One year ago today Em Hotep was present for the premier of Khufu Reborn at la Géode in Paris, France. Phase Two of Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work with the Great Pyramid of Khufu was revolutionary, but was preceded by another revolution in Egypt just two days prior. Now, on the one year anniversary of Khufu Reborn, we visit with Jean-Pierre to ask a few questions about his work, the impact of the January Revolution, and where we go from here.
Archive for the ‘Egypt in the News’ Category
Last weekend I had the unique opportunity to attend Derbycon 2.0, a conference for the computer security industry. I learned some important things there, such as always keep your computer’s operating system, firewall, and antivirus software updated with the latest security patches unless you want your desktop to become a Roman orgy for malicious hackers!
But mostly it was a chance to reunite with some old friends from a field I worked in many moons ago. It was also a chance to check out some of the new technology, especially 3D printing, which I have long suspected has some applications for artifact restoration and replication.
Last week as news was breaking about the new tomb—KV64—Em Hotep received word from Stephen Cross, an Egyptologist and Geologist specializing in the Valley of the Kings, that he had photographed the tomb while conducting his own, unrelated research in the Valley. Naturally, Steve held onto this wonderful shot until after the University of Basel had made their announcement. Now that the whole world knows about KV64 and its lovely occupant, Steve has very kindly agreed to allow us to publish the photo, along with answer some questions about what is going on in the Valley of the Kings.
Inside: Current projects in the Valley of the Kings, Steve’s meeting with the new head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and a picture of KV64 you will not see anywhere else!
In case you haven’t heard, there is a new addition to the list of tombs in the Valley of the Kings! As I am currently focused on the next pyramid shaft article, and my multi-tasking cache already runneth over, I am pointing you to the sources I go to for information about such things—my brother and sister bloggers.
As always, these are not typical bloggers (have I mentioned how much I dislike that marginalizing term, blogger?), these are folks who are thoughtful, critical, analytical, and who often have direct channels to the primary sources. Don’t forget to check out the comments sections, as this is where the story tends to develop. And you have my word that these kind people will welcome your comments and questions as well.
- Egyptological: Tomb K64 in the Valley of the Kings – The Story as it Broke by Kate Phizackerley
- Luxor News: KV64 – Breaking News 22nd Dynasty tomb by Jane Akshar
- Egyptology News: More re: new VOK discovery by Andie Byrnes
- News From the Valley of the Kings: KV64 is the Tomb of Ni Hms Bastet by Kate Phizackerley
- Egyptians: KV 64 Found? By Tim Reid
(Kate gets two entries because VoK is her bailiwick)
It has been nearly a year now since architect Jean-Pierre Houdin premiered the second phase of his work with the Great Pyramid—Khufu Reborn. How has his work been received so far? Where does the project stand at the moment? Has the Arab Spring affected the progress of Project Khufu? Where do we go from here?
My good friend Marc Chartier of Pyramidales (and more recently of Égypte-actualités, but more on that endeavor later..) had a chance to sit down recently with Jean-Pierre and discuss these questions and more. Thanks to Em Hotep’s partnership with Pyramidales, I am able to bring you the English language version of this interview. Enjoy, and please feel free to join the conversation, as they say…
A new online resource for Egyptologist, enthusiasts, and sundry Egyptophiles has made its world premiere—Egyptological. This new periodical is produced by two names with whom we should all be familiar: Andrea Byrnes of Egyptological News and Kate Phizackerley of News from the Valley of the Kings.
Andie and Kate have both made unique contributions to the field of Egyptology, shattering the notion that the Egyptological blogosphere is the domain of semi-informed speculation and the musings of “mere amateurs.” We already owe them a debt of gratitude for setting the bar high and establishing an expectation of credibility, and I am personally very excited to see where this new endeavor will lead.
Egyptological is divided into three sections—Journal, Magazine, and Colloquy—according to content. And as always, your comments and participation are heartily encouraged. For those of us who cannot contain ourselves to a comment, there is a section where you can submit your own original articles, papers, reviews, and photographs.
Heads up students: this is an excellent opportunity to have your work seen and reviewed by peers, professionals, and everyday folk who share your passion. Let’s all get behind Kate and Andie to make Egyptological a voice to be relied on/reckoned with!
Whether it was officially declared or not, this June has certainly been the Month of the Mummy. June 10 saw the opening of the Modern Day Mummy: The Art and Science of Mummification exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man, and then the incredible Mummies of the World exhibit opened at the Franklin Institute on June 18. All that was needed for a perfect Month of the Mummy was an American convention of the World Mummy Congress, and that was delivered on June 12 – 16 in San Diego.
It is probably not a coincidence that the Seventh World Mummy Congress was convened at the University of San Diego, a short trip across town from the San Diego Museum of Man, where Mumab had just settled into his new home. Mumab—short for Mummy of University of Maryland at Baltimore—has the distinction of being the first modern ancient mummy. The inspiration for his creation came in the mid 90’s when mummy expert Dr. Bob Brier realized that the only way to know how ancient Egyptian mummies were made would be to mummify a human cadaver using the same tools and methods the Egyptians used. And so he did.
In this article Em Hotep will look at the history of Mumab—how he was made, what was learned from him, and what he is up to now.
Last week the news about the preliminary findings of the Djedi Project broke worldwide, and not without a little sensationalism. While sensationalism can be fun, it can also backfire when people form preconceived notions about what the findings mean.
“Red-painted numbers and graffiti are very common around Giza,” advises Peter Der Manuelian, an Egyptologist at Harvard University and director of the Giza Archives at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. “They are often masons’ or work-gangs’ marks, denoting numbers, dates or even the names of the gangs.”
There is a lot to be excited about with the Djedi mission, but we need to keep the discoveries in context until Egyptologists have had an opportunity to analyze the findings and their implications. But that does not mean that we can’t have some fun in the meanwhile…
Dassault Systèmes, with their Passion for Innovation program, is emerging as a major player in bringing cutting edge technology to the field of Egyptology. Whether you are talking about creating immersive 3D environments to simulate tombs and monuments, fusing non-invasive surveying techniques to high-definition imagery, or simply bringing the most interesting Egyptian people, places, and things to the widest audience possible, Dassault Systèmes’ Mehdi Tayoubi is at the forefront with some new technology.
I promised I would try to get another chapter of Hemienu to Houdin out before leaving for Paris and the premier of Khufu Reborn, but in these last days it just became too impractical. Part of what makes the series so fun and informative is my fairly unrestricted access to the man himself, Jean-Pierre Houdin. But as he and the team from Dassault Systèmes make the final arrangements at la Géode, Jean-Pierre’s time has become an increasingly rare commodity. Besides, in a couple of days I will be able to talk with him face-to-face without feeling like I am imposing on his schedule.
So the series will conclude when I return from the conference and coverage of “Episode 2: Khufu Reborn” will begin in earnest. But in the meanwhile I am offering this excellent insider’s glimpse into how Dassault Systèmes became involved with Jean-Pierre and future directions we can anticipate. My good friend and fellow Egyptology blogger (still hate that word), Marc Chartier, proprietor of the Pyramidales website, recently had the opportunity to interview Mehdi Tayoubi, Director of Interactive Innovation at Dassault Systèmes.
By a special arrangement with Marc I have translated the interview from its original French and am presenting it here in its entirety for my English-language readers. The original interview, in French, is available from Pyramidales here.
Well, I have been hinting about it for months now, and it’s almost here: On January 27, 2011, Episode Two of Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work with the Great Pyramid, called Khufu Reborn, will premiere at La Géode in Paris, and your Humble Scribe will be there to cover the event and try his best to get some inside scoop.
Methinks I will be successful…
What would the holiday season be without Tim Reid’s list of the year’s top ten stories in Egyptology? Tim runs the website Egyptians ™, one of my favorite sources for trade news. This year brought us mummy mutations, repatriation demands and museum thefts, and ancient sites ripped up for amusement parks, littered with garbage, and strewn with sewage. Not a bad first year for Egypt’s new Vice minister of Culture! (Ok, ok, hitting below the belt!)
But seriously, do drop in on Tim’s Ten Events Concerning Egyptology.. Most of the news is good, and the source is impeccable!
By the way, I don’t mention often enough the outstanding websites out there that keep us informed without having to subscribe to trade journals with triple digit annual rates. Here are a few:
- Required reading for all Egyptophiles from the professional to the mildly curious would be Andie Byrnes’ Egyptology News. Comprehensive and copiously updated, if it is at all relevant to Egyptology Andie will have it covered.
- Kate Phizackerley’s News from the Valley of the Kings is the total source for Thebes and thereabout. Kate’s analysis is no-nonsense and she is not afraid to take on the Powers That Be when a story does not hold up.
- I can’t say enough positive things about Vincent Brown’s Talking Pyramids, who’s critical eye and journalistic ethic let me know how high the bar is set when I first started Em Hotep.
- Su Bayfield’s Egyptian Monuments is one of the online sources I check for nearly every article I write. It is a very well organized encyclopedia of Egyptology with photography that belongs in an art gallery.
Of course, all of the sites I link in the bars to the far right have been vetted and approved by the vast Em Hotep editorial staff, but these four plus Tim’s Egyptians are the places I go to pretty much on a daily basis and I highly recommend that you bookmark them.
French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin, whose work is the subject of the Em Hotep series Hemienu to Houdin, and whose pioneering collaboration with Dassault Systèmes introduced industrial 3D architectural and engineering simulation to the field of archaeology, will be recognized for his work at a week-long archaeological film festival in Cairo next week.
An architect among archaeologists, Jean-Pierre will be addressing the French Institute of Eastern Archaeology, and his documentary film, Kheops Révélé, will kick off the festival.
Can’t make it to Egypt this summer? Never fear, Peter Der Manuelian and Mehdi Tayoubi are combining Fourth Dynasty architecture, Twentieth (and 21st) Century archaeology, and Generation Wow technology to take you places that would be off limits even if you were in Egypt.
From scanning the landscape to crawling down into ancient tombs, you are there, dude.
Two weeks ago I posted my article about the JAMA* report’s analysis of King Tut’s foot problems and how they might have potentially led to his downfall (no pun intended). One of the elements of my argument was that Tutankhamun was missing a toe bone in his right foot. But he wasn’t (and probably still isn’t).
I had based my contention on a typo in one of the tables in the JAMA report, a typo that is contradicted in numerous places throughout the rest of the article, a series of dots which I somehow failed to connect. As a result, Gentle Reader Monica gently but concisely took me to task for my mistake in the Comments section of the article.
Now a writer for a much more high-profile (at least for now) outfit than Em Hotep has made the same mistake. So shamey-shamey on us. But how did the same mistake make it past the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association?
The scanners, technically called terahertz scanners, but more derisively dubbed “digital strip searches,” peek under your clothing but can’t penetrate your body, or any contraband you might have strapped to it.
But terahertz scanners have other properties that have caught the attention of Dr. Frank Ruhli, head of the Swiss Mummy Project.