Friday, March 24, 2006

This week's news from the EEF

"A chance trick of the light has provided proof that the town of
Al-Qasr in the Dakhla Oasis was once a Roman fortress. "
"Agricultural accounts from the Roman town of Kellis, the site
of which lies between Al-Qasr and Mut, show records of
grain and wine being sent to a place named, in Greek, "Takastra".
Up to now no one has known where this might be, but now it
can be surmised that Takastra, "the camp" from the Latin castra
(military camp), later became Qasr, making its etymological link
with the Arabic qasr (fortified town) obscure."

Cool part:

It happens to most of us: the mislaid glasses you find have been wearing all along, the lost car keys which were under your nose. Like those keys, the evidence was right before his eyes. "Archaeologists had been walking past it all the time," Leemhuis said this week. "They just didn't notice it."

What caught his eye was an outcrop of what had always been thought -- if any thought was given to it at all -- to be an outcrop of dried mud beneath a disused mosque on the edge of the old town. One morning this February Leemhuis was walking past the "rock" when he noticed that the sun caught a distinct line that appeared to be a course of brickwork. He called in the project's chief restorer, Rizq Abdel-Hay Ahmed, and local inspector Affaf Saad Hussein, and together they examined it more closely. Under the veneer of sun-baked mud they could distinguish several such courses. Far from being hardened earth this was mud-brick, and, moreover, the size of the bricks -- each 8x16x33 cms -- corresponded exactly to bricks in other Roman fortresses in the Western Desert. Since then other experts, including Roger Bagnold of Columbia University -- who has also walked past it many times -- have agreed the wall is Roman.

On the ARTP site, five entries called "KV63 in context" (I to V)
have appeared this week:
They talk about the work done in "ARTP excavation area no. 1", i.e. the
area between KV62 / KV9 and KV56, so opposite to KV10 and KV11.
[Compare Gitta's photo at the EEFBBS, where you may also find the
Stanford scans: ]
Note that Part V has pictures of the ARTP radar survey in 2000,
showing the 'blip' that would much later prove to be KV63.

* "Rock the Oasis" - online interview with Salima Ikram,
co-director of the North Kharga Oasis Survey (NKOS), who
discusses ancient rock art discovered in the Western Desert:

Digitized book from the Oriental Institute Electronic Publications
-- John A. Larson, Lost Nubia: A Centennial Exhibit of Photographs from the
1905-1907 Egyptian Expedition of the University of Chicago, The Oriental
Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2006 (Oriental
Institute Museum Publications No. 24). xiv, 109 pp. - pdf-file (10.9 MB)
"In 1905, the Oriental Exploration Fund of the University of Chicago
sponsored an Egyptian Expedition under the direction of Professor James
Henry Breasted. During the winter season of 1905/1906 and again in
1906/1907, Breasted and his colleagues made two reconnaissance trips to
Nubia. Their photographic record comprises almost 1,200 original
black-and-white images ... A century later, the documentary photographs of
the Breasted Expedition are still important records of the land that is now
Lost Nubia."

The two articles on the Abydos cemeteries in the most recent
issue of Antiquity (see last EEFNEWS) may officially not be available
for free online (in PDF), but somehow they are floating around gratis
at the Antiquity website in HTML form (a cache thingie?; of course the
photographs are missing):
-- S.O.Y. Keita and A.J. Boyce, "Variation in porotic hyperostosis in the
Royal Cemetery complex at Abydos, Upper Egypt: a social interpretation",
-- Cheryl Ward, "Boat-building and its social context in early Egypt:
interpretations from the First Dynasty boat-grave cemetery at Abydos",
pp. 118-129:

[Submitted by Michael Tilgner]
* Online version of: Richard H. Wilkinson, The Tausert Temple Project: 2004
and 2005 Seasons, The Ostracon: Journal of the Egyptian Study Society, vol.
16, no.2 (Summer 2005), pp. 7-12 - pdf-file (855 KB)
"The unfinished Memorial Temple of Tausert is located on the west bank at
Luxor between the recently restored Temple of Merenptah and the small
Temple of Khonsuirdis, south of the Ramesseum.The site was briefly
examined by W.M. Flinders Petrie in 18961. For the past 100 years,
the site has been largely ignored ... The University of Arizona Egyptian
Expedition (UAEE) decided that a reexamination of the site - aimed
at clearing, recording, publishing, and conserving the temple remains -
might be of significant value. As a result, the Supreme Council of
Antiquities granted the UAEE permission to begin this project, and the
Expedition completed its first field season in May and June of 2004,
and a second season in May and June of 2005.3 This article
describes what has been accomplished during the first two seasons
of work on this long-overlooked yet fascinating site."

[ed. Okay then. . .] Two musicians with a love of ancient Egyptian mythology have
merged Jamaican reggae grooves with themes of the Heliopolitan
cosmology. Full versions of all 8 songs are available for listening
or free download at:

"Aigyptos - A Database for Egyptological Literature"
"The AIGYPTOS database was specifically created to enable the search for
Egyptological publications by means of an elaborate subject indexing. It was
developed at the Institute of Egyptology in Munich, Germany, and was
available only locally for a number of years - therefore the language used
for processing literature was German. An additional English version of
AIGYPTOS is now available. Its specific aim is to allow queries using
English keywords. Due to the limited time that was available for the
creation of the English version, it has not been possible to translate the
contents of all the searchfields into English, so that the entries in
several fields, e.g. 'place of publication', 'language', 'comment' et al.
are still in German."

End of EEF News