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Volume 17, No 4,
Issue No. 100
March 2017


of the


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February/March 2017
VOLUME 17, NO 4: ISSUE NO. 100
From the Editor
5 100 Issues celebrated by Peter Phillips.

EDITOR: J. Peter Phillips

56 Albert Street, Beswick,
Manchester M11 3SU
Egyptological news from Sarah Griffiths.
0161 223 9407
Mummy Methodology at Manchester Email: editor@ancientegyptmagazine.com

DEPUTY EDITOR: Sarah Griffiths

10 Rosalie David lists the achievements of the
Manchester Mummy Team in the last 17 years.

Cleopatra’s Needle Comes to Paris Professor Emerita Rosalie David, OBE,
16 Dr. Joyce Tyldesley, Dr. Raymond Betz
Bob Brier describes the epic journey of one of
the Luxor Temple obelisks.
Queens of the Nile Peter Robinson,Hilary Wilson

21 Olaf Kaper describes a Leiden exhibition about

Ancient Egypt Magazine Ltd.

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1 Newton Street,
Shanasha: A Harbour Manchester, M1 1HW, UK
Tel: 0161 872 3319
26 in the Heart of the Delta
Fax: 0161 872 4721
Ayman Wahby Taher visits an unexcavated site.
Email: info@ancientegyptmagazine.com

The Royal City of Sais
John Ireland: 0161 872 3319
Why has this Delta site been under excavation for

twenty years? Penny Wilson explains.

Mike Hubbard: 0161 872 3319

Highlights of Manchester Museum: 3
36 Campbell Price describes a gilded mummy

Precision Colour Printing Ltd,

mask from the early New Kingdom.

Haldane, Halesfield 1,
38 Selling and Shopping in Ancient Egypt Telford, Shropshire, TS7 4QQ, UK


Jun Yi Wong explores a cashless economy.

Peartree Publishing and Design,

56 Albert St, M11 3SU, UK
Popular Egypt


Joyce Tyldesley celebrates the enduring
44 popularity of ancient Egypt.


Per Mesut: for Younger Readers David Soper

Main Image: A statue of Queen Ahmose
Hilary Wilson identifies Special Numbers.
Nefertari from Deir el-Medina.
Museo Egizio, Turin.
Photo: RMO
Maps of Egypt and Timeline 4 How to Subscribe 62 TRADE DISTRIBUTION THROUGH:
Readers’ Letters 49 Back Issues 63 Comag
Competition 53 Events Diary 64 Tel: 01797 225229 Fax: 01797 225657

Book Reviews 58 Egyptology Society Details 66 ISSN: 1470 9990

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 3

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Time-line MAP of EGYPT



detailed map of
the Theban area

and Time-line
by Peter Robinson.

4 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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From the Editor

Issue 1 Issue 24 Issue 50 Issue 63 Issue 67 Issue 80

17 Years and 100 Issues

(... or should that be 36 years and 174 Issues?)
help has been invaluable, and as the years have passed she
has taken on more and more responsibility.
Others, too, have been with us since 2004: David Soper,
nce upon a time there was a publication called who designs our front covers; Peter Robinson, who always

O Ancient Egypt. It aimed to be a ‘popular’ magazine

rather than an academic journal; each issue had
48 pages and contained articles about current discoveries
manages to find the location of those obscure places for
our maps; Victor Blunden who contributed the Netfishing
series and coped with the unenviable task of collating the
in Egypt and reviews of books on the subject. Its contrib- Events pages until his untimely death last year; Ayman
utors included some of the most famous Egyptologists in Wahby Taher, who was our Egypt Correspondent during
the world ... such as Winlock, Newberry, Margaret Bob’ tenure and makes his own contribution to Issue 100;

A fairy story? Well, no, because our ANCIENT EGYPT

Murray and Flinders Petrie ... !! Hilary Wilson, whose Per Mesut articles are the favourite
part of the magazine for many not-so-young readers; and
was not the first magazine with that name. In 1914, W. M. Rosalie David who has given us her unwavering support
Flinders Petrie founded a magazine that contained many and advice. Many of our advertisers, also, have boosted
articles by Petrie, was produced largely by Margaret the magazine’s finances for many years, and are deserving

have been present since Issue 1; AE would not be the

Murray, lecturer in Egyptology at UCL, and was pub- of our thanks – particularly Ancient World Tours, who
lished quarterly from then until 1935, missing only two
years 1918 and 1919, a total of 74 issues. But without same without the AWT back cover!

Our ANCIENT EGYPT was founded in May 2000 by

colour photographs, of course! But the magazine relies entirely upon the quality of its
articles, and the names of many contributors occur fre-
Miriam Bibby, who was a graduate of Dr. (now Professor quently in our ‘Contents’ list: Consultant Editors Joyce

at the University of Manchester. Although AE has only

Emerita) Rosalie David’s Certificate in Egyptology course Tyldesley and Raymond Betz, Professor Barry Kemp,
Magda van Ryneveld, Colin Reader, Dylan Bickerstaffe,
17 years under its belt, we also publish 48 pages (with a Jan Summers (Duffy), Campbell Price and so many oth-
profusion of colour photographs), news about current dis- ers – my heart-felt thanks go to them all.
coveries, articles contributed by some of the most famous Which of those 100 issues and the many discoveries and
Egyptologists of the twenty-first century and reviews of significant events stand out in my memory? The list is

about the age of the Great Sphinx at Giza (AE27 and

new Egyptology books, six times per year. And so we have long, but here are a few examples: Colin Reader’s theory

AE84); the discovery of KV63, which we reported in

achieved what many in the current world of magazine

AE35; the excavation of the Avenue of Sphinxes at

publishing would have thought impossible and reached

Luxor which was prominent from AE41 onwards; the

our 100th issue.
Issue 1, May/June 2000 included in its pages an article

British Museum (the cover of AE51 and the source of so

by Rosalie David about the Manchester Mummy Project, installation of the Nebamun Tomb paintings in the
and fittingly, Issue 100 contains an article by Rosalie sum-
marising the work done over the past 17 years on mummy many subsequent illustrations in the magazine); the
studies. Tutankhamun, His Tomb and His Treasures exhibition in

invited by the publisher to take over as Editor of AE24 involved in his last months (AE63); the disruption and
Bob Partridge was a contributor to Issue 2 and he was Manchester, with which Bob Partridge was closely

AE65 onwards; and the discovery of the Roman bath

when Miriam resigned in 2004; this he agreed to do pro- destruction following the Arab Spring reported from

house at Karnak (AE72). Articles have covered time

viding I could be given the role of his assistant. When he
became aware that his days were cruelly numbered, Bob
asked me if I would succeed him, and so with great sad- periods from Predynastic to Roman and sites from the
ness and not a little trepidation I became Joint Editor in Delta to Nubia; they have transported readers as far

AE80). and to Egyptianising architecture in many loca-

February 2011 and Editor for the August/September afield as the Temple of Isis at Pompeii (Mark Walker in

But the work of editing and setting AE is too much for

2011 edition, Issue 67, following Bob’s death in July 2011.
tions – London, Liverpool, Paris and even Antwerp Zoo.

one individual, and Sarah Griffiths immediately took on Will we celebrate Issue 200? Insh Allah!
the role of Assistant Editor, again at Bob’s request. Her

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 5

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The Qubbet el-Hawa cemetery
site at Aswan.

The newly-discovered wall at
Qubbet el-Hawa.

Photos: University of

New Tombs at Qubbet el-Hawa? New Ideas about Burial Pots

A team from the University of Ancient Egyptian pot burials (see opposite,
Birmingham/EES has discovered a top left) were deliberate and symbolic
two-metre high ancient “encroachment rather than ‘make-do’ burials for the
wall” in the northern part of the West poor according to new research from
Aswan cemetery at Qubbet el-Hawa (see Australia. It was previously thought that
above). The wall (see below) appears to such burials, which often made use of
provide architectural support for the recycled domestic containers, were com-
tombs of the upper terrace, including mon. However, when researchers from
those of Old Kingdom Elephantine the Macquarie University in Sydney
governors Harkhuf and Heqaib, sepa- analysed published accounts of pot
rating them from a second terrace burials at 46 sites in Egypt (dating from
where the team believe there are lower- about 3300 to 1650 BC), they discov-
lying tombs waiting to be discovered. ered there were fewer pot burials for
Pottery sherds embedded in the wall children than expected (with wood
date from the reign of Pepy II (c. 2278 coffins and baskets used in other buri-
BC) through to the Middle Kingdom, als); some of these pot burials also
suggesting the cemetery expanded dur- included grave goods such as gold, ivory
ing these periods. and ceramics. They believe that con-


A Predynastic pot burial now in
the Petrie Museum of Egyptian
Archaeology at UCL.
Photo: JPP
A rock-art ‘nativity scene’
found in a cave near the Gilf
Kebir Plateau.
Photo: Marco Morelli, courtesy
of the Museo di Scienze
Planetarie, Prato, Italy

A stone block from a Thirtieth
Dynasty temple that had been
used as a butcher’s block.
Photo: Egyptian Ministry of
State for Antiquities (MSA)

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them; the position of the baby is thought to indicate birth

or pregnancy. The scene also includes a headless lion and
a baboon, as well as a small circular mark that may rep-
resent a star.

Butcher’s Block
An Egyptian archaeologist walked into a butcher’s shop in
the northern city of el-Mahalla and discovered that a
large stone being used to chop meat (see above) was in fact
part of a temple dating to the Thirtieth Dynasty. The
stone has now been transferred to a museum in Behbeit

tainers were chosen to represent the womb, symbolising

rebirth in the afterlife.

5000-year-old Nativity Scene

An image painted on the ceiling of a cave near to the Gilf
Kebir Plateau may be the oldest ‘nativity scene’ ever
found, predating the Christian nativity by 3000 years.
The 5000-year-old rock art was first discovered in 2005 by
geologist Marco Morelli, Director of the Museum of
Planetary Sciences in Prato (Italy) but has only recently
been published (see below). Painted in red-brown ochre, the
damaged image appears to depict a man and woman
(whose head is sadly missing) with a baby floating above

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 7

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remains of the shattered sarcophagus, a pair of sandals
and a few remaining grave goods. X-ray, DNA and car-
bon dating tests have indicated the remains belong to an
unusually tall woman who died at about 40 years of age;
contamination of the DNA prevented a conclusive identi-
fication. The grave goods and mummification materials
used were consistent with Nineteenth Dynasty royal
funerary practices while the length of the sandals (which
bear the queen’s name) are thought to match the estimat-
ed size of her feet. The radiocarbon dating results indi-
cate the remains are around two hundred years earlier
than Nefertari’s known dates; however, the team points
out that such discrepancies are common when applied to
Egyptological remains.

New Kingdom Tombs at Gebel el-Silsila

A group of twelve rock cut tombs (see below) dating to the
reigns of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II have been dis-
covered by the Swedish team working at Gebel el-Silsila
in Upper Egypt. The team also found three rock-cut
crypts, a tomb containing multiple animal burials and
three infant burials.
This adds to the 43 New Kingdom tombs discovered by
the team in 2015. These included multiple burials and
separate child burials showing that entire families lived at
the quarrying site. Analysis of the human remains found
little evidence of disease or malnutrition; healed injuries
suggests the people here had access to effective medical
treatment and were generally in good health.

ABOVE: Nefertari, in a scene from her tomb in the Valley of

the Queens. Photo: RBP

A Cure for Ingrown Eyelashes

A Danish researcher, Sofie Schiødt, translating a 3500-
year-old gynaecological text has discovered an ancient
cure for trichiasis (ingrown eyelashes) on the other side of
the papyrus. The remedy involves crushing bulls’ fat, bat
and donkey blood and (possibly) the heart of a lizard with
a dash of honey. (This is similar to a remedy listed in the
Papyrus Ebers which also recommends blood as a means
of preventing ingrown eyelashes, while another prescrip- ABOVE: Entrances to rock-cut tombs at Gebel el-Silsila.

BELOW: Inside one of the tombs. Photos: MSA

tion uses dung to prevent the regrowth of hair removed
from the eye.) The gynaecological treatment on the
reverse of the Danish papyrus also involves some more
bizarre ingredients, including lizard dung, beer, celery
and the milk of a woman who has given birth to a boy.

Nefertari’s Knees
Two mummified knees from Turin’s Egyptian Museum
are “highly likely” to have belonged to Nefertari, Great
Royal Wife of Rameses II (see above) according to new
research by an international team. The remains (frag-
mented thigh bones, a kneecap and a piece of the tibia)
were discovered in Nefertari’s looted tomb in the Valley of
the Queens in 1904 by Ernesto Schiaparelli, alongside

8 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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ABOVE: A part of a statue of Sekhmet found by the

Amenhotep III Mortuary Temple team. Photo: MSA Web Site: http://egypt.webplus.net

In Brief
• The Bolton Museum has released concept designs
• The Amenhotep III Mortuary Temple team have for its new Egyptology gallery, due to open in 2018 (see
unearthed several more high quality statues of the lioness- below).

headed goddess Sekhmet (see above). Large pieces of colos-
sal sphinxes have also been found near to the Third
BELOW: Bolton gallery concept drawing. © Leach Studio
Pylon; these will require conservation work before being
fully excavated.

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 9

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Mummy Methodology at Manchester

Studies from 2000 to 2017
Professor Emerita Rosalie David, OBE celebrates the 100th issue of AE
with a look at 17 years of achievement by the Manchester Mummy Team.

Dr Rosalie David and pathologist Dr. Edmund Tapp at the unwrapping of Mummy 1770 at Manchester in 1975.

rmand Ruffer, Professor of Bacteriology in Cairo, was increased markedly in the latter part of the twentieth cen-

A one of the early twentieth century pioneers who laid

the foundation for mummy research with his devel-
opment of methods to rehydrate ancient tissues, and his
tury. The Manchester Egyptian Mummy Project (inaugurat-
ed in 1973 at the University of Manchester) has been a pio-
neer in this field, developing the ‘Manchester
invention of the term palaeopathology for the study of dis- Methodology’ which combines historical and scientific
ease in ancient populations. Grafton Elliot Smith was an approaches for disease and other studies on mummies.
Australian anatomist and anthropologist who held profes-
sorships in Cairo, Manchester and London (1900-1936). His The Manchester Egyptian Mummy Project
systematic anatomical examination of the Royal Mummies Originally focusing on the collection of mummies at the
in the Cairo Museum and many other mummies enabled Manchester Museum, the Manchester Mummy Team –
him to define the technique of mummification. In 1908, a comprising experts in Egyptology, science and medicine –
pioneering multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Margaret has developed and used a range of diagnostic techniques,
Murray at Manchester unwrapped and autopsied two which include radiology, histology, palaeo-odontology,
mummies in the Manchester Museum. immunology, and molecular and analytical methods.
Thereafter, mummy research progressed steadily, but A major development was the establishment, in 2003, of
without any continuous or regular pattern. However, inter- the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology in the Faculty of
national interest in scientific studies of human remains Life Sciences at Manchester. This unique university institu-

10 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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tion specialises in research in biomedical

Egyptology, and is now the base for the
Manchester Mummy Project.
Projects undertaken by the Manchester
Mummy Team (2000-2017) have includ-
ed in-depth examinations of individual
mummies and wide-ranging studies of
diseases and treatments in ancient Egypt.

Individual Studies –
the ‘Belfast Mummy’
One particularly interesting investigation
focused on the ‘Belfast Mummy’,
brought from Egypt in 1834 and present-
ed to the Belfast Natural History Society.
Multidisciplinary investigations of this
mummy and its coffin, carried out in
1835 and 1987, established that the
owner, Takabuti (see right), was the
daughter of a Priest of Amun and had
died at Thebes, aged between 25 and
30. diagnose disease in mummies, and the
When the mummy, owned by the first identification of parasite DNA in a
Ulster Museum since 1971, was to mummy; this came from a 2000-year-old
become the focal display of a major new schistosome (see below).
gallery in 2009, the Manchester team To ensure that sufficient mummy tissue
and other scientists were invited to samples were available for this project,
undertake an intensive multidisciplinary the International Ancient Egyptian ABOVE
The mummy and coffin of
Takabuti from the Ulster
investigation. The mummy travelled to Mummy Tissue Bank was established at
Museum, Belfast.
the University of Manchester, where radi- Manchester. Over two thousand samples
ological and dental examinations added of tissue, bone and hair were made avail-
Photo: Notafly CC by SA 3.0 via
information about Takabuti’s health and able to the Bank from collections of
lifestyle; analysis of hair samples, using Egyptian mummies and mummified parts
electron microscopy and Gas Chroma- held by institutions worldwide (outside BELOW
Team member Ken Wildsmith,
accompanied by Rosalie David,
tography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) Egypt). Ever since, this unique resource
uses an industrial endoscope
(see overleaf, bottom), indicated, surpris- has formed the basis for many different
ingly, that she was Caucasian in origin, studies undertaken by researchers from and adjacent screen to view the
internal cavities of a mummy;
an extracted tissue sample
and that her hairstyle was coated with a Manchester and elsewhere.
contained the remains of a
‘hair-gel’. The investigation, filmed for a Today, schistosomiasis – a chronic,
BBC-TV documentary film, attracted debilitating disease – affects up to three 2,000-year old parasite
the research on Takabuti in AE65).
widespread interest.. (Read more about million people in seventy-nine countries.

Disease Studies – Schistosomiasis

The team’s first wide-ranging study,
“Schistosomiasis in Ancient and Modern
Egypt”, began in 1995. Manchester
researchers were invited to collaborate
with scientists in Egypt who were pursu-
ing a ten-year programme designed to
identify epidemiological patterns of the
parasitic disease schistosomiasis in the
modern population. The aim of the joint
project was to construct epidemiological
profiles of the disease in ancient and con-
temporary populations in Egypt, and
then compare the incidence patterns.
The Manchester research produced some
important advances, including the pio-
neering use of immunocytochemistry to

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 11

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effective treatment, the expectation is

that such a widely and chronically-afflict-
ed population would be debilitated and
ineffectual. Yet, we know that the
ancient Egyptians had a vibrant culture
that flourished over the millennia.

The Pharmacy in Ancient Egypt

This puzzling conclusion led the
Manchester team to speculate that per-
haps the Egyptian medical papyri con-
tained some viable plant-based pharma-
ceutical treatments for schistosomiasis
and possibly other diseases; perhaps
these remedies were at least partially sci-
ence-based and not ‘magical’ placebos,
as previously supposed. The Pharmacy in
Ancient Egypt Project (2006-2009) was
initiated to attempt to identify any gen-
uinely therapeutic treatments. Re-
A mummy in a coffin under-
The causative parasite requires two hosts searchers adopted the innovative, multi-
goes a radiographic imaging
to complete its lifecycle – a specific water- disciplinary ‘Manchester Methodology’,
session at Manchester. snail and a human; modern irrigation and the programme involved not only a
developments, by creating new breeding study of the ancient medical texts, but
sites for the snails, have exacerbated the also analyses of archaeobotanical and
problem. Despite the availability of med- plant remains from ancient and contem-
ical treatments, this disease is widespread porary Egypt. The project drew on the
and has a major impact on agricultural expertise of an international, interdisci-
workforces and economic productivity. plinary group of scientists, and had
BELOW Schistosomiasis undoubtedly affected access to plant collections and analytical
Researchers at Manchester
undertake analysis of hair
many people in ancient Egypt: the facilities in Britain and Egypt. Co-opera-
samples using GC-MS
Manchester study has demonstrated pos- tion with the Medicinal Plant Conserv-
(Gas Chromatography Mass itive results for 70% of the ancient tissues ation Project in Sinai (which has collected
Spectrometry). tested for the disease, and without an data on the local Bedouin use of medici-
nal plants) resulted in a comparative
study of ancient Egyptian and modern
traditional pharmaceutical remedies.
This project has demonstrated that
many pharmaceutical plants and miner-
als referred to in the texts were sourced
from within Egypt, but others were
imported through trade-routes with the
Near East, North Africa, Nubia and
southern Mediterranean countries.
Significantly, the research has indicated
that, from early times, Egyptian pharma-
cy maintained professional standards
and protocols, and that rational repro-
ducible treatments predominated over
‘magical’ methods. In addition, it has
been shown that 64% of their prescrip-
tions had a therapeutic value on a par
with drugs used in Western medicine
during the past fifty years. Overall, the
evidence indicates that the Egyptians
had a viable pharmaceutical tradition
some 1800 years before Galen, the
Greek philosopher universally acknowl-
edged as the ‘Father of Pharmacy’.

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Grafton Elliot Smith, whose
Grafton Elliot Smith and the ASN
contribution to palaeopathology
Another major project (2010-2013) has
focused on the significance of Sir Grafton remains unrivalled.
Image: From a photograph by
F.W. Schmidt,
Elliot Smith (see right) and the
Manchester CC BY 4.0
Archaeological Survey of Nubia to the
field of palaeopathology. Initially, Elliot
Smith’s role as professor of anatomy in
Cairo brought him into contact with the
large number of ancient human remains
then being unearthed by the archaeolo-
His involvement with the Archaeolog-
ical Survey of Nubia (ASN) was particular-
ly significant: established in 1907 to deal
with the large-scale flooding of antiqui-
ties in Nubia which resulted from the
decision to raise the dam at Aswan, this
pioneering archaeological rescue project ing; and the full potential of this research
excavated over 20,000 burial sites. Elliot and Elliot Smith’s unique contribution
Smith was appointed as the ASN’s have never been properly explored. The
anthropological advisor, and had the aims of this project – carried out in part-
opportunity to examine thousands of nership with The Natural History
human and animal remains. He was the Museum, London, and in collaboration
first to study disease patterns of a partic- with the Duckworth Laboratory in
ular population (Egypt and Nubia in this Cambridge – were not only to demon-
instance), and with his co-workers, strate Elliot Smith’s true contribution to
undertook systematic osteological studies palaeopathology but also to trace the
and statistical analysis which produced current whereabouts of the ASN collec-
extensive data about disease and trauma. tions, and then reunite them on a web-
He pioneered modern epidemiological site at Manchester, providing a research
research, and his contribution to resource for new studies and statistical
palaeopathology remains unrivalled. analysis of disease and disease patterns.

on the finds of Elliot Smith in AE70).

However, the original conclusions of (Read more about the KNH Centre work
the ASN have never been fully published;
human and animal remains, associated
artefacts, and archival records have been The Animal Mummy Project
separated and scattered to institutions Over the past fifteen years, researchers at
worldwide; cultural interpretation is lack- Manchester have studied hundreds of

The wooden coffin for a cat.

A radiographic image reveals a
mummified cat inside
the coffin.
Photo: The Manchester Museum

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 13

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animal mummies, and in 2010, the

Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio-Bank was
established to collate information,
images, samples and the results of scien-
tific analysis on these mummies. These
developments have facilitated the estab-
lishment of a pioneering protocol for ani-
mal mummy research, and provided the
resources for a five-year study of animal
mummification which has involved radi-
ographic imaging of animal mummies

(Read more about this project in AE91

from museum collections around Britain.

and AE92).

Dissemination of Research
Mummy research at Manchester has
always been reported in the scientific lit-
erature, and been made available
through lectures given at international
conferences held in Manchester and else-
where. However, there is also longstand-
ing public interest, and articles, books,
television documentaries, museum exhi-
bitions, and university online courses
have disseminated Manchester’s research
around the world.
Subjects to hit the headlines have
included Manchester’s research on ather-
osclerosis (‘furring of the arteries’), show-
ing it is not just a modern disease but
was present in the mummies of Egyptian
priests and their families, almost certainly
induced by their diet (see left). Other
studies have considered why malignancy
was apparently rare in ancient times. A
biomechanical assessment of two artifi-
cial big toe restorations from mummies
(see below) has indicated that these were
probably worn in life, suggesting that

Members of the Manchester
team use endoscopy to exam-
ine the mummy of a priest;
tissue samples from the groin
contained microscopic evidence
of atherosclerosis.

An ancient Egyptian false toe
found on a female mummy (c.
950 BC); research indicates that
it was probably worn in life,
making it the earliest-known
Photo: J. L. Finch with kind
permission of the Egyptian
Museum, Cairo

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prosthetic medicine was pioneered and already practised in

Egypt by 950 BC.

The Future
Manchester studies will continue to focus on the occur-
rence of disease, living conditions, diet, and funerary beliefs
and customs in ancient Egypt. Immunological and molecu-
lar techniques will undoubtedly play a major role in future
mummy studies, but advances in traditional diagnostic tools
will also be important. For example, in recent years, all the
mummies at Manchester Museum have been radiographed
and CT-scanned for a second time, to take advantage of
technological developments in these areas; and in another
study, computerised tomography has been used to add
new information about Egyptian embalming techniques. A Further Reading
current project is re-visiting the 1975 unwrapping, autopsy Cockitt, J. A and David, A. R. (eds.) (2010) Pharmacy and
and investigation of Mummy 1770 (see p. 10), to create a Medicine in Ancient Egypt. Proceedings of the confer-
unique archive of this ground-breaking research; new stud- ences held in Cairo (2007) and Manchester (2008).
ies and research will be added, and the information will be Oxford: Archaeopress.
made available to the public on a dedicated web-site. Cockitt, J. A., David, A. R. and Metcalfe, R. J. (eds.) (2014)
Finally, why study mummies in the twenty-first century? Palaeopathology in Egypt and Nubia: a Century in
Because this research has considerable potential: it not only Review. Oxford: Archaeopress.
sheds light on ancient lives but also provides evidence of David, R. (ed.) (2008) Egyptian Mummies and Modern
disease patterns, enabling us to seek out some of the fac- Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
tors that influence disease evolution and continue to have a David, A. R. and Zimmerman, M. R. (2010) “Cancer: An
major impact on modern societies. old disease, a new disease, or something in between?”
Nature Reviews Cancer 10, pp. 728-733.
Acknowledgements Finch, J. L. (2011) “The origins of prosthetic medicine.”
We are grateful to the following for support of our work: The Lancet 377, pp. 548-559.
The University of Manchester, The KNH Charitable Trust, McKnight, L. M. and Atherton-Woolham, S. D. (2015)
The British Academy, The British Council, The Leverhulme Gifts for the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies
Trust, and The Wellcome Trust. and the British. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Loynes, R. D. (2015) Prepared for Eternity. A study of
Rosalie David human embalming techniques in ancient Egypt using

A. R. (Rosalie) David, Consultant Editor of AE, is Emerita

computerised tomography scans of mummies. Oxford:
Professor of Egyptology,
and Joint Director of the KNH Centre
for Biomedical Egyptology, Unless otherwise stated, all photos in this article are
at The University of Manchester. copyright of The University of Manchester.

Coming in Future Issues of ANCIENT EGYPT

More Ptolemies Nomes
Sarah Griffiths continues her series on the Ptolemaic Andrew Fulton explores the Nomes of ancient Egypt and
Dynasty with “Pharaohs Behaving Badly: Pot Belly and the their importance in iconography and
Worst of the Ptolemies”. ritual.

What’s in a Name? A Saite Story of Glory

Hilary Wilson compares the naming conventions of Kevin Harrison tells the tale of Necho II and the
ancient and modern cultures to shed light on our under- circumnavigation of Africa.
standing of Egyptian personal names.
Influenced by Egypt
The artist at work David Lewiston Sharpe investigates how ancient Egypt's
Julian Heath explains how to illustrate excavation finds. monuments inspired the English romantic poets.

To Punt – Before Hatshepsut A Famous Tomb Examined

Dylan Bickerstaffe describes a Middle Kingdom Geoffrey Lenox-Smith pays a visit to the ‘Doctor's Tomb’
expedition to Punt. at Saqqara.

More Manchester Highlights ... with News from Egypt, Per Mesut (for our young and
A Predynastic Hippo Bowl and bronze Apis bull are two not-so-young readers), Book Reviews, Readers’ Letters
more highlights from the Manchester Museum collection and lists of forthcoming Events and Exhibitions.
picked out by Campbell Price.

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 15

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Bob Brier describes the epic task of transporting an obelisk from Egypt to France.
n the nineteenth century, three large obelisks left ly because the water was too low for it to pass over a large

I Egypt – one for Paris, one for London, and one for sandbar in the middle of the Nile, so Lebas left with a
New York. Behind the exile of the monuments was small fleet of boats and brought with him all the equip-
Mohamed Ali Pasha, ment he would need to
Egypt’s tyrannical ruler. lower the obelisk. Later,
Baron d’Haussez, acting when the Luxor caught up
for the French govern- with him, he would load
ment, wrote to Mo- the obelisk on board.
hamed Ali on November A month later Lebas
25th, 1829, requesting one and his flotilla of small
of the Luxor obelisks boats approached Luxor.
(shown right, in situ); Word had already spread
Mohamed Ali agreed and that a fleet of Europeans
the French immediately was near and a crowd
began designing a ship, awaited him on the bank.
the Luxor, to bring the Most just wanted baksheesh
obelisk home. The ship from the foreigners, but
had unique specifications. some asked why they had
Because of the shape and come. They rarely saw
density of its cargo, the foreigners. Most visitors
usual length to width came to Egypt on busi-
ratio was not possible. ness, conducted their
Also, the Luxor, in addi- transactions in Alex-
tion to being seaworthy andria or on occasion
had to be capable of sail- went as far south as
ing on shallow rivers (the Cairo. There was no need
Nile and Seine) and it to go south to Luxor.
had to be narrow enough Through his inter-
to pass under the bridges preter, Lebas explained
spanning the Seine. that they had come to
Further, it had to be able take the obelisk back to
to land on a beach to per- France, but the locals
mit the obelisk to be would not believe him.
loaded into the hull. They could not see the

Luxor Temple with both obelisks.

Apollinaire Lebas, the value in an obelisk, and
Drawn by Vivant Denon in 1798.
engineer responsible for where was the ship large
bringing the obelisk to enough to transport it?
Paris, published an
account of the obelisk’s transportation that is the best Recovery
source for information on how it was removed. It was not The base of the obelisk was covered with 10 feet of debris
easy. and there were about 30 mud brick huts in which the vil-
lagers lived that would have to be demolished to clear a
Lebas in Egypt path to the Nile for the obelisk. After lengthy negotiations,
When Lebas arrived in Alexandria in the spring of 1831, the huts were purchased for about three times their true
he had to wait twenty days for the French Consul to value and clearing proceeded full steam ahead.
return to the city. It would be the first of many delays, but Lebas began by removing the debris that covered the
it gave him a chance to visit the two Alexandrian obelisks lower portion of the obelisk and its pedestal. He hired 400
and to see what he would have to deal with in Luxor. men, women, and children to remove the accumulation of
On June 6th the Consul was finally in Alexandria and centuries, the men breaking up the debris with pickaxes,
Lebas, accompanied by him, met with Mohamed Ali. the women and children carrying the rubbish away in
Lebas was extremely short and the Pasha made a joke of baskets on their heads.
it, pretending not to see him and asking, “Where is the On August 14th the Luxor, having safely navigated the
engineer?” Despite the joke, they hit it off very well and sandbar near Cairo, arrived in Luxor. Captain Verniac
Lebas, armed with permissions from the Pasha was soon ran the ship aground as planned so its bow lined up with
on his way to Luxor. The Luxor could not sail immediate- the path the western obelisk would take (see opposite, top).

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The crew immediately began enlarging

the living quarters Lebas had estab-
lished inside the temple. Everyone was
in good spirits; this was the adventure of
their lives. They were bringing France
her obelisk!
Lebas’ Egyptian workers carted away
450,000 cubic metres of rubbish, cut
through two villages, removed the 30
huts, and graded the quarter-mile path
to the Nile. Working 14-hour days, it
took them four months to complete the
slope, all the while battling intense sum-
mer heat.

Lowering the Obelisk

Lebas had brought from Toulon eight
carpenters and two blacksmiths to fash- leys, Lebas could use that obelisk as an
ion the capstans, scaffolds, and metal fit- anchor to help lower his (see below). He
tings for the project. Nothing like this would also use three capstans, each
had been done since Domenico Fontana manned by 64 men to restrain the
moved the Vatican obelisk in 1586. He obelisk.
constructed two systems for the proj- At dawn on October 23rd everyone
ect – one for lowering the obelisk and was in place to lower the obelisk. Sailors
one for restraining it. To lower the quickly scampered up the sheer legs and
obelisk, a roller was going to be placed decorated them with palm fronds and
on the pedestal at its western side. Ropes French flags. One hundred and ninety
would be attached to the obelisk and Egyptian workers waited by their cap-
when the capstans were turned the stans for the order, and at Lebas’ com-
obelisk would rotate around the roller, mand began slowly turning in unison.
lift off the pedestal and begin to point its The ropes went taught, straining under
tip downward. At the point where the the force, and slowly the obelisk tilted
descending obelisk passed through the towards the river and began detaching
centre of gravity of rotation, the from its ancient base.
restraining apparatus would come in to When the obelisk reached the centre
play to hold back the obelisk and keep it of gravity of the pivot point the
from crashing into the dirt road they restraining system was activated to slow
had constructed to receive it. The its descent. At 25 degrees the motion
restraining apparatus made use of the was stopped to check tension on all parts
second Luxor obelisk standing just 100 of the system. Everything was in order
feet away. By a system of ropes and pul- and the obelisk continued its descent to

The ship Luxor intentionally
run aground so the obelisk
could be loaded on board.

The system of pulleys and
capstans used by Lebas to
lower the obelisk.

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 17

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receive it. With the obelisk down, Lebas,

for the first time, could see the top of the
pedestal and made a wonderful discov-
ery. Pharaohs frequently chiselled out
the names of previous owners on mon-
uments they wanted to claim as their
own, and Rameses II was one of the
most enthusiastic practitioners, so he
knew it could happen to him. Before he
erected his pair of obelisks in front of
Luxor Temple, he carved his name (cen-
tre left) on the tops of the pedestals so
that when the obelisks rested on the
pedestals they covered the names and
no one could get to them.
In the broiling summer sun, workers
using four capstans hauled the obelisk
down the path to the ship that Lebas
had prepared. By December 19th the
obelisk was exactly in front of the Luxor.
The plan was to saw off the entire bow
of the ship and once the obelisk was in,
re-attach it. Once the hull was sectioned
and preparations made, within two
hours, the obelisk was safely inside the
Luxor. Then came the big wait.

The Waiting Game

The obelisk being hauled from
The Nile raises and falls once a year and
Luxor Temple to the
with the obelisk on board, Lebas needed
ship Luxor. a high Nile to sail for Alexandria, but he
RIGHT had missed it. Not wanting to risk get-
The top of the obelisk’s
pedestal with the cartouches of
ting snagged on a sandbar, Captain
Rameses II. Drawn by Lebas.
Verniac decided to wait for the Nile to
rise in July before sailing for Alexandria.
The Luxor buried in earth and
Afraid that the blistering sun would dry
covered with reed mats so it
the Luxor’s wood hull while they waited
wouldn’t crack in Egypt’s the path. Fifteen minutes later, it was six months for the Nile to rise, Captain
summer sun. safely resting on a platform built to Verniac buried the ship in earth and

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ABOVE: On October 25th 1836, 200,000 Parisians crowded into the Place de la Concorde to see the obelisk erected.

covered the huge mound with reed mats. Each day the scrubbed in anticipation of the royal visit, which was a
ship, looking more like a hill than a ship (see opposite bottom) great success with Verniac being promoted to Captain of
was watered like a plant, to keep it cool. Corvettes.
On August 12th the Nile began to rise again and on the After the visit, the Sphinx, which drew too much water to
25th the Luxor began its journey north to Alexandria and navigate the Seine, was replaced by the Heva, a much
the open sea. This time they were navigating the Nile with smaller steamship. At Rouen, progress stopped as the
the current and often the problem was how to steer the river was too low to navigate and during the three-month
Luxor as it sped north with the obelisk in its hold. But wait for it to rise, Luxor was dismasted so it could pass
because the prevailing winds are out of the north, they under the Seine’s bridges. When the water was sufficient-
could also raise sails and use them against the wind as a ly high, Luxor and its three-thousand-year-old cargo con-
brake to slow the Luxor. tinued on, this time pulled by sixteen horses along the
Once in Alexandria, the Luxor was met by the Sphinx, a banks. On December 23rd 1833, the obelisk reached Paris.
steamship sent to tow the Luxor to Alexandria and then
across the Mediterranean. Because the Luxor had been Erecting the Obelisk
built for a very specific purpose, to navigate rivers with an It would be two years before Lebas would attempt to set
obelisk in its hold, compromises in its seaworthiness had the obelisk on its pedestal, which had yet to be built.
been made. It had safely sailed across the Mediterranean There were many delays to be overcome, but on April 16th
to Egypt, but then the hold had been empty. With an 1836 the obelisk began its final four-month journey
obelisk in its hold, the Luxor would have to be towed to toward the Place de la Concorde. Now Lebas prepared to
France. raise the obelisk above its pedestal, then rotate the obelisk
90 degrees to set it upright on the pedestal. It took three
At Sea days for the capstans to be assembled and positioned but
Now high seas and winter winds worried Captain Verniac then the obelisk, in its cradle, propelled by 120 men and
and he decided to wait another three months before ven- four capstans began slowly moving up the ramp towards
turing out of Alexandria’s safe harbour. On April 1st, with the pedestal. In order for the obelisk to come to rest in its
the Sphinx towing the Luxor, the obelisk began its interna- proper position on the pedestal, it was crucial that the foot
tional journey. of the obelisk arrive at the precise spot where the ramp
The first few days were uneventful but then they hit met the top of the pedestal. After five hours of capstans
strong headwinds and heavy seas. Afraid that the Sphinx turning, the obelisk was at its destination, only 2 cm from
might run out of coal at sea fighting the headwinds, they its desired position.
headed for Rhodes, five days away. After a few days at For the next two weeks, the apparatus for raising the
Rhodes they sailed on, finally reaching Toulon on May obelisk along with all the rigging and pulleys was set up.
10th at 2:00 in the morning. The obelisk was finally in The procedure for raising the obelisk would be basically
French territory, but not yet on French soil. The crew was the reverse of lowering it, with the base of the obelisk piv-
quarantined for twenty days and then Lebas disembarked oting around a roller fixed to the pedestal. On October
for Paris to make arrangements for erecting the obelisk. 24th, the day before the scheduled raising, the system was
Captain Verniac and the crew made repairs to the Sphinx tested and everything worked perfectly. Early the next
and after forty-two days in Toulon, the obelisk continued morning, crowds began to fill the Place de la Concorde
towards Paris via Gibraltar. At Cherbourg, Captain and by 11:30 more than 200,000 crowded together to see
Verniac received orders to dock. The royal family was their obelisk set on its pedestal (see above). The day was
going to pay the obelisk a visit! The Sphinx and Luxor were cloudy and cold, but with no rain in sight, which was

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 19

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Everything stopped so Lebas could

check the apparatus. Lepage, Inspector
of Works, shouted, “Nothing has
moved. You can continue.” The
immense compression of the wood had
caused the sound. The turning of the
capstans continued and as the obelisk
rose, Lebas realized that they had for-
gotten to adjust the ropes attached to
the chains near the top of the obelisk.
He had planned to do this as the tension
on the ropes changed and the obelisk
went upward, but in the excitement of
the cracking sound, it was forgotten.
Now two marines were called upon to
climb up the obelisk and readjust the
rigging. This done, the raising contin-
ued, but there was a new problem.
Stationed at the base of the obelisk,
Lebas discovered that when the carpen-
ters translated measurements from feet
and inches into the new metric system,
they made a mistake. The wooden pivot
on which the obelisk was turning was
too high for the obelisk to continue its
movement. Two hundred thousand
important as rain would affect the ropes amazed spectators looked on as ten
and make things slippery. Before begin- strong men with axes in hand hacked a
ning the great manoeuvre, a small cedar path through the wood so the obelisk
box containing French gold and silver could be raised – all this while a band
coins of 1836 was placed inside a com- played the “Isis Suite” from Mozart’s
partment in the pedestal. In addition to Magic Flute.
the coins was a commemorative medal Finally, with the King and Queen
bearing the King’s portrait on one side looking on from their decorated balcony
and on the other the inscription “Under at the Ministry of the Marine, the
the reign of Louis-Philippe I, King of the obelisk was erected on its pedestal where
French, M. de Gasparin, Minister of the it stands today. The entire operation
Interior, the obelisk of Luxor was raised on its took three and a half hours, no one was
pedestal on the 25th of October, 1836 by the injured and the obelisk was undamaged.
care of M. Apollinaire Lebas, Marine It was a spectacular success. From his
Engineer.” Lebas’ place in history was royal balcony Louis-Philippe applauded
established. Now he just had to raise the and all 200,000 spectators joined him.
obelisk. Lebas was a hero. France had its obelisk.
At 11:30 am Lebas gave the signal, a
trumpet blared, and the 48 soldiers Bob Brier
assigned to each of ten capstans began
turning. Ropes from the capstans ran Bob is Senior Research Fellow at C.W. Post -
over ten tall masts, five in front of the Long Island University. This article is adapted
from his recent book Cleopatra’s Needles:
obelisk and five at the back which, con- The Lost Obelisks of Egypt,
tinued downward from the masts to reviewed in AE97.
chains fixed near the top of the pros-
trate obelisk. As the obelisk moved slow- Further Reading
De Joannis, Leon (1835) Campagne Pittoresque
ly towards an upright position the pres-
Du Luxor. (Paris).
sure on the wood block around which Habbachi, Labib (1977) The Obelisks of
the 250-ton monolith was pivoting was Egypt. (New York).
so great that sap from the fresh timbers
Lebas, Apollinaire (1839) L’Obelisque Du
The Luxor Temple ‘needle’ in
squirted out. The obelisk continued its Luxor: Histoire De Sa Translation A Paris.
situ at the Place de la
upward journey when suddenly, with no (Paris).
Concorde, Paris in 1956 warning, a loud cracking noise sounded
Photo: Public domain
All illustrations supplied by the author,
through the cold winter air. unless otherwise indicated.

20 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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Professor Olaf Kaper describes a new exhibition about the Great Royal Wives
of the New Kingdom in Leiden

o coincide with the opening of a new display of the New Kingdom (c. 1539-1077 BC). These women are not

T permanent collection of Egyptian antiquities, a major

exhibition has been staged at the National Museum
of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands. The exhibition
presented only in relation to their husbands, for the exhi-
bition aims to show their role in society, their daily life and
their significance also after death. The queens were often
was put together in collaboration with the Egyptian remarkable powerful women, who could operate inde-
Museum in Turin and with the present author as guest pendently of their husbands and who took on a multitude
curator. The topic of the exhibition is the Queens of the of tasks and roles.

ABOVE: A statue of Queen Hatshepsut in the exhibition; Leiden RMO no. F 1928/9.2 and New York MMA no. 29.3.3. Photo O.E. Kaper

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 21

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The office of Great Queen was characterised by many

responsibilities, but these were not only administrative. At
the moment of the coronation not only the king, but also
his queen was elevated to a divine nature. As a result of her
marriage to a demigod, the queen also acquired the ability
to communicate with the gods, and she would often be
present at major festivals in the temples following her hus-
band. Yet, there was no official coronation ceremony for
the queen, as far as we know. The same transformation
may be observed in the case of the mother of the king,
even when she had been only a minor queen previously.
The Leiden exhibition follows the lives of some of the
Great Queens of the New Kingdom. The famous
Hatshepsut (previous page) is among them, who even
ascended the throne as Pharaoh, as well as Tiye, Nefertiti,
Nefertari (left), and the first queen of the New Kingdom,
Ahmose Nefertari.

The Harem
The number of pharaoh’s wives could rise considerably,
because diplomatic relations with vassal states and with for-
eign powers would normally be sealed by a marriage to the
king. With each change of ruler abroad, a princess would
be sent to Egypt for marriage, together with her personal
staff. In order to house these women a special harem palace
was maintained and a staff of Egyptian officials was com-
missioned with its administration. One of these palaces has
been excavated, at Gurob in the Fayum, and even though
its remains are much ruined, it is clear from the many for-
eign goods found in the cemetery there that a large num-
ber of foreigners lived within its walls. The Great Queen was
positioned at the head of the harem, bearing the title
In the Temple of Amun at Karnak, a colossal statue of Rameses II with ‘Mistress of the Beauties of the Palace’.
Queen Nefertari at his side. Photo: O.E. Kaper
Despite the Queen’s supervision, amiable relations within
the harem were not always easy to maintain. The most
The Great Queen famous and well-documented story about a royal harem
The pharaoh possessed special privileges, which were justi- concerns the conspiracy which developed in the harem of
fied by his supernatural status. It was the task of the king King Rameses III and which led to his assassination. In the
to pacify the gods and to communicate with them inside exhibition in Leiden, the 5 metre-long papyrus that docu-
the temples as their equal. At the moment of his coronation ments the subsequent court case and its verdicts is dis-
the king was transformed from an ordinary man into a played, after being beautifully restored at the Turin
demigod. This also had consequences for his personal life, Museum.
because a king was permitted to marry multiple women,
even including his own sister or daughter when the circum- The Queen’s Clothing
stances of the dynasty required this. Such incestuous rela- The Great Queen, the principal wife of the king, was distin-
tions were not permitted for the common people, but it guished from the other royal wives by wearing a distinct set
reflects the situation of the gods, for whom the same rules of regalia. Her linen dress may not have differed much from
did not apply. Osiris was married to his sister Isis, and the that of other ladies of the elite, but her status was immedi-
king claimed divine status when he married his own sister. ately recognisable by a few other items in her apparel. Like
Similarly, the pharaoh was expected to marry as many the king and also the king’s mother, the Great Queen wore
women as he liked, which was not the case for his subjects, the divine cobra (uraeus) on her forehead. This element
but in the divine world such a situation was conceivable. linked her to the sun god, whose daughter Hathor the
The god Amun of Karnak was coupled with the goddess cobra represented. In addition, the queen could carry a fly
Mut, but also with Amaunet, his ‘sister’ in the creation whisk in one hand, of a type not seen elsewhere. She also
mythology derived from the town of Hermopolis. One of wore a crown composed of cow’s horns, a sun disk and a
the king’s wives, the mother of the heir to the throne, was pair of falcon’s feathers. The cow’s horns identify the queen
designated as the Great Queen (Great Royal Wife), in order with the goddess Hathor. Usually, the queen would wear
to distinguish her from all the other wives of the king. the vulture cap underneath this crown. Another distin-
Exceptionally, such as under King Rameses II, there was guishing trait of the Great Queen was that her name was
more than one Great Queen. written inside a cartouche, just like that of the king and the

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A painted relief in the tomb of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the A reconstruction of the costume of Queen Nefertari in the Leiden
Queens in Luxor. This image was used to reconstruct the possible exhibition. Dress made by Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, vulture cap
clothing of Nefertari, shown right. Photo: O.E.Kaper made by Sebastiaan Berntsen and Olaf Kaper. Photo: Lotje Dalmijn

king's mother. This oval around the name associated the are always represented as plain and white, but the reality
king and queen to the earthly territory encircled by the sun, was different, because in the tomb of Tutankhamun many
and over which they held sway. coloured and embroidered garments were encountered. It
Can we reconstruct the costume of the queen? is likely that the queen also had embroidered garments or
Unfortunately, no garments belonging to Egyptian queens otherwise coloured materials in her wardrobe. An indication
have been preserved in their tombs. All the tombs of that this was the case is a rare representation of a queen in
queens have been badly plundered or they were located in an embellished type of dress (in the role of the goddess
the Delta (such as at Tell el-Muqdam), so that organic mate- Weret-Hekau) in the tomb of Rameses VII in the Valley of
rials could not survive. Therefore only images of the queens’ the Kings (see overleaf). The patterns on this garment were
appearance remain to help us understand their costume. probably embroidered or painted onto the fabric, and this
Representations of queens survive both in the form of stat- distinguished the royal dress from the dresses of the elite.
ues and in reliefs and paintings in temples, on stelae and on For me, the most intriguing part of the costume is the vul-
the walls of tombs. The tomb of Queen Nefertari (above ture cap that the queen wore on her head. No actual exam-
left) may serve as a suitable model for recreating her typical ples have ever been found, and it is difficult to imagine its
appearance. In the exhibition Queens of the Nile we pres- shape. I find the reconstructions presented by Hollywood
ent a reconstruction of the costume of Nefertari based on movies particularly unrealistic, as they do not conform to
these images (above right). The realism of the images is the images of vulture caps in New Kingdom sources. Yet,
indicated by the queen’s bracelets and earrings, which are these sources are indeed difficult to interpret. In the tomb
highly individual and which differ across the various images of Nefertari, as elsewhere, the vulture is shown covering the
in her tomb. However, it is well known that Egyptian repre- entire top of the head of the queen, so that its tail extends
sentations were not realistic in our sense of the word. For beyond the back of the head. But the reality must have
instance, finger rings are never represented on the hands of been quite different, if we take into account the vulture’s
the queen or any other person, yet we know that they were correct anatomical measurements. In Egyptian art, animals
often worn. Similarly, the garments of the king and queen are always accurately rendered, and we can certainly

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 23

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assume the same for the crown of a

queen. So when we place a vulture over
the wig of the queen, and it is clear that
the queen would wear a large-size wig,
then the vulture covers only the front part
of the head. There is no possibility that
the vulture cap has a part sticking out at
the back of the head as the images sug-
gest. The two-dimensional renderings of
this crown are distorted because they
attempt to depict the entire body of the
vulture according to the concepts of
Egyptian art, including its tail, and this
makes it seem larger than it actually was.
Also, the wings of the vulture are depict-
ed as extended downwards in a straight
line in the two-dimensional images, but
in actual fact the wings displayed a sharp
turn behind the ears, in order to cover the
parts of the wig that fell in front of the
shoulders on the chest of the queen.
Why would the queen wear a vulture?
The symbolism of this bird is explained by
the vulture goddess Nekhbet, who is one
of the tutelary goddesses of Egyptian
kingship. She is the goddess of the south
of the country, as Wadjet (Uto) is the
goddess of the north. The king himself
would sometimes also include the head
of a vulture on his forehead, as was par-
ticularly common on images of
Tutankhamun, but the vulture cap was
particular to queens and goddesses.
The Divine Queen
Queen Nefertari was described as very
beautiful in inscriptions. In the temple of
Luxor, she is “Female singer with the
beautiful face, elegant with the tall dou-
ble plumes”. In the first half of his reign
Rameses II also had another wife with the
title of Great Queen, named Isisnofret (or
Isetnofret), and it is remarkable that she
was depicted less frequently and in less
admiring terms. Rameses had the small
temple at Abu Simbel built in honour of
Nefertari, and it was Nefertari who regu-
larly appears together with the king in
depictions of major festivals, such as the
Min festival at Thebes, or the Opet festi-
val. Isisnofret was not depicted at Abu
Simbel at all, and she is much less promi-
nent than Nefertari, in spite of carrying
the same title of Great Queen. Nefertari
received a spectacular tomb in the Valley
of the Queens, shown extensively in the
Leiden exhibition, whereas Isisnofret
seems to have been buried at Saqqara in
A queen of Pharaoh Rameses VII painted upon the walls of his tomb in the Valley of the
Kings. The queen is seen wearing highly coloured clothes; the patterns were probably a much less impressive setting. Professor
embroidered or dyed into the fabric. Lithograph by Ippolito Rosselini. Kenneth Kitchen has remarked that

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includes a burial shroud from the Twenty-first Dynasty (left)

with a drawing of Ahmose Nefertari on it, indicating that
her protection extended even beyond death.

Olaf E. Kaper
Olaf Kaper is Professor of Egyptology at Leiden University
and is guest curator of the exhibition Queens of the Nile at
the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden. His research
interests include the Oases of the Western Desert, religious
iconography and the costume of the royal family.

The exhibition Queens of the Nile includes nearly 250

objects from the collection of the Museo Egizio in Turin,
complemented by some 100 pieces from Leiden and from
the collections in Hildesheim, Copenhagen, Amsterdam
and Brussels. It will be shown in Leiden
until 16th April 2017.

Further Reading
A catalogue of the exhibition has been published in Dutch:
O.E. Kaper (ed.), Koninginnen van de Nijl, Leiden: Sidestone
Press, 2016,
available online at

ABOVE: A linen shroud with the painted image of Queen Ahmose

Nefertari. Leiden, RMO no. EG-ZM2734. Photo RMO.

Isisnofret may have been “no glamourous beauty like

Nefertari”, but the difference between the two ladies may
rather have been the result of their offspring. Nefertari’s
eldest child was a son, whereas Isisnofret first gave birth to
a daughter. This may have been the simple explanation for
their different status. Eventually it was a son of Isisnofret,
Merenptah, who succeeded Rameses II to the throne, but
this was long after the two queens themselves had passed
In the Leiden exhibition, the divine status of the queens is
shown most notably through the example of Queen
Ahmose Nefertari (above and right). This queen, who had
been a popular figure during the reigns of two kings at the
start of the New Kingdom, had acquired post-mortem fame
as a powerful force for divine assistance. In the village of
Deir el-Medina, the inhabitants often invoked her aid in sur-
mounting various problems, such as illness, and she seems
to have been an effective intercessor between the villagers
and their gods. Her popularity lasted for the entire period of A statue of Queen Ahmose Nefertari from Deir el-Medina.
the New Kingdom and even beyond. The exhibition Turin, Museo Egizio no. C. 1369. Photo RMO.

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 25

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A Harbour in the Heart of the Delta
Ayman Wahby Taher, Assistant Professor of Egyptology at the University of
Mansoura in Egypt, presents his contribution to Issue 100.

May I congratulate the staff, contributors and readers of AE on the hundreth issue of
the magazine. It was my honour to contribute for many years to the magazine as Egypt
Correspondent, and for this special issue I would like to introduce readers to a relatively
unknown and neglected part of the Delta: the site of Shanasha.
Ayman Wahby Taher

hanasha lies 20 km south of Mansoura and 5 km are still visible there and the area is covered with pottery

S south-east of Aga (see above). It is a vast archaeolog-

ical site which covers around 20 hectares of agricul-
tural land and rises about six metres above its surround-
shards and limestone blocks. This article will try to shed
light on this little-known site and attempt to reveal its
importance and place in history during the Late Period in
ings (see opposite top). Remains of Graeco-Roman buildings the Delta.

In ancient times, much of what is now the Nile Delta was under water. The map shows the possible extent of the ‘Gulf of
Shanasha’, which provided a navigable route from the harbour of Shanasha to Lake Manzala, which is itself a part of the
Mediterranean Sea. But Shanasha also lires next to the Damietta branch of the Nile, giving it access to the rest of Egypt also lies
Map: Peter Robinson

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An aerial view of the archaeological site of Shanasha.
Image: ©Google Earth

The “Gulf of Shanasha” as mentioned in Arabic maps

of the Mansoura region stretches to the east from an area
near Samanoud on the Damietta branch of the Nile until
it reaches Lake Manzala. Midway along the Gulf the
ancient town of Shanasha was established as a harbour to
deliver produce from this area to the Mediterranean Sea
and to the Nile Valley.

References to Shanasha
Gauthier in his Dictionnaire Geographie referred to Shanasha
as shenset or shenset Min and ta-shenit or shenit with a
sycamore tree as its hieroglphic determinative. ABOVE: An Islamic Period cannon-ball found at the site.
Amelineau referred to it in his Geographie as an old town BELOW:A sycamore tree beside the road to Shanasha.
with the Coptic name of Psanascho.
In Arabic sources (such as El-Idriesy, Ibn Mammati and
El-Yagouby), Shanasha is described as a fine city full of
vegetation and trees with sugar-cane factories; also men-
tioned is the Gulf of Shanasha, extending from Mit
Bader village about 3 km to the east of the city to about
6 km from Mit Garah village near Samanoud.
Islamic objects such as the cannon-ball found at the site
(see centre right) indicate its importance as a strategic mili-
tary location.

Sycamore Trees
The way to Shanasha is lined with very old sycamore
trees (bottom right), making you feel that you are following
the route of an ancient road that gave rise to the deter-
minative in its hieroglyphic name.

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ABOVE LEFT: The rich agricultural landscape surrounding the Shanasa site. ABOVE RIGHT: A distant view of the mound or tell.

BELOW: The mound or tell at Shanasha with some evidence of archaeological remains.

Sheikh abu Shoqafa holy man and considered the area around it to be a sanc-
(Father of Ostraca) tuary; in similar sites they built mosques, of which there
As is usual in many archaeological sites, the local inhabi- are many examples throughout Egypt.
tants chose the uppermost part of the nearby tell/hill (see
above) to construct a mausoleum (see below) for their own The “Serdab”
When I visited the site, I heard tales about a “serdab” or
“crypt” from the local farmers (see opposite, top left). They
believe it leads underground from their village to Mendes;
some said that their fathers walked through it, others said
there are walls and rooms underground. Of course you
can hear such stories everywhere in Egypt.

Pottery and Stone Blocks

The fields at the site are full of shards of pottery – plates,
jars and amphorae and blocks of stone can be seen every-
where, some of limestone, others of basalt or granite (see
the photos opposite). Some of these stones are used by the
farmers in building shelters or small animal houses, or for
agricultural purposes.
A stela was found there by the farmers; kept initially in
the store museum at Mendes it has now been moved to
the Grand Egyptian Museum. It is a small round-topped
stela displaying in its upper part a winged solar disc; the
ABOVE: The mausoleum of Sheik abu Shoqafa built
on top of the mound.
body of the stela shows a scene where a king (?) wearing
the Red Crown stands adoring two gods – male (Amun)

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ABOVE: The site of the so-called “serdab”.

ABOVE RIGHT: Fields full of pottery shards.

BELOW and BELOW RIGHT: Shards of various pottery vessels.

ABOVE LEFT, LEFT and BELOW: Some examples of the stone

blocks that can be seen everywhere on the site.

ABOVE: An animal shelter built of reused stone blocks.

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and female (Mut?). The lower part of the stela bears an tourist destination, because of its location in wide coun-
inscription in demotic. tryside and its closeness to Aga on the main road to Cairo.
It is significant especially because it is close to Samanoud
The Future of Shanasha (ancient Sebennytos) the hometown of Manetho, the
I visited the site to examine it and try to imagine how, famous Ptolemaic priest who wrote the history of the thir-
after excavations have been completed, it could become a ty dynasties of ancient Egypt. The boy in the picture on
the left could be one of his descendents and might wel-
come visitors to Shanasha in the not-too-distant future.

Ayman Wahby Taher

All photographs in this article were supplied by the author,
who is pictured below at the site of Shanasha.

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The Royal City of Sais:

the expected, unexpected and the weird

Penny Wilson describes another Delta site that, unlike Shanasha, has been thoroughly
investigaterd and is still being excavated by a mission from Durham University and the
Egypt Exploration Society.

n 1997, an initial archaeological survey at the site of

I Sais, the capital of Egypt in the seventh/sixth century

BC, was expected to be no more than a three-week
mission. The archaeological remains had been either
ABOVE: The view south of Sa el-Hagar village, with the Great Pit in
the foreground, 2016.

BELOW: A map of the area showing the location of excavation units at

Sa el-Hagar
engulfed by the modern village of Sa el-Hagar, dug out
sometime in the nineteenth century or were small and
insignificant mounds amidst the fields. Twenty years later
and the Durham University/Egypt Exploration Society
Mission is still working at the site (see the map, right) and
hoping to expand the project in terms of training, her-
itage management and further excavation and investiga-
tion. But why?
Based on what was known about Sais from historical
and textual sources, the site potentially had an Early
Dynastic cult centre and later temple of Neith and also
the royal tombs of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty kings. In
order to establish where the main archaeological zones
were situated at Sais, a systematic survey using drill auger
equipment was carried out across an area of 2 km by 1
km. The Northern Enclosure, Great Pit, and village
mound of Sa el-Hagar were the main areas with ancient
remains, but in the areas between and south of the village
there were still layers of settlement debris suggesting a
large area with different settlements, cemeteries, cultic
areas, service and industrial quarters and, perhaps, stor-
age and warehouse facilities.
At the western side of the Great Pit, Prehistoric Period
pottery sherds had been found and trial trenches con-
firmed the presence of both Neolithic and Pre- to Early
Dynastic pottery and stone tools. The Sais Mission exca-
vated a 10m by 10m area (see overleaf, top) using 24-hour
dewatering pumps in order to keep the trench dry. Here,
we discovered several archaeological strata beginning
with a Neolithic fisherman’s midden of burnt fish bone, a

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logical site. Beautiful, polished ovoid

pots, decorated with incised fish-bone
patterns, suggest that there was a close
connection between Sais and the
Neolithic site of Merimde Beni Salama
on the desert edge to the south, but
there is still work to be done in explain-
ing the connection between the two sites
(and others), the people who lived there
harvesting the bounty of the Nile as well
as the low and high deserts.
The Twenty-sixth Dynasty, on the
other hand, seemed to have been totally
removed from the site of Sais. A few
inscribed stone blocks had been found at
the site. Others had come from houses
and village mosques around Sa el-
Hagar over the years (see left, centre), but
no archaeological remains had been
recorded since the visits of Jean-
François Champollion in 1828 and John
Gardner Wilkinson in the 1840s. Both
scholars had drawn and mapped tanta-
lising glimpses of the ancient capital city
that had been removed between the
nineteenth century and modern day
including the enclosure wall in the north
and a ‘palace’ inside the enclosure.
The Mission’s Excavation 4 in 2003 in
the Great Pit uncovered a rubbish dump
of pottery from the Saite period, lying
on top of a portion of mud-brick wall
with supporting stone-walling and a well
ABOVE TOP late Neolithic settlement, followed by an nearby (see bottom left). The pottery spoke
The Prehistoric excavation trench, alluvial flood layer of mud, and then to the connections between Egypt and
looking east.
traces of a Buto-Maadi Period to Early the Aegean in the Saite period: beautiful
ABOVE Dynastic settlement. No Neolithic evi- fragments of Greek finewares and
A naos for Sekhmet; reign of
Ahmose II (c. 570-526 BC), dence in this quantity had ever been reconstructable amphorae which must
formerly at Sa el-Hagar. found in the floodplain in Egypt before, have brought wine and olive oil from
and maps of Predynastic and Early Lesbos, Chios, Clazomeniae and Attica
Excavation 4, with a Twenty-sixth Dynastic Egypt often did not even itself. Small votive pottery vessels attest-
Dynasty well and walls; view east. record that Sais was an early archaeo- ed to the presence of cult centres in the
area suggesting that Sais had more than
one temple – perhaps up to four – some
at the north of the site and some at the
south, reflecting the arrangements of
other large cities and imitating the
ancient capital at Memphis, for exam-
ple, with the temple of Neith to the
north and the temple of Ptah to the
south of the main city.
Excavation 10 for the Mission’s stor-
age magazine at the site also proved for-
tuitous, supporting the theory that some
important discoveries in Egypt are made
by chance. Amongst building debris and
rubbish from Ptolemaic to Late Roman
structures was a piece of of a royal
ushabti figure, perhaps of King Psamtek
I (see opposite, top). Although similar

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A ushabti figure, most likely to be
of King Psamtek I (c. 664-610 BC).

ushabtis are known from collections research and further excavation, in

around the world, only a ushabti of order to determine what it was about
Apries had actually been excavated at this place that made it so suitable for a
Sais in 1902. The discovery highlighted capital of a newly reunited state. The
the disturbed and destroyed nature of settlement strata have a depth of around
the site between the period of Saite 7m from the Predynastic Period to the
power and the modern day, with first millennium BC and in the upper
Hellenistic and Roman administrations layers, the Mission’s excavations have
having taken their toll, along with the uncovered two towns one on top of the
major change in religion to Christianity other (see below). A town from the late
and then, Islam. At each stage, new Ramesside Period around 1100 BC
deconstruction and/or building work seems to have collapsed, perhaps after
had taken place, reducing the archaeo- an earth tremor, preserving pottery from
logical areas of the city, except for one a feast in the main room of a large
area of legally protected land in Kom house and in the kitchen-storehouse.
Rebwa to the north and the area under The excavated structures of the town
the modern town. One advantage, from built on top of these buildings com-
an archaeological perspective is that, prised a wall, 5m thick, with small
with later material removed, the earlier chambers built against it, which seem to
settlement levels are (more) accessible. have been domestic in nature at first and
The settlement before the Twenty- then converted into more industrial-
sixth Dynasty city, a proto-capital in its type features, including, perhaps, a kiln.
different phases, is now the subject of From the material left in the burnt-out

The ‘two cities’ area under
excavation in 2015.

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 33

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lace of carnelian scaraboids and a turn highlights the connections

golden moon-pendant. The cemeter- through time of one place and the
ies suggest that it was the practice to changing cultural and political
bury the dead on abandoned areas of imperatives of life in the Delta. It is a
a settlement, which in turn were story that can be repeated in many
abandoned and then built over later. similar sites in Egypt, each with a
During the Roman Period the town slightly different identity and region-
may have contracted in size towards al contribution, but all part of a com-
the area of the modern village, but it plex network of towns, culture and
remained prosperous with a bath- individual lives for six thousand
house and functioning temples for a years.
range of local and Mediterranean Penny Wilson
gods. The pottery from a kiln on the
western side of the site reflects the Dr Penny Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in
dining practices of this rural commu- the Department of Archaeology at
Durham University.
nity, in the style of the wider Eastern All the photographs in the article were
Mediterranean culture. By the medi- provided by the author.
aeval period a small village and
mound were all that was left of the BELOW: The burial of a Second Intermediate
ancient capital, but Ibn Hauqal (a Period/New Kingdom individual, with a
pottery vessel protecting his head;
Muslim Arab writer of the tenth cen- in Excavation 5.
ABOVE: A rat-trap or shrine, from tury AD) describes the “Fountains of
Excavation unit 21.
Third Intermediate Period.
Moses” at the village. The town lost
its central place when the mediaeval
city of Tanta was created and when
firing chamber, one object (see above) the main railways were constructed,
has so far proved difficult to identify. they by-passed Sa el-Hagar, so that its
It is a domed box, shaped like a giant function as an agricultural node was
clog 27cm long, with a grooved door- ended.
way into which a sliding entrance Geographical situation on a rela-
seems to have fitted. A string went tively stable river branch, charismatic
from the top of the sliding door, over local rulers, agricultural wealth,
a forked attachment above the door, chronological roots, strategic links to
along the back of the box and to a the north and south, centrality – all
hole in the back-centre of the box. seem to have played their part in
The object looks like a trap for a making Sais a desirable capital for a
medium to large animal or it could short time and perhaps created a pro-
be an elaborate shrine to house a totype for other northern centres
sacred object. including Mendes, Samanud-
A few burials have been found in Sebennytos and, ultimately,
the northern area, including an indi- Alexandria. The project has shown
vidual with a coarseware pot over his that Sais is an opportunity to exam-
head (see right) and another intact ine a settlement over a long period of
burial of an individual with a neck- time (see below and opposite), which in

A Selection of Finds Illustrating the Occupation of Sais from the Neolithic to the Modern Era

Time Period Archaeological Evidence Time Period Archaeological Evidence

Neolothic Period
c. 4000 BC
Harpoon Early Dynastic Peroiod
c. 2900 BC
Predynastic Period
(Buto-Maadi culture)
c. 3500 BC
Stone ring fragment
Lemon pot rim and neck

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Time Period Archaeological Evidence Time Period Archaeological Evidence

End of Old Kingdom,

c. 1900 BC Ptolemaic Period,
323-30 BC
Meidum bowl


Middle Kingdom
to Second Intermediate
Period, c. 1600 BC

Early Roman Period,

30 BC - AD 100

Pottery assemblage

Eighteenth Dynasty,
c. 1400 BC

Burial assemblage Late Roman Period,

AD 400-700

Church foundations

Late Ramesside Period

(Twentieth Dynasty),
c. 1100 BC

Islamic-Mediaeval Period,
House and magazine AD 641 onward

Third Intermediate Period,

c.900 BC
Tomb of Sidia Saba
Walled structures
and rooms

Saite Period, Twenty-sixth Modern Day,

Dynasty, 664-525 BC nineteenth-twentieth century

Imports Maastricht pottery

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 35

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Highlights of Manchester Museum, No. 3:

A gilded mummy mask from the early New Kingdom

Dr. Campbell Price investigates a striking New Kingdom mummy

mask in the third in his series featuring key items from the collection
of the Manchester Museum
his unusual mummy mask (Accession no. 7931) a distinctive feature of many of these masks, which exhib-

T came to the Manchester Museum from the collec-

tion of local
architect William
it proportionately rather small faces. This strange iconog-
raphy may be an
attempt to represent
Sharp Ogden in the ba-spirit, which
1925, and reputedly took the form of a
derives from the human-headed bird;
Luxor area. At some but it might also
point after its arrival reproduce the feath-
in the Museum the ered ‘rishi’-pattern
mask was subject to known from contem-
modern restoration porary coffins –
for display. which may represent
The mask is made enveloping divine
from cartonnage, a protection. Multiple
material resembling levels of such symbol-
papier-mâché, made ism are likely to have
from layers of linen been understood –
and plaster. It has and were perhaps
been painted and the expected – by the
face has been covered ancient Egyptians.
in a fine layer of gold. A common feature
Cartonnage was used of such early New
for mummy masks Kingdom masks is a
from the Middle projecting ‘tab’ or
Kingdom onwards, ‘bib’ at the bottom of
but became a very the broad collar. By
popular material for chance, a fragment is
entire coffins by the preserved in Man-
Third Intermediate chester Museum,
Period. The addition Acc. no. 8106 (see
of gold leaf, for those opposite, top left) that
who could afford it, Ashley Cooke (Senior
emphasised a connec- Curator of Anti-
tion between the quities at Liverpool’s
deceased and the World Museum) first
gods – whose flesh suggested as a likely
was believed to be of contender for the
untarnishable gold. missing ‘tab’ of our
The face is not a por- mask, based on a sim-
trait but a generic ilar mask in the
image of the World Museum (oppo-
deceased; recognition site, top right). This
of the deceased by its wandering ba-spirit was by means of fragment was also part of the Sharp Ogden collection
an inscribed name. and, although the fragment bore a different sale number
The mask’s unusual appearance resulted in its being from the mask, a join is likely because of the same drop-
given the assumed dating of ‘Late Period’ or ‘Ptolemaic’ bead pattern on the edge of both mask and fragment.
in some Museum records. In fact, the mask is likely to be The mask was in poor condition when it arrived at the
one of a small number of examples from the early New Museum and it is conceivable that the ‘tab’ snapped off
Kingdom (c. 1550 BC). The feathered (or rishi) pattern is long before it arrived, being given a separate number for

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sale because it carried a visually-appeal-

ing set of inked hieroglyphs. These
hieroglyphic signs spell out a standard
offering formula for the ka-spirit of the
deceased. Unfortunately, like several
other examples of this type (such as the
striking example in Liverpool), it does
not carry a name, almost as if it was a
prefabricated piece awaiting magical
personalisation (and activation) through
the addition of a name.
The relatively high quality of these
early New Kingdom masks with anony-
mous tabs would seem to argue against
an ‘off-the-peg’ arrangement; perhaps
the filling in of the name was a ritu-
alised part of the funerary preparations

Campbell is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at

and was never (properly) completed, or
The Manchester Museum (the University of OPPOSITE PAGE
done in less durable pigments than those
Manchester) and a regular contributor to AE
that have survived?
The stunning New Kingdom
Campbell Price
magazine. In the next issue Campbell will
feature a Predynastic hippo bowl. cartonnage mummy mask from
the Manchester Museum.
Photo: courtesy of Manchester


The decorated tab that may
belong to the Manchester car-
tonnage mummy mask, having
snapped off from the base of
the decorative collar.
Photo: courtesy of Manchester

The Liverpool mask with it tab
still in place.
Photo: courtesy of National
Museums Liverpool

A close up of the Manchester
mask showing the feathering
Photo: courtesy of Manchester

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 37

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Selling and Shopping in Ancient Egypt

Jun Yi Wong explores the mechanics of the Nile economy
and role ‘shopping’ played in everyday life.

rade and exchange were important parts of daily The riverbank market
T life for ancient Egyptians as for any other society.
The local economy was based mostly on the activ-
ities of farmers or free craftsmen who were not directly
Our understanding of Egyptian marketplaces comes
mostly from the ‘market scenes’ which decorated a num-
ber of elite tombs. These markets usually occurred on the
related to the temples. At the same time, highly spe- Nile riverbank, where the mooring sites of ships became
cialised settlements such as the workers’ village at Deir el- natural locations for exchanges. Textual evidence details
Medina could not be expected to be self-sufficient. With the variety of goods carried by ships including oil, wine,
no currency, many essential and non-essential goods were olives, fish, cucumbers, salt, garments, and papyrus.
available only through barter. However the evidence we These markets functioned as a primary source for goods
have for trade and exchange in ancient Egypt is relatively that were not obtainable locally – for instance, wine pro-
meagre. duction was exclusive to the Delta and Fayum.
Fortunately, it is possible to weave together the frag- In general, the ‘buyers’ were men (typically sailors)
ments of evidence we do have across various periods to while ‘sellers’ were often women from the local village. In
produce a best guess of what everyday ‘shopping’ was like the absence of coinage, buyers usually had to carry bags
during pharaonic times. Exchanges for foodstuffs must filled with their own commodities. Going shopping with
have occurred on a daily basis throughout history. Other an empty bag is a concept alien to ancient Egyptians. The
transactions included an occasional sandal purchase from tomb of Ipuy (TT217, opposite top) includes a scene that
the riverbank, or the once-in-a-lifetime investment in a portrays women with baskets filled with produce (bread,
wooden coffin, which must have been quite an occasion cucumber or fish), and sailors ‘paying’ by emptying their
for those rich enough to afford one. Transactions such as grain sacks into the same basket. This scene represents
these formed the basis of trade and marketing in ancient perhaps a microcosm of trade at the marketplace. When
Egypt. the woman left home with her basket of cucumbers, she

ABOVE: A tomb model from the Twelfth Dynasty Tomb of Meketra, showing servants carrying food and other goods
(Egyptian Museum, Cairo). Without currency, ancient Egyptians had to barter for all items they required. Photo: RBP

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would have had little idea of what she (TT54 – originally an Eighteenth
would receive in return for her produce. Dynasty tomb for the official, Hui but
Her transactions at the marketplace usurped in the Nineteenth Dynasty by
were dependent on her best judgment – Kenro and his son, Khonsu), the river
her preferences, the amount offered, Nile was nowhere to be found.
and so on. In a moneyless society, the
distinction between buyers and sellers Specialised goods
must have been very obscure. What was Unlike everyday transactions at the
certain is that once all the exchanges marketplace, the exchange of spe-
had concluded, she would be carrying cialised goods often created social obli-
home a mixed basketful of food and gation between trader and customer.
other objects; the selling of domestic
crops and household shopping were “I decorated two coffins for him on the
achieved simultaneously. riverbank and he made a bed for me.”
Nevertheless, there is little doubt that Ostracon Michaelidis 13, lines 3-4.
the market scenes were most identifiable
with members of the elite. The regular The statement above, by the draughts-
Egyptian could hardly afford the com- man Neferhotep from Deir el-Medina,
modities illustrated in such scenes. This captured the essence of transactions of
is not to suggest that all markets in this nature. Workmen, chiefs and scribes
ancient Egypt were similar to those usually received more grain than neces-
shown in elite tombs; numerous scholars sary for their daily consumption, so hav-
have suggested the presence of ‘local ing a surplus created a demand for craft
markets’ that functioned to meet the goods, tomb equipment and other non-
needs of the local peasantry. Such mar- essential consumables. Supply was pro-
kets are unlikely to be archaeologically vided by workmen with surplus time on
visible, but it is only natural that they their hands, creating a private sector
must have existed. They were likely to market that flourished in the Theban
A marketing scene (ringed)
be found within settlement areas above region.
from the Tomb of Ipuy (TT217)
the Nile floodplain. It is telling that, on Most purchases were paid for using a
an unconventional market scene which bundle of goods – a combination of at Deir el-Medina.
depicted the locals as customers consumable commodities such as grain, Drawing: Davies (1927)

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Food offerings from the
ox would be given in return. Note that
Eighteenth Dynasty Tomb of
such a transaction was possible,
Menna at Qurna. although the latter was not in possession
Fresh produce such as fish and
fruit would have been
of an ox at that moment. Indeed, it is
exchanged on a regular basis
likely that a time frame was usually
by the poorest peasants, involved between the payment and
whereas wine and luxury
goods, only available to the
delivery of specialised commodities,
wealthy, would have been
with relationships and obligations play-
obtained only on ing a mediating role.
special occasions.
Photo: RBP
Beyond the workmen’s settlements,
those dwelling in normal villages or
BELOW towns probably acquired specialised
A market scene from the Tomb
of Mahu at Amarna.
goods through visits to workshops. The
Drawing: Davies (1906)
locations of such places would have
been well-known as the production
process was rarely hidden from the pub-
lic eye. Ancient Egyptians of lower
social status need not be excluded from
these types of transactions; we could
expect there to be a similar craft and
furniture production set up to cater for
the less affluent, albeit perhaps by made
by non-specialists. If the craftsmen at
oil and animals. One can see the paral- Amarna were able to run a well-organ-
lels with the aforementioned cucumber ised pig farm, it is not hard to imagine a
seller, who ‘shops’ for everyday necessi- barley farmer adept at producing the
ties by marketing her produce. For more occasional furniture to supplement his
extravagant transactions (such as those income.
involving oxen), the likes of textile prod-
ucts, wood and metal may have been Everyday exchanges
involved. Ostracon DeM 433 records a Given that the Egyptian economy can-
workman who gave oil and copper to a not be wholly redistributive, the circula-
policeman under the condition that an tion of perishable staples must have
occurred extensively and regularly. Food
producers were not excluded from food
transactions either, as few can be entire-
ly self-sufficient. The exchange of fish,
fruit and vegetables for grain must have
been almost mandatory for many – the
fisherman does not produce grain, and
the farmer does not fish.
For those tied to the centralised
authority, the typical ration consisted of
only bread and beer. Fish, vegetables,
clothing and wine were distributed only
periodically or on special occasions and
otherwise only available through
Therefore, small transactions must
have been a customary feature of the
peasant economy. Goods would usually
be acquired from neighbours, forging
strong bonds through persistent com-
munications and transactions. This was
undoubtedly aided by the compact
nature of villages in the countryside;
due to the ecology of the Nile valley,
Egyptian settlements, with their agricul-
tural buildings and storage facilities,
tended to cluster around sites above the

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floodplain. Those frequent visits to Barter matters

neighbours gave rise to an alternate Exchanges were also made to facilitate
mode of trade: that of travelling ven- further transactions. For example, the
dors. We know of slaves being offered by famous Middle Kingdom Hekanakhte
merchants from house to house, and it is Papyri (written by or on behalf of a
quite likely that other goods were being priest in Thebes to his family in the
traded in this manner as well. Fayum) recorded that Hekanakhte pre-
Ideally, households would keep small ferred debts to be paid in barley or oil.
animals to supplement their subsistence, Hence any metal, linen or livestock
an activity normally reserved for owned by the tenant would first have to
women. The Story of the Eloquent Peasant be converted into the specific commodi-
suggests that beyond basic subsistence, ty requested. At the same time, the
farmers also grew ‘cash crops’ for profit. payee could only be expected to con-
Such was the importance of exchanges sume so much barley or oil, so the sur-
in everyday life that cultural connota- plus would then have to be traded for
tions became attached to the sale of spe- other goods at some point. High value
cific items. The sale of milk was regard- transactions, on the other hand, often
ed a shameful practice as it marked the required cloth and metal.
poverty of the household, as well as the These specific demands, which must
laziness of its women. The sale of have been a major nuisance in barter
cheese or clarified butter, on the other societies, played a considerable role in
hand, was quite acceptable. stimulating exchanges. Transactions can
The upper classes were also no also be disguised in the form of recipro-
strangers to daily shopping trips. cal gift-giving, a highly popular practice
Ramesside papyri record the daily in ancient Egypt.
slaughtering and sale of oxen, a Most transactions involving common-
required practice for households ers were paid for using a bundle of con-
demanding a consistent supply of fresh sumable goods; the idea of a piece of
meat. However, in this case the purchase metal holding value would have been
was carried out by a ‘trader’ for his unfathomable to most Egyptians.
employee. Trading was considered a Indeed, the notion of value is an Ships berthed at a Nile-side
market, from the Tomb of
Kenamon TT162 at Dra Abu el-
lowly profession in ancient Egypt, and ambiguous one in ancient Egypt. Even
one assumes that the elite would avoid when units of measurement were used
direct involvement in exchanges when- in calculations, mistakes were common Drawing: Davies & Faulkner
ever possible. with round figures usually favoured. A (1947)

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Table 1: A simplified summary of the different types of ‘shopping’ exchanges taking place in ancient Egypt. Image: by the author.

coffin costing 102 deben would fetch the also be careful not to extrapolate the
same combination of grain, copper and modern age’s constant need for variety
oil even when priced at 100 deben. This and excess to ancient populations.
attitude towards pricing has been inter- While ancient Egypt certainly did enjoy
preted by some as an absence of profit- periods of exceptional prosperity, one
making motive. It is perhaps more should not discount a significant seg-
appropriate to describe ancient ment of the populace for which diet was
Egyptians as ‘target traders’, with items unvaried and houses very modestly
traded not for their value, but rather the equipped. These families would have
objects being obtained. A carpenter will had few needs, and probably manufac-
continue selling products at break-even tured everyday objects such as wood-
price or even at a loss, simply because work and basketry themselves.
there were no other means to obtain sta- The various levels of exchanges in
ple goods. To stop exchanging is to stop ancient Egypt theorised in this article
subsisting. are illustrated in Tables 1 & 2 (above and
below), showing how Egyptians might
The landscape of shopping have understood markets and
How large a role did shopping play in exchanges. These distinct categorisa-
the Egyptian daily life? The extent to tions could even be manifest in material
which an Egyptian was involved would culture – take, for example, (a) an exotic
depend on a number of factors includ- vessel brought by a ship at the riverbank
ing wealth, locality and gender. In mod- market; (b) well-crafted pottery by the
ern societies, where distances between local workshop, and (c) crude earthen-
communities have been drastically ware acquired from an unskilled neigh-
shortened, it is easy to overlook the fact bour.
that movements were likely to have been It is safe to assume that exchanges
confined to a very small area in ancient grew in importance as specialisation
societies. Accessibility was also dictated intensified, both on a settlement scale
by the norms and constraints attached (craftsmen communities) and on a
to gender and social status. One must household level. Nevertheless, ordinary

Table 2. A diagram showing the theoretical ‘shopscape’ of ancient Egypt. Image: by the author.

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members of the public were likely to some specialised goods. Unless he knew
have been excluded from many forms of of a craftsman in the community, this
exchanges simply due to a lack of sur- transaction would normally take place
plus. The upper classes had access to all at a local workshop. He would be quiet-
types of market, although they pre- ly confident of his negotiation skills,
ferred not to be directly involved in given that the price elasticity for supra-
exchanges. Employing the services of subsistence goods would be even higher
traders or butlers, they nevertheless than the essentials he usually bargained
made full use of their privilege to for. Food producers may have fared bet-
acquire the plethora of commodities ter in some transactions; a fisherman
available. could consume all of his catch if he did
The ‘shopscape’ for the average not fancy an exchange, but a craftsman
Egyptian household can thus be could not eat his chairs!
explained as such: subsistence was
mainly predicated upon a specific crop, Jun Yi Wong
supplemented by secondary production
from craftwork or livestock. The yield Jun Yi Wong holds a BA in Archaeology
A scene from the Tomb of
was exchanged for other consumables from Durham University and a Master’s
Menna showing a young
on a consistent basis, commonly fish or in Egyptology from the University of
other types of agricultural product. The Cambridge. He is interested in Egyptian servant girl carrying ducks and
flowers. Unlike the modern
shopper, ancient Egyptians
other party would normally be a neigh- religion, iconography, and ancient and
wishing to ‘shop’ for food and
bour, a peddler, or a seller at the local modern iconoclastic destruction.
market. In all three cases there would be other items would have to take
with them a range of items with
bartering in AE53 and try your hand at shop- which to barter, rather than an
little travelling involved, although, due You can read about an interesting experiment in
empty shopping bag!
to the general human weakness for buy-
Drawing: Davies & Faulkner
article in AE70.
ing cheaply, an ancient Egyptian might ping ancient Egyptian style in our Per Mesut
go the extra mile in search for better (1947)
value. Nevertheless, the ‘target trading’
nature of Egyptian markets meant that
there was usually little reason to do so.
‘Prices’ were determined just as much
by how much a buyer was willing to pay,
as by social obligations forged by repeti-
tive transactions. This also meant that
‘payment’ did not have to be instanta-
neous, with the exception of situations
where this relationship was absent (i.e.
in a marketplace).
The arrival of freight at the Nile bank
would hopefully coincide with a good
harvest. Crops were carried all the way
to the riverside by the woman of the
household. The trip was worthwhile
considering the abundance of buyers:
sailors, merchants and traders hired by
the upper classes. Compared to the
commoners with whom the Egyptian
regularly traded, clients at the riverbank
possessed far greater purchasing power
– if not in value, then at least in quanti-
ty. By the end of the day, the basket of
commodities received in return would
last a household for a long while. There
would also be more variety in that figu-
rative basket than could normally be
acquired from the neighbours.
A good return from the riverbank
market coupled with a productive sec-
ondary subsistence, and the villager
might well have had enough to spend on

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Dr. Joyce Tyldesley pays tribute to ANCIENT EGYPT Magazine and
the enduring popularity of Egyptology.

hundred editions ago, in May 2000, ANCIENT The First Egyptologists

EGYPT was launched to cater for our interest in The first to show an interest in Egypt’s long history were
A everything and anything relating to the ancient the Egyptians themselves. In 1400 BC the three Giza pyr-
Egyptian civilisation. An “outsider” or non-Egyptophile amids and the sphinx that crouched at their feet were
might think that this was an unnecessary publication; that already a thousand years old. Pyramids had fallen out of
Egyptology – the study of the language, archaeology and fashion, and the Great Sphinx was almost lost beneath a
culture of a long-dead civilization – is a minority subject, drift of wind-borne sand. One day Prince Thutmose,
of interest only to those younger son of the
who are prepared to devote Eighteenth Dynasty King
many hours to scholarly Amenhotep II, was hunt-
study. But this is clearly not ing in the Giza desert.
the case. Taking advantage of the
There is a huge audience shade offered by the
interested in ancient Egypt, ancient ruins, he rested
and a vast amount of good- against the Sphinx and fell
will towards the subject asleep. The god Hor-em-
from people with varying akhet (Horus in the
levels of knowledge. Some Horizon), the falcon-head-
gain their understanding of ed spirit of the Sphinx,
the past from scholarly came to Thutmose in a
research, attendance at lec- dream, and pleaded with
tures, membership of soci- him to restore his neglect-
eties and visits to museums ed statue. In exchange, the
and exhibitions. Others Sphinx would ensure that
absorb it almost entirely Thutmose became king of
through popular culture, Egypt. Thutmose did
gaining their understand- restore the Sphinx, and he
ing from informal sources did become king. Rescue
that present a challenge to archaeology had been
the traditional domination born!
of Egyptology by academ- This interest in the past
ics. These informal sources continued throughout the
include films, television dynastic age, with the
dramas, books and, Twenty-sixth Dynasty
increasingly, the Internet. Saite kings showing a par-
While almost always inter- ticular interest in exploring
ABOVE: ANCIENT EGYPT magazine: 17 years of catering for
esting and frequently stim- and restoring the ancient
all your Egyptology needs!
ulating, they can be confus- monuments. The historian
ing. When in 1999 the Herodotus of Halicarnass-
blockbuster film The us (c. 484-420 BC) travelled
Mummy was released (see opposite, bottom right), few audience to Egypt soon after the end of the Saite period, roaming
members were persuaded that the ancient Egyptians had extensively in the Delta and perhaps venturing as far
the ability or even the desire to bring their murderous, south as Aswan. Details of his adventures were included
mummified dead back to life, but many struggled with the in his nine-volume Histories, with the entire second book
truth underpinning the film’s portrayal of ancient being devoted to the land of the pharaohs. His account is
Egyptian funerary equipment and procedure. Yes – the an engaging mixture of history, geography, economics
Egyptians did use canopic jars, but exactly how many? and anthropology linked by accounts of visits to some of
Four, or five as shown in the film? Did they remove the Egypt’s most ancient sites. It is as enjoyable today as it was
brain via the nose before mummification? Yes – but not over 2,000 years ago. Contemporary readers had no
using a red-hot poker. I cannot be the only lecturer who problem accepting Herodotus’s stories, and many used
gets asked about the probable location of the film’s him as the primary source for their own works. Chief
(entirely fictional) city of the dead, Hamunaptra! amongst these were the historian Diodorus Siculus (first

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century BC) and the geographer Strabo Egyptian philosophy, religion, architec-
(c. 63 BC – AD 21). ture and mathematics were being
The arrival of Alexander the Great exported to the wider Mediterranean
saw a new capital city established at world. The Romans, primarily interest-
Alexandria and, after his untimely ed in Egypt’s grain, took a more materi-
death, a new royal family on the throne. alistic approach to Egypt’s treasures.
A bust of a Ptolemaic king
The Greek-born Ptolemies were very They adopted Egypt’s gods – Isis was to
from the Brooklyn Museum.
interested in the intellectual achieve- have particularly successful career in the
ments of the Egyptians and Alexandria, Roman world – and they seized the Under the Ptolemies, the
greatest scholars of the
ancient world flocked to
home to a splendid museum and the more portable monuments. Having
Alexandria, with its new
world’s greatest library, attracted schol- annexed Egypt in 30 BC, they were free
ars of international renown, eager to to take what they liked. Genuine museum and library, and
Egyptian philosophy, religion,
architecture and mathematics
learn from the Egyptian masters. Soon Egyptian artefacts spread throughout
were exported to the wider
Mediterranean world.
Photo: RBP

Egypt’s monuments have
attracted tourists since
ancient times. The Pyramids
and Sphinx are a particular
draw. This photo was taken
in 1931.

Photo: courtesy of Anne


The lure of the mummy con-
tinues to fascinate cinema
goers. Boris Karloff’s Mummy
was a big hit in 1932 and
was clearly an inspiration for
the more modern version
with Brendan Fraser (dvd
cover shown left). A genera-
tion of Egyptophiles have
grown up thinking the mys-
terious Hamunaptra really
exists and that burials con-
tained 5 canopic jars!
Images: public domain

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the Roman world, leaving trails that would confuse the

archaeologists of the future. Meanwhile the imported
Egyptian antiquities were being copied and adapted by
local craftsmen. Now small-scale pyramids enhanced the
cemeteries of Rome, and meaningless fake hieroglyphs
decorated purely Roman objects.

Decoding the Script

Back in Egypt, the arrival of first Christianity then Islam
saw the ending of the old pagan rituals, the loss of the
hieroglyphic script, and the gradual closing of the land to
visitors. Westerners interested in ancient Egypt could now
access it only through the Bible and the works of the
Classical authors. This all changed in 1798 when
Napoleon’s Commission – a band of scientists, historians
and artists charged with recording Egypt ancient and
modern – landed in Egypt. Publication of their work, as
part of the Description de l’Égypte (1809-1829) (left), coin-
cided with Jean-François Champollion’s decoding of the
hieroglyphic script. Suddenly, it was possible for scholars
to access and read the texts that decorated Egypt’s tomb
and temple walls. As her king-lists were deciphered
Egypt’s lost history was restored and Egyptology became
a subject suitable for academic study.
The work published by Napoleon’s Commission
inspired western artists, jewellers, architects and authors.
‘Nile-style’ was all the rage, and as the wealthy started to
amass collections of genuine Egyptian artefacts, including
mummies, ancient Egypt became available to a wide pub-

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The Rosetta Stone, in the
British Museum. The decipher-
ing of the hieroglyphs by
Champollion in 1822 heralded
lic audience. The Mummy! was published Egyptian. In 1882, in association with the dawn of a more academic
study of ancient Egypt.
Photo: RBP
anonymously by Jane Webb (later the Dr. Reginald Poole, Keeper of the
garden expert Jane Loudon) in 1827. In Department of Coins and Medals at the
1869 Louisa May Alcott, more famous British Museum, and the eminent sur- BOTTOM
The painted frontispiece of
Description de l’Égypte, the
as the author of Little Women, published geon Sir Erasmus Wilson, Miss Edwards
published results of Napoleon’s
Lost in a Pyramid, or The Mummy’s Curse.
Meanwhile, tourism was starting to Commission.
develop, with travel company Thomas Photo: Public domain
Cook Ltd. hiring two steamers to take
parties along the Nile. These early pack- THIS PAGE

age tourists were advised that
The bust of Nefertiti (photo:
“In Egypt, up the Nile, and through the
Desert, the mode of life, language and cus- RBP), first put on display in the
Berlin Museum in 1923, a year
after the discovery of
toms of the country are altogether different
Tutankhamun (photo: Chris
from anything to which the European trav-
eller has been accustomed ...”. Marriott). Both of these images
have become internationally
Travellers and Discoveries famous icons epitomising the
popularity of ancient Egyptian
In 1877 Miss Amelia Ann Blanford history across the world.

Edwards, a lady novelist whose travel
An early copy of Amelia
book, A Midsummer Ramble in the
Dolomites, had been very well received, Edward’s A Thousand Miles Up
The Nile, which sparked
increased interest in all things
published the story of her adventures in
Egyptian when first published
Egypt as A Thousand Miles Up the Nile.
This book (see right) was a huge success, in 1877.
sparking increased interest in everything Photo:Egypt Exploration Society

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 47

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never lost their power to fascinate; the

1972 travelling Tutankhamun exhibition
attracted huge numbers to the British
Museum and inspired an entire genera-
tion of professional Egyptologists, while
the 2012 In the Light of Amarna exhibition
at the Neues Museum in Berlin attract-
ed similarly vast crowds.
Today it is the Internet, rather than
books, which introduces people to
ancient Egypt. This can be a good
thing; several universities, including my
own, now run highly reputable online
Egyptology courses open to students
worldwide, while many museums have
made their extensive collections avail-

of AE Magazine (which we hope to

able online. Netfishing, a regular feature

founded the Egypt Exploration Fund reinstate in the future ... Ed.), makes it
(E.E.F.), a London-based society today clear just how useful and informative
known as the Egypt Exploration Society the Internet can be. But it can also,
(E.E.S.). The Fund set out to finance sometimes, be a bad thing, as many out-
properly conducted Egyptian excava- of-date books and ideas have now come
tions by professionally-competent exca- back into circulation. It can be very dif-
Filming video clips for a MOOC
vators, with the approval of the ficult for the new Egyptologist to decide
(“Massive Open Online Course”)
Egyptian authorities. The well-publi- what is, and what is not, a genuine fact.
for the University of cised work of the Fund made the gener- Love it or hate it, however, the Internet
Manchester: Campbell Price,
Curator of the Manchester
al public familiar with ancient Egypt as certainly opens up Egyptology to its
Museum (above), and (below)
they had never been before. widest audience ever. I would like to end
with Glenn Godenho (Senior
tors of ANCIENT EGYPT Magazine,
In 1922 Howard Carter and Lord on a personal note, and to thank the edi-
Lecturer in Egyptology at the
University of Liverpool).
Carnarvon discovered the tomb of
Tutankhamun in the Valley of the past and present, for their dedication in
BELOW RIGHT Kings. This discovery sparked huge providing us – Egyptologists of all back-
Many people now enjoy learn-
ing about Egyptology through
interest from the international press, grounds – with a reliable and engaging
television programmes with
and a second wave of ‘Nile-Style’ was publication. Thank you.

Joyce Tyldesley
their associated books, such as born. This was enhanced when, in
this one (by Joyce herself ...
Ed.), which accompanied the
1923, Berlin Museum put the bust of a
2005 BBC series.
beautiful but relatively little-known
queen named Nefertiti on public dis- Dr. Tyldesley is a Senior Lecturer in
Photos: Joyce Tyldesley play. Tutankhamun and Nefertiti have Egyptology at the University of
Manchester, where she teaches several

She has been a contributor to AE

on-line courses for Egyptology Online.

Magazine for many years.

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Readers’ letters
Dear Editor, Dear Editor,
I read with interest Dr. Price’s article, “A Female Figurine from On a recent trip to the Ramesseum at Luxor, I was inspired by
the Magician’s Tomb” in Issue 99. The tomb group discussed Anna Garnett’s excellent little book The Colossal Statue of
has always intrigued me and I am well aware of the other asso- Ramesses II to create my own ‘digital reconstruction’ of what the
ciated objects in the group. However, I have never been able to statue would look like if still intact.
track down the box in which the 118 reed pens (Acc. No. 1882) The statue was described by the Napoleonic Description de l’É-
and papyri were found although Quibell described it as being gypte as lying broken into two pieces. The base of the statue was
18 x 12 x 12, covered in white plaster with the figure of a jack- re-erected in its original place in the Ramesseum in 1997 (see
al roughly drawn in black on the lid. Lucia Gahlin (Egypt, Gods, bottom left). The top section was moved to the British Museum
Myths & Religion p. 192, Lorenz Books, 2001) further adds that by Belzoni in 1816/18, where it sits today as a highlight of the
there was an inscription on the box – Hery Seshta (Chief of Egyptian Sculpture Gallery (see bottom centre).
Mysteries or Secrets). The box is presumed missing. Possibly the The magic of Photoshop™ allows us to cut out the top section
pieces of wood (Acc. No. 1886, 1887) in the tomb group under of the statue from the British Museum photograph and paste it
discussion are all that remain. back onto its base to give a virtual image of how the reunited
I have not had the opportunity to examine these wooden statue would look today (see bottom right).
fragments but if there is any remaining painted decoration or I hope in future to produce more of such images, to bring
inscription they may hold a clue to the use of other objects in objects home in virtual form to where they originally stood.

Geoffrey Lenox-Smith
the tomb group. Finally, a small vase (Acc. No. 1793) found in
the same tomb does have, I believe, a hieroglyphic inscription.

Dear Editor,
It would be interesting to know whether or not these objects

As always thank you for the latest edition of ANCIENT

have been closely examined recently. Perhaps they might throw

EGYPT Magazine and I’m delighted to hear you’ll be reach-

a little light on the social context or use of the items found in

Stuart Scott
the ‘Magician’s Tomb’.
ing your 100th edition. I have been enjoying your magazine

Dear Stuart
since Volume 6 No 3 Issue 33 and find it invaluable for an
‘enthusiastic amateur’ like myself in keeping me up to date on
Richard Parkinson investigated the archaeological context of all things Egyptian. I always liked the articles by Ayman Wahby
the Ramesseum Tomb find in a BM Online Research Taher and was sad when he was no longer able to continue with

to this issue. Ed.] My subscription is paid for by my Dad for my

Catalogue. He concluded – and I agree with him – that the box these. [We are delighted that Ayman has contributed an article
for the papyri is simply lost. The Manchester fragments you
suggest are too small to have come from the box. The box bi-annual birthday present – a great gift that lasts for two years
referred to by Quibell had a figure of a jackal painted on it – at a time!!
which can itself be interpreted as a reading of the title ‘Hry I recently was lucky enough to pick up some back issues dat-
sStA’: ‘One who is over the secrets’. The jar (no. 1793) carried ing back to Vol 4 Issue 4 (sadly not back to issue 1!) in a chari-
the name of Thutmose III, so is certainly unrelated to the ty shop and have been having a fascinating time reading them.

Campbell Price
group. I’ve particularly liked the articles by Cathie Bryan, as I’ve been
lucky enough to meet her and go on some of her

The virtual reconstruction of a statue

of Rameses II at the Ramesseum

LEFT: The lower part of the statue as it

now stands in the Ramesseum.

ABOVE: The head of the statue in the

British Museum.

RIGHT: The statue “restored” using


Photos: Geoffrey Lenox-Smith

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 49

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readers’ letters
‘Egyptianising’ walks round London and various cemeteries. I
also had to smile at the paragraph about the unveiling of the
‘Amarna Princess’ statue at Bolton Museum now revealed as a
fake – the benefit of hindsight!
I look forward to many more years of enjoying my birthday
present and keep up the good work! With all best wishes to you

Alison Marsay
and all the team,

Dear Editor,

lifetime. In those subsequent months AE Magazine has

I see that I’ve been around since Issue 50 – half the magazine’s

brought into our home with each issue untold wonders of great
beauty and valuable information and interpretation of finds in
Egypt both old and new. Having been there four times and
looking forward to more, I especially appreciate the news of
events on the ground that is unavailable elsewhere. Thanks so
ABOVE: A sweet potato seller in Luxor. Photo: Paul Robinson
much for the great efforts of yourself and your contributors in

Karl L.
producing this outstanding publication.

Dear Editor,
We saw the warm welcome first hand at the Ramesseum,

Disabled Access in Luxor

where coaches were disgorging hundreds of disabled adults and
their helpers from Cairo, who had all come to see their beauti-
There was a buzz about Luxor. Our plane was full. Tourists of ful country for themselves. Local people are still managing to
all ages are trickling back, including wheelchair users. smile despite money being tight, just like the wonderful potato
Thinking of a family member who may want to visit one day, seller in the picture (above). His potatoes had been simmering in
we wondered what facilities would be available for people with the oven all night and we picked up breakfast from him on our
mobility impairments. Luckily, we had the expertise available of way to Gebel Silsila with Christmas pudding and mince pies for
our hostess, author Jane Akshar, who is something of a local the team there. Imagine our surprise when Swedish archaeolo-
celebrity on her electric mobility scooter (see below) – the first in gist Maria Nilsson and her partner John Ward told us about the
Luxor. Disabled visitors are welcome in Luxor and plenty of discovery of big new finds on the other side of the Nile! (See

Janet and Paul Robinson

help is available at a reasonable price, but Jane is campaigning “News”, page 8).
for better access at the big sites, where the ramps are often bet-

Dear Editor,
ter for wheelbarrows than wheelchairs.

Scottish Egyptian Archaeological Trust

Grant Allocation
Jennifer Turner, currently a student at Birmingham University
has successfully been granted funds to visit Egypt as part of her
course studies. She intends to conduct a piece of research
which considers various interactions of text and image in
Egyptian statuary specifically within the Karnak cachette, and
to consider these examples in relation to the ancient culture and
the ancient audience. Ultimately the study aims to encourage
discussion and engagement with Egyptian text and statuary.

Dianne Stein

Celebrating 17 Years!
To celebrate our hundredth issue, we asked some of our con-
tributors to tell us about what they have enjoyed most in the
magazine and any discoveries or major developments in
Egyptology since we first launched in May 2000 they felt have
been particularly important. Here is a selection of some of
the comments we’ve received:

Wolfram Grajetzki
ABOVE: Jane Akshar on her mobility scooter in Luxor;
since AE Magazine began, was in 2001: the mission of the
For me, one of the most important developments in Egyptology
wheelchair users are welcome in Luxor and Jane is
campaigning for better access to the major sites.
Photo: Guy Thompson
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, re-excavated at
Dahshur the mastaba of the Twelfth Dynasty official

50 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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readers’ letters
Khnumhotep. He was ‘high steward’ and vizier, and therefore
one of the leading officials at the royal court under king
Senusret III. The tomb had been uncovered at the end of the
nineteenth century, but the old excavations had missed numer-
ous inscribed limestone fragments. The inscriptions record an
expedition to sea ports in Lebanon, providing dramatic evi-
dence for Egyptian contacts to this region on a scale not known
before. For me the discovery was of special importance as I
wrote my Masters thesis on the ‘high stewards’ of the Middle
Kingdom, so I felt in some strange way connected to these offi-
cials and was excited to see new data unexpectedly appearing.

ten several articles about the Middle Kingdom, most recently in AE98.
Wolfram is an Honorary Senior Research Associate at, UCL. He has writ-

ABOVE: Ministry Inspectors Ayman Damarany and Yasser Abd

Magda van Ryneveld el-Razik in the Mentuhotep II chapel discovered
at Abydos in 2014.
My sincere congratulations to ANCIENT EGYPT Magazine Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
with the 100th issue! To me this is a very special magazine
because of the informative articles. Usually I read it van titleblad
tot agterblad (which is Afrikaans for “from front to back”). What under the house of their neighbour, causing a cave-in. The
is very special to me, com- Ministry inspectors (see above) had to wade through the contents
ing from Africa myself, is of a collapsed septic tank before they were able to see the fine-
the section “From the ly carved inscriptions – proving that in reality, there is a less-

story in AE85 – readers will be thankful this was not a ‘scratch-

Editor” as it keeps the read- than-glamourous side to working in the field! We covered this

and-sniff ’ edition! Here’s to another 17 years of AE

er up to date with recent
Egyptological events: some
sad, such as the looting of Magazine!!

Sarah is Deputy Editor of AE and lectures in Egyptology across the UK.

the Mallawi Museum (see
left); some informative, such

Campbell Price
as the discovery of a
Middle Kingdom tomb at

to AE Magazine in 2000, when I was already looking into

Lisht. As it happens, it was a school teacher (!) who first introduced me

Magda is an art historian living studying Egyptology at Liverpool University. I remember being
in South Africa and has written very excited about being asked to write up a short piece on an
articles on a wide range of topics ‘Egyptology Scotland’ lecture. The magazine always provided
including ivory, decorative bor- an excellent forum for current research, with digestible chunks
ders and the Discs of Hemaka. of information such as recent Spanish fieldwork on the Theban

LEFT: A statue of an
West Bank – news that I hadn’t managed to find while wading

Amarna princess, as dis-

through the glut of social media posts. The magazine is espe-
played in the Mallawi
cially useful for UK-based talks and events, which (along with
Museum before it was
its on-line component) is a go-to guide for British Egyptological
looted in 2013.
From the Editorial in
gatherings – often telling me where I was due to speak next,
when I’d managed to forget!
Photo: RBP

University of Manchester, and a regular contributor to AE.

Campbell is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum, The

Sarah Griffiths Hilary Wilson

How often does the opportunity come along to work for your From its inception, ANCIENT EGYPT magazine filled a gap in
favourite magazine? I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the late my life which I hadn’t known existed. In particular I enjoy read-
Bob Partridge, who asked me to join the editorial team in April ing the up-to-date information about what is going on in Egypt
2011. Reaching our hundredth issue is an incredible achieve- as well as reports from exhibitions and conferences which I
ment in this digital world where many magazines bite the dust would never be able to visit in person. Through the pages of the
after just a few months; and our success is in no small part due magazine I have connected with some of the world’s premier
to you, our enthusiastic readers here in the UK and around the Egyptologists and specialists in a wide range of disciplines, all
world! of whom have enhanced my appreciation of the ancient civi-
Perhaps because of my background in journalism, I particu- lization which has been my passion since my primary school
larly enjoy compiling our news section. Looking back over the days. Long may it continue!
last 17 years there have been so many exciting developments

but of course best known to readers of AE as the writer of our Per

and discoveries; perhaps the most memorable for me was the Hilary is an author and Chair of the Southampton Ancient Egypt Society
discovery of a new Middle Kingdom chapel of Mentuhotep II
at Abydos – found after some ‘enterprising’ locals decided to dig Mesut features. And on that subject ...

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 51

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readers’ letters
Bob Brier Pharaohs’ Names

appear in the photo by Peter Twombley on page 23 of AE99

Happy 100th! I love the Per Mesut: for Younger Readers section. The answer to the identity of the pharaoh whose cartouches
It has solid information that is not oversimplified for kids. This
is where we will get our future Egyptologists ... (Readers’Letters) is Rameses IV. Although his names appear in
May it exist for millions of years. a ‘non-standard’ form, he is the only Rameses to include

stone for his temples in the Wadi Hammamat. Ed.

Heqamatra in his prenomen. He ordered the quarrying of

Long Island University, New York. His latest article for AE is on obelisks
Bob (known as “Mr Mummy”) is an author and Senior Research Fellow,

On Reading Names and Titles

on page 16.

Nacho Ares In the last issue, AE99, we published an article by Hilary

I am fondly thankful to ANCIENT EGYPT magazine. It Wilson which gave readers insight into the problems of inter-
opened up to me a new horizon in Egyptology and gave me the preting hieroglyphic texts: that there was no standard way of
chance to meet great friends: the late Bob Partridge and Peter writing names and that many signs were degraded and indistin-
Phillips. I enjoyed unforgettable moments with them in Madrid, guishable from one another. Hilary has informed me that the
Luxor, London, etc. and demonstrated that friendship goes version of the article that I set was not the final one, but a draft;
beyond borders and cultures. I also thank Bob for kindly rec- somehow the file containing the final version had not been

course at the University of Manchester. AE is my reference to

ommending me to the staff of the Certificate in Egyptology saved on my computer. I offer my sincere apologies to Hilary for
this regrettable mistake. In particular, Hilary spent considerable

most important Egyptology topics. Long life to ANCIENT

keep in touch with the latest research, breaking news and the time adding to her text the Gardiner references for the

EGYPT magazine! sages from the final text and include them below. Ed..
hieroglphs to which she refers. I have extracted the relevant pas-

(AE99, p. 24, para. 3) “... the land sign ‘ta’ (N16, N17), the
water ripple ‘n’ (N35), and the door bolt ‘s’ (O34), can all
appear as a simple horizontal bar. Context is everything. ...
However, if a pair of horizontal bars appears after a personal
name it is more likely to be a cursory abbreviation of the ‘oar’
(P8), and ‘wedge’ (Aa11), symbols representing the phrase ‘maat
hrw’, ‘true of voice’ ... When three horizontal bars are stacked
together it will be the triple ripple determinative for ‘water’ or
‘liquid’ (N35). ... The land ‘ta’ sign rarely has its rounded ends
defined and usually lacks the subscribed dots which means it
can appear exactly the same as the ‘sandy tract’ (N18), a sign
which when doubled (N19) stands for ‘akhty’, ‘the Two
Horizons’, as in the title of the solar deity Harakhty, ‘Horus of
ABOVE: Bob Partridge (left) and Nacho Ares photographed
outside the entrance to the Archaeological Museum in
the Two Horizons’. The same questions of identification apply
Madrid. Photo: JPP
to signs of generally similar shape like the pond ‘sh’ (N37), the
water channel ‘mr’ (N36), and the determinative for ‘bread’

(AE99, p. 24, para. 4)... Within texts the sun disc (N5), which
(X4), all of which are essentially rectangular.

ten articles for AE on Amarna shabtis, conservation work and the Old
Nacho Ares is an author and Egyptologist living in Madrid. He has writ-
is written as a circle with a dot in the centre, can be determined
Kingdom tombs at Saqqara. by a single stroke (Z1) to stand for Ra’s name, literally ‘the sun’,

Dylan Bickerstaffe
but this can also be followed by the god’s name being ‘spelled’
out with the mouth ‘r’ (D21), and the forearm ‘a’ (D36). To fur-
The thing that strikes you when a publication reaches such a ther distinguish this sign group as a deity’s name it may be fol-
milestone as 100 issues is how much it provides a mirror to your lowed by a divine determinative such as the flag ‘ntjr’ (R8), or

My first ANCIENT EGYPT article appeared in Issue 19, and

own life and development.. the bearded male figure seated on the ground with his knees
drawn up (A40), neither of which adds anything to the phonet-
related the tale of how, earlier that year (2003), I had sat upon ic rendering of the name. In the case of Ra, the human head of
two pieces of stick tied-up with plastic string, and been lowered the ‘deity’ determinative is replaced by that of a falcon wearing

(AE99, p. 27, para. 2) “... Occasionally the ‘adze in its block’

down the 40-foot shaft of the Royal Cache tomb (TT320). I did the serpent-encircled solar disc as his crown (C2). ...”
not know then that it would be the first of many visits to the

As we look back through past issues of AE we see a world

tomb interior over the next couple of years. sign, ‘stp’ (U21), is accompanied by an extra reed mat ‘p’ (Q3),
which is a phonetic complement, an explanatory sign which
that has changed: new discoveries, evidence that has been lost, adds nothing to the pronunciation, so the group is still to be
things we remember, things we’ve forgotten. And when we look read as ‘stp n Ra’ not ‘stp p n Ra’. In the case of Queen Tausert,
forward it is into a future where there are more discoveries to be last ruler of the Nineteenth Dynasty, who called herself

tions, more ANCIENT EGYPT…

made, new problems, new theories, more articles, more illustra- ‘Chosen of Mut’, a loaf ‘t’ sign (X1) is added to indicate the
feminine version of the adjective so the epithet reads ‘stpt n

tributor to AE. His next article will describe a Middle Kingdom

Dylan is an Egyptology author, lecturer and tour leader, and regular con- Mwt’. ... At its simplest the harpoon sign ‘wa’ (T21), means ‘one’
but its adjectival meaning within titles and epithets can be more
Expedition to God’s Land and Punt. exclusively rendered as ‘sole’, ‘unique’ or ‘only’. ...”

52 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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“An indispensibe tool both for the amateur devotee of

Egyptology and for the interested tourist”
– Rosalind Janssen.

Don’t miss this opportunity to buy from the author (the Editor of AE)
one of the few remaining copies of this classic work: the only book
in English on this topic. As well as covering all aspects of the devel-
opment of the many different types of column used in ancient Egypt-
ian architecture (did you know that you can date a monument by its
columns?) the book also takes the reader through the history of the
pharaonic civilisation and visits almost all of the monuments still

FFER £8!
standing in Egypt today. 368 pages, 633 b&w illustrations.

Special prices for readers of AE:

SPEC ve up t
Hardback: £18.00, incl UK P&P

nd sa
(cover price £23.80 + P&P)

is book
Paperback: £12.00, incl UK P&P

e r th
(cover price £17.80 + P&P)

Or d For overseas orders, add £2.00 to cover extra postage costs, so pay
only £20.00 or £14.00.

Ancient Egypt Magazine Ltd. has kindly offered to handle orders on

behalf of the author. Send a cheque for the relevant amount, payable
to Ancient Egypt Magazine Ltd, to:
Editor Book Offer, c/o Ancient Magazine, 1 Newton St.,
Manchester, M1 1HW, UK

OR, to pay by credit/debit card, send your card details (name on card,
card number, expiry date, CRC no., issue number if relevant) by post
to the above address, or by email to:
Don’t forget to tell us your name and address and whether you want
a hardback or paperback copy.

OR, phone (after 10.30am UK time): +44 161 872 3319

fax: +44 161 872 4721.

Special Issue 100 Readers’ Competition (Two Prizes!)

If you recognise where in Egypt the photo on the
left was taken (by JPP), email or write to the Editor
of AE before 17th March 2017
(addresses on page 3) with your answer,
giving your full name and address.

Two lucky readers will have their names selected at

random from all the correct answers and will win a
copy of either The Complete Gods and Godesses of
Ancient Egypt or The Complete Temples of Ancient
Egypt (both) by Richard H. Wilkinson
(Thames and Hudson). Please write “Gods” or
“Temples” on your entry to indicate your preference.

revealed in the April/May 2017 edition of AE.

The location, and the name of the winner, will be

October/November 2016 Competition Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the competition that appeared
in the last issue of the magazine (AE99)
Ken Boothroyd

who wins a copy of

Cleopatra's Needles: The Lost
Obelisks of Egypt by Bob Brier

The photo shows the excavat-

ed ruins of one of the Roman
bastions in Babylon,
Old Cairo.

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 53

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PER MESUT: for younger readers

Special Numbers

1 10
1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000

n this 100th edition of ANCIENT EGYPT human beings have ten digits on their hands with which

I Magazine I thought I would look at which numbers

and anniversaries were significant to the ancient
Egyptians. Though the symbols for numerals are well
to count. The base unit, one, was represented by a single
vertical stroke which looks like a figure 1 or the Roman
numeral I. The unit stroke was also a determinative, a
known, only a few words for numbers have been identi- sign which explains other sign groups without adding any
fied in the hieroglyphic script, largely by comparison with extra sound to the word, being used to show that a hiero-
how they were written in the Coptic script. The glyph meant exactly what it portrayed. For example, when
Egyptians, in common with most cultures throughout his- the forearm sign, which has the alphabetic value ‘a’, is
tory, used a decimal number system simply because determined with the unit stroke it means ‘arm’

TOP: The Egyptian hieroglyphs for numbers.

ABOVE: The base of a statue of Djoser in the Imhotep Museum, Saqqara. The rekhyt birds in front of the feet of the statue repre-
sent the people of Egypt, while the feet stand upon nine bows representing the enemies of Egypt. Photo: RBP


TOP: A footrest found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, and now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. On it are depicted the “Nine Bows” in the
form of bound captives.
BOTTOM: A scene on from the Temple of Amun at Karnak, showing Rameses II (symbolically?) running a set circuit to display his
continued vigour as part of a Sed Festival jubilee.

Photos: RBP

54 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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per mesut
The numbers two to nine were writ-
ten with the appropriate number of
units. Two strokes, often written on a
slant, indicated a ‘pair’ or ‘two of a
kind’. As well as the number three, three
strokes were used to indicate the
Egyptian plural form of a noun and the
number nine, being three-times-three,
was a plural of plurals or ‘many’. ‘The
Nine Bows’ was a title given to the tra-
ditional enemies of Egypt (see opposite),
often shown as bound captives kneeling
or lying beneath Pharaoh’s feet (see top
right). Nine also had religious signifi-
cance since the creator sun-god, Atum,
was associated with eight other deities in panel of judges or magistrates who dis-
a family of gods and goddesses, known pensed justice from a local court called
as an ennead, the Greek word for a group the ‘House of the Thirty’.
of nine. Before Amun relocated to Thirty was a very significant number
Thebes he was one of an ogdoad, a group for the king. If a ruler survived to the
of eight deities, worshipped at thirtieth anniversary of his accession to
Hermopolis, the cult centre of the god the throne he celebrated a jubilee,
Thoth. The ancient name for this city known as the Sed Festival (see below),
was Khmunu, ‘Town of the Eight’, and when his kingship was reaffirmed before
Thoth was known as Lord of Khmunu. the gods and the people by means of a
The attendance lists and day-books
from Deir el-Medina, which recorded
the shift patterns and absences from
work of the men who built and decorat-
ed the tombs in the Valley of the Kings,
indicate that the workmen recognised a
week of ten days. It seems they worked
for eight days then had two rest-days, a
weekend break from work. This splitting
of time into periods of ten days may
have been related to the structure of the
calendar. The passage of time was gov-
erned by 36 groups of stars which we
call the decans. The rising of each
decan at sunset marked the start of a
ten-day period after which a new decan
rose to signal the beginning of the next
‘week’. Each month was made up of
three such weeks, 30 days in all.
Inked quarry marks at several pyra-
mids reveal that stones were hauled
from the quarries to the building sites by
gangs of ten men. The organisation of
labour on royal building works was over-
seen by officials known as the ‘great
ones of the tens’. Since these officials
came under the authority of the Vizier,
the principal legal authority in Egypt, it
is assumed that they had some sort of
responsibility within the legal system,
perhaps initially in connection with
labour disputes, which later extended to
a more general judicial role within their
local regions. Another legal authority,
known as the ‘Thirty’, may represent a

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 55

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per mesut
jubilee, repeating the celebration every three or four years
after the first. Rameses II was preparing for his fourteenth
jubilee when he died in his late eighties or early nineties
after 67 years as king. The lengths of reigns are recorded
in the King List known as the Royal Canon of Turin (see
left) which was probably composed during the Nineteenth
Dynasty, perhaps during the reign of Rameses’ successor,
Merenptah. This document records the kings in chrono-
logical order and occasionally gives brief details of signif-
icant events. This information would have been gathered
from official archives and library sources and shows how
important record-keeping was to the Egyptians. But the
papyrus is very badly damaged and though its many frag-
second coronation. Jubilees were occasions for elaborate ments have been reconstructed like a giant jigsaw puzzle
festivities throughout the country and kings marked the the text is still full of gaps only some of which can be filled
events by dedicating new temples or additions to existing by reference to other sources. Assuming the reconstruc-
monuments. Several kings recorded more than one tion is accurate the longest reign recorded on the Turin

ABOVE LEFT: The Turin Canon as displayed in the Turin Egyptian Museum. Photo: JPP

BELOW LEFT: A statuette of Pepy II as a young boy, now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Photo: RBP

BELOW RIGHT: Pepy II as an adult seated upon the knee of his mother Ankhnesmeryra II, who acted as regent when Pepy was a
small child. A statuette in the Brooklyn Museum. Photo: RBP

56 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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per mesut

Canon is that of Pepy II of the Sixth Dynasty, who is said

to have ruled for 94 years, having come to the throne as a
very young boy (see opposite, bottom). It is possible that Pepy
was over one hundred years old at his death. This is the
closest thing I have found to an Egyptian centenary or
one hundredth anniversary.
After 100 the next most commonly used large number
was one thousand, written with the water lily leaf and
stem. You will see this on offering stelae where funerary
goods like loaves of bread and jars of beer were listed by
the thousand (see left). On a ceremonial macehead (see
above), in the Ashmolean Museum, the spoils of Narmer’s
campaign of unification include cattle and goats in hun-
dreds of thousands. The number 100,000 was written
with the tadpole hieroglyph (see below left). The largest
number written with a single hieroglyph is one million,
represented by a kneeling man with his arms upraised.
Royal mortuary temples, such as the Ramesseum or
Medinet Habu, were called ‘Mansions of Millions of
Years’ because they were supposed to preserve the mem-

I won’t make it to the millionth edition of ANCIENT

ory of the deceased king forever.

EGYPT Magazine, but I hope I’m still around to cele-

brate our second hundred.

Hilary Wilson
TOP LEFT: A detail of the Third Intermediate Period Stela of
Taperet, now in the Musée du Louvre. On the left of the
image is a column of hieroglyphs listing the offerings being
made by Taperet – “a thousand” of each item. Photo: RBP

TOP RIGHT: The Narmer Macehead in the Ashmolean

Museum. Photo: RBP

LEFT: Part of a museum label showing the reliefs on the

Narmer Macehead. The number of cattle and goats being
presented to Narmer (ringed) is counted
in hundreds of thousands. Photo:JPP

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 57

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of uncommon or unique items such as finally a very detailed discussion of
King of Ancient Egypt
a colour palette used by an official, the iconographical motifs depicted on
by Marie Vandenbeusch,
and a flask in the shape of a scribe the tusks. Imagery includes aggressive
Aude Semat and Margaret
which may have had magical proper- part-animal demi-gods or demons
ties or may have been simply used as holding knives, but also benign-look-
Yale University Press, 2016
an ink pot. A rare papyrus from Old ing creatures such as frogs and turtles.
ISBN 978-030-021838-1
Kingdom Abusir, two of the famous Quirke brings together a broad
Hardback, £40.
Amarna letters and part of a king list range of references here that illumi-
from Abydos provide written material. nate aspects of Middle Kingdom reli-
Although this is a book based on an gion as a means of fighting affliction
exhibition, the variety of artefacts and and the uncertain – objects of practi-
the quality of the illustrations, com- cal use to people outside the highest
bined with the book’s thoughtful text, elite. There is useful presentation of
makes this well worth a place in any- echoes of the tusks’ imagery much

Hilary Forrest
one’s Egyptological library. later in Egyptian history: for example,
statues of similar entities found in

Birth Tusks:
New Kingdom royal tombs and Third

The Armoury of Health in

Intermediate Period coffins. Because
of this, the book serves as a detailed
Context – Egypt 1800 BC
exposition on Egyptian religion
by Stephen Quirke.
through the lens of one particular
Golden House Publications, 2016
This sumptuous publication, produced class of objects – weapons against the
ISBN 978-1-90613749-6
for an exhibition in Cleveland in the unexpected or dangerous. The minute
summer of 2016 in collaboration with Hardback, £75. level of examination offered allows
the British Museum, is a combination questions of craftsmanship and per-
of exhibition catalogue and study of formance to be explored (normally
kingship in ancient Egypt. there’s no space for this) and brings
It begins with an introductory sec- the reader into unusually close contact
tion outlining the history of the with the makers of these intriguing
British Museum and the role and objects.
image of pharaohs throughout Mainly illustrated in black and
Egyptian history. The main part of white, this 670-odd page volume is as
the book is divided into sections relat- comprehensive a study of this subject
ed to the wide range of artefacts on as Egyptology is likely to see for some
display, a mixture from both muse- time. suited to researchers and the

Campbell Price
ums, grouped thematically (including (very) interested general reader.
the symbols of power, temples and

Dynamics of Production
kingship, palace life, government and

in the Ancient Near East

warfare, and death and the afterlife).

1300-500 BC
The final section summarises each sec-
tion of the exhibition with photo- This mammoth tome from the pen of

edited by Juan Carlos

graphs to illuminate the narrative. Stephen Quirke, Professor of

Moreno Garcia.
An informative text explains the role Egyptian Archaeology at UCL, is an

Oxbow Books, 2016

of symbolism in Egyptian art, using interpretation of an easily-recognis-
ISBN: 978-1-78570283-9
illustrations from the exhibits. The able but misunderstood category of
Hardback, £45.
statues of Senusret II with their objects from Middle Kingdom Egypt:
apparent realism, for example, are not hippo ivory ‘birth tusks.’ These are
intended as portraits but rather sym- conventionally interpreted as magic
bolise the role of the pharaoh and his wands, used to encircle (and thus
responsibilities. A stela depicting magically protect) women in child-
Rameses II as a child sitting on a birth and infants.
throne shaped like the akhet or horizon The book begins with a catalogue of
sign does not represent the living king the twenty-odd examples of tusks in
but his symbolic role as a manifesta- the Petrie Museum of Egyptian
tion of the sun god, reborn every Archaeology (UCL), with detailed
morning, emphasising the divine con- photos and drawings, recording these
nections of the king. An ostracon objects in exemplary fashion. Quirke
showing Rameses II being suckled by goes on to survey numerous examples
a goddess serves the same purpose. of tusks found within excavated con-
Many of the high-quality photo- texts (with fascinating commentary on
graphs are of representations of objects they were found alongside),
pharaohs throughout history, ranging then those in collections without
from sculptures to ostraca. Others are secure archaeological provenance and

58 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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book reviews
This is a collection of papers present- commodities. Renate Müller- different chapters or spells plus four
ed at a European Science Foundation Wollermann describes the evolution of illustrative vignettes. Each chapter is
Workshop (2011) devoted to the study coined money in Egypt from the pay- presented in the order in which it
of Near Eastern economies in the ments of silver made to Greek merce- appears in the scroll (differing from
transitional period between the Late naries in the mid-seventh century BC the accepted standard numbering of
Bronze and Early Iron Ages. It con- to the first coins mentioned in late chapters, a system based on later peri-
trasts the economic roles of state and fifth century texts and the coin hoards od texts) together with interpretation,
temple, challenging preconceived of the fourth century. explanatory commentary and ‘con-
notions of how the ancient Egyptian This book is very sparsely illustrated necting threads’ which show how each
and Assyrian economies, domestic and and there are some typographical chapter relates to those that precede
foreign, functioned. The main themes, issues, perhaps due to translation. It is or follow. There are also general
studied mostly through textual evi- more likely to appeal to academics explanatory notes about the transla-
dence like the Wilbour and Harris than amateur enthusiasts but for both tion, with technical notes (such as

Hilary Wilson
Papyri, are the nature of the com- it provides much food for thought. alternative readings) in endnotes. This
modities and services traded between layout enables the beginner to read

An Ancient Egyptian
the region’s major powers and the and enjoy the poetry of the text while

Book of the Dead:

economic mechanisms involved in at the same time providing in-depth
providing materials and labour to analysis of each section for the more
The Papyrus of Sobekmose
keep states functioning. academically minded.
by Paul F. O’Rourke.
The editor’s contributions include a Preceding the translations, there is
Thames & Hudson, 2016
discussion of the meaning of ‘money’, an informative introduction covering
ISBN 978-0-500-05188-7
Hardback, £24.95.
the various exchange media and who the evolution and development of the
controlled them. He describes how the Book of the Dead, with a preface detail-
palace-based economies, using gift- ing the challenges faced by the trans-
exchange and ‘tribute’ to aid diploma- lation team, a number of colour illus-
cy and acquire luxury goods, were trations and colour plates of the entire
increasingly replaced by trade con- scroll at the end of the volume. This is
ducted on behalf of temples and sure to become an academic set text
other non-state institutions. In a fasci- but also offers an absorbing read for
nating chapter Moreno Garcia dis- anyone with an interest in the ancient

cusses the evidence in Egypt for a per- Egyptian afterlife.
manent agricultural labour force, the

Dakhleh Oasis and the

iHwtiw, from the Eighteenth Dynasty

Western Desert of Egypt

to the end of the Ramesside era, com-

under the Ptolemies

prising prisoners of war, people sent
as tribute etc. who were dispersed to
by James C.R. Gill.
religious foundations and compelled to
Oxbow Books, 2016
work allotted tracts of temple land on
ISBN 978-1-7857-0135-1
a quota basis. This workforce was dis-
tinct from free tenants who paid rent There are several good volumes offer- Hardback, £75.
and from the corvée of conscripted ing translations of the Book of the Dead,
peasants who worked seasonally on which are in effect compilations of
state projects as a duty to the Crown. material from a number of different
The iHwtiw represented a core perma- texts. This volume however is unique
nent workforce but the system in presenting a complete translation of
declined as the collapse of Egypt’s one specific book, dating to the
empire reduced the flow of prisoners Eighteenth Dynasty – the joint reigns
and deportees until, by the eighth cen- of Hatshepsut and Thurston III (c.
tury BC, iHwtiw had become synony- 1479 BC) or possibly earlier.
mous with ‘peasants’. Sobekmose was a ‘Goldworker of
Robert Morkot explains how the Amun’, who probably worked as a
decline in Nubian gold production by jeweller in one of the temple work-
the late Twentieth Dynasty led to a shops, although we have no other
rise in the use of silver as a substitute, information about him apart from the
for example in the Tanis royal tombs, name of his mother, Sa(t)-Montu.
and as an exchange medium. Since While most books of the dead from
Egypt was no longer in a position to this period originated in Thebes, the This somewhat heavyweight tome
demand tribute, this silver must have papyrus of Sobekmose is thought to (483 pages) is a modified version of
been acquired mainly through trade. be from Saqqara and is now part of the author’s Doctoral thesis, in which
Salvatore Gaspa’s study of the circula- the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. he analysed some of the pottery from
tion of silver in Assyria shows how The scroll itself is inscribed on both sites at Dakhleh collected during sur-
gradually the silver standard of valua- sides, written in cursive hieroglyphs veys of the oasis in the late 1970s and
tion came to be applied to everyday and hieratic, and includes ninety-eight 1980s and later fieldwork. It had

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 59

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book reviews
always been thought that the arrival of (although women standing in their
the Romans into Egypt led to a dra- doorways to chat to neighbours were
matic increase in population and agri- sometimes harassed by drunken
cultural expansion in the Dakhleh pedestrians!); the main entrance was
Oasis, and Gill’s thesis attempts to also the site of several important ritu-
challenge this assumption, suggesting als, which included the sacrifice of fish
instead that the population was and pigs during two specific annual
already growing during the Ptolemaic festivals.
Period. Illustrated with colour and black-
The author makes extensive use of and-white photographs and with a
pottery from the site of Mut al- comprehensive bibliography, this work
Kharab in the south of the Dakhleh highlights the fundamental role of the
Oasis region, detailing each form house as a centre for the critical events
found within his discussion and in a As an ordinary citizen of Graeco- in the lives of its residents, and so
series of appendices These discus- Roman Egypt, your house was far gives us a better appreciation of daily

sions, with their drawings of forms more than somewhere to eat and life in Graeco-Roman Egypt.
and colour photographs, will be a use- sleep. This fascinating study uses tex-

The Traditional Crafts

ful guide to the pottery of the region tual and (where possible) archaeologi-

of Egypt
for the serious scholar of the ceramics cal evidence to reconstruct the struc-
of the Oasis. ture of urban and rural houses of the
edited by Menha el-Batraoui.
But the volume is more than just a period (including the aithrion-house
AUC Press, 2016
catalogue of pottery types. The with open courtyards, and the oikia
ISBN 978-977-416753-9
author also looks at the various loca- dipurgia or multi-storied tower house)
tions in Dakhleh and other Oases in and then investigates their role as are- Hardback, £30.
the Western Desert in order to assess nas for different forms of ritual activi-
what Ptolemaic remains, if any, have ty associated with both Graeco-
been found in these sites, and there- Roman and Egyptian cultural tradi-
fore the volume can be a useful guide tions.
to some of the settlements, temples The internal structures of these
and other places that are normally not houses provided domestic space far
on the tourist routes. Gill also discuss- larger than was required for general
es the so-called ‘Oasis List’ found on living. The house was not only a home
the interior of the surrounding wall at but also had important economic,
Edfu temple, which many visitors to social, religious and funerary func-
the temple walk past without realising tions. Birthday parties, weddings and
its significance and which depicts the other ceremonies were held at home When fortunate enough to find myself
offerings of the pharaoh Ptolemy VIII while specific areas housed shrines to perusing the souks of Egypt, especially
or IX and his queen, accompanied by domestic cult gods. Sacred animals those in the famous Khan el-Khalili
fecundity figures which represent vari- associated with Egyptian gods often district in Cairo, I always find myself
ous desert oases. lived alongside the human residents, drawn to handmade objects – tapes-
The book’s wealth of information and rituals were performed at the tries, baskets, artworks, and sculptures.
about a rarely visited part of Egypt, deaths of beloved pet dogs and cats in I can easily appreciate the work and
and from a period of Egyptian history the same way as ceremonies were held the traditions woven into the fabric of
rarely studied, makes this volume a in the home for deceased members of handmade objects (both literally and
worthy addition to the library of any the family both before and after mum- metaphorically).
serious scholar of the end of the mification. Lamp-lighting in and This volume, lavishly illustrated in
pharaonic period. And being a doc- around houses commemorated the full colour, is a testament to Egyptian
toral thesis with twenty pages of bibli- goddess Athena-Neith but also the crafts still practised today, which can
ographical references, it would pro- search for the body of Osiris. be traced back hundreds and some-
vide that same scholar with plenty of Houses also allowed their residents times thousands of years, spanning the
avenues to follow for their own further to express their personal and social pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic periods.

Peter Robinson
research. identities, allowing the rich (much as The authors, comprising journalists,
today) to declare their social status archaeologists and novelists, bring

Houses in Graeco-
with imposing frontages, including together their knowledge and passion

Roman Egypt:
huge domestic pylons (reminiscent of for Egyptian handicrafts with the expe-

Arenas for Ritual Activity

temple entrances). These pylons were rience of those who still practise these
self-contained multi-storied structures crafts today. The chapters are arranged
by Youssri Ezzat Hussein
with a number of functions, although according to material, including pot-
sadly there are no surviving examples tery, glass, wood, papyrus and palm –
Archaeopress, 2016
in Egypt. The front door of the house materials that have transcended the
ISBN 978-1-78491-437-0
itself, marking the frontier between centuries – as well as calligraphy, brass
Paperback, £25. public and private space, was a key and carpets, which tell the story of
location for social interaction post-pharaonic traditional crafts.

60 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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book reviews
The social impact of craftworking pharaonic Egypt over four thousand
in Egypt is also explored, emphasising years ago?
the qualities of the artisans who In summary, this is a difficult book
enjoyed “a degree of freedom to engage with, more suited to aca-
unimaginable in a modern factory”, demics. There may be some statistical
and since “there is nothing to prevent validity to the methods employed but
conversation or even song during I do not feel the work explains this in
work […]”. Production therefore an appropriate level of detail to the

Colin Reader
becomes an integral part of a seam- general reader.
less life rather than something distinct

The Shabti Collections 6:

from the ‘real life’ one lives in one’s

A Selection From the World

‘free time’, making the profession

Museum, Liverpool
sound somewhat utopian in outlook.

by Glenn James.
While the occupation of craftsworker
in Egypt has certainly never been an
Olicar House Publications, 2016
ISBN 978-0-956-627-162
easy one, the results of their commit- Roeten’s thesis is certainly not an easy

Paperback, £120 from

ted and skilful work are clearly evi- read. The basic premise of the work is

dent in this volume. that there is an evident decline in the
Each chapter thoughtfully unfolds size of Old Kingdom non-royal
the history of each material, using mastaba tombs at the sites of Giza,
beautifully captured images of work- Abu Rawash, Saqqara and Abusir. By
shops, raw materials and finished undertaking statistical analysis of both
objects. I particularly appreciate the external tomb dimensions, together
value placed by Nermine Khafagi on with the key dimensions of the inter-
the production of pottery – a process nal chapels, the author concludes that
often dismissed as ‘dirty’ even in this decline in tomb dimensions was
ancient times – and it is incredible to associated with a general decline in
see images of hundreds of finished the economy of pharaonic Egypt dur-
storage jars stacked beside each other ing the Old Kingdom which he
in a modern ceramic workshop in implies began at the beginning of the
Qena, just as the ancient Egyptians period, and not in the late Old
would have produced their famous Kingdom as previously thought.
‘Qena ware’ vessels in this region. Inevitably in a book which presents
The chapter titles themselves empha- so much data and detail, there will be
sise the care and passion with which issues. For example, it’s refreshing to One ancient Egyptian artefact any
the authors have eloquently addressed see the author set out the increasing self-respecting Egyptology collection
the materials: for example, chapter evidence for Early Dynastic develop- must have is a shabti; World Museum
one is entitled Pottery: From Mud comes ment at Giza (a case I have been put- in Liverpool has 850, and more than
Life. ting forward since the late 1990s). 500 of these are presented in full
As in many post-industrial coun- However, it is not clear why the colour in this massive catalogue, the
tries, including the UK, traditional author has not included the relevant sixth in a series covering shabti collec-
handicrafts have declined at an Early Dynastic tombs in his statistical tions in the North West of England.
alarming rate, and the situation in analysis of the Giza necropolis. This Introductory chapters relate the his-
Egypt is no different. However, this omission looks particularly odd given tory of Liverpool’s Egyptology collec-
volume serves to highlight the skill that when assessing Saqqara, the tion (which began in 1861 with a gift
and passion of those still practising author does include tombs from the from a soap manufacturer who bought
these traditions, often over many gen- Early Dynastic Period. artefacts from a Scottish medical mis-
erations, which I dearly hope will However my main concern lies with sionary working in Egypt) and a brief
continue to endure during and some of the methods of statistical historical outline of shabtis and their

Anna Garnett
beyond the Twenty-first century. analysis used in this assessment. A accoutrements, before presenting the
good example of this is given on page catalogue arranged into chronological

91, where the author describes how sections (Middle Kingdom through to

Developments in Old
data that has already been statistically Ptolemaic Period)

Kingdom Tombs in the

assessed to produce Fig 102 of the Each shabti is presented in colour

Necropoleis of Giza,
book is used to provide ‘derivative’ from different angles (nearly all are
values (Fig 103) which are further life-sized images) with details of date,

Saqqara and Abusir

processed to produce Fig 104. Such material, size, provenance, names and

by Leo Roeten.
repeated layers of data processing titles, and full description. Inscriptions

Archaeopress Egyptology 15
may be totally legitimate (from a sta- are reproduced in hieroglyphs, with

Archaeopress, 2016
tistician’s standpoint) but I can’t help accompanying transliteration and

ISBN 978-1-78491-460-8
wondering to what extent they provide English translation.There is naturally
Paperback, £30. SG
a disconnect between Roeten’s thesis an extensive bibliography.
and the reality of the situation in

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 61

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ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 63

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North East Ancient Egypt SocietyBelow are listed lectures and events given by UK societies and Deadline for submission: all events
groups, and a selection of major overseas events. Although every effort is made to ensure entries should be received by 28th
that the details are correct ANCIENT EGYPT cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of February 2017 for inclusion in the next
the information provided. As events may be subject to change or cancellation, or tickets may issue. To add an event to the AE Events
be required, please ensure that you contact the appropriate body (as listed on our “Society Diary, please contact the Editor, email:
Contacts” page) before attending. editor@ancientegyptmagazine.com

18th Manchester Continuing 4th Wessex Ancient Egypt
Education Network Society
STUDY DAY: Girl Power – Elite Women of Jackie Campbell: Pharmacy of the Pharaohs.
Ancient Egypt. Cross Street Chapel,
8th West Midlands Egyptology Manchester. 5th Essex Egyptology Group
Society Roland Enmarch: New texts from ancient
Ellie Dobson: Jewellery and Ancient Egypt in 18th Southampton Ancient Egypt Egypt: revisiting the Egyptian alabaster quarries
the Age of Victoria. at Hatnub.
Paul Collins: Egypt and the Assyrian Empire.
11th Egyptian Society Taunton 6th Thebes – The Blackburn
Campbell Price: Senenmut. Egyptology Society
18th Thames Valley Ancient Colin Reader: Saqqara.
Egypt Society
11th Egyptology Scotland,
Yvonne Harpur: Saqqara’s Abandoned Tombs 8th West Midlands Egyptology
Edinburgh Venue
Beside the Unas Pyramid Causeway. Society
Peter Robinson: Ancient Egyptian Coffins and
Coffin Texts. Janet McWilliam: The Sea Peoples Inscriptions
21st Bolton Archaeology and at Medinet Habu.
11th Sussex Egyptology Society – Egyptology Society
Brighton Venue Stephen Snape: Memphis and Sakkara in the 11th Ancient Egypt & Middle
Lucia Gahlin: Birth and Rebirth – Death as a Ramesside Period. East Society
Rite of Passage in Ancient Egypt. Margaret Beaumont: Battering rams to muon
21st Egypt Society of Bristol scans – changing motives and methods in
Julie Anderson: Kushite Kings on the Upper Egyptology and “He shall burn in the fires of
11th The Society for the Study of
Sekhmet” – curses, punishments and threat
Ancient Egypt – Nile: – Pyramids, Royal Statues and a Temple to
formulae in ancient Egypt.
Nottingham Venue Amun. Plus AGM.
Reg Clark: Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt
11th The Egyptian Society,
from the Predynastic to the Pyramid Age. 22nd Friends of the Egypt Taunton
Centre – Swansea Rosalind Janssen: Deir el-Medina.
11th University of Manchester Kasia Szpakowska: “Child in the Nest” –
STUDY DAY. See Major Events. Children as Agents and Patients in Pharaonic 11th Egyptology Scotland,
Egyptian Rituals. Glasgow Venue
13th Manchester Ancient Egypt Reg Clark: Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt
Society from the Predynastic to the Pyramid Age.
23rd Carlisle and District
Roland Enmarch: Scribe Ahanakht, a Man of
Egyptology Society
Many Talents: Quarrying Alabaster at Hatnub. 11th Sutton Ancient Egypt
John Wyatt: Birds in Ancient Egypt.
13th Wirral Ancient Egypt Tess Baber: Mummy Pits in Ancient Egypt.
Society 24th Poynton Egypt Group
Reg Clark: Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt Tess Baber: Mummy Pits.
11th The Society for the Study of
from the Predynastic to the Pyramid Age. Ancient Egypt –
No February Meeting: Chesterfield Venue
14th Manchester Continuing Ancient Egypt & Middle East Society Sarah Griffiths: Ptolemies Study Day –
Education Network Egypt Exploration Society After Alexander and Ptolemaic Girl Power.
STUDY DAY: Heka – The Magical Arts of Horus Egyptology Society
Ancient Egypt. Cross Street Chapel, North East Ancient Egypt Society 13th Manchester Ancient Egypt
Manchester. Sutton Ancient Egypt Society Society
The Society for the Study of Ancient Nicky Nielsen: The City of the Snake
17th Friends of the Petrie Egypt – Chesterfield Venue Goddess – Liverpool at Tell Nabasha/Imet.

MARCH 2017
Joanne Rowland: The Discovery and 13th Wirral Ancient Egypt
Rediscovery of Merimde Beni Salama: from the Society
Middle Paleolithic until 2016 AD. Dyan Hilton: Ancient Glass.

17th University of Birmingham 18th Leicestershire Ancient

4TH ANNUAL BIRMINGHAM 1st Staffordshire Egyptology Egypt Society
EGYPTOLOGY SYMPOSIUM. See Society Bob Loynes: The Mummy – Ancient Craft,
Major Events. John Wyatt: Mammals of Ancient Egypt. Modern Science.

18th Leicestershire Ancient 4th Plymouth and District 18th North East Ancient Egypt
Egypt Society Egyptology Society Society
Andreas Winkler: Egyptian Astronomy and Bernadette Brady: Introduction to Ancient Sarah Griffiths: Mentuhotep II and the
Astrological Practices in the Graeco-Roman Period. Egyptian Astronomy. Reunification of Egypt.

64 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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UK events diary
18th Southampton Ancient Egypt 3rd Northampton Ancient 28th Friends of the Petrie
Society Egyptian Historical Society Museum
Paul Nicholson: The Sacred Animal Necropolis Steven Gregory: Power in Stone – the Function Marcel Marée: Missed and Underrated
at North Saqqara. of the Obelisk in Ancient Egypt and Beyond. Criteria for Authenticating Egyptian Sculptures.

18th Sussex Egyptology Society – 3rd Thebes – The Blackburn 28th Poynton Egypt Group
Worthing Venue Egyptology Society Lecture tbc.
Faried Adrom: lecture tbc. Stephanie Atherton-Woolham: Using Linen
In Ancient Egypt. 29th Sussex Egyptology Society –
22nd Friends of the Egypt Horsham Venue
Centre – Swansea 5th Friends of the Egypt Campbell Price: Searching for Senenmut –
Tess Baber: Mummy Pits in Ancient Egypt – Statues, Status and Scandal?
Centre – Swansea
The Long-Kept Secret of Early Travellers.
John Wyatt: Howard Carter – The Wildife
Artist. No April Meeting:
23rd Carlisle and District Ancient Egypt & Middle East Society
Egyptology Society Egypt Society of Bristol
Lucia Gahlin: The Iconography and Ideology of 5th Staffordshire Egyptology
Horus Egyptology Society
Nefertiti and the Amarna Royal Women. Society
North East Ancient Egypt Society
Sarah Griffiths: Ptolemaic Girl Power: Arsinoë
Sutton Ancient Egypt Society
24th Friends of the Petrie II, Berenice II and Cleopatra VII. The Society for the Study of Ancient
Museum Egypt – Chesterfield Venue

Marie Vandenbeusch: The Donkey in 5th Wirral Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Religion. Society
Ed Bruce: Egyptian Art and Modernism. (NB.
24th Poynton Egypt Group 7:30pm Bebington Civic Centre).
Joanne Backhouse: Body Art in Ancient
Egypt – Fashion Statement or Status Indicator? 8th Egyptian Society Taunton
Plus AGM. Bernadette Brady: Senenmut’s Ceiling. Showing until 17th April 2017
25th Thames Valley Ancient 10th Manchester Ancient Egypt ANTIQUITIES, LEIDEN
Egypt Society Society QUEENS OF THE NILE
Nigel Strudwick: Egyptian Decrees, Bob Partridge Memorial Lecture. Rosalind 350 artefacts telling the unique story of
Biographies, Accounts and Formulae in the Age of Janssen: Clothes for a Pear-shaped King – the
the Pyramids – A Look at the People of the Old the Queens of New Kingdom Egypt,
Dress Sense of Tutankhamun. including objects on loan from the Museo
Kingdom through the Written Word.
Egizio in Turin.
12th West Midlands Egyptology
28th Egypt Society of Bristol
Society Showing until late summer 2017
Hana Navratilova: The Riddles of the
Beth Asbury: The Tale of Irterau.
Walls – Graffitti from Ancient Egypt. UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
15th Egyptology Scotland –
30th Horus Egyptology Society Physical and digital exhibition of the Eton
Peter Robinson: The Landscapes of the Edinburgh Venue
Myers Collection of Egyptian Art, on loan
Egyptian Afterlife. Abeer Eladany: Egyptian Collections in
to the University of Birmingham

Aberdeen University Museums.
No March Meeting:
Northampton Ancient Egyptian Historical 15th Leicestershire Ancient
Society Egypt Society
The Society for the Study of Ancient Charlotte Booth: Egyptology’s Dirty Secret –
Egypt – Nottingham Venue the importance of paper squeezes.

APRIL 2017
11th February 2017
22nd Southampton Ancient Egypt THE UNIVERSITY OF
John Wyatt: Djehutihotep – Great Chief of the
Hare Nome.
1st Plymouth and District UNEXPECTED HIGHLIGHTS OF
22nd The Society for the Study of
Ancient Egypt –
Felicitas Webber: Ancient Egyptian Book of Nottingham Venue Presented by Egyptology online and the
The Dead – The Latest Research On The Eileen Goulding: Understanding the Art of KNH Centre in the Kanaris Lecture
Topic. Ancient Egypt. Theatre, Manchester Museum.
1st Wessex Ancient Egypt 27th Carlisle and District
Society Egyptology Society 17th February 2017
Tess Baber: Mummy Pits in Ancient Egypt. Shirley Addy: Rider Haggard in Egypt. UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM.
2nd Essex Egyptology Group 27th Thames Valley Ancient EGYPTOLOGY SYMPOSIUM
Manon Y Schutz: Mighty In Waking and Egypt Society DIGGING INTO ANCIENT EGYPT
Great in Sleeping: the History of Beds in Ancient Geoffrey Killen: Egyptian Coffins – Exploring Registration:
Egypt. the Carpenter’s Craft. www.birminghamegyptology.co.uk

ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 65

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Egyptology Society Contact Details

Contact names, telephone and email/website contacts for UK societies are listed here. To reduce the space used for overseas societies, only the
website or email contacts are normally shown. Full details, including postal addresses, can be found on the magazine’s web site
www.ancientegyptmagazine.com. If readers without email access require postal address details, please contact the magazine’s Publishers
or the Editor (contact details on page 3). To register changes to this information, please contact the Editor,

Societies Within
the UK
The Egyptian Society, TAUNTON North East Ancient Egypt Society STAFFORDSHIRE Egyptology
Contact: Jan Diamond DURHAM Society
unearthingegyptology@gmail.com Contact: Gillian Dodds. Contact: Skye Cook
www.tauntonegyptiansociety.co.uk/ neaesoc@googlemail.com Skyecook93@hotmail.com
Ancient Egypt & Middle East http://sites.google.com/site/neaesoc/ www.staffordshireegyptology.org.uk/
Egyptology Scotland
LINCOLN, Lincolnshire ABERDEEN NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE Sudan Archaeological Research
Secretary: Mrs. Sue Kirk. Claire Gilmour. Egyptology Association Society
Tel: 01754 765341 chairegscotland@yahoo.co.uk Chairman: Steve Johnson. Chairman: Derek Welsby.
sue47beset@gmail.com http://egyptology-scotland.square stevej@tinyworld.co.uk c/o The British Museum, LONDON
www.aemes.co.uk space.com/ www.sudarchrs.org.uk
The Ancient World Society NORTHAMPTON Ancient
Egyptian Cultural Bureau Sussex Egyptology Society
BOSTON, Lincolnshire Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egyptian Historical Society
Secretary: Sandy Davey. Secretary: Linda Amas. HORSHAM, BRIGHTON
sandymd@hotmail.co.uk Tel: 0207 491 7720 lvamas@aol.com & WORTHING
http://www.visitoruk.com/Boston/ egypt.culture@btconnect.com www.facebook.com/groups/naehs/ Contact: Janet Shepherd
ancient-world-society-C1208L921.html www.egyptculture.org.uk janet@ancient.co.uk
PLYMOUTH & District www.egyptology-uk.com
The ANKH (SOUTH-EAST KENT Egyptology North Egyptology Society
Egyptology Society) www.Egyptology-North.co.uk SUTTON Ancient Egypt Society
Secretary: Eileen O’Brien. Chairman: Janis Naylor
Mob: 0779 421 9438 GREATER LONDON
Tel: 01227 365 840 ESSEX Egyptology Group
janis.naylor@aol.co.uk Secretary: Ann Musgrove
ankh.kent@gmail.com Contact: Dick Sellicks
01702 602519 Lecture Secretary: Jill Porthouse. Tel: 0208 6435728
Association for the Study of dick@sellicks.org.uk jill_porthouse@hotmail.co.uk DAAMusgrove@aol.com
Travel in Egypt & the Near East www.essexegyptology.co.uk
LONDON POYNTON Egypt Group Thames Valley Ancient Egypt
Secretary: Dr. Hana Navratilova Friends of the Egypt Centre – Society
enquiries@astene.org.uk Poynton, Cheshire
www.astene.org.uk Secretary: Carolyn Graves-Brown. Secretary: Liz Sherman.
Chairman: John Billman.
c.a.graves-brown@swansea.ac.uk Tel: 01625 612641
Bloomsbury Summer School, Contact: Syd Howells secretary@poyntonegyptgroup.org.uk
Contact: Francesca Jones
University College LONDON. EGYPTCENTRE@Swansea.ac.uk www.poyntonegyptgroup.org.uk
Tel: 0207 679 3622 www.egypt.swansea.ac.uk fhjones_tvaes@yahoo.co.uk
Bloomsbury@egyptology-uk.com www.tvaes.org.uk/
www.egyptology-uk.com/bloomsbury Friends of the PETRIE MUSEUM Egyptology Society)
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian THEBES. The BLACKBURN,
BOLTON Archaeology and Archaeology, LONDON Secretary: Annette Jones.
Egyptology Society, Lancashire.
Egyptology Society Secretary: Jan Picton. Tel: 01795 663475 Secretary: Michael Eastwood.
Ian Trumble janpicton@ijnet.demon.co.uk eastwoodmichael@btinternet.com
chair@boltonaes.co.uk www.friendsofpetrie.org.uk Society for the Study of Ancient www.facebook.com/
http://www.boltonaes.co.uk Egypt blackburnegyptologysociety?sk=wall
HORUS Egyptology Society CHESTERFIELD,
The British Egyptian Society WIGAN, Lancashire. & NOTTINGHAM
CROYDON, Surrey Secretary: Hazel McGuinness. Wessex Ancient Egypt Society
Secretary: Sandra Frost. BOURNEMOUTH
Secretary: Noel Rands. Tel: 07766261727
Tel: 07876 403242 horusegyptology@yahoo.com Tel: 01246 276771 Chairman: Angela Dennett.
noelrands@hotmail.com www.horusegyptology.co.uk egyptologyssae@gmail.com Tel: 01202 523392
www.egyptology-ssae.org angiedennett444@btinternet.com
CARLISLE & District Egyptology The Kemet Klub – BRISTOL. Chesterfield Local Group: https://wessexancientegyptsociety.
Society Contact: Ali Ball. Tel: 01246 471556 wordpress.com/
Secretary: Janet McWilliam. Tel: 01275 791562 ssaelocal@gmail.com
carlisle.egypt@yahoo.co.uk ali.dave@blueyonder.co.uk
www.facebook.com/Carlisle.Egyptology/ West Midlands Egyptology
LEICESTERSHIRE Ancient Egypt SOUTH ASASIF Conservation Society.
The Egypt Exploration Society Society Trust UK Chair: Stacey Anne Bagdi
LONDON Contact: Nadia Hussein Secretary: Francesca Jones. Contact: Alice Baddeley
Director: Dr. Cédric Gobeil. nmahussein@yahoo.co.uk secretary@southasasif.com alicebaddeley22@gmail.com
Contact: Carl Graves www.facebook.com/ http://southasasif.com/Trust.html https://wmegyptology.wordpress.com/
carl.graves@ees.ac.uk Leicestershireancientegyptsociety/
www.ees.ac.uk SOUTHAMPTON Ancient Egypt WIRRAL Ancient Egypt Society
The MANCHESTER Ancient Society
Egypt Society of BRISTOL Egypt Society MERSEYSIDE
Chairman: Dr. Aidan Dodson. Secretary: Sarah Griffiths. Secretary: Nicola Simpson. Contact: Sue Mockeridge.
Tel: 0117 942 1957 Tel : 0161 720 7592 Tel: 07729 627901 Tel: 0151 644 5654
info@egyptsocietybristol.org.uk Sarahgwen1@hotmail.com info@southamptonancientegyptsociety.co.uk secretary@waes.org.uk
www.egyptsocietybristol.org.uk www.maesweb.org.uk www.southamptonancientegyptsociety.co.uk www.waes.org.uk

Overseas Societies BELGIUM

Association Egyptologique
Egyptologica Vlaanderen VZW
The Society for the Study of
Reine Elisabeth a.s.b.l./ www.egyptologica- Egyptian Antiquities
AUSTRALIA vlaanderen.be/home.htm /Société pour l’Étude de
Egyptologisch Genootschap
Ancient Egypt Society of Western Koningin Elisabeth VZW l’Égypte Ancienne
Kheper a.s.b.l. – Head Office, Toronto.
PERTH www.thessea.org
www.aere-egke.be/aere.eng.htm www.kheper.be
Ptah-Hotep a.s.b.l. – Montreal Chapter/
Australian Centre for Egyptology Egyptologica a.s.b.l. Association d’Égyptologie Belge Chapitre du Québec à Montréal
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY BRUXELLES WATERLOO http://sseamontrealvip.homestead.com
www.egyptology.mq.edu.au www.egyptologica.be www.ptah-hotep.be /anglais.htm

66 ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017

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Egyptology Society Contact Details

– Calgary Chapter Marseille (13) Sollies-Pont (83) USA
www3.telus.net/public/james135/ Provence Egyptologie Association varoise d’Égyptologie American Research Center in
CalgarySSEA.htm http://www.provenceegyptologie.org/ KEMETMAA Egypt – US Office
www.kemetmaa.fr SAN ANTONIO, Texas
– Vancouver Chapter Montpellier (34) http://www.arce.org
www.sseavancouver.wordpress.com Association montpelliéaine Strasbourg (67)
d’égyptologie Néfrou American Research Center in
Association alsacienne
DENMARK http://www.enim-egyptologie.fr/ Egypt – Cairo Office
nefrou/ d’Égyptologie cairo@arce.org
The Danish Egyptological Society http://www.egyptostras2.fr/
Montpellier (Saint-Clément de Rivière) The ARCE has “Chapters”
www.daes.dk Troyes (10)
(34) throughout the USA:
Les Amis de l’Égypte Les Amis de Champollion
EGYPT pharaonique (ADEA) www.lesamisdechampollion.fr Arizona (Tucson) Chapter
Luxor Egyptology Society http://adea.asso-web.com/ http://web.arizona.edu/~egypt/
www.luxoregyptology.org 28+contact.html field.htm
Associazione Per-Megiat Onlus
Reviving the Egyptian Identity. Montsegur (09) Georgia (Atlanta) Chapter
CAIRO. Centre d’Égyptologie kepfren@aol.com
www.egyptianism.org patrizia.piacentini@unimi.it
www.facebook.com/pages/Biblioteca- Illinois (Chicago) Chapter
FRANCE Nantes (44), Angers (49) e-Archivi-di-Egittologia-Università- www.arcechicago.com
Avignon (84) Association d’Égyptologie degli-Studi-di-
Les Amis de Thot IMHOTEP Milano/198497800181599 Massachusetts (Boston)
http://www.lesamisdethot.net/ http://www.association-egyptologie- Chapter
imhotep.eu/index.html NORWAY lberman@mfa.org
Béziers (34) The Bergen Egypt Exploration
Nantes (44) New Mexico (Albuquerque)
Centre languedocien Society
Isis-Nantes Chapter
d’Égyptologie (Béziers) egyptexplorationbergen.com pharolux@yahoo.com
http://centrelanguedocienegyptologie. http:///www.isis-egypteancienne.fr
blogspot.fr/ REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA New York (New York City)
Nîmes (30)
The Ancient Egyptian Society Chapter
Association Égyptologique du
Bordeaux (Peyssac) (33) ROOSEVELT PARK www.arceny.com
Association Égyptologique de la http://www.egyptonimes.fr/ ejswan@absamail.co.za
Gironde Northern California (Berkeley)
http://aeg.u-bordeaux3.fr/ The Ancient History Society of Chapter
Orléans (45)
?page_id=80 Port Elizabeth (South Africa ) http://home.comcast.net/~hebsed/
Association Soleil Ailé
http://www.histoire-antiqueasa.fr/ PORT ELIZABETH North Texas (Dallas) Chapter
Grenoble (38) ployson@nmmu.ac.za www.arce-ntexas.org/
Association Dauphinoise Paris (75)
d'Egyptologie CHAMPOLLION Société Française d’Égyptologie The Egyptian Society of South Northwest (Seattle,
(ADEC) http://www.sfe-egyptologie.fr/ Africa Washington) Chapter
http://www.champollion-adec.net/ index.php/fr/egyptologie CAPE TOWN, nwarce@gmail.com
scarab@telkomsa.net www.arce-nw.com
Le Chesnay (78) Pau (64)
Société d'égyptologie de Pau www..egyptiansociety.co.za
AEREA (Association pour l’Étude Orange County Chapter –
et la Recherche sur l’Égypte http://egyptologie64.e-monsite.com/ California
SWEDEN www.ocpl.org/lectures/egypt.asp
http://didier.laffaille.pagesperso- Périgueux (24) The Egyptological Society of
orange.fr/Aerea/Association.htm Association Périgourdine d’Égyp- Stockholm Oregon (Portland) Chapter
#Ancre4 tologie ENEBYBERG jtsarr@comcast.net
www.kemet24.jimdo.com www.efis.se
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Lille (59)
Plan de Cuques (13) Swedish Egyptology Society, ISIS Chapter
Papyrus info@arce-pa.org
France-Égypte Méditerranée HELSINGBORG
http://www.association-papyrus.com/ http://www.france-egypte- www.isishelsingborg.se Washington, DC Chapter
Lyon (69) www.arcedc.org/
Cercle Lyonnais d’Égyptologie Saint-Estève (66) URUGUAY
Victor Loret Les Amis de l’Égypte ancienne Uruguayan Society of Egyptology The Egyptian Study Society, Inc.
http://asso.univ-lyon2.fr/cercle- http://www.klubasso.fr/ MONTEVIDEO DENVER
egyptologie egypteancienne-partenaires.html www.geocities.com/juanjosecastillos/ www.egyptstudy.org

U.K. Museum
The British Museum The Great North Museum, New Walk Museum & Art
www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk Newcastle Gallery, Leicester
www.twmuseums.org.uk www.leicestermuseums.ac.uk
Durham University Oriental
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Museum National Museum of Scotland
www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk www.dur.ac.uk/orientalmuseum The Manchester Museum www.nms.ac.uk/scotland
Birmingham Museum & Art Herbert Art Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum,
Gallery Museum, Coventry The Petrie Museum of Egyptian London
www.bmag.org.uk www.theherbert.org Archaeology, London www.vam.ac.uk
Bolton Museum & Art Gallery The Egypt Centre, Swansea West Park Museum, Macclesfield
www.boltonmuseums.org.uk www.swan.ac.uk info@silkmacclesfield.org.uk
Museum of the School of
Bristol City Museum & Art The Fitzwilliam Museum, Archaeology, Classics and
Gallery Cambridge Egyptology, Liverpool World Museum, Liverpool
www.bristol-city.gov.uk/museums www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk www.liv.ac.uk/sace www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

ANCIENT EGYPT is owned, and published bi-monthly, by Ancient Egypt Magazine Ltd.
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ANCIENT EGYPT February/March 2017 67

This fabulous new tour is a thorough Based at the luxury Mena House Hotel, located in the shadows of
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