Month of January, 2012
The Ministry of State for Antiquities has selected Beit Al-Sennari (Sennari House) as the temporary location for the Egyptian Scientific Institute until its restoration is complete. All rescued books from the institute, burned during clashes between protesters and the army last month, have now been transferred for storage at the Sennari House in Cairo’s Sayeda Zeinab district. Sennari House was the original location of the scientific institute established by Napoleon Bonaparte’s French expedition to Egypt in 1798 as a counterpart to the French Scientific Institute in Paris.
The Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim led a tour around the Giza plateau to monitor work being done on the Sphinx’s Valley Temple and Mit-Rahina archaeological site, as part of the lead up to the second phase of the Giza Plateau Development Project due to be launched in March.
The third phase will include construction of the GEM's main building, in which the museum’s roughly 150,000 artefacts will be exhibited. The building is designed to look like a chamfered triangle in plan, with the building's north and south walls lining up directly with the Great Pyramids of Khufu and Menkaure. A large plaza, teeming with date palms, will be located in the front of the building.
Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim announced that construction would take 40 months and the museum would be officially opened on 15 August 2015. It will relate the history of the ancient Egyptian civilisation from prehistory right through to the early Graeco-Roman period.
The Antiquities and Tourism police stepped in to stop residents of Beheira digging at Al-Qalayan archaeological site.
A deep burial well was found on the path leading to King Tuthmosis III’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The well leads to a burial chamber filled with a treasured collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. Further inside the chamber, excavators stumbled upon a wooden sarcophagus painted black and decorated with hieroglyphic texts, and a wooden stelae engraved with the names and different titles of the deceased. The tomb dates to the 22nd Dynasty (945-712 BC) and it belongs to the daughter of Amun Re, lecture priest in Karnak temples and also the singer of the God Amun Re.
Egypt’s new military authorities have reissued the license to Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez to resume the excavations in the search for the tomb of Cleopatra at Taposiris Magna. Martinez also revealed the theft of many of the artifacts she had already unearthed and the “disappearance” of the excavation equipment during the year-long turmoil in Egypt.
Czech archaeologists have found a long lost temple from the Meroe period near the town of Vad Bon Naga in Sudan. The large temple compound is situated 130 km northwards of Khartoum. European travellers saw the remains of the temple in the early 19th century but then the temple disappeared in the desert.