March 2015

Egypt Holiday 2014: Dimai

Dimai Temple Walls Dimai (or Dime es-Sabh) is the site of a Ptolemaic & Roman era town, on the northern shores of Lake Qahrun. Because the lake has shrunk since that time and the northern shore is no longer inhabited or cultivated the site is in a remarkably good state of preservation. It was inhabited for around 600 years from the 3rd Century BC in the reign of Ptolemy II through to its abandonment in the 3rd Century AD. My photos from this site and a few of J’s are up on flickr, click here to see the set. Screenshots from Google Maps showing position & layout of Dimai The most striking thing about the site as you arrive are the remains of the temple enclosure walls around the northern temple. These mudbrick structures are still very tall, much taller than head height, and they stand up out of the… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Dimai

Egypt Holiday 2014: Hawara

Hawara Pyramid, Looking Across the Labyrinth Site The last of the pyramids that we visited on our holiday was the one at Hawara. It’s not that far from Lahun, and was the last stop on that particular day – afterwards we just had lunch and then drove on to the hotel on the lake shore where we were staying at that night. My photos from the site are up on flickr, click here for the full set, or click on any photo to go to the photo page on flickr. Location of Hawara Pyramid This was the most recent of the pyramids we saw – built by the Middle Kingdom Pharaoh Amenemhat III. He was the grandson of Senwosret II who built the Lahun pyramid (post) and ruled for 46 years around 1850BC. This pyramid was his second pyramid, the first one we’d seen from a distance earlier in the… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Hawara

Egypt Holiday 2014: Lahun

Lahun Pyramid The Lahun pyramid, near the modern village of Illahun near Faiyum, was built for Senwosret II. He was a Middle Kingdom Pharaoh who reigned around 1880BC. He was the fourth Pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty coming between Amenemhat II and Senwosret III. The pyramid is clearly visible on the imagery on Google Maps as you can see in the screenshots below. My overall impression of the site from visiting is actually mostly about the colours – the cream of the desert and the limestone, the dark mudbrick pyramid, the red sandstone fragments and the green fertile land on the horizon beneath a blue sky with white clouds. Photos are on flickr, as always, click here for the album which has some more photos than just those in this post. Screenshots from Google Maps showing Lahun Pyramid Like other Middle Kingdom pyramids it is constructed from a mudbrick core… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Lahun

“Ten Years in the Harem: Excavating the Gurob Harem Palace 2005-2015” Hannah Pethen (EEG Meeting Talk)

On Sunday Hannah Pethen came to talk to us at the Essex Egyptology Group about the Harem Palace at Gurob. The first half of her talk gave us context for the site – where it is, what it is and who has excavated there before. And the second half moved on to the work that’s been done there in the last decade. Google Screenshots showing location of Gurob (red dot) Gurob is in the Faiyum near the pyramids at Lahun and Hawara, in fact Lahun pyramid can be seen from the site across the river valley. On the screenshots above the position of Gurob is indicated by the red dot, and the blue dots show Lahun (to the north & east of Gurob) and Hawara (to the north-west). The three sites are on either side of a spur of river that diverges from the main Nile further to the south… Read More »“Ten Years in the Harem: Excavating the Gurob Harem Palace 2005-2015” Hannah Pethen (EEG Meeting Talk)

Egypt Holiday 2014: Dashur

The Bent Pyramid Dashur is a little way south of Cairo, and just south of Saqqara. It’s a site with a few pyramids and other burials, and is notable for having two of the earliest true pyramids – both of which we got to see. There are also other later pyramids in the area, but we didn’t get to go close to them. My photos from this site are now up on flickr, click here for the whole album. Where the pyramids are at Dashur On the screenshots above from Google maps I’ve marked where Dashur is and the names of the three pyramids I have photos of. The plan below I got from wikipedia (drawn by user Janmad) and I’ve labelled the same three pyramids here. Plan of Dashur drawn by Janmad The Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid were both built for the same Pharaoh – Sneferu. He… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Dashur