Friday, March 31, 2017

Mummy Exhibit at New York's Museum of Natural History

     To all of you who will be in New York City in the next few months, you may want to check out a new mummy exhibit that has opened at the Museum of Natural History. Naturally Egyptian mummies are part of the exhibit, but so are mummies from Peru. I have not yet seen the exhibit (it has just opened) and will provide more details once I do see it. In the meantime, here is some more information about it. 

   Also in the news is the discovery of the tomb of one of the Ptolemaic "Kings" in Cyprus. The tomb is that of 12 year old Ptolemy Efpator, who was appointed King of Cyprus by his father Ptolemy the Sixth of Egypt. The child ruled Cyprus for about two years. The Ptolemy were the descendants of General Ptolemy, who was a commander for and close friend of Alexander the Great. After Alexander's death, Ptolemy declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt and promptly stole Alexander's body, which was en route to Macedonia for burial. Ptolemy had Alexander buried at Memphis, but the world conquering Macedonian was later re-buried in Alexandria. Another article on the discovery, with a re-construction of the tomb, can be found here.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tutankhamen's Funeral Objects from Nefertiti's Funerary Equipment?

     It has been known for many years that some of the objects in Tutankhamen's tomb were not made for his funeral. Nicholas Reeves has taken a look at this in an article in the latest copy of the Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar ("Tutankhamen's Mask Reconsidered", BES volume 19, 2015). He lists a number of objects that seem to have been made for some one else's funeral, but which were used in Tutankhamen's burial. The canonic coffinettes, some of the mummy trappings, and even the world famous gold death mask were actually made for Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.

     It has been suspected that Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten was Queen Nefertiti serving as a co-regent with her husband Akhenaten. Strong support for this theory has now emerged as Dr. Reeves has re-examined Tutankhamen's death mask and noted that the young king's cartouche on the mask was altered in ancient times to replace a cartouche of Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten. This would seem to prove that Ankhkheperure did rule as a Pharaoh. It does not prove that this was the throne name of Nefertiti, but it would seem very possible that it was her throne name.

     If you can get a copy of BES 19, do read Dr. Reeve's article as it contains some very interesting material. BES 19 is also a "festschrift" commemorating the career of Dorothea Arnold, who is well-known and well-respected in the field of egyptology.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Palace of Sennacherib Found

     Archaeologists working in Mosul to assess the damage caused by ISIS to what is believed to be the tomb of the Prophet Jonah have discovered that the palace of Sennacherib lies below the Prophet's final resting place. Apparently ISIS had dug tunnels into the site looking for artifacts to loot.

     One of the tunnels contained an inscription from the reign of Esarhaddon. who was the son of Sennacherib. The tunnels are apparently in danger of collapsing which would do even more damage to the site.