19 and is not far from KV 20. Inside, he found mummified geese and other meat offerings, and the bodies of two elderly women, one in a coffin labeled with the name and title of the Great Royal Nurse, Sitre In, and the other lying uncoffined on the floor. He removed only the geese, and closed the tomb again.
The tomb was reopened in 1906 by Edward R. Ayrton and Theodore Davis, who moved the coffin and the mummy it contained to the Egyptian Museum, Cairo in 1908....Since that time, the mummy and its coffin have remained neglected in the attic of the museum, and until now there were no photographs available of either. The inscription on the coffin has led scholars to identify the coffin and its inhabitant as the wetnurse of Hatshepsut, Sitre In, known from a sandstone statue found at Deir el-Bahari. as the wet-nurse of Hatshepsut. The remaining mummy in the tomb is in the so-called "queen's pose" with one arm placed diagonally across her breast. After Ayrton and Davis, the tomb was re-sealed with the denuded corpse still in situ.
The tomb was opened for the third time for full and official clearance by Donald Ryan of Pacific Lutheran University Valley of the Kings project. Ryan. This mummy was photographed, examined, and a box made in which to store it more safely.

...Elizabeth Thomas has suggested that the mummy left behind in KV 60 is Hatshepsut. Ryan has also proposed that the mummy left in KV 60 might be the missing corpse of Hatshepsut. However, I do not believe that this mummy is Hatshepsut. She has a very large, fat body with huge pendulous breasts; and the position of her arm is not convincing evidence of royalty.

I appointed several curators at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo to look for the second mummy,* the one moved by Ayrton in 1908. They were able to discover that it is located on the third floor of the museum, where it was examined on my behalf.** The badly damaged coffin is typical of the 18th Dynasty. Among the remaining inscriptions is "wr Sdt nfrw nswt In, great royal nurse In." The mummy inside is about 1.5 m [4' 11"] tall but the coffin is 2.13 m [6' 11"], suggesting that the coffin was not originally intended for this mummy. The obese mummy still in the tomb is significantly taller, and would fit much better in the coffin.

The mummy at the Egyptian Museum has her right hand down by her side and her left hand across her abdomen with the hand closed as if it was originally holding something. She was well mummified, in fine linen...
I think the face is quite royal, and believe that anyone who sees it will have the same reaction.***

... I suggest that ...during the 21st or 22nd Dynasties, priests moved the mummy of Hatshepsut from KV20 to KV60 for security reasons...The mummy of Hatshepsut could have been moved to the coffin of her wetnurse for security, or as a mark of respect.

The body of the mummy now in KV60 with its huge breasts may be the wetnurse, the original occupant of the coffin at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Therefore, the mummy on the third floor at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo could be the mummy of Hatshepsut....

**WTF, dude??!!
***How very scientific.
Egyptologists think they have Hatshepsut's mummy
Mon Jun 25, 2007
By Jonathan Wright

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptologists think they have identified with certainty the mummy of Hatshepsut, the most famous queen to rule ancient Egypt, found in an humble tomb in the Valley of the Kings, an archaeologist said on Monday.

Egypt's chief archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, will hold a news conference in Cairo on Wednesday. The Discovery Channel said he would announce what it called the most important find in the Valley of the Kings since the discovery of King Tutankhamun.

The archaeologist, who asked not to be named, said the candidate for identification as the mummy of Hatshepsut was one of two females found in 1903 in a small tomb believed to be that of Hatshepsut's wet-nurse, Sitre In.

Several Egyptologists have speculated over the years that one of the mummies was that of the queen, who ruled from between 1503 and 1482 BCE -- at the height of ancient Egypt's power.

The archaeologist said Hawass would present new evidence for an identification but that not all Egyptologists are convinced he will be able to prove his case.

"It's based on teeth and body parts ... It's an interesting piece of scientific deduction which might point to the truth," the archaeologist said.

Egyptologist Elizabeth Thomas speculated many years ago that one of the mummies was Hatshepsut's because the positioning of the right arm over the woman's chest suggested royalty. ...

... Donald Ryan, an Egyptologist who rediscovered the tomb in 1989, said on an Internet discussion board this month that there were many possibilities for the identities of the two female mummies found in the tomb, known as KV 60.

"Zahi Hawass recently has taken some major steps to address these questions. Both of the KV 60 mummies are in Cairo now and are being examined in various clever ways that very well might shed light on these questions," he added.

In an undated article* on his Web site, Hawass cast doubt on the theory that the KV-60 mummy with the folded right arm was that of Hatshepsut. ...

*That undated article was blogged 9 July, 2006.
How Imhotep gave us medicine

The medical history books will have to be revised, says Roger Highfield

The Egyptians - not the ancient Greeks - were the true fathers of medicine, according to a study that pushes back the origins by at least a millennium.

Scientists examining documents dating back 3500 years say they have found proof that the inception lies not with Hippocrates (460 BCE - 370 BCE) and the Greeks but in ancient Egypt and the likes of Imhotep (2667 BCE - 2648 BCE), who designed the pyramids at Saqqara and was elevated to become the god of healing.

The research team from the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester discovered the evidence in medical papyri written in 1500 BCE - some 1000 years before Hippocrates was born.

"Classical scholars have always considered the ancient Greeks, particularly Hippocrates, as being the fathers of medicine but our findings suggest that the ancient Egyptians were practising a credible form of pharmacy and medicine much earlier," said Dr Jackie Campbell.

"When we compared the ancient remedies against modern pharmaceutical protocols and standards, we found the prescriptions in the ancient documents not only compared with pharmaceutical preparations of today but that many of the remedies had therapeutic merit."

The medical documents, which were first discovered in the mid-19th century, showed that ancient Egyptian physicians treated wounds with honey, resins and metals now known to have an antimicrobial action. ...

Many thanks to dear Redway420
... Ani's papyrus was the best preserved with its beautiful images mostly intact, but there were many version of The Book of the Dead. The earliest were in the pyramids - known as the Pyramid Texts - such as those for Unas, Teta and Pepi I. Later on, there were versions written on papyrus and left in the tomb of the deceased. There were huge changes made over time, with only select spells being used or, later in Egyptian history, the more ritual parts of the text disappearing completely. There were also changes made that were influenced by whichever god had the most powerful priests at the time. Eventually manuscripts of these spells were pre-written and sold with spaces left for a name!

The title 'Coming Forth by Day' refers to the belief that the deceased took a whole night (as did Ra with his solar barque) to travel through the realms of the dead. The spirit would then emerge with the sun, triumphant. ...

... Certain passages from the Litany of Re were also adopted for the Book of the Dead. By the 18th Dynasty, excerpts from the composition were used as spell 127...Spell 127 addresses the "gods in the caverns" and associated them with the guardians of the gates of the netherworld. Here, we also find the only mention of the Place of Annihilation in the Book of the Dead....Spell 180, which begins with the central verse, "It is Re, who rests in Osiris," is attested on the coffin of Seti I and in part at the Osireion. In addition, it is also found in the tomb of an official...and on papyri from the end of the 18th Dynasty and the beginning of the 19th. ...

... We have difficulty really dating the text. The Pyramid Texts have aroused much speculation regarding their origin because they emerge, as a fully-fledged collection of mortuary texts, without any precedent in the archaeological record. The fact that the texts are made up of distinct utterances which do not have a strict narrative sequence linking them together has led scholars to believe that many of them were not composed specifically for the purpose of being inscribed in the pyramids but may have had earlier uses. In fact, [some] spells...which only appear in the Pyramids of Unas and Teti, refer to aspects of the funerary cult that seem to no longer been in practice at the time the pyramids were built. Early analysts attempted to date the text as early as possible; even from the predynastic period. A very early dating of these texts remains a strong possibility, though today, scholars place the text's origins with the date of the monuments where they reside. In reality, we have very little idea of the date of their initial invention, perhaps other than the antiquated language employed. ...

... The language, while Old Egyptian, does seem antiquated, displaying differences from other texts of the period, including highly redundant language. It is the earliest use of what is referred to as retrograde writing, where the normal sequence of columns is reversed. There is an avoidance of complete figures of animals and people, believed due to the fear that such signs might come to life and pose a danger.

The main theme in the Pyramid Texts is the king's resurrection and ascension to the Afterworld and this is described in many different ways. In some of the texts, the king boards the sun-boat of Re and passes through different regions in the sky, encountering many gods. In other texts, the king reaches the sky by flying up as a bird, such as a falcon or a goose. At other times the king climbs up the ladder of the sky. What all these texts have in common is an emphasis on the eternal existence of the king and the location of the sky as the realm of the Afterlife, which is dominated by the sun-god Re. The night sky is also described, particularly the imperishable stars. ...
The Coffin Texts, which basically superseded the Pyramid Text as magical funerary spells at the end of the Old Kingdom, are principally a Middle Kingdom phenomenon, though we may begin to find examples as early as the late Old Kingdom. In effect, they democratized the afterlife, eliminating the royal exclusivity of the Pyramid Text. ...

.. Mostly, as the modern name of this collection of spells implies, the text was found on Middle Kingdom coffins of officials and their subordinates. However, we may also find the spells inscribed on tomb walls, stelae, canopic chests, papyri and even mummy masks. ...

... Though many are unique to individual coffins, de Buck divided the coffin text into 1,185 spells, with some being assigned to larger compositions such as the Book of the Two Ways. These spells, which always refer to the deceased in the first person singular, attempt to imitate the language of the Old Kingdom, though they are actually produced in the classical language of the Middle Kingdom. They are inscribed using hieroglyphs, or occasionally early hieratic. Unlike the Pyramid Texts, they are almost always titled, though at times the title may come at the end of the text.

Usually written in vertical columns, the columns are sometimes split in order to save space. Red ink is utilized for emphasis and as divisions between the spells. However, some important spells are completely written using a red pigment.

For the first time in funerary literature, the coffin text use graphic depictions, though very infrequently. ...

...the ancient Egyptians were cautious of graphic depictions. One holdover from the Pyramid Texts that we find at least in the early Coffin Texts is the mutilation of most of the hieroglyphic signs representing animate objects. Sometimes the glyphs are actually carved as two separate pieces divided by a blank space. At other times, snakes, other animals and various other creatures are inscribed with knives in their backs. This was all intended to ensure that the...figure would not be able to somehow threaten the deceased...
Another image
Restoring a Mud-Brick Tribute to a Departed Egyptian King
Published: January 9, 2007

... The last and largest of the cult centers -- the only major one still standing in clearly recognizable form -- was erected for King Khasekhemwy, who ruled in the second dynasty around 2780 B.C. Known today as Shunet el-Zebib, the two-acre enclosure stands on a desert plain at Abydos, 300 miles south of Cairo near the burial grounds of early Egyptian rulers.

...in an ambitious effort to preserve this ruin, archaeologists, engineers and teams of artisans and laborers are shoring up the walls and gates of Shunet el-Zebib, ravaged by time and the elements and in danger of imminent collapse.

Officials of the project said in recent interviews that the work over the last two years had been slow and careful, but was at least halfway completed. More than 250,000 mud bricks, made on the scene from an ancient recipe, have been laid to build up the high walls. It has cost $1 million, and an equal amount is being raised to finish the job.

"We are not trying to restore the original structure, producing a kind of Walt Disney thing," said David O'Connor, an Egyptologist at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. "We are preserving and stabilizing it as it is in a way that reflects its nearly 5,000-year history." ...
Egypt finds 4,000-year-old doctor's mummy
Tue Dec 5, 2006

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the funerary remains of a doctor who lived more than 4,000 years ago, including his mummy, sarcophagus and bronze surgical instruments.

The upper part of the tomb was discovered in 2000 at Saqqara, 20 km (12 miles) south of Cairo, and the sarcophagus came to light in the burial pit during cleaning work, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday, quoting Egyptian government antiquities chief Zahi Hawass.

The doctor, whose name was Qar, lived under the 6th dynasty and built his tomb near Egypt's first pyramid. The 6th dynasty ruled from about 2350 to 2180 BCE. ...
Frenchman tries to sell Ramses II hair
Wed Nov 29, 2006

GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) - French police have arrested a man who tried to sell on the Internet strands of hair from the head of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, a law court official said on Wednesday.

The man, who was not immediately identified, asked for between €2,000-2,500 (£1,300-1,700) for each of the various hair samples as well as for tiny pieces of resin and embalmed cloth taken from the pharaoh's mummy. ...

In background notes posted on the www.vivastreet.fr Web site, the seller said he had obtained the relics from his father who had worked in a French laboratory entrusted with analysing and restoring the body of Ramses in 1976-77. ...
... In order to transcribe their thinking, the ancient Egyptians used images whose concrete aspect evokes abstract ideas. In our languages, based as they are on a conventional alphabet, words evoke the abstract idea of their function by fixing concepts in a definitive manner; thus, to the contrary of the Egyptian image, they invite a concrete understanding of the ideas that are expressed.

Quality is abstraction. but everything is defined by the quality that stems from quantitative comparisons.

Concept is fixation; life is mobility.

Only in parabolic form can the meaning of the imaged hieroglyphic writing be transcribed into a language of Fixed ideas.

Each hieroglyph can have an arrested, conventional meaning for common usage, but it includes (1) all the ideas that can be connected to it and (2) the possibility of personal comprehension. This accounts for the cabalistic character of the hieroglyphs and requires the determinative in the writing. For the figures, a short explanatory text is called for as a guide to thought. Images and figures are part of the writing. ...

Some men really should wear miniskirts, you know.
Typing of sun gods... http://www.heliotown.com/Radio_Sun_Introduction.html
Thieves Lead to Discovery of Egypt Tombs

The site of 4,200-year-old tombs honoring a chief dentist and two other dentists who served the nobility of the 5th dynasty, at the Saqarra pyramid complex south of Cairo, Egypt Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Enterprising but unlucky thieves, who likely didn't notice a curse inscription just inside the prominent doorway warning that those who enter would be eaten by crocodiles and snakes, led the Egyptian archaeological team to discover the three tombs, which were unveiled Sunday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) (Ben Curtis - AP)

Hieroglyphic details including eye and tusk symbols representing the dentistry profession, below-right, on the entrance to 4,200-year-old tombs honoring a chief dentist, pictured on wall at left, and two other dentists who served the nobility of the 5th dynasty. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
The Associated Press
Monday, October 23, 2006; 12:00 AM

SAQQARA, Egypt -- The arrest of tomb robbers led archaeologists to the graves of three royal dentists, protected by a curse and hidden in the desert sands for thousands of years in the shadow of Egypt's most ancient pyramid, officials announced Sunday.

The thieves launched their own dig one summer night two months ago but were apprehended, Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters.

[They] led archaeologists to the three tombs, one of which included an inscription warning that anyone who violated the sanctity of the grave would be eaten by a crocodile and a snake, Hawass said.

A towering, painted profile of the chief dentist stares down at passers-by from the wall opposite the inscription.

The tombs date back more than 4,000 years to the 5th Dynasty and were meant to honor a chief dentist and two others who treated the pharaohs and their families, Hawass said. ...


The official website of the first newly-discovered tomb since 1922.
It was not found to be "intact."
Truly intact tombs (meaning no one had disturbed their contents until discovery) in Egypt are slightly less rare than hen's teeth.
Many folks think Tutankhamun's tomb was found intact by Carter in '22. There was evidence of a resealed hole in the first wall Carter found near the entrance; a linen rag with several gold rings tied on it was found lying on the floor; none of the unguent jars held much of their former contents (unguents were extremely costly in Ancient Egypt); gold trim was torn off many chairs; and Carter estimated that perhaps 10% of Tutankhamun's jewel/le/ry was left behind by the robbers. Many rooms were in a shocking state of disarray, for which funeral priests in Egypt could never have been responsible.
You - and the kids - will be grossed out while learning things from The Clickable Mummy.

{NB: Boys thought it was cool I could be so matter-of-fact about mummification whilst the other girls squirmed and said, "Eeeww! Sick!"}
Just hearing or reading the words "Library of Alexandria" makes me reach for kleenex. snif
Mmmmmmmmm British Museum! Droooooooooollllllllll
The original conventions of the Egyptian dynasties started with Dynasty 1 and the unification of Egypt under Menes. This was pretty much when documentary evidence could be found and matched the writings of other Egyptian historians.

But, with newer archaeological techniques and the re-excavation of some sites, we've discovered much more information. This has led to some consternation in the field of Egyptology -- what to do with these "earlier" kings that we have identified, and do we even know that some of them were kings?

Most of the history is based on interpretation of myths and stories, and some pie-in-the-sky assumptions about early Egyptian culture. I'm not an expert, so I can't honestly say how solid these timelines are for early history, but even a cursory reading of the documentation about the early kings leads me to believe that we are stretching pretty far to know anything other than a name and perhaps a burial place.

Well said!
I like this site. I reviewed another section of it t'other night.
Here's a line drawing of Djet's stele, indicating its vast size. The image itself is too big to post here, but it's a great site and worth a visit.
Merneith was Djer's daughter, Den's mother, and Djet's widow.
Her name was recorded in male as well as female forms, but never with the Horus falcon of the pharaoh; not that we've found anyway.

This magnificent big stone stela was found outside Djet's tomb at Abydos. Only the top (shown in picture) has survived and the rest may have been without any inscription. It originally stood well over two metres in height and most probably was one of a pair erected at the offering place. The fine details in the palace-facade gives a good look into the architectural design of the residence of the pharaoh.
This masterpiece in Egyptian art is today kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Seems okay, but a search feature sure would be nice...
... It was the burial place of those ships I was now crossing the cemeteries of the jackal gods to see:

The Guardian, London, 21 December 1991: A fleet of 5000-year-old royal ships has been found buried eight miles from the Nile. American and Egyptian archaeologists discovered the 12 large wooden boats at Abydos... Experts said the boats-which are 50 to 60 feet long-are about 5000 years old, making them Egypt's earliest royal ships and among the earliest boats found anywhere ... The experts say the ships, discovered in September, were probably meant for burial so the souls of the pharaohs could be transported on them. 'We never expected to find such a fleet, especially so far from the Nile,' said David O'Connor, the expedition leader and curator of the Egyptian Section of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania...

The boats were buried in the shadow of a gigantic mud-brick enclosure, thought to have been the mortuary temple of a Second Dynasty pharaoh named Khasekhemwy, who had ruled Egypt in the twenty-seventh century BC. [28] O'Connor, however, was certain that they were not associated directly with Khasekhemwy but rather with the nearby (and largely ruined) 'funerary-cult enclosure built for Pharaoh Djer early in Dynasty I. The boat graves are not likely to be earlier than this and may in fact have been built for Djer, but this remains to be proven.'
Exactly as was the case with the Pyramid boat, therefore (but at least 500 years earlier) the Abydos fleet seemed to indicate that a people able to draw upon the accumulated experiences of a long tradition of seafaring had been present in Egypt from the very beginning of its 3000 year history. Moreover I knew that the earliest wall paintings found in the Nile Valley, dating back perhaps as much as 1500 years before the burial of the Abydos fleet (to around 4500 BC) showed the same long, sleek, high-prowed vessels in action.

Could an experienced race of ancient seafarers have become involved with the indigenous inhabitants of the Nile Valley at some indeterminate period before the official beginning of history at around 3000 BC? Wouldn't this explain Egypt's curious and paradoxical - but nonetheless enduring - obsession with ships in the desert (and references to what sounded like sophisticated ships in the Pyramid Texts, including one said to have been more than 2000 feet long)?"

Hmmmmmmm...could be!

Conservation isn't just a buzz word; it is a responsibility for all of us who cherish Egypt's ancient heritage. Our winter 2004 season at Hierakonpolis is dedicated to translating this word into action as we begin the stabilization and repair of the imposing structure we call the Fort, actually the Ceremonial Enclosure of King Khasekhemwy and the oldest freestanding mud-brick monumental structure in the world. (This project is made possible through a grant from the World Monuments Watch, a program of the World Monuments Fund.)

I'm on a Khasekhemwy kick, as you'll see. Can't blame me tho; he sounds like a fascinating bloke.
King 'Snake' has a real name. Djet. He was magnificent.
... Although some believe the "high culture" of subsequent Egyptian dynasties was borrowed from Mesopotamia and Syria, Malville and others believe the complex and symbolic Nabta culture may have stimulated the growth of the society that eventually constructed the first pyramids along the Nile about 4,500 years ago.

"The Nabta culture may have been a trigger for the development of social complexity in Egypt that later led to the Pharaonic dynasty," he said. The Nabta project was funded primarily by the National Science Foundation.

The site also contains a wealth of cultural debris, including small, fire-blackened stones from ancient hearths built along the ancient lakeshore as well as manos, metates and carved and decorated ostrich eggshells. ...

Only a jackass would think Egypt got its "culture" from Mesopotamia and Syria. Egypt had a written language with phonetic symbols long before anyone else for one thing, and there was only a very brief period between late predynastic and the early First Dynasty when Egyptian art featured rather middle-eastern-artist-created-lookin' folks.
The Inundation of the Nile was the result of Isis being impregnated by a star-god of the Great Desert to the East who looked like a Bedu. The Bedouin musta been involved somehow in Egypt's earliest days; and there's no doubt the Nabta folk had a hand in Egypt's development.
"In a small basin in the hills we came the next day (27th October, 1930) upon a circle 27 feet (8.5 metres) in diameter of thin slabs of sandstone, 18 to 24 inches high. Half were lying prone, but the rest were still vertical in the sand. There was no doorway or other sign of orientation, and though we searched within and without the circle, no implements could be found. I understand that other similar circles have been found in the neighborhood of the Gilf Kebir."

Major R.A.Bagnold, Journeys in the Libyan Desert 1929 and 1930,
The Georgaphical Journal, Vol. LXXVIII No. 1. (July 1931)]
Long before the pyramids were constructed in Egypt, ancient people there built elaborate structures aligned to the sun and stars. The standing megaliths and ring of stones were erected from 6,700 to 7,000 years ago in the southern Sahara desert. They are the oldest dated astronomical alignment discovered so far and bear a striking resemblance to Stonehenge and other megalithic sites constructed a millennium later in England, Brittany, and Europe.

The site, near Nabta in the Nubian desert, was discovered several years ago by a team led by Southern Methodist University anthropology professor Fred Wendorf. It consists of a small stone circle, a series of flat, tomb-like stone structures (containing the bones of cattle) and five lines of standing and toppled megaliths. The stone slabs, some of which are nine feet-high, were dragged to the site from an exposed outcrop of sandstone a mile or more away from the site. Each is embedded in the soil on top of a shaped table rock Last year, archaeoastronomer J. McKim Malville of the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado and his colleagues conducted a survey using a global positioning satellite that confirms the stones' alignment north-south, east-west and to the summer solstice sun as it would have been seen 6,000 years ago. The scientists reported their results in the April 2, 1998 issue of Nature."

A lot of places covering this story said the stones are huge. I saw it in a thang on Discovery Times last night, and the stones in the circle weren't as tall as the archaeologist's legs...like it says at Fliegel Jezerniczky Expeditions below.
"The Egyptian god of the eastern frontier and the eastern desert, of the Sinai peninsula and of the turquoise mines in the Sinai. In the Pyramid Texts he impregnated Isis in her manifestation as the star Sirius, whose appearance in July heralded the annual inundation of the Nile. Isis subsequently gave birth to the composite deity Sopedu-Horus. His primary cult center was at Saft el-Henna in the north-eastern Nile delta. Sopedu was depicted either in the form of a falcon or as a Bedouin crowned with tall plumes."

Hmmm...wonder what the Ancient Egyptians learned from the Bedu nomad brethren and sistren.
Think about it: Isis doesn't take just any foreigner to bed. I mean, the Egyptians hated to travel in furrin lands - everyone else in the world was a barbarian. They used but one word for enemy, evil, miserable, and foreign.
Man! They just *keep on* finding mind-blowing stuff in Egypt!

A relief featuring a woman seated in front of an offering table that was found after Australian archaeologists unearthed a necropolis dated to the first and fourth dynasties.
Some qabbalistic comments on Anubis and other gods of Egypt - from the pamphlet "Spiritual Order and Dimensions in Geometry" (Whoa!)
A wonderful node (as always) within fUSIONAnomaly
A plethora of Anubis info