This week Em Hotep BBS, our daily Facebook presence, took up the subject of Hathor—the beautiful, the bovine, and the beastly. Herein we explore her temples, we examine her iconography, and we appreciate her art. There is a museum hop, suggested links and good reads, plus the wonderful photography.
Em Hotep Digest is a new weekly installment to Em Hotep. If you haven’t joined us yet on Facebook, Em Hotep BBS is the semi-topical daily discussion where professionals and amateurs come together to share and discuss our mutual passion: Egyptology. The Digest is a compendium of the weekly goings-on at the BBS. This week the topic was W. M. Flinders Petrie.
More than 150 Facebook pages and groups dedicated to Egyptology—who knew there were so many? If you are looking for amazing photography, formal and informal chats with Egyptologists, current and ancient news, or just a good place to hang out with like-minded people, this list should get you started. Organized by subject and annotated.
Tags: Ancient Egypt
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Djedi Project is not just the new mission to explore the pyramid shafts—it truly is the next generation in robotic archaeology. Beginning with Waynman Dixon’s iron rods, researchers have been probing the Great Pyramid’s mysterious claustrophobic passageways for 140 years. But now, using technology designed for uses as divergent as space exploration and terrestrial search and rescue, we are finally able to explore the chamber behind Gantenbrink’s Door.
Picking up where we left off with Pyramid Rover, this Em Hotep exclusive covers how the Djedi Team won the “Robot Olympics in the Desert”, the members who make up the team, the specifics of the robot’s design, and the results of Djedi’s maiden voyage up QCS and into the chamber behind the first blocking stone. Through interviews and exchanges with the Djedi Project manager, Shaun Whitehead, as well as other team members, this article promises to be the resource for the published Djedi material to date.
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Djedi Project, Gantenbrink's Door, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu's Pyramid, Leeds University, Mehdi Tayoubi, Project Khufu, Project Upuaut, Pyramid Rover Project, QCS Chamber, Queen's Chamber, Queens Chamber Shafts, Richard Breitner, Robert Richardson, Robotic Archaeology, Shaun Whitehead, TC Ng, Zahi Hawass
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.
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Florence Tran, January Revolution, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu Revealed, Khufu's Pyramid, Laval University, Mehdi Tayoubi, Mohamed Ibrahim, Pyramid Shafts, Richard Breitner
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)
Last May the Project Djedi Team caught the world’s attention, and imagination, when they announced that the robot crawler designed to explore the southern shaft leading out of the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid had transmitted back images of markings left behind by the pyramid’s builders. Hidden behind a “door” that had either thwarted or limited previous attempts to investigate the shaft, the markings prompted much speculation about their nature and purpose.
The Djedi Project was back in the headlines at the end of December when New Scientist magazine named the discovery one of the Top 10 Science Stories of 2011. For the next few articles, Em Hotep will bring you up to date on the history of the exploration of the mysterious shafts in the Great Pyramid. This current article will cover the ground from Waynman Dixon up to the Pyramid Rover Project, with the next article focusing exclusively on Project Djedi. This will be followed by a couple of very special interviews you will not want to miss..
Tags: Charles Piazzi Smyth, Djedi Project, Gantenbrink's Door, Khufu's Pyramid, Project Upuaut, Pyramid Rover Project, Pyramid Shafts, QCS Chamber, Queen's Chamber, Queens Chamber Shafts, Rainer Stadelmann, Robotic Archaeology, Rudolf Gantenbrink, Waynman Dixon, Zahi Hawass
Mummy forensics is more than just a show on The History Channel, it is an entire field of Egyptology that helps us understand how the ancient Egyptians lived, worked, played, died, and how they prepared for the afterlife.
In this installment of the Em Hotep mummy series (which will eventually become the Mummy Section) we will take a look at the terms and concepts related to the various methods Egyptologists use to study mummies with links to carefully selected websites and articles to further your own investigation. Whether you are working on a term paper or just interested in mummies, this primer will get you started.
And just a quick note—some of the subheadings in this primer, such as the part on facial reconstruction, will have their own more detailed sections that will include more media, as well as original interviews, so stay tuned!
Tags: CT Scan, Endoscopy, Facial Reconstruction, Forensic Mummy Studies, Genetic Mapping, Mass Spectrometry, Mummies, Paleo-odontology, Paleoimagery, Paleopathology, Paleoserology, Richard Wilkinson, Rosalie David