Sunday, December 28, 2014

Papyrus Liepsner

     The latest issue of KMT magazine (vol. 25, Number 4, Winter 2014 – 2015) has a fascinating article in it about the Liepsner papyrus.

     This papyrus is one of the earliest known copies of the Book of the Dead and the author (Thomas Liepsner) discusses the art work of the papyrus’ vignettes at length and points out some interesting details. He then uses these details to argue (effectively I think) that the artist who did the paintings was attempting to use perspective in his vignettes. If this is true it would be one of the very earliest known examples of perspective used in art.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ashurnasirpal II at the Metropolitan Museum

Figure 1 - Winged Genie, Metropolitan Museum
     The carvings found in the palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud have been scattered over many museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I have shown several photos in the past of the Met's collection of winged genies, but I want to show this one again as it also is shown holding the odd plant "thing" in his right hand like the winged genie from Munich.

Figure 2 - Detail of the Winged Genie's Hand
     The iconography of this winged genie is exactly like that of the ones in Munich, with the crown decorated with bull's horns and the daggers tucked into the genie's clothes just above the waist (partially covered by the figures left arm). But what on earth is the plant he is holding? It looks like it might be some sort of onion (??). Or is it a flower with several buds that are about to bloom? In the Munich relief, it looks more like a flower.

     If any of you have any thoughts, please let me know.

Ashurnasirpal II

Figure 1 - Winged Genie with a Pine Cone
     Oddly enough, the Egyptian Museum in Munich also has a VERY small collection of Mesopotamian objects, including a glazed brick, striding lion from Babylon and several winged Genies from the palace of Ashunasirpal II at Nimrud.

     Ashurnasirpal, who reigned from 883 to 859 B. C.,  was the successor of Tumulti-Ninurta II and was in turn succeeded by Shalmaneser III.    

     Ashurnasirpal was one of the great conquerors of Assyrian history. He commemorated many of his victories with gory descriptions of mutilating the dead in any city that opposed him. He also boasted about burning the children in at least one of the cities he conquered.

Figure 2 - Another Winged Genie with a Pine Cone
     During his reign, the King moved the capital of Assyria to Nimrod and built a new palace there. The reliefs shown here are from that palace and show the winged Genies that are so often shown in Assyrian art. In figures 1 and 2 a winged genie carries a pine cone in one hand and a bucket(?) in the other. Possibly he is using the pine cone to get water from the bucket and sprinkle it as part of a purification ceremony.

Figure 3 - A Third Winged Genie from Ashurnasirpal's Palace
     In figure 3 we see a winged genie who has his right arm upraised (as a salute to the King??) and carries what might be some sort of multi-stemmed plant in his left hand. I have not been able to figure out the exact significance of this particular relief.

     In all three reliefs there are many similarities in the iconography of the figures. All three wear a helmet decorated with bull's horns. All three also have long, elaborately curled hair and the Assyrian "wrist watches" (actually some sort of bracelet) that occur so commonly on these figures. The arm and leg muscles are clearly indicated in the carvings and the feather of the wings are elaborately detailed by the sculptor(s).



Copyright (c) by John Freed





Monday, December 15, 2014

Hadrian's Villa (Finis)

Figure 1 - The Canopus at Hadrian's Villa
     As a god, Antinous had aspects of both Osiris and Thoth as well as Dionysis. The cult of the young man was established at Antinuopolis, Hermopolis, Alexandria, Bithynion and Mantinea. Over thirty cities in Greece and Asia Minor issued coins to Antinous and numerous statues of him have survived to modern times (including the statue in Munich illustrated in a previous post, as well as a similar statue of while marble that is now in the Vatican).
Figure 2 - Roman Representations of Isis and Serapis


     One portion of Hadrian’s Villa was called the Canopus (see figure 1), and was a replica of the sanctuary of the god Serapis (figure 2) in Alexandria. Hadrian had the Canopus built as a memorial to Antinous.

     The young man’s final resting place may have been found by archeologists at Hadrian’s Villa in 2002, and in 2005 new finds at the Palestra (gym) of the villa may indicate that this portion of the complex was actually a shrine to Isis or some other Egyptian god(dess).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hadrian's Villa (Continued)

Figure 1 - Antinous (Munich)
     While in Egypt, the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, had a tragedy strike. A court favorite of his, a man name Antinous, died under mysterious circumstances (possibly he fell in the Nile and drowned). Antinous was deified after his death and worshiped throughout the Roman Empire.

     Antinous was of Greek origin, but born in what is now Turkey. Little is known of his life other than the fact that he became a favorite of Hadrian's and travelled with the Emperor throughout the Roman Empire. In Libya, Hadrian may have actually saved Antinous' life by killing a lion.

Figure 2 - Bust of Antinous (Louvre)
After his friend's death, Hadrian founded the city of Antinopolis near the place where his favorite died, and this city became the center of the worship of Osiris-Antinous. The Emperor also encouraged the worship of a god named Hermes-Antinous in the Greek parts of the empire.

Figure 3 - Another Bust of Antinous (Louvre)
     In researching this post on Antinous, I remembered that  there are two busts of this young man in the Louvre in Paris. Both of these busts (figures 2 and 3) were originally found in Hadrian's Villa, along with the statue shown here (figure 1, now in Munich). Both of the busts show Antinous wearing the Nemes headdress normally worn in Egypt only by the Pharaoh. In figure 3 you can see the young man's curly hair showing below the headdress.



Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed





Friday, December 5, 2014

Hadrian's Villa

Figure 1 - Hadrian's Villa Near Rome
     I was able to link together my last two vacations in an unexpected way. One of the places I visited in 2013 was Hadrian's Villa, a short distance from Rome. This was where the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a retreat from the responsibilities of being emperor. One of the more scenic spots in the villa is an artificial lake that was surrounded by numerous statues (Figure 1).

     Some of these statues were either originally from Egypt (see figure 2) or were carved in a mixture of Egyptian and Roman style (figure 3).

Figure 3 - Roman Imitation of an Egyptian Sphinx
     Hadrian travelled to Egypt during his reign and seems to have enjoyed his time there, although tragedy did strike during his visit....



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Old Kingdom Family Statues

Figure 1 - Husband and Wife Statue from the Old Kingdom
     The examples of family statues that I have shown so far all date to the New Kingdom. This type of statue goes far back in time however, with many examples dating to the Old Kingdom on display in museums around the world. Some, like this one (a representation of Sabu and his wife Meritites), also show one or more of the children of the husband and wife.

     In Ancient Egypt, children were often represented as having a finger of one of their hands held to their lips and a long lock of hair represented on one side of their head (with the rest of the head being completely shaven). This cannot be seen here since the representation of the child (between the parents legs in Figure 2) has been broken away.

Figure 2 - feet of the couples child shown between the adults legs
     This statue has one interesting difference from other statues of this type. Notice the space between the couple is carved out and a gap exists between the adults. In almost all (if not all) of the statues I have seen of this type, the area between the adults would be an area of "blank" stone and would not have been carved out like this.

     Notice also the much simpler clothing worn in the Old Kingdom. Meritites wears a simple sheath dress and the "transparent" garment shown on the husband's shoulders in the New Kingdom is nowhere to be seen here. The kilt he wears here is also of a much simpler style than it would become later in Egyptian history.


Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Representations of Husband and Wife

     A few posts back I talked about dual statues of a husband (Sibe) and wife seated side by side. Representations of a husband and wife together are also common in tomb reliefs. The carving shown here is from the Egyptian Museum in Munich and bears close resemblance to the statue of Sibe shown in a post I did on October 11th.

     This carving is from Dynasty 18 and shows a man and his wife seated side by side. The wife is shown on a smaller scale than her husband, as is normal in Egyptian art. She wears the pleated linen dress common at this time and has a perfume cone on her head. She carries a lotus flower in her right hand and has her left arm wrapped around her spouse's back. All of this is pretty normal for this type of scene.

     The husband also wears a linen garment and wig exactly like those worn by Sibe. In this representation, the tomb owner is shown with his staff of authority rather than the folded handkerchief that Sibe clutches. The couple is shown here seated in front of an offering table piled high with offerings and capped with a lotus flower, which is also quite a common (even cliche) scene in New Kingdom tomb reliefs.



Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Egyptian Offering Ritual

     One of the most common objects to be found in any collection of Egyptian art are stelae with inscriptions on them that (if recited) will magically present offerings to the deceased. These stelae were usually set up in conspicuous places, such as in temples or in the offering chapels of tombs. The offering inscription itself is known from thousands of examples and this one is pretty standard. The inscription starts at the right and reads top to bottom from the right to the left:

Line 1: "An offering given by the King under Osiris Khenti-Amenti, Lord of Abydos"

Line 2: "May he give bread, beer, oxen and geese, alabaster and linen, everything good and pure (upon which) a god lives to the ka of"

Line 3: "Sobekhotep, born of Sit-Hathor"

The horizontal line of text at the very top of the stela says: "The one honored under the good god (the King)".

     The offering formal is not only found on stelae, but is also found on coffins (particularly along the top of the coffin's trough), statues and many other objects, especially those of a funerary nature.


Photo copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another Dynasty 19 Double Statue

Fig. 1 - Neje and his mother
     Not all Egyptian double statues show a husband and wife. The one shown here is a statue of a priest named Neje and his mother Mutnefret. The statue is carved from limestone and is artistically, fairly similar to the one shown in the previous post.

     Neje wears the stiffly pleated kilt popular in the Ramessside Period, as well as a broad collar that adorns his throat and the top of his chest. His elaborate wig is the same as that worn by Sibe in the statue shown in the previous post. Mutnefret wears a tight sheath dress and an elaborate wig that is very similar to that of Sibe's wife. She has her left arm around her son's back in a pose that has by this point in history long since become one of the cliches of Egyptian art.

Fig. 2 - Another view of the Statue of Neje and his Mother 
     This statue, unlike that of Sibe and his wife, has a fair amount of the paint that originally covered it preserved. The wigs were painted black and there is also paint on the decorative device on the top of Mutnefret's forehead (probably part of a diadem that is hidden by the wig). The faces and feet of the two figures also have some paint preserved on them.The rest of the statue was likely also painted, but some colors made by the Egyptians are more likely to be preserved than others (it depends on the materials used to make the color).



All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Husband and Wife Statue in Munich

Fig. 1 - Sibe and Wife, Limestone, Dyn. 19
     Sibe was an Egyptian official in the Nineteenth Dynasty. This nice limestone statue of he and his wife is typical of this kind of statue. Similar statues from this time can be found in many museums around the world.

Fig. 2 - Sibe holding a handkerchief in his hand
     The husband is shown wearing a fashionable wig of the time period and a thin garment that covers his upper body as well as his hips. Contrast this to Old Kingdom representations of officials in which the nobleman is usually shown wearing a kilt (only) and a far less elaborate wig. Also notice the cloth in Sibe's right hand. Many statues show this handkerchief (?) which may be carried to wipe sweat away from the forehead. Sibe's wife also wears a heavy wig and a long dress and is shown with her right arm wrapped around her husband's back.

Fig. 3 - the back of the statue showing husband and wife
     The rear of the statue is a bit distinctive when compared to similar paired statues. Sibe and his wife are shown seated together giving flowers to each other. This would seem to be a carryover from the Amarna Period, when even the King and Queen could be shown displaying affection for one another. It particularly reminds me of some of the scenes on a gold shrine found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen where the King and Queen are shown in casual settings seemingly enjoying being with each other and away from the cares of their responsibilities.

   

Sunday, October 5, 2014

State Museum of Egyptian Art - Munich

Figure 1 - A gallery in the State Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich
     After leaving Spain we headed for Munich. One of the things on my "to-do" list was a visit to the brand new State Museum of Egyptian Art (Staatliches Museum Aegyptischer Kunst). This is the new home of the Egyptian art formerly held in the Residenz, which was the palace of the Bavarian Kings many years ago.

Figure 2 - First gallery from above, the entrance ramp is on the left
     The museum has only recently opened and has a very modern design. It is clean and fresh looking and quite well designed and installed. The object labels are in both German and English. You enter the museum at ground level and then walk down a long ramp to the actual exhibits.

     One of the things I liked was the fact that you can "see" the museum from balconies on the floor above the displays. This gives you a chance to get a feel for the museum's layout that you will miss as you wander among the objects themselves. I could not resist a few photos from above as you can tell from the pictures here.

     I will do a fair number of posts over the next little while showing the objects in this lovely museum.


All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Egyptian Temple in Madrid

Figure 1 - the Temple of Debod in Madrid
     Its now time to leave the Egyptian collection in Barcelona behind and take a look at the Debod temple in Madrid.

     This temple, originally built in the second century B. C., would have been permanently flooded by the Aswan dam if it had been left in its original location (about 15 kilometers south of Aswan), and so, like the Temple of Dendur in New York, it was donated to a foreign country in return for that country's help with the salvage archaeology that preceded the building of the dam.

     Debod temple seems to have had two pylons in front of it, the stone doorways of which can be seen in figure two. These pylons seem to have been re-erected in Madrid in the wrong order. Photos of the original site seem to show the pylon that is now further away from the main temple building as originally closer to the temple.
Figure 2 - the stone pylon gates in front of the temple

     The temple's construction was started by a Nubian Pharaoh as a simple shrine to Amun. Later, during the Ptolemaic period, it was expanded into a full temple. The final decoration of the temple was completed by the Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius.

     The Debod temple has been re-erected in a small park near the royal palace (Palacio Real).



Photos Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed


Figure 3 - the capital of one of the columns in the temple of Debod

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Middle Kingdom Burial of Khnumhotep

Figure 1 - Coffin of Khnumhotep in Barcelona
     The funerary goods from the tomb of the Middle Kingdom official Khnumhotep are typical of the period. Figure 1 shows the nobleman's coffin with the offering formula ("A gift given by the King....." etc.) along the top of the coffin's side, while the vertical columns of text tell us that the deceased is one honored by each of the four sons of Horus. Also note the paired "Eyes of Horus" (see Figure 4) which allowed the deceased to magically look out of their coffin into their tomb.

Figure 2 - Necklaces and wooden staves of Khnumhotep
     Other items from the burial are displayed on top of the coffin and include a headrest (on the far right end of the lid), some wooden staves which showed that Khnumhotep had achieved an important rank within Egyptian society, a cosmetic pot, canonic jar and a mirror. Additionally, several necklaces (figure 2) and wooden sandals (figure 3) were found in this burial.

Figure 3 - Wooden Sandals from the Burial
     This burial does remind me of the burial of Senebtisi, which is also from the Middle Kingdom and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Senebtisi's tomb was found in the Winter of 1907 - 1907 and published by Arthur Mace and Herbert Winlock (Mace, Arthur and Herbert Winlock, The Tomb of Senebtisi at Lisht, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916). Senebtisi's burial was more elaborate than Khnumhotep's. For instance, Senebtisi was buried in three coffins (an anthropoid coffin and two rectangular ones.


Figure 4 - the "Eyes of Horus" on the side of the Coffin


Photos Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Sunday, September 21, 2014

One Last Terracotta Coffin in Barcelona

Figure 1 - Roman Period Terracotta coffin
     Terracotta coffins continued to be used in Egypt for the burials of persons of humble origins until the end of Pharaonic culture. This one is from the 3rd or 4th century A. D. and is unusual in so many ways, particularly in that the head of the deceased has been modeled in terra-cotta on top of the coffin.

Figure 2 - Face of the Coffin
     As we saw in the previous post to this blog, terra-cotta coffins were sometimes brightly painted, as is this one. The modeled female head is shown with its hair tied up into a knot on the top of the deceased's head. Around her neck is what looks like a representation of a floral collar of some sort. The purple decorations might be bunches of grapes (but I am not sure of that).

     In figure 2 we get a close up view of the deceased's face. She is shown as having bright red cheeks, red lips and long eyelashes. Her nose is poorly modeled and the whole effect is to make the coffin look odd, rather than to make it look nicer.


 All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Monday, September 15, 2014

Terracotta Coffins


     Terracotta coffins (sometimes called "slipper" coffins) were often used by Egyptians who were less well off and could not afford one or more elaborate wooden coffins. The coffin in figure 1 is a fairly typical example of these funerary objects. Note the simplistic modeling of the face, arms and ears of the deceased. The remainder of the coffin is undecorated, although it may have been painted when originally used. This example is from Barcelona, but a similar coffin can be found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (see my post in this blog from October 26, 2012).

Figure 1 - Terracotta Coffin, Dynasty 19 or 20, Barcelona
Figure 2 - Terracotta Face of a Man, Dynasty 19 or 20
     The faces from terra-cotta coffins in figures 2 and 3 are very different. These faces (figure 2 is a man and figure 3 is a woman) are a bit more elaborately modeled and have details painted on, such as the bead necklaces shown as simple lines of different colors around the necks of the deceased. These items are so unusual that my first reaction upon seeing them was to wonder if they were authentic. 

     All three of these objects are in the Egyptian Museum in Barcelona.


Figure 3 - Terracotta Face of a Woman, Dynasty 19 or 20


All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tomb Chapel of Iny

Figure 1 - False Door
     Iny was a nobleman who served at least three Pharaohs: Pepi I, Merenre and Pepi II. The Egyptian Museum in Barcelona has some of the stone elements that made up his tomb chapel (mastaba).

     Figure 1 shows the false door that is so common in Egyptian tombs. This "door" allowed the "Ba" (something like a spirit or soul) come out of the burial chamber and partake in the food offerings that would have been left by the family of the deceased.

Figure 2 - Iny seated at an Offering Table
     Figure 2 shows Iny sitting before an offering table. Scenes like this would magically enable the deceased to eat in the afterlife after his descendants stopped bringing food offerings to the tomb. On the table are some tall loaves of bread. To the right of the offering table are other food substances the deceased expected to consume in the afterlife, while above the offering table is a brief inscription describing the "thousands of offerings" that Iny would be blessed with. Below this scene we see the nobleman's name in the last three signs on the left side of the inscription. The legs with a pot at their top is read "Iny", while the following sign (water) is read "n" and the two reads at the far left are read "y". The "n" and the "y" function as what linguists call phonetic compliments in the writing of the tomb owner's name.
Figure 3 - Another scene of Iny at an Offering Table

     Figure 3 once again shows Iny seated before an offering table, but this time with a different wig on (Egyptians usually shaved their heads and wore wigs in public). This photo shows the offering scene a bit more clearly than figure 2 does. Once again the deceased sits before an offering table filled with loaves of bread. Above the table is an inscription telling us that Iny would receive "thousands of bread and beer, oxen and geese, alabaster and cloth" offerings.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Old Kingdom Wood Statues

Figure 1 - Male Wooden Statue from the Old Kingdom
     Wood statues of noblemen and / or their wives and children are found in many collections of Egyptian art. These two statues are not all that beautiful artistically, are not all that well carved and the paint has come off of them, which does take away from their attractiveness. But these two statues (both from the Egyptian Museum in Barcelona)
do show how the Egyptians created these particular objects.

Figure 2 - Old Kingdom Female Wood Statue
Figure 3 - Statue from the Tomb of Meketre
     The statues were carved from several pieces of wood which were joined together. Normally the arms of the statue are carved separately from the torso, and both of these examples follow that rule. On the male statue (figure 1) note that the left arm is bent at the elbow and that the upper arm and the lower arm are carved from separate pieces of wood. There is also a hole drilled in the right hand of the statue, indicating that it once held some sort of staff of authority. When this statue was completed, it would have been covered in a thin layer of plaster and then painted. This would have hidden the joints of the different pieces of wood.

     The female statue (figure 2) is very unremarkable and looks like it was carved for a patron who could not afford high end art work. The figure is very thin and seems almost "stretched". The plaster and paint that was originally put on this statue could only have partially hidden the fact that this is no great piece of art.

     In order to illustrate how a finished wooden statue would look after paint was applied, I have included a photo of one of the most famous works of art known from ancient Egypt, the wooden statue of a servant girl found in the early Middle Kingdom tomb of Meketre at Thebes (figure 3). This statue, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is remarkably well preserved with almost all of its paint still intact.
   



Friday, September 5, 2014

Pre-Dynastic Egypt in Barcelona


Figure 1 - Naqada I Pottery
     The Egyptian museum in Barcelona has a few more objects from Pre-Dynastic Egypt in its collection in addition to the slate palettes mentioned in the previous post. For instance, the pots shown in figure 1. These pots were probably fired upside down with the mouth of the pot near a fire, resulting in the top of the pot being black in color. Years ago the Pre-Dynastic Period was divided into three parts called the Badarian, Amration and Gerzean periods. Today these periods are called Naqada I, Naqada II and Naqada III. These particular pots are from the Naqada I period (formerly known as the Badarin).
Figure 2 - Pre-Dynastic Maces

     Stone mace heads are also known from Pre-Dynastic Egypt (figures 2 & 3). The Museu Egipci has reconstructed the wooden handle on a couple of their mace heads to show what these weapons would have looked like thousands of years ago. If you look closely at the mace heads shown here, you will note that they come in several different shapes. Exactly why the mace heads are in such different shapes is not known for sure. One wonders if these maces were used in one of the battles that eventually led to the unification of Egypt under King Narmer and the start of dynastic Egyptian history.


Figure 3 - Re-constructed Pre-Dynastic Mace

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm Back

Stone Cosmetic Palettes
I am back finally. Since my last post I have closed down my consulting firm and started a new job. I have also helped my daughter get through finals, bought a new house and moved. Other than that, things have been quiet.

I just got back from a vacation in Madrid, Barcelona and Munich. I knew there was an Egyptian collection in Munich, but was surprised to find one in Barcelona. Needless to say, I photographed both and will be sharing photos and information via posts to this blog for some time to come.

Just to start out, here are two cosmetic palettes from the Pre-Dynastic period. These palettes were used to grind and mix materials used to make cosmetics. Egyptians often wore "eye makeup" as a way of helping protect their eyes from the sun. Often these object were carved in the form of animals (the top one shown here is possibly a turtle) or in geometric shapes (the lower one seems to be a simple circle). The most famous cosmetic palette from Egypt is the Narmer Palette (now in the Cairo Museum), which is often described as commemorating Narmer's unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.

The palettes shown here are in the Museu Egipci in Barcelona.


Photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Great Sphinx in China

     The small town of Donggou in China has built a full size replica of Egypt's Great Sphinx. Apparently it was built as a "set" for a film that is being made there.

     The replica is 196 feet long and 65 feet high. Between the paws of the sphinx is a door to its interior, rather than a replica of Tuthmose IV's "Dream Stela".

     For some photos and a short video check out this site.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Royal Burial Found in the Valley of the Kings

     A re-excavation of tomb KV40 in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt has resulted in the revelation of a previously unknown burial chamber that contains the looted remains of perhaps fifty members of families of Tuthmose IV and Amenhotep III.

     A number of children's mummies were found mostly intact, but the adult mummies were torn apart by tomb robbers long ago.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Looting is Happening in Syria Too

     I have done a few posts on looting in Egypt that is going on due to the unstable political situation there. But that is not the only place archaeological treasures are being harmed due to unstable politics.

     An article in the Wall Street Journal (Saturday / Sunday, April 26 - 27) details the problems that Syria is facing as scholars attempt to preserve the country's historical artifacts. In Aleppo, the national museum looks like a bunker. Concrete and sand bags have been set up to protect the building from stray mortar shells and the exhibition halls are empty as most of the artifacts have been removed to the museum's basement for protection. The curators and museum guards now live in the museum in an attempt to protect it from looters.

     Sadly, no end is in sight for the deteriorating political situation in several countries in the Middle East. The human toll is staggering and the loss of archeological treasures is incalculable.

     

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Follow Up on the Tomb of Senebkay

     In January we reported that the tomb of a Second Intermediate Period Pharaoh named Senebkay had been found at Abydos. At the time it was speculated by some that Senebkay was a 16th Dynasty Pharaoh.

     The latest issue of KMT magazine (Spring 2014) devotes two pages to the discovery of SenebKay's tomb as well as to the discovery of the tomb of Sobekhotep I (also at Abydos). The press release in KMT speculates that this discovery proves the existence of an "Abydos Dynasty" in the Second Intermediate Period, but I am not sure any such thing has been "proven".

     There is apparently evidence for a number of other royal burials in this area and when the University of Pennsylvania resumes excavations they will hopefully find more evidence to either prove, or disprove, this theory.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Tomb Found at Abydos


     A new tomb has been found at Abydos in Egypt. Only the substructure still exists, but archaeologists are pretty sure that a small pyramid was built above the burial chambers.

     The tomb dates to the New Kingdom and contained multiple burials and may have been owned by multiple persons who served in the Egyptian military. The tomb is fairly large and elaborate for a private tomb.

     An article and some photos can be found here.