Friday, March 23, 2007

And now. . . .the news from the EEF (first in a couple of weeks, I'm afraid)

Press report: "Integrated project to restore pyramids blocks"

Second part of Dr Hawass's story about his hat, and how it saved him from the "curse of the Pharaohs", although not totally:

Press report: "Ancient Egyptian make-up uncovered"
"A new analysis of ancient Egyptian pots on display in the
Louvre in Paris has challenged what people believed their
contents to be. The four hieroglyphic-covered pots have
been labelled for the past 100 years as Canopic jars holding
the embalmed remains of the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II.
But French chemists now believe that they hold ordinary
cosmetics, the New Scientist reports."
-- Another press report on this:
-- The New Scientist's press report is at:
--Photo of the jars (see EEFNEWS (443)):

Archaeology's Interactive Dig "Excavating Hierakonpolis"
has been updated with four 'Field Notes' about the 2007 season:

End of EEF news

Wait! That EEF news was from a week ago! Here's this week's, too!

Press report: "Mummy is back, and a little more presentable "
"For 51 years, visitors to the St. Louis Art Museum were
fascinated -- and a little horrified -- by mummy Pet-menekh
and the black toe that protruded from his foot wrappings.
After more than 20 years away and an extensive face lift,
the 2,300-year-old mummy returned to the St. Louis Art
Museum in 2001. "

Press report: "Modern technology reveals mummy's past
Extensive research was done on a child mummy in the Saint Louis
Science Center. "The baby mummy had a European mom, and likely
came from a wealthy family. (...) A small snippet of the mummy's
wrapping tested for carbon dating suggested the child had lived
between 30 B.C. and 130 A.D. (...) Three-dimensional images
from CT scans of the child's bones, skull, teeth and body cavity
suggested the child lived to be seven or eight months. (...)
DNA [was extracted] using routine methods. Tests showed the
boy's mother was European." With a photo of the mummy,
which now has gone on display.
-- The press release of the Center and other info about the
research project (incl. a video presentation) can be found at:

Press report: "Investigating evolution and mutation through
ancient DNA research"
"This month Professor Lambert embarks on a new phase of
ancient DNA research. (..) The DNA from mummified Sacred
Ibis, in some cases as much as 6000 years old, will be
compared with samples collected right up to the present
day from the widespread population of Sacred Ibis still
roaming in Africa. (..) One of his collaborators, Professor
Mark Spigelman (University College, London) has developed
methods to sample fully wrapped mummies with an
endoscope that will leave little, if any evidence of this
intrusion in the name of science."

Press report: "A Sliver of Ancient Egypt in Central Park"
"Only 22 [obelisks] remain in the world. Egypt still possesses
five and Rome has 13. The Romans originally looted the obelisks,
but the 16th-century Pope Sixtus V directed their present
locations in the Eternal City. Istanbul, London, Paris, and
New York each have one obelisk.". The story of the only
AE obelisk in the Americans, behind the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, in Central Park.

Press report: "Valley of the bulldozers: Death on the Nile"
About the destruction of Qurna. "It has been decided that
30 of the village houses will be preserved for posterity. Of
course no one will live in them. And the people of Qurna,
what will become of them? They will be off the map. And
if any returning visitors wonder where they have all gone,
they will have left no trace and the question will fade
unanswered. Because the concern of the tourist business
is not the living but the dead, and the longer they have been
dead, the better. "

* Press report: "Pyramid's Secret Doors to Be Opened"
"By the end of this year (..) people all over the world will
know what is behind the second door in the southern shaft
and the third door in the northern shaft," Hawass said."

Janet H. Johnson (Ed.), Life in a Multi-Cultural Society:
Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond. SAOC 51.
Proceedings of a symposium held at the Oriental Institute of
the University of Chicago in September 1990. The book was
published on paper in 1992, and now (March 2007) the OI
offers a digitized version, for free (PDF, 40.5 MB).

Some relevant articles that appeared in: Pamela B. Vandiver,
Martha Goodway, Jennifer L. Mass (Eds.), Materials Issues in
Art and Archaeology VI. Materials Research Society Proceedings
Volume 712 (2002, Out of Print). These papers of Symposium II
of the 2001 MRS Fall Meeting are online for free [by mistake?].
TOC of the Proceedings as a whole:
-- Patricia S. Griffin, "Reconstructing the Materials and Technology of
Egyptian Faience and Frit", pp. 323-356 (PDF, 7.03 MB)
"This paper presents a research project undertaken at the Cleveland
Museum of Art to study and characterize its collection of more than
one hundred and fifty Egyptian artifacts made from faience or frit.
An overview of the project is presented here, followed by a summary
of faience technology that draws upon other published studies as well
as the insights gained during this project. Where appropriate, this
technological discussion will be illustrated using examples of Egyptian
artifacts studied during this project. For some objects discussion will
be limited to one or two aspects of manufacture. However, the
proposed manufacturing sequence of several key artifacts will be
described more fully. "
-- Alison Whyte, Susan Stock, Alison Murray, "An Unusual
Dark Patina on Egyptian Copper Alloy Objects in the Royal
Ontario Museum Collection", pp. 269-280 (PDF, 344 KB) [this
one was already mentioned in EEFNEWS (435).]
-- Carolyn Riccardelli, Jennifer Mass, and Jonathan Thornton,
"Egyptian Faience Inlay Techniques: A Process for Obtaining Detail
and Clarity by Refiring" pp. 545-570 (PDF, 2.14 MB):
"The faience of the New Kingdom period is frequently decorated
with an expanded palette of red, black, and yellow. This polychrome
decoration was often accomplished by inlaying one color of paste into
another. The aesthetic success of these inlay techniques reveals a
fundamental understanding of the materials' characteristics before,
during, and after firing, and knowledge of how to manipulate these
characteristics. The goal of this research is to more fully understand
ancient Egyptian faience inlay techniques by characterizing the properties
of a set of standard reproductions. "
-- Dudley F. Giberson, Jr, "Core Vessel Technology: A New Model",
pp. 571-578 (PDF, 243 KB):
"Ancient Egyptian XVIII Dynasty core vessel manufacturing technology
had many sequential steps to make a core vessel, but there were only
three essential elements to the process. One, the base layer of glass
was applied as a frit glass; two, the objects were manufactured over
a vertical heat source; and three, the vessels were made in very low
temperatures (maximum 1500F.)."

Vivienne G. Callender," A Contribution to the Burial of Women
in the Old Kingdom", in: Archiv Orientální, vol. 70, pp. 337-350
(2002) - pdf-file (6.8 MB)
"After a period of virtually total neglect, the theme of female
burials in the Old Kingdom has lately been receiving a little
scholarly attention ...This imbalance naturally reflects the
situation of the cemeteries themselves, where the majority of
tombs belong to men; nonetheless, apart from the wellknown,
general comment that there are far fewer female tomb owners
than male owners, there are some aspects of the information
regarding female burials that need to be brought forward for
our attention."

NOW. . . .end of EEF news