Saturday, 11 April 2015

Carter House v Stopplaere House

I have reblogged this as I have been asked twice in the last month about the house on the TOP of the hill. That is the Stopplaere House which was built in the 50's. The Carter House is the one at the BOTTOM of the hill in the grove of trees.

Luxor News - Jane Akshar: Which one is the Carter House?

I hope my photo makes it clear. The one at the very top of the hill is
the Stopplaere House and below is an excellent description. Also on this
website you can find many photos.

Stopplaere House, which dates from the year after New Gourna was
completed, was designed as both a guest house for the Department of
Antiquities and the headquarters and apartment of Dr. Alexander
Stopplaere who was the chief restorer of the Department at that time.
The architect's drawings of the house, which went through several
revisions, all convey the difficulty of combining these two diverse
entities into one, showing how the architect was struggling with the
duality of functions involved.

The first scheme he attempted uses a
square plan to group both sectors around two perfectly balanced parallel
courtyards that are divided by a bisecting wall. The demands of a
ridge-like, linear site, however, which is strategically located at the
summit of a step ridge overlooking the main entrance into the Valley of
the Kings and Queens at Luxor, eventually forced the opening up of the
plan into an elongated rectangle. A skylit gallery, of a kind that first
appeared in the Hamid Said house, is used to join both sides of the
residence, and the bisecting wall of the original concept finally
emerges as a fully expressed buttress in the finished building,
effectively separating the main entrance and its garden from the private
quarters of Dr. Stopplaere.

In spite of the fact that no "as-built"
drawings for this project exist, the small collection of initial
sketches that have survived provide a rare insight into the creative
thought processes of the architect, and show how actual site conditions
began to inform a beginning design idea. The photographs of the actual
building are equally important in that they include interior views of
both the rooms and the courtyards. As is the case with so many of
Fathy's surviving works today, access into the Stopplaere house is now
very restricted, which gives these interior views added significance."

house in the grove of tree at the bottom is the Carter House, so called
Castle Carter 2. He had previously had a house at Medinet Habu called
Castle Carter 1. According to TGH James in the winter of 1910/11

had by them been working for Carnarvon for two seasons and it must have
become clear to both that there was to be a future in their
association….A gesture in the direction of putting down roots in Thebes,
presumably with an eye to future work, was the building by Carter of
Castle Carter II. It was designed by himself along vernacular line –
solid, roomy, four square, with a central hall with a dome…. In no time
he would be receiving guests, there was much to be admired ‘Carter has
built himself a delightful house at the north end of the necropolis and
moves in soon’ (Weigall): ‘Theo and I had a charming afternoon with Mr
Carter in his new house – so well built and arranged and pretty – it
looked like the abode of an artist and scholar (Mrs Andrews); By noon we
had reached the new house that Carter had built for himself… and it
being very warm, we determined to call upon Carter and take drinks off
him. I was glad to have an opportunity of looking over his house, which
is delightful, simple mud walls, not rendered conspicuous by any
plaster, very little furniture but what there is artistic (Gardiner).”
. Many years later after the discovery and clearance of the tomb it would be described

“ very comfortable, a house much above the standard of field bases and of frequent champagne”
also taken from James’s excellent biography of Carter.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Warfare and Weapons in Ancient Egypt

I have just started this FREE course from Manchester Uni, strongly recommend it if you want some quality Egyptology teaching.

Warfare and Weapons in Ancient Egypt: Warfare and Weapons is a self-paced introductory course which covers a little-explored yet fascinating aspect of life (and death) in ancient Egypt. The course is presented as a series of four short learning modules plus a bonus learning module of introductory material.
Together we will explore the technology, art and archaeology of Egyptian warfare and weapons from the Predynastic Period (Dynasty 0) to the end of the New Kingdom (Dynasty 20). We will examine specific weapon-types, take an in-depth look at selected artefacts in the Manchester Museum, and meet the mighty warrior king Tuthmosis III and the self-proclaimed hero king Ramesses II, who claims to have single-handedly won the Battle of Kadesh.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Newsletters - Animal Welfare of Luxor

The April newsletter is out with lots of pictures showing the good work done by this wonderful charity. The only west bank animal charity. Please support them not just by reading the newsletter but donating. The price of your next cup of coffee buys a heck of a lot out in Luxor and they are grateful for ANY donation no matter how small.

Newsletters - Animal Welfare of Luxor

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

On-arrival visas to be scrapped within 6-8 months: Egypt's tourism minister - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

On-arrival visas to be scrapped within 6-8 months: Egypt's tourism minister - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online: On-arrival visas to be scrapped within 6-8 months: Egypt's tourism minister
Individual tourists will be required to obtain a visa via a new system before they come to Egypt when the changes are implemented.

This makes a lot more sense, lots of warning and a proper system in place to get the visa in advance. This will accommodate NGO volunteers, archeologists, students, independent and business travelers and charter people can get it through their travel agent.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Shocking Discovery: Egypt's 'Mona Lisa' May Be a Fake

Shocking Discovery: Egypt's 'Mona Lisa' May Be a Fake: Francesco Tiradritti

Recent research suggests the "Meidum Geese" painting on plaster (in the
Egyptian Museum of Cairo) is a fake created in the 19th century and that
a real Pyramid Age painting may be hidden underneath it.

The "Meidum Geese" painting on plaster in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo

Do read this article, Francesco is someone I respect highly and I have heard him lecture on art. He really knows his stuff so I think his remarks should be taken very seriously. I look forward to the peer review of his paper

Monday, 30 March 2015

Free Egyptology Course Blue symposium

Udemy - Online Courses from the World's Experts

The world has always been a colourful place. But
do we see the colours of our modern world in exactly the same way that
the people of ancient Egypt saw the colours of their land? This course
will help you to consider how the ancients viewed their world by
introducing you to a remarkable, vibrant time and place: a place where
the sea was not blue, but green.

See the Ancient World Through Different Eyes

·Learn how the ancient Egyptians regarded the colours blue, green and “grue”

·Examine the technology of ancient glass making

·Explore aspects of ancient art and sculpture

· "Meet” some ancient Egyptian letter-writers

Contents and Overview

This course takes the form of a symposium which presents a
series of lectures given by world-renowned Egyptologists.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Isis Temple at Deir el Shewit

Deir el Shewit 004 View through gateway

Isis Temple at Deir el Shewit

To the S, on the road to Armant (footpath from Medinet Habu, 50 minutes), is the well-preserved Temple of Isis
of the Roman period, now known as the Deir el Shewit. It dates from the
reigns of Hadrian and Antonious Pius, and the ruined pylon has
inscriptions of Vespasian, Domitian and Otho. The cella is surrounded by
a number of smaller chambers, in one of which (far left from the
entrance) is a staircase leading to the roof.......................

Because I can put up galleries on word press all the photos are on my website Isis Temple at Deir el Shewit. I have put both mine and Michaels.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Two sections of Sphinxes Avenue in Luxor to open - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online


Two sections of Sphinxes Avenue in Luxor to open - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: After five years of restoration the first and fifth Sphinxes Avenues, which once connected both Karnak and Luxor temples in ancient times, are to be opened tomorrow night for the first time.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Egypt to end visas on arrival for all foreign tourists as of May 15 | Cairo Post

Egypt to end visas on arrival for all foreign tourists as of May 15Egypt to end visas on arrival for all foreign tourists as of May 15 | Cairo Post: CAIRO: Egypt’s Tourism Promotion Authority office in New York announced Friday Egypt would no longer offer visas upon arrival to any non-Egyptian wishing to travel to Egypt for tourism effective May 15, 2015.

“Individual tourists must obtain visas (from the Egyptian Diplomatic Mission) prior to their arrival to Egypt. No visas will be issued upon arrival to the country,” according to the statement.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Please ignore previous post saying visa restrictions lifted

I neglected to check the date of the article.


Sorry old article

Apologies this was an old news report, ignore this post

Changes to tourism visa regulations suspended: Egyptian ministry of tourism - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online: Egypt will suspend the decision requiring tourists to get visas in advance, says the ministry of tourism.

The Assistant Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zazou announced that the Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour has agreed with the Council of Ministers to suspend the decision. Zazou added that tourism companies and offices were already notified of the suspension of the decision.

Last Thursday the cabinet had announced that it was going to change the visa regulations and visitors could no longer get their visa upon arrival in Egypt. Previously, tourists from Europe, the US and other select countries could simply purchase a one-month visa at the airport upon arrival, which helped promote tourism in the country.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Exclusive update from the Valley of Kings on the undecorated tombs

The Pacific Lutheran University Valley
of the Kings Project directed by Dr. Donald P. Ryan conducted a busy study
season during the month of February (and the team stayed at Flats in
Luxor!)  The work this year consisted mostly of documentation and
conservation work on the several undecorated tombs they have been
investigating.  Among their tasks, the team placed new informative signs
in front of each of the project tombs (a real help to tourists wandering about
the Valley wondering what all these obscure shafts and doors are!), and
installed a sturdy new door over the entrance of controversial tomb KV 60.

The small corridor tomb KV 21 serves as a "base-camp" and laboratory for the project.

Archaeologists Rose Campbell and Mojca Jereb working outside KV 27.

Reis Mohammed Farouk and Denis Whitfill install a new sign outside of KV 44.

A new protective door is installed over the steep entry stairs of KV 60.

Project director Don Ryan with a new sign and door for KV 60

 If you want to know more about the project there is lots on the website Ryan-Egyptian Archeology

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Egyptian Economic Development Conference (EEDC).

There are LOTS of reports coming out of this conference which are exciting residents in Luxor.  So not strictly Luxor News but certainly good news for Luxor residents and all of Egypt. 

$45 Billion in Foreign Investments Pledged For Egypt | Egyptian Streets: Egypt’s state media has reported that as of noon on Saturday, $US 45 billion in foreign investments had been pledged for Egypt at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference (EEDC).

Egypt Announces Plans to Build New Capital - ABC News:
Egypt's government announced Friday plans to build a new capital
adjacent to Cairo, in a massive new project that in its first phase
would cost $45 billion and take up to seven years to complete.

BP signs $12 billion energy deal in Egypt | Reuters:
(Reuters) - Oil company BP has signed an agreement to invest $12
billion in Egypt that will produce 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, a
joint statement from the company and the government said on Saturday.

GE signs $1.7 billion order with Egypt - Times Union:
General Electric Co.'s Schenectady-based Power & Water unit
announced a $1.7 billion deal with Egypt that was secretly signed in
December to provide 43 electric turbines.

Friday, 13 March 2015

American archaeologists unearth Egyptian tombs in Luxor | Daily Mail Online

Some great photos in this report.

The tombs were found earlier this month near the Sheikh Abd el-Qurna dig site, situated at the feet of the Theban mountains

American archaeologists unearth Egyptian tombs in Luxor | Daily Mail Online: American archaeologists unearth stunning Egyptian tombs in Luxor featuring intricate and colorful murals unseen for thousands of years

New Visa Rules from mid May - Luxor Forum - TripAdvisor

I  have no idea of the truth of this but for what it is worth I spotted it on Trip Advisor. If planning to come to Egypt I suggest you check with the Egyptian Embassy in your country BEFORE traveling. I know the London Embassy turn these round really quickly, 48 hours has been the experience of my guests. 

New Visa Rules from mid May - Luxor Forum - TripAdvisor: This message is on the Facebook page of: Consulat d'Egypte à Paris…

Nouvelle réglementation en matière de visas

A dater du 15 mai 2015, nous vous prions de noter que toute personne désirant se rendre en Egypte devra obtenir son visa avant le départ.

Cette réglementation s’applique à toutes les nationalités, aucun visa ne pourra être obtenu à l’arrivée en Egypte.

New regulations on visas

A date from the 15 may 2015, please note that any person wishing to Go in egypt will have to get his visa before departure.

This regulation applies to all nationalities, no visas can be obtained at the arrival In egypt.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Al-Tahrir News Network | Al-Azhar releases fatwa forbidding the destruction of artefacts

Al-Tahrir News Network | Al-Azhar releases fatwa forbidding the destruction of artefacts: Egyptian Islamic institute Al-Azhar has released a fatwa on Friday forbidding the destruction of ancient artefacts after Islamic State raids on a Mosul museum and the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud.

EgyptAir to resume Manchester service | World Airline News

EgyptAir to resume Manchester service | World Airline News: EgyptAir (Cairo) will resume the Cairo – Manchester route on July 3 initially with three weekly flights per Airline Route

Friday, 6 March 2015

Karnak Excavation Yields 38 Artifacts - HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News

Osiris statuette and figurine 

Karnak Excavation Yields 38 Artifacts - HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News: The CNRS/Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities has just completed the excavation of a favissa, a pit discovered in early December 2014 near the temple of the god Ptah.

The dig has unearthed 38 statues, statuettes and precious objects, making this an exceptional find, both for the quantity and quality of the religious artifacts brought to light. Furthermore, a completely new recording method was used during the dig that makes it possible to virtually reconstruct each step of the discovery with millimeter accuracy.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ministry of Antiquities Press Office... - Ministry of Antiquities

Ministry of Antiquities Press Office... - Ministry of Antiquities:

Amazing Discovery in Luxor

A new tomb belonging to "Amenhotep " who is also called Rebiu, the door-keeper of god Amun have been discovered by the American Research Center's Mission with an Egyptian team of inspectors working at the area. The tomb most probably dates to the New Kingdom, particularly the 18th Dynasty….. Declared Dr. Eldamaty, the Minister of Antiquities.

The discovery was made during the work in the courtyard of TT110. Further work will determine if they shared the same courtyard or not. The tomb is T shaped and consists of a Transverse Hall 5.10 meters in length and 1.50 meters wide that leads to another chamber that is 2.50 meters long and 2.10 meters wide. There is a small unfinished niche at the eastern end. There is also an entrance in the south that leads to a small side room which is 2 meters by 2 meters. In the middle of this room there is a shaft that may lead to the burial chamber.

Eldamaty added that the tomb contains many stunning scenes with bright colors painted on plaster. Many of scenes represent the tomb owner and his wife in front of an offering table and a view of a goddess nursing a royal child as well as scenes of the daily life.

Furthermore, General Director of Upper Egypt, Sultan Eid commented that the tomb was deliberately damaged in ancient time; the name and titles of the tomb owner, some hieroglyphic texts and scenes in addition to the names of the god Amun were deliberately erased.

Monday, 2 March 2015

TT184 Update


Excavation in TT184 and the south side of el-Khokha hillock. Lots of pics and updates

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Warfare and Weapons in Ancient Egypt - FREE MOOC course from Joyce Tydesley

Joyce Tyldesley 

Warfare and Weapons in Ancient Egypt - Canvas Network | Free online courses | MOOCs

Dynastic Egypt united in approximately 3100 B.C. It remained an
independent land for much of its 3,000 year history, before becoming
absorbed into the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.

During this Dynastic Period, Egypt was able to recover from civil war
and foreign rule and use its military might to develop a vast empire
stretching from the Sudan to Syria. This military success shows that
Egypt understood the value of an efficient fighting force. Certainly,
the royal propaganda of the victorious king riding into battle in his
chariot, or smiting the enemy who grovels at his feet, is one of Egypt's
most enduring and instantly-recognisable images. But how accurate is
this image? What do we know about warfare and weapons in ancient Egypt?

This course, led by expert Egyptologist and author, Dr. Joyce
Tyldesley, explores the art, archaeology, and technology of Egyptian
warfare and weapons from the Predynastic Period (Dynasty 0) to the end
of the New Kingdom (Dynasty 20). Drawing on contemporary literature, it
introduces the mighty warrior Tuthmosis III, victor of Megiddo (the
Biblical Armageddon), and the self-proclaimed hero Ramesses II, who
claims to have single-handedly won the Battle of Kadesh.

  • Kings, enemies, soldiers and weapons
  • Warfare in the Old and Middle Kingdoms
  • Warfare in the 18th Dynasty
  • Warfare in the Ramesside Period

Thursday, 26 February 2015

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

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

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

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

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

AE, Deir el Bahri

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

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

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

Monday, 23 February 2015

More finds for Dr Hourig

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

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Why are there undecorated tombs in the Valley of Kings.

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

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

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