domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Concluye con un "éxito rotundo" el IX Encuentro de Egiptología pormovido por la Fundación Gaselec

Concluye con un gran éxito de participación el IX Encuentro de Egiptología que la Fundación Gaselec celebró durante la pasada semana registrando un lleno total durante las tres jornadas de conferencias impartidas por los egiptólogos Teresa Bedman y Francisco Martín Valentín.

El presidente de la Fundación, Gustavo Cabanillas, ha manifestado públicamente su satisfacción por lo que considera un “éxito rotundo” que coloca bastante alto el listón de cara a futuras ediciones. Y es que si algo tiene claro es que estas últimas jornadas de Egiptología han supuesto la consolidación definitiva de una iniciativa que comenzó hace nueve años y que ha sabido llegar a todos los ciudadanos.

Buena muestra de ello ha sido el anuncio de la creación de la beca Fundación Gaselec para jóvenes melillenses interesados en la egiptología, a los que se les costeará una misión de excavaciones en Egipto para el próximo año. La idea, ha señalado la entidad, es que cada año un joven de la ciudad pueda participar en el proyecto arqueológico de la tumba de Amen-Hotep, que está siendo sufragado por la Fundación.

Una vez concluido este IX Encuentro, la entidad presidida por Cabanillas trabaja en la planificación de una fecha en la que se potenciará la proyección nacional e internacional del evento, así como una mayor duración de las actividades relacionadas con las conferencias.

Además, los melillenses interesados en el asunto podrán seguir el ritmo de las excavaciones con una sección semanal que Cablemel Tv ofrecerá, y donde se informará sobre los descubrimientos y avances.

Para más información:

http://www.infomelilla.com/noticias/index.php?accion=1&id=32328

sábado, 28 de abril de 2012

UE to Co-Sponsor Archaeological Project in Israel

The University of Evansville is proud to announce its co-sponsorship of the Jezreel Expedition, a new archaeological project in northern Israel, along with the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.
From June 1-22, eight UE archaeology students will participate in the project’s first survey session, which will determine the areas to be excavated in Summer 2013 and beyond. Project directors are Jennie Ebeling, chair of UE’s Department of Archaeology and Art History, and Norma Franklin of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology.
The ancient city of Jezreel overlooks the biblical “Way of the Sea,” the major east-west international trade route that linked the empires of the Euphrates and Tigris river basins with Egypt. Previous excavations have discovered remains of a heavily fortified royal enclosure, possibly constructed by Ahab and Jezebel (as described in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament). The site appears to have been occupied from the fifth millennium BCE through the 20th century, so it allows scholars and researchers to study prehistoric, biblical, and modern archaeology.
In Summer 2012, the Jezreel Expedition team will utilize a new three-dimensional model of the terrain, created earlier this year with an airborne laser scanning technology (LiDAR). Team members will record points, features, and structures on the ground which, when integrated with the 3D model, will generate valuable insight into the areas that most warrant exploration.
“The Jezreel Expedition will provide an excellent opportunity for UE students to be trained in the latest archaeological field methods and interact with an international team of archaeologists and students,” said Ebeling. “We’re thrilled to be a part of this important project, and in coming years, we look forward to sending UE students and faculty members to work on excavations and other projects.”
The University of Evansville’s Department of Archaeology and Art History is one of the largest undergraduate programs in Mediterranean archaeology in the Midwest, and its 65 majors participate in summer excavations and internships around the world.
UE students participating in this summer’s Jezreel Expedition surveying project are Megan Anderson, Nate Biondi, Sarah Carlton, Emma Dunleavy, Kelly Goodner, Mike Koletsos, Emily Mella, and Hilda Torres.
For more information on the Jezreel Expedition, please visit www.jezreel-expedition.com.

lunes, 23 de abril de 2012

EXHIBITIONS: Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb Queensland Museum, Brisbane)

Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb
Rituals of the ancient past will be explored in the exhibition

19 April – 19 August 2012
Exclusive to Brisbane
Embark on a groundbreaking journey to ancient Egypt.

This spectacular exhibition from the British Museum reveals the life
and death of an Egyptian priest and tells his story through an
extraordinary 3D film and an exhibition showcasing more than 100
ancient objects.

A ticket is required for entry into the Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb.
Tickets may be purchased online via the Foxtix website external
linkand via phone (1300 111 369).

The Mummy: After Dark
From after-life to after dark. Meet your friends, grab a drink and
shake off the week to the beats of DJ Bacon at our The Mummy: After
Dark events. Feast on tapas or a gourmet pizza at Collectors Lounge
Bar, re-live the laughs, schlock and horror of some classic B-movie
titles or meet a modern day embalmer and unearth the truth about
Mummies in film.

Late night sessions
The Museum will open late on selected Thursday and Friday evenings in
April and May. Meet friends in the Collectors Lounge Bar for drinks
and tapas and take advantage of this opportunity to see the Museum
from a fresh perspective. Choose from a selection of fine wines and
beers, tapas plates, cheeses and gourmet pizzas. Visitors can also
enjoy a glass of champagne at the Level 2 Champagne Bar.

Para más información:

http://www.mummy.qm.qld.gov.au/

domingo, 22 de abril de 2012

Encontrado un extraño fragmento del Libro de los Muertos

La semana pasada, un historiador australiano, Jonh Taylor,  ha anunciado que encontró un fragmento del Libro de los Muertos, en un museo australiano. 

Jonh Taylor ha dicho que "el fragmento fue encontrado gracias a un pequeño trozo de papiro que se encontraba en el Museo de Qeensland, que está mostrando una exposición sobre momias. Después de examinar bien el trozo de papiro, preguntó si había más pedazos en los fondos del museo, junto con los conservadores del museo examinó más trozos del papiro, y se comprobó que todos formaban parte de uno mayor. 

Los fragmentos fueron donados al museo en 1913, además, se ha podido comprobar que el papiro estaba dedicado a Amenhotep, hijo de Hapu, y constructor del Gran Templo de Amón en Karnak. 

Escrito por Paloma Quicios Fernández. Para más información. 


viernes, 20 de abril de 2012

CONFERENCES "Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom..." (Harvard)

Symposium:

"Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom. Perspectives on
the Pyramid Age"

A (free, no registration required) one-day International Egyptology
symposium to consider questions of kingship, religion, art, economics,
and old and new archaeological excavations at the Giza Pyramids and
beyond (3rd millennium BCE).

Thursday, April 26, 2012 at Harvard University
(Please note: there will also be a special lecture on Tell ed-Daba by
Prof. Manfred Bietak on Wednesday, April 25 at 5:00 pm)

For the schedule of papers and abstracts, please see:

<http://tinyurl.com/giza2012>

The Pyramid Age represents the first of several highpoints in ancient
Egypt’s long history. But critical questions remain on the history of
the period, its social structure and economic organization, and the
long-term implications of its artistic achievements. On the occasion
of the fifth anniversary of the new Journal of Egyptian History, The
University of British Columbia, Harvard University, and Brill Academic
Publishers, Boston, are planning to hold a conference at Harvard
University on April 25–26, 2012. Faculty, students, and colleagues in
the Boston area will have an opportunity to mix with a distinguished
group of Egyptological scholars from around the world. Immediately
following this conference, the annual meeting of the American Research
Center in Egypt will take place at Brown University from April 27–29,
2012.

Thomas Schneider (thschnei@mail.ubc.ca)
Peter Der Manuelian (peter_manuelian@harvard.edu)

jueves, 19 de abril de 2012

El MAN restaura una momia de un sacerdote egipcio

Según el Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte, la restauración de una momia que pertenece a la epoca del egipto faraónico ya hafinalizado. La momia se encontró en Saqqara, una necrópolis egipcia, y ha sido identificada como Imhotep, un sacerdote.

El cuerpo momificado y su cobertura de cartón han sido restaurados por el IPCE, Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España, culminando así un proyecto de intervención en 175 piezas.

Según la nota del minsterio, los trabajos han consistido en  "la limpieza mediante aspiración, el reintegrado de las roturas y pequeñas lagunas con papel japonés o de lino, y el consolidado de las vendas y el sudario cosiéndolas con hilos de seda, además de la cobertura de las zonas más deterioradas con tul de seda".

El cartonajedorado estaba compuesto por cinco piezas correspondientes a la cabeza, torso, pelvis, piernas y pies que fueron realizadas con fibras de lino encoladas y moldeadas con la forma del cuerpo

Se ha dado una edad al cuerpo de 55 años, y se ha datado en el egipto ptolemaico

Escrito por Paloma Quicios Fernández:

http://www.abc.es/20120418/local-madrid/abci-momia-201204172101.html



lunes, 16 de abril de 2012

Mummified Kitten Served As Egyptian Offering

Siempre es interesante ampliar la información acerca de los procesos de momificación, en este caso de animales, con el permiso de los expertos. Así que os pasamos esta interesante noticia, donde podréis encontrar curiosos datos y enlaces de interés en dicho tema.

THE GIST
  • The mummified kitten was a few months old and was bred specifically for mummification.
  • The skeleton is complete, making it even more valuable as a historical relic.
Two thousand years ago, an Egyptian purchased a mummified kitten from a breeder, to offer as a sacrifice to the goddess Bastet, new research suggests.

Between about 332 B.C. and 30 B.C. in Egypt, cats were bred near temples specifically to be mummified and used as offerings.

The cat mummy came from the Egyptian Collection of the National Archeological Museum in Parma, Italy. It was bought by the museum in the 18th century from a collector. Because of how the museum acquired it, there's no documentation about where the mummy came from.
mummy hunter is a cool job

The cat mummies from this period are common, especially kittens. "Kittens, aged 2 to 4 months old, were sacrificed in huge numbers, because they were more suitable for mummification," the authors write in the paper, published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

The researchers did a radiograph — similar to an X-ray — of the mummy, to see under the wrappings, finding the small cat was actually a kitten, only about 5 or 6 months old.

"The fact that the cat was young suggests that it was one of those bred specifically for mummification," study researcher Giacomo Gnudi, a professor at the University of Parma, said in a statement.

The cat was wrapped as tightly as possible, and had been placed in a sitting position before mummification, similar to the seated cats depicted in hieroglyphics from the same era. To make the cat take up as little space as possible, the embalmers fractured some of the cat's bones, including a backbone at the base of the spine to position the tail as close to the body as possible, and ribs to make the front limbs sit closer to the body.

A hole in the cat's skull may have been the cause of death, or it could have been created during the mummification process to drain the skull's contents.

"The arrangement of the mummy's wrappings is intricate, with various geometrical patterns. The eyes are depicted in black ink on small round pieces of linen bandage," the researchers write. "The cat skeleton is also complete, meaning that it is one of the most valuable types."

Fuente completa y más información:

http://news.discovery.com/history/kitten-mummy-egypt-sacrifice-baby-ancient-120413.html

Inés García.

EXHIBITIONS: Coins from Persepolis in Dresden

The Muenzkabinett of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden opened
recently an exhibition on coins from regional rulers from Fars around
the site of Persepolis from the third century BCE to the early third
century CE.

The exhibition will be open until November 4, is closed on Tuesdays.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog (18€):

<http://www.skd.museum/de/ueber-uns/presse/mitteilung/article//statthalter-rebellen-koenige-die-muenzen-aus-persepolis-von-a/index.html>.

--
Alexander Nagel, PhD, Assistant Curator of Ancient Near East
Freer|Sackler - Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art
1050 Independence Avenue SW - MRC 707, PO Box 37012
Washington DC 20013-7012 - Phone: 202.633.0406 - nagela@si.edu

sábado, 14 de abril de 2012

Renowned Egyptologist hosts lecture April 12

Egyptologist Peter Lacovara will talk about “Life and Death in the Pyramid Age: The Emory Old Kingdom Mummy” April 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 114 Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University.

The program, sponsored by the Doorways International Program Series, is free and open to the public.

Lacovara will discuss the oldest Egyptian mummy in the Western Hemisphere – a 4,000-year-old Old Kingdom mummy retrieved from excavations at the sacred cemetery of Abydos in Middle Egypt in 1920.

His lecture will shed light on ancient Egyptian rites and rituals regarding the afterlife. Specifically, he will chronicle the development of the burial site of Abydos and the cult of Osiris, with reference to the current excavations where the Old Kingdom mummy was found nearly a century ago.

Lacovara is one of the country’s foremost experts in Egyptology, and is senior curator of Ancient Art Collections at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta. He has written and contributed to numerous books and publications on Egyptian art.

His fieldwork includes site supervision and excavation at locations such as the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, the Sphinx/Isis Temple, and now at the palace of Amenhotep III at Thebes, where Lacovara is currently excavating.

Since Lacovara came to the museum, Emory University has become one of the South’s leading centers for ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern art. In 1999, Lacovara was the driving force behind the museum’s acquisition of a collection of ancient Egyptian mummies. Included in that collection was a mummy identified as Ramesses I, the patriarch of one of ancient Egypt’s greatest dynasties.

In 2003, a delegation led by Lacovara returned the pharaoh to Egypt and residence at the Luxor Museum. Currently, Lacovara is excavating at the palace of Amenhotep III at Thebes.

This Doorways session is organized by John Stephenson in the Department of Art, and co-sponsored by the Belk Library Doorways series, Office of General Education, the Office of the Dean of Fine and Applied Arts and the Department of Anthropology.

The Doorways series provides a platform for people to share their research and knowledge on international issues and build relationships on campus based on interest in international affairs. For more information on this program or the Doorways series, call (828) 262-4967.

Para más informacion:

http://mountaintimes.com/community-events/articles/Renowned-Egyptologist-hosts-lecture-April-12-id-022729

The Story of a Site and a Project: Excavating Tel Kedesh

In 1997, archaeologists Sharon Herbert and Andrea Berlin began an excavation project at Tel Kedesh, an enormous mound located in the rural interior of Israel’s Upper Galilee region. More than a decade later, they have completed the first phase of their work and reflect on how the site brought them a story far different from the one they had gone looking for.

Northern Israel, a region with multiple border zones, has seen its share of modern conflict. But a picture of what life was like on this border in antiquity, especially during the period from Alexander the Great through the revolt against Rome (ca. 330 B.C.–A.D. 70), also years of political and religious unrest, remained undrawn. In the mid-1990s, as we were each finishing long-term projects in Israel, we realized that Tel Kedesh was the perfect place to investigate this question. Ancient sources repeatedly describe it as a border site—between Canaanites and Israelites in biblical times and between Phoenicians and Jews in the classical period. Today it lies along the Israeli-Lebanese border, a location that saw several dramatic battles during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Tel Kedesh is enormous—more than half a mile north to south. It is a double mound, with an upper tell occupied since the Early Bronze Age (3150–2300 B.C.) and a plateau-like lower tell likely constructed in the Middle Bronze Age (2300–1550 B.C.). Since our research interests focused on a relatively short period in the site’s long history, we hoped to devise a strategy that would allow us to reach those levels rapidly. In 1997, we began by surveying the entirety of the lower tell along two broad north-south and east-west transects. Next we excavated two small test trenches to discover the site’s uppermost geological profile, as well as the depth and preservation of Hellenistic remains. The nature of what we found—which we expected to be largely soil or a random array of rocks—would help determine which type of remote sensing technique would be most effective.

To our surprise, less than three feet below the surface, we found ourselves in a room with more than 20 intact vessels and household objects scattered on the floor. The pots dated to the second century B.C., the heart of the Hellenistic period. There must have been a particular reason why so many complete items had been abandoned, but based on the evidence available at the time, the remains in the room could not be related to a specific historical event.

The test trenches also revealed intact limestone walls of exactly the type that would show up best in a magnetometric survey, which we carried out on the lower tell in February 1998. The resulting map showed something wholly unexpected—an approximately 20,000-square-foot outline at the tell’s southeastern corner, just to the east of the room we’d uncovered the year before. A single structure of this size ought to be palatial or administrative, but no ancient historical source mentions Kedesh as a place of such importance.

In 1999, knowing that we needed to explore that huge outline and determine if it were one building or groups of smaller structures, we began our first full excavation season. Digging in the opposing southeastern and northwestern corners revealed that it was one enormous complex. The room next to the northwestern corner had a plastered floor, several wine jars from the Greek island of Rhodes, and 14 huge jars, almost five feet tall each, leaning against the walls. With permission from the Israel Antiquities Authority, we took the broken bottoms of two jars back to the United States for residue analysis and discovered phytoliths—mineral secretions left by plants after they decay—of Triticum aestivum (bread wheat). It was clear that this building had been a storeroom for wine and grain—lots of grain. Each jar held almost 25 gallons, which, once ground into flour, would produce about 150 loaves of bread.

Additional surprises came to light around the corner where we found more than 40 amphoriskoi (small, two-handled flasks) and about 1,500 tiny stamped clay lumps, or bullae. The bullae carry images including those of Greek deities, Seleucid kings, and animals and symbols. They have string holes through the sides and the neat linear impressions of papyrus on the back, both indications that they originally sealed rolled-up papyrus documents. The quantity of bullae in the room indicated that it once housed a sizeable archive. While none of the documents survive, the bullae themselves provide clues about who sent the texts and who officially approved them.

Archaeologists joke that the most important discoveries occur on the last days of an excavation season, and that’s exactly what happened: We found the bullae with less than a week to go in 1999. There was no time to clean them all or finish excavating the room in which they’d been found, so these were the top priorities when we returned the next summer. By the end of the season, the total number of excavated bullae was more than 2,000. We christened this the Hellenistic Administrative Building, on the basis of the granary and the archive, both administrative features.

The hundreds of useful objects that were left behind in the building, including more than 20 Rhodian wine jars, continued to confirm our first impression, from 1997, that it had been abandoned very quickly. The wine vessels have handles stamped with the names of officials, each of whose tenures can be dated with great accuracy. The latest jars date to 144 or 143 B.C. According to 1 Maccabees 11:63–73, at that time there was a battle in the valley below the Kedesh plateau between the Hasmonean leader Jonathan (the Hasmoneans were a family of high priests and kings who ruled the Jewish state of Judea between 167 and 37 B.C.) and the Seleucid king Demetrius. Jonathan’s forces pursued the Seleucids to Kedesh, killed many, and camped there for several days before leaving for Jerusalem. It appears that the hastily abandoned remains found throughout the building are a result of that battle.

The Second Intifada, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence that began in September 2000 and ended in 2005, derailed excavation plans for 2001. In fact, we were unable to return to the site for five years. Beginning again in 2006, we had four productive excavation seasons that produced many incredible finds and advanced our understanding of the building. In 1999 and 2000, we had found broken column shafts from an earlier structure incorporated into the walls of the Hellenistic building. Further excavation almost 10 years later in the structure’s eastern half uncovered two long foundations with circles lightly incised on the stones. These were, in effect,“setting marks” for placing the columns, allowing us to reconstruct a colonnaded entry court that belonged to that earlier building phase. Associated pottery and small finds date to the Achaemenid Persian period (ca. 540–332 B.C.). Thus we renamed the structure the Persian-Hellenistic Administrative Building and dated its initial construction to 500 B.C., when the Persian king Cyrus permitted exiled Judeans in Babylon to return to Jerusalem, as told in Ezra 1.

Several special finds reflect the character of the culture that inhabited the region at the time. These include a beautifully carved green jasper scarab with a helmeted oriental head (right); two small conical glass stamp seals, both likely worn as amulets, each with a version of the Master of Animals motif long popular in the Near East; and, finally, a clay bulla that had been stamped by a seal whose Neo-Babylonian style and design appear on many seals in a late fifth-century B.C. commercial archive discovered in the Mesopotamian city of Nippur in 1893. Our current hypothesis is that the Persian-period building belonged to well-connected officials from Tyre and that it functioned as both an agricultural depot and an impressive marker of territory. The discovery of a substantial Phoenician foothold in inland Upper Galilee provides a rare opportunity to consider native life under imperial Persian rule. It also has implications for understanding the biblical authors of this era, especially the work of the Chronicler, a writer who lived in the fifth century B.C. In his retelling of the history of the Jewish people, the Chronicler also frequently reframed relationships, especially those between the kings of Judah and the kings of Phoenicia, always to the advantage of Judah. He may have been trying to imagine away the presence of this enormous, Phoenician-administered building deep within territory that earlier biblical texts identify as Israelite.

The Persian-Hellenistic Administrative Building seems to have been briefly abandoned in the late fourth century B.C., when Alexander the Great began his march down the Phoenician coast. But after a short period of time, perhaps no more than 10 or 15 years, it was reoccupied by officials of the newly empowered empire of Ptolemaic Egypt. From this point on, from approximately 300 B.C. until the battle between Jonathan and Demetrius in 144 or 143 B.C., the building was continuously occupied and often remodeled to suit its various inhabitants. By the end of our 2010 season, about 75 percent of these Hellenistic levels had been excavated and we were able to identify what went on in the building’s various sectors. A large open-air courtyard dominates the western half. To the north and west lie the granary and archive complex. South of the courtyard are utility and cooking areas. Several rooms here contain plastered bins of various shapes and sizes, perhaps for collecting and measuring agricultural products. East and north of the courtyard, three rooms form an impressive reception and dining area. Two of these have monochromatic mosaic floors, the earliest firmly dated mosaic floors yet found in Israel. The floor of the third and largest room was removed in antiquity, but we think it, too, was probably mosaic. The rooms’ walls have carefully molded and brightly colored painted plaster. We also found sets of red- and black-slipped dishes that petrographic and chemical analyses indicate were imports from the area around Antioch, the Seleucid capital far to the north.

When taken all together, the archive where the bullae were found, the granary, and the collection bins all suggest the presence of imperial officials with administrative responsibilities, such as tax collecting. Taxation was an ever-present fact of life under the Hellenistic monarchies, but it’s rare to find the actual location where the officials worked and collection occurred. The building’s traffic patterns, which we have been able to reconstruct, show limited access between working areas and the reception rooms. In the former we found mostly plain pottery for cooking, food preparation, and storage, while in the latter we uncovered beautiful dishes and decorated lamps to adorn dining tables. Visiting officials may have carried documents to Kedesh and then enjoyed a fine meal before going on their way.

After six years of excavation, we thought we knew the site completely, and yet, the last day of our last field season still had one incredible surprise in store. While we were preparing for aerial photography, a student spotted a large, perfectly round disk in some soil that had accumulated on the eastern wall of the granary. Although the disk was covered in dirt, a bright glint along one of its edges caught his eye. Upon picking up the artifact, he knew immediately from its heft that he was holding a solid gold coin. When he brought the coin to our attention, we were able to identify it as a mnaieion (a one-mina coin, equivalent to 100 silver drachmas, or a mina of silver) of the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy V, struck in the year 191–190 B.C. at the imperial mint of Kition on Cyprus. The mnaieion is the largest gold coin ever found in Israel and only the second example of this issue found anywhere.

The appearance of this coin at Kedesh is a reflection of the period’s power politics. By the time of its issue, the Seleucid kings controlled this portion of the southern Levant, having won it after a series of wars against the Ptolemies, the Macedonian kings of Egypt who ruled from 305 to 30 B.C. Nonetheless, for approximately the first 20 years of their rule, the Seleucids maintained the region as a Ptolemaic monetary zone, probably as a kind of diplomatic courtesy. Their actions may also have been intended to maintain market confidence, communicating that despite the change in ruling regimes, the older currency would still be honored. The gold mnaieion was certainly not a coin used as regular currency—it was simply too large in value. It might have belonged to a high-ranking Ptolemaic official, who would have traveled to Kedesh to meet with one of his Seleucid counterparts and brought the coin as a diplomatic gift. The findspot within a wall of the granary suggests that it had been stolen and hidden, likely by somebody who worked in this part of the complex.

We originally came to Tel Kedesh to investigate life on the border more than 2,000 years ago. No ancient author recorded an official presence here and it occupied an area and a time outside the pages of history. Tel Kedesh, until 1997, remained unexcavated and the surrounding region largely unexplored. Our curiosity about this border area led to the discovery of a building of enormous size and complexity, and its expensive decoration and the variety and quantity of artifacts uncovered have revealed a dominating administrative presence in the Kedesh valley and the Upper Galilee lasting nearly 350 years. Now that the excavation phase of the project is at an end and we work through the thousands of objects we discovered, we are asking questions that only archaeological evidence can answer: How did provincial elites and the workers who catered to them live? What was the relationship between this official collection complex and nearby settlements? Did status items and the cosmopolitan culture they represent trickle out, or did local officials live in a kind of elite bubble, with their own supplies of specialty goods? And perhaps most interesting, how do the social, economic, and cultural conditions reflected in the architecture and artifacts relate to periods of political calm and turmoil? As we turn from the excitement of excavation to the necessity of final report writing, we must now shift our focus from looking for artifacts to looking for answers

Para más información:

http://www.archaeology.org/1205/features/tel_kedesh.html

Más sobre las excavaciones del Templo de Tutmosis III de Miriam Seco

En post escritos anteriormente, hablamos sobre la participación de estudiantes de la universidad de Granada en las excavaciones del Templo de Tutmosis III. Ahora profesores de la Universidad de Granada, van a formar a empleados del Servicio de Antigüedades Egipcias, que participan en la excavación que dirige Miriam Seco, de Tutmosis III.

Así explicó la noticia, este viernes, destacando que es 'totalmente novedoso porque ninguna excavación del país, había participado en un proyecto de estas características'.

Los docentes se desplazan así al yacimiento donde imparten unos cursos de especialización "muy útiles" para los inspectores locales, que a su vez pueden acudir a Granada para completar esa formación durante un mes.

Los estudiantes del Máster de Dibujo y de Arqueología de la Universidad de Granada también pueden ir hasta Egipto para hacer prácticas en un yacimiento de estas características.

El proyecto lleva halladas más de 6.000 piezas desde que, en 2008, comenzaron los trabajos para empezar a recuperar el monumento, tarea que llevará más de veinte años.

Tutmosis III (1490/68-1436 a.C.) fue uno de los faraones más importantes de Egipto en la XVIII Dinastía y, siendo el templo de un personaje tan importante, sorprende a juicio de Seco que estuviera abandonado y nadie hubiera trabajado en él desde los años 30.

Escrito por Paloma Quicios Fernández. Para más información:

http://www.laopiniondegranada.es/granada/2012/04/13/forman-egipcios-excavacion-templo-tutmosis-iii/296714.html

miércoles, 11 de abril de 2012

Estudiantes de la Universidad de Granada hacen prácticas en el templo de Tutmosis III

La Fundación Euroárabe acoge el curso sobre el Egipto de Tutmosis III y su templo de millones de años: una cooperación hispano-egipcia”. El proyecto de carácter internacional presenta la investigación y colaboración hispano-egipcia que la Universidad de Granada, Santander Universidades y el Proyecto de Excavación, Restauración realizan para la puesta en valor del templo de millones de años de Tutmosis III en Luxor. Este yacimiento se excavó en los años 30 y desde entonces había quedado olvidado. Ahora, el curso muestra el trabajo de excavación que se realiza desde 2008 con diversos modelos de investigación en arqueología, nuevas tecnologías, dibujo, fotografía, restauración e investigación que se utilizan para estudiar las piezas encontradas. Myriam Seco, directora de la excavación.

Para más información:

http://www.radiogranada.es/2012/04/estudiantes-de-la-universidad-de-granada-hacen-practicas-en-el-templo-de-tutmosis-iii/

domingo, 8 de abril de 2012

La guerra en Siria castiga un patrimonio cultural clave

Los ataques que agitan Siria desde hace más de un año han expuesto sus tesoros arqueológicos al pillaje y la destrucción, sobre todo la antigua ciudad de Palmira y las ruinas grecorromanas de Apamea, inscritas en la lista de Patrimonio Mundial de la Humanidad de la Unesco. Las zonas más expuestas, según los expertos, son aquellas que a partir de ahora escapan al control del régimen donde los ladrones apuntan a museos, monumentos y áreas de excavación arqueológica, señalan las fuentes.

"Desde hace tres o cuatro meses los actos de pillaje se han multiplicado. Hemos recibido un vídeo que muestra a gente arrancando mosaicos a martillazos en Apamea. En Palmira se están realizando excavaciones clandestinas", señala Hiba al-Sakhel, responsable de los museos de Siria.

Los rebeldes, por su parte, basándose también en vídeos, afirman que muchos lugares, especialmente la Ciudadela de Saladino (al norte), que alberga una ciudadela medieval, y el célebre sitio de Apamea, han sido bombardeados por el Ejército que intenta castigar bastiones de la oposición. Los actos de pillaje, que ya existían en el país, han crecido con los enfrentamientos violentos que asuelan Siria desde el estallido el 15 de marzo 2011 de las revueltas contra el régimen de Bachar al-Assad.

"Los arqueólogos todavía no han explorado toda Siria, así que allí donde se excave, se pueden hacer descubrimientos", señala Sakhel. "Pienso que estos ladrones son ciudadanos atraídos por el beneficio y que no entienden la importancia de lo que encuentran", añade y asegura temer que se pierda "una gran parte de la Historia". Piezas del museo de Hama (en el centro del país) han sido robadas, según los expertos. Se trata de armas antiguas y una estatua que data de la era aramea.

Los ladrones no entienden la importancia de lo que encuentran

Más al norte, en la ciudadela de Shaizar, encaramada sobre el río Oronte, ha sido perjudicada, mientras que al sur, en Apamea, una estatua romana en mármol has sido robada, según los expertos. Las piezas sustraídas, que transitan por Líbano y otros países vecinos, son en seguida vendidas en el mercado negro. También saqueada, la ciudad antigua de Ebla, en la provincia noroccidental de Idleb, ha sido arrasada por los combates entre el Ejército y los rebeldes.

En al castillo de Crac de los Caballeros, joya de la época de las Cruzadas e importante imán turístico, los guardias del lugar tienen prohibido el paso por hombres armados, según Sakhel. Para Michel al-Maqdiss, director general de antigüedades y museos de Siria, la zona en mayor riesgo es la región del macizo calcáreo, famoso por sus pueblos muertos próximos a Turquía. A finales de marzo la Unesco había pedido a las partes implicadas en el conflicto "asegurar la protección de su excepcional patrimonio", mientras que la oposición siria alzaba la voz de alarma, afirmando que los ataques del Ejército ponían en peligro los emplazamientos históricos.

Siria posee un importante patrimonio arqueológico e histórico. Su capital, Damasco, es una de las ciudades más antiguas del mundo. Seis lugares (la Ciudad Vieja de Damasco, Bosra, Alepo, Palmira, Crac de los Caballeros y la Ciudadela de Saladino) y los pueblos antiguos del norte están inscritos en la lista del patrimonio mundial de la Unesco. "Con Mesopotamia, Siria comparte las grandes etapas que han marcado los principales avances humanos, como el nacimiento de las primeras ciudades", explica Marc Griesheimer, director del departamento de Arqueología e Historia de la Antigüedad en el Instituto Francés de Oriente Próximo.

Las autoridades sirias han retirado ya numerosas piezas de los museos nacionales. La idea es que se ubiquen, en condiciones de seguridad, en la sede del banco central, indica Sakhel. "Espero que la comunidad internacional envíe un mensaje al pueblo sirio para decirle que es nuestro patrimonio lo que está en peligro. Es un patrimonio es todos los sirios, no del Gobierno ni del presidente, sino de la Humanidad", concluye.

Para más información:

http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2012/04/06/actualidad/1333718430_317376.htmlv

Can the Red List protect Egypt's cultural heritage?

The much-celebrated scene of protesters creating a human shield around the Egyptian Museum in Cairo in the early days of the revolution is still fresh in our minds. People fought for many things, among which is safeguarding their cultural heritage. Still, numerous storerooms and archaeological sites across the country like Establ Antar, Al-Lisht, and Al-Hibeh continue to be looted. The most recent case was in Qubbet Effendina, a cemetery of Khedive Tawfik in Eastern Cairo, from which two historic kiswas of Kaaba were stolen in March.

Reinstating security seems like the most imperative solution. But, much of the problem is also due to the lack of proper documentation of millions of objects scattered in museums and storehouses around the country, making it difficult to identify and trace stolen artifacts.

Although register books of artifacts do exist in museums and storerooms, a proper and unified computerized registration system has never been established by antiquities authorities. Such a system would save much effort and time because, besides protection and security problems, Egypt suffers from a real gap in the documentation of its invaluable ancient artifacts.

Even the country’s most prestigious museum overlooking Tahrir Square has a long way to go. Since 2007, the Registration and Collection Management Department of the Egyptian Museum has been creating a database of the museum’s vast collection.

“The database is useful in that we now have records for almost all registered museum objects. Unfortunately, we still do not know the objects' specific locations [in the museum’s galleries],” says Yasmine al-Shazly, head of the museum’s documentation department. “It will take years for us to properly inventory the entire museum.”

Once the inventory work is completed, it would be very easy to determine if anything is missing from a vitrine just by running a search by location, she adds.

While similar efforts to develop internal records are being undertaken in other museums, another list has been recently drawn up to help. Since March of last year, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), an organization founded in France in 1946 to foster cooperation among museums worldwide and protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage, has spearheaded an initiative to create the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk. The list was publicized in early February, on the occasion of the inauguration of the National Museum of Civilization in Old Cairo.

But unlike lists of specific collections, the Red List is meant to highlight the types of artifacts most exposed to theft.

“The Red Lists are practical tools intended for police and customs officials, as well as art and heritage professionals. They help identify the categories of goods most frequently subjected to smuggling and illicit trading, and contribute significantly to the seizure and return of objects,” explains Juliens Aufruns, Director General of ICOM.

Since 2000, the ICOM has developed ten Red Lists for “vulnerable areas of the world,” including Afghanistan, Peru, Columbia, China, and of course Iraq with the massive lootings in the aftermath of the US invasion in 2003. By disseminating the lists widely, some stolen objects have been recovered. In January 2006, an Iraqi foundation nail was identified during an auction in Paris; and in 2004 and 2005, French customs officials seized more than 6,000 stolen Nigerien artifacts, eventually returning them to Niger.

“[For Egypt], a Red List should not contain iconic objects like the Mask of Tutankhamun, for instance, since anybody would be able to identify that,” says Shazly. “They are not lists of stolen objects; but lists of types of artifacts that are popular on the market.”

The idea first came up in March 2011. The ICOM organized an official visit to Cairo, where they met museum directors to assess risks with the loose security situation, explains Aufruns. It was then decided that an Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk would be drafted in order to raise national and international awareness on the types of cultural objects, protected by national legislation, that were most at risk.

The Egyptian red list catalogues tens of different categories of artifacts such as statues, vessels, daily life objects, textiles and manuscripts spanning from the Predynastic, Pharaonic and Nubian era to Greco-Roman, Coptic, and Islamic periods. It also briefly lists Egyptian legislation related to antiquities and gives tips to police and custom officials on how to deal with a suspected illicit traffic of antiquities case.

“We tried to cover the majority of objects that were stolen in the post-revolutionary period as well as those items that are highly prized on the antiquities market,” says Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo and one of the Egyptologists who participated in creating the list.

Many international institutions from Egypt, US, France, Belgium and Spain participated in creating the list. Contributors included Egyptologists, museum curators and historians.

Shazly from the Egyptian Museum's documentation department also worked on developing the list. “I believe that an Emergency Red List had to be produced for Egypt because, although we have a list of missing objects for the Egyptian Museum, such lists could not be produced for other sites, where many unregistered objects have been smuggled. Customs officials need something to help them identify an object that may have been smuggled from Egypt,” she told Egypt Independent.

This list should help law enforcement agencies worldwide to identify ancient Egyptian artifacts and stop their smuggling. Right now, Egyptian artifacts are more at risk than they ever have been despite the hard work of the Ministry of Antiquities, says Ikram.

So, whereas restoring security on Egyptian streets still seems distant, archaeologists and heritage workers are joining their efforts to help protect the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/750356

sábado, 7 de abril de 2012

Archaeologists Excavate Ancient Phoenician Port City

The ruins of the site rest atop a sandstone hill, hugging the far northern coast of the current State of Israel near the border with Lebanon. One can see later-period standing structures that provide the backdrop for what is now a national park and beach resort. But below the surface, and beneath the ocean waves, lie the remains of an ancient harbor town that reach back in history to as long ago as Chalcolithic times (4500 - 3200 BC). After decades, a team of archaeologists will return to the site to investigate evidence of a settlement that played a chief role in the ancient commerce of the area and the civilizations that crossed and controlled its strategic location.

Known today as Tel Achziv, its remnants have been explored and excavated before, by Moshe Prausnitz from 1963 through 1964 and, in the vicinity of the site, by E. Ben-Dor, M. Prausnitz and E. Mazar, who uncovered large-scale Phoenician cemeteries. Anciently, it was a fortified Canaanite harbor city protected by a massive rampart, rising to prominence as a major Phoenician port for maritime commerce, connected to a coastal road for trade. The city flourished under the Phoenicians during the ninth century, was conquered by King Sennacherib of Assyria at the end of the eighth century, and continued to function as an important port city during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The city was mentioned in the writings of Josephus Flavius, who referred to it as the place where Herod's brother was captured, and was also referrenced by Plinius (23-79AD) and appears in the Claudius Ptolemy World map (~150AD). It functioned later as an administrative center during Crusader times.

The ruins of the site rest atop a sandstone hill, hugging the far northern coast of the current State of Israel near the border with Lebanon. One can see later-period standing structures that provide the backdrop for what is now a national park and beach resort. But below the surface, and beneath the ocean waves, lie the remains of an ancient harbor town that reach back in history to as long ago as Chalcolithic times (4500 - 3200 BC). After decades, a team of archaeologists will return to the site to investigate evidence of a settlement that played a chief role in the ancient commerce of the area and the civilizations that crossed and controlled its strategic location.

Known today as Tel Achziv, its remnants have been explored and excavated before, by Moshe Prausnitz from 1963 through 1964 and, in the vicinity of the site, by E. Ben-Dor, M. Prausnitz and E. Mazar, who uncovered large-scale Phoenician cemeteries. Anciently, it was a fortified Canaanite harbor city protected by a massive rampart, rising to prominence as a Enlacemajor Phoenician port for maritime commerce, connected to a coastal road for trade. The city flourished under the Phoenicians during the ninth century, was conquered by King Sennacherib of Assyria at the end of the eighth century, and continued to function as an important port city during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The city was mentioned in the writings of Josephus Flavius, who referred to it as the place where Herod's brother was captured, and was also referrenced by Plinius (23-79AD) and appears in the Claudius Ptolemy World map (~150AD). It functioned later as an administrative center during Crusader times.

Para más información:

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/march-2012/article/archaeologists-excavate-ancient-phoenician-port-city

jueves, 5 de abril de 2012

'Breathtaking' Mummy Coffin Covers Seized in Israel

Two decorated covers of coffins that once contained mummies have been seized by Israeli authorities, authenticated and dated to thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.

Inspectors of the Unit for Prevention of Antiquities Robbery found the artifacts while checking shops in a marketplace in the Old City of Jerusalem. The inspectors confiscated the items under suspicion of being stolen property.

The ancient covers are made of wood and adorned with "breathtaking decorations and paintings of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics," says the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Researchers examined the covers with carbon dating — which looks at a radioactive form of carbon in a sample to determine its age — and other tools, finding the artifacts are authentic. They dated one of the covers to the period between the 10th and eighth centuries B.C., considered the Iron Age, and the other to between the 16th and 14th centuries B.C. (Late Bronze Age).

The researchers aren't sure exactly how the wooden covers made their way to Israel. However, the covers had been sawed into two parts (causing irreparable damage), suggesting smugglers needed to conceal the items in a standard-size suitcase, according to the IAA. Robbers may have plundered the ancient tombs in the Western Desert in Egypt; afterward, individuals may have smuggled the wooden covers from Egypt to Dubai, and then through another European country before ending up in Israel.

These types of covers typically hold a sarcophagus made of palm wood that contains the embalmed remains of a person — a mummy. Officials aren't sure what happened to the sarcophagi or the mummies. [Gallery: Amazing Egyptian Discoveries]

The confiscated antiquities highlight what is a seemingly vast black market for mummies and other antiquities. Though exact numbers are not known, some have suggested the market reaches the billions of dollars. In fact, smuggling mummies dates back to medieval times, when Egyptian mummies were ground up into a powder that was thought to have medicinal properties.

To prevent illegal antiquities smuggling like this, a new law in Israel, which is expected to eliminate loopholes that have allowed laundering of stolen Egyptian artifacts from other countries, will take effect on April 20, according to the IAA.

"The new regulation will provide us with the tools in order to prevent the importation into the country of antiquities that were stolen or plundered in other countries, thus enabling us to thwart the international cycle of robbery and trade in stolen archaeological artifacts," Shai Bar-Tura, inspector in charge of overseeing the antiquities trade on behalf of the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, said in a statement.

The newly confiscated wooden artifacts are currently being held under climate-controlled conditions in laboratories of the IAA in Jerusalem.

http://www.livescience.com/19447-egyptian-mummy-coffin-covers-seized.html


martes, 3 de abril de 2012

CURIOSO HALLAZGO DE LA MISIÓN ESPAÑOLA EN OXIRRINCO: 1200 PECES ENTERRADOS

La misión catalana, cuyo vigésimo año de campaña en Oxirrinco comenzaba a mediados de febrero, ha realizado una serie de interesantes descubrimientos en la necrópolis en la que trabajaba.

En primer lugar, el mencionado hallazgo de 1200 peces enterrados en un nivel inferior al romano. Hasta ahora tenían constancia de la aparición de alguno de estos animales en una tumba o el enterramiento ritual de oxirrincos momificados y con sarcófagos propios, ya que se le relacionaba con la divinidad Tueris.

Sin embargo, nada parecido a lo descubierto por el equipo del Dr. Padró, director de la misión, en los últimos días de la campaña. Según han mencionado, este hallazgo les hace replantearse la idea de un ritual establecido, con el enterramiento de este tipo de animales, en la ciudad.

Otro de los destacados hallazgos de la campaña, es la aparición de un eje monumental que atraviesa la necrópolis. Este eje viario posee además restos de columnas, capiteles y arquitrabes. Es, según ha comentado el propio Padró, un hallazgo de vital importancia en el desarrollo de la excavación y en el proceso de comprensión de la habitabilidad del mismo, especialmente en época romana.

Esta misión, apoyada por el Ministerio de Cultura, la Universitat de Barcelona y la Societat Catalana d`Egiptologia, tiene ahora por delante un largo año de estudio, trabajo y espera, hasta la próxima campaña.

Para más información:

http://www.lavanguardia.com/cultura/20120403/54280751551/egiptologos-catalanes-encuentran-1-200-peces-epoca-faraonica.html

Escrito por Inés García.

domingo, 1 de abril de 2012

España devuelve a Egipto varias piezas robadas

Esta semana pasada , el gobierno español, ha anunciado que devolverá a Egipto 8 piezas egipcias, fechadas e la dinastía VI (2374 - 2192 a. C), y que fueron robadas en la última década del s XX.

Los objetos robados son de piedra, y pertenecieron a la tumba de Eimb Hur, un funcionario de la VI dinastía. En las piezas hay inscripciones en jeroglífico que nos indica el nombre del difunto y sus titulos.

Las piezas fueron descubiertas en la zona de Kom el Jamasin, en la localidad Egipcia de Saqara, y en la que se encontraba una gran necrópolis.

Según el comunicado difundido por Minnisterio egipcio de Exteriores, queda por especificar la fecha en la que las autoridades españolas entregarán estas piezas a la Embajada egipcia en Madrid.

Según el comunicado el embajador de Egipto en España, Ayman Zein el Din, conoció en septiembre del 2010 la noticia, que explicaba que la policía de Barcelona había requisado ocho piezas faraónicas que se hallaban en posesión de anticuarios.

El Gobierno egipcio explicó que el acuerdo para la recuperación de las antigüedades se alcanzó tras una serie de contactos legales y diplomáticos entre la legación egipcia y las autoridades judiciales y gubernamentales españolas.

Escrito por Paloma Quicios Fernández. Para más información:

http://www.heraldo.es

IX Encuentro de Egiptología en Melilla

Patrocinado por la Fundación Gaselec se ha presentado el IX Encuentro de Egiptología, que se desarrollará los días 18, 19 y 20 de abril en los estudios de televisión de Cablemel a las 20.30 horas, si bien en esta edición se ha optado por aprovechar los dos primeros días de esa semana para proyectar un cortometraje y un documental.

Gustavo Cabanillas, miembro del IEAE, explicó que el lunes 16 de abril se estrenará el cortometraje titulado 'El que pertenece a Jonsu', mientras que al día siguiente se emitirá un reportaje que «resume» la campaña de excavaciones de 2011, «tras el rastro del visir Amen Hotep-Huy». Ambas ofertas se nutren de las más de 25 horas de grabación realizadas por el propio Cabanillas en las excavaciones que sufraga la Fundación Gaselec en Egipto «y que continuarán este año gracias a una inversión netamente privada».

En cuanto a las conferencias, serán Teresa Bedman y Francisco Martín-Valentín las personas sobre las que recaiga el peso del análisis de dos aspectos: 'La momificación en el antiguo Egipto' y 'Ta Set Neferu: El valle de las Reinas'. De igual modo, ambos darán cuenta de la tercera campaña de excavaciones que se incluye en el proyecto Amen Hotep-Huy

Para más información:

http://www.ieae.es

http://www.diariosur.es/v/20120401/melilla/fundacion-gaselec-programa-abril-20120401.html