Normally I post about English and European happenings, but I figured I would expand my historical news horizons into Egypt. So, what’s been happening in Egypt over the last couple of months?
It seems mummies aren’t the only things being unwrapped these days. Elaine Sullivan of the University of California, Los Angeles, created a 3D architectural rendering of the Amun-Ra Temple at Karnak with her colleagues. This rendering brought together digitized analyses and excavation records to create an interactive document which helps us to see how the appearance of the temple changed over time. Cool, huh?
In other news, researchers from the University of Basel discovered in the Valley of Kings what is presumably one of the oldest sun dials ever found. And, I have learned that mummified cats provided fertilizer for good ol’ English soil. Yes, you read that correctly. According to the Hunter Gather website, a company called Kleinwort imported 19.5 tons of these preserved pets and sold them at auction in the late nineteenth century in Liverpool. Perhaps even more oddly, the heads were sold as separate conversation pieces. I can just imagine how that conversation would start…”Dude, do you want to see my cat’s head? No, you didn’t hear me wrong. I have a real mummified cat head!”
Humorous as this may be, such sales of preserved artifacts should come as no surprise. Smuggling of ancient artifacts created booming black market businesses in the last couple of centuries. But it appears these days some nations are returning such prized possessions to their countries of origin. The United States is returning the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus bataar to Mongolia along with other dinosaur skeletons
On the other hand, however, people are still concerned about the looting of Egypt’s historic and cultural heritage. Ever since the political upheaval in Egypt over the last couple of years, the lack of security has meant in increase in looting. Some estimate that upwards of 3000 artifacts have gone missing in the last year alone. Despite this discouraging information, fortunately the new antiquities minister aims to preserve and protect Egypt’s treasures
And, to top off this post, please take a look at this topic’s Horrible Histories’ video!