Cambridge University Press have just released a new series of reprints of out of copyright material in their series Cambridge Library Collection. It includes a range of volumes, with many by Petrie, and is most definitely worth a look.
A story has been circulating this week about the locals finding some tombs in Aswan, but not revealing them to the authorities. None of this can be independently confirmed, but this link does show a very nice and interesting tomb of a mayor of Aswan called User of the reign of Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty.
There is a link on this page to the Facebook page of an Egyptian Inspector with a video of this tomb.
I am struck by the similarities of this tomb's design and some aspects of its decoration with the tombs of el-Kab, and between them they form almost all of what we know about elite 18th dynasty burials outside Thebes in southern Egypt. Note User of the new tomb is a mayor of his city, like the famous Pahari of the same date (Amenhotep III) at el-Kab.
I was highly intrigued by the news reports in April of the discovery by a French mission of a site of a harbour and related constructions at Wadi el-Jarf, a town on the Red Sea shore 180 km south of Suez. In addition to structures, artefacts and the like, there is the incredibly important find of the earliest inscribed papyri know from Egypt, one of which bears the Horus name of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza, fourth dynasty, about 2550 BC.
I give below a number of URLS to stories, and to images of the papyri. What is remarkable also about the papyri is that their style is eminently recognisable to anyone familiar with the Abusir Papyri of the fifth dynasty.
Here's a link to the papyrus with the name of Khufu:
I realise I haven't used this for several months. There are so many news sites now that this site does not have the importance it once had. However, I am about to add a couple of entries on discoveries which interest me particularly which have come to light in the past couple of months.
6 Dec 2012: new evidence for Nefertiti
There has always been a dearth of new evidence for things from the controversial Amarna Period, so when something new does appear, it is a welcome relief to the re-hashing of old things.
The Belgian Deir el-Bersha mission has found a text of year 16 of Akhenaten which also mentions Neferitit (this is second-hand so I am repeating what is in the article). It suggests that Nefertiti was alive hear the end of the reign of Akhenaten and hopefully will put to bed the old stories about her "disappearing", "being disgraced", etc. It makes the theory that she assumed the kingship on her husband's death all the more likely.
Perhaps the oldest living Egyptologist has just left us. The following text is taken from the Petrie Museum's Facebook page.
PEGGY DROWER (Mrs MARGARET HACKFORTH JONES)
8.12.1911 - 12.11.2012
Peggy died peacefully this morning only a month away from her 101st birthday.
I doubt there is anyone left who remembers her working at Amarna and Armant in the 30s but there are many who were taught by her at UCL where she was the lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern History, and even more who know her from her biography of Flinders Petrie. With Hilda Petrie, Peggy can take credit for creating the public persona of Petrie.
I asked her once if she would write her autobiography and she said that autobiographies should only be written by interesting people. She wasn't often wrong, but she was in not considering her life interesting.
The daughter of diplomat Sir Edwin Drower and his wife Ethel Stefana Drower, an anthropologist and specialist on the Mandaeans (and who witnessed Wooley’s discovery of the Royal Tombs of Ur), Peggy was taught by Petrie and Margaret Murray and Stephen Glanville. She was awarded a First in Egyptology - one of the first Egyptology degrees awarded by UCL. She worked at Armant with Myers and Mond and Ali Suefi, and at Amarna with Pendlebury. Glanville recommended her for the post in the History Department at UCL a post she held until the war. As an Arabic speaker she was sent out to work with Freya Stark in the Baghdad Ministry of Information. After the war she developed the Ancient History/ Egyptology Degree which has produced generations of rounded scholars who see the history of their specialist discipline in the greater framework of the ancient world.
Her students included David O'Connor, Tony Miles, Faiza Haikal, Robert Merrillees, Geoffrey Martin, Rosalie David, George Hart, Carol Andrews, Janine Bourriau, Nicholas Reeves, Amelie Kuhrt, Robert Morkot, and 'most of the British Museum Ancient Near Eastern Department' ( with apologies for those I have undoubtedly missed out)
I wonder just how many generations of lecturers in Egypt and the Ancient Near East she shaped? How many of us have learned our skills from her teaching and her writing, or from those trained by her. I imagine hundreds of people shouting, ‘me!’
She retired as Reader in Ancient History at UCL, Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Vice President of the Egypt Exploration Society. She has contributed to many books, especially the Cambridge Ancient History series, and documentary programmes on the ancient Middle East and is, of course, the author of 'Flinders Petrie: a Life in Archaeology' (London: Victor Gollancz, 1985); and 'Letters from the Desert: The Correspondence of Flinders and Hilda Petrie', (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2004) - and I realise that I am still writing in the present tense.
Peggy was a lovely person who never lost her smile, a generous supporter of the Petrie Museum and of the Friends, and of her many, many students and colleagues. She lived independently until only a few years ago and was still keenly interested in research. Peggy's daughters Laila and Jenny, and their families, have suffered a great loss and we offer our sympathy and support.
(with thanks to Kristin Thompson and Gene Miller, KMT 1996, vol.7/1)
Coptic Church has new Pope
Bishop Tawadros has been chosen as the new Coptic pope:
I believe he will take the name Theodoros II.
Here we have a mindless attempt by a English Council to sell off a valuable statue to make money. It would appear that this goes against all the advice they have received, good practice etc. If you search for news items on this subject--not all unbiased it has to be admitted--there does appear to be an out break of cultural philistinism at the root of it. There is a link to a petition which can be signed.
This statue was given to the Northampton Museum a long time ago by a local nobleman. I quote from the above page: ""This was given to the Museum by the 3rd Marquess of Northampton with the intention that the people of Northampton should look and learn from this and other gifted Collections."
The statue is a 5th dynasty one of Sekhemka, and has been valued at £2-3 million I understand.
News has come through of the death of Michel Baud of the Louvre, and shortly the Sorbonne, at the early age of 49. It is always shocking when one's younger colleagues suddenly disappear. He was a very pleasant fellow, and we had the honour of working on a paper of his for our Cambridge Old Kingdom conference. You can learn more about him and his recent work in Nubia at this URL:
The news has also come of the passing of Manfred Görg at the less unusual age of 74. The following comes from a post by Stefan Wimmer:
Professor Dr. Dr. Manfred Görg has died in Munich/Germany on Monday, 17th September.
He was an Old Testament scholar and an Egyptologist, as well as a Roman Catholic priest, founder and chairman of the "Friends of Abraham Society" for Ancient Near Eastern studies and interfaith dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims, and a person who impressed all who knew him with vast knowledge, firm principles and integrity, and infinite open-mindedness.
Among the last of his more than 1500 books and articles was the presentation of what he and others believe to be the first attestation of the ethnonym "Israel", in Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Egyptologists are most likely to have come across him via the series he founded "Ägypten und altes Testament"
Please direct mails to: <email@example.com>.
[A Wiki notice about Manfred Görg is at