Zahi supports my campaign for disabled access

Luxor News - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 13:31

I have to admit I am over the moon, just got this email
Dear Jane,I am so sorry that I have not answered your email. I do not know why that happened as I always answer all my emails.I do hope that you will accept my apologies.I am going to do the following. 1) First, I will talk to dr. Khaled El-Enany and see how we can push to make this project work because it is a great idea and I do thank you for all your efforts. 2) I am finishing a guidebook called "Zahi Hawass' Secret Egypt" and Noreen Doyle is the one editing it, so she will contact you for details about your project. I am also going to write about your project in El Masry Al Youm newspaper.Finally,I am going to be in Luxor most of the time because I am going to start the new season of my excavations in the Valley of the Kings starting September 1st. Hope to see you there.ThanksBest,Zahi

Back in the day when I could walk I met Zahi and Noreen has stayed at Flats in Luxor. 
Me, #motr, Noreen
Me and Zahi 
Categories: Egyptology

Update from the South Asasif Project

Luxor News - Sun, 27/05/2018 - 18:03

After last year's hassle it is so good to see them getting on with "stuff" and I have the pleasure of hosting Marion, Francesca and Annie at Flats in Luxor

Categories: Egyptology

Top Tips for Toilets in Luxor and Egypt

Luxor News - Tue, 15/05/2018 - 15:03
Top Tips for Toilets
A point was just made to me which I had not considered. Loos (UK expression) the John (American expression I believe). I would really appreciate any comments about good and bad and I will update this post

First point, most toilets have internal bidets which wash your bum so toilet paper is only used to dry yourself hence the request to place it in the bin. Reach down right hand side and you will find a tap. I love it, so fresh and clean and miss the system when I go back to the UK. Sometimes there is a hose instead. Sometimes both. The water comes from the mains.

Second, various experiences but I would like more. I don’t often go while I am out, especially on the west bank, so have little experience. Please email me jane.akshar @

The toilets just before the Open Air Museum at Karnak are ground floor but not wheelchair accessible
Valley of the Kings accessible and great
Kitchener island toilets well signposted “WC” signs
Suhail Nubian Village near Aswan dam excellent

Nobody seems to mind/notice tourists using hotels and restaurants so ones I have snuck in and used in Luxor
•    Nile Palace Hotel ground floor, in the lobby to your right as you enter.
•    Snack time overlooking Luxor temple has a lift, toilets are 1st floor
•    Ramasseum café, ground floor, very basic
•    Fayrouz Hotel ground floor but steps involved, basic
•    Winter Palace Hotel, 1st floor but you can get the lift by going in the luggage entrance under the stairs
Categories: Egyptology

Temple in the Tomb - Tuthmosis I temple by Jadwiga Iwaszczuk

Luxor News - Mon, 14/05/2018 - 13:35

Temple in the Tomb : Progress of work on the reconstruction of the temple of Tuthmosis I – Jadwiga Iwaszczuk
Fragments of the temple were found in MMA 826 and by comparing the cleaned fragments with a photo in the 1981 publication by Abu el-Ayun Barakat they knew what they had found. One fragment was left in situ as it could not be moved. An architrave gave the name of the temple. He had published a small plan but they found pillars not mentioned on the plan. The most important elements were sandstaone and they used limestone on the door jambs. There appear to be lots of niches similar to Harshepsut. One block had 2 faces indicating reuse
The offering chapel had a design similar to that of Hatshepsut of a unification of the two lands with rekhyets. It was painted to look like granite.
The battle scene had chariots with 4 spoke wheels and is the first battle scene representation.
·         Unknown who started the temple·         Not finished·         Not mentioned by Inneni but on Djeuhty·         Lots of architectural changes·         No Amarna erasure·         First festival calendar·         Patched false doors·         Early use of sandstone·         Dark backgrouns·         Polychrome sunk relief
There is an absolutely brilliant news article that is much better than my notes
Polish Egyptologist identified fragments of a lost Egyptian temple... in a storage  The base of the statue, which allowed to identify the remains the building discovered by Dr. Abu el-Ayun Barakat. Photo by J. Iwaszczuk Thousands of stone blocks lying for years in a storage near Luxor turned out to be the remains of the temple of Thutmose I, long sought after by archaeologists. Fragments of the temple were identified by a Polish Egyptologist, Jadwiga Iwaszczuk.The Temple of Thutmose I (1504-1492 BC), in times of splendour, was comparable to the temples built by Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari or by Ramesses II - the Ramesseum.
Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, Egyptologist from the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences, made an accidental discovery. Beautifully decorated fragments of blocks from which the temple was built, were located in the storage of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (now Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities), in a tomb adapted for this purpose in Theban Necropolis near Luxor.
Right next to this place is the house Polish archaeologists use during research at the temple of Hatshepsut under the supervision of Dr. Zbigniew E. Szafranski from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology UW. Polish Egyptologists visited the storage in search of possible blocks from the pharaoh woman\'s temple.
Historical fragments in storage came from excavations conducted by one of the Egyptian scientists in the 1970s. Iwaszczuk explained that the archaeologist described his discovery as the temple of Cha-achet from the times of the reign of Hatshepsut. In fact, the remains of that temple were discovered only a few years ago by French archaeologists in the temple of Ramesses II - the Ramesseum.
"My research had unexpected results. It turned out that all of the discovered fragments came from the temple of Thutmose I. The location of the temple - in the vicinity of the temple Thutmose of Thutmose III - had been known for more than half a century. Until now researchers misidentified it" - she said.
The main proof of the new discovery is the name of the temple of Thutmose I - Khenemet-ankh (The one that unites with life), known from written sources, and preserved on architectural fragments deposited in the storage.
Epigraphic analyses done in recent years by the Polish Egyptologist allowed to recognize further information. While the temple was erected for Thutmose I, it was commissioned by his daughter Hatshepsut. Two types of stone - limestone and sandstone - were used in construction. It is unusual, argues Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, because in the times of Hatshepsut limestone was mainly used. Her entire temple in Deir el-Bahari was built from this material. However, according to the Egyptologist, this was not a coincidence. Architects used sandstone because they knew its properties as a hard but easy to carve stone. All the supporting elements of the walls were made of sandstone, and the filling and walls were made of limestone, the researcher said.
Among the curiosities of the temple, according to its discoverer, is one of the first battle scenes with chariots known from the area of ancient Egypt.
On the basis of fine fragments, the researchers also determined that the temple had been renovated. The deceased ruler was worshiped in the temple for several hundred years after his death, certainly until the reign of Ramesses IX (XII BC), but it is possible that the temple existed until the turn of the era.
Until now, Iwaszczuk\'s team has drawn about 5 thousand stone blocks and photographed 7.5 thousand of them. Now, tedious work is being performed to recreate the entire scenes that adorned the huge temple.
"Finally, it reached its sad end: like many other Theban temples, it served as a quarry for the material for stone bowls. Only unused post-production waste was left, including the fragmented decorative reliefs, which today we use to try to recreate the full shape of the temple" - concluded Iwaszczuk.

Categories: Egyptology

Tomb Robbery – Nigel Strudwick

Luxor News - Mon, 14/05/2018 - 13:14

Tomb Robbery – Nigel Strudwick
Nigel’s lecture covered robbery in ancient times although you could say that recent ‘exports’ like those of of the 18th and 19th century were a form of robbery. He showed an example of an export certificate.
In fact there are very few totally intact tombs examples are·         Khai 1906·         Ramoses and Hatnofer 1936Tomb robbery started 3500BC in fact almost as soon as the occupant was buried. In TT253 why are there so many mummies not in their original resting place. TT99 was rob twice and there are many Third Intermediate Period burials in existing ‘holy’ places.
The tomb robbery papyri EA10221 talks about robberies and it would appear everyone on the west bank was in on it which is why it was reported to an east bank official.
Butehamun, one of the scribes who recorded events currently has his house at Medinet Habu restored. The book Affairs and Scandals in Ancient Egypt by Pascal Vernustalks about “The first chapter deals with the tomb robberies in the Theban necropolis during the Twentieth Dynasty. The second outlines the economic context and events associated with strikes carried out by the workmen of the royal necropolis. The third chapter uses a certain Paneb as an exemplar of corruption in the area of Thebes. Chapter 4 considers the theft of government property and attempted cover-ups in the Aswan region.”
The robberies of Tutankhamun has opportunistic robberies in the late 18/19 dynasty where objects easily disposed of and carried were taken.
The video on YouTube Tomb Robberys in Ancient Egypt is surprisingly accurate
In the Valley of Kings Nigel believes the existing burials were dismantled by the priests Butehamun to raise money. The hacking off of the gold from coffins was probably stolen by funeral directors.
Popular items that were stolen Glass vessels, copper and linen. When you compare the quantities in unspoiled tombs with those in partial rob ones you can see the quantities of those goods are strikingly different.
55-70% of coffins were recycled, tombs were more accessible post Amarna
There were various groups responsible·         Amenpanefer·         Priest·         Penwenheb·         Amenwa-Pentaweret
And the wives seem to have acted as fences with lots of bribes given to senior officials. The mayor of the east bank knew the mayor of the west bank was covering things up
How long was your eternity?Nigel talked about although the texts tell us millions of years the reality was totally different and nobody worried about robbing a tomb almost before the body was cold
Categories: Egyptology

Carter House visit on the mobility scooter

Luxor News - Fri, 11/05/2018 - 16:49

As this is quite a recent addition to the sites on the west bank it was a bit disappointing that access was so tricky but with the help of the guardian we did get round. The big problems were getting from the car park to the walkway (step), entrance into the Carter House itself (several steps), a bad ramp on the way from the Carter House to the replica tomb and the entrance into the tomb itself(step). I would say the grounds and replica tomb are 80% accessible but forget the Carter House

Steps meant the scooter could not travel along and the guardian had to lift the scooter (he was strong) but he was very willing. The ramp(?) was awful, I couldnt use it.

There were so many steps into the Carter House we had to leave the scooter in the hall. I made Marion pose at Carters desk

Actually inside the replica tomb was great once we were in. Nice wooden flooring and ramp. The pictures and story boards are excellent and you do wonder how on earth everything was put inside the tomb. I love the replica done from the Harry Burton pictures of part of the decoration that had to be destroyed. We wondered where those bits are now
Categories: Egyptology

KV62 - nothing there

Luxor News - Sun, 06/05/2018 - 17:55

MOA Press Release 6/5/2018
High-level geophysics research provides conclusive evidence on the non-existence of hidden chambers adjacent to or inside Tutankhamun’s tomb (KV62).
Dr. Mostaf Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced adding that the Head of the Italian scientific team Dr. Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin is to provide all details of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) studies and analysis during a speech he would deliver today at 5:30 pm at the current Fourth Tutankhamun International Conference.
The team also include experts from the nearby University of Turin and from two private geophysics companies, Geostudi Astier (Leghorn) and 3DGeoimaging (Turin), who have completed the analysis of the GPR data collected from the inside of Tutankhamun’s tomb (code name KV62) last February 2018.
Dr. Waziri pointed out that Dr. Porcelli has submitted a scientific report to the Permanent Committee for Ancient Egyptian Antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities with all the results of the GPR data analyses, revealing that the GPR scans were performed along vertical and horizontal directions with very dense spatial sampling. Double antenna polarizations where also employed, with transmitting and receiving dipoles both orthogonal and parallel to the scanning direction.
Dr. Porcelli asserted that the main findings are as follows:No marked discontinuities due to the passage from natural rock to man-made blocking walls are evidenced by the GPR radargrams, nor there is any evidence of the jambs or the lintel of a doorway. Similarly, the radargrams do not show any indication of plane reflectors, which could be interpreted as chamber walls or void areas behind the paintings of KV62 funerary chamber.
It is concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, said Dr. Porcelli, the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers or corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the GPR data.
This is the third GPR survey to be conducted. It was designed to stop the controversy aroused after the contradictive results of two previous radar surveys carried out by a scientific Japanese and American teams, to inspect the accuracy of a theory launched in 2015 by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves who suggested the existence of queen Nefertiti’s tomb concealed behind the north and west wall paintings of king Tutankhamun’s burial chamber.
To solve the difficulties encountered by the two preceding surveys and provide a conclusive response, the Ministry of Antiquities in early 2016, decided to discuss the matter in the second International Tutankhamun Conference held in May 2016 and attended by a group of pioneer scholars, archaeologists and Egyptologists who on their turn asserted to conduct a third GPR systems with different technology to put an end to such debate.
Categories: Egyptology

Timeline of my disable access campaign

Luxor News - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 02:05
Aug 2016 I bring a mobility scooter back from the UK and start doing site visits.
Sept 2016 I blog my site visits with the scooter
Oct 2016 First paper produced and presented to Minister and Governor at the world tourism conference
Apr 2017 Email Response from Ministry
May 2017 Site visit with men from Ministry
May 2017 Site visit with John Sherman of ARCE
Jul 2017 Proposal produced with Joanne Stables
Jul 2017 Meeting with Helm
Jan 2018 News reports improvement planned at Karnak and Luxor
Feb 2018 Evidence of improvements
Mar 2018 Flats in Luxor introduces ramps to our apartments
Apr 2018 Site visit to Karnak to view the improvements and meeting with the minister 

To go from idea to implementation in less than two years is amazing and makes comments about Egyptian time redundant :)

To read all the blog entries
  Site Visit with the men from the ministry
Site visit with John Sherman
Meeting with Helm
Article in Nile Magazine
Improvements start at Karnak
Ramps at added at Flats in LuxorMeeting with the Minister to review changes
Categories: Egyptology

Free Wheelchairs at Karnak Sound and Light

Luxor News - Mon, 23/04/2018 - 00:24
This is so exciting, things are really moving in Luxor on the disabled front. When President Sisi said 2018 was the year of the disabled he was not kidding Go Ya Masry

Categories: Egyptology

Two Discoveries in Luxor and Aswan by Egyptian Missions In Luxor

Luxor News - Sun, 22/04/2018 - 16:36

An Archaeological Egyptian Mission from the Ministry of Antiquities working at  the south part of Karnak Temples’ 10th pylon, has uncovered architectural elements of god Osiris-Ptah-Neb shrine.Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities announced and pointed out that the shrine is one of the most important shrines to be constructed for god Osiris inside the temples of Karnak during the late period because it is located at the southern side of god Amun-Re Temple and not to the east or north side as known in the ancient Egyptian belief.The shrine is located to the south of the 10th  pylon of god Amun-Re temple, in the area between both temples of Amun and Mut to the east of the Avenue of Sphinxes.Essam Nagy, Head of the Mission explains that the shrine dates back to the late 25th Dynasty, when the importance god Osiris appears was linked to the Avenue of Sphinxes and Mut temple.The architectural elements uncovered by the mission consist of the entrance of the shrine, columns and inner walls, as well as  remains of a third chamber, foundations stones and the shrine’s floor.Nagy said that the discovery includes also a collection of Pottery, the lower part of a siting statue, part of a stone panel depicting an offering table filled with a ram and a goose, which are symbols of god Amun the master of Karnak temples. On top of the panel there is the winged sun-disk.The shrine depicts the names of Kings Taharka and Tanout Amun, the last king of the 25th Dynasty.
In Aswan, another Egyptian mission discovered a head of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius with a wavy hair and beard. Dr. Ashmawy describes the head as unique because it is rarely to find statues that belong to such emperor.
Categories: Egyptology

Karnak Disabled Access - Update

Luxor News - Fri, 20/04/2018 - 18:07
Accessibility Path
Mohamed A Fahmy has been keeping his Facebook friends up to date with the changes at Karnak. It looked like work had finished so we decided to do a site visit to check out the improvements. Sharon Davidson came as my personal photographer lol. She is a very good photographer with a good camera. Mohamed also met up with us with his camera.
Outside the temple there are still the same problems getting from the car park to the visitor centre. A few signs shown the best route for wheelchairs would have helped.
Inside the temple there were huge improvements, ramps and smooth flooring in the main tourist route. But the more remote places had no changes so my previous report on Karnak is still accurate. as we were going round Mohamed heard that the Minister was coming on a visit. Dr. Khaled Anany the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities was one of the first people I approached with my ideas about improving access.
I was lucky enough to give him all our feedback from the morning visit and he told us that this was the first stage and more improvements were coming. The access is being extended and will cover more of the temple. It was a lucky coincidence to meet him and to be able to chat. I also got interviewed about the campaign I started in 2016

Access from the car parkRamp hidden in the shopLook out for the ramp leading to the entranceNew Ramp
Gentle Slope

New Accessible PathLoose surface causes wheels to bog downSome ramps are still too steepRamp to Festival Hall of Tuthmosis
The Minister observes the ramp in useBeing interviewed about the campaign
Categories: Egyptology

"Karnak is 80% accessible"

Luxor News - Wed, 18/04/2018 - 19:27
Mohamed A Fahmy has just posted the most exciting picture. Looks like I need to pay another visit to Karnak. Hope there is more planned at other temples.

Categories: Egyptology

Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri – Zbigniew Szafranski

Luxor News - Tue, 17/04/2018 - 18:23

The Highlights of the Recent Results of the Polish-Egyptian Archaeological and Conservation Mission of the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri – Zbigniew Szafranski
The temple is a very unique site, indeed it is a UNESCO site. The Poles have been working there since 1961 following in the footsteps of the Americans who followed the British. Their work has concentrated on the upper terrace.
The main sanctuary had a name change from Neferere the daughter of Hatshepsut to Ahmose the mother of Hatshepsut when Neferere disappeared from the historical record in the 11th year.
Wooden butterfly joints joined many of the large blocks
The main shrine is important for our knowledge Amen Re
The barque shrine was destroyed by Akhenaton and restored by Horemheb who left evidence with the cryptographic version of his name.
The second room shows the purification of the statues by Tuthmosis III and Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut is show as a king in the 2ndyear of the joint reign not the 7th as some scholars have said.
The depiction of Hatshepsut was destroyed but is still visible as it was done with chisels faithfully following the outline.
There was lots of black soot and when this was removed it showed Hatshepsut with a red skin. This is very significant as women were traditionally showed with a yellow skin. However Hatshepsut wanted to show herself as a king, which had to be male. (There is a paper on skin tones at Deir el Bahri Andrezi Cweik : Red, Yellow, Pink : Ideology of skin tones).
There are a lot of burial shafts from the 23rdand 25th dynasty. There was an earthquake approx. 1000 BC and lot of temples were destroyed. However these were still perceived as holy places and suitable for a necropolis.
Inside the main shrine they have done a lot of restoration in high relief , from just a few pieces because it was known exactly what they were part of the rest of the decoration can be derived. He showed an example of sema-tawy ( usually translated as "The Uniter of the Two Lands" and was depicted as a human trachea entwined with the papyrus and lily plant. The trachea stood for unification, while the papyrus and lily plant represent Lower and Upper Egypt). And another restoration was of the sister of Hatshepsut who died young Nefrubity.
The inner rooms had windows and between 28thJan and 6th Feb the rising sun would light up the statue in the sanctuary. We do not know the exact date as we don’t have the statue to fix the date,
It was found that the limestone structure had moved by 1 mm and this is being closely monitored and replacement plaster has been used to seal the cracks..
They are using electronic/digital methods to document, hundreds of photos are taken and then these are ‘stitched; together to produce documentation of the whole
The glyphs around the niche identify the temple as the millions of years but it had many other functions. There is also a sun court and worship of the royal Ka. In the sun court three niches were originally planned with the third niche being dedicated Ahmed the mother. But this was changed to a chapel dedicated to Anubis
Much use was made of Hatshepsut’s cryptographic name and when Tuthmosis II removed her name this was left.
Queens were very important and get a lot of mention similar to Queens to the 17th dynasty like Tetishri. So Tuthmosis I is shown with his mother and Hatshepsut with her mother. Neferere was planned to be the next queen but her early disappearance (death?) meant Tuthmosis III took over. (Tuthmosis then restricted the importance of women and during his reign the Gods Wives of Amun disappeared as a title.)
In the North West corner a part of the temple looks very Greek in style with its columns. During this time there were immigration of styles, there are 280 columns and pillars in the temple a completely different style to the Old Kingdom structures
The lower Anubis chapel had a degree of movement also the Hathor chapel. Iron frame works had to be constructed to protect the structure and make it stable
Hatshepsut disappeared in the 21styear (death?)
The colossus has been incorrectly reconstructed so they are taking it apart and redoing it.
The have left the entrance to one Third Intermediate Period burial visible.
They intend to reconstruct the sphinxes avenue, after being missing for 80 years the fragments were located in the wooden boxes in the tomb of Harwa
Categories: Egyptology

Coffins - Helen Strudwick

Luxor News - Sat, 14/04/2018 - 23:56

We have had a series of lectures that are very visual and hard to described with just notes.
Helen Strudwick on Coffins was a case in point. It was deeply fascinating showing inscriptions and CT scans. She works at the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge and they have been investigating the coffins in their collection to try and understand them better especially their construction. There is evidence that coffins were bought off the shelf and stored. The colours of the inscriptions is the big clue. The wood was often local wood and was made into planks like the workshop of MeketRe. Wood was scarce so often reused with joints being recarved and plaster being used to fill  the missing pieces.
Categories: Egyptology

More lectures 16th and 19th Dr Szafrànski Deir el Bahri Monday and Nigel Strudwick Thursday

Luxor News - Thu, 12/04/2018 - 21:13
Ibrahim Soliman has arranged more wonderful lectures 6pm Thebes Hotel West Bank

Dr. Szafrànski director of the Polish Mission about the highlights of the last works at Hatshepsut temple in Deir el Bahari.

Nigel Strudwick will speak on Thursday about ancient Robberies in the Necropolis. 
Categories: Egyptology


Luxor News - Tue, 10/04/2018 - 13:51
Categories: Egyptology
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