Saturday, 29 October 2011

Senenmut's Tomb TT71- Photos by Heidi Kontkanen

stela No.7 tomb TT71
Originally uploaded by konde

A big thank you to Heidi Kontkanen for this fantastic set of photos taken at TT71.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Neferura, Heir Apparent - Marianne Luban

This is a very interesting post by Marianne Luban, "Neferure, Heir Apparent".

Marianne picks up where we left off back in August and September.

The life of Neferure is not well known. She may have died young, or she may have married Thutmose III. We certainly await archaeological evidence for the latter - but the point is Neferure's life is very much a mystery.

Marianne has some interesting points to make. Marianne is looking at an area which to my own knowledge is very much up for discussion.

I would like to hear from anyone who wishes to add to what Marianne has posted.


British Museum tour reaches Dorchester Museum

British Museum Tour:


This tour features some items which will be of use to the Hatshepsut Project, so i will add further details. This tour will be in my home town of Bristol in 2013. I will be there (if all goes well). I will photograph what i can and will report on the visit. 

If any of you get to see the tour before then, please let us know what your thoughts are on the exhibition.



Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hatshepsut, by Amelia B. Edwards

Amelia Edwards- co- founder of the Egypt Exploration Fund (now Society), female Egyptologist. The list could go on. Her grave is only a few miles from where i am right now. Deserved of a post all to herself (one for later)- it is the following link to some of her work i wish to share. This small piece of history is incredible. Made available online and is packed with a large number of talking points.

It is important to note that Amelia Edwards was writing before many of the discoveries which give us the information we have today- so there are many opportunities to compare her thoughts with the information have available today.

"Chapter 8: Queen Hatasu, and Her Expedition to the Land of Punt." by Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (1831-1892)
Publication: Pharaohs Fellahs and Explorers. by Amelia Edwards. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1891. (First edition.) pp. 261-300."
As i stated above there are many talking points. I will higlight some of these in future posts. This document is a real gem which i am excited to have. It is made available to us by Pennsylvania University Libraries.


Authors Note

Just a quick post to try to work out where we are right now and where i hope us to be for the rest of 2011.

Thanks for all of those who have been following the blog and the very useful comments which you have left to date.

I am still adding detail to the Hatshepsut Museum database although i have been deliberately quiet recently with updates. One example of the type of work i am doing on the database is "gap filling". We have around 1,000 items which have been captured so far (give or take) and i found out very early on that i need to have multiple sources of information for each item to get the most complete information. That's what I'm working on. Acquisition dates and Provenance are the hardest areas to fill, but in time i hope we will have enough information to "go live".

Our group on Facebook has been a great help. After a year of research- i felt i needed to be around others who share the same interests- in order to ensure my own "knowledge" was correct and to gain confidence in discussing Hatshepsut in an open environment. The feedback so far is promising. I have a number of people who have kindly steered me in the right direction on a few topics and i realise how much I've learned and how little I've learned all at the same time (depending on who the discussion is with). I will add that the Egyptian Dream discussion forum has been a great place for me to discuss Hatshepsut also. It has given me the confidence to open up this blog and to post with a degree of freedom in the way i write (learned by opening up discussions and backing up evidence when asked to, etc). 

When discussions within the Hatshepsut Project Group provide more information- i will share this on all the platforms available to me- Blogger, Facebook and Twitter.

All mini- projects are running in the background. None have projected end- dates as i am far too busy. My wife and I are going to have a son in 2012, so posts around then will be as and when i get time. Saying that- Hatshepsut is never too far away. She will have to take a back seat for a period of time.

Hatshepsut owes me that.... :)


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Monday, 17 October 2011

Maatkara Shabti, but not Maatkara Hatshepsut

Some time ago i posted about a visit to my local museum, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. The purpose of the visit was to see a blue glazed shabti "with the Prenomen of Hatshepsut".

Here is what i saw:

Indeed, Maatkara can be seen on the shabti. The shabti belongs to the 21st Dynasty though.

I forgot i had this photo. It wasn't a wasted visit either. As much as it would have been great to see Hatshepsut in Bristol. It was good to rule this shabti out- so that i could concentrate on the artifacts of Maatkara Hatshepsut which we know are hers.

A number of Hatshepsut related (British Museum) artefact's will be touring the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery soon. I will post further details closer to the time.


Interesting Hatshepsut article by Marianne Luban

Marianne Luban has written an interesting article, which is well worth sharing, entitled "Hatshepsut's Obelisk Again".

Author of a number of books, including the Pharaoh's Barber (See picture below), Marianne runs the "The Time Traveler Rest Stop" blog and has been  a great help to me in the past.

For further information on Marianne and her work, please visit The Time Traveler Rest Stop.

Thank you, Marianne.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Wadi Gawasis

Many people are not aware of the site of Wadi Gawasis, so i will provide a few interesting links as a starter point. Could this provide a much sought after link to Punt?

What is most important about the Wadi Gerwasis is the current excavations being carried out which have proven to be incredibly fruitful. Firstly, I will ask you to have a look at the links provided in my last post entitled "Punt: Digging Away at a Mystery"

Now note that the archaeological findings are all pointing in the direction of the possibility that Wadi Gerwasis may have been the starting point the Ancient Egyptians used when setting off for the land of Punt.

Specific to Hatshepsut- i believe that no items have been found yet which point to her own expedition(s) to Punt, but further reading into the many reports show that the findings are exciting to say the least. At this stage i introduce the work of Kathryn Bard (Boston University) and Rodolfo Fattovich (Naples University):

Mersa/Wadi Gawasis  An Egyptian Harbour n the Red Sea 

The findings have been incredible. The University of Naples has a great way of breaking down the work carried out and listing the individual findings. I personally found their Egittologia article great for looking these findings up.

If you don't want to stop there- there's plenty of information online. I would advise to sticking to the work of the excavators and their Universities- to ensure completeness of information.


Punt: Digging Away at a Mystery

Thanks to Paul Boughton for bringing the following article to my attention:

Punt: Digging Away at a Mystery

"Tonight (Kathryn) Bard will describe what has been found at the site and what these artifacts tell us about the ancient Egyptians when she delivers this year’s University Lecture, titled The Wonderful Things of Punt: Excavations at a Pharaonic Harbor on the Red Sea, at the Tsai Performance Center at 7 p.m."
 I am sure the above event will be worth attending. The subject matter is of high importance to Ancient Egypt and the most recent discoveries have helped to keep the name of Punt on the lips of many of us.


Monday, 10 October 2011

Hatshepsut - Provenance

In reference to the Hatshepsut Project artifacts come in various shapes and sizes. Maybe as small as an inscribed bead to the much larger statues. Each and every artifact discovered in Egypt has a story, whether inscribed/ painted or not. The value of each and every item increases depending on the completeness of information we have regarding its provenance.
The very many fragments of statues discovered by Herbert Winlock (on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) at Deir el Bahri have a clear provenance.  Each and every one of those statues came from Deir el Bahri. Each one was treated to various levels of destruction before being dumped in pits which were uncovered in the 20th century. 
The British Museum (Hatshepsut) obelisk, found at Qasr Ibrim has some history. It was treated to the same defacement as many of Hatshepsut’s monuments, a point not unexpected. It was re-used within a later monument which saved in from the ravages of time. What would be good for this obelisk is to know where Hatshepsut erected it originally. It seems to have lasted into the time of the sole reign of Thutmose III (perhaps Amenhotep II), where either standing or not was defaced. We cannot blame anyone for the lack of provenance. It was re-used/ recycled after Hatshepsut’s death.  We may never know the original location of this object. We are fortunate to have this little obelisk at all, after 3500 yrs or so.
The amount of information that can be gained from a single object, which may not be particularly eye catching in a museum is incredible. A small scarab beetle, which lies surrounded by many others perhaps in better shape, cannot be ignored. Often we can gain information such as which god the item is dedicated to, who dedicated it, which temple and more.  Whereas it’s nice to see a Scarab Beetle of Hatshepsut, its better to have the most complete information- leaving less room for guesswork.
It’s not just the inscriptions, but say a Scarab Beetle dedicated to Amun was found within the temple of Karnak, with the name of Hatshepsut. We can say that it was dedicated BY Hatshepsut TO Amun at Karnak. This is preferable to “Hatshepsut scarab with name of Amun inscribed” which we would get without the information of its discovery location. If a canopic jar with the name of Hatshepsut is ever found, great. However, as this item was NOT found by anyone who recorded it in the records we read today, there is a chance that it was stolen. If stolen, where from? where’s it been?  was it found in KV20? Or do we draw a blank?  Then, what happens is there are human remains in the above canopic jar? The only acceptable provenance (excavation) has been ruled out, so how can we link the remains with Hatshepsut, with great certainty?
Artifacts have a number of ways of ending up in our museums collections. Many are acquired through excavations. Some have been purchased on the antique markets, some are gifts and others are bequeathed by the “owners” of these items in their Last Will and Testimony.  Then there’s the black market. Today’s stance on the purchase of items which come from the black market is clear. It is illegal and unacceptable. If the true number of Egyptian artifacts scattered across the globe which were bought on the black market was known, it would make for shocking reading. Again we should be lucky to have these items today. Its only when an items provenance is put into question do we realise what we are missing. We cannot do a thing about it. 
These are but brief comments. The more museums I visit in person or virtually- the more I see the importance or provenance. More often than not it is the lack of provenance which sticks in the mind.
One item of note in recent press is the Hatshepsut vessel containing the carcinogenic substance.  Who originally found this object? EXACTLY where and when? What happened since then? The Hatshepsut Database I am creating has a number of blank entries- and will remain so until this information is volunteered to us.