Beyond Hieroglyphs: The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt

1 – Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Art 1.1 – Overview Ancient Egyptian art includes the painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts produced by the civilization in the lower Nile Valley from 5000 BCE to 300 CE. Ancient Egyptian art reached considerable sophistication in painting and sculpture, and was both highly stylized and symbolic. Much of[…]

A History of ‘Kemet’ – Ancient Egypt

Image via Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.16.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Ancient Egypt 1.1 – The Rise of Egyptian Civilization In prehistoric times (pre-3200 BCE), many different cultures lived in Egypt along the Nile River, and became progressively more sedentary and reliant on agriculture. By the time of[…]

Archaeologists May Be Close to Finding the Tomb of Ankhesenamun, King Tut’s Wife

Ankhesenamun hands Tut an arrow / Creative Commons By Jason Daley / 01.19.2018 King Tut became a household name because the teenage pharaoh’s tomb escaped the notice of looters for millennia until Egyptologist Howard Carter popped it open in 1922, revealing incredible treasures, including his golden funerary mask—imagery that has become synonymous with ancient Egypt. Now, archaeologists are[…]

Athanasius Kircher and the Hieroglyphic Sphinx

Frontispiece to Volume 1 of Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652), showing Kircher as the Egyptian Oedipus before the hieroglyphic sphinx – Google Books More than 170 years before Jean-François Champollion had the first real success in translating Egyptian hieroglyphs, the 17th century Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was convinced he had cracked it. He was very wrong. Daniel Stolzenberg looks at[…]

Hunefer’s Book of the Dead and Judgment in the Presence of Osiris

A detail from the Book of the Dead of Aaneru from Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, XXI Dynasty, 1070-946 BCE. (Egyptian Museum, Turin) By the British Museum / 03.01.2017 Hunefer: An ancient Egyptian official Hunefer and his wife Nasha lived during the Nineteenth Dynasty, in around 1310 B.C.E.. He was a “Royal Scribe” and “Scribe of Divine Offerings.” He was also[…]

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Portraits

Mummy portrait of bearded man, encaustic on wood / Royal Museum of Scotland By the British Museum / 03.01.2017 A portrait shows what an individual would have looked like. Ancient Egyptians did not make much use of portraits; inscriptions containing the name and titles of an individual were used for identification purposes instead. Portraits were, however, important[…]

Tutankhamun’s Tomb (Innermost Coffin and Death Mask)

Harry Burton, Howard Carter with Innermost Coffin of Tutankhamun, 1922 (Tutankhamun Archive, Griffith Institute, University of Oxford) By Dr. Elizabeth Cummins / 08.08.2015 Adjunct Professor of Art History Upper Iowa University Nearly lost to history Tutankhamun was only the age of nine when he became king of Egypt during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom (c.[…]

King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and Queen

King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen, 2490–2472 B.C.E., greywacke, 142.2 x 57.1 x 55.2 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), photo: tutincommon (CC BY-NC 2.0) By Dr. Amy Calvert / 08.08.2015 Egyptologist Founder, The Art of Counting Serene ethereal beauty, raw royal power, and evidence of artistic virtuosity have rarely been simultaneously captured as well as in this breathtaking,[…]

Obelisks on the Move

Side view of the Vatican obelisk being lowered, 1590. Engraving in Della trasportatione dell’obelisco… (Rome: Appresso Domenico Basa). The Getty Research Institute, 87-B7401 A look at the manpower and engineering needed to move obelisks in ancient Egypt, Rome, and today. By Sara E. Cole / 12.06.2017 Curatorial Assistant, Antiquities Department J. Paul Getty Museum A few months[…]

An Introduction to Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome

Image by zerochan, deviantArt    By Dr. Amy Calvert (Egypt) and the British Museum (Greece and Rome) / 08.08.2015 Calvert: Egyptologist Founder, The Art of Counting Ancient Egypt Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, Old Kingdom, c. 2675-2625 B.C.E. Photo: Dr. Amy Calvert Egypt’s impact on later cultures was immense. You could say that Egypt provided[…]

The Palette of King Narmer – Vital to Understanding Ancient Egypt

Palette of King Narmer, from Hierakonpolis, Egypt, Predynastic, c. 3000-2920 B.C.E., slate, 2′ 1″ high (Egyptian Museum, Cairo) By Dr. Amy Calvert / 08.08.2015 Egyptologist Founder, The Art of Counting Vitally important, but difficult to interpret Some artifacts are of such vital importance to our understanding of ancient cultures that they are truly unique and utterly[…]

Cannibalism in Roman Egypt

Funerary complex of the 5th Dynasty pharaoh Unas at Saqqara / Photo by Kurohito, Wikimedia Commons By Mary Harrsch / 08.25.2016 Roman Historian Ancient Times A history resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2016 King Unis is one who eats men and lives on gods, Lord of messengers, who dispatches his messages; It is ‘Grasper-of-Forelocks’ living in Kehew Who binds them[…]

Today in History: Cleopatra Commits Suicide, 30 BCE

Cleopatra Before Caesar by Jean-Léon Gérôme, oil on canvas, 1866. Cleopatra confronts Gaius Julius Caesar after emerging from a roll of carpet. The Egyptian Queen had been driven from the palace in Alexandria by her brother/husband Ptolemy XIII. She had to disguise herself to regain entry and treat with Caesar for protection and restoration of her throne. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark /[…]

First Complete Genome Data Extracted from Ancient Egyptian Mummies

Study finds that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to ancient populations from the Middle East and Western Asia. / Photo by Will Scullin 05.30.2017 An international team of researchers have successfully recovered and analysed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 BCE, including the first genome-wide data from three[…]

The Origin of Fermentation and Mead in Ancient Egypt

Painted wooden model group: four figures preparing food and beer. 6th Dynasty, Sidmant, Egypt. / © Trustees of the British Museum, London By Dr. Ethan Watrall / 02.05.2014 Assistant Professor of Anthropology Michigan State University The ancient Egyptians were known to be avid practitioners of fermentation. They purposefully created alcohol for the purpose of consumption. Fermentation occurs[…]

Ancient Egyptian Pigment Provides Modern Forensics with a New Coat of Paint

Latent fingermarks dusted with micronised Egyptian blue on a $20 note, viewed in the Near Infrared. Simon Lewis, Author provided   By Ivy Shih and Dr. Simon Lewis / 05.29.2016 Shih: Editor, The Conversation Lewis: Professor of Forensics and Analytical Chemistry, Curtin University It was during a trip to Indianapolis that Professor Simon Lewis, a[…]