News and gossip April-September 2002


26 September 2002: Mordechai Gilula

Just before I went to Egypt I heard of the death of Mordechai Gilula, on 10 August 2002. He was a prominent scholar of the Egyptian language and taught at the University of Tel Aviv. He was one of the group of Israeli scholars who followed on from the work of Polotsky; I remember him from his stay in Oxford when I was a student, when he was one of those who started to try and drag us students away from the gospel of Gardiner-type grammar which we had so assiduously learned for our preliminary exams. I had not heard of him for a number of years, which I gather was due to his health problems. It is intended that an obituary be published later in the journal Lingua Aegyptia.


9 September 2002: pause...

I'm off to Egypt and TT99 for a couple of weeks. Do follow the Dig Diary.

3 September 2002: Cairo Museum Centenary

Al-Ahram Weekly has carried a very interesting report on the exhibition and various other activities planned for the centenary of the Egyptian Museum: [Cyberscribe]

3 September 2002: cemetery near Alexandria

Arabic News has reported on a find of a cemetery in the Alexandria area, revealed by road construction. [Cyberscribe]

3 September 2002: proposed plans for el-Matarayia

An unusual source, China Daily, tells us about planned work at el-Matarayia, the site of ancient Heliopolis: [Cyberscribe]

3 September 2002: Serabit el-Khadim

Plans have been announced for improving the site of Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai:

Egyptian State Information Service [Cyberscribe]

3 September 2002: Interviews with Zahi Hawwass

Various interviews have been published with the new head of the SCA, for example:

The Archaeological Institute of America [Cyberscribe]

22 August 2002: trouble in Prague

Readers will be aware of the floods in the Czech Republic in the last few days. Flooding has hit the Department of Archaeology. Books and archives have been badly damaged, and the Department is putting out an appeal for assistance with repairs and restoration. Please look at the following web page:

I was particularly amazed by the photograph of the area around the Archaeology Department. Important note: the Egyptology Department has NOT been affected by this flooding, contrary to my earlier statement.

Please contact Jaromir Krejci if you can help.

31 July 2002: More on returning antiquities

The Egyptian State Information Service has an article on a number of ongoing cases where antiquities which might have been illegally acquired are being returned or investigated. [Cyberscribe]

31 July 2002: News from Giza

Reports from Giza refer to some recent discoveries in the site of the workmen's settlement near the pyramids. [Cyberscribe]

Associated Press

United Press International

31 July 2002: News from the oases

Reports in German appear to refer to discoveries at Dakhla of Old Kingdom material older than the sixth dynasty stuff known heretofore, going back as far as the reigns of Khufu and Djedefre. One of the articles is indicating the discovery of a date in the reign of Khufu which could be a couple of years higher than what was known before. [Cyberscribe]

Express News


31 July 2002: Berenike

The NY Times, repeated in the Dallas Morning News, has a report on recent developments at Berenike. [Cyberscribe]

The page now appears to have disappeared from the Dallas Morning News

I don't have the NYT URL, but readers should recall that they may have to register to find it.


26 July 2002: Book theft in Brussels

The library 'Bibliothèque des Sciences Humaines' of the Université Libre de Bruxelles has suffered the theft of a number of rare and valuable volumes:

- G. JEQUIER, L'architecture et la décoration dans l'ancienne Egypte, Paris, 1920-1924 (3 vols.)

- N. DAVIES & A. GARDINER, Tutankhamun's painted box, Oxford, 1962.

- W. WRESZINSKI, Atlas zur altägyptischen Kulturgeschichte, Genève, 1988, v.1 (Slatkine Reprints)

- N. de G. DAVIES, The temple of Hibis, New York, 1953.

- Scenes of King Herihor in the Court, Chicago, Oriental Institute, 1979 (The temple of Khonsu, I).

If anyone has any information about this, or is offered any of the books, they should please contact Luc Delvaux, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bibliothèque des Sciences Humaines, Av. F.D. Roosevelt 50 - CP 181, 1050 Bruxelles. Tél.: 02/650.47.58. e-mail:

25 July 2002: New Cairo museum

Readers will be aware that plans have been around for some time to build a new museum near the Pyramids. Earlier this year an architectural competition was announced, and according to this AP report, there have been 1,000 architects showing interest! [Cyberscribe]


25 July 2002: Blocks from Behbet el-Hagar turn up for sale

Blocks from the Delta temple of Behbet el-Hagar have appeared on the art market at Christie's in New York. Apparently they were withdrawn from sale when it was drawn to Christie's atttention. [Cyberscribe]

See AP story:

For article on the way some stolen objects are tracked and other aspects of the trade follow these links:,1419,L-LATimes-Calendar-X!ArticleDetail-63794,00.html


14 July 2002: mummy of Ramesses I????

The story continues to come out of Atlanta, Georgia, that one of the mummies there, originally in the Niagara Falls collection, is that of Ramesses I. Tests so far have not proven conclusively that it is he, but the desire to keep pushing this line has now been ratcheted up a notch by the announcement that the mummy is to be returned to Egypt. See for example:

Associated Press

[Readers will gather from the tone of the previous paragraph that I am highly sceptical about this and suspect a publicity ploy!]. Thanks to John Gregg for the first URL, and Cyberscribe for the second.

26 June 2002: Barbara Adams

Barbara Adams, formerly the curator of the Petrie Collection in UCL, died on 26 June after a long illness. Apart from her work in the Petrie Museum, she will be remembered for her specialisation on material from the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods, and for working for many years on excavations at Hierakonpolis. Her funeral service was on 4 July.

A very nice obituary of Barbara appeared in the Guardian:,4273,4460743,00.html

20 June 2002: Schulz trial update

I understand that sentencing has taken place in the trial of Frederick Schulz, the New York dealer found guilty earlier this year of dealing in stolen antiquities. I hear that he has been sentenced to 33 months in prison, fined $50,000 and ordered to return some objects to Egypt. I understand there will be an appeal.


15 June 2002: Returned statue on show

The statue stolen from the magazine at Karnak has now gone back on show in Cairo. See a report in Al-Ahram Weekly: [Cyberscribe]

5 June 2002: Discovery in Scotland

The UK media's attention was recently drawn to an object of the time of Thutmose III which turned up in work on a Scottish country house which used to belong to the Dalrymple family [Cyberscribe] See:


31 May 2002: Road threat to Abydos

A new road is being proposed in the area of Abydos which would do irreparable harm to the most ancient monuments at that site. [Cyberscribe] See:


23 May 2002: Tut on the radio

BBC Radio 4 is going to be broadcasting a programme in their 'Archive Hour' called 'Jewels of the Nile' on Saturday 25 May at 20:00. The programme deals with the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. I believe that there could be an amount of archive recordings dealing with it which might be of interest to readers. The programme can also be heard over the internet via


5 May 2002: New pyramid at Abu Roasch

Reports indicate that a subsidiary pyramid, perhaps of a queen, has been found near the pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Roasch. See:

29 April 2002: Ramesside stela in Jordan

Spotted in a message to the EEF list by Stefan Wimmer: he reported in the 3 ICAANE (Third International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East) the discovery of a new stela of Ramesses II
in Jordan by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. The provenance was inside a mosque in the village of at-Turra, northwest of Ramtha. The new stela, made of basalt, preserves 8 fragmentary lines of badly preserved
text, mentioning names and titles of Ramesses II, the gods Geb and Nepri, and passages concerning rebels and possibly Egyptian building activity, but unfortunately no regnal year. At the ICAANE Wimmer suggested that the monument may be related to Ramesses' II campaign to Galilee and the area of southern Syria from year 8, as recorded at the pylon of the Ramesseum.

24 April 2002: Egypt threatens co-operation with certain foreign institutions

April 10, 2002 Minister of Culture and Head of the Higher Council for Antiquities (HCA) Farouk Hosni yesterday ordered a halt to scientific co-operation with foreign universities and museums that refuse to return stolen Egyptian antiquities. "This is the surest way to get back our stolen antiquities," said HCA Secretary General Zahi Hawass. He added that this new strategy aims to catalogue missing antiquities in various collections around the world. Next week, the HCA will take delivery of a statue of Amenhotep III from the Netherlands. "The statue is one of a 55-piece collection stolen from Luxor 15 years ago," Hawass explained. [Cyberscribe].

Egyptian State Information Service

The following information via AP gives more information about the statue mentioned above.

The 50-by-33 centimetre statue of King Amenhotep III was among 55 pieces stolen from a storage near Karnak temple in the southern city of Luxor 15 years ago. It was then smuggled to the Netherlands, said Zahi Hawass, head of the government's Supreme Council of Antiquities. The international police force, or Interpol, found the statue in the possession of a collector in the Hague. [Cyberscribe].

Associated Press
More detail at:

24 April 2002: Sudanese mummy

Antiquity smugglers found Sudan's first fully-preserved mummy, which belongs to a royal family member of the Kushite royal family, it is claimed. But they did not profit from their discovery. This week they were arrested after trying to sell the mummy to a police officer posing as an antiquity dealer, the commercial branch of the police said in a statement. "This is the most important archaeological discovery of its kind in the royal cemetery of Napata," the secretary of the Sudanese Museum, Siddeek Mohammed Gism al-Seed, said Wednesday. The mummy is believed to be the body of a member of the family of King Taharqa. The mummy has been flown to Khartoum and is now in the museum, where experts are examining it to determine its identity, al-Seed said. The police statement said they had been watching the two smugglers since they first appeared in Khartoum in February seeking a buyer for the mummy. The smugglers had recovered the mummy in its grave and were showing photographs to interested parties. They were arrested after the police officer who posed as a buyer had agreed to buy the mummy for 1.5 billion Sudanese pounds ($586,000 US), the statement said. [Cyberscribe].

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.

24 April 2002: Discoveries at Zagazig

According to Reuter, an Egyptian-German team at Zagazig have uncovered statues of Ramesses II and possibly Nefertari at the end of March. The statue of the queen might originally have been as much as 20 m in height. [Cyberscribe].

24 April 2002: Cleaning of and discoveries at the Colossi of Memnon

A report on indicates that the German company Kircher, who are experts in cleaning large buildings, have undertaken a project worth Euro 250,000 to clean the Colossi of Memnon, the most significant remaining parts of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. They have apparently found paint under the thousands of years of dirt and grime. The company is apparently paying for the work as part of its contribution to the preservation of the past. [Cyberscribe].,3367,1441_A_484626_1_A,00.html

April 17, 2002 A statue of a queen and two statues of Amenhotep III were found at the Kom el-Hitan area, the local name for the area of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III at Thebes. The new find was unearthed by the Egyptian-German archaeological mission under German archaeologist Rainer Stadelmann. [Cyberscribe]

Egyptian State Information Service


12 April 2002 Spyonit

My thanks to Malcolm Dean for drawing my attention to Spyonit as a notification service for when this page changes. Click on the icon at the top of the page for information. The main difference from Mind-it is that you have to create an account, but you can also track a far wider range of changes.

8 April 2002 Apparent failure of Egypt Revealed

The above magazine has not appeared for some time, but I am told they are still trying to obtain subscriptions. Anyone trying to get their money back should contact Lynne Cole ( who is assembling data in an attempt to get money back.

4 April 2002 New head of SCA

It has been announced in the Egyptian press that Dr Zahi Hawwass is to be the new head of the SCA, replacing Dr Gaballa, who is retiring but also becoming an advisor to the Minister of Culture. Dr Zahi will be well-known to readers as the General Director of the Pyramids and Saqqara, and involved in many important recent finds in Egypt, in particular the 'Golden Mummies' of Bahariya Oasis. We all wish him success in a very important and difficult job.

News from October 2001 to March 2002 can be located by clicking here.

News from May 2000 to September 2001 can be located by clicking here.

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