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A weekly round up of the Ancient Egypt News stories that made the headlines

Ancient Egypt News 18 – 24 October 2021

Welcome to the latest Ancient Egypt stories that made the headlines over the third week of October.

 

Highlights from the list of October’s antiquities at the country’s Archaeological Museums, as chosen by the public through the museums’ own Facebook pages include:

 

The Museum of Islamic Art, which displays a steel dagger with a jade handle, from the 10th century.

The Coptic Museum has chosen a bronze cross standing on a hollow semi-circular base.

The Roy  al Jewelry Museum displays a box made of gold, with a round-shaped lid of agate, and a picture of Queen Farida.

The  National Police Museum shows off an iron sword with an ivory handle, from the Ottoman era.

The Gayer Anderson Museum offers up a round-edge vase from the 19th century, decorated with a base of silver flowers, and a body embellished with gold and silver and enamel decorations.

The Imhotep Museum features two limestone statues, one of a man “Mari” and his wife, named “Pipti”.

Some of King Farouk's collectibles are featured for the first time, at the Cairo International Airport Museum no. 2.

Kafr El Sheikh Museum displays a sandstone stele, dating to the Roman era, showing an inscription representing Horus, with the head of a falcon, wearing the double crown.

The Com Oshim Archaeology Museum has a cartonage mask representing the head of a woman, dating to the Late Period.

In Malawi, the museum shows a New Kingdom false door made of limestone, featuring the deceased offering to the gods.

The Sohag National Museum also has a limestone stele of a king wearing a crown.

The Luxor Museum displays a statue of King Thutmose III.

While the Muumification Museum has a crocodile mummy. In ancient Egypt, the crocodile was Sobek, the Lord of water and fertility.

At the New Valley Archaeology Museum, a colourful stele, with hieroglyphic writing from the Old Kingdom.

Hurghada Museum also shows an artefact from the Old Kingdom, a statue depicting servants engaged in the bread kneading process.

And last but not least the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir shows a marble bust of King Thutmose III, who ruled Egypt during the 18th Dynasty.

There are many more objects on display at the many museums across the Republic.

 

South Africa will return the mummy of an Ancient Egyptian priest named Peten-Amun to Egypt in early 2022. Currently on display at the Durban Natural Science Museum in South Africa, the 2000-year-old mummy was mysteriously found in the museum's inventory in 1910, and is believed to have been brought to the eThekwini municipality by a British officer, since it only had an undated label saying 'Captain Myers' attached to it.

 

Since its unexpected recovery, research has revealed that the mummy is likely from Akhmim in Upper Egypt. It is believed that Peten-Amun passed away at 60 years old during the early Ptolemaic period (300 BC).

 

Weziwe Thusi, eThekwini's municipal speaker, announced that the repatriation is part of a larger effort to correct the acts of colonialism that have forcefully removed and relocated artefacts all across Africa.

 

There is currently a memorandum of understanding between the city of Durban and the city of Alexandria. The move is hoped to sustain the relationship between the two cities, as well as that of South Africa and Egypt in general.

 

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has completed the work of the second phase of the development of visitor’s facilities in the Beni Hassan Archeological area in Minya Governorate, in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute of Flemish and the Urban Thought Association and funded by the Dutch embassy in Cairo.

 

This project comes under the Ministry's plan to develop services for Egyptian and foreign visitors at various museums and archaeological sites so as to improve their visit experience.

 

Professor Eman Zidane, General Supervisor of Archaeological Websites and Museums, explained that the work of the second phase of the project included developing a number of signs containing historical information to introduce the most important areas open to tourists, with QR codes for more digital information.

 

The site has also been made more accessable to people with disabilities, where passages allow for easy movement and the guideboards have braille descriptions, as well as visitor comfort seats and rubbish bins to encourage recycling and maintaining the surrounding environment, and the  replacing of mobile toilets with new ones.

 

The  Beni Hassan archaeological area is one of the most important archaeological areas in the governorate of Minya, with a large number of tombs carved in the rock, including four open to toursists, featuring amazing colourful inscriptions, showing scenes of daily and military life as well as scenes of sports, dancing and fishing.

 

Dr. Khaled el-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, General Ashraf Attia, Governor of Aswan, 50 ambassadors from more than 30 countries around the world, and a group of Egyptian newspaper leaders and foreign bloggers, witnessed the phenomenon of a unique sunrise at Abu Simbel Temple. This occurs twice every year on February 22 and October 22, as the sun’s rays penetrate the entrance to the Temple of Ramses lighting up the staues of the King, Amun and Ra Horakty, while leaving the statue of Ptah in the darkness.

 

This year’s events started with a lecture by the Minister on the temple of Abi Simbel, and the great story of the campaign to save the Egyptian temples to build the high dam, where more than 20 temples were moved in cooperation with UNESCO.

 

As part of the annual celebrations of the Solar Alignment Phenomenon of Ramses II, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is organizing a massive festival to celebrate this special occasion in a number of cultural and archeological sites across Aswan province this week.

 

This year’s symbolic celebrations coincided with national events to usher in the 100th anniversary of the historical discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt as well as the 200th anniversary of deciphering the Ancient Egyptian language, according to el Enay.

 

It was announced that the restoration of the sphinxes inside the first courtyard of the Karnak temples, by Egyptian hands, in preparation for a major celebration to promote Luxor Governorate, and the completion of the project to revive the Grand Processional Road, "The Avenue of the Sphinxes".

 

The restoration and revival of Egyptian antiquities in Luxor, and the appearance of the colours of columns and walls on temples for the first time in thousands of years, will make Luxor the largest open-air museum that will attract the attention of the world.

 

Judicial authorities have launched intensive investigations after a man attempted to destroy one of the ancient Egyptian sphinxes in the middle of Tahrir Square.

 

The security personnel in charge of securing Tahrir Square arrested the suspect while he was in the process of using a hammer to vandalize the ram statue.

 

After the police conducted an inspection, traces of hammer blows were found on one of the rams where the suspect hit the bottom of the ram’s nose.

 

During interrogations, the accused did not comment on the incident, and showed signs of psychological disturbance as he babbled about destroying the artifacts.

 

Judicial authorities seized the hammer used in the incident and detained the suspect for 24 hours until the completion of investigations.

 

A video of the incident went viral on social media.

 

Sources in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities stated that restoration specialists moved quickly and the statue was repaired.

 

The sources added the fracture will only appear on very close inspection, and that the man could only hit this part of the four statues.

 

The Restoration Department of the Ministry decided to conduct a comprehensive restoration process for all the sphinxes of Tahrir Square, and the obelisk of Ramses II in the middle of the square, following the incident.

 

The Egyptian mission working in the Pyramids Antiquities Area has succeeded in finding new archaeological traces during excavations in Saqqara.

 

Well-informed sources at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that the evidence may lead the mission to a tomb with inscriptions, but excavations are still ongoing to find more details.

 

Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that a project to develop the two archaeological sites of Amada, which dates back to the 18th Dynasty, and Al-Soboua, which dates back to the 19th Dynasty, in Nubia is about to be completed.

 

The project comes as part of the ministry's efforts to upgrade all the archaeological sites in Egypt and make them more accessible to visitors.

 

The development of both sites includes the installation of a new inner lighting system working with solar power. along with providing informative signage, visitors pathways, seats, and sunshades, according to Ahmed Ghoneim, the executive head of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and Head of Nubia Fund.

 

The temple of Amada, which is dedicated to the gods Amun and Ra-Horakhty, is one of the most important temples in Nubia. The core of the temple was built by Thutmose III (c.1479–1425 BC), Amenhotep II (c.1427–1400 BC), and Thutmose IV (c.1400–1390 BC), who built the hypostyle hall in front of the edifice.

 

Some additions were made to the temple by several kings of the 19th Dynasty. Merenptah (c.1213–1203 BC) carved a text boasting of his victory against an attack on Egypt while Amenhotep II  carved another one recording his victory over enemies in Syria.

 

And that’s it for this week.   

This weekly round-up is sourced from public sites on the internet and do not necessarily reflect the views of GnT Tours. Please feel free to contact us regarding these and any other stories posted here.