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Living in Luxor - News in and around Luxor in March 2012


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Dental Forceps from Hongkong for Djedi Robot, Giza

Ng Tze-chuen (59) has already designed 70 dental forceps for his own dentist needs and is fascinated by hieroglyphs. Now, he wants to help the team working before with Zahi Hawass to unlock the mystery surrounding the doors blocking two narrow shafts in the Great Pyramid of Giza because "the Chinese have more experience with chopsticks and a dentist has more experience in gripping with forceps", he said ;-).
In the context of the "Djedi Project" an international team of experts explored by use of a robot the secret chamber located at the end of the southern shaft, which leads out of the Queen's Chamber (see the news on 27/05/11). The robot was equipped with several instruments including a micro snake camera. Now, the team will mount tiny grippers on an insect-sized robot expected to gently trek the winding shafts of the pyramid without causing damage to the walls. It plans to use the robot this spring, depending on when the license to do so will be issued.
Already in 2003, Ng Tze-chuen was behind the concept to use a rock sampling tool on board the Beagle 2 mission to Mars. And the Great Pyramid is only one of 10 ambitious missions he plans to finish before the age of 65.

Ng Tze-chuen in his office Djedi Robot 2011 - ©Sandro Vaninni

Yoga Festival in Sharm el-Sheikh, Red Sea

One Yoga ist not like another. There are schools which attach importance to physical exercises, others are dedicated to attain a state of perfect spiritual insight, still others stress ascesis. The latter will certainly go short at the 5th International Yoga Festival which will take place at Sharm el-Sheikh from 26 April 2012 to 01 May 2012 because as a guest of the Domina Coral Bay Hotels you can enjoy 10 restaurants, 17 bars, 1 beauty spa and 1 beauty organic farm. Of course you will have the occasion to test diverse yoga styles and classes: Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Chakra Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Mantra Yoga, furthermore Yoga Dance and Yoga Therapy. Interested? Here you wll find more information.

Yoga Festival, Sharm el-SheikhYoga Festival, Sharm el-SheikhYoga Festival, Sharm el-Sheikh

Egypt's Fifth International Yoga Festival

Hatshepsut Statue Found?, Abydos

Already in mid-February the new finds of Abydos were in the press - now, they were presented at a recent meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities: An archaeaological team from Toronto University has discovered remains of three temple halls from the reign of King Seti I during one field season in summer 2011 in Abydos. In one chamber of the monumental building the team discovered a cache filled with remains of numerous mummified animals (83 dogs, 2 cats, 3 sheep or goats), in another chamber the team found a wooden statue with a Nemes headdress on it. At about 25 inches (65 cm) tall it depicts a female pharaoh and may represent Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt about 3,500 years ago. Wooden statues are extremely rare finds!
Furthermore, the archaeologists found a private offering chapel from about 1990 to 1650 BC which is believed to be that of an elite person and two tombs dating back to the reign of Thutmose III (1479 – 1425 BC) as well as wooden masks and several faience shabtis.
In the Middle Kingdom Abydos was considered the burial place of God Osiris. Official festivals celebrated the afterlife of the god. During ceremonial processions priests carried wooden statues of the royal ancestors and gods in boat-shaped shrines from the Temple of Osiris to his tomb. Beyond that, the necropolis was an important place of pilgrimage often mentioned in tomb inscriptions. Egyptians from all levels of society built chapels and monuments along the processional route as a way of ensuring their eternal participation in the festival and their identification with Osiris. Building too close to the route, however, was prohibited by the state and infringement carried the threat of the death penalty. The offering chapel researchers uncovered shows where the boundary to the route was. The left picture shows the whole area in Abydos known as "Terrace of the Great God".

Terrace of the Great God, Abydos, ©North Abydos Votive Zone Project   Wooden statue of Hatshepsut, Abydos, ©North Abydos Votive Zone Project

Conference "In Search for New Concepts and Technologies for Conservation and Preservation of the Colossi of Memnon & The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III", Luxor Eastbank

From 3 to 5 March 2012 this international conference took place at Luxor Museum. It was impressive to see and hear how international specialists from 14 countries work together constantly in order to obtain optimal results in documentation, conservation and reconstruction for the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project at Kom el-Hettan.
The public part of the conference programme was ambitious and diversified, the speakers were brilliant. As the report on the conference would go beyond the scope of our news you will find the list of speakers with their topics and short summaries of their presentations here.

Hourig Sourouzian Conference exhibition

Exhibition "Egypt... A Journey of an Artist", Luxor East Bank

Last night the opening of the art exhibition "Egypt... A Journey of an Artist" by Dr. Farid Fadel took place at Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel.
Farid Fadel, born in Assiut in 1958, is resident in Cairo and not only painter but also violinist, pianist, vocalist - and ophthalmologist. His oil paintings have been presented at 34 solo exhibitions worldwide and awarded repeatedly. Now, the Winter palace will host them for one week.
After a short opening speech by hotel manager Christian Ruge Farid Fadel presented his painted journey through Egypt from Nubia to Alexandria and told the story of each painting. His portraits appear lively like photographs and catch the mood or the heart-felt laugh of the portrait subjects masterly (top right: Two guards at Beni Hassan, bottom left: Mother with child). He thematised repeatedly unity within diversity: the unity of religions (top middle: Child with symbols of three religions) or the unity of cultures (bottom right: Guard and tourist at Temple of Esna). Only bad news: The exhibition can be seen only until 23rd of March 2012!

Farid Fadel   Farid Fadel: Three Religions. 2009   Farid Fadel: Two Guards at Beni Hassan. 2008

Farid Fadel: Mother and Child, Nubia. 2010   Farid Fadel: Esna Temple

ITB World Music Prize 2012 Awarded to Egyptian Artists, Berlin

The first ITB World Music Prize 2012 is dedicated to Egypt, the official partner country, and honours two musicians who “in their own particular way, have succeeded in delighting an international audience with a combination of Egyptian/Arabic sounds with western rhythms”.
The singer and composer Amr Diab, born in Port Said in 1961, received the award for his “Greatest Hits” release from 2010. The opening track "Nour El Ain”, is the most successful recording ever made by an Arab singer. His new album "Banadeek Ta'ala" was released in 2011.
Natacha Atlas, born in Brussells in 1964, has - among others - Egyptian roots and is resident in the USA. On her latest CD entitled “Mounqaliba - Rising: The Remixes” the singer incorporates the classics, hypnotic dance and electrobeats, accomplished vocalisation and jazz elements. She already wworked with numerous international artists like Sinéad O'Connor and Sarah Brightman.

Amr Diab: Greatest Hits  Amr Diab: Banadeek Ta'ala  Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba. In a State of Reversal

Egypt at ITB Berlin from 7 to 11 March 2012

The Avenue of the Sphinxes' partly opening didn't take place at the same time as the opening of the International Tourism Market in Berlin (see our news on 26/12/11) but yet Egypt points the way as its partner country for 2012. Already in February and early March the Muslim-Coptic Ensemble „Samaa(„Heaven“) performanced spiritual songs of both religions in German cities as a message of peace and unity to the world from Egypt. The "Ankh Project" is yet another of the numerous trade fair and marketing measures which Egypt has launched. This ancient symbol signifying eternal life is shown as sculptures made by contemporary Egyptian artists at signifiant places in Berlin.
Egypt occupies close to 2,000 square metres of floor space in Hall 23a, making it one of the largest exhibitors at the show - with interactive high-tech like touchscreens and live streams to Egypt. You can experience the diversity of Egypt’s holiday regions, including the Nile Delta, Red Sea, desert landscapes, oases and the Mediterranean coast.
At the Culture Hall 10.2. you have the chance to attend the famous Tutankhamun Exhibition with its 1,000 replicas from Tut's tomb and the "Festival of Egyptian culture".
At the opening ceremony Egypt highlighted its past with historic exhibits ranging from ancient times to the present day. After traditional and contemporary dancing a ballet piece by the Cairo Opera House told the story of Egypt’s rebirth after the revolution. On 11 March 2012 at the closing ceremony Egypt will put on an artistic performance with "The Festival of the Delphic Games". Don't miss it! And afterwards we'll await you in Luxor :-).

ITB Berlin  Wiping Tut's nose at ITB Berlin, © dpa

ITB Berlin, opening ceremony - Egyptian folklore ITB Berlin, opening ceremony - Egyptian folklore

Unknown Pharao Identified, Luxor East Bank

During recent routine excavations at the Temple of Ptah on the northern side of Karnak Temple a Franco-Egyptian team from the CFEETK (Centre Franco-Égyptien d'Étude des Temples de Karnak) unearthed parts of a limestone gate (doorjamb and fragmentary limestone lintel) dating back to the 17th dynasty (Second Intermediate Period). The hieroglyphs provide the first contemporary evidence for almost unknown Pharaoh Senacht-en-Re whose Cartouche of Senakht-en-Re, Temple of Ptah, Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bankname was previously mentioned only by three documents dating back to later dynasties.

Limestone gate with hieroglyphs of Senakht-en-Re, Temple of Ptah, Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank Limestone gate with hieroglyphs of Senakht-en-Re, Temple of Ptah, Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank Cartouche of Senakht-en-Re, Temple of Ptah, Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank

ACE to Educate School Children Again, Luxor East Bank

The Veterinary Hospital ACE (Animal Care in Egypt) was already founded by two English ladies in 1998. Nowadays, it is able to hospitalise 25 animals. Three full time Egyptian vets as wel as voluntary vets from around the world provide free veterinary care for sick and injured animals of Luxor's poor. Their attention is focused specially to donkeys and horses - animals whose welfare is really important for their Egyptian owners in order to earn their livelihoods. But sadly, lack of knowledge how to care for their animals correctly is the rule. Long since ACE is dedicated to facing it by education of school children but had to stop it due to the lack of transport for getting the children from the local schools to the centre. Now, thank heaven, the governor of Luxor, Dr. Ezaat Saad, has donated a bus available to transport 45 children to and from the centre four times a week. On 5th of March, 2012, the new bus will be ready to go for the first time: children of the Abu Baker School will be arriving at the ACE Centre at 9:30 am and you are cordially invited to see the work of the vets and the children (location)!

Patient at ACE Veterinary Hospital ACE - LogoChild education at ACE Veterinary Hospital

The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III, Luxor West Bank

BREAKING: Changes of the lecture times see below!

Actually, today the 3rd Colossus of Memnon should have been inaugurated (see our news from 18/02/12). However, by early afternoon nothing could be seen on site than strenuous workers.
But from 3rd to 5th March, 2012 - insha'allah! - a conference will be held at Luxor Museum: In Search for New Concepts and Technologies for Conservation and Preservation of the Colossi of Memnon & The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III. It will be opened by HE Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, Minister of State for Antiquities (MSA). Parts of the conference program are open to the public, although the detailed schedule is unknown until now:
      • On Saturday 3rd March: Lectures from 12 am to 5 pm
      • On Sunday 4th March: Lectures from 3 to 5 pm
      • On Monday 5th March: Lectures from 10 am to 12 am

Workers at Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III Workers at Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III

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