Friday, 29 March 2013 Customer Reviews: Hidden Luxor Customer Reviews: Hidden Luxor: Brilliant book,even better when you've been there and I'm looking forward to meeting Jane personally the next time I visit luxor

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

cheap flights to Luxor for the Luxor marathon

Currently you can get a return flight to Luxor for the Luxor marathon for £136 British pounds!! I have just had my first bookings and the guests were amazed at the price, so get in quick..

Here is the link to the marathon website I promise to cheer you on anf fed you carbs the night before

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Egypt balloon flights to resume after deadly crash - Yahoo! News UK

Please when you select your balloon company do not do it on the basis of price but on the safety record of the company and the insurance cover they provide, before looking at price. 

Egypt balloon flights to resume after deadly crash - Yahoo! News UK: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Friday, 22 March 2013

Hyksos buildings are the latest ancient discovery in Tel Habuwa - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Ahmoses is a Luxor boy! 

Hyksos buildings are the latest ancient discovery in Tel Habuwa - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: mportant new discoveries at the Tel Habuwa dig east of the Suez Canal shed light on the campaign by Ahmose I (c.1550–1525 BC) against the Hyksos invaders

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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Dig Houses - Mummification Museum Lecture

Marcel very kindly gave me the notes from the lecture so I did not have to scribble away. If you want to see the pictures go to his website

Who are we?

•Marcel Maessen 50, manager Sales admin Volvo Trucks dealership Netherlands, Egypt
fan since 1998, websites to project 2009
•Monica Maessen, 49, Controller at company for solutions petro and food
•El Konsol, 37?, Schoolteacher, driver and MSA contact
•Abla, 22, Teacher architecture, Architect

A home away from home
Insinger House
Although most of the dighouses can be found on the west bank, there have been
and, in some cases still are, some houses worth mentioning on the East Bank of
Luxor, the oldest one being the Insinger House. (not Egyptologist, but important
nevertheless because of Insinger Papyrus) Long gone and hardly documented
throughout its history. Only a few images remain for us to see.
Chicago House
Going towards the Karnak Temple Complex, you drive past Chicago House; the
second house, inhabited by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Or
is it the third? As photographs on the OI website state that there has also been a
dighouse inside Medinet Habu, and, of course, the first Chicago .

Legrain’s House
Directly at the current entrance, there used to be the house of George Legrain,
demolished in 2006

New French house
Centre franco-egyptien d'etude des temples de Karnak Old village.

New French house
Centre franco-egyptien d'etude des temples de Karnak new village

Canadian House
Also at the Karnak Temple complex, there’s a dighouse, inhabited by the
Canadian team of Egyptologists.
Unless we have missed one, that about sums it up for the East Bank. Let’s take a
walk along the west bank and show you (most of the houses) the dighouses.
Most of which we still have to research

Carter House I
Hidden behind the offices of the SCA, you can find the first house, Howard Carter
used to live in, when he was the director of antiquities in Luxor. Recently rebuild
by ARCE, it’s is now in use as a training facility for SCA inspectors as well as the
domicile for some of them.

Chicago House I (?)
According to the OI website, this used to be one of the houses in use as a
dighouse for their archaeologists. It was located right on the premises of Medinet

French House 3
Right next to Malqata, you can find the dighouse of the “Centre national de la
recherche scientifique“. A large complex of rooms, currently inhabited by Dr.
Christian Leblanc and his team.
French House 4
Driving back towards Qurna, you take a left towards Deir el-Medina, where you
can find yet another IFAO dighouse, right on top of the mountain. The house is
currently in use by the team of Cedric Gobeil .
Originally started out as a small house for Ernesto Schiaparelli. After Bernard

Chicago House II (?)
When you take a right at the crossing near Carter House I, the first location we
find, is that of the first Chicago House, Some say Marsam. Built by Callender 1926
expanded several time 80 rooms.

Italian House
Inside the perimeters of the Marsam Hotel, there’s another structure, specifically
built for the Italian mission in the 1970’s

German House
Just down the road, you can find the German House. Actually the third house to
be built in the exact same spot. The first one (this one) inaugurated in 1906 and
torn down in 1915 by the British,

the second one from 1927 until this one too was torn down in 1983

and, of course the current house.

Gardner Wilkinson House
Just a bit further down the road, when you look up the mountain you can see the
remains of, most likely, the oldest dighouse in all of Egypt: The remains of the
tower near the tombs where John Gardner Wilkinson used to live. Before it’s
completely gone, I sure would like to do a bit of investigation there!

Garis Davies House
Even further down the road and looking to the left, one can already catch a
glimpse of the house, at one time inhabited by Norman and Nina de Garis
Davies; the so-called Davies House, but on foot, and following the road, it’s still
quite a long way to go _. One has to go past one other, rather famous house, to
reach it, but I will save that house for last. For now, Let’s continue a bit further
towards the Valley of the Kings, where, just before we take a left to enter the
long road to the Valley, we can find

Castle Carter II
The House where Howard Carte use to live, when he made his great discovery in
1922. Although the house has been altered quite extensively since the days Of
Carter and it has been turned into a small museum, the house sits on an
attractive place (nowadays; it used to be on a “mount of flies”) and still breathes
some of the atmosphere that it, no doubt, had, when it was still inhabited.

Waseda House
Just behind Carter House, one can see the Japanese House and, I guess, it’s
probably the least well-known dighouse of them all, in the Luxor area. Only
yesterday, we did our first photographical survey there.

Stoppelaëre House
Just up the mountain from Carter house, one can see the charming Stoppelaere
House. Not an actual dighouse as such, but still at one time, it has been in use by
someone, related to the search and restoration of Ancient Antiquities. Namely by
the Antiquities Service restorer of the time: Alexandre Stoppelaere, about whom
(and his house), a more complete article is in the making.

Davis House
After you reach the Valley of the Kings and take a right turn into the western
Valley (or Valley of the Monkeys), after a couple of hundred feet, you will find the
(restored) house of Theodore Davis (Ayrton).

Kent Weeks’ House
Just a couple of feet away from the Theodore Davis House, there’s one more
“dwelling”: Kent weeks’ Caravan.

Deir el Bahri: Naville’s house

Let’s go back to the Assasif area, to see what the Davies house, we mentioned
earlier, looks like now and then, visit this evenings’ main topic.

As I said, there’s one more house, I did not mention by name yet and it’s on the
way to the de Garis Davies House. Just before you reach Deir el-Bahri, you can
take a left into the Assasif area. Once you have done this, you will see the
majestic Metropolitan House, or Polish House as it’s called now and that’s where
it all started for us and our project.

The ‘Graphic Section’, the recording branch of the Metropolitan Museum
Expedition worked in Egypt from 1907 unitl appr. 1937. From the inception of
the museum’s Egyptian Department, John Pierpont Morgan was a major patron,
funding fieldwork projects and advancing funds as needed to Albert Morton
Lythgoe, The Met’s Museum’s Head of the Egyptian department, in the field.

Over time it has been home to many famous names, such as Arthur C. Mace,
Harry Burton, Howard Carter spend his share of time at the house, when the
Metropolitan Team helped him in every way they could, cataloguing and
photographing the finds in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Walter Hauser and, of course
Herbert Winlock. Today, the house (see above) still breathes the atmosphere
there must have been in the 1910’s and 1920’s. Just close your eyes and imagine
that, once you look outside, you are looking straight into the eyes of Herbert
Eustice Winlock, coming back from a day of digging.
Located amidst the tombs and hills of the Assasif area and with a clear view of
Deir el-Bahri and Hatshepsut’s temple complex, the Metropolitan House cannot
be overlooked.

We know that in 1912, construction of the house had not been finished (or at
least not completely), from H.E. Winlock, when he said, in 1911-1912 that “One
day Norman de Garis Davies had told me that I had better stop off on my way up
to the house we were building for the Expedition” (Excavations at Deir el-Bahri

Not many actual reports about the Metropolitan House have been made. Its
importance is only evident for those who have lived there. Yet, an interesting
account by Calvin Tomkins (Merchants and Masterpieces: The story of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art) gives us a little insight as to why the house was
“Archaeology, for the professional, is ninety-nine parts of hard labor and
frustration to every one part thrilling discovery. The Staff of the Metropolitan
expedition, however, led a pleasant life.
Pierpont Morgan came out to Luxor soon after operations started and decided
that men who worked that hard should have something better than a tent to
come back to in the evening. Morgan put up the money for a large, comfortable
base headquarters. It was called Morgan House until someone realized that the
great financier had merely advanced the money as a loan and then paid himself
back out of Museum funds; after that it was known as Metropolitan House.
Modeled after a Coptic church, withhick walls to hold the nightly chill and keep it
cool during the scorching midday, it had twelve bedrooms (single for bachelors,
double for married couples), a high-ceilinged common room for dining, and a
shady veranda overlooking, in front, the wide fertile plain, and in back, the stark
desert hills in which lay the great necropolis of ancient Thebes.”

Another paragraph says:
“Life at the Metropolitan House was relaxed and civilized, unlike the atmosphere
at the Oriental Institute of Chicago dig nearby, where a sort of military discipline
prevailed. There was bottled water for drinking and Nile water for bathing,
carried up in goatskins by tiny donkeys and cooled by evaporation. Illness (at the
Metropolitan House) was rare.”

Reports of famous visits, besides, of course, the visits from famous Egyptologists
of the past, are rare.
The only reference can be found in Merchants and Masterpieces:
“King Albert and Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians visited the Metropolitan House
once (after WWI), and had lunch at that place.”
This visit took place on March 25th, 1930, during the second visit of Queen
Elizabeth to Egypt, by
invitation from King Fouad. (King Albert I was not present during the first trip in
February 1923, when Queen Elisabeth was present at the opening of the tomb of

The house was in use by the Metropolitan team between 1912 and
approximately 1937, after which it was used by the Egyptian Antiquities
Organization (EAO, the current SCA or Ministry of State for Antiquities) until
approximately 1960. Since 1961, the Polish-Egyptian Archaeological and
Conservation Mission to the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri has been
using the house, as well as some other Polish missions, e.g. recently the small
expedition led by Tomasz Gorecki, working in the Coptic area in TT 1152.

The Plan(s) of the House
Apparently, there are three plans for the house. The first appears at the bottom
right hand corner of the drawing, made by Palmer-Jones and shown at the Royal
Academy Exhibition of 1912.

The Plan(s) of the House
The second plan also dates back to 1912 and is signed “AM2182, Plan of
American House Luxor 1912, Palmer Jones”

The Plan(s) of the House
and the third one was one of two drawings by Palmer Jones, exhibited at the Royal
Academy Exhibition in 1913.
If we accept the 1912 drawing as the original plan, the house, as built, deviated from the
original plan. Once you compare the current layout with the three plans, it looks as if the
1913 plan is the most accurate one, e.g. the various study and storage rooms (or tombs,
used as storage rooms), now present, are not part of the original plan. Even the first two
plans (the one shown in the drawing and the original 1912 plan) are not an exact match.
The 1912 plan for the house (Academy Architecture and Architectural Review, vol. 41,
1912, p. 37) shows many rooms:
a dining room,
living room,
ten bedrooms,
a bathroom,
a kitchen,
a pantry,
a servants’ room,
a drawing room,
two verandas (Mandaras) and
two workrooms.
Comparison of the various drawings by Palmer Jones with old (and recent) photographs
show that the house, as it was built already differed from the original plan
The Plan(s) of the House
None of the three plans mentions the west corner room as being the Director’s
office, which it has been since the beginning and still is. Recently, Mariusz Caban,
a student, majoring in architecture, finished an accurate plan of the house in its
current state. These plans can be found on our website

The Metropolitan House today.
As with every house built (for the greater part) from mud brick, the Metropolitan
House has suffered some damage over the years (some of it already visible as
early as 1919-20).

The Metropolitan House today.
The Metropolitan House was built on a slope, facing north. The foundation of the
house was made of limestone blocks, of which there were, no doubt, plenty lying
around in the area, at the time.

The Metropolitan House today.
Parts of a tomb or temple? Definitely, since there are at least two blocks that
show pharaonic carvings and three small ancient columns were embedded into
the corners of the house.

The Metropolitan House today.
For the rest, wood and mud brick were used, while fired bricks were used for
some of the interior walls. In order to get some cooling, the house was
constructed using a double roof (see right), facing from north to south, where the
(cooler) wind from the north could blow through.

The Metropolitan House today.
The same can be said for some of the top windows (especially the ones used for
the work and store rooms: they also face north. Here, it’s not only for letting the
wind blow in from the north, but also because of the northern light, to shed at
least some light into the house.

The Metropolitan House today.
One must remember that main electricity was not installed until the 1970’s, by
the Polish mission. In Winlock’s day there must have been some sort of electricity
(e.g. by a generator), judging from the presence of electric lamps in the 1930
photo of the living.

The Metropolitan House today.
In later years, mainly during the time after the Egyptian-Polish mission started to
occupy the house, some important additions were made to the house, such as
electricity throughout the house (1970’s).
During the time of Dr. Jadwiga Lipińska, a ‘guest house’ was added to the building
to meet the growing demand of living quarters for the team’s members.
A garage was also added to the grounds to hold Dr. Lipińska’s Vaz (Lada). This
garage was torn down in 2011 (interesting note: for some time, Dr. Lipińska’s Vaz
was parked inside the garage at Theodore Davis’ old dig house in the Valley of
the Monkeys. Only recently – around 2008 – the car was moved to the SCA
compound, just behind Howard Carter’s old house. Word has it, that the car,
although taken apart, still remained inside the compound.)
Around 2001, one of the two bathrooms was completely renovated.

The Metropolitan House today.
Doors, lamp fittings, floor tiles, window panes, etc. have been able to withstand
the test of time, e.g. many of the original lamps are still in place, adapted for the
new way of lighting the rooms.

The Metropolitan House today.
The Mashrabyia doors between the living room and the dining room date back to
the beginning. Some of the furniture, although not the original ones anymore,
has been modeled to look like the ones from the time of Herbert Winlock and all
the other famous names, associated with the Metropolitan House. The tiles on
the floor used to be walked on by these men and women from the early days of
Not all of the original house and surrounding structures have survived, though.
Just recently, both the Reis’es small house to the east of the main building as well
as the small dome on the east side and Herbert Winlock’s stables were
demolished, during an attempt to tear down the whole house. Fortunately this
was stopped in time.

The Future of dighouses
Although not part of Egypt’s ancient history, the Metropolitan House as well as
other old dighouses in Egypt are well worth our attention, as the people who
uncovered Ancient Egypt in the past, and still do so today, called these places
their ‘home from home’.
Because a lot of these houses have been built on antiquities’ land, they are
under the threat of being demolished, thus destroying not only, in some cases,
beautiful structures, but also a part of Egypt’s more recent history.
Let’s hope that the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities will give us the time
to document them and preserve their information for future generations, so they
too will know about these ‘homes away from home’ – the places where the
Egyptologists who first uncovered Egypt’s secrets used to live.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Vegetarian Food in Egypt

Meat is quite rare in an Egyptian home so there are many delicious dishes cooked locally that are perfect for vegetarians. The chef at Flats in Luxor cooked this delicious meal for me to demonstrate what he would cook for a vegetarian. The soup was potato with garlic and cumin. The main course was stuffed vegetables tomato, potato, aubergine, courgette and peppers stuffed with rice, accompanied by Egyptian mousaka tomato, aubergine and onion baked in a tagen. Finally a tomato salad with onions. So this would be suitable for a vegan as well.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Archaeology News : One of the world’s oldest sun dials dug up in Valley of the Kings | Heritage Daily - Latest Archaeology News and Archaeological Press Releases : Archaeology Press Releases

Archaeology News : One of the world’s oldest sun dials dug up in Valley of the Kings | Heritage Daily - Latest Archaeology News and Archaeological Press Releases : Archaeology Press Releases: The team of the Egyptological Seminar under the direction of Prof. Susanne Bickel made the significant discovery while clearing the entrance to one of the tombs.

During this year’s excavations the researchers found a flattened piece of limestone (so-called Ostracon) on which a semicircle in black color had been drawn. The semicircle is divided into twelve sections of about 15 degrees each. A dent in the middle of the approximately 16 centimeter long horizontal baseline served to insert a wooden or metal bolt that would cast a shadow to show the hours of the day. Small dots in the middle of each section were used for even more detailed time measuring.

The sun dial was found in an area of stone huts that were used in the 13th century BC to house the men working at the construction of the graves. The sun dial was possibly used to measure their work hours. However, the division of the sun path into hours also played a crucial role in the so-called netherworld guides that were drawn onto the walls of the royal tombs.........

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

It is a gorgeous sunny day in Luxor, Egypt

Hatshepsut's temple
Get a last minute flight to Luxor and get away from the cold, snow and wind. Flats in Luxor has plenty of vacancies and at prices from $12.50 per person per night for 6 people sharing a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment with swimming pool, this is one holiday you can afford. :)

Monday, 11 March 2013

More Sekhmet statues unearthed at Amenhotep III's temple in Luxor - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

More Sekhmet statues unearthed at Amenhotep III's temple in Luxor - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: Egyptian and European excavators unearthed a collection of black granite statues depicting the ancient Egyptian lioness Goddess Sekhmet during their routine excavation at King Amenhotep III funerary temple in the Kom Al-Hittan area on the west bank of Luxor.........

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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Tonights lecture was cancelled.

Although I had been told Zoltan was giving the lecture tonight sadly nobody had told Zoltan!!! He was quite surprised when he turned up. However he gave me the link to his blog TT184:  and Facebook page and he promises to give a lecture next year..

There are also a couple of old lectures on the blog

Monday, 4 March 2013

Egypt Property For Sale | Dahabeya for sale

There is still a chance to buy the Kingfisher dahabiyya, although it is currently used as a houseboat it could be used to set up a cruise business at the top end of the market. Viewing is welcome. 
Egypt Property For Sale | Dahabeya for sale: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Valley of Kings reopened this afternoon

Mansour Boraik just phoned me to say the valley of kings has reopened. :)

The bazaar owners had blocked the road to the valley of kings as reported here

Mummification Museum Lecture - Ptolemaic Coins in Thebes

Ptolemaic Coins in Thebes – Thomas Faucher
Firstly I encourage you to look at this video a short clip of which he showed during the lecture, it documents their work in experimental archaeology.

Secondly Thomas also dedicated his lecture to Michel Wuttmann

Thomas described the difficulties of coins found in excavations. He will find a description or a photograph but when tries and locates the coins they have disappeared. There are big difficulties in restoring coins as they are very labour intensive and sometimes an excavator was presented with a big mess of corroded metal and could see years of work. That might be why they have disappeared from evocations from long ago.

The first coins in Egypt were gold ones of Nectanebo II 361-343 they had hieroglyphics on them. (One of the things I had not appreciated is that finding a coin leads to speculation about it use.) These coins were possible produced to pay mercenaries in the war against the Persians.

The Hacksilber hoard contained 2 silver coins (I found this article

Hoards were quite common and would contain a mixture of metal pieces, coins, jewellery, ingots. A letter from a Roman called Ossenouiphis details the contents of his mothers hoard and there was a complete mixture in that.

There is a system of classification that is used with regard to Ptolemaic coins Les monnaies de fouilles du Centre d'Études Alexandrines and he used this in his presentation. Many of his slides showing location were taken from Google Earth which has recently been updated and is very useful for aerial shots of Karnak. No coins of Ptolemy I or II have been found and he does not have a reason why that should be.

Opet Temple at Karnak

The 1968/69 excavation discovered 700 coins weighing 40 kilos they were from series 3, 4 and 5 and only half have been conserved. He has a new team of Egyptian conservators working on this. There is a 50gm coin that has a closed wing eagle and 100gm coin with an open winged eagle. This is the biggest in the Greek world and has technical difficulties in production.

North Bubastis Wall

During the work to put in the sound and light equipment, 12 coins were found from series 5 and 6. In 187 BC the old coins were withdrawn and new ones issued. Coins were marked with a counter mark and Thomas should an example of one where the owner had put his own mark.

Ptah Temple.

A series 6 coin from 197-150 with the head of Alexander. This is unusual as Alexandrian coins were not normally found in southern Egypt

Ptolemaic Baths

316 coins were found in Sep 2007 from series 7 150-115. Examples are Isis with one eagle and 2 eagles.

At this point he showed us a short clip from his YouTube video showing how coins were struck with a metal die. Coins can also be moulded which is easier. Some coins had lead mixed in the bronze and this is badly mixed and shows. He showed a coin found at the Akhoris chapel which shows the lead. Moulded coins used clay moulds.

Ptah Path

In the area to the south of the Osirian chapels on the Ptah path they found a monetary workshop. The letters on the die are not proper Greek letters series 7. They also found a 4 coin blank as shown in the video. It is easier to mould coins and the authorities must have known that coins were being struck so this is a first, a mint outside Alexandrian which was illegal!

Mut Temple

Here they found an empty jar which must have contained a hoard which the owner had collected. But when he collected it he dropped 13 coins outside the pot.

Front of the first pylon

A tantalising photograph showing a coin find but according the records they were too corroded to save. In nearly every excavation he nearly always finds coins so excavations of the past that have no records or the coins are lost but must have had them and it is disappointing so many have gone missing.

Coins tell us a lot, about how much money was in circulation and what the coin would buy. For example the economy of Ptolemy IX had 10,000 talents which would have made 15 million coins but only 333 silver talents were struck and fewer bronze ones.

Also they give us the only picture of Cleopatra which certainly does not show her as a beauty which matches contemporary accounts. Augustus coins had the value written on them in Latin. There were 80 and 40 drachma coins and this would give you a week at the public baths, a kilo of wheat or one day’s wages.

His plea was an amusing slide saying don’t throw your coins away (even though is takes 2 years to clean 800 coins)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Documentaire CEAlex : The Eagles of Alexandria - YouTube

A trailer for the lecture write up, this video features part of the discussion in the lecture.

Documentaire CEAlex : The Eagles of Alexandria - YouTube: - Sent using Google Toolbar

British School in Luxor

You are cordially invited to attend a community meeting to discuss the possibility of a new British School serving the Luxor area.
The meeting will be held at The Gaddis Hotel,
Khaled Ebn Whaled Street on Friday 15th March at 7.30pm

If the proposal moves forward the new school would serve 2 – 10 year olds during the first year.
A Secondary School will be considered depending on the response.
The meeting is intended to evaluate community response and cover the issues that are important to parents such as renovations, transportation, technology and curriculum.
The British School Luxor hopes to unveil a new school logo at the meeting.

Our goal is to build an accredited school that offers a quality English education with special focus on the language and culture of our host country, Egypt.

Dr. Marina Hitchen, who will work with us, has developed and worked in various international schools and has extensive knowledge on how to create and implement the programme we are planning.

We believe that each child learns differently and needs to be challenged at her/his own level. We believe that the ideal classroom is one in which each student has a variety of ways to learn new things and has the opportunity to practise and extend new knowledge. Our belief is that children, with guidance, can learn to identify their own strengths and weaknesses so that they make optimal progress.

If you are interested in a place for your child at The British School Luxor, please attend the meeting and fill in an application form or contact us on (002) 01065222307 or by email

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Mummification Museum Lecture - Amonehotep on the hill

Kindly corrected by Laurent Bavay

Amenhotep back on the Hill (and the pyramid of a vizier as well)

Firstly their website is

Secondly the lecture was dedicate to Natasha Baron and Michel Wuttman

Now the lecture. Dr Laurent explained how their work started with TT C3 one of the tombs known to exist but not located. They excavated to the south of TT29 Imenemipet an area occupied by ruins used as a stable and documented all the phases of occupation from the modern house to the Pharaonic. It is a T shaped New Kingdom tomb and was filled with debris. The wall paintings were lost, mostly cut away in the mid 19th century but the ceilings with texts remained. The owner was a deputy of the overseer of seal bearers called Amenhotep, he was married to Renena, a chantress of Amun who was the daughter of Senneferi and at least half the tomb is dedicated to her. They realised they had rediscovered a tomb visited by Piehl in 1882 and the wall paintings were gone when he was there.

Senneferi TT99 from the reign of Tuthmosis III excavated recently by Nigel Strudwick had a statue of Amenhotep, a false door of his was found reused by the Romans at Karnak which Traunecker had published. Due to the kind offices of Mansour Boraik this false door is being moved back to the tomb and will be reinstalled tomorrow (the day after the lecture).

Underneath the modern house a mud brick wall encloses part of the pharaonic courtyard and there is a little room with 2 beds. There were a lot of Coptic monasteries and hermitages on the hill and from the ostraca the occupant of this one was identified as Hello. One of the ostraca is a list of Arabic words written in Coptic alphabet with their Coptic translation.

Inside the chapel they had problems from debris descending from the collapsed ceiling. This had to be stabilised before it could be cleared. Eventually they gained access to the long room and cleared the southern part of the chapel. The have installed steel roof beams and a roof which is covered with mud brick to be more aesthetically pleasing as well as cooler. A window was build to allow for light and ventilation. Inside they found more Coptic remains : a bread ( ?) oven and a dividing wall, there were obviously different occupations. There was a trough for animal feed and a loom pit for weaving. In the debris they found some pieces of the original wall paintings, notably a figure of a woman.

Outside the Coptic remains were on top of a mud brick structure which was square, massive and layered with halfa grass. There is a parallel of the Ramesside pyramids at Dra Abu el-Naga which have the same construction, white moona plaster on the outside. The pyramid has a 71 degree slope and they found the pyramidion which shows the deceased worshiping Re-Horakhty. On the mud bricks they found the stamp of the vizier Khay and a red painted inscription on the pyramidion indicates the same title. He was vizier for 15 years under Ramses II years 30-44. Other evidence of him are statues Cairo CG42.165/166. At Gebel Silsila he announces the Sed festivals, also ostraca at Deir el Medina mention him and at Megiddo a seal of his was found.

The tomb has still not been found, so where is it ? Dr Laurent looked at all possibilities, they excavated to the south overlooking the Ramesseum and found the top of a tomb façade but the axis is not in line with the pyramid.

To the east is a modern house and he believes it is there as houses were often built on top of tombs. The map published by Baraize in 1904 shows a tomb in this location. There are currently no plans to excavate and the tomb was most probably plundered in ancient times. Mansour Boraik commented that the owners had been offered a good package to move but had refused

The pyramid is approximately 12 meters square, 71o slope and 16.5 – 17 meters high.

Back to Amenhotep there is still a lot of work to be done there both the long passage and the burial shaft need to be excavated.

They have also been responsible for the tomb chapel of Sennefer and hope this will be open to the public soon.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Balloon Crash Memorial Service

The memorial service was well attended but it was difficult to hear anything. There were attendees from hotels, other balloon companies, foreign embassies, tourists, ex-pats and local Egyptians. The whole thing was summed up for when a little Egyptian boy of about 10 came up to me and two friends and said, in faultless English. 'I am very sorry about the balloon crash and the people dying'. Suddenly you didn't care about the media circus, not being able to hear, nothing else mattered and his sentiment was shared by all.

Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project

The Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project is pleased to announce that we have now updated our website to include complete photographic coverage of all the interior wall scenes from the Hypostyle Hall in addition to the Sety I war scenes.

For the interior wall scenes please see:

For the Sety I war scenes please see: 

All users are free to examine and download hundreds of high resolution images of the wall scenes.

In the coming months we plan to include similar coverage of the war scenes of Ramesses II on the south exterior wall, the inscriptions on the gateways and on the 134 columns.

from Peter Brand via EEF