Tombs

Archive for the ‘Tombs’ Category

000 - tabGiza 3D is the virtual world of the Giza Plateau reconstructed from the thousands of archaeological photographs, first hand sketches of artifacts and monuments in situ, dig diaries, aerial and satellite imagery, and all the resources the Giza Archives have to offer, “a real-time virtual reconstruction of the Giza Plateau, based on actual archeological data gathered by Harvard and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) expeditions to Egypt in the first part of the 20th century” (Forbes: “How Harvard Students Explore Ancient Egypt From Cambridge With New 3D Technology”).

Here at Em Hotep we want to provide you with a set of travel guides to the virtual tours conducted by Peter Der Manuelian, where to go and what to see when you enter the free-style navigation mode that lets you wander around, and how to make the best of the many resources Giza 3D offers.  Join us for the first Travel Guide as we explore a series of three connected Fourth and Fifth Dynasty mastabas, the G 2100 Family Tomb Complex.

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The more we learn about Hierakonpolis, the more likely it seems that during the Naqada II Period this ancient township was the capital of a province that reached well beyond its immediate boundaries. While it may be too early to call it a kingdom—we don’t know if the position of chieftain was hereditary or not—it was certainly headed in that direction.

Had consolidation been emphasized just a little more, and a tighter grip exercised over the northward expansion, Hierakonpolis might have become the capital of a united Egypt 500 years earlier than Narmer (Andelkovic, 2011, p. 29).  As it turned out, expansionism during Naqada II was more about the gradual assimilation of Lower Egypt, and consolidation was focused on three cities rather than just one—Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Abydos.  But the roots of royalty were firmly established at Naqada II Hierakonpolis.

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The unification of Egypt is credited to Narmer, the traditional first king of a unified Egypt, who extended his pharaonic mace from his capitol at Hierakonpolis to smite the backward villages of Lower Egypt and rein them in to southern ways.

Well, maybe not exactly.

The unification of Egypt was a process, not a historical event that can be neatly situated into a single time and place, much less a single person.  But one thing is for certain, that process began to take recognizable shape at Hierakonpolis and the earliest roots of that development began with the Badarian culture.  As we shall see in this article, the Naqadian people would build on the material culture of the Badarians, mostly through innovation and improvement of existing types, and this process would plant the seeds for pharaonic Egypt first at Hierakonpolis.  But as sometimes happens, we are getting ahead of ourselves.

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Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt is a collaboration between Richard Wilkinson, who is Regent’ Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Director of the Egyptian Expedition at the University of Arizona, and some of the most recognizable names in current Egyptology.

Written for a general audience, but with all the details a specialist looks for in a good book, Tausret is one of those books that will teach you about Egyptology while entertaining you with an adventure.  But it’s not the sort of swashbuckling adventure you might get with, say Belzoni.  It’s more of a detective story, spread out over a lot of detectives.

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It would be easy to think that the ancient Egyptians, for all their amazing accomplishments in the arts and sciences, were morbidly obsessed with death.  After all, what do you think of when you imagine ancient Egypt?  The Pyramids:  tombs.  Tutankhamun:  a golden mummy.  Valley of the Kings: a cemetery.

But the truth of the matter is that the Egyptians were obsessed with life, and they fully expected it to continue on the Other Side.  Just as we work, save, and invest for our retirement today, the ancient Egyptians prepared for their eternal retirement amongst the gods.  Most of the art and artifacts connected to this planning, what we would call the funerary tradition and/or architecture, was considered to be the machinery of the afterlife, the tools and rituals required for the care and feeding of a departed spirit.

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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!

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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.

 

 

(Kate gets two entries because VoK is her bailiwick)

News is beginning to pop up about a new tomb discovered in the Saqqara area of the Memphis Necropolis, and it’s a big one!  Actually, two tombs have been discovered, and while they seem to have already been looted, archaeologists have found artifacts, including human remains.

 

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schaden-tabDr. Otto Schaden has posted an update to his webpage stating that the excavation of KV63, the tomb/mummy cache he discovered back in 2005, has been completed.  This milestone was passed this fall when the remaining sealed jars discovered in KV63 were opened and their contents examined.  In addition to seven empty (except for smashed jars and mummification tools) coffins, Dr. Schaden’s team discovered 28 large storage jars in one of the chambers of KV63, most of them sealed.

But with all the jars now opened, work on KV63 is far from over and the most exciting discoveries are certainly yet to come.

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tut-tabTutankhamun’s tomb lasted undisturbed for thousands of years, but after mere decades of constant visitors the most famous burial site in the world is on the endangered list. 

It would seem we have found the infamous Curse of King Tut, and it is us…

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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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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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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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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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djo-tabThe complex of Djoser at Saqqara is more than just the first pyramid and template for all pyramid complexes that would follow. 

Djoser’s complex is a highly integrated machine, an eternal representation of institutions, religions, and architecture culled from all corners of Egypt and incorporated into a stone microcosm intended to project the king’s world into the afterlife.

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