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from ourEgyptCorrespondent

News from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo Ihave several items of news from the Egyptian museum which may be of interest to readers of my column:

IFAO Exhibition For one month in Room 44 of the Egyptian Museum an exhibition took place on ‘The Great Finds of IFAO’ (The French Institute of Oriental Archaeology). The main areas of their field excavations were the exploration of the Eastern and Western Deserts and the pyramid fields near modern Cairo. These carefully chosen objects, which were unearthed by IFAO excavators during the last twenty-five years, reflect their work. Dr. Sabry Abd El Aziz officially opened the exhibition, in the presence of many honoured guests and the Director of the Egyptian Museum, Dr. Wafaa El Saddik. More than one hundred and thirty objects were on display, ranging from very small pieces to the very elaborate diadem with the god Serapis in beaten gold leaf found in the temple at Dush in the Karga Oasis and the pectoral with pendants of beaten gold leaf (see photo. below)also from Dush. These two pieces shared the same display cabinet.

Giza, is the site of the pyramid of Djedefra, Khufu’s son. Finally, I would like to comment on the new lighting and decoration in Room 44, which is excellent: it made the room warm and welcoming. The only criticism I have is the labelling, which was only in Arabic and French. When you are in the Egyptian Museum, do check out this room because I have heard that there will be regular new exhibitions there.

Amarna exhibits The new-look Amarna displays are excellent. On entry you cannot help but see the huge photograph mounted on the main wall. It shows Akhenaten and Nefertiti and it is being used by tour guides to explain the Amarna story and the scene of worship of the Aten. The photo. (below)shows a general view of the refurbished Amarna room.

In another cabinet was a huge alabaster bowl (see photo. below), fifty-two centimetres in circumference. The bowl has many cracks in it, for it has been pieced back together. There is a very interesting inscription inside the bowl (see photo. top right), the Horus name of Khufu, ‘Hor Medju Khufu’. The French archaeologist Vologia discovered this at Abu Roash in 2001. Abu Roash, north of

Many of the objects in this room have been moved into different positions to benefit from better lighting, which has been installed. Some new objects have been moved in, such as a head of Amenhotep III father of Akhenaten, which has been placed temporarily on a torso, which is believed to be that of the king, made when he was older and corpulent. (See detail of the statue in the photo. opposite, top.) The statue of Queen Tiye found by Betsy M. Bryan in the Temple of Mut in Karnak temple is also on display in the Amarna room.

Group Statue of Amenhotep III Many of you will be familiar with the colossal seated statue of King Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye in the Hall of the Egyptian Museum.

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ANCIENTEGYPTDecember 2007/January 2008 from ourEgyptCorrespondent

If you look closely you will find three small statues of their daughters at the front of the throne, one in the middle and one on either side of the King and Queen. The small statue to the left of Amenhotep III lost its head many years ago. The original head has turned up in a private collection in Holland. Thanks to the co-operation of the owner of the head, a cast of it has been made and it recently arrived at the museum and was placed back on the body of the princess. My new photograph shows the cast in place before any other restoration work is carried out (see below, left) . The cast of the princess’s head is a lighter colour than that of the main statue.

Dr. Wafaa El Saddik is very proud of the news I have mentioned and of the improvements to the museum’s displays and she specifically gave us permission to write about them and also kindly allowed photographs to be taken. When Dr. Zahi Hawass visited the museum he was very happy to see the excellent work of Dr. Wafaa and her staff. Photos: courtesy of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Ayman Wahby Taher

Dr. Ayman Wahby Taher is a full-time lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Mansura, Egypt. Prior to this, he worked for the Supreme Council of Antiquities for seven years under the guidance of Dr. Zahi Hawass. He is also a qualified tour guide in Egypt.

ANCIENTEGYPTDecember 2007/January2008

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