Egypt

Hawass

Cairo: Egyptology in crisis

As the Arab Spring flooded through Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the old political order was swept away – and with it went Egyptology’s most controversial exponent, Dr Zahi Hawass. Tom St John Gray followed events earlier this year and now considers the consequences.

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Infra-red imaging used to discover thousands of ancient Egyptian sites

Archaeologist Sarah Parcak, who teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, admits to being astonished by her own achievement: ‘I couldn’t believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt,’ she told the BBC recently, ‘using the new technique of infra-red satellite imaging.’ No less than 17 lost pyramids, more than 1,000 tombs, […]

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Egyptian Enigma: The Starving of Saqqara

Packed in a crate with artefacts from the Middle East, the eery figures arrived in Montreal, Canada, in the mid 1950s. A simple hand-written label read: The Starving of Saqqara. But nothing else is known of this mysterious sculpture. A rare find, or a clever fake?

Classics professor Peter van Minnen works with papyri.

Papyrus Stories

Everyday concerns in ancient Egypt still resonate today, according to the latest issue of The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, the journal of those who study texts on papyrus, mainly from ancient Egypt. New texts are continually being found, especially in museum and private collections, because antiquities dealers of the past would often […]

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Journey through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

In 1819, the English physician and polymath Thomas Young – best known to archaeologists for his work in deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs – published a pioneering article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It offered a tentative decipherment of the Rosetta Stone and outlined the scope of a new science, today known as Egyptology. Towards ancient Egyptian […]

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Egypt: Queen of the Desert

Khentkawes is hardly a household name. The historical record passes over this elusive figure without comment, while the scraps that testify to her existence could seem worthy of no more than a stale footnote in the annals of Ancient Egypt. Yet archaeology shows otherwise. It is revealing an exceptional and powerful lady who lived during […]

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Death on the Nile

Ancient Egyptians believed death was survivable. Far from resting in peace, their demise catapulted them into a disorientating netherworld roamed by gods and demons. This marked the beginning of a new and dangerous journey. The ultimate goal was to enter the realm of the gods; but to reach this a spirit needed to negotiate the […]

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Rosetta Stone

How did a slab of black granite become the key to deciphering hieroglyphs

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Lost Tombs of Thebes

The Valley of the Nobles, just east of the Valley of the Kings, contains
some of the most spectacular ancient Egyptian tombs. However, most remain unknown to the general public. Now, Egypt’s leading archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, has initiated major investigations, as illustrated in his splendid new book The Lost Tombs of Thebes, from which edited extracts follow.

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Lost Languages

From Minoan Linear B to Maya glyphs, Andrew Robinson explains how to decode the past

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Saqqara

Seeking Saqqara’s New Kingdom Tombs

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