News In Brief

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British Museum centre grant
The British Museum’s new World Conservation and Exhibition Centre has moved a step closer to completion after a £10 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The £135 million project will create state-of-the-art laboratories and studios for conservation, preservation, and research, as well as a new suite for special exhibitions, extra storage space, and facilities to support the Museum’s extensive national and international loans programme.
The centre will open in spring 2014 with a special Viking exhibition.

Looting legends
The Israel Antiquities Authority is battling to dispel myths of buried treasure after local Bedouin attacked an archaeological site at Be’er Limon outside Jerusalem.

The thieves broke through 7ft-high Crusader-period ruins to reach an underlying Roman well, which they believed contained riches. One of the men arrested claimed his ancestor had hidden gold beneath the stones.

Israeli authorities said the treasure-hunters had caused ‘irreparable damage’ to the site. ‘Baseless fairytales about buried treasures make people crazy,’ said Amir Ganor, head of the Antiquities Authority’s theft prevention unit. ‘No one can restore a 2,000-year-old stone wall that has been smashed to smithereens at the hands of the robbers.’

Monuments for hire
Ancient monuments are to play a starring role in Greece’s economic recovery. The Greek authorities have lowered their fees for filming and photography permits at archaeological sites and ancient monuments, and are allowing more ancient theatres and other heritage sites to be made available for stage events.

Culture Ministry spokesman George Andreas Zannos said the initiative had been agreed because previous prices were ‘excessive’, but emphasised that careful controls on commercial activities at archaeological sites would remain in place.

Finding Pharaohs
A new pharaoh has joined the ranks of ancient Egyptian kings after the discovery of
a monument bearing his name at Karnak’s Temple of Ptah.

Although he is named in a handful of inscriptions carved during the reigns of much later pharaohs, no contemporary evidence for the rule of Sen-Nakht-En-Re had previously been found and Egyptologists considered him to be a legendary ancestor figure rather than a historical king.

But now researchers from the French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Karnak Temples have uncovered a limestone gate engraved with his cartouche and the royal titles ‘Horus’, ‘King of Upper and Lower Egypt’ and ‘Son of Ra’, allowing the pharaoh to take his place among the rulers of the 17th dynasty (c.1634-1543 BC).

Mohamed Ibrahim, Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities, said: ‘This is a groundbreaking discovery. The Temple of Karnak no doubt still contains many secrets.’

This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 52. Click here to subscribe

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