Thursday, June 19, 2008

A few items courtesy of the EEF:

Press report: "TV~Rs Not-So-Great Pyramid"
Critical review of the latest History Channel documentary 'The
Lost Pyramid'.
"(...) The film, debuting next week on the History Channel,
follows a team of archeologists as they unearth Egypt's fourth Great
Pyramid at Giza, which, as the title says, has been lost for years to the
desert sands. Even more amazing, this new pyramid (built by the
Fourth-dynasty Pharaoh Djedefre) is actually the highest one of all~W
27 feet higher than the Great Pyramid of Cheops. "I'm a pyramid man,
and what I've seen now has made me change many things," says
Zahi Hawass, "Every history book in every language is going to be
rewritten." The only problem is that statement~Windeed, the entire
documentary~Wis arguably as solid as the crumbling pyramid itself.
Egyptologists have known about Djedefre's pyramid for years (..),
the structure isn't really on the Giza plateau, which is five miles to
the south, and while it may appear larger than Cheops, that's only
because Djedefre's hill is so high~Wthe Great Pyramid is more than
twice as tall in absolute terms. Some Egyptologists say that the
slope of Djedefre's walls~W60 degrees, as opposed to the 52-degree
slope of the major pyramids~Wmean that the star of "The Lost Pyramid"
is really just a sun temple. "It has never been lost," says Vassil Dobrev
of Cairo's French Institute of Archaeology, "and it is not even a
pyramid." (...) Dobrev (..) suspects Djedefre's pyramid is at another
place altogether, Zawyet el-Aryan, south of Giza, where the remains
of a pyramid with a 420,000-square-foot base has been found, far
bigger than the thing at Abu Ruwash, and also with Djedefre's name
on a foundation stone, he claims. (..)"

Press report: "A wake-up call for the antiquities market"
"(..) The days when you could buy anything without bothering
to find out how this [object] (..) came to tumble onto the market
are over. The latest evidence that a new stage has been reached
was a policy advisory issued by the U.S. Association of Art
Museum Directors. Its gist, The New York Times reported last
week, is that museums "normally should not acquire a work unless
solid proof exists that the object was outside its country of probable
modern discovery before 1970, or was legally exported from its
probable country of modern discovery after 1970." As the
overwhelming majority of objects knocking about the art market
come from countries that do not permit the export of antiquities,
the U.S. museums advisory amounts to underwriting, if only
unofficially, the 1970 Unesco convention banning the acquisition
of objects illicitly dug up. (..) Proven provenance documented
by early publication in art books or learned journals was at a
premium as never before. (..)." An example of the latter is formed
by recently auctioned ancient Egyptian artefacts from the well-
documented Gustave Jéquier collection, being sold at prices
very far above the estimate. Antiquities without a documented
early provenance might well cease to be marketable.
-- Slide-show on this topic:

Press report: "High-tech mummycam unwrapped",CST-NWS-mummy14.article
The Field Museum aquired digital X-ray technology,
and used it "to peer into the coffinlike sarcophagus of an
Egyptian mummy dating from 200 B.C. (..) The scientists
can't determine the mummy's sex yet but, looking at bone
growth, believe he or she was 18 to 20 years at death,
(..) probably military or merchant class. (..)''

UCLA's Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE), Open Version,
has put up a new entry:
-- Laurent Coulon (June 19, 2008), "Famine"