News and gossip, May 2000-September 2001

25 September 2001: Break in service

We've gone off to Egypt again to work in TT99. Submissions will have to wait until we return I fear. However, you should be able to follow what we are doing in Egypt by looking at the TT99 Dig Diary.

14 September 2001: Seventh Earl of Carnarvon

News has come of the passing of the Seventh Earl of Carnarvon on 11 September after a heart attack. He was aged 77. Obituaries and news articles may be found on:,,60-2001315663,00.html

The seventh earl was of course the grandson of the discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamun. In his time as holder of the title, the cache of small objects left over after sale of the great Carnarvon collection was discovered at Highclere Castle.

28 August 2001: Silly season in full swing

The 'Silly season' is a name given to the month of August in the UK--it is a time when there is not much serious news as everyone is on holiday, and thus the media are reduced to digging up all sorts of stories to fill their pages. Although not quite in this category, readers will I hope be amused by the following sent to me by Chris Elliott:

According to the interactive entertainment (i.e. computer games) trade paper Computer Trade Weekly (10th August 2001), the software publishing firm Eidos, responsible for the Tomb Raider series of games with their implausibly pneumatic heroine Lara Croft, has had to apologise to the French Egyptologist Jean-Yves Empereur. The fourth title in the series featured a character called Jean-Yves, working in Egypt, and although Eidos denied that it was based on the Egyptologist, an apology still appeared in
Le Monde.

6 August 2001: Cairo volume deadline extended

The deadline for the volume to celebrate the centennial of the Cairo Museum has been extended from July 31 to August 10, 2001.

Abstracts should be sent to:

The Centennial Anniversary of the Egyptian Museum
Tahrir Square
Cairo, Egypt
(fax: 202-579-4596)

17 July 2001: Egyptology FAQ and bad links

To try and deal with the queries I and colleagues get about our subject, I have begun a FAQ on the subject. Learn more about it by clicking here.

I have also been checking some of the links on the ER pages, and was appalled to note how many, particularly on the Other Egypt page, were out of date. This speaks volumes for the very valid concern of the impermanence and general 'flakiness' of the web. I would please ask users of these pages to let me know of links which do not work, to help me maintain standards.

5 July 2001: News about the Sackler Library in Oxford

Readers are probably aware that the libraries in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford have been undergoing a major rebuilding programme. It is intended that they reopen this summer; this document describes the proposed arrangements.

26 May 2001: Qurna Exhibition

An exhibition about Hay's panoramas of Qurna and a lot of interesting material on the modern villages opened in April. It now has a web site:

21 May 2001: Bahariya in the news again

An ancient tomb of Nas I, mother of Gid-Khin-Su, ruler of Al-Wahat Al-Bahariya (Bahariya Oases), was unearthed Thursday, said Zahi Hawwas, Director of Cairo and Giza Antiquities Department.

Gaballa Ali Gaballa, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the rock-hewn tomb dates back to the era of the 26th Dynasty (2500 years ago). The number of tombs that belong to the family of Khin-Su hus hits seven, with only nine other tombs of the 26th Dynasty left.

Hawwas said excavation works will be resumed next September.

News from via Jack Sasson and Richard Parkinson

18 May 2001: Jean-Philippe Lauer

News has reached us of the death in Paris on15th May of Jean-Philippe Lauer at the age of 99. Lauer was probably the oldest Egyptologist alive, and he had a very distinguished career working with various Egyptian monuments at Saqqara. He will be always associated with the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which he began to excavate in the 1920s, and with which he continued to work until well into his 90s. Some links:

18 May 2001: Boston Bulletin articles online

PDF files of all Egyptian articles in the Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are now online. See

These are quite large PDF files and will take some time to download.

13 May 2001: London Diary 19

The latest issue is here. Readers are always urged to check with institutions before going to events.

10 May 2001: Cairo Museum Centennial volume

The authorities at the Egyptian Museum Cairo are planning a volume to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the setting up of the museum in 1902. Contributions are invited; please read this announcement.

10 May 2001: Wells in the Delta

Susanna Thomas and a team from Liverpool has excavated in February/March 2001 three still functioning limestone wells each with 2 rows of cartouches of Ramesses II at the west Delta site of Tell Abqa'in (Bahriya province). Each is approximately 1.60m diameter, and between 3.4 and 3.95m deep. They have also found blocks from at least one more well, and plan on going back next year with remote sensing equipment. The site is one of the series of forts from Memphis to Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. The wells were just inside the south east corner of substantial (nearly 5m wide) perimeter walls.

Information from Susanna Thomas ( I understand that a web page ( is being prepared, but it was not at this address at the time of posting.

15 April 2001: Book reprints

This is not a commercial plug, but I may have found a web site which will reprint a number of out-of-print books to which it seems to have the rights. Take a look at According to an email I have received, they need just 10 back-orders to reprint most of their titles. There are things in there like some of the Metropolitan Theban tomb reports (Davies, Rekhmire/Neferhotep etc; Mace, Senebtisi; Winlock Merytamun) as well as Bothmer's ESLP and Vander's Famine. Things I'd die to have if it's really true. Presumably you order on the web site and they let you know. Very interesting.....

I'd be grateful if anyone can let me know more of experiences with this company. Librarians whom I have contacted don't know of them. Nigel


1 April 2001: Glanville Lecture

This year's Glanville Lecture, arranged by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, will be delivered by Professor John Baines of the University of Oxford at 2.30 pm in the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Cambridge, on Saturday, 13 October. The title will be 'Ancient Egyptian bodies: divine, human, demonic' and tickets will be available in September from Dr Lucilla Burn, Department of Antiquities, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge CB2 1RB.

Cleopatra exhibition and conference

The exhibition 'Cleopatra of Egypt: from History to Myth' will open in the British Museum on 12 April 2001. An associated conference, 'Cleopatra Reassessed' will take place in the British Museum on 13-15 June. See the full programme.

6 March 2001: Discovery at Saqqara

The Dutch Expedition to Saqqara have discovered the first tomb in their concession from the Amarna Period. This is that of Meryneith, who was a High priest of the Aten. They have also discovered a marvellous painted statue of him and his wife, very comparable to the famous one of Maya and Merit in the Leiden Museum. This is a very interesting discovery, and goes to show what can still be found in Egypt. Have a look at the following links, none of which seem to show the statue:,1690,Life|39747,00.html

6 March 2001: New Director for the Cairo Museum

Jack Josephson informs me that Mamdouh M. Eldamaty has been appointed director general of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. He is currently asst. professor at Ain Shams University.

Apologies for the break in news while I was away. I was installing the British Museum exhibition 'Eternal Egypt' in the Toledo Museum of Art.

2 February 2001: Enrichetta Leospo

From Edward Loring:

It is with great personal sadness that I must inform you that our friend and colleague Enrichetta Leospo, Curator of Egyptology in the Museo Egizio di Torino, passed away last night (01.02). The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon (03.02). In spite of her sickness, Enrichetta worked until the end. Let us remember a kind, brave lady whose whole life was Egyptology.

Condolences may be sent by e-mail c/o Matilde Borla:


2 February: online course from South Africa

Dr Izaak Cornelius has asked me to make this announcement:

MACU - Mosaic of Ancient Cultures: Online courses on the Ancient World

The Department of Ancient Studies at the University of Stellenbosch presents MACU: Mosaic of Ancient Cultures - online courses on the ancient world. The first course "Introduction to the cultures of the Ancient Near East" focuses on the cultures of the Ancient Near East (i.e. Egypt, Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine). It will consist of notes (with clickable maps, diagrams and pictures), a chat room, a bulletin board and online evaluation. Successful students will receive a certificate. Topics to be discussed (amongst others) will be history, religion, art, society & politics, environment and agriculture, etc.

For more information concerning contents, admission, costs and registration:

25 January 2001: William J. Murnane again

Readers will be aware of Dr Murnane's death on 17 November last year. I was honoured to be asked to write an obituary for The Guardian,which appeared on 23 January. The text I wrote (longer than that published) is also available online on this site.

24 January 2001: London Diary 18

The latest issue is here. There are rather a lot of emendations and addtions flying around, which cannot easily be incorporated, so readers are urged to check with institutions before going.

3 January 2001: News from Abydos

The media are carrying stories about a discovery of animal cemeteries at Abydos. This originally goes back to some time in mid-November, when a local boy fell into a Ptolemaic/Roman tomb at the entry to the Wadi which ultimately leads to the Umm el-Qaab, the burial site of the Early Dynastic and Prehistoric kings. Explorations, now conducted by the SCA, have revealed so far a number of burials of shrews in small gilded coffins, and also a number of hawk burials. A picture of one of the shrew coffins appears on the BBC news site:

29 December 2000: William L. Moran

William L. Moran, Professor of Assyriology and Mellon Professor of the Humanities, emeritus, Harvard University, died on Dec. 19 at the age of 79 at his home in Brunswick, Maine.

I note his passing on these pages as a number of readers will have used his important translations of the Amarna Letters.

22 November 2000: William J. Murnane

From Memphis comes the dreadful news that William Murnane has died suddenly after emergency heart surgery. He was only 55, and a great Egyptologist. He had been Professor of History in the University of Memphis, as well as being an Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, since (I believe) 1987. Before that he had been, among other things, Deputy Director at Chicago House. He published widely, and his work is well-known to both the scholarly and the popular world. The subjects on which he interested himself were very wide-ranging, and to mention only three, I would choose Egyptian co-regencies, the reliefs of the temple of Karnak, and historical and epigraphic matters relating to the Amarna period. His best-known popular publication is the Penguin Guide to Ancient Egypt, which is by far the best guide around for those interested in the monuments; in the past few years he had also published a volume of excellent and readable translations called Texts of the Amarna Period.

Bill was a great scholar and also a great colleague. On a personal note, my wife and I have known him since we began work in Thebes in the early 1980s, days of which we have many happy memories. Most recently I visited him in Memphis a couple of years ago and spent a most enjoyable but all too brief time there. He will be greatly missed.

22 November 2000: On a lighter note from Qurna

"Your Qurna correspondent" writes from Egypt:

A new excavation method was inaugurated today by the French Mission in the Ramesseum. It is an improvement of the so-called "Carter's horse method", used by the famous archaeologist in 1900 to find the statue of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahari. More recently a “donkey” variant of that system was used in the discovery of the golden mummies in Bahariya Oasis.

But the latest update of the method has to be attributed to the Ramesseum team who used a car. Also, although the linked picture does not allow us to appreciate the details, we assured that it is a Citroën. Have the French archaeologists also found a way to display the name of the sponsor on the excavations?

20 November 2000: Course at Notre Dame University

Steve Vinson has asked me to post this note on an intensive course on Middle Egyptian he is offering.

7 November 2000: Various announcements

I have belatedly put the latest London Diary for the ANE here. I would particularly draw attention to the following lecture by Jan Assmann in London:

Wed 29 Nov 18.00 Prof Jan Assmann 'Funerary rites in Ancient Egypt'
Gustav Tuck Theatre, UCL. RAI Henry Myers Lecture 2000. Admission free. Refreshments afterwards. Details: Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT. Phone: 020 7387 0455

For North American readers:
A Preliminary Schedule for the November 10th Scholars' Colloquium of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities is now available online. Visit the Society's website at:

I have also been asked to mention the Current Research in Egyptology Symposium, Liverpool, 18-19 January 2001

3 November 2000: Abydos boats

A press release of the Pennsylvania-Yale Excavations at Abydos talks about the early boats they have found there:

28 October 2000: Topographical Bibliography news

The first section of the Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Stelae, Reliefs and Paintings (Porter-Moss) is now online as a continually updated database (the equivalent of the "appendix" in the Bibliography records, well-known to those who have consulted the records in Oxford). It covers statues of provenance not known and has been created by Jaromir Malek, Diana Magee and Elizabeth Miles. The database can be consulted on the Griffith Institute's website

25 October 2000: Service resumed

I'm back from Egypt. Note that I have corrected the URL for the TT99 site below.

17 September 2000: Break in service

I'm going to TT99 to work earlier than usual this year. Thus I apologise for the break in service which will occur until late October. Do however send news and I will see what I can do.

You can follow work in Thebes via the TT99 Dig Diary.

16 September 2000: New discovery

The University of Liverpool Mission at the Mediterranean fort site of Umm el-Rakhum has found some well-preserved statues of the Ramesside period. More information will probably become available soon on the SCA web sites.

22 August 2000: BM update

The moves and changes which have affected the Department of Egyptian Antiquities over the past few years are still continuing. Another large move of offices and part of the collection is in prospect, which means that services will be further reduced for a period of time. An announcement will shortly appear on the BM web site for information.


1 August 2000: Jean Vercoutter

I understand that the French Egyptologist Jean Vercoutter died on July 16, 2000 at the age of 89.

Vercoutter was an eminent scholar; he will almost certainly be remembered for his work in Nubia and on Nubian studies. An obituary will be found at:

1 August 2000: Alan Schulman

From Deborah Sweeney: Prof. Alan Schulman passed away on Thursday, July 20th, in Tel Aviv, and was buried the same day. He leaves a wife, Daliah, and two grown children, Anath and Magen.

Professor Schulman was Professor of Ancient History at Queens College in New York for many years. He was a prolific writer, whose interests ranged widely over New Kingdom history, the worship of foreign gods in Egypt, Egyptian stelae. and many other topics, particularly the military history of ancient Egypt, which was an especial favourite of his.


Messages of condolence can be sent to Mrs. Daliah Schulman at:
Rehov Ha Banim 51, Herzeliya, Israel.

18 July 2000: Oleg Berlev

From: M. Dandamayev <>, via Rita Freed, came this news:

It is my sad duty to inform ANES colleagues about the death of the outstanding Egyptologist Oleg Dmitrievich Berlev who passed away after a long illness on July 7 at the age of 67 years. Condolences can be sent to his widow to the address which follows: Prof. A. I. Elanskaja, Oriental Institute, Dvortsovaja nab. 18, 191 186 St. Petersburg. Fax: (812) 312 14 65. E-mail: <>.


Editor's note: Berlev was without doubt the most prominent Egyptologist in the Soviet Union and Russia of recent times. He produced many important books and articles, and his most important area of research was on the Middle Kingdom.

9 July 2000: News from the IAE

Results of voting from the recent ballots will soon be available from the IAE's web site. Chris Eyre has been elected president of the association, and Grenoble has been selected (by a very narrow margin) as the site of the next congress.

British Museum reminder

This year's Sackler Lecture will be given by Jan Assmann from Heidelberg and will be on 26 July 2000. .

A major international colloquium, entitled 'The Theban Necropolis: Past, Present and Future' will take place on the two following days, 27-28 July 2000. Further details of both events, including abstracts of papers to be presented, will be found via


There are still tickets available!

4 June 2000: News from Alexandria (updated 7 June)

The media have been drawing attention to a discovery by Franck Goddio's Franco-Egyptian team of an underwater long-lost ancient classical city in the area of Abukir Bay, just to the east of Alexandria. Here is one BBC story and another BBC story. Goddio's site will provide other information.

A report in the Guardian indicates that the idea is to survey the site and only bring to the surface certain objects. This seems very much to be the correct approach, as otherwise the site is unthreatened. The SCA has of course expressed the wish that priority be given to threatened sites in the Delta proper.

23 May 2000: London Diary


The latest London Diary for the ANE is here.

5 May 2000: British Museum news

This year's Sackler Lecture will be given by Jan Assmann from Heidelberg and will be on 26 July 2000. More information can be found on the BM's web site.

A major international colloquium, entitled 'The Theban Necropolis: Past, Present and Future' will take place on the two following days, 27-28 July 2000. Again, further information will be found on the Museum's web site.

The web site has been redesigned and relaunched. The home page for the museum is now and the Department of Egyptian Antiquities is at The Department has about 150 pages of information about objects in the Collection, the Galleries, as well as further information about Egyptology.

News from January to April 2000 can be located by clicking here.

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

News from October 1998 to March 1999 can be located by clicking here.

News from October 1997 to July 1998 can be located by clicking 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.

News from April 1995 to March 1996 can be located by clicking here.

News from Jan-Mar 1995 can be located by clicking here.

News from 1994 can be located by clicking here.

Unless otherwise indicated, © Nigel Strudwick 1994-2016