Thursday, 26 February 2015

Was King Senebkay killed in battle? Injuries to pharaoh's bones suggest he was brutally hacked with axes while riding his horse | Daily Mail Online

The 3,650-year old skeleton of King Senebkay (pictured right) has revealed the pharaoh died a violent death from blows to the head with axes. Archaeologists uncovered the tomb, complete with paintings, last yearWas King Senebkay killed in battle? Injuries to pharaoh's bones suggest he was brutally hacked with axes while riding his horse | Daily Mail Online: The 3,650-year old skeleton of King Senebkay has revealed the pharaoh died a violent death.

Senebkay lived at a time when rulers battled for power before the rise of Egypt’s New Kingdom in 1,550 BC and his skeleton shows 18 injuries caused by axes.

Injuries to his skull, lower back and ankles, suggest he was attacked while on his horse and hacked at with the deadly weapon - dying from blows to the head.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Deir el-Bahari VI, The Temple of Hatshepsut, The Solar Complex

Deir el-Bahari VI, The Temple of Hatshepsut, The Solar Complex

Janusz Karkowski, Deir el-Bahari VI, The Temple of Hatshepsut, The Solar
Complex, Centre d'Archeologie Mediterraneenne de l'Academie Polonaise
des Sciences, Varsovie 2003

Deir el-Bahari Hatshepsut - third terrace (solar complex) now open - 2

AE, Deir el Bahri

The upper terrace
A second ramp leads from the centre of the intermediate
portico to the upper terrace whose portico consists of columns originally decorated with Osirian statues of the Queen,
now mostly destroyed. Through a great doorway of pink granite, one enters a courtyard circled by columns. To the north
and south of the courtyard, there are two areas dedicated respectively to the cult of the sun and that of the royalty.
The northern part dedicated to the solar cult of Re-Harakhty includes a vestibule with columns leading into a courtyard
with a solar altar in the centre. In the northern part of the courtyard, there is another chapel dedicated to the cult
of Anubis (the upper chapel of Anubis). There is no clear idea as to why there are two chapels dedicated to this
divinity in the Temple, but numerous hypotheses have been advanced to explain this exceptional and unique fact; anyway,
it appears clear that great importance was attached to this god in Deir el Bahri, especially in comparison with other
funeral gods, such as Osiris and Sokar, who acquired greater importance later, but always appear in a secondary role
here. The southern part of the upper terrace dedicated to the royal cult consists of a vestibule from which one gains
admittance to two chapels dedicated to the cult of Hatshepsut and that of Tuthmosis I.

Deir el-Bahari Hatshepsut - third terrace (solar complex) now open

Deir el-Bahari Hatshepsut - third terrace: The third terrace of the temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari is now open to visitors, after a long restoration by a Polish team.
The upper terrace of Hatshepsut's temple has a forefront portico with two rows of columns. The external row is made of square columns decorated with colossal osiride statues of the queen, of which only few remain. The inner row is made of octogonal columns.
When entering the court itself, the first noticeable thing is that it seems empty though it once contained two rows of colums, of which only a few one have been reerected.
On the left and on the right, the reerected walls have a (very) fragmentary decoration.
The back of the court houses the very heart of the temple: a sanctuary dedicated to the god Amun. It has been cut directly in the mountain.
On each side of the sanctuary one can see nine niches : small cult chapels alternate with niches housing osiride statues of the queen.
On each side of the lateral walls doors lead to chapels (not visitable) respectively dedicated to the royal cult and to the solar cult.

Monday, 23 February 2015

More finds for Dr Hourig

German archaeologists find 2 statues of goddess Sekhmet in southern Egypt | Fox News Latino: A group of German archaeologists found two statues of Sekhmet, the Ancient Egyptian goddess of war and destruction, during work at a dig in the ruined city of Luxor, in southern Egypt, the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry reported Sunday..............

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Why are there undecorated tombs in the Valley of Kings.

I currently have Don Ryan staying at my holiday apartments Flats in Luxor. He is ‘digging’ in the Valley of Kings on the undecorated tombs, here are some links to past lectures he has given

It is thought that some of these tombs were for the ‘girls’ of the 18th dynasty. Stylistically you can date even a shaft to a period, I remember Otto Schaden explaining this at a lecture he gave on KV63. I asked him why the tombs were undecorated. It puzzled me as nobles tombs of this period are decorated so why not the queens. He thought there were three possible reasons, although there may be more 1) only kings tombs were decorated in the valley of the kings. There are a number of non pharaohs tombs and it may have been the “rules” that these could not be decorated. 2) (this explanation appealed more to me) that the chapels of these tombs have not been found and these were decorated. 3) the decoration might have been lost during the flooding of these tombs which removed the plaster work. It was a fascinating discussion and just shows you how much more there is to learn.

He is such an informative person, if you ever get a chance to go to a lecture of his do not miss it. We have chatted about Ancient Egyptian rope, funerary cones, his work in the valley, his work with Thor Heyerdale, Egyptology people he has met in the past and all sorts of other things.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

For all lovers of Luxor to get you in the mood for Valentines Day

Mahmoud Hussein Abdul Rassoul - The family say thank you

Mahmoud Hussein Abdul Rassoul

I must have had 100 comments on Facebook, the blog and twitter about the death of Mahmoud. So today I phoned Nubi, his brother and told him what everyone had said. Nubi said he had many many calls and SMS from all over the world and he and the family were VERY touched and grateful

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

RIP Abdul Rassoul;

I am sure anyone who has come to Luxor has met this lovely gentleman at the Ramasseum cafe. Sadly he died last night.His full name was Mahmoud Hussein Abdul Rassoul (no idea if I have spelt that right) and he was 74

Friday, 6 February 2015

Seventeen new governors to be sworn in Saturday: Presidency - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

Mahmoud heard on the TV that Luxor is going to get a new governor. No details yet.

Seventeen new governors to be sworn in Saturday: Presidency - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online: President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Thursday approved the appointment of 17 new governors, a move which has been anticipated for weeks.

The heads of the 17 governorates, out of a total of 27 in Egypt, will be sworn in on Saturday, presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement on Thursday.

Sources told Ahram Online earlier that the move was almost concluded recently but withheld due to last-minute changes that were to be made for a wider consensus on the appointments.

The names of the appointees however are not yet released.

Egypt has traditionally appointed military and police generals as heads for the majority of its governorates.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Cats at AWOL

I just took my little kitten to AWOL Animal Welfare of Luxor, Egypt to be wormed and flea/tick protection. I would like to have got a photo while I was there but I needed all my hands to hold onto a very upset kitten. Poor Dr Mohammed is still counting his fingers I think.

This is a very sorry for itself kitten post treatment. To be honest I didn't realise AWOL did small animals until I saw this gorgeous cat on their Facebook page looking a bit more relaxed than my kitten I can tell you.

If you want to learn more about them or make a donation their main website is

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Goodbye Dr Mansour

I tried to get in touch with Mansour Boraik to discuss a few issues in Luxor and to ask his advice who I could talk to in Cairo.

1) the tickets for the Mut temple and Deir el-Shelwit have been printed in
dollars and you can't buy them with Egyptian pounds. Why would non American
tourists have dollars and indeed why would Americans bring dollars on a
tour. British, French, German tourists won't have dollars. And what about
people that live here.
2) Since you left we haven't had a single lecture. Nobody cares about
Egyptology, helping tourism or spreading knowledge.
3) Sometimes you are allowed to climb the hills and sometimes you aren't,
nobody knows when it changes, who to ask permission of. The donkey ride over
the ridge is hugely popular. Why is this being stopped
4) Tombs are being announced that they will open but no dates are given so
they can plan. Nefertari, Amenhotep Huy etc have all been in the press.
5) Sphinx Alley has become a rubbish dump
6) The dewatering project has stopped working. I have been told both Karnak
and the west bank are no longer working.

He replied immediately with such sad news for Egyptology but good news for Mansour. He has gone to work in the Emmirates, he has a good team and is working on a dig there. I am totally gutted, I almost burst into tears. He was such a force for good in Luxor.

I wish him the very very best in his future career but I shall miss him so much.

Caravanserai has been updated

This is my favourite place to recommend to guests to go shopping, when I went yesterday I found it had been revamped and it looks fab.

Previous posts on this wonderful shop (just by Medinet Habu). Turn left just before the ticket office and it is just across the canal.)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Opening of Le Tarte

Spotted on Facebook for everyone who loves food and has a sweet tooth.

I have been informed that Le Tarte, Manshea St (virtually opposite Luxor Train Station) will be opening on Thursday 29th January 2015. I cordially invite anyone who wishes to visit Luxor's newest cafe for the opening evening where you will be greeted by the owners, staff and myself and partake in a drink and sample product and to peruse the menu. Serving cakes (The Pantry will hopefully be supplying European cakes and sweets on demand!) and Pizza's. There is a take away service also. I hope to see many European faces there, some I know and some new. I cannot give any more detailed information at this time but will post again should any come to light. Chef K, The Pantry

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Calling all museums, private collectors (please share)

The news article is old but finally I got a chance to visit the site of Amenhotep III temple at

Kom El Hettan

Read more at:
Follow us: @ArchaeoNewsNet on Twitter | groups/thearchaeologynewsnetwork/ on Facebook
properly today. Dr Hourig was such a gracious host even arranging a car to drive me around!

One of the things she mentioned was there are probably bits of the temple scattered all over the world, in private hands, small collections and museums. She would be most grateful if anyone has a piece to contact her so they could record it (maybe make a copy?) to enable further understanding of the temple.

Please share this request and if you need her contact details email me and I will pass them on

Armenian archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian unveils the statue of Egyptian Pharoah Amenhotep III - Հորիզոն շաբաթաթերթ - Horizon Weekly: Plans are for the entire temple - which also includes the famous Colossi of Memnon, which are also huge, albeit seated and badly damaged, statues of Amenhotep III, as well as three patios, a peristyle, a sanctuary and other archaeological elements - to be made into a museum in which assorted monumental art and other works commissioned by the pharoah will be displayed.

PS seeing the Northern colossus and realising the extent of the site makes you realise the Merenptah's temple is like a tiny shed in  in the corner of the massive complex

Nigel J.Hetherington (@Pastpreservers) tweets the Tut press conference

If you want an update on the Tutankhamun mask press conference Nigel attended and  has tweeted, see the link to his twitter feed below

 #tutankhamun Press demand to see the mask of the King!

#tutankhamun German conservator says old glue on beard may have simply deteriorated and that's why it fell off!

#tutankhamun presser MSA and officials asking for calm reporting of the facts not wild speculation and with that it's all over!

German conservator examined #Tutankhamun mask this morning and will determine type of glue used!

#Tutankhamun presser scratches can not be confirmed if old or modern, investigation will take place!

#tutankhamun presser MSA and Museum Chiefs are apologising for a regrettable accident.

#tutankhamun press conference under way!

#tutankhamun museum director assures me all materials used are to international standards and reversible!

#Tutankhamun press conference, appears PM will now appear to address the press!

Nigel J.Hetherington (@Pastpreservers) | Twitter

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Winter destination series 3: Luxor baladna - Photo Heritage - Folk - Ahram Online

A wonderful article on the history of Luxor as a tourist town with historic photos. 

Winter destination series 3: Luxor baladna - Photo Heritage - Folk - Ahram Online: For more than a century and a half Luxor has been a top destination. The influx of western tourists meant that it accommodated consular agencies for several nationalities including the French, British, German, Italian and Belgian. And with the developments of photography over the years both tourists and explorers produced an extensive amount of photographs that range from amateur snapshots to professional images. In the case of Luxor more than any other town, its archeology is intermixed with its urban layout, i.e. the spontaneity and development of the town, as much as with its modern social history and hotel industry.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Tomb of Huy, ruler of Nubia under Tutankhamun, to be opened to the public | Ancient Origins

Tomb of Huy, ruler of Nubia under Tutankhamun, to be opened to the public | Ancient Origins: The tomb of Amenhotep Huy, ruler of Lower Nubia Kush under king Tutankhamun, is to be opened to the public for the first time following extensive restorations. The tomb is famous for its spectacular wall paintings.

Amenhotep, called Huy, was a viceroy of Nubia. The Lower Nubian Kush was a province of Egypt from the 16th century BC to eleventh century BC. During this period it was ruled by a viceroy who reported directly to the Egyptian Pharaoh. The viceroy was appointed directly by the Egyptian king and usually bore the titles "overseer of the southern lands" and "king's son of Kush". It is believed that the Egyptian 25th dynasty were descendants of these viceroys and so were the dynasties that ruled independent Kush until the fourth century AD.

Nubians bringing tribute to the Pharaoh, from the tomb of Huy

Nubians bringing tribute to the Pharaoh, from the tomb of Huy. (Exploring Africa)

Huy was the son of a lady named Werner. His father is not known. Huy was married to Taemwadjsy, chief of the harem of Amun and of the Harem of Nebkheperure (Tutankhamun). They had a son named Paser. Huy succeeded the viceroy Tuthmosis, who served under the pharaoh Akhenaten.

Huy ruled under Tutankhamun, and would have been responsible for organizing construction on Tutankhamun’s behalf, as well as being responsible for military operations in the region of Nubia. The viceroy would bring tribute personally to the pharaoh they served under.

Huy before Tutankhamen

Huy before Tutankhamen (Wikipedia)

The tomb of Amenhotep Huy, which is located at Qurnet Marei on Luxor's west bank, consists of a court and a burial chamber, and is well known for the colorful and detailed paintings that adorn the walls of the tomb.

“Although it is a small tomb it has very distinguished wall paintings,” Aly El-Asfar, head of the central administration of Upper Egypt, told Ahram Online.

“[T]he images depict figures painted in Nubian attire walking behind a chariot driven by a light brown figure, a black rider painted in traditional Nubian garb, and pulled by a cow. Walking before the chariot are more Nubian figure,” writes Ahram Online. “Hunting scenes similar to those found in Tutankhamun’s tomb are also depicted on walls as well as scenes showing Huy being greeted by high priests and among his family.”

The tomb of Huy has undergone three years of restoration work and will be opened to the public in mide-December.

Featured image: Wall scene from the tomb of Huy (Exploring Africa)

By April Holloway

History & Archaeology
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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Painting the bridge

Bit of a rushed picture as we were going through the checkpoint but the Facility of Art in Luxor are painting the new road bridge by the checkpoint for the river bridge.

Luxor Film Festival Back in Action

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Now in its third edition, the Luxor Egyptian & European Film Festival returns on January 24th, with a top notch jury and a promise of being bigger than ever.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Tourism ministry subsidises EgyptAir Paris-, London-Luxor flights: Advisor - Daily News Egypt

Tourism ministry subsidises EgyptAir Paris-, London-Luxor flights: Advisor - Daily News Egypt: The Ministry of Tourism plans to encourage EgyptAir flights from London and Paris to Luxor and Aswan in the next five months, according to ministry economic advisor Adla Ragab.

The value of the subsidy has been set at EGP 1,000, within a plan to subsidise tourist flow to Upper Egypt, said Ragab.

She explained that flights from London in the last period were almost complete at 80% of normal rates, and the ministry hopes to soon increase the rate to 100%.

Mixed views about the new site management of the colossal area.

The Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project directed by Dr Hourig Sourouzian has been working at the site of the temple of Amenhotep III for years. This is a conservation project, with an international team,  and the aim of the project is to preserve, reassemble and raise the fragmented remains of statuary and stele and raise  them in their original places . One of the things she was asked to do by Permanent Committee and the Ministry for many years is to provide site protection.

Of course we would all love to wander around the sites and poke into hidden nooks and crannies. But these days, especially with the rise of theft from archaeological sites this is not an option. Indeed the site was one where a theft occurred and thankfully the object recovered but it must make site security an issue close to her heart.

This first stage has been put in place, it consist of wide railings with storyboards (see photos). This gives you a clear view but will prevent theft and damage at the site. I do think it is sad that it is necessary and would appeal to people not to buy antiquities on the open market as many objects have been stolen and to take seriously that we all need to respect and preserve the sites.

Dr Hourig says “This fence protects the south side of the large court of the temple. When completely secured, this will be soon one of the most beautiful open air museums for monumental sculpture, unique in the whole world, and will encourage tourism in the area. Funding for this work was by private funds given by noble donors who want to conserve cultural heritage. We thank them.”

Full details of the site management proposals can be read in the journal ASAE 85, 2011 and Dr Hourig did give a preview at a lecture in Luxor some time ago read my notes here

After Decades of Searching, the Causeway for the Great Pyramid of Egypt has been Found | Ancient Origins

After Decades of Searching, the Causeway for the Great Pyramid of Egypt has been Found | Ancient Origins: Dozens of foreign missions carried out over three decades using the latest high-tech instruments failed to find the causeway of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Now, unexpectedly, the passage has finally been located by a local resident living near the Giza Plateau, who was illegally digging beneath his home when he discovered a tunnel leading to the Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the three pyramids in Giza.

BBC News - Queen Khentakawess III's tomb found in Egypt

BBC News - Queen Khentakawess III's tomb found in Egypt: Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen, Egyptian officials say.

The tomb was found in Abu-Sir, south-west of Cairo, and is thought to belong to the wife or mother of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Osiris tomb discovered in Luxor - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online


Osiris tomb discovered in Luxor - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: A Spanish-Italian archaeological mission has discovered a complete symbolic tomb of the god Osiris with multiple shafts and chambers at Al-Gorna necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the discovery is important because the newly discovered tomb is a small version of the design of the Osirion found in Abydos in the Upper Egypt city of Sohag.........

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Archeologists discover Mythical Tomb of Osiris, God of the Dead, in Egypt | Ancient Origins

Archeologists discover Mythical Tomb of Osiris, God of the Dead, in Egypt | Ancient Origins: A Spanish-Italian archaeological team, in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, has made an incredible discovery in the necropolis of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, on the West Bank at Thebes, Egypt – an enormous ancient reproduction of the mythical Tomb of Osiris as described by Egyptian legend, complete with multiple shafts and chambers. Inside the tomb complex, researchers found a carving of Osiris and a room with a wall relief depicting a demon holding knives.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Egyptian Marathon Information

The 22nd Egyptian Marathon will be taking place
at Luxor City on January 16th 2015, the 15th 100Km Pharaonic Race will
be taking place at Cairo City on 20th November 2015 and the 6th Sharm El
Sheikh Half Marathon on 00th March 0000.The Marathon is an
international event with over 36 nationalities participating and it is
the only A I M S (Association of international Marathons and Road Races)
certified Marathon in the country.

Egyptian Marathon Information