September 2015

“Rescuing History: ARCE Recording Sheikh Abd el-Gurneh” Andrew Bednarski (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the beginning of September Andrew Bednarski came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about an American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) project to document the now-demolished village of Qurna. He was involved in the project from 2011-2014, so this is the time period he told us about but the project is still ongoing. This is a bit of a departure from our usual sort of talk – whilst still Egyptian archaeology, most of the subject was considerably more modern. The “village” of Sheikh Abd el-Gurneh (or Qurna) is located in the Valley of the Nobles. This area is best known as the place across the mountains from the Valley of the Kings where the New Kingdom aristocracy built their tombs. There are also older tombs (Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom) in the area, and more recent tombs too. And various waves of habitation including Coptic monasteries.… Read More »“Rescuing History: ARCE Recording Sheikh Abd el-Gurneh” Andrew Bednarski (EEG Meeting Talk)

Egypt Holiday 2014: Medinet Habu

The temple at Medinet Habu is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. It was Ramesses III’s memorial temple, known in Ancient Egypt as the Mansion of Millions of Years of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt User-Ma’at-Ra-Mery-Amun in the Estate of Amun on the West of Thebes. And typing out a name like that always makes me wonder if it was significantly shorter in Ancient Egyptian or if they had shorter names to refer to the temples by! The design of this temple is quite similar to the other mortuary temples we visited earlier in the trip – those of Seti I and Ramesses II. Possibly a standard design, although Kent Weeks in his Luxor guidebook ascribes it to being another instance of Ramesses III emulating Ramesses II (along with naming his sons the same things as Ramesses II named his and so on). My photos from… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Medinet Habu

Egypt Holiday 2014: Deir el Medina

View across the Village at Deir el Medina The ancient Egyptian village at Deir el Medina was the home of the people who worked on the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. The families who lived there were relatively high status (for common people) as they were skilled craftsmen. They were also kept isolated from the general population because they knew where tombs were and the materials they worked with were also valuable. The village also had a high literacy level, and so a lot is known about their lives from the discarded ostraca (bits & pieces of pottery & limestone) that they used to write notes. My photos from this site are up on flickr, as always, click here for the full set, and on any photo in the post for the larger version on flickr. Flickr have changed the way their embed links work… Read More »Egypt Holiday 2014: Deir el Medina