Volume II, Number 6 June 1st, 2001
Egyptian News Roundup
This month there have been several major news items on Egypt, particularly including exploration of the ancient underwater city of Herakleion and a discovery that ancient Egypt is not known for, that of gigantic dinosaur remains. Though not a major discovery, it is also important to point out that the Pyramid of Menkaure has been closed for conservation.
Herakleion Giant statues, a well-preserved stela, gold and more have been uncovered by Franck Goddio, also well known for his exploration of the Alexandria harbor. 1,200 years ago, an earthquake sent this important pharaonic harbor and the nearby cities of Canopus and Menouthis to the bottom of the Mediterranean. Houses, temples, giant statues, a coliseum and other structures remain below the sea's surface. Herakleion was a flourishing customs port until the founding of Alexandria.
Dinosaurs in Egypt
Egypt has never been known as a hotbed for the discovery of dinosaur remains, but through the efforts of the Egyptian Geologic Survey and the USs Pennsylvania University mission, one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered has been unearthed. Measuring 30 meters and weighing in at 75 tons, this new discovery is adding to the fame of the Bahariya Oasis in the western desert. There are 13 other dinosaur sites in the Oasis, which has already garnered additional notoriety for the recently discovered valley of the Golden Mummies.
Pyramid of Menkaure
The smallest of the great Giza pyramids has been closed due to high humidity levels inside the tomb chamber. This is often the result of increased visitors, leading to salt deposits on the inner walls, which must be removed mechanically. The work on the Menkaure pyramid should be finished by the end of this year, at which time the Great Pyramid of Khufu is scheduled for closing for a similar treatment. (More information about this closing will be provided as it is made available.)
Other Antiquity News
Provided things go as planned, the Red Gallery in Hatshepsut's temple on the west bank at Luxor will be open for viewing in November. This project involved the assembly of 300 archaeological pieces of stone.
A new museum, the National Museum of Alexandria, will be established in the Bassili Pasha Palace in Alexandria. It will present different eras of Egyptian civilization particularly from the Alexandria era.
Another new cultural museum will be built from the luxurious palace that once belonged to Princess Fatima. Displays will include rare paintings of the Royal family of Egypt, along with works of art created by some of Egypt's most famous artists.
The pharaonic village of Athar Al-Bwayb has been discovered in the hills of the Dakahlia governate. Finds include a rare statue of the child Horus. However, the surprise in this year's dig was a second village found beneath the first, dating some 400 years older then the upper village. It to appears to be in remarkable condition, retaining wear marks on the doors from continuous opening and closing.
Many of the monuments in Old Cairo are being restored, and a few additions, such as a tourist market in Al-Fustat are being created. While this project has been underway for some time, restoration is nearing completion, which includes churches, mosques and even storefronts.
The ever-intriguing Cleopatra remained in the news this month, mostly surrounded by arguments concerning her beauty. Well, actually there has been little argument, as the original story questioning her form by the British museum has not been much repeated. But there sure seem to be a lot of sources interested in arguing the point.
Almost constantly in the news this month has been the opening of the Bibliotheca Alexandria. Every effort seems to be taking place to identify this beautiful facility with the ancient Library of Alexandria, which was a world-renowned center of intellectualism and learning. Indeed, the new library is expected to house a vast digital catalog and act as a center for dialogue between peoples, cultures and civilizations.
A crackdown has been ordered, by the Egyptian government, on noisy mosques. This is not to say that the melodic prayer call has been changed, but rather that other speeches made from mosque loud speakers are to be abated. How well the crackdown will be received is yet to be determined.
While other travel news primarily revolved around the Eastern and Western deserts with new attractions to promote tourism, this is not to say that classical Egyptian travel is out of vogue. In fact, due to increasing traffic and pier shortages, the Egyptian government is scheduled to build 170 new docks for floating hotels between Luxor and Aswan.
Mr. Mohamed Arabi: The "Bird Man" of Aswan By Dr. Susan L. Wilson
A Brief Look at the Sinai By Jimmy Dunn
Mummies of Ancient Egypt: The Process and Beyond By Catherine C. Harris
The Lost Feeling, Or Was It a Mummy? By Arnvid Aakre
Breaking the Color Code By Anita Stratos
Alabaster: Egypt's Rock of the Ages By Sonny Stengle
Wreck Diving in the Egyptian Red Sea By Ned Middleton
The Animals of Ancient Egypt By Caroline Seawright
Editor's Commentary By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets By Judith Illes
Book Reviews Various Editors
Hotel Reviews By Jimmy Dunn & Juergen Stryjak
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt By Mary K Radnich
The Month in Review By John Applegate
Egyptian Exhibitions By Staff
Egyptian View-Point By Adel Murad
Nightlife Various Editors
Egypt On Screen By Carolyn Patricia Scott
Restaurant Reviews Various Editors
Shopping Around Various Editors
Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek