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Luxor West Bank and East Bank - News 2013
What's going on in and around Luxor?
December 2013

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New pages in December 2013:

 

Merry Christmas from Living in Luxor

 

Winter Solstice Celebrations in Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank

(21/12/13)
The main axis of the Karnak Temple, to be exact of the Amun Temple inside the Karnak Temple precinct, was positioned by ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that a winter solstice sunrise would shine on the temple’s east-west axis. Today, Luxor celebrated this phenomenon for the third time and many visitors joined it. At 6.30 am the event began with music, at 6.45 am the sun rose, at 7.15 started a tour through the temple and last but not least at 8 am a folklore performance began - however, the main attraction was the sun, which was worshipped as God in Ancient Egypt.

Winter solstice in Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank, (c) Robert Bauval Winter solstice in Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank, (c) Robert Bauval



Winter Market at the "Small Pyramid", Luxor West Bank

(19/12/13)
This afternoon, the charity "Small Pyramid" invited Luxor's inhabitants to a winter market. Many guests came, chatted over a casual cup of tea and pastries, listened to the live music, and bought small Christmas presents. If you missed it - no problem. You can acquire the handiworks, which the mothers of the supported children made, at the center anytime.

Winter market at the Small Pyramid, Luxor west bank

Winter market at the Small Pyramid, Luxor west bank

Winter market at the Small Pyramid, Luxor west bank

Winter market at the Small Pyramid, Luxor west bank



HU-BTU First International Conference on Heritage Conservation and Site Management from 8 to 11 December 2013 in Luxor - Impressions

(13/12/13)
During 4 days 42 speakers from 12 countries discussed with 180 conference attendees the link between cultural heritage and tourism industry. The lesson is clear: Many resources are still unexploited, several offers could be improved, quite a few heritage sites need more protection. To retell the single lectures would take us to far afield - therefor the proceedings will be published - but I will give you a review and photo impressions. Read more...

HU-BTU First International Conference on Heritage Conservation and Site Management - German Embassador in Egypt Michael Bock

HU-BTU First International Conference on Heritage Conservation and Site Management - Tent for the Gala Dinner

HU-BTU First International Conference on Heritage Conservation and Site Management - Podium of Session 8



Arrival of of Tutankhamun's Tomb Replica, Luxor West Bank

(11/12/13)
At the end of November the Factum Arte facsimile of the young Pharaoh's tomb had been boxed and embarked to Luxor. (see our news from 02/10/13). On Monday, 9th of December 2013, the precious cargo arrived on Luxor's west bank. The boxes were set on land by a crane and then brought to a safe and secret place. The replica is to be installed close to Howard Carter's House in Qurna until April 2014.

Arrival of the boxes with Tutankhamun's faksimile tomb in Luxor, (c) Past Preservers

Arrival of the boxes with Tutankhamun's faksimile tomb in Luxor, (c) Past Preservers



2nd Meeting with the Gouvernor, Luxor West Bank

(11/12/13)
A monthly meeting with the Governor Tarek Saad El-Din is obviously not possible due to the Governor's appointments but even so a bimonthly. Yesterday's meeting took place at the Sheherazade Hotel on the west bank. The Governor reported the following news:

  • the implementation of a helpline for expatriats and tourists - the latter will receive an automated message with the number to their phones on their arrival in Luxor
  • the installation of 3 smaller solar electricity projects on the roofs of the Governor's office, the library and the conference centre
  • the creation of new possibilities to earn a living that will make Luxor's inhabitants more independent of the tourism industry, for example the sale of local agricultural produce to Hurghada or the building of the 1st Egyptian factory for tablet computers

Furthermore, a new train line connecting Hurghada and Luxor is under debate as well as entertainment projects for night life, in order to keep tourists from Hurghada more than 1 day in Luxor. If the latter is good news that's open to dispute...

Luxor Committee Website



Ground-Penetrating Radar Studies in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor West Bank

(06/12/13)
Between 2007 and 2010, a team of Egyptian archaeologists conducted by Zahi Hawass worked with the Glen Dash Foundation for Archaeological Research on the most extensive exploration project in the valley since the 1920s. Their ground-penetrating radar studies delivered a huge amount of data, which will take years or even decades to be analysed and reported. However, that's what they already can say:
Obviously, there is a number of small tombs waiting for discovery. The researchers don't even exclude either the find of a big royal tomb, possibly the tombs of Thutmose II , Ramses VIII or of the queens of the late 18th Dynasty, which are still missing. But it will not be easy to locate the tombs even with state-of-the-art technology. Ground-penetrating radar is a non-destructive technique in which high-frequency radio waves were transmitted into the ground. Scientists measure the reflected return signals to find buried structures. But there are many natural features that can look like walls or tombs. Only excavations will assure them.
Really exciting is the discovery of an ancient flood control system that served to prevent the tombs in the Valley of the Kings from being damaged by water and debris. 10 meters below the modern-day surface the researchers detected a deep channel with side channels that allowed water and debris to pass through the valley without causing damage. Unfortunately, the system had fallen into disrepair already after Tutankhamun's burial and couldn't serve the propose. However, this could be the reason that the tomb remained safe. Debris carried along with floods could have sealed the tomb and made it inaccessible to tomb robbers.
Beside that, the team excavated huts of the workers of Deir el-Medina, who built the tombs, and documentated the graffiti they left.
The Glen Dash Foundation will present these and further results in detail at the Conference Current Research in Egyptology (CRE) XV in London in April 2014.

Example of graffito found in the Valley of the Kings, (c) Afifi Ghonim



German-Egyptian Conference in Luxor, East Bank

(03/12/13)
Actually, the "HU-BTU First International Conference on Heritage Conservation and Site Management" under the slogan "Heritage Tourism: Prospects and Challenges" was planned to take place in Cairo. However, now it is transferred to Luxor. HU-BTU represents the two organisers: HU the Egyptian Helwan University and BTU the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg. The 4-day interdisciplinary conference is funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and sponsored by the relevant Egyptian ministeries. The conference themes of interest include but are not confined to the impact of tourism on cultural and natural heritage or heritage awareness and local communities.
8. - 11. Dezember 2013, Sonesta St. George Hotel, Luxor
Conference Website

Touristic performances in front of the Karnak Temple on 23/09/13
Touristic performances in front of the Karnak Temple on 23/09/13

 



 
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