To early Orientalists, they were exotic people who used arcane ritual and repulsive medicines; but in Antiquity, Egyptian doctors were regarded as the epitome of medical excellence. Prof. Rosalie David tells CWA how recent investigations are revealing their exceptional pioneering practices.
Ancient Egypt’s oldest iron artefacts were made from meteorite, new research has confirmed. The 9 small, tubular beads were found in graves at Gerzeh, a Pre-Dynastic cemetery about 70km (43 miles) south of Cairo, in 1911-1912. Dated to c.3600-3350 BC, they significantly pre-date the earliest evidence for iron smelting in Egypt, which is thought to have […]
Temple trivia from around the world.
Detailed analysis of a 2,000-year-old bronze warship ram has shed new light on how the object was created and used. Discovered by British divers off the coast of Tobruk, Libya, in 1964, the Belgammel Ram weighs 20kg (44lb) and would have been part of a small Greek or Roman warship called a tesseraria. The 65cm (2’2″) […]
Given the importance that the Ancient Egyptians placed on entering the afterlife intact, it is unsurprising that replacement body parts have been found in tombs. Whether these were used in life, or had a purely cosmetic purpose, has long been the subject of debate, however. Now an experimental archaeology project at the University of Manchester’s […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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. […]
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. […]
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 […]