News and gossip October 1997-July 1998
12 July 98: M. F. Laming Macadam
From Jaromir Malek:
The death of Dr M. F. Laming Macadam in December 1997 was noticed by few Egyptologists, although he was the author of the fundamental publication on the Temples of Kawa. The International Association of Egyptologists is looking for a former friend or colleague of Dr Macadam who would be willing to write a brief obituary or appreciation (even partial, covering just one aspect or period of Macadam's life) for the web pages of the IAE (http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/IAEPage.html).
Please contact email@example.com
6 July 98: Adolf Klasens
From Arno Egberts:
It is my sad duty to report that Adolf Klasens, former Director of the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden and former Professor of Egyptology at Leiden University, passed away on July 1, 1998, at the age of 81. An obituary will appear on the web site of the International Association of Egyptologists: http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/iae/obits.html.
5 July 98: Japanese discovery at Dahshur, updated 12 July
Summary of article by Nevine El-Aref on p.15 of the 11-17 June issue of Al-Ahram Weekly. Sent to my by Lyla Pinch Brock. See correction added below:
The tomb was for Ptahemwia, a high priest of the goddess Neit and dates to the late 18th Dynasty, based on the presence of seals of Tutankhamun found among objects and debris of the 13 meter deep tomb shaft leading to 4 plundered rooms. There were also seals of Ramesses II among the debris so I don't know how useful any of this is for dating. Limestone relief fragments were found said to be of Amarna style showing a funeral procession with priests in front of a pylon - I think they mean the usual funeral rites in front of the tomb chapel namely the Opening the Mouth and offering ritual with a procession of the funeral party bringing the objects to the tomb, a typical New Kingdom scene from both Thebes and Saqqara. A limestone stela with cavetto cornice shows two scenes one of offering to Osiris and the other offering to the parents of Ptahemwia his wife Nait and his sons ( this description is a little confusing). Faience rings were inscribed with the name of Ankhesenamen. Canopic jar lids of alabaster, shawabti fragments and blue-painted pottery were also discovered. The mission is restoring the tomb and continuing its investigations.
Correction from Nozumu Kawai:
1) The tomb was not for Ptahemwia, but probably for Ip3y, Royal scribe on the basis of several mudbrick stamp sealings bearing his name in the superstructure of the tomb chapel.
2) Ptahemwia, a high priest of Neith is the name of a person written in a stela from the site.
Prelimilinary reports on the Dahshur cemetery in English can be read in Annual Report of the Collegium Mediterranistratum, volume XX (1997) and volume (1998), COLLEGIUM MEDITERRANISTUM (Chichukaigattukai). Secrtaritat: Ogawa Bldg. 201, Funamachi II, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160 Japan.
The preliminary report of the volume XX (1997) can be read in the web site of the Waseda University Egyptian Expedition: http://www.waseda.ac.jp/projects/egypt/sites/Dhshr-E.html
The report on the latest excavation is now in preparation. It will be published in the near future. More questions should be sent to the Egyptian Culture Center at Waseda University: firstname.lastname@example.org
27 May 98: Recent news from Egypt (updated 17 June and 1 July)
The Sphinx has recently been reopened after restoration. There's an article on it at the Egyptian State Information Service.
Back in March, a new tomb of the Old Kingdom was found in the Sohag area. Thanks to David Howell for drawing this to my attention.
The news still is not clear on whether the two tombs at Luxor projected for opening last winter are open or not. They certainly were not in early May. UPDATE 17 JUNE: Richard Wilkinson informs me on a recent visit to Egypt that they (TT13, TT255) are now being prepared for opening in Autumn, possibly also with TT19.
1 July: Helena Jaeschke spotted a dissenting view on tourist development in Egypt.
... and from Paris
A golden point was put on the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde. Thanks again to David Howell.
21 May 98, Professor Torgny Säve-Söderbergh
Professor Torgny Save-Soderbergh passed away quietly during the night of May 21, 1998. He was 83 years old. Retiring in 1980, Torgny remained an active part of the life of the Department of Egyptology at Uppsala University and continued to both influence and take interest in those students who came after his own tenure. His scholarly production was ongoing, and a final article dealing with an expedition to Turkey in the late 30s, will appear in the fall. In spite of his own personal difficulties, Torgny remained a supportive mentor and caring friend. His passing is a personal as well as a professional loss.
The date for the funeral is yet to be set.
Condolences should be sent to his daughter
Mrs. Kajsa Svantesson
S-752 18 Uppsala / Sweden
An obituary will appear on the website of the IAE.
On the behalf of the Department of Egyptology, Uppsala University
18 May 98, Dr Vronwy Hankey
From Jacke Phillips via the ANE list:
Dr Vronwy Hankey has died. The obituary is in the Times (London), and asks donations to the "British School at Athens (Vronwy Hankey Memorial Fund)", British School at Athens, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, in lieu of flowers.
23 April 98: Berlin
The Humboldt University has agreed to save the Egyptology/Sudanology department. Check out this note from Christian Loeben.
23 April 98: British Museum email
The Department of Egyptian Antiquities is temporarily off email, due to the building work in the museum. I shall let you know when it is back.
14 April 98, Dr Kate Bosse-Griffiths
Jaromir Malek writes:
It is with deep sorrow that the International Association of Egyptologists announces the death of Welsh Egyptologist Kate Bosse-Griffiths on 4 April. An obituary will appear on the International Association of Egyptologists' web pages http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/IAEPage.html
Early April 98, Giza
Some pretty crazy stories are doing the rounds about goings on at the pyramids. To add some balance, I have set up a link to an article by 'Sphinx' on the way in which the 'pyramidiots' were making life difficult last year for Egyptologists.
31 March 98, British Museum Colloquium and lecture
EGYPT & NUBIA: GIFTS OF THE DESERT 23 - 24 July 1998
The colloquium will explore the changing nature, usage and perception of the deserts, east and west of the Nile Valley, from remote antiquity up to more recent times, with papers on such diverse topics as palaeoclimatic conditions, prehistoric settlement, petroglyph sites, pharaonic mining, Roman quarrying, and Bedouin interpretation of ancient cultures.
Speakers will include: Professor Sydney Aufrère, Dr Eugene Cruz-Uribe, Dr John Darnell and Deborah Darnell, Dr Renée Friedman, Professor Fekri Hassan, Professor Joseph Hobbs, Dr Birgit Keding, Professor Dietrich Klemm, Professor Rudolph Kuper, Dr Anthony Mills, Professor David Peacock, Professor Romuald Schild, Dr Ian Shaw, Dr Derek Welsby, Professor Fred Wendorf, Dr Jamie Woodward.
The cost of the colloquium will be 30 pounds sterling per person, with a concessionary rate of 15 pounds sterling for members of the International Association of Egyptologists and 10 pounds sterling for bona fide students (letter of accreditation required). There will be an evening reception in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery on 23 July 1998.
Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology,1998
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES IN THE WESTERN DESERT
By Rudolph Kuper of the Heinrich Barth Institut, Köln, Germany
Wednesday 22 July at 6.00 pm
31 March 98, Glanville lecture
The Stephen Glanville Memorial Lecture will be given this year by DR MARK LEHNER and has the title, 'The Lost City of the Pyramids: Excavations at Giza'.
It will be on Saturday May 9th, at 2.30 in the Mill Lane Lecture Theatre, Mill Lane, Cambridge
Tickets are free, but please apply for them to Dr Eleni Vassilika, Department of Antiquities, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge CB2 1RB, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope.
8 March 98: Hans Quecke
Tito Orlandi (email@example.com) passed on this sad information:
"I am very sorry to announce that our colleague and distinguished scholar Father Hans Quecke, honorary President of our Association, has died during the night of March 4th. His health had been slowly deteriorating during the last months.
We all know that he has made such a marvelous contribution to Coptic studies, and we bitterly feel the loss of his guide and active presence in our studies."
6 March 98: Update from Giza
Helena Jaeschke has given me the URL of news of openings and reopenings on the Giza plateau:
My thanks to her. I was both amused and depressed to see John Anthony West quoted as an authority on this page!
2 March 98, updated 5 March: Discovery at Abusir
Czech archaeologists have now opened the tomb of Iufaa at Abusir. The tomb has been known about for a little while, but it is one of these enormous late pits which have always defeated robbers by their very design. Clearing it and shoring it up have taken a long time.
There is now an official report on the Czech Institute of Egyptology web site!
Readers will be amused by the statement on the BBC that "Unlike the famous Tutankhamen' tomb, which was discovered unopened in 1922, there were no treasures unearthed". The BBC radio reporter on 28 February also reported that only 5 intact tombs had been found in Egypt!
26 Feb 98, updated 23 March: Berlin museums update
Christian E. Loeben has asked me to pass this on. It is emphatically NOT an official announcement from the Museum, but Christian can be contacted by email for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org):
As of February 15, 1998, the part of the Egyptian Museum Berlin which used to be exhibited in the Bodemuseum on the Museumsinsel in Berlin's city centre is now closed for good. Only the part of the collection exhibited in Charlottenburg (including Nefertiti and the recently displayed Amarna collection) remains open to the public with the following NEW (!!!) opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10-18 h, Saturday and Sunday 11-18 h (closed on Monday).
However, a special exhibition called "Das Geheimnis der Mumien - Ewiges Leben am Nil" which was already shown last year in Hamburg with enormous success and in Hildesheim will open in Berlin's new museum centre at the Kulturforum in Berlin-Tiergarten (near the famous Philharmonic Hall; please note: NOT situated closely to any of the archaeological museums!!!) on February 28 and can be seen there until May 10, 1998, at the same opening hours as the ones mentioned above. An extended version of the Hamburg catalogue (which exists in a German and English version) will be available.
22 Feb 98: Egypt email list goes HTML
For several years now, a copy of the list of email addresses of Egyptologists created by John Baines has been available by ftp. With the list getting longer and longer (now more than 360 names), and with access to table-based browser software becoming standard, it has been decided to move it to an HTML based version. The URL is:
This version is more readable than its predecessor. The opportunity has been taken to update the list, and those whose names are in it are invited to check that their entries are still up to date.
[ftp link reference deleted 14/04/2006]
The HTML version will now become the master list and additions made to it will be automatically made to the ftp version (this feature is under test at present but will be active 'real soon now'). Any queries or requests to be added should be sent to John Baines, Helen Strudwick, or myself.
1 Feb 98: Some stories from the last three months
My apologies to readers for going off to Egypt for so long! However, I am very grateful to Helen for keeping you informed of developments which relate to the aftermath of the Deir el-Bahari attack on 17 November. Here are brief reminders of some of the main stories:
Saqqara: Alain Zivie announced the discovery of the tomb of Maya, a wet nurse of the time of Tutankhamun. [BBC report]
Giza: the restoration of the Sphinx has apparently been completed [BBC report]
Cairo Museum: the bronze statue of Pepy I was put back on display after having been restored by a German organisation in Mainz. Mohamed Saleh was interviewed for the BBC World Service.
Aswan: the Nubian Museum was opened on 23 November. Those who have visited it report that it is a real 'must-see'. Many objects have been brought from the Cairo Museum, and the material is displayed in superb cases with excellent lighting.
Lake Nasser: water levels continue to rise in connection with the Toshka irrigation scheme. The site of Qasr Ibrim is likely to be seriously effected; more news is expected via the EES expedition which has recently gone to the site.
Today in Cairo: 65 defendants were tried and sentenced as being Gamaa el-Islamiyya members in Cairo. Two were sentenced to death, and the others to jail terms. Their trial started the day of the Luxor massacre.
1 Feb 98: Egyptology events in Bristol, UK
The Egypt Society of Bristol has now been formed, primarily to cater for those interested in Egypt, and living in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire - although more far-flung members are very welcome! It will provide a mixture of lectures, social events and visits to places of interest. Its inaugural meeting featured T.G.H. James, speaking on Howard Carter; future meetings include Mark Horton on Qasr Ibrim (25 Feb) and Joan Rees on Amelia Edwards (24 Jun). There will also be a trip to Berlin from 4 to 7 June. Membership GBP10.00 per year. Details from ESB, c/o Dr A.M. Dodson, Department of Archaeology, University of Bristol, 11 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB; e-mail: Aidan_Dodson@compuserve.com.
Dr Alain Zivie, Directeur de la Mission Archeologique Francais du Bubastion à Saqqara, will gove the 1997/8 Amelia Edwards Lecture, 'New Kingdom Rock-cut Tombs at Saqqara: Excavations and Discoveries', on Tues 17 March 1998, at 1715 hrs, in the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, Queen's Road, Bristol 8. Entry free.
November 1997: Japanese work at Dahshur (added Jan 1998)
The Japanese expedition party to Egypt started new investigations at Dahshur in 1996 and found a large tomb chapel of the New Kingdom as well as other shaft tombs. It is thought to be a cemetery dated to the late 18th Dyn. - the early 19th Dyn., and the preliminary report is now available at http://www.waseda.ac.jp/projects/egypt/sites/Dhshr-E.html
22 Jan 98: More Luxor news
All quiet in Luxor
Pressure of work has delayed this report since my return from Luxor on 5 January. Although tourists are still very few and far between, numbers are increasing, and there were noticeably more people around over the Christmas and New Year period.
The El Ahram Weekly recently ran a story on the lines of the British being the first to have discovered Egypt as a tourist destination and being the last to leave. Although there were a few "Brits" in town, numbers were very low. The predominant nationality was the Italians, with plenty of other continental Europeans too. There seemed also to be a lot of Americans about, and proportionally far more than there were during the so-called Gulf War Crisis. However, we saw no Japanese at all, and the Japanese mission, who arrived at the end of December to continue their work in the tomb of Amenhotep III, had had a great deal of difficulty in being allowed to come to Egypt at all.
Many of the 4- and 5-star hotels here are virtually empty. The Jolie Ville (Mövenpick) is doing quite well, however, with a large number of Egyptians staying there, as well as the majority of the foreigners in town. (It has a rather charming machine-gun emplacement at the top of the road, which is meant to be reassuring, I'm sure.) The backpacking hotels are also doing very well. The Government has been doing a great deal to try to promote tourism amongst the Egyptian population, including moving some public holidays, to encourage people to have a break in Luxor, and this seems to have worked very well.
On the hills, overlooking the West Bank sites, soldiers have been posted to keep guard on the desert approaches. Similarly, there are checkpoints at the bottom of the roads leading up to the Valley Kings and the Valley of Queens, which are quite unobtrusive during daylight hours, but strictly monitored at night.
Foreign missions are able to work pretty much unimpeded, including John and Debora Darnell, whose work on the desert road takes them well off the beaten track and out into "bandit country".
All in all, if you want to see Luxor, now is the time to do it. You can visit the sites with very little disturbance from tour groups, and the security which is in place at the moment is probably as good as it will ever be, without being too obtrusive.
22 Nov 97: Luxor update
Valley of the Kings additional target
Missions working in the Luxor area are all now working as normal. The DAI/UCLA mission, working close to the road in Dra' Abu el-Naga', has today resumed work after a break of three days. They had been the mission closest to events on Monday, in that the hijacked bus drove past them, from Deir el Bahari, seemingly heading for the Valley of the Kings. It is surmised that the gunmen were intending to attack tourists there too. However, they were fired on close to the road junction by the Carter House, and so turned back south and went down towards the Valley of the Queens, passing by the DAI/UCLA site again.
Demonstrations by locals
Nigel reports that there have been groups of locals gathering each day at Deir el Bahari to express their outrage at the actions of the terrorists there, and today this has taken a much more organised form, with groups carrying placards which read "No To Terrorism" gathering at the sites. Similar demonstrations by local people were also held in Luxor itself, where banners have been strung across the roads. Feelings are running extremely high.
19 Nov 97: News from Luxor
I am sure you have all heard by now about events in Luxor on 17 November. I have just returned from Luxor, where Nigel and I have just started this season's work on TT99, and thought you would like a first hand account of what has been happening.
First let me say all Egyptologists in the area are fine; no-one was involved in the shootings. At present, all missions are continuing to work as normal and are intending to continue working for the rest of the season, unless told they have to leave.
For more information, click here.
News from July to October 1997 can be located by clicking here.
News from January 1996 to June 1997 can be located by clicking here.
News from April-December 1996 can be located by clicking here.
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