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Monday, 10 May 2021

Pandemic 2020 and Egyptology

The blog post for this week has been written by Peter Rowland, who recaps his experience of Egyptology during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Peter is an enthusiast Egyptologist who in the early 1970s worked in Egypt, around the Suez area, as an engineer with Exxon International. There followed various organised and private visits during the 1990s and early 2000s, but the feeling was that visits like this are all well and good but sadly they are a bit of a scatter gun approach to a huge subject. Peter retired in 2011 and decided it was time to put some structure to the huge subject of ancient Egypt. By chance, the online Egyptology courses run by Exeter University and taught by Lucia Gahlin were discovered. This proved most fortuitous, and has led to a wonderful learning process since the start of Lucia’s courses. Sadly, Exeter have discontinued all their online presence. During the Exeter period, Lucia introduced him to the Kemet Klub and the Egypt Exploration Society. Peter says, “above all, the Egyptology family I now feel part of have been a godsend during the current pandemic and has made life so much more bearable, especially during the lockdown periods”.

The past twelve months or so have certainly seen dramatic changes in how we are able to live our lives. Pre-March 2020, everything was normal, and we were able to do what we wanted. Personally, in January I spent just over a week in Luxor as part of a small group headed by Professor Aidan Dodson looking at Seti I and Ramesses III (fig. 1). In February, it was a visit to Petra in Jordan, with the only concerns due to the severe storms in the UK and how long we would be delayed getting home. Fortunately, it was only a 24-hour delay. This was just a couple of weeks before the Coronavirus outbreak was upgraded to a Pandemic and all our lives changed with restrictions in movement and the first lockdown. The first unknown was what will happen to our next trip to Egypt with Ancient World Tours planned for May. Fortunately, the decision to move it forward to May 2021 was made fairly quickly, although this has now been delayed further to April 2022.

Fig. 1: Decoration in the tomb of Seti I

The big thing though was what to do with our free time? The weather was good, so the daily exercise regime was good, and the garden was there to do the many jobs that gardens demand. There was catching up on the scanning of pre-digital images that have sat there for years just waiting for an opportunity like this. All these options were OK, but it soon became a little bit mind-boggling. Then, bingo, an announcement by the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) that they will be setting up a series of lectures made available via the Zoom platform (fig. 2). Initially the number of attendees was quite small, so you needed to be pretty sharp in booking your place. What a brilliant way of learning the usual, but also the more obscure topics about a subject we love. Very quickly, it was obvious that this means of presentation was proving extremely popular so the EES upped the numbers of attendee places available and even arranged repeats.

Fig. 2: One of the many EES virtual lectures

After a few weeks, the
Kemet Klub in Bristol announced their intentions to set up their usual study days for the Zoom platform. Again, this proved very popular and well over 100 people were attending the events, many more than the usual thirty-five or so that the study days could allow in Bristol. All of this meant there were a number of events available virtually that would help to fill the void in our spare time.

Next, we hear from the Egypt Centre, Swansea who proposed to make their annual conference a virtual event. A program was released listing sixteen free lectures to be presented via Zoom, starting 30 April through to 10 July. A number of the talks would be presented by people connected with the Egypt Centre, but also a number of prominent Egyptologists who offered their time free of charge. These included Aidan Dodson, Aaron de Souza, Richard Johnson, Martina Minas-Nerpel, and Christian Knoblauch, to name just a few. Many of the talks used material housed in the Egypt Centre. Ken Griffin started the ball rolling giving an Introduction to the Egypt Centre, others included the Paddle Dolls, The Lintel of the Overseer of Craftsmen, Tjenti, The Diaspora of Cypriot Antiquities, A Call to Arms - Wooden funerary figures (fig. 3), and An Overview of the Shabti Collection. As with the Kemet Klub, the numbers attending these talks were over 100, a lot more than would have been able to attend in Swansea, meaning the virtual conference was a huge success.

Fig. 3: Screenshot of the Egypt Centre Zoom conference

Following these first free presentations came the first fundraising events. Professor Aidan Dodson gave an excellent presentation entitled History, Histories & Egyptology, which was all about the history of Egyptology and the people that set it all off. Professor Dodson is a well-known international speaker, with almost 200 people in attendance. Other speakers included Dr Ramadan Hussein on the latest discoveries at Saqqara, Dr Donald P. Ryan, on the Valley of the Kings, Reg Clark on Tomb Security, Tom Hardwick on Robert de Rustafjaell (fig. 4), and finally Ken Griffin on the

Fig. 4: Screenshot of the lecture by Tom Hardwick

Ken Griffin, the Collections Access Manager, has always been a keen educator using the collection he is looking after. He made the decision to offer short courses on various subjects. These have attracted approximately on average 150 attendees. To date, we have completed six of these: The Funerary Artefacts of Ancient Egypt, Religion of Ancient Egypt, The Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Deir el-Medina, and the recently completed Thebes: The City of 100 Gates. These courses run for five weeks, with sessions taking place on Sunday evenings and repeated live on Wednesday mornings. This format means as many people as possible from across the globe can attend. The next course will start this Sunday and will be devoted to the Amarna Period. Unlike regular courses on the Amarna Period, this one will heavily focus on the objects from Amarna in the Egypt Centre collection. It is still possible to book for this course

We have also seen a collaboration between the Interdisciplinary Egyptology group and the Egypt Centre. The museum hosted a series of twelve discussion panels, free of charge, during February and March 2021. Again, these sessions were well attended by people from around the world (fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Overview of the Interdisciplinary Egyptology discussion panels

In October, the Egypt Centre launched its new online collections catalogue, commonly named
Abaset. Although there is still work to be done here, it will eventually become a world class catalogue that will be used by everyone interested in Egyptology. This will include academics as well as enthusiasts. Already, a number of wonderful discoveries have been made, which include linking items in the Swansea collection with objects in other collections.

The Egypt Centre events listed above have proven extremely successful. People who have attended the various talks and courses have been grateful for the efforts made to arrange it all. Ken Griffin has been the driving force to make it all workable, and he was ably assisted by Sam Powell, an Egypt Centre volunteer. Without them, none of the above would have happened, so they must be commended and thanked. Above all, the main beneficiary is the Egypt Centre. The objects in Swansea was always a major collection, but now it is more accessible and widely known by professional Egyptologists and enthusiasts worldwide. Not only have Ken and Sam attracted notable foreign speakers, but their efforts have attracted many attendees from throughout the UK, and importantly from around the world. The worldwide Egyptology family are truly grateful. The situation has been desperate for the Egypt Centre as most sources of revenue have been impacted due to the Pandemic. Therefore, the money raised by the virtual events must be a godsend and hopefully keep it going and moving forward from strength to strength.

This all proves that something good can be born out of the desperate situation we have found ourselves in. Those of us who have been in this Egyptology loop are thankful for all the back-room efforts.  I hope that there may be a flicker of light showing a possible end to the Pandemic with the speedy distribution of vaccinations. We look forward to visiting our usual haunts, with the Egypt Centre high up on all of our lists. Hopefully the virtual lectures and course can continue well into the future as well.

Thank you everyone!

Sunday, 2 May 2021

أستعراض لدورة طيبة: مدينة المائة باب

The blog post for this week has been written by Noura Seada, who has always been passionate about ancient Egyptian History. Ever since she was a little girl, Noura remembers collecting a lot of Pharaonic souvenirs to build up her own museum collection and imagined being a tour guide and describing them to tourists. At that early stage, Noura knew very well that this is what she wanted to be, so she did an undergraduate degree in Tourism Guidance and is now perusing post-graduate studies. Her main areas of interest are religion, animals, and disabled people in ancient Egypt. We are very excited that this is our first blog post written in Arabic, which fulfils one of the Egypt Centre’s key principles of widening participation. Thank you Noura!

هذه ليست المرة الاولي التي أستمتع فيها بحضور أحدي دورات مركز مصر، وكالمعتاد كان عدد الحضور كبيريصل إلي ١٨٢شخص، الرقم الذي يستحيل تحقيقه في الحالات العادية والفضل هنا يرجع لوباء الكورونا برغم كل مساوءة إلا إنه دفعنا جميعا الي التوجه الي عالم التكولوجيا وأستخدام منصة زووم. أتمنى لجميع القراء الصحه والسلام ومحاولة رؤية كل ما هو إيجابي بهذه الفتره العصيبة.

 بدأ البروفيسور "كن جريفين" مدير مركز مصر بأعطاء مقدمة مختصره عنه وعن "سام” ودورها الفعال في مركز مصر.  مركز مصر يحتوي على ٦٠٠٠ قطعه أثار مصرية قديمة منهم ١٠٠ من طيبة، قام البروفيسور خلال الدورة بدمج القطع قدر الإمكان مع الشرح لإتاحة الفرصة للمشاهدين للتعرف على مجموعة مركز مصر مثل لوحه W1377 وتابوت W1982. لمعرفة مزيد من التفاصيل عليك بزيارة الكتالوج الألكتروني والذي يسهل أستخدامة سواء بالبحث بأسم أو رقم القطعة.


(W1982شكل ١: غطاء تابوت إوسن حست موت

قبل الدخول في محتوي هذه الدورة كان على أولا مشاركتكم ببعض التفاصيل الهامة، هذه الدورات تتألف من خمس محاضرات بمعدل محاضرة أسبوعيا، مدتها ساعتين ويتوسطهم خمس دقائق أستراحه. عليك بترك أي اسئلة لنهاية المحاضرة. ماهو رائع في دورات مركز مصر انه يمكنك الحضور بين يومي الأحد مساءا أو الأربعاء صباحا أو كليهما إذا ترغب في ذلك، كما يتم تزويدك بحساب شخصي لمشاهدة تسجيل المحاضرة في أي وقت أخر. يوجد متطوع إسبوعيا لكتابة مدونة على ما تم تداولة خلال المحاضرة لا تتعدي الألف كلمة والتي تنشر كل يوم أثنين. يقوم البروفيسور "كن" أسبوعيا بإرسال مقالات وكتب للإطلاع بإستفاضه وبالطبع ليس إلزاميا. في النهاية أنا أنصح الجميع لدعم مركز مصر بالأشتراك في هذه الدورات المثمرة للغاية. بالرجوع إلى محتوي الدورة تمكن البروفسور "كن" من إيجاد التوازن في طريقة التدريس بحيث تناسب الجميع، فهو على دراية كاملة بتنوع خلفيات الحاضرين.

 الأن على البدء في عرض محتوي الدورة وسأبرز لكم أهم النقاط التي تعرض لها البروفيسور "كن” خلال الخمس أٍسابيع بإيجاز. المحاضرة الأولي هي مقدمة مختصرة عن طيبة وجغرافيتها وخلفيتها التاريخية. بدأ من أن منطقة طيبة لديها أسماء عديدة، حيث أطلق المصريين القدماء عليها (نيوت) بمعني المدينة وأيضا (نيوت رسيت)  المدينة الجنوبية و(يونو شيما) بمعني جنوب هليوبليس والتي تقابل هليوبليس الشمالية. كما أطلق عليها (تا ايبت)  بمعني المعبد إشارهّ للكرنك بينما أطلق اليونانين عليها طيبة الأسم الذي تم إختياره للدورة واليوم يشار لها بالأقصر.


شكل ٢: موقع متعدد الأسماء

تنقسم طيبة إلى ضفتين شرقية وغربية، أشار المصريين القدماء للغرب بمدينه الموتي بينما للشرق بمدينه الاحياء القديمة. أسُتخدمت طيبة كجبانة منذ الدوله القديمة. أكثرأله طيبة شهرة هو الإله أمون، ثالوث طيبة يتكون من أمون و زوجته موت و الطفل خونسو، كما تعبد آلهه محلية بطيبة مثل ميريت سيجر وبتاح ومونتو. كما تم تأليه أحمس نفرتاري وأبنها أمنحوتب الأول و وأمنحوتب أبن حابو. يوجد بطيبة العديد من المعابد ، كما كانت مركز للأحتفالات و الأعياد مثل عيد الأوبت السنوي وعيد الوادي الجميل. للألهه أمون تاريخ طويل يبدأ من نصوص الأهرامات ثم زاد شائنه بمدينه الأقصر في الدولة الحديثة، دائما يظهر مرتديا الريشتان على رأسه وأحيانا يتوسطهم قرص الشمس.

 بلغ عدد سكان طيبة في مصر القديمة حوالي ٤٠ ألف، أزداد العدد إلي ١٢٠ ألف في عهد رمسيس الثاني . لدي طيبة تاريخ طويل يرجع لعصور ما قبل التاريخ كما يوجد العديد من تماثيل الدولة القديمة بمعبد الكرنك، و منطقه الخوخة التي تحتوي على مقابر الدولة القديمة. تليها فتره الأنتقال الأولي وإنهيار الدولة, دفن الحكام بمنطقه الصف بالطارف مثل أنتف الأول. ثم الدولة الوسطي وتوحيد الأرضين بواسطة منتحوتب التاني ، ثم خلال عصر الأنتقال التاني قسمت مصر مره أخري وأصبح لديها أحمس المعروف بالمحرر لطرده الهكسوس و مع الدولة الحديثة الفترة الذهبية في تاريخ مصرأصبحت طيبة العاصمة الدينية.  خلال فترة الأنتقال الثالثة بدأت طيبة في الإنهيار، وأصبح كهنة أمون هم حكام مصرخلال الأسرة ٢١. حكم النوبين مصر خلال الأسرة ٢٥ وأستمرت عمليات البناء بالكرنك مثل عمود طهرقا، بنهاية الأسرة ٢٥ قام أشربانبال حاكم الأشوريين بتدمير طيبة. ثم جاء بسماتيك الأول وحكم مصرمن العاصمة سايس، بني ملوك العصر المتاخر في الكرنك قليلأ. قام الأسكندر الأكبر بزيارة طيبة وبناء العديد من الأثار بالكرنك والأقصر، ثم خلال العصرالروماني كانت الديانة الأساسية المسيحية، عاش الرهبان في أديره كثيرة مثل دير المدينة ومع الفتح الإسلامي أغلقت الأديرة بالتدريج وأصبح الإسلام هو دين المنطقة، و تم بناء مسجد الحجاج.


شكل ٣: مسجد أبو الحجاج

بينما الأسبوع الثاني كان عن معابد الضفة الشرقية: معبدي الأقصر والكرنك بالطبع يصعب تغطيتهما في محاضرة واحدة. معبد الكرنك كان له أسماء عديدة، أطلق المصرين القدماء عليه إيبت سوت، هو المعبد الأساسي لعبادة أمون و يعد أكبر معبد في مصر وفي العالم كله. كان معبد الكرنك في بأدي الأمرعلى جزيرة منفصلة ثم حدث تغيرجغرافي للمنطقة. يرجع أصل معبد الكرنك إلي الدولة الوسطي. قام البروفيسور "كن" بجولة بالمعبد بدأ من الصرح الأول والذي يعود للأسرة ال ٣٠ عهد الملك نختنبو، ثم الساحة الأثيوبية والتي تحتوي علي أعمدة طهرقة، من أهم العناصر بداخلها معبد رمسيس الثالث وبوابة بوباستيس للملك شيشنق الأول والمقصورة الثلاثية للملك سيتي الثاني. الصرح الثاني يؤدي إلي بهو الأعمدة المكون من  ١٣٤ عمود، هناك مناظر المعارك التقليدي بمصر القديمة و مناظر صيد طيور كرمزية للقضاء علي الفوضي. الصرح الثالث لم يتبقي منه إلا الجزء الأسفل، بحتوي علي أحد مسلات تحتمس الأول، وصولا للصرح الرابع حيث مسلة الملكة حتشبسوت. ثم الصرح الخامس والسادس وقدس الأقداس لفيليب أرديس. ثم المضي قدما للوصول إلي فناء الدولة الوسطي و الأخمنو مكان أحتفال الملك تحتمس الثالث بعيده الثلاثين علي العرش، الذي تميز بأعمدة وتد الخيمة. كما مُثل أيضا الأسكندر الأكبرو هو يقدم القرابين للأله أمون.


شكل ٤: معبد الكرنك

يمكنك الوصول  من الصرح الثالث للصرح السابع المزين بمنظر أنتصار تحتمس الثالث علي الأعداء والتي تعد الأولي من نوعها. ثم الصرح الثامن الأقدم علي الأطلاق للملكة حتشبسوت يليه الصرح العاشر لأمنحوتب الثالث. كما يوجد معبد خونسو والمتحف المفتوح الذي يحتوي على المقصورة البيضاء لسنوسرت الأول والمقصورة الحمراء لحتشبسوت المزينة بمناظر أحتفال الأوبت. يربط طريق الكباش معبد أمون بمعبد موت. كما يؤدي طريق كباش أخر إلي معبد الأقصر، وعلى امتدادة ٦ مقاصير لأستراحة مراكب الأله.

 أطلق المصرين القدماء علي معبد الأقصر إيبت رسيت. كُرس المعبد لأمون الأقصر. ما يميزهذا المعبد إنه مُوجه لمعبد الكرنك و ليس ناحية نهر النيل كباقي المعابد. كما لعب دورا هاما في عيد الأوبت الذي يعقد يوم ١٩ من الشهر الثاني لفصل بيرت. ذكر عيد الأوبت بالتفصيل في معبد الأقصر. هدف العيد تجديد ودمج قوي الأله والملك وأيضا توحيد أمون الأقصر و أمون الكرنك سويا. يرجع المعبد لعهد أمنحوتب الثالث ورمسيس الثاني. بعد عمليات الترميم أصبحت واجهة  معبد الأٌقصر مكونه من مسلة واحدة وتمثالين جالسين وأربع تماثيل واقفة. تُزين جدران الصرح مناظرأنتصاررمسيس الثاني علي الحيثيين بمعركة قادش. ما هو رائع حقا أن واجهة معبد الأٌقصر ممثلة على أحد جدران الفناء الشمسي. هناك غرف أستخدمت للعبادة المسيحية خلال العصر الروماني مزينة بالفريسكو، كما مُثل الأسكندر الأكبر أمام أمون كاموت أف. يوجد على الحائط الخارجي للمعبد الإله أمون سامع الصلوات ويقع  مسجد الحجاج شمال شرق المعبد.


شكل ٥: مدخل معبد الأقصر

كان الأسبوع الثالث عن الجبانات الملكية، وقام البروفيسور "كن" بالتركيز علي أهمهم الطارف و ذراع أبو النجا ووادي الملكات ووادي الملوك. من حيث الترتيب الزمني أول جبانة ملكية ترجع للأسرة ١١ بمنطقة الطارف وتضم ٣ مقابر لملوك تحمل اسم أنتف, تعرف بمقابر الصف حيث يتقدمها صف من الأعمدة. أشهرهم مقبرة أنتف الثاني والمشهورة بلوحة الكلاب. ثم مقبرة منتوحتب الثاني بمعبده الدير البحري والتي تحتوي على مقصورة ألباستر و لوح من الجرانبيت. ثم مقابرحكام الأسرة ١٧ بذراع أبو النجا والتي يعلوها شكل هرمي وأكثرهم شهرة مقبرة أخحتب و المعروفة بقلادة الذباب التي عادة ما تقدم في الحالات العسكرية.

 ثم مقابر وادي الملكات وهي تسمية غير دقيقة لأنها لاتحتوي فقط علي مقابر الملكات ولكن أيضا الأطفال و رجال الدولة. أطلق عليها المصريون القدماء مكان الجمال. رغم صغر وادي الملكات إلى أنه يحتوي علي عدد أكبر بكثير من مقابر وادي الملوك.. يوجد مقابر الأسره ١٨الغير المزينة والأسرة ١٩-٢٠ المزينة. أول من دفن بالمنطقة الأميرة أحمس Q.V 49 و ما يثير الانتباه حقا نُدرة تصوير الملوك بوادي الملكات. بينما أول مقابر ملكات الأسرة ١٩ هي ست رع Q.V 38  زوجة رمسيس الأول ,ثم مقبرة الملكة نفرتاري Q. V 66 زوجة رمسيس الثاني و التي تعد أشهر مقبرة بالوادي لجمال التصاوير بها.  تظهر الملكة في غرفة دفن تلعب السنت بهدف العبور من عالم الأحياء إلي عالم الموتي. ثم تأتي مقابرالأسرة ٢٠ مثل مقبرة تي تي Q.V 52 الشهيرة بأستخدام اللون البمبي غير المعروف بالفن المصري. أنتهاءاً بمقبرة أمون حر حبشف الأبن التاسع للملك رمسيس الثالث.


شكل ٦: الملكة نفرتاري تكرس القرابين

وصولا إلي أكبر جبانة بالبر الغربي وهي وادي الملوك و التي تنقسم إلي فرع شرقي و فرع غربي, أطلق عليها المصريين القدماء جبانة ملايين السنين العظيمة. تم أستخدمها في الأسرة ١٨,معظمهم المقابر تحمل اختصارK.V وأخرين W.V . تعتبر المقابرمتشابهه لحد كبيرمن الناحية الهندسية. لذلك قام العلماء بتقسم وادي الملوك إما بترتيب زمني أو علي أساس تخطيط المقبرة. من الصعب معرفة أول من دفن هناك ولكن الأحتمالات تتضمن تحتمس الأول و الثاني و الملكة حتشبسوت و ذلك لوجود ثلاث توابيت بغرفة دفن مقبرة K.V 20. بعض مقابر وادي الملوك مزينة بكتب الدينية مثل كتاب الموتي والإيمي دوات. أفضل المقابر من حيث المناظر المصاحبة هي مقبرة سيتي الأولK.V 17 حيث أطلق عليها المقبرة الجميلة. أما أكبر مقبرة والتي تشمل ١٢٠ غرفة هي K.V 5. ثم مقبرة تاوسرت وست عنخ المعروفة ب بروس أو بعازف القيثارة  ومميزة بأحتواءها علي غرفتي دفن. ثم هناك مقابر غير مزينة يبلغ عددها ١١يهتم بدراستها عالم الأثار"راين" لأنها لا تقل أهمية عن المزينة.

 الأسبوع الرابع عن قصور ملايين السنيين، قبل البدء في المحاضرة تحدث معنا البروفيسور "كن" عن الأكتشاف الجديد لبعثة زاهي حواس المصرية، وأوضح لنا أنها إكتشاف جديدة كلياً بأستعراض أدلة تثبت ذلك. ثم بدء بالحديث أن هذه القصور تحمل تسميات عديدة مثل المعابد الجنائرية والمعابد التذكارية لدورها في تكريس عبادة الملك المتوفي والأله، كما تعلب دورا هاما في الأحتفالات الدينية مثل عيد الوادي الجميل. ليس بالضرورة كل المعابد التي تحمل لقب ملايين السنين أن تكون معابد تذكارية يمكن أن تكون معابد دولة مثل الكرنك.

 قام البروفيسور" كن" بالحديث عن سبع معابد بالترتيب الزمني كلا من هذه المعابد تحمل أسم خاصة بها. بدأ بمعبد منتوحتب الثاني والذي يقع بمنطقة باب الحصان بشمال معبد حتشبسوت والذي يتكون من طابقين .ثم يأتي من بعده معبد حتشبسوت, المستمد تصميمه من معبد منتوحتب الثاني. أطلق عليه المصريين القدماء دجسر جسرو, وقد أشرف علي بناءه المهندس سيننموت الرجل المؤثر في فترة حكم حتشبسوت و الذي مُثل داخل المعبد٦ مرات،. يعد معبدها نقطه محورية في عيد الوادي الجميل حيث يقضي ثالوث طيبة أيام بقدس الأقداس المعبد. يُعتبرالمعبد الجنائزي للملك تحتمس الأول حيث أقامت  له حتشبسوت مقصورة خاصة. من أهم المناظر التي تزين معبدها، منظر بعثة بلاد بونت ومنظرالولادة الملكية.


شكل٧: معبد الملكة حتشبسوت بالدير البحري

معبد تحتمس الثالث يعود لفترة الحكم المشتركة بين حتشبسوت و تحتمس الثالث,يقطع طريق سير السيارات الصرح الأول عن باقي المعبد, يوجد به باب مزيف نقل مؤخرا من مدينة هابو. ثم تحدث عن معبد أمنحوتب الثالث بمنطقة كوم الحيتان و الشهير بميمنون بسبب هذين التمثلين العملاقين بالمنطقة.وضع علماء الأثار خريطة مقترحة للمعبد و يُعتقد أنه أكبر حجما من الكرنك. يتميز المعبد بتوجه ناحية الشرق على عكس باقي المعابد كما يحتوي علي لوحتان يحملان تفاصيل بناءة. ثم معبد سيتي الأول بالجرنة, جزء كبير من المعبد مازال قائم ,بني الملك مقصورة لوالده رمسيس الأول لتكريس عبادته و أخري للإله أمون, كما صُورت الملكة أحمس نفرتاري ثلاث مرات .

  ثم معبد رمسيس الثاني المعروف بالرمسيوم وهو يشبه هندسيً معبد أمنحوتب الثالث. بني هذا المعبد كليا من الحجارة. يُزين المعبد بمناظرأنتصار الملك بمعركة قادش الشهيرة علي الحيثيين, بالأضافة إلي منظر تسجيل الألهه أسم الملك علي أوراق شجرة الإشد المقدسة . أختتمهم بمعبد رمسيس الثالث الشهير بمدينة هابو والذي يعد أكبر معبد جنائزي، بني علي غرار كلا من الرمسيوم و معبد امنحوتب الثالث و يتميز بحصن مجدول. المعبد مُزين بمناظر أنتصار الملك علي شعوب البحرو الليبين.


شكل ٨: نقوش معركة رمسيس الثالث بمدينة هابو

الأسبوع الخامس عن مقابر النبلاء والتي أشار إليهم المصريين القدماء بمنازل الأبدية، كانت منطقة غرب طيبة و شمال سقارة هما الجبانتين الأساسيتين في ذلك الوقت. قام البروفسيور"كن" بالتركيز علي ثمانية جبانات، بدأ من جبانة الدير البحري والتي تحتوي علي١٣مقبرة ثم أنتقل جنوباً لجبانة دير المدينة ٥٣ مقبرة وجبانة ذراع أبو النجا ٨٤ مقبرة ثم جبانة الشيخ عبد القرنة ١٤٥ مقبرة و جبانة الخوخة ٥٦ مقبرة و جبانة قرنة مرعي ١٧ مقبرة, و أخيرا جبانة العساسيف ٤٣ مقبرة, جنوب العساسيف ٣ مقابر. تختلف هذه المقابر عن المقابر الملكية بشكل كبيرفي النقوش ويُفضل الزوار مقابرالأفراد عن المقابر الملكية لما تحتوي عليه من مناظر الحياة اليومية. تم أستخدام عدة أنظمة ترقيم لمقابر طيبة مثل:  T.T و pKamp و البعض يحمل الأثنين سويا. هناك أيضا أختصار MMA كما يوجد ترقيم للمقابر المفقودة A-B.

  أستعرض بروفسيور "كن" مقبرة واحده لكل جبانة من الثمانية , مثل مقبرة حننوبالدير البحري و مقبرة سندجم TT1 بدير المدينة ومقبرة الكاتب الملكي  روي TT255 بذراع أبو النجا ومقبرة رخميري TT100 بالشيخ عبد القرنة و مقبرة جحوتي (براي )TT295 بالخوخة ومقبرة أمحوتب(حوي) بقرنة مرعي ومقبرة بتي امنباي  بالعساسيف و أنهي حديثة بمقبرة كراكمون بجنوب العساسيف.

شكل ٩: الحرف بمقبرة رخميرع

أنا متطلعة بشدة لزيارتي القادمة إلى منطقة طيبة في القريب العاجل وأنا مسلحة بكل هذه المعلومات!

Monday, 26 April 2021

The Village of Deir el-Medina

The blog post for the final week of the Thebes course has been written by Sandra Ottens, who has been working as a secretary at the municipality of Amsterdam for thirty years. Sandra studied Egyptology at Leiden University (BA and MA) from 2006 to 2012. She started blogging about her Egyptological adventures when her class attended a two-month study semester in Cairo, visiting a large number of excavation sites. Sandra joined the excavations in Amheida (Dakhla Oasis) as an assistant epigrapher to Professor Olaf Kaper for one season in 2012. She wrote her MA thesis on the Seven Hathors, a group of seven goddesses who predicted the fate of new-born children.

The Egypt Centre course on Thebes, the city of 100 gates, and the elaborate parade of the royal mummies through the streets of Cairo to their new home in the National Museum of Egyptian Culture have reminded me of a paper I wrote about royal tomb construction management in the New Kingdom while I was a Master’s student at Leiden University. During the New Kingdom the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings, and other members of the royal family were buried in the Valley of the Queens. For the production of these tombs, the Egyptian state recruited crews of skilled workers and artisans who were housed in the village of Deir el-Medina (fig. 1). The villagers kept a very elaborate administration of the various stages of the building process. Only fragments of this administration have survived, but together they give interesting insights into the project organisation.

Fig. 1: The village of Deir el-Medina

The workers were paid on behalf of the state with regular deliveries of food, drink, and supplies that were sent from various temple institutions. The village administration bureau kept a log of all the deliveries received on each day and organised the distribution of the rations among the employees. It is likely that the artisans who worked on the royal tombs also helped to create the tombs of the high officials that are scattered around the hills of the West Bank, and that they received additional payments for that work (fig. 2). It is not clear how much time they would have had for these extracurricular activities, but I assume they may have been helped by other workers who were not part of the official royal tomb crew.

Fig. 2: P. Ashmolean Museum 1958.112: Mid Twentieth Dynasty the draughtsman Hormin wrote to his father, necropolis scribe Hori: “... send a message to protest to the captains that they should promote this servant of yours so that he may assist me with the drawing – I’m alone, for my brother is ill. The men of the right side have carved in relief one chamber more than the left side ... When I mentioned this [to] the high priest, the captains said to me ‘We will bring him up. It isn’t the priest’s responsibility’, so they said.

From the administration we know that the crew that was employed for the work on the royal tomb usually consisted of forty–sixty men divided into two teams, which were referred to as the left and the right side. The documentation suggests that a crew of workers was installed at the beginning of each pharaoh’s reign (fig. 3). The men were required to swear an oath of office in the presence of the vizier, because their work was obviously highly confidential in nature. It is likely that the crew would start working on a pharaoh’s tomb in the early years of his reign, but their work may also have been divided across several locations, whenever tombs for other royals were needed.

Fig. 3: Ostracon Berlin 12654: In year 2 of the reign of Ramesses VI, the two scribes of the tomb and the two foremen organised a crew of workers. After that, the scribe of the vizier Paser came to the Deir el-Medina head office with the message that the number of workers had to be reduced to sixty and that the rest would be added to the supplies crew. The villagers were allowed to draw up the list of workers among themselves.

The administration tells us that there were regular inspection visits, probably to check the progress of the work. We know that detailed plans of the tomb were drawn, that the dimensions of the tomb were measured, and that these measurements were used to calculate the time it would take to carve a tomb out of the rocks and to decorate it. There were also attendance sheets, keeping track of the workers’ attendance and absence. The high officials who were in charge of the building project would have been able to use these documents to check the quantity and quality of the work, so that they could send regular progress reports to the royal court (fig. 4).

Fig. 4: Drawing by Howard Carter after papyrus Turin Cat. 1885, from: JEA IV (1917), pl. XXIX. Plan of the tomb of Ramesses IV. This papyrus is decorated with coloured details: a granite sarcophagus, golden doors, and a hatched rock surface around the tomb. The texts in the rooms mention measurements and the various decoration jobs that needed to be done or had been done there: making sketches, engraving with chisels, and filling in with paints. When Howard Carter and Alan Gardiner published this papyrus in 1917, they described the elaborate drawing of the sarcophagus in the tomb chamber, but they did not understand what the rectangles around the sarcophagus were meant to represent. In their article in JEA, they speculated that this might have been a temporary wooden construction for lifting the heavy granite sarcophagus lid after the funeral. It wasn’t until the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 that Howard Carter discovered a set of four gilded shrines and a canopy of fabric, which clarified the drawing published five years earlier.

After the work on the royal tomb had been finished, the tomb would be ready and waiting for the inevitable funeral of the pharaoh. The royal mummy parade through Cairo has given us an interesting modern insight into the kind of ceremony that might have been performed for an ancient Egyptian royal funeral (fig. 5). The actual burial in the Valley of the Kings would probably have been done with only a select group of people, for reasons of security. The Deir el-Medina administration tells us that the workers were sometimes employed to move items of tomb equipment, always under the strict supervision of a number of high officials.

Fig. 5: Royal Mummy Parade, Cairo, April 3rd, 2021

I have turned the paper I wrote into an article about the various stages of the royal tomb building process. 

The Dutch version, which was published in Ta Mery (stichting Huis van Horus) in 2013, can be found on my blog: 

The English version can be found here:

Monday, 19 April 2021

The Memorial Temples at Thebes

The blog post for this week has been written by Lore Anne McNicol, an American who received her Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the Boston University School of Medicine. For twenty-five years she conducted research and teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland, and the California Institute of Technology. For the next twenty years she worked at several of the National Institutes of Health, becoming Deputy Director of the National Eye Institute. She authored three books and numerous articles on vaccine development and reparative medicine. In retirement she has studied Egyptology at the University of Manchester, receiving the Certificate and Diploma. She is presently 6,000 words short of writing her Master’s thesis entitled Ubiquitous Animal, Rare Artefact: The Howard Carter Pack Donkey.  

Dr. Griffin started with a brief segment on breaking news to alert us to the “Golden Village” west of the Memorial Temple of Amenhotep Son of Hapu that has been newly-discovered by Zahi Hawass’ team. Ken’s opinion that, while the excavation is new, it is likely a continuation of a site excavated in the 1930s. This view was supported by overlays of photos of the two digs, although this will only be determined by further excavations. It appears to be a substantial site, with interesting serpentine walls and nice pottery.

Next, he gave a very clear statement of definitions: The Mortuary Temple or Memorial Temple was dedicated to the King’s cult, while a Mansion of a Million Years could in addition be a state-sponsored temple such as Karnak or that of Seti I at Abydos; in the literature the various names are often used indiscriminately. They were complexes, often including administrative and storage building as well as housing. They were largely of stone, situated on the edge of the cultivation, and had individual names such as ‘The One Which Receives Amun and Which Raises His Beauty’, which was the name for the temple of Amenhotep III (fig. 1). 

Fig. 1: The Colossi of Memnon of Amenhotep III

There were 23–24 of these temples on the Theban West Bank (fig. 2), and Dr. Griffin had time to present only the highlights of seven of these in chronological order: Montuhotep II, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Seti I, Ramesses II (the Ramesseum), and Ramesses III (Medinet Habu). As always, he had wonderful photographs to share and was a font of fascinating factoids. Swansea has a relief from the temple of Thutmose III (W1371). Ken discovered an unidentified relief, which shows a depiction of Hatshepsut’s daughter Neferure (W1376). Amenhotep III’s temple complex was possibly larger than Karnak. Some interesting facts included that Ramesses II named his horses; one was ‘Victory in Thebes’, and that Ramesses III’ temple was entered through a migdol (a squat Middle Eastern fortified tower), rather than a pylon.

Fig. 2: Memorial Temples on the West Bank of Thebes (My Luxor)

The lecture ended with the ever-popular god/goddess quiz. This blogger admits to never getting a respectable score, but continues to chip away by memorizing a previously unknown god or goddess each time. This week it was Iusaas, a Heliopolitan goddess who is the female counterpart of the male solar-creator principles embodied by Atum (fig. 3). She was sometimes depicted as a woman with a scarab beetle on her head. This blog will now thoughtfully provide helpful answers to questions that no one thought to ask of Dr. Griffin.

Fig. 3: Ramesses III before Atum, Iusaas, and Nebethetepet (Medinet Habu)

You mentioned that the Memorial Temple of Amenhotep III was partially destroyed by an earthquake. Are these well known in ancient Egypt?

They were certainly not a one off. Egypt sits in a seismically-active area. The Fayum lies in a classic ‘stretch-pull basin’ formed as tectonic plates move apart, and the 1992 earthquake centered in Dahshur killed over 500 people. There are hot springs at all the major western desert oases and the Second Cataract. Additionally, the Egyptians had a word for earthquakes, nwr-tꜣ. Many scholars interpret this word as a fuzzy concept, symbolic rather than descriptive of a real event. But it is hard to imagine anyone experiencing an earthquake deeming it conceptual, as though it were performance art. While it is true, archaeologically, that earthquake damage might be difficult to distinguish from that caused by building ‘sag’ or human agency, there are specific accounts in the historic record. (1) The Fourth Dynasty mastaba of Nefermaat at Meidum and the Pyramid temple of Sahure at Abusir. (2) The Twelfth Dynasty rock tombs at el-Bersheh and the Fraser tombs at Tehneh. (3) In 1210 BC, a powerful quake damaged the temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel (fig. 4) and much of the west bank of Thebes, including the funerary temples of Amenhotep III, Ramesses II, Montuhotep II, and Thutmose III.

Fig. 4: The facade of Abu Simbel with damaged statue

How did a non-royal individual come to have a mortuary temple?

Connections and personal genius. Amenhotep son of Hapu was a very influential noble under Amenhotep III. He entered the civil service rather late in life, but rose quickly through ability. He was an architect who supervised many building projects, both civilian and military, including the king’s mortuary temple, the Colossi of Memnon, and the portico of the temple of Karnak. Next, he was appointed steward to the Princess Sitamun. On his death the king raised a stela allowing him to have a mortuary temple near the king’s own. It said in part, “On this day the King was in the ka-chapel of the hereditary prince, count, king’s-scribe, Amenhotep. There were brought in: the governor of the city and vizier, Amenhotep; the overseer of the treasury, Meriptah; and the king’s scribes of the army. The king said to them LPH: Hear the command which is given, to furnish the ka-chapel of the heredity prince, the royal scribe, Amenhotep, called Huy, Son of Hapu, whose excellence is extolled in order to perpetuate his ka-chapel with slaves, male and female, forever; son to son; heir to heir; in order that none trespass upon it forever.” After his death Amenhotep son of Hapu was worshiped as a god and venerated as a healer, just as Imhotep before him (fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Plaster cast of a relief from Karnak depicting Ptolemy III offering to Imhotep and Ptah (EC1959)

When Montuhotep II built his Memorial Temple there were no other buildings in the bay area of Deir el-Bahari. Why did he place his off-center?

Archaeologists have scratched their heads over this one for a century or two, given the ancient Egyptians’ known admiration for symmetry. Perhaps the best answer is that provided by Edouard Naville, “If we consider to ourselves the floor of the valley as it probably was when the site was chosen, we must realize that a considerable shoulder of rock and debris stood forward where Hatshepsut’s temple was afterwards built.” (Naville 1910, p. 13). Building to the west would permit considerably better access for the work. This is illustrated in Fig. 6; imagine that rock spur between the temples continued down a considerable way, but was later cleared by Hatshepsut’s builders.

Fig. 6: Perspective Drawing of Two Temples at Deir el-Bahari (Naville 1910, pl. I)

Why did Ay and Horemheb share a mortuary temple when they were not related to one another?

The usual answer; usurpation. Ay began the construction and finished the inner temple and the inner courtyard. His successor Horemheb took it over, erased Ay’s name, and constructed the rest (fig. 7). This included three pyloned courts, with a small palace in the third, a large peristyle court in front of the temple, and a series of magazines to the left of the temple.

Fig. 7: Plan of the Temple of Ay and Horemheb (Tour Egypt)

Were the structures on Thoth Hill Memorial Temples?

Montuhotep III (Sankhkare), a king of the Eleventh Dynasty, built the small mudbrick temple atop Thoth Hill. Adjacent to this was a smaller rectangular structure that most likely was his Sed-festival temple. He is an obscure but interesting figure, known for his expedition to Punt, which returned with a huge store of incense, perfumes, and frankincense resin. He built twelve wells along the trail from Coptos to the Red Sea, in order to establish a regular route. His true Memorial temple was started to the south of Deir el-Bahari, close to that of his father. Its layout involved a causeway leading up to a temple platform. These were never finished, but he was buried in a tomb chamber cut into the rock face behind the temple. Beneath the Middle Kingdom buildings on Thoth Hill lies an Archaic Period (c. 3,200 BC) stone temple (fig. 8), dated by its pottery remains. It comprises a walled enclosure, with what appears to be a pylon entrance and a temple with a single-roomed sanctuary. Nothing is known of its purpose.

Fig. 8: Thoth Hill Archaic Period Temple Plan

Next week we can look forward to Lecture 5 in this series, the elite’s counterpart to the royal memorial temples, “Houses of Eternity”: The Tombs of the Nobles (Deir el-Medina, Sheikh abd-el Qurna, Asasif, South Asasif)!


Karakhanyan, Arkadi, Ara Avagyan, Mikayel Gevorgyan, Hourig Sourouzian, and Carmen Lopez Roa 2014. Evidence of a strong earthquake in the period between 1200 and 900 BC identified in the temple of Amenhotep III and in other temples of the ancient Thebes. In Capriotti Vittozzi, Giuseppina (ed.), Egyptian curses 1: Proceedings of the Egyptological Day held at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Rome, 3rd December 2012, in the International Conference “Reading catastrophes: methodological approaches and historical interpretation. Earthquakes, floods, famines, epidemics between Egypt and Palestine, 3rd–1st millennium BC. Rome, 3rd–4th December 2012, CNR - Sapienza University of Rome”, 43–62. Rome: CNR Edizioni.

Naville, Édouard 1910. The XIth Dynasty temple at Deir el-Bahari. Part II. Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund 30. London: Egypt Exploration Fund.

Robichon, Clément and Alexandre Varille 1936. Le temple du scribe royal Amenhotep, fils de Hapou, I. Fouilles de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 11. Cairo: l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

Ullmann, Martina 2002. Die Häuser der Millionen von Jahren: eine Untersuchung zu Königskult und Tempeltypologie in Ägypten. Ägypten und Altes Testament 51. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

———. 2016. The temples of millions of years at Western Thebes. In Wilkinson, Richard H. and Kent R. Weeks (eds), The Oxford handbook of the Valley of the Kings, 417–432. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vörös, Győző 1998. Temple on the pyramid of Thebes: Hungarian excavations on Thoth Hill at the temple of Pharaoh Montuhotep Sankhkara 1995–1998. Budapest: Százszorszép Kiadó és Nyomda. 

Wilkinson, Richard H. 2000. The complete temples of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson.