October, 2009 | Em Hotep!

Archive for October, 2009

spx-tabAlmost everybody knows what the Great Sphinx of Giza is, but how much do we really know about it? In this article we will be looking at the role of sphinxes in Egyptian mythology—what they are, what they mean, and what they did. We will also be taking an in depth look at the history of the Great Sphinx. Who may have built it and why? When was it built? Do we really know?

We will also look at how the Great Sphinx’s significance in both religion and politics has changed over the many centuries of its known lifetime. From the ancient days of early Egypt, when little is really said about the Sphinx and its existence seems to be taken for granted, to the height of Egyptian culture, when the Sphinx was synonymous with the great solar deities and had the power to legitimize a king’s reign, the more we learn about the Sphinx, the more we know about Egypt.

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20
Oct

Nefertiti a Bust? October Checklist Update

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Nefertiti_berlinWe have a status report on the effort to repatriate Nefertiti, thanks to an interview with Dr. Zahi Hawass published in Spiegel Online International this morning.  The prognosis looks dim.  In fact, the goal seems to have moved somewhat.  When asked if he really wanted to remove Nefertiti from her new home, Dr. Hawass replied “Not by any means.”

What could this portent for our October Checklist?  With eleven days to go, maybe it’s time we reviewed.

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17
Oct

Jenny Needs Your Vote!

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Announcements

jenn-tabJenny Hale, who Em Hotep! readers will know from the Blogroll Roundups as The Egyptian Scholar, of The Egyptian Yell fame, needs our help!  She has entered the @ your library Design a Tote Bag Contest with the design shown to the left, which she has named “The Alexandrian Library Pun.”  If you read the hieroglyphs then you will get the pun.

Aside from the fact that her design kick’s butt, Jenny is one of us, part of the ever-growing online Egyptology community.  To vote for her design just click on this link:  “The Alexandrian Library Pun” by Jennifer Hale.  It will take you to the Flickr page where her design is featured.  Once there click on the Add as Favorite button at the top of the picture.  You will have to have a Flickr account to do this, but signing up is free, just takes a minute, and is for a good cause!

Good luck Jenny from Em Hotep!

There is no shortage of theories about how the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu was constructed, but so far they have all failed in various respects.  From ramps that are as large and difficult to construct as the pyramid itself, to ramps that by their nature would make its construction even more difficult, we can’t even really explain how the blocks were moved into place. 

But a French architect by the name of Jean-Pierre Houdin may be changing that.  He has put forth the first comprehensive explanation of how the Great Pyramid was built that stands the tests of physics and common sense, and his work continues to gain support from prominent architects, engineers, and Egyptologists.  

Jean-Pierre has kindly agreed to work with Em Hotep! to put his theory into terms that are accessible to those of us who may not be professional architects or engineers, but who may be amateur and professional Egyptologists of varying degrees.  In Part One we take a close look at the evolution of ramp theories, how they work and fail to work, and what was involved with building the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World. 

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16
Oct

The Swiss Mummy Project Wraps Up Current Experiment

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Mummies

smp-tabThe University of Zurich’s Swiss Mummy Project, headed by anatomist and paleopathologist Dr. Frank Ruhli , has succeeded in mummifying a human leg.  Well, two legs, actually.  Ok, to be honest, the test subject didn’t go so well, so I guess it was one leg after all. 

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9
Oct

Louvre Museum Agrees to Return Egyptian Artifacts

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

von-tabThe French Culture Ministry has agreed to return the fragments taken from the wall of a tomb located in the Tombs of the Nobles section of the Theban Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River, across from the city of Luxor.  The tomb (TT 15) belonged to Tetaki, an Eighteenth Dynasty official, and depicted his journey to the afterlife.  The fragments were removed in 1980 and purchased in 2000 and 2003 by the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

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8
Oct

Zahi Hawass to the Louvre: Rester Dehors!

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

louv-tabDr. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities has drawn a line in the sand in another fight for the repatriation of artifacts.  France’s Louvre Museum has been told in effect to stay out of Egypt until they return four stelae that have been connected to the looting of an Eighteenth Dynasty noble tomb. 

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6
Oct

Squelching Scholarship? The Case of Ahmed Saleh

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

rms1b-tabOctober just got busier for Egypt’s prize fighter, Zahi Hawass, as another contender steps forward.  The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has taken up the cause of one of his subordinates at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), charging Hawass with using his position to muzzle dissenting opinions.

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5
Oct

Article Update: The Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Announcements

khu-tabThe Em Hotep! reference article on the Great Pyramid–the Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu–has been updated and expanded.  This article was one of the first written back in the days when Em! was running on WordPress.com‘s free servers.  As the scope of this website has grown, some of the earlier articles are out of date (or at least not as thorough as I want them to be), and so they are getting an overhaul. 

I will be updating these articles when I have time and in the order of popularity.  In other words, Khufu’s article was first because it continues to get hits throughout the day, every day.  The Pyramid of Menkaure..  eh, maybe not so quickly.

This announcement is mainly for archival purposes.  If you should have need of the text of the original article for some odd reason, let me know.

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Nefertiti_berlinDr. Zahi Hawass has vowed to fight for the repatriation of the bust of Nefertiti, but as he prepares to pounce, the Germans brace for the battle.  Like a couple of prize fighters circling the ring, the champion of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and Dietrich Wildung, director of Berlin’s Egyptian Museum, have been sizing each other up for this October title fight.

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mum01-tabMummies are always a source of wonder.  Whether your interest is academic, spiritual, or just plain macabre, you can’t pass a good mummy by. 

But how are mummies made?  We have had a recent look at mummification thanks to the Swiss Mummy Project, and now Dr. Zahi Hawass contributes a short video clip.

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