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News from 2008-2009


8 November 2009

Susan Weeks

The dreadful news has come from Egypt of the death of Susan Weeks, wife of Kent Weeks (KV5, Theban Mapping Project, AUC). It appears she fell into the Nile from their houseboat in Luxor. See

http://allaboutegypt.org/2009/12/susan-weeks-reported-dead-from-drowning-in-luxor/

I understand she has been interred in Luxor in the European cemetery.

At the right you will see an appreciation from the American University in Cairo.

From: AUC President <president@aucegypt.edu>

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Ms. Susan Weeks, wife of Egyptology Professor Emeritus Kent Weeks.

Susan received a Bachelor of Arts in graphic arts from the University of Washington. She and Kent met while working on the Nubian Salvage Project in Upper Egypt. In addition to being one of the foremost archaeological illustrators of the past half-century, she has built a career as one of the best general field archaeologists in Egypt, having worked on sites all over the country, both with her husband and as a specialist called by other teams.

Members of the AUC community who knew and worked with Susan will always remember her sly wit (which her quiet demeanor never succeeded in obscuring), her keen and penetrating intelligence, and most of all the immense care and concern that she devoted to her friends, colleagues and students.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her two children, Emily and Christopher, and one grandchild.

Those wishing to send condolences may do so by email care of magdiali@aucegypt.edu, Dr. Weeks's assistant.

There will be a memorial service at AUC's Oriental Hall on Tuesday, December 15th at 4:00 pm.

16 November 2009

Sale of Egyptological libraries

I do not usually add commercial items to this news list, but this is of sufficient importance to warrant wide distribution. I have been asked by Ars Libri to spread the word about the availability of the following libraries for sale:

Ars Libri has available two egyptological libraries which are being offered for sale intact:

1.       The Library of Prof. William Kelly Simpson.  3,020 titles in over 5,000 physical volumes
2.       The Library of Prof. Dr. Günter Dreyer.  1,249 titles in ca. 2,100 physical volumes

For complete catalogues and further details, please apply to: Elmar Seibel, Ars Libri Ltd., 500 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118, USA. Email:  eseibel@arslibri.com

It should be stressed that it is intended that both be sold complete and not broken down.

8 November 2009

Database 'Cachette de Karnak'

I don't often use the News page to advertise a new research facilty online, but every so often one comes along which is new and really useful. Such is this one, a database of the statues found in the famous Karnak Cachette at the beginning of the 20th century:

http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/cachette/

The site includes an introduction to the cachette itself:

http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/cachette/about

Ashmolean Museum reopens

The Ashmolean reopened on 7 November following a massive renovation. Please see this news item:

http://ashweb2.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/news/?id=100

2 November 2009

Zahi Hawass to be promoted

Dr Zahi Hawass, head of the SCA, is shortly due to retire. On 30 October he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Minister of Culture.

Egyptian Government news service:

http://www.sis.gov.eg:80/En/Story.aspx?sid=44153

Dr Zahi's own web site:

http://www.drhawass.com/blog/dr-hawass-named-vice-minister-culture-egypt

Babylonian seal at Tell ed-Daba

The Austrian mission at Tell ed-Daba has found a Babylonian seal at Tell ed-Daba, site of ancient Avaris. Earlier this year a fragment of a Babylonian cuneiform tablet was also found, so this is more evidence for connections been the Babylonian cultures and the Hyksos. See

http://austriantimes.at/news/Panorama/2009-10-29/17649/Austrian_archaeologists_make_Babylonian_find_in_Egypt

14 October 2009

Jadwiga Lipinska 29.11.1932 – 4.10.2009

Monika Dolinska sends on the sad news of the passing of Jadwiga Lipinska on 4 October 2009. The following is taken from her notice. There is also an additional obituary note at http://www.archeologiaegiptu.pl/inenglish/jadwiga-lipinska

Her name is inextricably tied to the temple of Tuthmosis III, pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom Egypt, discovered in ruins in 1961 by the Polish-Egyptian Mission at Deir el-Bahari (near Luxor, Egypt), then for many years studied and theoretically reconstructed by the mission she created in 1978 and directed till 1996, Mission of Tuthmosis III Temple. Results of this long-term work of Prof. Lipinska and her team encompass reconstruction of the architectonical layout and the arrangement of polychrome and relief decoration of the temple, reconstruction of several scenes and preparation of  scientific publication. In this way she helped to bring back to the world the beautiful temple, extremely important for the history of Ancient Egyptian art, architecture and religion.

She was Curator of the Ancient Art Gallery in the National Museum in Warsaw (1991-2000), and Lecturer at the Warsaw and Lodz Universities.

Member of ICOM-CIPEG; Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft; Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (correspondent); Society for Nubian Studies; International Association of Egyptologists; Society for Study of Egyptian Antiquities in Toronto.

Her bibliography will be found at the web address above. 

Like most Egyptologists, I (Nigel Strudwick) remember her fondly from when she was working at Deir el-Bahari, and we will all miss her.

Louvre will return stolen objects [UPDATED]

I have been following this fast-moving story over the past couple of weeks. It transpires that the Louvre purchased some fragments of wall painting in 2000 and 2003, which appear to have been proved subsequently to have come from the tomb of Tetiky (TT15), although I cannot personally confirm this, as that tomb was believed lost but has now apparently resurfaced as a result of recent changes in Qurna.

The SCA and Zahi Hawass naturally put in a claim for the restitution of these objects from France, as they were evidently taken in contravention of the 1970 UNESCO convention. France initially resisted, and certain stories tried to make this dispute an echo of the recently hotly-debated election of a new UNESCO secretary-general, in which the previous favourite, Egyptian Farouq Hosni, was beaten by the Bulgarian candidate. As a result of the apparently initial French hesitation to return the objects, the SCA withdrew all permissions for the Louvre to work in Egypt.

The Louvre did not directly dispute the claim, but indicated that such restitution claims cannot be dealt with by the museum alone, but have to go to a higher committee. This has now happened, and it has been agreed to return the objects to Egypt.

There are many stories on the web about this. I give just the following:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/10/09/stolen-relics-egypt-print.html

http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/63848957.htm

http://www.trtenglish.com/trtinternational/en/newsDetail.aspx
?HaberKodu=65bd3367-5136-4486-ad19-21770913bf3a

Update 18/10/09: Al Ahram Weekly has published an article about this affair; it also includes the first photo I have seen of a fragment. That in the left of the photo is most definitely in the tomb publication by Davies in JEA 11.

15 July 2009

Jean Yoyotte

The death has been announced in France of Jean Yoyotte, former holder of the Chair of Egyptology at the Collège de France. The following URL contains a brief obituary, and is paraphrased at right:

http://www.ouest-france.fr/ofdernmin_-L-egyptologue-francais-mondialement-connu-Jean-Yoyotte-est-decede_-1000319_actu.Htm

Jean Yoyotte, emeritus professor at the Collège de France and one of the best-known Egyptologists in the world, died in Paris on 1 July at the age of 81.

Holder of the Chair of Egyptology at the Collège de France, Jean Yoyotte was the author of several works about Ancient Egypt, including Dictionnaire de la civilisation égyptienne (1959) and Bestiaire des pharaons (2001). He also directed from 1965 to 1985 excavations at Tanis, one of the most important archaeological sites in the north-east of Egypt, known above all else for its royal tombs. Yoyotte also edited the catalogue for the major exhibition "Tanis, l'or des pharaons" at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1987. [A version of this exhibition was shown in Edinburgh in 1988.]

1 June 2009

Developments in the Online Egyptological Bibliography (OEB)

John Baines has requested this be posted:

From 1 June 2009 Bibliographie Altägypten (BA) is available online, integrated with OEB, providing coverage of Egyptological literature from 1822 to 2002 (roughly 70,000 items) with a single search interface.

Site licences and institutional multi-user licences are in force from 1 June 2009. All those who have paid their licence fees will continue to have full access to OEB and BA until the end of their subscription period. Institutions that wish either to renew or to subscribe for the first time should write to Catherine Warsi (catherine.warsi@orinst.ox.ac.uk). Subscription rates are posted through a link on the OEB home page.

OEB subscription arrangements for individuals are complete and will be brought into operation in the next few days. Payment is by credit or debit card. Existing subscribers to O/AEB are being sent emails inviting them to renew their subscriptions or to convert from book to online versions. Individuals who wish either to renew or to subscribe for the first time should do so through a link on the OEB home page. The deadline for renewing existing individual subscriptions is 30 June 2009.

Further updates to the OEB web site are planned and will be announced as they are implemented.

http://oeb.griffith.ox.ac.uk/ and links from that home page (requires login)

1 June 2009

Cuneiform at Tell ed-Daba

A recent press release dated 25 May indicates the discovery of a fragment of a cuneiform tablet in the Hyksos palace at Tell ed-Daba. The report is in German.

http://public.univie.ac.at/index.php?id=6576&
no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=9759

I have paraphrased the basic information at the right.

In the course of excavations of the palace of middle to late Hyksos date was found part of a tablet of the last decades of the Old Babylonian kingdom (1600-1550 BC). The excavator Manfred Bietak is quoted as saying that this is the oldest cuneiform document yet found in Egypt and shows the previously unexpected depth of the diplomatic links of the Hyksos dynasty.

3 April 2009

3 March 2009

There have been a number of stories in the news recently. The best way to catch up here is via the latest Cyberscribe News (PDF).

New tomb at Luxor

New tomb discoveries at Luxor are not unusual, but this one is of particular interest, to me at least. It is the lost tomb of Amenhotep. There are many reports, e.g. Reuters. It was discovered by a mission from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

UPDATE: the latest report with a photo is on Dr Zahi Hawass' web site.

My interest in this tomb is down to this man being the son-in-law of Senneferi (TT99), in particular because we found a statue of him in TT99 in 1993.

24 February 2009

Mummies at Saqqara

There has been a fair amount of media coverage of the discovery of a cache of Late Period mummies in an Old Kingdom tomb at Saqqara. There is a long article on the subject in al-Ahram Weekly.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/935/he2.htm

Cyberscribe Relaunch

I am pleased to announce that the Cyberscribe news page has been relaunched.

14 January 2009

Berlin Closure--reminder

I have been asked to remind readers of the closing of the Egyptian Museum Berlin at 'Altes Museum' on the 22nd February 2009. The closure is necessary due to preparations for the move of the complete exhibition to the Neues Museum on Museum Island. There the exhibition will be reopened in the middle of October in 2009. See:

http://www.aegyptisches-museum-berlin-verein.de
http://www.egyptian-museum-berlin.com

Pyramid of Sesheshet at Saqqara

Stories about the excavation of a queen's pyramid around that of Teti at Saqqara have been running since November. The latest news is that a mummy believed to be that of the queen has been discovered. There are many more links other than these:

Pyramid of Man web-site
BBC in pictures (pyramid discovery, not the mummy)

The name of Sesheshet is found often in the 6th dynasty, usually in connection with the names of officials, so it is very important that we now learn more about this lady herself.

8 January 2009

Peter Munro

It is sad to begin the year with news of the passing of another colleague. The following is from Christian Loeben:

On 2 January 2009 Professor Dr. Peter Munro passed away in a hospital in Hanover in his 79th year. As well-known art historian in Egyptology and excavator in Saqqara Munro, born in Hamburg 8 January 1930 and always very proud of his Scottish ancestry, was director of the Kestner-Museum (now: Museum August Kestner) from 1970 until 1981. From 1981 to 1995 he was professor for Egyptology at the Freie Universität Berlin where he occupied the first professorship created in Germany for teaching Egyptian Art and Archaeology. He will be remembered for his significant publication "Die spätägyptischen Totenstelen" (Glückstadt 1973) and in Hanover especially for bringing the Tutankhamun exhibition to the city in 1981 which drew the highest number of visitors to any art exhibition in Hanover. A more detailed obituary is in preparation and will be add here shortly.

German obituary

8 January 2009

Egyptology Resources is changing server!

This site is now moving to a new server at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. References to Egyptology Resources at www.newton.ac.uk/egypt should now be changed to www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/er. References to the TT99 web site at www.newton.ac.uk/egypt/tt99 should be changed to www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/tt99. Please update your bookmarks!

Notes on the background to the change will be found on the new server. Note particularly that the format of the email search has changed, and this will now be found at www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/er/email/index.html. I'm sorry that the change has become necessary, but I hope many improvements will come as a result.

A number of regular readers subscribe to changes on this page by using ChangeDetection. Regrettably, I cannot change these references automatically: you will now have to set up a new page monitor by using the box above.

23 December 2008

The AEB moves to Oxford

John Baines has asked me to post the following:

From 1 January 2009, the Annual Egyptological Bibliography (AEB), which has been based in Leiden since its founding in 1947 under the auspices of the International Association of Egyptologists, will move to the Griffith Institute, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Publication of annual printed volumes will cease. In its new location, the project will be named Online Egyptological Bibliography (OEB). Major enhancements to the database are planned, including elimination of current backlogs, incorporation of new titles on a rolling basis, and integration of the Bibliographie Altägypten of Christine Beinlich-Seeber, to give seamless information about publications in Egyptology from 1822 to the present. This development has been made possible by a major grant from the John Fell Fund of the University of Oxford.

Like the AEB, the OEB will be a subscription-based service. Current subscriptions will be automatically extended until a new subscription system is set in place in early 2009. For individuals this will be based on credit card payments made through the web. Institutional subscriptions will continue to be handled through invoices as they now are.

The editor of OEB, as of AEB, is Willem Hovestreydt <willem.hovestreydt [at] orinst.ox.ac.uk>. Queries and information about items for inclusion can be sent to him by email or submitted through the web site, which remains at www.aebnet.nl for the first half of 2009.

John Baines, Griffith Institute, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
James P. Allen, President, International Association of Egyptologists

8 December 2008

End of convoy system?

Several sources indicate that the convoy system which has been in place in Egypt since the 1990s, but particularly after the Deir el-Bahari attack in 1997, has now stopped for most major sites, during daylight hours. This will make getting around in Egypt more flexible for most tourists, and is an important development for tourism.

The Times
Luxor News

Readers should watch various lists and web logs for comments on how this develops.

1 December 2008

4 December 2008

Berlin Museum closure

The Berlin Egyptian Museum will finally close the permanent exhibition in the 'Alte Museum' at 'Lustgarten' on Sunday 22nd February 2009. The closure is necessary due to preparations for the move of the complete exhibition to the New Museum on Museum Island. There the exhibition will be reopened in the middle of October in 2009:

http://www.egyptian-museum-berlin.com/e02.php?sprache=en#45

Maadi Museum items returned to Egypt

A number of antiquities stolen from Egypt in 2002 have been returned, according to various sources. Stories indicated they were stolen by an American pilot, and recovered by the US Customs in 2006:

Artinfo
NY Times

11 November 2008

Ashmolean Museum closure

I have been asked to announce this:

The Ashmolean Museum will be closing to the public with effect from 23rd December 2008, to facilitate the final stages of its major redevelopment project.  Reopening is currently scheduled for November 2009; further information and updates can be found on the museum website: www.ashmolean.org

During this period of closure, it may be possible to arrange study visits for individual researchers wishing to access certain parts of the Egyptian collections, but we regret that it will not be possible to accommodate group visits.

Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford OX1 2PH
email:  antiquities@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Luxor stuff

Readers will be aware I have an inordinate interest in Luxor. At present various controversies are raging about matters relating to possible development of the corniche, and also of the sphinx avenue between Luxor and Karnak. I have just returned from a brief visit, but it is probably more objective to to just note for the moment some articles in the press:

al-Ahram weekly:
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/921/heritage.htm

Egyptian State Information Service:
http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/ (...1)
http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/ (...2)

14 September 2008

21 September 2008

Eye of Amenhotep III returned

Various news sources report the return of part of a statue of Amenhotep III from Kom el-Hitan which disappeared in the 1970s:

Al-Ahram: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/914/fr2.htm

Modern Egypt recalls Ancient Egypt?

Time for a lighter moment. Readers may like to look at this story and see whether you remember an ancient tale like it?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080918/od_afp/
egyptanimaljusticeoffbeat_080918160656

27 August 2008

Svetlana Hodjash

Svetlana Hodjash, one of Russia's most senior Egyptologists has recently died. The following two tributes were placed on the EEF list:

I am sorry to inform all members of the EEF that Dr. Prof. Svetlana Adriana Guljef Hodjash, Head of the Department of Ancient Orient of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, died on August 13 after a long illness. She is well known from her works on the jewellery, reliefs, scarabs and small statuary from the collection of the museum as well as from her work on the exposition of the museum and temporary exhibitions from 1945 till nowdays. She was also a coauthor of the preliminary catalogue of Egyptan Art in the museums of the former USSR. [Submitted by Victor V. Solkin]

Dr. Svetlana Hodjash, the keeper of Egyptian collection at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art (Moscow) passed away on August 13, 2008. Dr. Hodjash devoted her life to the Pushkin Museum and its Egyptian collection. She came to the Museum in 1944; since 1972 till her death she was the Head of the Museum's Department of Orient. Dr. Hodjash was the author of more than 100 published works, mostly catalogues of Egyptian antiquities or studies on single objects. Till her death she was very active in museum work: organizing conferences, exhibitions, improving permanent exposition and publishing the collection. In two months she would be 85. We remember her as a cheerful and open for learning person, as a sympathetic colleague, and as a professor, who gave a chance and shared her knowledge with many students. [Submitted by Sergej Ivanov]

20 August 2008

29 June 2008

The "Coptic News and Archive" has been added to the general news links at the top of this page.

ADMIN: small URL change

The Newton Institute has changed its URL slightly to drop the "cam" element from their web address. Egyptology Resources should now be linked at

http://www.newton.ac.uk/egypt

and the TT99 web site from

http://www.newton.ac.uk/egypt/tt99

11 June 2008

12 June 2008

Egypt succeeds in halting two sales of antiquities

This happened in early May but I managed to miss it.

A block about to be sold at Bonhams in London was identified as coming from the tomb of Mutirdis in Thebes, and was pulled from the sale as a result of an intervention from Zahi Hawass. Here is the story and picture. The block appears in situ on Taf. 11 of Assmann's Grab des Mutirdis, published in 1977.

A object looted from a storeroom in Saqqara was similarly removed from a sale in Amsterdam at the same time.

An overview of both stories may be found in al-Ahram Weekly.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/899/he1.htm

It is good to see action being taken against the trade in antiquities recently stolen from Egypt.

Cleopatra's tomb probably not at Taposiris

The media has been rife with speculation that the Egyptian/Dominican Republic Mission at Taposiris Magna might find the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. In a recent article in al-Ahram Weekly, Zahi Hawass seems to think this is not now the case.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/900/he2.htm

18 May 2008

Valley of the Kings update

Not much news around, but Zahi Hawass has posted articles about the ongoing work in the tomb of Sety I and the search for the tomb of Ramesses VIII.

http://guardians.net/hawass/Press%20Releases/
secrets_of_the_valley_of_the_kings.htm

Indiana Jones and the AIA

It's not yet the "Silly Season" but we learn that Harrison Ford has been elected to the board of directors of the American Institute for Archaeology (AIA). The following news story cites his dedication to the subject.

http://www.pr-inside.com/harrison-ford-elected-to-the-board-r593017.htm

The new Indiana Jones film opens in the USA on 22 May.

UPDATE JUNE: readers might like to read the article "Real Archaeologists Don't Wear Fedoras" in the Washington Post.

22 April 2008

Cathleen Keller

I am deeply sorry to have to bring you the news of the passing of Cathleen Keller on 18 April 2008. Known to her colleagues and friends as Candy, she had been seriously ill for a while, but her health took a sudden turn for the worse at the end of last week.

Candy taught Egyptology at UC Berkeley, and was an expert on many things, but we associate her especially with her knowledge of the artists of Deir el-Medina who decorated the tombs of the Valley of the Kings in the Ramesside Period.

She will be very much missed. I hope an obituary from her colleague Carol Redmount, who helped her immeasurably through her illness, will follow soon.

UPDATE: see Berkeley press release obituary
UPDATE: see The Daily Californian Online

8 April 2008

[Apologies for lack of updates]

Statue of queen Tiye

A statue of the queen has been unearthed in the ongoing excavations of the Amenhotep III mortuary temple behind the Colossi of Memnon.

See National Geographic

Another tomb in the Valley of the Kings?

It is rumoured that SCA excavations in the Valley have unearthed another tomb. No official announcement has been made but there is considerable speculation on the net, including the possibility of Nefertiti's burial.

www.legendarytimes.com

Some photos and discussion are at www.glyphdoctors.com

Interesting media items

An article on Edward Lane by Jason Thompson.

A fascinating film on the storerooms of the Cairo Museum. The film is in Dutch. It is well worth watching.

Comments in Al-Ahram Weekly about the Qurnawi.

6 February 2008

Qurna update

It would appear that in December 2007, the process of demolishing houses and moving the people of Qurna started up again. News reports suggest the use of tough measures:

International Herald Tribune

Emma Brunner-Traut

German media in late January reported the death of Emma Brunner-Traut on 18 January, at the age of 96:

http://www.tagblatt.de/2214882

Brunner-Traut was a distinguished Egyptologist in Tübingen, widow of the late Hellmut Brunner, former Professor of Egyptology there. She was renowned as an expert in, among other things, Egyptian folk tales and also in drawings on ostraka and the like.


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News from April to December 1999 appears
to have been lost in an editing error.

News from October 1998 to March 1999

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