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Showing posts from August, 2013

Cachette de Karnak.....Temple de Karnak

«Pendant un anet huitmois, nous avonspêchépour des statuesdans le templedeKarnak...Sept centsmonumentsen pierre ontdéjàsorti del'eau, etnous ne sommes pasencoreà la fin..."-GastonMaspero,1905.

En 1903, l’archéologue Georges Legrain fit une découverte exceptionnelle au nord-ouest de la cour du VIIe pylône, qui avait déjà livré dans sa partie sud de nombreux éléments d’architecture du Moyen et du Nouvel Empire : plus de 700 statues, 17000 bronzes et de nombreux autres objets furent mis au jour, au prix de fouilles rendues difficiles par les eaux d’infiltration. Le chantier se poursuivit jusqu’en 1907 et la plupart des statues rejoignirent le Musée du Caire.
En dehors d’un certain nombre d’effigies royales de toutes époques, les statues découvertes appartenaient généralement à des prêtres qui officièrent à Karnak entre le Nouvel Empire et la fin de l’époque ptolémaïque. En cela, la « Cachette » est une mine de renseignements sur le clergé et l’évolution des cultes. Des généalogi…

Extraordinary scene from Karnak complex

King Ramesses II  is burning incense before
Amun-min Kamutef,The name Kamutef ("bull of his mother") conveys that the god is both father and son and, therefore, self-created. with two phallus  the first one was made a little bit higher so they plaster it and done another one to be perfect with the harmony of his body 

Around his forehead, Min wears a red ribbon that trails to the ground, claimed by some to represent sexual energy. The symbols of Min were the white bull, a barbed arrow, and a bed of lettuce, that the Egyptians believed to be an aphrodisiac, as Egyptian lettuce was tall, straight, and released a milk-like substance when rubbed, characteristics superficially similar to the penis.I believe his phallus is on the verge of going limp; the stage after ejaculation. In some depictions of him in Karnak, there are little drops of sperm shooting from his tip. Seeing as Min is a fertility Netjer, I doubt the limp phallus has anything to do with impenitence.

Egyptians Intended to Transform Deceased from Human to Deity One Mummy, Many Coffins:

Coffin set belonging to the temple singer Tamutnofret, composed of an outer coffin, an inner coffin and a "mummy-cover", a full-length death mask that was placed over the mummy. The origin of the set is a now unknown grave in Thebes. It can be dated back to the reign of Ramses II (approx. 1279-1213 BCE). Painted and gilded wood. Louvre, Paris 

Funerary reuse essentially involves the re appropriation of ideologically charged objects, and in the case of 20th and 21st Dynasty coffins, this reuse occurred in the context of economic and social crisis. A coffin was essentially meant to make a functional link between the thing and the person – to transform the dead into an eternal Osirian and solar version of him or herself. The coffin was believed to ritually activate the dead. Profoundly, during the 21st Dynasty (and probably during many other time periods), the Egyptians were able to DE-fetishize these objects. They were able to separate the coffin from the essence of…

Ancient art fills in Egypt's ecological history

Animals carved or painted by the ancient Egyptians tell us about the ecological evolution of species. Thus we find eighteen types of large mammals represented in Egyptian art, whereas only eight continue in spite of obstacles today. The researchers were able to identify three major episodes of decline of predator / prey relationship which coincide with brutal periods when regions become increasingly dry. The presence or absence of a particular species does not seem to have any impact on the food chain, in contrast to what happens today.

Ancient Egyptian artefacts, like this elaborately carved ivory knife handle from 3300-3100 BCE, helped scientists determine how mammal populations in Egypt have changed over time

The Palace of Amir Beshtak

The Palace of Amir Beshtak was built by Amir Beshtak al-Nasiri, one of al-Nasir Muhammad's close khassakiya amirs and his son-in-law, in 1334-39 on the site of the Fatimid Eastern Palace (al-Qasr al-Sharqi). It remains nearly complete in its original form, with two stories, qa'a, a small courtyard, and integrated stables which have a special gate opening onto a side street. The long facade was endowed with many windows opening onto the busiest street in medieval Cairo.

In the heart of Islamic Cairo, authentic Arabic music slips away from the Bashtak Palace, currently known as the House of Arabic Singing. Built in the 14th century by Prince Bashtak, this architectural gem is now dedicated to reviving and teaching Arabic and Egyptian classical music and singing schools. The initiative is the brain child of the palace’s director and Arabic music lead singer at the Opera House, Mohsen Farouk.

Amir Beshtak Palace is located in Darb (alley) Qurmuz - Al-Muizz Street – El Ga…

Bayt Al-Suhaymi

The Bayt Al-Suhaymi is an excellent example of a private, though wealthy, Egyptian home of the 17th century, and

Al Azhar Park – Haven of Tranquility in Cairo

Woke up this morning – no sunshine in Cairo!  This was the kind of day I had been waiting for, a day-trip to the jewel of Cairo that hardly any tourists know about – Al Azhar Park! 
In 1984 the Aga Khan decided to build a park for the people of Cairo.  The only suitable central location was a rubbish/rubble dump near the 15th century “City of the Dead”.  The site was transformed into what is today a most wonderfully designed relaxing space covering 74 acres.  It has water features, a lake, unique restaurants, hilltops, winding walk ways, exotic flowers, mature trees, a children’s play area, lots of seating in tranquil, intimate settings.  Al Azhar is a must-visit retreat for anyone with spare time in Cairo, especially if you want to get away from the noise and traffic. Entry fee is only 5 LE.  I spent about 4 hours wandering around there today – only left because it started to rain!  Surrounded by the lush lawns, hills, trees and flowers I forgot I was in Cairo for those…

House of the Cretan Woman – Gayer Anderson

There is a truly wonderful house in Cairo to which only a few lucky tourists find their way.  Most do so with no knowledge of the extra-ordinary people who lived in, and left this enchanting jewel behind. 
The building – actually two buildings, is now owned by the Egyptian nation, having been left in trust to it by Major R.G. Gayer-Anderson Pasha. 

How he came to live in the house is proof for me that we never miss the boat, that what we want will come to us, that it is not the big decisions we make that change our lives but the little ones.
In 1906 R.G took a small decision to visit the 9th century mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulun.  A pretty young Egyptian girl leaned out a mashrabeya (lattice) window of a beautiful old building he was gazing up at and invited him to see the house – he declined.

On 23rd. Feb 1925 he took another small decision to revisit Ibn Talun.  The same old house was going through the final stages of restoration.  R.G. just knew that house was going to be …