September, 2009 | Em Hotep!

Archive for September, 2009

28
Sep

Blogroll Roundup for September 28, 2009

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Prophets in Egypt, the Luxor Museum, someone else mapping the geneology of the Eighteenth Dynasty, more Egyptian medicinal practices, KV63, and a toast for Tut…

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cleo-tabIf you already thought October was going to be exciting for Egyptology, then dig this!  Dr. Zahi Hawass says that new work in the search for the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony will begin this October.

The search for the famous queen of the Ptolemaic Dynasty has been tightening around Alexandria in recent years, and this year’s dig season could bring us even closer.  Also, Dr. Hawass confirms an item from our October checklist!

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zah-tabFor obvious reasons, the primary source for what is going on in Egyptology is the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the voice of the SCA is Dr. Zahi Hawass.  Some exciting things have been promised (or at least dangled before us!) for the 2009/10 excavation season, but not everything on the radar is being dug out of the ground.  There are mummy forensic studies, DNA tests, and the repatriation of artifacts, all of which play a role in Egyptology.

Dr. Hawass has promised, hinted, and suggested that October 2009 is going to be a particularly active month.  Just for fun, let’s make a checklist…

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25
Sep

Dra Abu el-Naga: Ray Stole My Tomb

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Tombs, Valley of the Kings

dra1-tabDra Abu el-Naga is a sort of suburb, if you will, of the Valley of the Kings where some tombs belonging to Seventeenth Dynasty royalty (such as Queen Ahhotep I, to the left) have been discovered, along with the tombs of Theban priests and officials.

Zahi Hawass has released a new video, which premiered at Heritage Key, with some of the recent discoveries at Dra Abu el-Naga, including some details about the tomb of Amun-Em-Opet, the Supervisor of Hunters.

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aby-a-tabDr. David O’Connor is the Co-Director of the Yale University-University of Pennsylvania-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Excavations at Abydos, which just had their group symposium at Penn Museum on September 19, 2009.

I interviewed Dr. O’Connor for Heritage Key under my daytime name, Keith Payne.  Dr. O’Connor offered his insights on such subjects as the Cult of Osiris, royal mortuary chapels, the excavation of an entire fleet of ships, and human sacrifice!

Read the interview at:  Exclusive Interview: Dr David O’Connor of the Abydos Expedition.

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20
Sep

Zahi Hawass to Announce Results of DNA Tests this Fall

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

dna-tabFor weeks now you have been reading here at Em Hotep! about the genetic testing done on two fetuses found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922, and the implications this may have for the genetic mapping of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

“And they’re about to become newsworthy,” Hawass’ spokesperson, Jill Lynch, told The Sacramento Bee today, “This fall, Dr. Zahi Hawass is going to announce the results of a DNA study that will determine the parenthood of the two fetuses…”

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18
Sep

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Travels

icm-tabSeveral weeks ago I had the opportunity to check out the Tut exhibition at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum along with my wife, Anne Snyder Payne, and local Louisville artist, Meredith Hayden.

The last time I had a chance to see so many priceless artifacts I was at the Cairo Museum in Egypt.

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vok2-tabWell, Zahi Hawass in the Valley of the Kings: Part 2 has been posted.  This time we are looking at some of the artifacts his team has recovered from the current excavations in the Central Valley area.

There are a couple of pieces that give us an idea of how the workmen spent their leisure time, and all I can say is boys will be boys..

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13
Sep

Blogroll Roundup for September 13, 2009

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Ancient Egyptian medicinal practices, excavations in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, book reviews, and your weekly dose of forensic mummy studies…

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This is the story of two architects, separated by 4,500 years, both trying to solve the same problem—how to build a pyramid measuring 756 feet on each side of the base, 480 feet high, and consisting of 5.5 million tons of stone.   

Our master builders have different goals, however.  The first, Hemienu, was determined to build the greatest pyramid ever, and the second, Jean-Pierre Houdin, was equally determined to figure out how he did it.

Jean-Pierre Houdin and Bob Brier wrote a book—The Secret of the Great Pyramid—about this very subject in 2008 and the paperback edition is due to hit bookstores October 6, 2009.  Ahead of the paperback, Em Hotep!  is providing you with a multi-part primer to Houdin’s work, to be followed with an interview with the man himself.

But first, who are these two architects?

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11
Sep

Continuing to Build Anticipation Over KV64

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Tombs

vok-tabDr. Zahi Hawass has a new video clip regarding the work underway in the Valley of the Kings and the Quest for KV64.  What’s new?  Well, there is some amazing photography from Sandro Vannini, as if there is any other kind of photography from Mr. Vannini.  Dr. Hawass provides a quick review, and talks about the ancient waterworks designed to catch the “tears of the gods.”

But are there any hints about where the Next Big Thing from the Valley of the Kings may be located?  Hmm.

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mut-tabThe bad new is, her remains still are.

One of the advantages of a newspaper over a blog-type situation is that embarassing corrections can be hidden discretely away on page 11, Section D.  With a blog, they pretty much roll right under the masthead. 

I implied in a previous entry regarding Queen Mutnodjmet (Genetic Testing of Queen Mutnodjmet on Hold While Queen is AWOL) that her mummy had been lost, and in one instance, went so far as to actually refer to her remains as a mummy on Heritage Key (Queen Mutnodjmet: Another Branch in Tutankhamun’s Genetic Line Found (and Lost)?). 

This is incorrect.

As Kate Phizackerley correctly points out on News from the Valley of the Kings (Queen Mutnodjmet’s Missing Mummy), what was misplaced are her skeletal remains.  No mummy was ever found, so no mummy was ever lost.  Everything else in the post on Heritage Key is an accurate representation of the originating article from Al-Ahram, but the mistake is not a minor thing.

Having instant access to a worldwide audience carries some heavy responsibilities which are all-too-often shirked on the Weird Wild Web.  My implication that a mummy had been misplaced unfairly maligned the work of other professionals and misled my readers.  While that was not my intent, intentions are not the same as results, and I duly apologize.

All thanks and credit to Kate for keeping the standard high.

-Keith Payne, aka Shemsu Sesen

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kv64-tabWe were all just a little disappointed when KV63, heralded a bit prematurely as a new tomb, turned out to be a storage room (actually, there is a lot to be excited about with KV63–see the article comments within).  Sometimes these things happen.

But if that little snafu prompts extra caution and discretion in the hunt for KV64, then that’s a Good Thing.  Over at Heritage Key, I provide a little primer on this developing story..

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6
Sep

Blogroll Roundup for September 6, 2009

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

An Egyptian artifact in Jordan, an ancient ship, some modern restorations, a video guide to making a mummy, the Mansoor Amarna Collection, eyes, legs, and assorted body parts…

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zahi-indyIt has been nearly a month now since Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that in one month he would reveal “the exact reason why King Tut died.” 

The title of the lecture was Mysteries of Tutankhamun Revealed.  I was in attendance, and among the most exciting revelations were promises to reveal more revelations in the very near future.

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