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The area around present-day Cairo, especially Memphis, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are generally traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium AD. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile. This fortress, known as Babylon, remains the oldest structure in the city. It is also situated at the nucleus of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine church in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo’s oldest Coptic churches, including The Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo. After the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641, Rashidun commander ‘Amr ibn al-‘As established Fustat just north of Coptic Cairo and Babylon. At Caliph Umar’s request, the Egyptian capital was moved fromAlexandria to the new city. Fustat also became a regional center of Islam and home to the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, the first mosque in Egypt. When the Abbasids usurped the Umayyads in 750, they moved the capital to al-Askar, which they had built just north of Fustat. In 868, under the Tulunids, Egypt’s capital was moved further north to their own settlement, al-Qatta’i. However, neither al-Askar nor al-Qatta’i achieved the prominence of Fustat; al-Askar had become indistinguishable from Fustat by the end of the 9th century, and al-Qatta’i was destroyed by the Abbasids when they recaptured Egypt in 905. With the Abbasids’ second conquest, Fustat once again became the capital of Egypt.

Foundation and expansion

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In 969, led by General Gawhar al-Siqilli, the Fatimid Caliphate conquered Egypt and established a new fortified city northeast of Fustat. It took four years for Gawhar to build the city, initially known as al-Mansūriyyah, which was to serve as the new capital of the caliphate. During that time, Gawhar also commissioned the construction of al-Azhar Mosque, which developed into the second-oldest university in the world. Cairo would eventually become a center of learning, with the library of Cairo containing hundreds of thousands of books. When Caliph al-Mu’izz li Din Allah finally arrived from the old Fatimid capital of Mahdia in 973, the city was given its present name, al-Qahira (“The Victorious”), in reference to the caliph.
For nearly two hundred years after Cairo was established, the administrative center of Egypt remained inFustat. However, in 1168, the Fatamids, under the leadership of Vizier Shawar, set fire to Fustat to prevent Cairo’s capture by the Crusaders. Egypt’s capital was permanently moved to Cairo, which eventually expanded to include the ruins of Fustat and the previous capitals of al-Askar and al-Qatta’i. While the Fustat fire successfully protected the city of Cairo, a continuing power struggle between Shawar, King Amalric I of Jerusalem, and Syrian general Shirkuh led to the downfall of the Fatimid establishment. In 1169, Saladin was appointed as the new vizier of Egypt and, two years later, he would seize power from the family of the last Fatimid caliph, Al-‘Āḍid. As the first Sultan of Egypt, Saladin established theAyyubid dynasty, based in Cairo and Damascus, and aligned Egypt with the Abbasids, who were based inBaghdad. During his reign, Saladin also constructed the Citadel, which served as the seat of Egyptian government until the mid-19th century. In 1250, slave soldiers, known as the Mamluks, seized Egypt and, like many of their predecessors, established Cairo as the capital of their new dynasty. Continuing a practice started by the Ayyubids, much of the land occupied by former Fatimid palaces was sold and replaced by newer buildings. Construction projects initiated by the Mamluks pushed the city outward while also bringing new infrastructure to the center of the city. Meanwhile, Cairo flourished as a center of Islamic scholarship and a crossroads on thespice trade route between Europe and Asia. By 1340, Cairo had a population of close to half a million, making it the largest city west of China.

Stagnation and Ottoman rule

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Although it avoided Europe’s stagnation during the Late Middle Ages, Cairo could not escape the Black Death, which struck the city more than fifty times between 1348 and 1517. During its initial, and most deadly, waves, approximately 200,000 people were killed by the plague, and, by the 15th century, Cairo’s population had been reduced to between 150,000 and 300,000. The city’s status was further diminished after Vasco da Gama discovered a sea route around the Cape of Good Hope, thereby allowing spice traders to avoid Cairo. Cairo’s political influence diminished significantly after the Ottomans supplanted Mamluk power over Egyptin 1517. Ruling from Istanbul, Sultan Selim I relegated Egypt to a mere province, with Cairo as its capital. For this reason, the history of Cairo during Ottoman times is often described as inconsequential, especially in comparison to other time periods. However, during the 16th and 17th centuries, Cairo remained an important economic and cultural center. Although no longer on the spice route, the city facilitated the transportation of Yemeni coffee and Indian textiles, primarily to Anatolia, North Africa, and the Balkans. Cairene merchants were instrumental in bringing goods to the barren Hejaz, especially during the annual hajj to Mecca. It was during this same period that al-Azhar University reached the predominance among Islamic schools that it continues to hold today, pilgrims on their way to hajj often attested to the superiority of the institution, which had become associated with Egypt’s body of Islamic scholars. Under the Ottomans, Cairo expanded south and west from its nucleus around the Citadel. The city was the second-largest in the empire, behind only Istanbul, and, although migration was not the primary source of Cairo’s growth, twenty percent of its population at the end of the 18th century consisted of religious minorities and foreigners from around the Mediterranean. Still, when Napoleon arrived in Cairo in 1798, the city’s population was less than 300,000, forty percent lower than it was at the height of Mamluk—and Cairene—influence in the mid-14th century. The French occupation was short-lived as British and Ottoman forces, including a sizable Albaniancontingent, recaptured the country in 1801. The British vacated Egypt two years later, leaving the Ottomans, the Albanians, and the long-weakened Mamluks jostling for control of the country. Continued civil war allowed an Albanian named Muhammad Ali Pasha to ascend to the role of commanderand eventually, with the approval of the religious establishment, viceroy of Egypt in 1805.

Modern era

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Until his death in 1848, Muhammad Ali Pasha instituted a number of social and economic reforms that earned him the title of founder of modern Egypt. However, while Muhammad Ali initiated the construction of public buildings in the city, those reforms had minimal effect on Cairo’s landscape. Bigger changes came to Cairo under Isma’il Pasha (r. 1863–1879), who continued the modernization processes started by his grandfather. Drawing inspiration from Paris, Isma’il environs a city of maidans and wide avenues; due to financial constraints, only some of them, in the area now composing Downtown Cairo, came to fruition. Isma’il also sought to modernize the city, which was merging with neighboring settlements, by establishing a public works ministry, bringing gas and lighting to the city, and opening a theater and opera house.
Today, high-rise buildings line the eastern edge of the Nile in central Cairo
The immense debt resulting from Isma’il’s projects provided a pretext for increasing European control, which culminated with the British invasion in 1882. The city’s economic center quickly moved west toward the Nile, away from the historic Islamic Cairo section and toward the contemporary, European-style areas built by Isma’il. Europeans accounted for five percent of Cairo’s population at the end of the 19th century, by which point they held most top governmental positions. The British occupation was intended to be temporary, but it lasted well into the 20th century. Nationalists staged large-scale demonstrations in Cairo in 1919, five years after Egypt had been declared a Britishprotectorate. Nevertheless, while this led to Egypt’s independence in 1922, British troops remained in the country until 1956. During this time, urban Cairo, spurred by new bridges and transport links, continued to in expand to include the upscale neighborhoods of Garden City, Zamalek, and Heliopolis. Between 1882 and 1937, the population of Cairo more than tripled – from 347,000 to 1.3 million – and its area increased from 1,000 hectares (10 km2; 4 sq mi) to 16,300 hectares (163 km2; 63 sq mi). The British departed Cairo following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but the city’s rapid growth showed no signs of abating. Seeking to accommodate the increasing population, President Gamal Abdel Nasserredeveloped Midan Tahrir and the Nile Corniche, and improved the city’s network of bridges and highways. Meanwhile, additional controls of the Nile fostered development within the island of Gezira and along the city’s waterfront. The metropolis began to encroach on the fertile Nile Delta, prompting the government to build desert satellite towns and devise incentives for city-dwellers to move to them. Despite these efforts, Cairo’s population has doubled since the 1960s, reaching close to seven million (with an additional ten million in its urban area). Concurrently, Cairo has established itself as a political and economic hub for North Africa and the Arab World, with many multinational businesses and organizations, including the Arab League, operating out of the city.

Geography

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Cairo is located in northern Egypt, known as Lower Egypt, 165 kilometers (100 mi) south of theMediterranean Sea and 120 kilometers (75 mi) west of the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal. The city is along the Nile River, immediately south of the point where the river leaves its desert-bound valley and branches into the low-lying Nile Delta region. Although the Cairo metropolis extends away from the Nile in all directions, the city of Cairo resides only on the east bank of the river and two islands within it on a total area of 214 square kilometers (83 sq mi). Until the mid-19th century, when the river was tamed by dams, levees, and other controls, the Nile in the vicinity of Cairo was highly susceptible to changes in course and surface level. Over the years, the Nile gradually shifted westward, providing the site between the eastern edge of the river and the Mokattamhighlands on which the city now stands. The land on which Cairo was established in 969 (present-dayIslamic Cairo) was located underwater just over three hundred years earlier, when Fustat was first built. Low periods of the Nile during the 11th century continued to add to the landscape of Cairo; a new island, known as Geziret al-Fil, first appeared in 1174, but eventually became connected to the mainland. Today, the site of Geziret al-Fil is occupied by the Shubra district. The low periods created another island at the turn of the 14th century that now composes Zamalek and Gezira. Land reclamation efforts by theMamluks and Ottomans further contributed to expansion on the east bank of the river. Because of the Nile’s movement, the newer parts of the city – Garden City, Downtown Cairo, and Zamalek – are located closest to the riverbank. The areas, which are home to most of Cairo’s embassies, are surrounded on the north, east, and south by the older parts of the city. Old Cairo, located south of the center, holds the remnants of Fustat and the heart of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, Coptic Cairo. The Boulaq district, which lies in the northern part of the city, was born out of a major 16th-century port and is now a major industrial center. The Citadel is located east of the city center aroundIslamic Cairo, which dates back to the Fatimid era and the foundation of Cairo. While western Cairo is dominated by wide boulevards, open spaces, and modern architecture of European influence, the eastern half, having grown haphazardly over the centuries, is dominated by small lanes, crowded tenements, andIslamic architecture. Northern and extreme eastern parts of Cairo, which include satellite towns, are among the most recent additions to the city, as they developed in the late-20th and early-21st centuries to accommodate the city’s rapid growth. The western bank of the Nile is commonly included within the urban area of Cairo, but it composes the city of Giza and the Giza Governorate. Giza has also undergone significant expansion over recent years, and today the city, although still a suburb of Cairo, has a population of 2.7 million.The Cairo Governorate is just north of the Helwan Governorate, which was created in 2008 when some of Cairo’s southern districts, including Maadi and New Cairo, were split off and annexed into the new governorate.

Climate

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In Cairo, and along the Nile River Valley, the climate is a desert climate (BWh according to the system), but often with high humidity due to the river valley’s effects. Wind storms can be frequent, bringing Saharan dust into the city during the months of March and April. High temperatures in winter range from 13°C to 19°C, while night-time lows drop to below 8°C, often to 5°C. In summer, the highs rarely surpass 40°C, and lows drop to about 20°C. Rainfall is sparse, but sudden showers do cause harsh flooding. In a city near Cairo called New Cairo, the temperatures often drop below zero during winter. New Cairo’s weather is generally cooler than that of Cairo due to its higher altitude.
A panorama of the Nile showing Cairo tower in the middle and two major bridges on the far right and left.



Weather data for Cairo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31 (88) 33 (91) 38 (100) 45 (113) 47 (117) 47 (117) 43 (109) 43 (109) 42 (108) 43 (109) 38 (100) 38 (100) 47 (117)
Average high °C (°F) 18 (64) 19 (66) 23 (73) 27 (81) 32 (90) 35 (95) 36 (97) 35 (95) 32 (90) 29 (84) 24 (75) 20 (68) 27 (81)
Average low °C (°F) 8 (46) 9 (48) 11 (52) 14 (57) 17 (63) 20 (68) 21 (70) 22 (72) 20 (68) 18 (64) 14 (57) 10 (50) 15 (59)
Record low °C (°F) 2 (36) 2 (36) 3 (37) 6 (43) 9 (48) 13 (55) 16 (61) 17 (63) 14 (57) 11 (52) 6 (43) 1 (34) 1 (34)
Precipitation mm (inches) 5 (0.2) 5 (0.2) 5 (0.2) 3 (0.12) 3 (0.12) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (0.12) 5 (0.2) 29 (1.14)
Sunshine hours 217 224 279 300 310 360 372 341 300 279 240 186 3,408

Infrastructure

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Health

See also: List of hospitals in Egypt Cairo, as well as neighbouring Giza, has been established as Egypt’s main centre for medical treatment, and despite some exceptions, has the most advanced level of medical care in the country. Cairo’s hospitals include As-Salam International Hospital- Corniche El Nile; Maadi (Egypt’s largest private hospital with 350 beds), Ain Shams University Hospital, Dar El Fouad Hospital, as well as Qasr El Ainy General Hospital.

Education

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Cairo has long been the hub of education and educational services not only for Egypt but also for the whole Arab world. Today, Cairo is the center for many government offices governing the Egyptian educational system, has the largest number of educational schools, and higher learning institutes among other cities and governorates of Egypt.

Transportation

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Transportation in Cairo comprises an extensive road network, rail system, subway system, and maritime services. Road transport is facilitated by personal vehicles, taxi cabs, privately-owned public buses, andmicrobuses. Cairo, specifically Ramses Square, is the center of almost the entire Egyptian transportation network.
The subway system, officially called “Metro”, is a fast and efficient way of getting around Cairo. It can get very crowded during rush hour. Two train cars (the fourth and fifth ones) are reserved for women only, although women may ride in any car they want. An extensive road network connects Cairo with other Egyptian cities and villages. There is a new Ring Road that surrounds the outskirts of the city, with exits that reach outer Cairo districts. There are flyovers, and bridges such as the Sixth of October bridge that, when it doesn’t experience heavy traffic, allows fast means of transportation from one side of the city to the other. Cairo traffic is known to be overwhelming and overcrowded.Traffic moves at a relatively fluid pace. Drivers tend to be aggressive, but are more courteous at intersections, taking turns going, with police aiding intraffic control of some congested areas.

Sports

images (7) Football is the most popular sport in Egypt, and Cairo has a number of sporting teams that compete in national and regional leagues. The best known teams are Al-Ahly and El Zamalek, whose annual football tournament is perhaps the most watched sports event in Egypt as well as the African and Arabian World. Both teams are known as the “rivals” of Egyptian football, and are the first and the second champions in the African continent and the Arab World. Both teams play their home games at Cairo International Stadium or Naser Stadium , which is Cairo’s largest stadium and one of the largest stadiums in the world. The Cairo International Stadium was built in 1960 and its multi-purpose sports complex that houses the main football stadium, an indoor stadium, several satellite fields that held several regional, continental and global games, including the African Games, U17 Football World Championship and was one of the stadiums scheduled that hosted the 2006 African Nations Cup which was played in January, 2006 Egypt later won the competition and went on to win the next edition In Ghana (2008) making the Egyptian and Ghanaian national teams the only teams to win the African cup of nations Back to back which resulted in Egypt winning the title for a record number of six times in African Continental Competition’s history. Cairo failed at the applicant stage when bidding for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, which was hosted in Beijing, China. However, Cairo will host the Pan-Arab Games this year and next year. There are several other sports teams in the city that participate in several sports including el GeziraSporting Club, el Shams Club, el Seid Club, Heliopolis Club and several smaller clubs, but the biggest clubs in Egypt (not in area but in sports) are Al Zamalek & Al Ahly. They have the two biggest football teams in Egypt. Most of the sports federations of the country are also located in the city suburbs, including the Egyptian Football Association. The headquarters of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) was previously located in Cairo, before relocating to its new headquarters in 6 October City, a small city away from Cairo’s crowded districts. On October 2008, the Egyptian Rugby Federation was officially formed and granted membership into theInternational Rugby Board.

Culture

Over the ages, and as far back as four thousand years, Egypt stood as the land where civilizations have always met. The Pharaohs together with the Greeks and the Romans have left their imprints here.Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, led by Amr ibn al-A’as, introduced Islam into Egypt. KhediveMohammad Ali, with his Albanian family roots, put Egypt on the road to modernity. If anything, the cultural mix in this country is natural, given its heritage. Egypt can be likened to an open museum with monuments of the different historical periods on display everywhere.

Cairo Opera House

President Mubarak inaugurated the new Cairo Opera House of the Egyptian National Cultural Centers on October 10, 1988, seventeen years after the Royal Opera House had been destroyed by fire. The National Cultural Center was built with the help of JICA, the Japan International Co-operation Agency and stands as a prominent feature for the Japanese-Egyptian co-operation and the friendship between these two nations. Egypt is proud to be the only state in the region which built two opera houses within a century.

Khedivial Opera House

The Khedivial Opera House or Royal Opera House was the original opera house in Cairo, Egypt. It was dedicated on November 1, 1869 and burned down on October 28, 1971. After the original opera house was destroyed, Cairo was without an opera house for nearly two decades until the opening of the new Cairo Opera House in 1988.
Cairo International Film Festival
Egypt’s love of the arts in general can be traced back to the rich heritage bequeathed by the Pharaohs. In modern times, Egypt has enjoyed a strong cinematic tradition since the art of filmmaking was first developed, early in the 20th century. A natural progression from the active theatre scene of the time, cinema rapidly evolved into a vast motion picture industry. This together with the much older music tradition, raised Egypt to become the cultural capital of the Arab world. For more than 500 years of recorded history, Egypt has fascinated the West and inspired its creative talents from play writer William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist John Dryden, and novelist and poetLawrence Durrell to film producer Cecil B. de Mille. Since the silent movies Hollywood has been capitalizing on the box-office returns that come from combining Egyptian stories with visual effects. Egypt has also been a fount of Arabic literature, producing some of the 20th century’s greatest Arab writers such as Taha Hussein and -decoration: underline ;”>Tawfiq al-Hakim to Nobel Laureate, novelistNaguib Mahfouz. Each of them has written for the cinema. With these credentials, it was clear that Cairo should aim to hold an international film festival. This dream came true on Monday August 16, 1976, when the first Cairo International Film Festival was launched by the Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics, headed by Kamal El-Mallakh. The Association ran the festival for seven years until 1983. This achievement leads to the President of the Festival again contacting the FIAPF with the request that a competition should be included at the 1991 Festival. The request was granted. In 1998, the Festival took place under the presidency of one of Egypt’s leading actors, Hussein Fahmy, who was appointed by the Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, after the death of Saad El-Din Wahba. Four years later, the journalist and writer Cherif El-Shoubashy became president. For 29 years, the home of the Pyramids and Nile has hosted international superstars like Nicolas Cage ,John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Bud Spencer, Gina Lollobrigida, Ornella Mutti, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Victoria Abril, Elizabeth Taylor, Shashi Kapoor, Alain Delon, Greta Scacchi, Catherine Deneuve,Peter O’Toole, Christopher Lee, Irene Pappas, Marcello Mastroianni, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Alicia Silverstone and Omar Sharif, as well as great directors like Robert Wise, Elia Kazan, Vanessa Redgrave,Oliver Stone, Roland Joffe, Carlos Saura, Ismail Merchant and Michel Angelo Antonioni, in an annual celebration and examination of the state of cinema in the world today.

Cairo Geniza

The Cairo Geniza is an accumulation of almost 200,000 Jewish manuscripts that were found in the genizah of the Ben Ezra synagogue (built 882) of Fostat, Egypt (now Old Cairo), the Basatin cemetery east of Old Cairo, and a number of old documents that were bought in Cairo in the later 19th century. These documents were written from about 870 to as late as 1880 AD and have now been archived in various American and European libraries. The Taylor-Schechter collection in the University of Cambridgeruns to 140,000 manuscripts; there are a further 40,000 manuscripts at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Al-Azhar Park
Inaugurated in May 2005, Al-Azhar Park is located adjacent to Cairo’s Darb al-Ahmar district. The Park was created by the Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP) of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), an entity of the Aga Khan Development Network, and was a gift to Cairo from His Highness the Aga Khan. It is interesting to note that the city of Cairo was founded in the year 969 by the Fatimid Imam-Caliphs who were ancestors of the Aga Khan.

Azhar Park overviewing the Cairo Citadel
During the development of the park, a part of the 12th century Ayyubid wall was discovered and subsequently restored. The wall had originally been built by Salah al-Din al-Ayubbi as a defence against the crusaders. The discovery prompted additional research into the nearby historic neighborhood of Darb al-Ahmar, and eventually led to a major project encompassing the restoration of several mosques, palaces and historic houses. The HCSP also established social and economic programs to provide a wide range of assistance for local residents.

Media

Egyptian Media Production City in Cairo
The 6th of October city-based Media Production city ( MPC) is the biggest ever built information and media complex, which, together with the Egyptian media satellites “Nilesat 101”, “Nilesat 102”, will allow Egypt to step into the new world of the 21st century. Thereby, Cairo will be well-qualified and well-equipped to maintain its pioneering role in the field of satellite television
Old buildings in Downtown Cairo. In the center is the statue ofTalaat Pasha Harb, the father of the modern Egyptian economy
Cairo is also in every respect the center of Egypt, as it has been almost since its founding in 969 AD. 15% of all Egyptians live there. The majority of the nation’s commerce is generated there, or passes through the city. The great majority of publishing houses and media outlets and nearly all film studios are there, as are half of the nation’s hospital beds and universities. This has fueled rapid construction in the city—one building in five is less than 15 years old. This astonishing growth until recently surged well ahead of city services. Homes, roads, electricity, telephone and sewer services were all suddenly in short supply. Analysts trying to grasp the magnitude of the change coined terms like “hyper-urbanization”.

The Egyptian Museum

Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display, with many more hundreds of thousands in its basement storerooms

Khan El-Khalili

Khan el-Khalili is for many the most entertaining part of Cairo. It is an ancient shopping area, nothing less, but some of the shops have also their own little factories or workshops.
The suq (which is the Arabic name for bazaar, or market) dates back to 1382, when Emir Djaharks el-Khalili built a big caravanserai (or khan) right here. A caravanserai was a sort of hotel for traders, and usually the focal point for economic activity for any surrounding area. This caravanserai is still there, you just ask for the narrow street of Sikka Khan el-Khalili and Badestan.

Old Cairo

Cairo Cafe

The part of Cairo that contains Coptic Cairo and Fostat, which contains the Coptic Museum, Babylon Fortress, Hanging Church, the Greek Church of St. George, many other Coptic churches, the Ben Ezra Synagogue and Amr ibn al-‘As Mosque.

Cairo Tower

The Cairo Tower is a free-standing concrete TV tower in Cairo. It stands in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island in the Nile River, in the city centre. At 187 meters, it is 43 meters higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza, which stands some 15 km to the southwest. Cairo also has many unregistered lead and copper smelters which heavily pollute the city. The results of this has been a permanent haze over the city with particulate matter in the air reaching over three times normal levels. It is estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 people a year in Cairo die due to air pollution-related diseases. Lead has been shown to cause harm to the central nervous system and neurotoxicity particularly in children. In 1995, the first environmental acts were introduced and the situation has seen some improvement with 36 air monitoring stations and emissions tests on cars. 20,000 buses have also been commissioned to the city to improve congestion levels, which are very high. The city also suffers from a high level of land pollution. Cairo produces 10,000 tons of rubbish each day, 4,000 tons of which is not collected or managed. This once again is a huge health hazard and the Egyptian Government is looking for ways to combat this. The Cairo Cleaning and Beautification Agency was founded to collect and recycle the rubbish; however, they also work with the Zabbaleen (orZabaleen), a community that has been collecting and recycling Cairo’s rubbish since the turn of the 20th century and live in an area known locally as Manshiyat naser. Both are working together to pick up as much rubbish as possible within the city limits, though it remains a pressing problem. The city also suffers from water pollution as the sewer system tends to fail and overflow. On occasion, sewage has escaped onto the streets to create a health hazard. This problem is hoped to be solved by a new sewer system funded by the European Union, which could cope with the demand of the city. The dangerously high levels of mercury in the city’s water system has global health officials concerned over related health risks. There is also more concern about environmental issues among Egyptians than before. There is now general awareness and some projects are laid down to help make the public aware of the importance of clean environment.

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Press Conference on Medinet Madi: The Past, the Present and the Future

June 11, 2015June 11, 2015
On October 14, 2010 the SCA will hold a conference entitled: Medinet Madi: The Past, the Present and the Future --Shedding Light on the Scientific Work in the Archaeological Site of Medinet Madi at the Ahmed Pasha Kamel Hall at the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The event will be hosted by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Italian Embassy and the UTL Office in Cairo. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Vice Minister of Culture, and HE Claudio Pacifico, Ambassador of Italy, will give opening speeches. This conference is being organized under the ISSEMM Project (Institutional Support to Supreme Council of Antiquities for Environmental Monitoring and Management of the Cultural Heritage Sites). The ISSEMM project aims to improve the management of archaeological sites in Egypt and its efforts have been applied on the case studies of North Saqqara Necropolis and Fayoum Oasis. This conference will focus on the project’s efforts at the site of Medinet Madi in the Fayoum Oasis. The ISSEMM Project began in 2005 and expanded to include training courses and on site administration in January 2009. It is acting withinn the framework of the Egyptian-Italian Environmental Cooperation Program Phase II, which is one of the international channels through which the Government of Egypt implements policies and actions to support and enhance cultural and environmental national heritage. The ISSEMM Project is entirely funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Directorate General for the Development Cooperation, who have allotted €3,500,000 to the budget. The Project is directed by His Excellency, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass, and the Scientific Committee is chaired by Prof. Edda Bresciani, Accademica dei Lincei, and Prof. Ali Radwan. The Scientific Committee is supported by a Technical Director, as well as an Egyptian – Italian team of technical managers. The University of Pisa, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche del Mondo Antico, has been appointed with the task of technical and scientific assistance to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which is the Implementing Agency of the project. The site of Medinet Madi: The ruins of Medinet Madi contain a considerable number of monuments, including the only temple of the Middle Kingdom - with texts and engraved scenes – still remaining in Egypt. Achille Vogliano discovered this temple (Temple A) and the Greco-Roman additions, dated to the 4th-5th century, in 1935. Medinet Madi was founded in the Middle Kingdom as an agricultural village called Dja. The temple was constructed during the reigns of Amenemaht III and Amenemaht IV, and was dedicated to the cobra goddess, Renenutet, and the crocodile god “Sobek of Scedet” - patron of the entire region and the capitol, Scedet. During the Ptolemaic period, Dja became known as Narmouthis, a Greek name meaning “the city of Renenutet-Hermouthis.” Its temple flourished and more monuments were built north and south of the 12th Dynasty temple. Medinet Madi saw intense settlement during the Coptic period and life continued on the site into the 9th century. The Arabs called it Medinet Madi “the city of the past” and this is the name that still identifies the archaeological site today. The University of Pisa has carried out exploration of Medinet Madi since 1978. They have focused their work in the southern or Coptic area and to date have identified ten churches dating to the 5th – 7th century. These finds have been extremely important in understanding the history of Fayoum’s ecclesiastical architecture. Thanks to a contribution from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004, the Pisa mission was able to rescue blocks containing four Greek hymns to Isis. They were fully restored and are now on display at the Museum of Karanis. Archaeological expeditions conducted between 1997 and 2004, in collaboration with the University of Messina, uncovered a new Ptolemaic temple (Temple C) dedicated to the worship of two crocodiles. A unique feature of the temple is a barrel-vaulted structure adjoining the temple, which was used for the incubation of crocodile eggs. In recent years, methodical topographical survey, photo-interpretation of the site and geophysical exploration has contributed to an understanding of the urban tissue of the ancient village. These surveys also created a chronological stratification of the site from the Middle Kingdom to the Late Byzantine Period.

Press Release – Egyptian/Chinese Agreement for Cultural Repatriation

June 11, 2015
On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Egypt and China will sign a collaborative agreement for the Protection and Restitution of Stolen Cultural Property Transferred Illicitly. Shan Jixiang, General Director of Chinese State Administration of Heritage, and Dr. Zahi Hawass will sign then agreement tomorrow at the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ (SCA) offices in Zamalek. This will be the sixteenth agreement signed between Egypt and other countries to prohibit illicit trade in antiquities and the protection of the cultural heritage. Other countries that have signed similar agreements include: Jordan, Italy, Switzerland, Cuba and Ecuador. Hawass said that the agreement reflects the duty of each country to protect its cultural heritage and their obligation to stand against illicit antiquities trafficking. The agreement highlights the regulation and articles of the 1970’s UNESCO convention that prohibits the importing, exporting and possession transferring of cultural properties. The Chinese-Egyptian collaboration began after China’s attendance at the first annual Conference on International Cooperation for the Protection and Repatriation of Cultural Heritage last April. This conference focused on the restitution of cultural and archaeological objects, which had been illegally smuggled out of their homelands. Ashraf El-Ashmawi, SCA legal consultant, said that the article of the agreement stipulates the prohibition of antiquities trade, importing or transferring the possession of cultural, art, historical and archaeological properties and the prohibition of its illegal entrance into other countries. The article also provides guidelines for the safe return of any antiquity to its native country. El-Ashmawi continued that the agreement also prohibits the illicit entry of any plant or animal species without the required licenses. He also pointed out that this agreement with China is very important because China is currently one of the greatest markets for illegally traded antiquities.

Press Release – Egyptian/Chinese Agreement for Cultural Repatriation

June 11, 2015
On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Egypt and China will sign a collaborative agreement for the Protection and Restitution of Stolen Cultural Property Transferred Illicitly. Shan Jixiang, General Director of Chinese State Administration of Heritage, and Dr. Zahi Hawass will sign then agreement tomorrow at the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ (SCA) offices in Zamalek. This will be the sixteenth agreement signed between Egypt and other countries to prohibit illicit trade in antiquities and the protection of the cultural heritage. Other countries that have signed similar agreements include: Jordan, Italy, Switzerland, Cuba and Ecuador. Hawass said that the agreement reflects the duty of each country to protect its cultural heritage and their obligation to stand against illicit antiquities trafficking. The agreement highlights the regulation and articles of the 1970’s UNESCO convention that prohibits the importing, exporting and possession transferring of cultural properties. The Chinese-Egyptian collaboration began after China’s attendance at the first annual Conference on International Cooperation for the Protection and Repatriation of Cultural Heritage last April. This conference focused on the restitution of cultural and archaeological objects, which had been illegally smuggled out of their homelands. Ashraf El-Ashmawi, SCA legal consultant, said that the article of the agreement stipulates the prohibition of antiquities trade, importing or transferring the possession of cultural, art, historical and archaeological properties and the prohibition of its illegal entrance into other countries. The article also provides guidelines for the safe return of any antiquity to its native country. El-Ashmawi continued that the agreement also prohibits the illicit entry of any plant or animal species without the required licenses. He also pointed out that this agreement with China is very important because China is currently one of the greatest markets for illegally traded antiquities.

Dr. Hawass receives the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver with Star

June 11, 2015
On October 4th Dr. Zahi Hawass received one of the highest honors of Austria: the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver with Star.

Hathor statues prepared for display in the Sharm el-Sheikh National Museum

June 11, 2015
Hathor statues prepared for display in the Sharm el-Sheikh National Museum The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is removing remains of six statues of the goddess Hathor from their permanent location at Serabit El-Khadim temple located at Abu Zeneima in South Sinai. The statues are being moved to the Qantara Sharq galleries for restoration. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, announced that one of these statues had gone missing from its original location inside the temple, but thankfully it was later found inside one of the turquoise mines in the area. Hawass stated that these statues will be included in the collection of the Sharm El-Sheikh National Museum, which will be completed next year. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, Head of the Central Administration of Lower Egypt Antiquities, said that the statues are made of limestone and weigh 250 kilos a piece. The Serabit Al-Khadim temple is a very important pharaonic religious center where the goddess Hathor was worshipped. The temple was built in the Twelfth Dynasty and is located in an area opposite a number of turquoise mines. A group of four meter tall engraved memorials, each weighing five tons, also surround the temple. The temple is located 1,100 meters above sea level and requires a three hour climb through the mountains to reach it. The temple is guarded 24 hours a day by Bedouin guards, as well as ten archaeological inspectors. It is only because of the high level of security at the site that the stolen statue was so quickly recovered. Dr. Hawass said that the temple is currently undergoing a comprehensive restoration and development program in order to conserve the temple.

New statue of Amenhotep III uncovered!

June 11, 2015

New statue of Amenhotep III uncovered!

alt The upper part of a granite double statue of king Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC) was unearthed at Kom El-Hittan in the wes bank of Luxor. Kom el-Hittan is the site of the temple of Amenhotep III, which was once the largest temple on Luxor’s west bank. The temple originally had two entrances: one on the eastern side where the Colossi of Memnon reside, and one at the northern side, where the double statue was located. The statue was found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian team of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny reported that the statue depicts Amenhotep III seated on a throne accompanied by the Theban god, Amun. The king wears the double crown of Egypt, which is decorated with a uraeus. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, remarked that the statue is one of the best new finds in the area because of its expert craftsmanship, which reflect the skills of the ancient Egyptian artisans. Dr. Hawass pointed out that King Amenhotep III is well known thanks to the overwhelming amount of statuary, which feature him in groupings with different deities, such as Amun-Re, Re-Horakhti, Bastet and Sobek. The latter statue is now a masterpiece of the Luxor museum. Since this new find is the third of such double statues to be discovered at the site of Kom el-Hittan, it is possible that a large cache for King Amenhotep III’s statuary may have been buried in the area. Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector of the SCA, said that the statue is the second of its kind to be found in the area. A similar statue was previously unearthed, which showed the king seated beside the solar god, Re-Horakhti. He continued that the mission also found a statue of the god of wisdom, Thoth, carved in the likeness of a monkey. Mr. Abdel Ghaffar, head of the mission said that the newly discovered statue of Amenhotep III is 130 cm tall and 95 cm wide. Excavations are now focusing on unearthing the rest of the statue.

St. George’s Church, Coptic Cairo

June 11, 2015
This image depicts the ceiling of the Church of St. George in Coptic Cairo. The church is Greek Orthodox and is located next to a monastery. St. George, or Mar Girgis in Arabic, is a very highly venerated saint in Egypt, particularly because he was martyred in Palestine in 303AD. A church has been dedicated to St. George in Coptic Cairo since the 10th century, but the modern building dates to 1909. (Photo: Meghan E. Strong)

Meeting with Queen Sophia of Spain

June 11, 2015
Meeting with Queen Sophia of Spain During a recent visit to Spain, Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), met Queen Sophia of Spain at the royal palace in Madrid. Dr. Hawass brought a special edition copy of his latest book, A Secret Voyage, as a gift for Queen Sophia, which was engraved with a special plaque to commemorate the occasion. Queen Sophia was so delighted that she decided to display it as a piece of art for the palace’s visitors. Dr. Hawass signs a limited edition copy of A Secret Voyage for Queen Sophia (Photo: Courtesy of the Spanish Royal House photographer/Borja) Dr. Hawass offered the first copy of A Secret Voyage to President Hosni Mubarak for his many contributions to Egypt and the Egyptian people. The second copy will be given to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Dr. Hawass will also offer copies to a few select international figures. In addition to meeting with Queen Sophia, Dr. Hawass presented his first lecture in Spain entitled “My Discoveries” at the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid. The 1,700 seat venue was completely sold out for the event. Dr. Hawass presents his lecture, "My Discoveries," to a full audience at the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid During the lecture, Francisco Lara, a representative of the APFOA -la Plataforma para el Fomento de los Oficios Artísticos, announced that Dr. Hawass had been chosen as the 2010 Personality of the Year for his many contributions to the field of Egyptology.

Chasing Mummies

June 11, 2015
Chasing Mummies series comes to an end Over the past ten weeks, I have had the pleasure of sharing the beautiful monuments of ancient Egypt with all of you through the History Channel's series Chasing Mummies. This show gave me the opportunity to tell the world about the latest discoveries, the newest excavations and the wonders of Egypt. I have so greatly appreciated the positive feedback that I've gotten from my fans and I hope that I have inspired some of your to pursue a career in Egyptology. In the official report from the History Channel, more than 41 million Americans tuned in to watch Chasing Mummies. This was unprecedented exposure for Egyptology and brought archaeology to a whole new demographic of viewers. I hope that you were not only inspired to learn more about Egyptian culture and history, but that you will consider traveling to Egypt to view these monuments for yourself! Chasing Mummies also enjoyed the most media exposure of any series that I have ever been apart of including: a satellite radio and tv tour; an appearance on The Today Show, ABC News, Fox News and Inside Edition; trailer events in movie theaters across America; and countless posters, billboards and kiosks. I wish I could include all the wonderful comments that I have received about this show but I wanted to share one of them here: "The History Channel's television series, Chasing Mummies, has come to an end...we sat glued to the television for each episode every Wednesday for the last two months. It was terrific. It gave people who watched it a fascinating introduction to Egyptian history and the amazing archaeological work that you lead today. We couldn't help but be entertained and educated at the same time by each episode of the show." -John Morris Thank you all again for your support and continuing interest in my beautiful country, Egypt.

Abu Rawash

June 11, 2015
The pyramid of Djedefre is located in Abu Rawash, about eight kilometers north of Giza. Djedefre, the son of Khufu, ascended the throne after his father’s death. We know that Djedefre was Khufu’s heir because his name was found in cartouches on the limestone blocks covering the boat of Khufu. Djedefre, the first pharaoh to bear the title ‘Son of Re’, chose this location for his tomb in order to be closer to Heliopolis, the center of the Sun Cult. It has also been suggested that Djedefre’s move from the necropolis of Giza to Abu Rawash may have taken place in order to reduce the risk of destruction. Recent excavation of the site has proved that there was no destruction of the site during the Old Kingdom. There is evidence to suggest that the original construction of Djedefre’s pyramid was for a step pyramid that was completed during his reign. The Swiss expedition that worked on the site believed that the angle of the pyramid was 52 degrees. The pyramid was surround by a wall, and its funerary temple was built using mud brick. The workmen’s shops were built on the north end of the wall, and there was a boat pit on the south side. The pyramid had a long causeway that stretched out for about 1700m. The pyramid of Djedefre is a quarter of the size of the pyramid of Khufu, but the height of the Abu Rawash plateau is 20m higher than the Giza Plateau. The Swiss expedition discovered a pyramid of a queen, located to the southeast of the main pyramid. In addition to the many excavation projects, the SCA is developing a site management plan for Abu Rawash.

The pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Rawash

June 11, 2015
The pyramid of Djedefre is located in Abu Rawash, about eight kilometers north of Giza. Djedefre, the son of Khufu, ascended the throne after his father’s death. We know that Djedefre was Khufu’s heir because his name was found in cartouches on the limestone blocks covering the boat of Khufu. Djedefre, the first pharaoh to bear the title ‘Son of Re’, chose this location for his tomb in order to be closer to Heliopolis, the center of the Sun Cult. It has also been suggested that Djedefre’s move from the necropolis of Giza to Abu Rawash may have taken place in order to reduce the risk of destruction. Recent excavation of the site has proved that there was no destruction of the site during the Old Kingdom. There is evidence to suggest that the original construction of Djedefre’s pyramid was for a step pyramid that was completed during his reign. The Swiss expedition that worked on the site believed that the angle of the pyramid was 52 degrees. The pyramid was surround by a wall, and its funerary temple was built using mud brick. The workmen’s shops were built on the north end of the wall, and there was a boat pit on the south side. The pyramid had a long causeway that stretched out for about 1700m. The pyramid of Djedefre is a quarter of the size of the pyramid of Khufu, but the height of the Abu Rawash plateau is 20m higher than the Giza Plateau. The Swiss expedition discovered a pyramid of a queen, located to the southeast of the main pyramid. In addition to the many excavation projects, the SCA is developing a site management plan for Abu Rawash.

Tomb of Karakhamun found by Egyptian-American team

June 11, 2015
An Egyptian-American expedition has found the burial chamber of a priest named Karakhamun (TT223). The tomb dates to Dynasty 25 (c. 755BC) and was uncovered during conservation and restoration work on the west bank of Luxor. Entrance to tomb of Karakhamun Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture, announced this discovery today and added that the restoration work of this tomb is part of a much larger initiative, known as the South Asasif Conservation Project (ACP). The el-Asasif area is a very important site, which contains nobles’ tombs from the New Kingdom as well as the 25-26th Dynasties.Submit Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the team found the burial chamber of Karakhamun at the bottom of an 8m deep burial shaft. The chamber is in very good condition and contains beautifully painted scenes. The entrance to the chamber is decorated with an image of Karakhamun and the ceiling is decorated with several astrological scenes, including a depiction of the The leader of the expedition, Dr. Elena Pischikova, said that the tomb of priest Karakhamun was discovered in the 19th century in an unstable condition. It continued to deteriorate, and only parts of it were accessible to visitors in the early 1970s. It later collapsed and was buried under the sand. Dr. Pischikova’s team rediscovered the tomb in 2006 and has been carrying out conservation work since then. She believes that the tomb of Karakhamun could be one of the most beautiful tombs from Dynasty 25 because of the preservation of the color and the unique quality of the scenes. Painted ceiling of Karakhamun's burial chamber. This scene depicts the sky goddess, Nut. sky goddess, Nut Painted astrological scenes from the ceiling of Karakhamun's burial chamber)

Lecture in Frankfurt in One Week!

June 11, 2015
Lecture by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Vice Minister of Culture of Egypt, will present… My Adventures in Archaeology on September 10, 2010 at 7PM at the Hotel InterContinental in Frankfurt, Germany In a 90-minute multimedia lecture, Dr. Zahi Hawass will address the focus of his research, including the mysteries of Tutankhamun, the search for the grave of Queen Nefertiti, new findings in the Valley of the Kings and the search for the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Dr. Hawass will also discuss his work on the pyramid complex of Sahure at Abusir. Biographical anecdotes and personal experiences from many years of his scientific activities will also be included. Zahi Hawass was born in 1947 in Al-Ubaydiyah, Egypt. In 1967 he completed his study of Greek and Roman Archaeology in Alexandria with a Bachelor. He received his diploma in Egyptology from Cairo University in 1980. With the help of a Fulbright scholarship, studied Egyptology and Zahi Hawass Syro-Palestinian Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he received his doctorate in 1987th Since 1988, informed Hawass Egyptian archeology, history and culture, primarily at the American University in Cairo and the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1998 he was appointed undersecretary for the monuments at Giza. Since 2002, Hawass Secretary General of the Egyptian Antiquities Service (Supreme Council of Antiquities, SCA). In addition to his duties as Secretary General, he currently serves as director of excavations for different projects - it is dedicated to the third pyramid at Giza (Pyramid of Menkaure), the Valley Temple of Chephren at Giza and the tombs of the superintendent southeast of the Sphinx. In recent years he has, among other intensively with Pharaoh Tutankhamun. To determine the cause of death of the Pharaoh, he was on 6 January 2005 whose mummy computed tomography study. Hawass in 2010 by the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appointed as Vice-Minister of Culture. Cost: Free Meeting point: Hotel InterContinental, Frankfurt Wilhelm-Leuschner-Straße 43 To reserve a seat please call: 069-650049-110 or visit: liebieghaus.de

Chasing Mummies event in Los Angeles!

June 11, 2015
CHASING MUMMIES ONTHE BIG SCREEN

In History Channel's hit reality series "Chasing Mummies," cameras follow closely as legendary Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and his cadre of fellows unearth astonishing finds and tackle some of the world's greatest archaeological challenges. David Cheetham, archaeologist and star of Chasing Mummies, will be on hand for a brief lecture and Q&A with the audience. "Chasing Mummies," Episode 5: SUNKEN. Zahi has finally permitted archaeologists from the Hellenic Institute to dive into the Mediterranean Sea and bring up a relic confirmed to be part of Cleopatra’s historic shrine. But with the persistent problems of permits and an impending storm approaching, Zahi's fury is felt by all the incompetent people working to get this 2000-year-old pylon out of Alexandria's Eastern Harbor. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED BY: THE MUMMY, 1932, Universal, Dir. Karl Freund. Boris Karloff gives one of his finest performances as the 3000-year-old Egyptian who returns from the dead to reclaim reincarnated love Zita Johann, in cinematographer-turned-director Karl Freund’s marvelously atmospheric chiller - easily the best of many mummy films to come. Lecture and discussion between films with archaeologist David Cheetham. TICKETS AVAILABLE at Fandango.com and the Aero Theater Box Office. $12 general / $8 students and Cinematheque members. Further information: New Discoveries at Taposiris Magna

New settlement discovered in Kharga Oasis

June 11, 2015
New settlement discovered in Kharga Oasis The American-Egyptian mission from Yale University has stumbled upon what appears to be the remains of a substantial settlement. The city is a thousand years earlier than the major surviving ancient remains at the Umm Mawagir area in Kharga Oasis. View of an excavated bakery at the settlement. Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced that the settlement is dated to the Second Intermediate Period (ca.1650-1550 BC) and was discovered during excavation work as part of the Theban Desert Road Survey. This project serves to investigate and map the ancient desert routes in the Western desert. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the newly discovered settlement is 1km long from north to south and 250m wide from east to west. It lies along the bustling caravan routes connecting the Nile Valley of Egypt and the western oasis with points as far as Darfur in western Sudan. Hawass continued that archaeological evidence at the site indicated that its inhabitants were part of an administrative center and they were engaged in baking on a massive scale. Dr. John Coleman Darnell, head of the Yale mission, said that during excavations remains of large administrative mudbrick structures were found. These buildings consisted of rooms and halls similar to administrative buildings previously found in several sites in the Nile Valley. These sites may have been used as a lookout post as part of the administrative center of the settlement. Part of an ancient bakery was also found with two ovens and a potter’s wheel, used to make the ceramic bread molds in which the bread was baked. The amount of remains from the debris dumps outside the bakery suggest that the settlement produced a food surplus and may have even been feeding an army. Excavating bakery complex at Umm Mawagir Dr. Deborah Darnell, co-director of the mission, said that early studies on the site revealed that the settlement began during the Middle Kingdom (2134-1569 BC) and lasted to the beginning of the New Kingdom (1569-1081 BC). However the site was at its peak from the late Middle Kingdom (1786-1665 BC) to the Second Intermediate Period (1600-1569 BC).

The Hibis Temple in Kharga Oasis

June 11, 2015
The Hibis temple is oriented along an east-west axis and consists of a pylon, open court, pillared hall and sanctuary. The temple would have originally also had a lake and boat quay along its eastern side. The lake would have allowed access to the temple for festival purposes. Today the first thing a visitor encounters at the temple is the outer or Roman gate that contains several Greek inscriptions. The most important one is the decree that was by the Roman governor, Tiberius Julius Alexander during the second year of the reign of Emperor Galba (69AD). The decree outlines the raising of taxes, the state of Kharga’s economy and the oasis’ system of administration. It was this gate that was moved from the old location to the new location. After the outer gate is a sphinx avenue, then a Ptolemaic gate, then a Persian gate that dates to the reign of King Darius I. The Persian gate is followed by the open court, which dates to the Thirtieth Dynasty during the reigns of Nectanbeo I and II. The court bears inscriptions and offerings scenes dedicated to different gods and goddesses. After the open court is the pillared hall that contains 12 pillars from the reign of Achoris (Twenty-ninth Dynasty). At the back of the pillared hall is a smaller rectangular room that leads to the sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary is a small open court supported by four pillars. Surrounding this court is a series of small rooms, which would have been used for storage of the implements used in the daily temple ritual. The sanctuary of the temple is the oldest and most important part and is decorated with 569 different gods and goddesses. On the northern wall of the sanctuary are the gods and goddesses of Lower Egypt, while the deities of Upper Egypt are depicted on the southern wall. The western wall has a group of deities from Thebes and Heliopolis, including Osiris, Isis and Horus, as well as the Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu to which the temple is dedicated. A small chapel on the roof is also dedicated to the god Osiris and to the southwest side of the temple is a mammisi, or birth house. Beginning in 1909, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was responsible for excavations at the Hibis temple. Their work resulted in three important volumes, which included translations of the inscriptions on the walls. After the Metropolitan Museum left the site, an Egyptian team continued to uncover and record buried parts of the temple until 1986. The reason that I went for the first time to visit Kharga oasis was because the SCA decided that the Hibis temple had to be moved from its current location, because the soil composition of the land was very weak and the temple was in danger of collapse. Because of this, the SCA began to organize a salvage program that would move the temple to another location 2km away from the original site. Aerial view of Kharga Oasis (Photo: Kenneth Garrett) From the first time I visited the site I could see that if the temple was moved it would be destroyed. The reliefs and the stone blocks were badly restored in the past and were very fragile. I sat down with the architects and engineers who wanted to move the temple and they explained to me two main reasons why they wanted to move the temple: 1. In order to keep the temple in its current location, the area would need extensive work to be consolidated. 2. They were afraid that the surrounding agricultural area would continue to encroach on the temple and it would be ruined. However, several other engineers believed that the temple could be restored in its current location and that to prevent far more extensive damage it should definitely not be moved. Unfortunately, the first gate of the temple had already been cut and moved! We immediately wrote to the Minister of Culture and stopped the work under his decree. I still think that this is one of the best decisions I ever made as Secretary General. Today the temple is beautifully restored and remains in its original location. To avoid problems from the surrounding agricultural fields, the SCA bought all the land around the temple to provide a safe zoning area. We are in the process of lighting

Stolen artifact returned to Egypt!

June 11, 2015
Today Egypt recovered a Greco-Roman bust from Canada! Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced that the bust had been illegally smuggled out of Egypt but that the Canadian authorities were giving their full cooperation to repatriate the artifact. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the bust would be handed over to the Egyptian ambassador to Canada, Shamel Nasser, who will then send the bust back to its homeland of Egypt. Hawass explained that the object is a 13 cm tall marble bust that has been stored at the Heritage Canada Foundation since Canadian Police confiscated it in 2007. Following several negotiations between Egypt and Canada, the bust is finally being returned. Ambassador Nasser said that the recovery of this bust highlights the strong friendship and cooperation between Egypt and Canada.

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo opened a new temporary exhibit entitled: Coins

June 11, 2015
The Egyptian Museum, Cairo opened a new temporary exhibit entitled: Coins Through the Ages on August 10. Over the past eight years the Egyptian Museum has hosted a series of temporary exhibitions, the most recent of which focused on five artifacts which were repatriated to Egypt. The temporary exhibition space (Hall 44) has also hosted a series of exhibits on excavations under the direction of foreign teams. This includes teams from America, France, Poland and the Netherlands. This exhibition was curated by Sayed Hassan, who did an excellent job and will be working with the new Egyptian Museum in Rome. I'm including here the text from the brochure that will be handed out during the exhibit. Before the invention of money, people bartered their surplus crops and cattle amongst themselves to obtain necessary commodities. The invention of coins provided the means to transition from a barter system to a monetary system. Metal coins are divisible, variable in form, convenient for trade with foreign markets and can be saved for use at a later time. The first people to invent a coinage-system were the Lydians of Asia Minor in the second half of the 7th century B.C. The rich Greek merchants int he city-states on the western coast of Asia Minor adopted the Lydians' weight-system and began to issue oval ingots, stamped with seals to guarantee weight and purity. After ca. 600 B.C. coinage rapidly spread to Greece, and there, owing to improved techniques, coins developed into a splendid quality. Croesus, king of Lydia (560-546 B.C.) was the first to strike coins in gold and silver. During the pharaonic period, gold, silver and bronze rings and large bronze ingots were sometimes used in the barter system. When the Persians first came to Egypt (525 B.C.) they brought their coins with them. The Egyptians treated these coins as ingots, valuing them based on their weight in metal and sometimes melting the coins for other uses. In the 30th dynasty, the Egyptians revolted against the Persians, and Nectanebo and his son Tachos, struck Athenian coins to pay the Greek soldiers who helped fight the Persians. The coins were also used in transactions with Asian merchants. These famous coins were called the nwb-nfr coins based on the two hieroglyphic signs on the obverse (or front surface), meaning "fine gold." These rare coins, which bore a picture of a horse on the revers (or back surface), are now representative of the transition from barter to coinage in Egypt. The nwb-nfr coins were still likely to have been used in the barter system as well as in a monetary fashion with foreigners since the ancient Egyptians had not yet adopted a monetary trade system. When Alexander the Great came to Egypt in 332 B.C. he considered himself a successor to the pharaohs. During his reign, the typical coin bore depictions of deities or religious symbols. Alexander's image appeared on coins after his death in 323 B.C. In this image he was portrayed as a deity or a hero on the obverse, while Zeus was represented on the reverse. In approximately 306 B.C. the Governor became an independent ruler and shortly thereafter the first coinage of an independent Egypt was created. When Ptolemy I proclaimed himself to be the king of Egypt, he struck his own coins of gold, silver and bronze. On the obverse was the head of Ptolemy I and on the reverse was an eagle on a thunderbolt, both symbols of Zeus. Around the edge of this scene appeared the king's name in Greek characters. During the Roman era, beginning with the reign of Augustus, Egypt had special coins, known as Alexandrian coins. These coins were named after the city in which they were minted and they were restricted to use within Egypt only. These Roman coins also had Greek inscriptions. The obverse showed a depiction of the emperor's head; the revers, beginning in the 3rd century A.D., bore representations of various Egyptian, Greek and Roman deities. After the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 A.D., the name of the minting location was changed into Arabic script on the coins.

Howard Carter’s House Howard Carter’s House Luxor

June 11, 2015
Howard Carter's House and Luxor Howard Carter’s house is located on the west bank of Luxor just before you enter the Valley of the Kings. Unfortunately, it was neglected for a long time and was not being used for anything except collecting dust. Dr. Zahi Hawass decided that this was unacceptable and that the house of Howard Carter should be returned to its former glory Dr. Zahi Hawass designated a team to develop this area to think of how it could be used in the future as a valuable asset for the Valley of the Kings. Dr. Zahi Hawass hired an excellent architect who has transformed the run-down house into a beautiful museum. Tourists can now walk through Carter’s kitchen, dining room, bedroom, office and photography studio. The most impressive thing is a film with a real Howard Carter lecturing you. This 20 minute film is presented by a holographic Howard Carter who transports you back to the time of the discovery and shares the excitement of the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Around the same time that the Carter House project started, Dr. Zahi Hawass began a very important project with a foreign team to make laser scanning of three tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The three tombs are: Seti I, Tutankhamun and Nefertari. Dr. Zahi Hawass chose these tombs because they are unique and can never be repeated again. Therefore we have to preserve them. Currently the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens are visited by thousands of tourists each year. If this situation is not changed the tombs will be Office of Howard Carter with his original paperwork from the excavation of Tutankhamen's tomb irreversibly damaged and eventually completely destroyed Dr. Zahi Hawass plan then is to finish the laser scanning and make a replica valley to the north-west of Howard Carter’s house. This replica valley will have the three tombs of Seti, Tutankhamun and Nefertari and we will be closing the original three tombs to the public (Nefertari and Seti’s tombs have been closed off to the public for several years now). Some visitors might think that this is denying them the chance to see these tombs. However, this is the only away of preserving the tombs for humanity. As of right now visitors cannot see Nefertari or Seti’s tomb at all, so in fact the replica valley will provide access to these tombs that have been closed off completely. The other important thing that Dr. Zahi Hawass team are doing is lighting the mountain of Qurna in the west bank from the Valley of the Kings to Deir el Bahari. This lighting will help make the west bank accessible to visitors at three times of the day: morning, afternoon and evening. By breaking the visitors into three time periods we will stop the habit of hordes of tourists pouring into the west bank every morning and overcrowding the monuments. Because of the large number of tourists it is impossible for the guards to keep a close eye on everyone, making sure that they don’t take pictures with their cameras. The west bank of Luxor with the tombs of the nobles scrape their bags across the fragile walls of the tombs. Therefore it is very important to break the overwhelming number of tourists into three separate, more manageable groups. This will be of great benefit to the monuments and will also provide tourists with a more enjoyable and less crowded experience. Dr. Zahi Hawass team hope to have this in place by October 1, 2010. As part of this new plan for the west bank of Luxor, Dr. Zahi Hawass team are building a tourist center next to Howard Carter’s house. This center will not only serve as the hub for tourist activity with a nice cafeteria, ticket office, restroom facilities and gift shops, but will also serve as the offices for site management of the west bank. Through this center Dr. Zahi Hawass team can control tourist activity, plan restoration and conservation projects, and plan for the future of tombs and temples in Luxor. Dr. Zahi Hawass plan then is to finish the laser scanning and make a replica valley to the north-west of Howard Carter’s house. This replica valley will have the three tombs of Seti, Tutankhamun and Nefertari and we will be closing the original three tombs to the public (Nefertari and Seti’s tombs have been closed off to the public for several years now). Some visitors might think that this is denying them the chance to see these tombs. However, this is the only away of preserving the tombs for humanity. As of right now visitors cannot see Nefertari or Seti’s tomb at all, so in fact the replica valley will provide access to these tombs that have been closed off completely.

Museum of Islamic Art to open soon

June 11, 2015
Museum of Islamic Art to open soon!
Yesterday the Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni and I went on a tour of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) at Bab El-Khalq area, to inspect the progress of the latest restoration projects. Submit Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, and Dr. Hawass examining one of the exhibition cases at the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art (Photo: Meghan E. Strong) Several years ago the MIA was closed for comprehensive rehabilitation, not only of its building and interior design, but also of its exhibition design and displays. Over the last six years, massive renovation work has been completed to the tune of LE90 million. The MIA first opened in 1881 in the arcades of the mosque of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim, displaying 111 objects gathered from mosques and mausoleums across Egypt. Due to the rapid increase in size of the collection, a new building was constructed in the courtyard of the mosque in 1883. In 1899, the government began the construction on the present building at Bab El-Khalq, and in 1903 the Islamic Museum opened with a collection of 3,154 objects originating from Egypt and other countries. Since its inception, the museum had never once been renovated, except for an attempt to clean the walls and renovate the displays in 1983. Attempts at a more comprehensive renovation were frustrated in part by the building's upper floor being occupied by a separate institution, the Dar Al-Kotob Al-Masreya. Submit One of the new exhibition halls In 2003, the Ministry of Culture launched a major restoration project with the goal of returning the museum to its former glory. The master plan for the renovation work and the new exhibition design was drawn up by French designer and museographer, Adrien Gardère, in cooperation with the Islamic Department of the Louvre Museum in Paris, which has advised on the re-organization of the museum's collections. The museum's main entrance, located on Port Said Street, includes an introductory gallery that discusses Islamic art and the Middle East through a mixed media display of panels, maps and objects from the collection. The geography of historic Cairo and the early Islamic city of Fustat, the oldest Islamic settlement in Egypt, is also discussed here. In addition to its renovated exhibition space, the museum is now equipped with a state-of-the art security and lighting system, as well as a fully-equipped conservation laboratory, a children's museum and library.
Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo Egypt.

The pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Rawash

June 10, 2015June 10, 2015
The pyramid of Djedefre is located in Abu Rawash, about eight kilometers north of Giza. Djedefre, the son of Khufu, ascended the throne after his father’s death. We know that Djedefre was Khufu’s heir because his name was found in cartouches on the limestone blocks covering the boat of Khufu. Djedefre, the first pharaoh to bear the title ‘Son of Re’, chose this location for his tomb in order to be closer to Heliopolis, the center of the Sun Cult. It has also been suggested that Djedefre’s move from the necropolis of Giza to Abu Rawash may have taken place in order to reduce the risk of destruction. Recent excavation of the site has proved that there was no destruction of the site during the Old Kingdom. There is evidence to suggest that the original construction of Djedefre’s pyramid was for a step pyramid that was completed during his reign. The Swiss expedition that worked on the site believed that the angle of the pyramid was 52 degrees. The pyramid was surround by a wall, and its funerary temple was built using mud brick. The workmen’s shops were built on the north end of the wall, and there was a boat pit on the south side. The pyramid had a long causeway that stretched out for about 1700m. The pyramid of Djedefre is a quarter of the size of the pyramid of Khufu, but the height of the Abu Rawash plateau is 20m higher than the Giza Plateau. The Swiss expedition discovered a pyramid of a queen, located to the southeast of the main pyramid. In addition to the many excavation projects, the SCA is developing a site management plan for Abu Rawash.

Tomb of Karakhamun found by Egyptian-American team

June 10, 2015
An Egyptian-American expedition has found the burial chamber of a priest named Karakhamun (TT223). The tomb dates to Dynasty 25 (c. 755BC) and was uncovered during conservation and restoration work on the west bank of Luxor. Entrance to tomb of Karakhamun Submit Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture, announced this discovery today and added that the restoration work of this tomb is part of a much larger initiative, known as the South Asasif Conservation Project (ACP). The el-Asasif area is a very important site, which contains nobles’ tombs from the New Kingdom as well as the 25-26th Dynasties.Submit Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the team found the burial chamber of Karakhamun at the bottom of an 8m deep burial shaft. The chamber is in very good condition and contains beautifully painted scenes. The entrance to the chamber is decorated with an image of Karakhamun and the ceiling is decorated with several astrological scenes, including a depiction of the The leader of the expedition, Dr. Elena Pischikova, said that the tomb of priest Karakhamun was discovered in the 19th century in an unstable condition. It continued to deteriorate, and only parts of it were accessible to visitors in the early 1970s. It later collapsed and was buried under the sand. Dr. Pischikova’s team rediscovered the tomb in 2006 and has been carrying out conservation work since then. She believes that the tomb of Karakhamun could be one of the most beautiful tombs from Dynasty 25 because of the preservation of the color and the unique quality of the scenes. Painted ceiling of Karakhamun's burial chamber. This scene depicts the sky goddess, Nut. sky goddess, Nut  Submit Painted astrological scenes from the ceiling of Karakhamun's burial chamber)

Lecture in Frankfurt in One Week!

June 10, 2015
Lecture by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Vice Minister of Culture of Egypt, will present… My Adventures in Archaeology on September 10, 2010 at 7PM at the Hotel InterContinental in Frankfurt, Germany In a 90-minute multimedia lecture, Dr. Zahi Hawass will address the focus of his research, including the mysteries of Tutankhamun, the search for the grave of Queen Nefertiti, new findings in the Valley of the Kings and the search for the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Dr. Hawass will also discuss his work on the pyramid complex of Sahure at Abusir. Biographical anecdotes and personal experiences from many years of his scientific activities will also be included. Zahi Hawass was born in 1947 in Al-Ubaydiyah, Egypt. In 1967 he completed his study of Greek and Roman Archaeology in Alexandria with a Bachelor. He received his diploma in Egyptology from Cairo University in 1980. With the help of a Fulbright scholarship, studied Egyptology and Zahi Hawass Syro-Palestinian Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he received his doctorate in 1987th Since 1988, informed Hawass Egyptian archeology, history and culture, primarily at the American University in Cairo and the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1998 he was appointed undersecretary for the monuments at Giza. Since 2002, Hawass Secretary General of the Egyptian Antiquities Service (Supreme Council of Antiquities, SCA). In addition to his duties as Secretary General, he currently serves as director of excavations for different projects - it is dedicated to the third pyramid at Giza (Pyramid of Menkaure), the Valley Temple of Chephren at Giza and the tombs of the superintendent southeast of the Sphinx. In recent years he has, among other intensively with Pharaoh Tutankhamun. To determine the cause of death of the Pharaoh, he was on 6 January 2005 whose mummy computed tomography study. Hawass in 2010 by the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appointed as Vice-Minister of Culture. Cost: Free Meeting point: Hotel InterContinental, Frankfurt Wilhelm-Leuschner-Straße 43 To reserve a seat please call: 069-650049-110 or visit: liebieghaus.de

Chasing Mummies event in Los Angeles!

June 10, 2015
In History Channel's hit reality series "Chasing Mummies," cameras follow closely as legendary Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and his cadre of fellows unearth astonishing finds and tackle some of the world's greatest archaeological challenges. David Cheetham, archaeologist and star of Chasing Mummies, will be on hand for a brief lecture and Q&A with the audience. "Chasing Mummies," Episode 5: SUNKEN. Zahi has finally permitted archaeologists from the Hellenic Institute to dive into the Mediterranean Sea and bring up a relic confirmed to be part of Cleopatra’s historic shrine. But with the persistent problems of permits and an impending storm approaching, Zahi's fury is felt by all the incompetent people working to get this 2000-year-old pylon out of Alexandria's Eastern Harbor. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED BY: THE MUMMY, 1932, Universal, Dir. Karl Freund. Boris Karloff gives one of his finest performances as the 3000-year-old Egyptian who returns from the dead to reclaim reincarnated love Zita Johann, in cinematographer-turned-director Karl Freund’s marvelously atmospheric chiller - easily the best of many mummy films to come. Lecture and discussion between films with archaeologist David Cheetham. TICKETS AVAILABLE at Fandango.com and the Aero Theater Box Office. $12 general / $8 students and Cinematheque members. Further information: New Discoveries at Taposiris Magna

New settlement discovered in Kharga Oasis

June 10, 2015
The American-Egyptian mission from Yale University has stumbled upon what appears to be the remains of a substantial settlement. The city is a thousand years earlier than the major surviving ancient remains at the Umm Mawagir area in Kharga Oasis. View of an excavated bakery at the settlement. Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced that the settlement is dated to the Second Intermediate Period (ca.1650-1550 BC) and was discovered during excavation work as part of the Theban Desert Road Survey. This project serves to investigate and map the ancient desert routes in the Western desert. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the newly discovered settlement is 1km long from north to south and 250m wide from east to west. It lies along the bustling caravan routes connecting the Nile Valley of Egypt and the western oasis with points as far as Darfur in western Sudan. Hawass continued that archaeological evidence at the site indicated that its inhabitants were part of an administrative center and they were engaged in baking on a massive scale. Dr. John Coleman Darnell, head of the Yale mission, said that during excavations remains of large administrative mudbrick structures were found. These buildings consisted of rooms and halls similar to administrative buildings previously found in several sites in the Nile Valley. These sites may have been used as a lookout post as part of the administrative center of the settlement. Part of an ancient bakery was also found with two ovens and a potter’s wheel, used to make the ceramic bread molds in which the bread was baked. The amount of remains from the debris dumps outside the bakery suggest that the settlement produced a food surplus and may have even been feeding an army. Excavating bakery complex at Umm Mawagir Dr. Deborah Darnell, co-director of the mission, said that early studies on the site revealed that the settlement began during the Middle Kingdom (2134-1569 BC) and lasted to the beginning of the New Kingdom (1569-1081 BC). However the site was at its peak from the late Middle Kingdom (1786-1665 BC) to the Second Intermediate Period (1600-1569 BC).

The Hibis Temple in Kharga Oasis

June 10, 2015
The Hibis temple is oriented along an east-west axis and consists of a pylon, open court, pillared hall and sanctuary. The temple would have originally also had a lake and boat quay along its eastern side. The lake would have allowed access to the temple for festival purposes. Today the first thing a visitor encounters at the temple is the outer or Roman gate that contains several Greek inscriptions. The most important one is the decree that was by the Roman governor, Tiberius Julius Alexander during the second year of the reign of Emperor Galba (69AD). The decree outlines the raising of taxes, the state of Kharga’s economy and the oasis’ system of administration. It was this gate that was moved from the old location to the new location. After the outer gate is a sphinx avenue, then a Ptolemaic gate, then a Persian gate that dates to the reign of King Darius I. The Persian gate is followed by the open court, which dates to the Thirtieth Dynasty during the reigns of Nectanbeo I and II. The court bears inscriptions and offerings scenes dedicated to different gods and goddesses. After the open court is the pillared hall that contains 12 pillars from the reign of Achoris (Twenty-ninth Dynasty). At the back of the pillared hall is a smaller rectangular room that leads to the sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary is a small open court supported by four pillars. Surrounding this court is a series of small rooms, which would have been used for storage of the implements used in the daily temple ritual. The sanctuary of the temple is the oldest and most important part and is decorated with 569 different gods and goddesses. On the northern wall of the sanctuary are the gods and goddesses of Lower Egypt, while the deities of Upper Egypt are depicted on the southern wall. The western wall has a group of deities from Thebes and Heliopolis, including Osiris, Isis and Horus, as well as the Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu to which the temple is dedicated. A small chapel on the roof is also dedicated to the god Osiris and to the southwest side of the temple is a mammisi, or birth house. Beginning in 1909, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was responsible for excavations at the Hibis temple. Their work resulted in three important volumes, which included translations of the inscriptions on the walls. After the Metropolitan Museum left the site, an Egyptian team continued to uncover and record buried parts of the temple until 1986. The reason that I went for the first time to visit Kharga oasis was because the SCA decided that the Hibis temple had to be moved from its current location, because the soil composition of the land was very weak and the temple was in danger of collapse. Because of this, the SCA began to organize a salvage program that would move the temple to another location 2km away from the original site. Aerial view of Kharga Oasis (Photo: Kenneth Garrett) From the first time I visited the site I could see that if the temple was moved it would be destroyed. The reliefs and the stone blocks were badly restored in the past and were very fragile. I sat down with the architects and engineers who wanted to move the temple and they explained to me two main reasons why they wanted to move the temple: 1. In order to keep the temple in its current location, the area would need extensive work to be consolidated. 2. They were afraid that the surrounding agricultural area would continue to encroach on the temple and it would be ruined. However, several other engineers believed that the temple could be restored in its current location and that to prevent far more extensive damage it should definitely not be moved. Unfortunately, the first gate of the temple had already been cut and moved! We immediately wrote to the Minister of Culture and stopped the work under his decree. I still think that this is one of the best decisions I ever made as Secretary General. Today the temple is beautifully restored and remains in its original location. To avoid problems from the surrounding agricultural fields, the SCA bought all the land around the temple to provide a safe zoning area. We are in the process of lighting

Stolen artifact returned to Egypt!

June 10, 2015
Today Egypt recovered a Greco-Roman bust from Canada! Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced that the bust had been illegally smuggled out of Egypt but that the Canadian authorities were giving their full cooperation to repatriate the artifact. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the bust would be handed over to the Egyptian ambassador to Canada, Shamel Nasser, who will then send the bust back to its homeland of Egypt. Hawass explained that the object is a 13 cm tall marble bust that has been stored at the Heritage Canada Foundation since Canadian Police confiscated it in 2007. Following several negotiations between Egypt and Canada, the bust is finally being returned. Ambassador Nasser said that the recovery of this bust highlights the strong friendship and cooperation between Egypt and Canada.

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo opened a new temporary exhibit entitled: Coins

June 10, 2015
The Egyptian Museum, Cairo opened a new temporary exhibit entitled: Coins Through the Ages on August 10. Over the past eight years the Egyptian Museum has hosted a series of temporary exhibitions, the most recent of which focused on five artifacts which were repatriated to Egypt. The temporary exhibition space (Hall 44) has also hosted a series of exhibits on excavations under the direction of foreign teams. This includes teams from America, France, Poland and the Netherlands. This exhibition was curated by Sayed Hassan, who did an excellent job and will be working with the new Egyptian Museum in Rome. I'm including here the text from the brochure that will be handed out during the exhibit. Before the invention of money, people bartered their surplus crops and cattle amongst themselves to obtain necessary commodities. The invention of coins provided the means to transition from a barter system to a monetary system. Metal coins are divisible, variable in form, convenient for trade with foreign markets and can be saved for use at a later time. The first people to invent a coinage-system were the Lydians of Asia Minor in the second half of the 7th century B.C. The rich Greek merchants int he city-states on the western coast of Asia Minor adopted the Lydians' weight-system and began to issue oval ingots, stamped with seals to guarantee weight and purity. After ca. 600 B.C. coinage rapidly spread to Greece, and there, owing to improved techniques, coins developed into a splendid quality. Croesus, king of Lydia (560-546 B.C.) was the first to strike coins in gold and silver. During the pharaonic period, gold, silver and bronze rings and large bronze ingots were sometimes used in the barter system. When the Persians first came to Egypt (525 B.C.) they brought their coins with them. The Egyptians treated these coins as ingots, valuing them based on their weight in metal and sometimes melting the coins for other uses. In the 30th dynasty, the Egyptians revolted against the Persians, and Nectanebo and his son Tachos, struck Athenian coins to pay the Greek soldiers who helped fight the Persians. The coins were also used in transactions with Asian merchants. These famous coins were called the nwb-nfr coins based on the two hieroglyphic signs on the obverse (or front surface), meaning "fine gold." These rare coins, which bore a picture of a horse on the revers (or back surface), are now representative of the transition from barter to coinage in Egypt. The nwb-nfr coins were still likely to have been used in the barter system as well as in a monetary fashion with foreigners since the ancient Egyptians had not yet adopted a monetary trade system. When Alexander the Great came to Egypt in 332 B.C. he considered himself a successor to the pharaohs. During his reign, the typical coin bore depictions of deities or religious symbols. Alexander's image appeared on coins after his death in 323 B.C. In this image he was portrayed as a deity or a hero on the obverse, while Zeus was represented on the reverse. In approximately 306 B.C. the Governor became an independent ruler and shortly thereafter the first coinage of an independent Egypt was created. When Ptolemy I proclaimed himself to be the king of Egypt, he struck his own coins of gold, silver and bronze. On the obverse was the head of Ptolemy I and on the reverse was an eagle on a thunderbolt, both symbols of Zeus. Around the edge of this scene appeared the king's name in Greek characters. During the Roman era, beginning with the reign of Augustus, Egypt had special coins, known as Alexandrian coins. These coins were named after the city in which they were minted and they were restricted to use within Egypt only. These Roman coins also had Greek inscriptions. The obverse showed a depiction of the emperor's head; the revers, beginning in the 3rd century A.D., bore representations of various Egyptian, Greek and Roman deities. After the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 A.D., the name of the minting location was changed into Arabic script on the coins.

Howard Carter’s House Howard Carter’s House Luxor

June 10, 2015
Howard Carter's House and Luxor Howard Carter’s house is located on the west bank of Luxor just before you enter the Valley of the Kings. Unfortunately, it was neglected for a long time and was not being used for anything except collecting dust. Dr. Zahi Hawass decided that this was unacceptable and that the house of Howard Carter should be returned to its former glory Dr. Zahi Hawass designated a team to develop this area to think of how it could be used in the future as a valuable asset for the Valley of the Kings. Dr. Zahi Hawass hired an excellent architect who has transformed the run-down house into a beautiful museum. Tourists can now walk through Carter’s kitchen, dining room, bedroom, office and photography studio. The most impressive thing is a film with a real Howard Carter lecturing you. This 20 minute film is presented by a holographic Howard Carter who transports you back to the time of the discovery and shares the excitement of the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Around the same time that the Carter House project started, Dr. Zahi Hawass began a very important project with a foreign team to make laser scanning of three tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The three tombs are: Seti I, Tutankhamun and Nefertari. Dr. Zahi Hawass chose these tombs because they are unique and can never be repeated again. Therefore we have to preserve them. Currently the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens are visited by thousands of tourists each year. If this situation is not changed the tombs will be Office of Howard Carter with his original paperwork from the excavation of Tutankhamen's tomb irreversibly damaged and eventually completely destroyed Dr. Zahi Hawass plan then is to finish the laser scanning and make a replica valley to the north-west of Howard Carter’s house. This replica valley will have the three tombs of Seti, Tutankhamun and Nefertari and we will be closing the original three tombs to the public (Nefertari and Seti’s tombs have been closed off to the public for several years now). Some visitors might think that this is denying them the chance to see these tombs. However, this is the only away of preserving the tombs for humanity. As of right now visitors cannot see Nefertari or Seti’s tomb at all, so in fact the replica valley will provide access to these tombs that have been closed off completely. The other important thing that Dr. Zahi Hawass team are doing is lighting the mountain of Qurna in the west bank from the Valley of the Kings to Deir el Bahari. This lighting will help make the west bank accessible to visitors at three times of the day: morning, afternoon and evening. By breaking the visitors into three time periods we will stop the habit of hordes of tourists pouring into the west bank every morning and overcrowding the monuments. Because of the large number of tourists it is impossible for the guards to keep a close eye on everyone, making sure that they don’t take pictures with their cameras. The west bank of Luxor with the tombs of the nobles scrape their bags across the fragile walls of the tombs. Therefore it is very important to break the overwhelming number of tourists into three separate, more manageable groups. This will be of great benefit to the monuments and will also provide tourists with a more enjoyable and less crowded experience. Dr. Zahi Hawass team hope to have this in place by October 1, 2010. As part of this new plan for the west bank of Luxor, Dr. Zahi Hawass team are building a tourist center next to Howard Carter’s house. This center will not only serve as the hub for tourist activity with a nice cafeteria, ticket office, restroom facilities and gift shops, but will also serve as the offices for site management of the west bank. Through this center Dr. Zahi Hawass team can control tourist activity, plan restoration and conservation projects, and plan for the future of tombs and temples in Luxor. Dr. Zahi Hawass plan then is to finish the laser scanning and make a replica valley to the north-west of Howard Carter’s house. This replica valley will have the three tombs of Seti, Tutankhamun and Nefertari and we will be closing the original three tombs to the public (Nefertari and Seti’s tombs have been closed off to the public for several years now). Some visitors might think that this is denying them the chance to see these tombs. However, this is the only away of preserving the tombs for humanity. As of right now visitors cannot see Nefertari or Seti’s tomb at all, so in fact the replica valley will provide access to these tombs that have been closed off completely.

Museum of Islamic Art to open soon

June 10, 2015
Museum of Islamic Art to open soon! Yesterday the Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni and I went on a tour of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) at Bab El-Khalq area, to inspect the progress of the latest restoration projects. Submit Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, and Dr. Hawass examining one of the exhibition cases at the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art (Photo: Meghan E. Strong) Several years ago the MIA was closed for comprehensive rehabilitation, not only of its building and interior design, but also of its exhibition design and displays. Over the last six years, massive renovation work has been completed to the tune of LE90 million. The MIA first opened in 1881 in the arcades of the mosque of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim, displaying 111 objects gathered from mosques and mausoleums across Egypt. Due to the rapid increase in size of the collection, a new building was constructed in the courtyard of the mosque in 1883. In 1899, the government began the construction on the present building at Bab El-Khalq, and in 1903 the Islamic Museum opened with a collection of 3,154 objects originating from Egypt and other countries. Since its inception, the museum had never once been renovated, except for an attempt to clean the walls and renovate the displays in 1983. Attempts at a more comprehensive renovation were frustrated in part by the building's upper floor being occupied by a separate institution, the Dar Al-Kotob Al-Masreya. Submit One of the new exhibition halls In 2003, the Ministry of Culture launched a major restoration project with the goal of returning the museum to its former glory. The master plan for the renovation work and the new exhibition design was drawn up by French designer and museographer, Adrien Gardère, in cooperation with the Islamic Department of the Louvre Museum in Paris, which has advised on the re-organization of the museum's collections. The museum's main entrance, located on Port Said Street, includes an introductory gallery that discusses Islamic art and the Middle East through a mixed media display of panels, maps and objects from the collection. The geography of historic Cairo and the early Islamic city of Fustat, the oldest Islamic settlement in Egypt, is also discussed here. In addition to its renovated exhibition space, the museum is now equipped with a state-of-the art security and lighting system, as well as a fully-equipped conservation laboratory, a children's museum and library. Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo Egypt.

King Tut’s Chariot is Front Page News!

June 10, 2015
The war chariot of Tutankhamun has arrived safely in New York City! The chariot is now on display at the Discovery Center in Times Square as part of the "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" exhibit. Read more on the chariot's arrival in the New York Times. During recent CT scans and DNA tests, Hawass and his medical team discovered that King Tutankhamun had an accident a few hours before he died, which caused a fracture in the king’s left leg. This makes the inclusion of Tutankhamun’s chariot to the New York exhibit even more interesting as the young king may have fallen from this very chariot. Hawass added, “As we discover more about Tutankhamun’s death, we may find that this very chariot is an important piece of the puzzle that we’ve been working for decades to solve. King Tut.

King Tut’s Chariot travels to New York

June 10, 2015
King Tut's Chariot travels to New York Press Release - King Tut's Chariot travels to New York Mr. Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture, made a major announcement today that one of King Tutankhamun’s chariots would travel to New York City. This is the first time that a chariot from the tomb of Tutankhamun will be allowed out of Egypt. The High Council of Culture decided to sent the chariot to be part of the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit at the Discovery Times Square Exposition. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that the chariot will arrive in New York City on Wednesday and will be accompanied by a conservator and the Director of the Luxor Musuem, where the chariot is currently displayed. King_Tuts_Chariot This hunting chariot of King Tutankhamun will travel to New York City to be part of the exhibit: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs (Photo: Egyptian Museum) Hawass stated, “This is the first time that the chariot will travel outside Egypt. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people of New York to see something of such great significance from the boy king’s life.” This particular chariot is very unique and stands out among the other five chariots found among Tutankamun’s burial equipment. Howard Carter found the chariot in the south-east corner of the Antechamber along with three other chariots. This golden plaque, found in Tutankhamun's tomb, depicts the king riding a war chariot similar to the one that will travel to New York King_Tuts_Chariot_1 decoration and has a very light, open sided construction. The tires are also extremely worn, suggesting that this chariot was used frequently in hunting expeditions by the young king. Carter described the chariot as, “of more open, lighter construction probably for hunting or exercising purposes.” Recently the medical report detailing the testing done on Tutankhamun and members of his family was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article, “Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun’s Family” describes how Dr. Hawass and his team uncovered the long-debated members of Tutankahmun’s family, as well as his cause of death. A research team from Hamburg’s Bernhard Noct Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNI) however have disputed the claims that King Tut died of malaria, and instead believe that sickle-cell disease is to blame for his death. While some of the symptoms between malaria and sickle-cell disease are similar, Dr. Hawass and his team, stand behind their findings and reaffirm that Tutankhamun died of complications from malaria and Kohler’s disease, an ailment that effects blood supply to the bones. King_Tuts_Chariot_2 A scene from a painted box found in Tut's tomb illustrates the great skill required in driving a chariot and shooting at a moving target at the same time. This would have been a part of royal military training and was a favorite activity of the young pharaoh. During recent CT scans and DNA tests, Hawass and his medical team discovered that King Tutankhamun had an accident a few hours before he died, which caused a fracture in the king’s left leg. This makes the inclusion of Tutankhamun’s chariot to the New York exhibit even more interesting as the young king may have fallen from this very chariot. Hawass added, “As we discover more about Tutankhamun’s death, we may find that this very chariot is an important piece of the puzzle that we’ve been working for decades to solve.”

Discovery of the tomb of Ptahmes

June 10, 2015
The Archaeology faculty at Cairo University has discovered a new tomb at Saqqara. The mission uncovered the tomb of Ptah Mes, arm leader and royal scribe, in the 19th dynasty cemetery of top governmental officials, which is located at the southern side of the ramp of king Unas’ pyramid in Saqqara.Culture minister Farouk Hosni announced the discovery today adding that the tomb can be dated to the second half of the 19th dynasty (1203-1186 BC). Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), explained that the tomb is 70m long and composed of a number of corridors and chapels. This tomb design is similar to the tomb of Ptah Im Wiya, the royal seal bearer, who lived during the reign of king Akhenaten. A Dutch mission discovered Ptah Im Wiya’s tomb at Saqqara in 2007. Dr. Ola El-Egezi, former Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University, said that the owner of the tomb is a prominent figure as he was appointed to several governmental posts, including the inherited prince, the royal scribe and the supervisor of Ptah temple. She continued that excavations also revealed several stelae. Among them is an unfinished stela engraved with a scene featuring the deceased and his family before the Theban triad: Amun, Mut and Khonsu. Such a stelae, El-Egezi said, reveals that during the second half of the 19th dynasty, the cult of Amun was revived Deputy of the mission, Dr. Ahmed Saeed, said that during the excavations several fragments of a statue of the tomb’s owner and his wife were unearthed. A painted head that most probably belongs to his wife or one of his daughters has also been discovered along with a lower part of a limestone statue that belongs to the deceased. Clay vessels, shawbti figurines and amulets have also been found within the sand. Dr. Heba Mustafa, another member of the mission, said that pillars of this tomb were reused during the Christian era to build chapels. The tomb was also subjected to robbery in the 19th century, which lead to the deterioration of some of its walls. Several pieces of the wall were found within the debris inside the tomb. Mustafa said that all of these pieces were collected in order to be restored and registered. Excavations will continue at the tomb of Ptah Mes in an attempt to find the main shaft of the tomb, which will lead to the burial chamber where the deceased’s sarcophagus and his funerary equipment were placed.

Recent excavations and restoration in Beni Suef

June 10, 2015
As part of the Ministry of Culture’s initiative to refurbish and develop museums around Egypt, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is reorganizing the layout of the Beni-Suef museum in Upper Egypt. Cultural Minister Farouk Hosni explained that the museum refurbishment involved extending the museum’s display area and transferring the administrative offices into the basement. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the whole museum is undergoing restoration. The building suffers from major water damage due to subterranean water, which has seeped into some of the walls of the museum’s galleries. New lighting and security systems are also being installed. Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector in the SCA, said that excavations at Ehnasia, an archaeological area in Beni-Sueif, recently uncovered remains of a temple that can be dated to the reign of king Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). Inside the remains of this temple, excavators uncovered ten cartouches of Ramesses II and beneath them a relief saying that the ruler had built this temple for himself in Ehnasia. The excavation team, said Abdel Aziz, will continue excavation of the temple during the next archaeological season. A collection of mud-brick structures dated to the fourth and fifth century AD were also found at the site. A collection of terracotta statues depicting Isis, Aphrodite and Horus were found inside along with pots and clay lamps.

News from the Temple of Taposiris Magna

June 10, 2015
A radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria, Egypt, was completed last month as part of the search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition excavating the temple and its surrounding area is headed by Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Dr. Kathleen Martinez, a scholar from the Dominican Republic. Dr. Hawass stated that the cooperation between Egypt and the Dominican Republic for the excavation of the temple has been ongoing for about three years. The recent radar survey is the most significant step taken by the team to date. It was carried out by an Egyptian radar team, with American expert Dr. Roger Vickers serving as a consultant. The radar revealed 3 possible spots of interest where a tomb may be located. The expedition has received the results of the survey, and will begin excavating each of these three spots next week. The most important recent development at Taposiris Magna has been the discovery of a large, previously unknown cemetery outside the temple enclosure. The expedition has found 27 tombs. 20 of them shaped like vaulted sarcophagi, partly underground and partly aboveground. The remaining 7 consist of staircases leading to simple burial chambers. Inside these tombs, the team has found a total of 10 mummies, 2 of them gilded. The discovery of this cemetery indicates that an important person, likely of royal status, could be buried inside the temple. It was common for officials and other high-status individuals in Egypt to construct their tombs close to those of their rulers throughout the pharaonic period. The style of the newly discovered tombs indicates that they were constructed during the Greco-Roman period. Dr. Martinez stated that the expedition has excavated a temple at Taposiris Magna dedicated to the goddess Isis, and discovered coins depicting the face of Alexander the Great. They have found a number of deep shafts inside the temple, three of which seem to have been used for burials. It is possible that these shafts were the tombs of important people, and the team’s leaders believe that Cleopatra and Mark Antony could have been buried in a deep shaft similar to those already discovered inside the temple. Dr. Hawass said that the expedition has so far found a beautiful head of Cleopatra, along with 22 coins bearing her image. The statue and coins show her as a beauty, contradicting the idea recently suggested by an English museum curator that the queen was quite ugly. The finds from Taposiris reflect a charm that could have captured the hearts of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and indicate that Cleopatra was in no way unattractive. Moreover, the features of the sculpted head show no sign of African ancestry, contradicting a recently advanced theory. The team has also found many amulets, along with a beautiful headless statue dating to the Ptolemaic Period. Among the most interesting finds is a unique mask depicting a man with a cleft chin. The face bears some similarity to known portraits of Mark Antony himself.

New egyptology Discoveries at Taposiris Magna

June 10, 2015
Archaeologists have unearthed a huge headless granite statue of an as yet unidentified Ptolemaic king at the temple of Taposiris Magna, 45 km west of Alexandria. The joint Egyptian-Dominican team is supervised by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). Egypt’s Culture Minister Farouk Hosni announced the find, adding that the mission has also located the original gate of the temple as well as evidence that the temple, dedicated to the god Osiris, was built according to traditional ancient Egyptian design. Dr. Hawass said that the mission, which works in collaboration with the Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, found that the statue is very well preserved and might be one of the most beautiful statues carved in the ancient Egyptian style. The statue represents the traditional shape of an ancient Egyptian king wearing collar and kilt. Hawass believes that the statue may belong to king Ptolemy IV. Hawass said that the temple’s original gate is located on the temple’s western side along with limestone foundation stones that once outlined the entrance. One of these foundations, explained Hawass, bears traces indicating that the entrance was lined with a series of sphinx statues similar to those of the pharaonic era. Dr. Martinez began excavation work at Taposiris Magna five years ago in an attempt to locate the tomb of the well-known lovers, Queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, as evidence implies that Queen Cleopatra was not buried inside her tomb built beside her royal palace, which is now under the eastern harbor of Alexandria. Hawass pointed out that in the past five years, the mission has discovered a collection of headless royal statues, which may have been subjected to destruction during the Byzantine and Christian eras. A collection of heads featuring Queen Cleopatra were also uncovered along with 24 metal coins bearing Cleopatra’s face. A necropolis was also discovered behind the temple that contained many Graeco-Roman style mummies. Early investigations, said Hawass, show that the mummies were buried with their faces turned toward the temple, which means it is likely the temple contained a significant royal personality.

Two new tombs discovered at Saqqara

June 10, 2015
Two rock-hewn painted tombs considered as two of the most distinguished tombs ever found from the Old Kingdom were discovered last week at Saqqara necropolis. False door of the tomb of Shendwa Cultural Minister, Mr. Farouk Hosni, announced today that the tombs were found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian mission at an area called “Gisr El-Mudir” located to the west of the Step Pyramid of Djoser. The team has been working in the area since 1968. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who is also the leader of the excavation mission said that the tombs belong to a father, Shendwa, and his son, Khonsu. The father’s tomb consists of a painted false door depicting scenes of the deceased seated before an offering table. The door also bears the different titles of the tomb’s owner who was a top governmental official during the Sixth Dynasty (2374-2191 BC). He was the head of the royal scribes and the supervisor of the missions as well as other honorary titles. The tomb’s burial shaft is located directly beneath the false door, 20 meters below the ground level. When Dr. Hawass descended into the tomb he realized that it was intact and had not previously been plundered by tomb robbers. Unfortunately Shendwas’s wooden sarcophagus had disintegrated due to humidity and erosion. Beside the sarcophagus, a collection of limestone jars was found including five offering vessels carved in the shape of a duck. Upon opening the vessels, Dr. Hawass discovered that the bones of the ducks were still intact. False door of the tomb of Khonsu, son of Shendwa Inside the burial shaft a painted relief and a 30 cm tall obelisk made of limestone were also discovered. “This obelisk is a symbol of worshiping the sun god Re,” said Hawass pointing out that the ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom used to erect small obelisks in front of their tombs and inside the temples related to the tombs of the Queens’ pyramids. Next to the father’s tomb, excavators discovered Shendwa’s son Khonsu. It is a beautifully painted tomb with a false door bearing Khonsu’s different titles. It appears that Khonsu inherited the same titles as his father. Excavators located an offering table just opposite to the false door as well as a stone lintel on the floor. Hawass said that the lintel is engraved with symbols that belong to the Sixth Dynasty. On top of the false door, is a small lintel depicting a colored relief of the deceased in different poses.

tunnel in the tomb of King Seti I

June 9, 2015June 9, 2015

Tunnel in the tomb of King Seti I (1314-1304 BC) has been discovered

The Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, announced that a tunnel in the tomb of King Seti I (1314-1304 BC) has been discovered by Dr. Zahi Hawass and his team in the Valley of the Kings. They’ve been searching for this tunnel for over twenty years in the West Bank necropolis. Dr. Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the head of the mission, finally succeeded in completely excavating the 174m long tunnel after several seasons of work that began in November 2007. The tunnel was cut into the bedrock near the end of the beautifully decorated tomb of Seti I. In addition to excavating the tunnel, the team braced the walls and ceiling with metal supports. They also built a wooden walkway over the original stone staircase of the tunnel to preserve it and installed a mining car system to remove rubble from the team’s excavations. During their work, the mission uncovered many shabtis and pottery fragments that dated to the Eighteenth Dynasty (1569-1315 BC). Several limestone ostraca fragments, as well as a small boat model made of faience were also found. During their excavation of the staircase, the team found that three of the steps were decorated with red graffiti.

The only other excavation of the tunnel took place in 1960 under the direction of Sheikh Ali Abdel Rassoul. His team was able to reach a depth of 136m but they had to stop their excavation because it was too hard to breath. Upon reaching the end of the 136m section, which had been partially excavated by Abdel-Rasoul's workmen, Dr. Hawass’s team were shocked to uncover a descending passage which measures 25.60m in length and 2.6m wide. The mission eventually uncovered a fifty-four step, descending staircase.

After the first descending passage, a second staircase measuring 6 meters long was cut into the rock. At the beginning of this passage the team found a false door decorated with hieratic text that reads: “Move the door jamb up and make the passage wider." These written instructions must have been left from the architect to the workmen who were carving out the tunnel. Dr. Hawass said that when he went inside the tunnel of King Seti I for the first time he noticed that the walls were well finished and that there were remains of preliminary sketches of decoration that would be placed on the walls. Unfortunately none of this was every completed. Dr. Hawass added that he was very surprised to find a second staircase inside the tunnel. It appears that the last step was never finished and the tunnel ends abruptly after the second staircase.

Dr. Hawass believes that the workmen and artists first finished the original tomb of Seti I during his twelve-year reign and then began to construct the tunnel. It appears that Seti I was trying to construct a secret tomb inside a tomb. It is likely that when Seti I died his son, Ramesses II (1304-1237BC), had to stop the work and bury has father. Dr. Hawass believes that Ramesses II continued where his father had left off and constructed his own tunnel within his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The Egyptian mission is currently working in the tomb of Ramesses II to preserve the wall paintings and to look for a similar tunnel to the one in the tomb of Seti I.

The statue of Kai In the Egyptian museum

June 9, 2015

In the museum is the statue of Kai. This statue is amazing because of its vibrant colors and beauty.

The statue was found beneath the southern false door of the tomb. The statue was found beneath the southern false door of the tomb, and even before the room had been opened, I could see the statue's crystal eyes gazing back at me. The statue shows Kai sitting on a high-backed chair. He wears a shoulder length wig, decorated with horizontal rows of curls. Each eye is framed in cooper, while his eyebrows are in raised relief. The lips are thin and finely drawn. The musculature of the body is very well defined and Kai's right arm is bent across his chest. His left arm is resting on his lap on top of his short, white shendyt-kilt. The base of the statue is decorated with five lines of hieroglyphic text which list Kai's title including the "Steward of the Great Estate." On either side of Kai are his two children. They are very small figures and barely reach to his knee caps. His daughter is sitting next to his left leg in a long white sheath dress. Kai's son is standing naked next to his right leg. Depictions of naked figures with their finger to their lips, was an ancient Egyptian artistic convention for depicting male children.

Mummy of Ramesses III

June 3, 2015June 3, 2015
whose famous mortuary temple, Medinet Habu, resides on the West Bank in Luxor. This beautiful temple is one of the best preserved mortuary temples and features detailed scenes of the Beautiful Festival of the Valley, as well as the famous battle against the Sea Peoples. The mummy of Ramesses III can be seen in the Royal Mummy Room at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo