Category: Africa

1356

Back in fashion

Egyptian blue, the world’s oldest artificial pigment, could have a range of modern uses from medical imaging devices to remote controls for televisions. First produced 5,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, the pigment was used to decorate tombs, sculptures, furnishings, and jewellery until the 4th century AD. Now, chemical analysis led by Tina Salguero […]

1338

Monumental discoveries in Sudan

Ongoing excavations at Sedeinga, a 2,000-year-old necropolis in northern Sudan, have uncovered the remains of at least 35 densely-clustered pyramid burials – and an inscription asking the gods to ‘take care of Granny’. Identified by the French Archaeological Mission, the pyramids were built as part of a burial ground probably containing several hundred monuments, during […]

Egypt: First Pharaonic Portrait

Stylised scenes of boats and animals etched into rocks on the banks of the River Nile include the oldest known depictions of a pharaoh yet discovered. Stan Hendrickx tells CWA how a Victorian drawing and an old photograph led archaeologists to these extraordinary carvings just north of Aswan.

1361

Timbuktu under threat

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Timbuktu was the epitome of Islamic spiritual and intellectual learning. Today, modern conflict threatens to destroy Mali’s past. Here, Kevin MacDonald takes a look at the history, heritage, and invaluable legacy of this legendary city.

1304

Gebelein Man: stabbed in the back

Another mummy recently identified as a victim of ancient Egyptian violence is Gebelein Man, one of the best-known occupants of the British Museum’s Early Egypt gallery. Found in 1896 at Gebelein, about 40km (25 miles) south of Thebes, the individual had been buried in a shallow pit, his crouched body wrapped in linen and matting. […]

1303

Unwrapping pharaonic foul play

Ramesses III was murdered, probably during an attempted coup, say archaeologists following new analysis of the Egyptian king’s mummified remains. They believe they have also identified his son, one of the conspirators. The Turin Judicial papyrus records an attempt on the life of the 20th-Dynasty pharaoh in 1155 BC, the final year of his reign. […]

1281

Decoding Demotic

A 37-year project to compile a dictionary of Demotic – the language of ordinary ancient Egyptians – has been completed, opening a window on everyday life 2,500 years ago. Taking its name from the Greek demos, or ‘common people’, Demotic was used between 500 BC-AD 500. Its flowing script was much faster and easier to […]

1277

Ancient Egypt in Manchester

A hundred years after its first Egyptian exhibition, Manchester Museum has reopened its Ancient Egypt and Archaeology collections to the public following a £1.57m revamp. Three new ‘Ancient Worlds’ galleries showcase the museum’s collections, ranging from prehistoric Egypt (c.10,000 BC) to the Byzantine era (c.AD 600), introducing the people and stories behind the ancient objects, […]

1276

Ancient Egyptian teething problems

High-resolution CT scans of an ancient Egyptian mummy have revealed that the young man suffered from terrible dental problems – and that he used a unique treatment to try to soothe his toothache. Aged in his 20s or early 30s, the man had a mouth full of cavities and abscesses that would have caused him […]

1275

Egypt’s lonely princess

Excavations at Abusir, south of Cairo, have identified the 4,500-year-old tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess called Sheretnebty. More than a mile from the burials of the rest of her dynasty, she had been laid to rest in a complex of rock-cut tombs, in a part of the site dedicated to the graves of non-royal […]

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Book Review: Pharaoh: King of Egypt

Margaret Maitland British Museum Press, £9.99 ISBN 978-0714119984 This small book takes on a huge subject: the role of the pharaoh as head of state, as divine intermediary to the gods, and as military leader. It is a concise, scholarly, yet highly accessible introduction to the subject that aims to ‘look beyond the pharaoh’s dazzling […]

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