Egyptian News Roundup
Truthfully, it has been somewhat of a lackluster month regarding Egyptian antiquities. In general, there have been lots of renovations to existing monuments with a smattering of small discoveries and new but not yet articulated discoveries.
For example, we are hearing a lot about an expedition to recover an ancient Roman merchant ship in the Red Sea, but that is about all we are hearing of this so far. The ship, which appears to have been owned by Emperor Augustus and dates between the first century BC and AD, may be important both for a suspected cargo of gold and silver, as well as providing valuable information on early trade routes.
But the North Coast of Egypt has yielded the biggest finds lately. On Mariout Island, Roman baths, large limestone structures and a quay to the north were discovered. Tombs cut from rock have also been discovered in the island's southern area. These discoveries confirmed that the island was prosperous and important in Pharaonic, Greek and Roman times. It linked the Delta provinces to the northwest coast.
Also on the North Coast at Marsa Matruh, a church from the Byzantine age has been discovered. Restoration is under way. The importance of this church lies in the fact that Christians probably migrated to the area to escape oppression form the Romans in other areas of Egypt.
What seems to be shaking up the Egyptology community more than anything are a number of small but important discoveries that were not expected. For example, at Luxor, a 17th Dynasty pyramid has been found in a necropolis known for its 19th and 20th dynasty tombs. Of course the real problem here is that it was previously thought that pyramid building ended with the Middle Kingdom. Furthermore, a New Kingdom priest's tomb has been found at Abu Sir, which was previously thought to be the realm of Old Kingdom burials.
Of course, the renovations continue, with many mosques, and even entire areas, particularly in Cairo, being rejuvenated.
Other Antiquity News:
Soon there will be a new Museum of Islamic Conquest and Military Life in the Middle Ages. It will be located near the Al-Nasr and Al-Fatouh gates of Cairo's northern wall. Another new museum is the Sinai Heritage Museum, located on the highway between Rafah and el-Kantara. It includes displays of folk medicine, handmade artifacts, ornaments and clothes and a Bedouin sound and vision room.
National Geographic has chosen Zahi Hawass who led the exploration of Egypt's Valley of the Golden Mummies, as its eighth explorer-in-residence. Other well-known explorers and scientists who have been given this honor include Robert Ballard, Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle.
The US has returned a precious limestone stele dating back to the era of King Seti I, which was stolen during the 1940s. Recently, a statue head of a 19th dynasty princess was also restored to Egypt from Great Britain.
Dominating the news in Egypt is the Library of Alexandria, which is scheduled to be opened next April. Books are already being beginning to fill its cases, and its opening should be a grand occasion with visits by presidents, kings and sultans. This is a huge project that includes international participation and funding from many different organizations. Officially, it is believed that a fire set by Caesar as a defensive measure spread, destroying the original great library.
Probably a small news item, which might have a fair impact on tourism, is the installation of new lighting systems, at several monuments to allow night visitation. Currently we know about a new system going in to the Kalabsha temple, but others are planned.
Keep an eye out for a new sports festival in Luxor. In ancient times, Egyptians held sports events in Luxor, or rather Thebes, and Dr. Mahmound Khalaf is attempting to revive these games in a modern sporting festival.
For travel professionals, the Mediterranean Travel Fair will be held at the Cairo International Convention Center from September 24th through the 26th. The Mediterranean Travel Fair is intended to be a beacon for Sustainable Travel in the region.
And finally, just as a reminder, the Aida Opera will again be performed at the pyramids in October. Make arrangements now to see it.
Types of Travel to Egypt by Jimmy Dunn
Neil Bush Family Visits El Gouna by Hazel Heyer
Party Time in Ancient Egypt by Ilene Springer
Camel Trekking in the Sinai by Joyce Carta
Nuweiba by Jimmy Dunn
Egyptian Hajj Painting by Sonny Stengle
Where Have All the Pharaohs Gone by Anita Stratos
Marvelous Melokiyah by Mary Kay Radnich
Exploring Isis by Catherine C. Harris
Never Mind, Just Crossing the Moon by Arnvid Aakre
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
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