2014/03/31

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Sobek, The crocodile god

Sobek is a river god, representing the produce of the Nile. In some accounts, he is the son of Set and the goddess Neith. He is the patron god of crocodiles, and his worshippers would sacrifice to him in order to get protection from the crocodiles in the Nile River, which were much feared. Because of his fierce nature, he was also the patron of the Pharoah's army.

Sobek is typically depicted as a Man with the head of a crocodile and a headdress of feathers and a sun-disk.Sobek was connected with the Nile, and protected the king. Live crocodiles were kept in pools at temples built to honour Sobek. Sobek, the crocodile god, was associated with the might of the Pharaoh. He was worshiped as a solar diety as Sobek-Re.

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Sobek


One of his cult centers was Herakleopolis. The other cult center, Kom Ombo is the site of a beautiful Ptolomaic temple that is usually part of the itinerary of any of the Nile Cruises. The Cult of Sobek and those of other animal gods used mumification of the animals as part of their ritual. The mumified animals were sold to worshipers as offerings to the God.

Mummies of cats, ibis and crocodiles, as well as baboons have been found. In one recently excavated temple to Sobek, a hatching nursery was found. The eggs were presumably stolen from the crocodile nest and taken to the temple to hatch. There were a series of ponds to grow the crocodiles to size. Today, crocodiles are still given deference in places where they cohabitate with man.

This man-crocodile relationship is still one of wonder and respect, as the crocodile is believed to be crucial to the health of the watering places, but they will still take their toll in livestock and sometimes humans. The crocodile is, after all, one of the natural predators of man, the other being the Jaguar.

2014/03/25

Tutankhamun Scepter

Royal Scepter of Tutankhamun

This scepter is made of sheet of beaten gold, on a wooden core. The tree is in the form of a papyrus flower and stem, it is adorned at each end with a feather design in cloisonne work inlaid with carnelian, turquoise, lapis lazuli, feldspar, pottery and glass. Embossed on one side of the blade are rows of trellis and slaughtered bulls, partly dismembered, in a frieze of lotus petals across borders to check and diamonds.  


On the other side of the blade, in a similar frieze, is an inscription which reads: "The Good God, the beloved, dazzling of face like the Aten when he shines, the son of Amon Nebkheperure, living forever. "

Tutankhamun Scepter
 
Scepters of this type have three names in Egyptian texts, kherep, the controller of "Sekhem" the powerful "and aba" the commander. They were carried as symbols of authority from the very beginning, but no distinction can be drawn between their uses. In the ritual of the temple and the mortuary service aba scepter was often held by the officiant who presented the offerings.  

If the sacrificial offerings listed on the blade of this scepter are indicative of its use, it probably represents the scepter aba, but accurate identification is not possible. It was found in the appendix where it had probably been taken by the Treasury by the thieves.

Egyptian God Seth

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Seth

Egyptian God Seth

Seth or Set

Seth is the second son of Geb and Nut. He was the brother of Osiris and Isis, as well as the brother and husband of Nepthys. He murdered his brother Osiris, then battled with his nephew Horus to be the ruler of the living. He is a god of the desert, storms and chaos.

He is typically depicted as a human with an unknown type of animal head, with squared-off ears and a long, curved snout. Scholars have speculated that the head is everything from a dog, to an aardvark, to an okapi, to a fish (with the squared-off ears representing fins). Most have given up and just refer to it as the "Seth animal" or "Typhonian animal" (linking Seth to the Greek god Typhon, who also was a god of storms and chaos).

Egyptian God Seth

Egyptian God Seth

Egyptian God Seth

Egyptian God Seth

Egyptian God Seth




Egyptian God Seth


In the Osiris legend, Seth lures his brother into a trap and murders him, sending his body floating away on the Nile. Isis searches for, and eventually finds the body. Seth is the patron deity of soldiers, foreigners, and redheads. His sister Nepthys is his wife, and in some variations of the myth, the god Anubis is their son.

Seth also has other wives and concubines, the most notable among them being Tawaret (the hippo-headed goddess of pregnancy and childbirth), and Neith, with whom he fathered the crocodile-headed river god, Sobek. The Hyksos adopted him as the personification of their own god when they ruled at Avris. His cult center at Tanis is near the site of Avris. The city of Naqada was also a cult center.

2014/03/22

Tutankhamun Turquoise Glass Headrest

 Turquoise Glass Headrest of Tutankhamun

Carter found four headrests made of different materials in a chest in the Annex. From the inscription in hieratic (script writing) on a similar box, he suggested that both chests originally contained linen and that the headrests were put in when the officials of the necropolis discovered the robbery and restored order in the tomb.

This headrest is made of a turquoise glass, while the others were composed of plain ivory, stained ivory and faience. It is constructed of two separate pieces that were joined by means of a wooden dowel. A sheet of gold embossed with a pattern of repeating hieroglyphs, ankh ("life") and was ("dominion"), conceals the joint.

Tutankhamun Turquoise Glass Headrest

The faience example found along with it is similar in design. The making faience, which includes ground quartz in its composition, represents a much older technique, predating glassmaking by more than two thousand years. Glassmaking was not perfected until comparatively late in Egyptian history - around the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Smoother in its surface than faience, it could be opaque like the example of translucent blue glass.

Because of the delicate nature of the material it is unlikely that the headrest was made for actual use; it was probably put in the tomb for ritual purposes. The vertical inscription incised in the central support identifies Tutankhamun by his throne name: "The Good God, Lord of the Two Lands, 'Ra is the Lord of Manifestations', given life like Ra."


Tutankhamun Golden Sandals

Pair of Golden Sandals of Tutankhamun


The last stage of the embalming was the bandaging. Each finger and toe was individually wrapped, then each limb, and finally the whole body.

Too many ointments poured on Tutankhamun's mummy caused severe damage to the tissues, except for those protected by gold: the face, fingers, and toes.

Pair of Golden Sandals of Tutankhamun


In fact, gold sheaths covered the toes and finally the golden sandals were put on the feet while the lector priest recited incantations, which would permit the king to trample his enemies underfoot.

2014/03/21

Tutankhamun Headrest with Two Deities

The Headrest with Two Deities of King Tutankhamun


 "Your head will not be taken away from you." So says Chapter 166 of the Book of the Dead. That is why the Ancient Egyptians placed a headrest under the head of the mummy to protect it from harm.

This is a simple headrest made of sycamore, the local Egyptian wood. It has two rectangular bases and a crescent-shaped neck support. It differs from other headrests because of the two kneeling deities, who gracefully hold the curved neck support with their hands.

Tutankhamun Headrest with Two Deities

In spite of the absence of any inscription, it is probable that the two deities are Isis and her sister Nephthys. These two goddesses played an important role in the funerary rituals according to Egyptian beliefs.

Tutankhamun Papyrus Sandals

The Papyrus Sandals of King Tutankhamun



This pair of sandals is one of a hundred pairs of sandals found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Unlike many of the others, which are ceremonial sandals, elaborately decorated or never used by the king, this pair is the sort of simple traditional sandals worn by Egyptian people. It seems that the king wore this style of footwear during his lifetime. The sandals were usually made of papyrus stems .

Tutankhamun Papyrus Sandals

It is also the style of footwear worn by the priests and called "sacerdotal sandals." They can be seen on the feet of priests painted on the walls of Egyptian temples.


2014/03/15

Tutankhamun Bed represented with God Bes

Bed Of King Tutankhamun with openwork figured footboard represented with God Bes



It was discovered in the Antechamber of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. It may have been a truly functional piece of domestic furniture. It has the characteristic curved shape, with a mattress of woven plant fibres covered with lime wash between the main frames. This curve provides better blood circulation for the sleeper. It is made of ebony and has lion's legs and feet resting on a rounded base.

Tutankhamun Bed represented with God Bes

 Its most notable feature is the footboard. It has three similar panels surrounded by a religious formula, which includes prayers to the king to have life, stability, prosperity and all health like Re forever.



Each panel contains three figures in openwork centrally the god Bes, a leonine dwarf with a lotus headdress, a domestic deity charged to protect the home, he is flanked by two rampant lions with similar headdress, their front paws resting on Sa-signs signifying protection. These finely carved figures are covered in part with gold leaf and all have tongues of pink-stained ivory. Here is powerful protection for whoever slept on this bed. 



In between the panels, there is a depiction of papyrus flowers head to head.

Hapy, God of the Nile

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Hapy

Hapy, God of the Nile



His Appearance was Man with a pot belly, shown with water plants. Hapy was the god of the innundation. Hapy was especially important to the ancient Egyptians because he brought the flood every year. The flood deposited rich silt on the banks of the Nile, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops

The yearly innundation of the Nile was essential to the Egyptians. Hapy the God of the Nile was worshipped universally, but especially at the First Cataract, Elephantine. At Elephantine, the first evidence of the Nile flood could be seen.


Hapy, God of the Nile

Hapy, God of the Nile

Hapy, God of the Nile


Hapy was personification of the Nile. He lived in a cave near the Nile cataracts above Elephantine. He controlled the yearly innundation that flooded the land with rich soil and nutrients.

The flood of the Nile filled up the green band of cultivation like a basin of water. If too much water flowed the villages that were built on the normal edge of the cultivation, of flood level, would be flooded and the planting of the crops would be delayed, and thus the harvest would be smaller.
   
If there was too little water, the river basin would not fill to normal levels and many fields would not receive the life giving nutrients and the size of the harvest would be diminished. Hapy's cult centers were both in Upper Egypt at Gebel el Silsila and Elephantine.

His priests were involved in rituals to ensure the steady levels of flow required from the annual flood. At Elephantine the official nileometer, a measuring device, was carefully monitored to predict the level of the flood, and his priests must have been intimately concerned with its monitoring.

He is depicted as a man with rolls of fat and pendulous breasts, wearing a crown of reeds and lotus blooms.

2014/03/14

Swivel Joint Bracelet of Tutankhamun

 Swivel Joint Bracelet of Tutankhamun

 Swivel Joint Bracelet of Tutankhamun

This bracelet was placed in the king's mummy wrappings under his left arm. It is made of two semicircular gold tubes connected at one end by a swivel joint hidden by three stone beads, two of lapis lazuli and one apparently of calcite, all of which are flanked by gold disk beads. Mounted on the bracelet opposite the beads is a carnelian bird supporting the sun's disk.

2014/03/13

Alexandria National Museum

The main marina of the Greek empire, the capital of the Ptolemies and the capital of Egypt's second largest port of Alexandria is always a center of cultural importance. The celebration this is a big part of the development of Alexandria in recent times, and there in these days is the National Museum of Alexandria, a wonderful facility that documents Alex rich heritage.

Alexandria National Museum

Alexandria National Museum

The Alexandria National Museum has grown in importance these days, and is now considered one of Egypt's finest museums. It was inaugurated by President Hosni Mubarak on December 31st, 2003, and is one more addition to the reasons one should visit this grand old city. The national museum is located in a restored palace and contains about 1,800 artifacts that  narrate the history of Alexandria throughout the ages, including the Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras. There are even some more modern pieces, including 19th century glassware, silverware, chinaware and precious jewels, which provide a sense of the richness of the court of Mohammed Ali and his descendants. Mummies are shown in a special underground chamber (basement). Also, some of the items found during the archaeological underwater excavations in Alexandria are now on the same floor as the Greco-Roman artifacts.

The museum is housed in the old Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace. He was one of the wealthiest wood merchants in Alexandria during his lifetime. It is located on Fouad Street (Tariq al-Horreyya), near the center of the city. Construction on the site was first undertaken in 1926. The palace covers an area of 3,480 square meters,. It is a white Italian-style mansion that sits in an expansive garden of rare trees and plants. The palace consists of four floors and an underground shelter, which was used during World War II air raids. The palace was designed by a French engineer who used the Italian styles in its construction.

His three-store palace was a gathering place for the upper class people of Egyptian society in Alexandria, including notables such as Egypt’s former Prime Ministers, Ismail Sedqi Pasha and Ali Maher Pasha, along with many others. This villa was sold to the Americans as a consulate in 1960, and thereafter in 1997, was purchased by the Ministry of Culture for about 12 million LE. Its conversion to a museum, including up to date audiovisual equipment, security and fire protection, cost another 18 million LE. In the preparation of the Alexandria National Museum, the highest of standards has been adopted, especially in display techniques and in the design of educational and cultural galleries.


Alexandria National Museum


The recent realization that Egypt's museums were originally made not to assume an educational and cultural role, but rather to function as buildings for storing antiquities had led the Ministry of Culture to begin transforming them into places which transmit to the visitor a cultural message about the varied creative products of the Egyptian civilization. The Alexandria National Museum is the first of its kind in Egypt. It is the only one which narrates the history of the people of Alexandria through antiquity.

Passing through the main gate, one mounts an elegant semi-rounded staircase in view of a life-size Graeco-Roman Period marble statue of a toga-clad matron. Crossing a small but luxuriously decorated foyer with two rows of speckled grey marble columns, one enters the museum proper.

Within, one willl find symbolic colors used, just as they were during Pharaonic time, in a specific arrangement. One will notice that the Pharaonic section itself features dark blue walls. This color is meant to portray the journey of the ancient Egyptians to their eternal afterlife. In the Graeco-Roman Period section, objects are set against a sky-blue (marble color) colored backdrop, reflecting romance and a lust for life. As Copts and Muslims share beliefs concerning heaven, the sections reserved for artifacts from these religious traditions are painted green.

The artifacts within the museum's collection have not been exhibited in the past. They were previously in storage in various other Egyptian museums, and therefore come from the Egyptian Antiquity Museum and the Coptic and Islamic Museums in Cairo. Others are from the Graeco-Roman and Jewelry museums in Alexandria, which are closed nowadays for renovation.

Items from the Pharaonic Period span each critical period, including the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. Among the masterpieces on display is a statue of King Menkaure, the builder of the third pyramid at Giza, a head of a statue of Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) and a head of Hatshepsut, the great female pharaoh of Egypt. There is also a fine statue of a scribe and several statuettes of servants depicted in the midst of daily activities. There are also a number of offering tables, building tools and statues of deities.

In addition, there is a replica of a tomb, similar to those in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes), that contains one mummy along with genuine funerary equipment. These items include canopic jars, an anthropoid sarcophagi containing the mummy, ushabti figures and the deceased’s private possessions. The tomb is meant to provide an overview of the Ancient Egyptian concept of burial and the afterlife.

Alexandria was a Graeco-Roman city of great splendor, and there is no scarcity of objects from this period. Among the most noteworthy are the beautifully painted terra-cotta Tanagra figurines of fashionably dressed Greek women. The figurines stand motionless with styled looks, wearing hats or veils, and holding children, fans or pets.

From the Roman Period, displays include busts of the Emperor Hadrian and a red granite statue of Caracala. The collection also includes reports from pioneering scientific studies on the human body undertaken in Alexandria, complete with marble hands, legs and torsos.

A highlight of the museum is a display (on the Graeco-Roman floor) of artifacts raised during underwater excavations around Alexandria in recent years. To provide a comprehensive look at this new branch of archaeology, huge posters feature activities from various underwater sites over the last few years. Here, one finds some of the most important pieces raised from the sea bed, including a black basalt statue of a high priest in a temple of the goddess Isis, lifted in 1998, a 2.2 meter granite statue of Isis found in May 2001. There is also the granite stela of King Nakhtnebef, which is an identical copy of the Naucratis stela, discovered in the sunken city of Heraklion offshore from Abuqir.

The floor devoted to Coptic and Islamic items has a variety of objects from Egypt's two most prominent religious traditions. Coptic Christian items include icons of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and the Last Supper, as well as tombstones and clothes decorated with golden and silver crosses. Among the Islamic objects are a collection of 162 gold and silver coins minted in Alexandria, a number of metal incense burners, chandeliers, decorated pottery, doors and mashrabiya windows inset with geometrical ivory ornamentation.

Finally, the lives of Egypt's former royal family is revealed in a collection of magnificent jewelry, bejeweled gold and silver awards, watches, crystal glasses and vases, not to mention gold-plated handbags, rings, necklaces and bracelets.

No modern museum is complete without its high-tech restoration laboratory for antiquities and electronic security system to preserve them, and this museum is no exception. Also, a hall in the basement has been transformed into an audio-visual workshop in which visitors can tour the museum via computer programs that display every item in the museum from a variety of angles. Use has been made of every available space.

The old garage for the American Consulate's staff has been converted into a lecture hall and an open air theater for evening performances. The open-air theater can accommodate an audience of about 800, while the lecture auditorium holds about 150 people.

Note that this museum allows cameras, but flashes may not be used. A camera permit costing 30 LE is required.




2014/03/12

Tutankhamun Winged Scarab Pectoral

Winged Scarab Pectoral of Tutankhamun

The pectoral of this necklace represents a winged scarab holding in its forelegs the lunar disk and crescent and in its back legs a basin. Between and attached to the scarab and the basin are three vertical gold bars. The pectoral is made of solid gold decorated on the outer surface with cloisonne-work of lapis lazuli, carnelian, and turquoise-colored glass. The lunar disk is of gold alloyed with silver. All the details of the elements in its composition are finely engraved in the gold base on the inner surface.

Winged Scarab Pectoral of Tutankhamun

It is evident that the pectoral represents the throne name of Tutankhamun, Nebkheperura, but two of its elements are not the usual hieroglyphic signs used for writing the name. The basin (heb) has been substituted for the basket (neb) and the lunar disk and crescent (iah) for the sun's disk (ra). In both cases the substitutions can be explained as examples of artist's freedom, but the basin may have been intended to suggest the idea that the king would live to celebrate many festivals, also written as heb.

Carter thought that the moon's disk was intended to counterbalance the sun's disk of the falcon pectoral. He remarked, however, that all these pectorals showed signs of friction; it seems unlikely that they were worn together as a pair by the king during his lifetime, though he may well have worn them individually. Chains of plaited gold wire connect the pectoral with two inlaid gold lotus flowers and a heart-shaped pendant separated by two carnelian beads. 

The pendant is inlaid with a cartouche bearing the king's throne name written in the normal manner flanked by two uraei. Since the lotus flowers have five holes and the pectoral is provided with a similar number of eyelets at the tops of the wings, it is probable that the necklace was originally intended to have five strands of gold bead chains.

2014/03/11

Tutankhamun funerary bed Representing Goddess Mht

The funerary bed of Tutankhamun Representing Goddess “Mht” or “Isis-Mht”   

 Goddess “Isis Mhyt” is a divinity embodying the destructive powers of “Isis” and “Hathor”. Her anger had to be appeased each year to permit regular flooding of the Nile.

 Tutankhamun funerary bed Representing Goddess Mht



This wooden bed is covered with gilded plaster designed to represent two elongated lionesses. The two lionesses represent the goddess Mehet. 


Her eyes are inlaid with rock crystal; the tears and the nose are inlaid with blue glass or faience.

 Tutankhamun funerary bed Representing Goddess Mht



We should mention here the confusion that happened with the names of this goddess and the cow goddess from the first bed.





2014/03/10

Tutankhamun Senet Game

The Senet Game The Game Board of King Tutankhamun


 This is the Senet game of king Tutankhamun. 4 complete game boards and parts of another 2 boards were found in the Annexe of the tomb of king Tutankhamun. The Annexe also produced large number of playing pieces: the casting sticks as well as 7 knucklebones. 

Judging from the number of boards in the tomb, we suggest that it was one of the favourite games for the king. (because he had about 6 games)

 The Senet Game of King Tutankhamun

 Significance of this game:

The name of this game snt means to pass, which refers to passing in the netherworld or the after life. However, this idea of the passing to the netherworld developed since the New Kingdom when it acquired a magical-religious value and in the introductory formula in Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead, it was considered essential that the deceased played a game against an invisible opponent to ensure his own survival.

It was a popular game from the earliest times in Egypt that’s why it was included in the funerary furniture.

We have some proofs which indicate that it was played everywhere and by all social levels from the Archaic Period onwards:

1-    Parts of a Senet game was discovered at the tomb of king Djet of the 1st Dynasty (displayed at the ground floor of the Egyptian Museum in the showcase of Games from the Archaic Period)
2-    The official Hesy-Re has a scene in his tomb at Saqqara showing him playing Senet.
3-    Prince Re-Hotep mentions the Senet game in his list of funerary objects.
4-    We found some ostraca belonging to the builders of the pyramids showing them while playing Senet.
5-    Ramses III was also shown in his temple at Madinet Habu while playing Senet with his daughters.

When Carter saw it, he said that it looked like a modern Egyptian game called (SEGA), while non-Egyptians like to compare it with Chess.


 The Senet Game of King Tutankhamun


How to play Senet:

Nobody knows exactly how it was played but there are some suggestions.

It consists of 3 rows of 10 squares; each player had an equal number of playing pieces probably about 5 or 7 pieces different from their opponent’s pieces. These pieces were generally pawn-like or reel-shaped. Most probably they were placed inside the drawer of this game, but maybe these pieces were not the original ones of the game and most probably the original ones were stolen because they were made out of precious metals like gold or silver.

Movement of the pieces was dictated by throwing the knucklebones or the casting (throwing) sticks; they act like our modern day dice .

The main idea of this game was to move the gaming pieces over the 30 squares in a backward “S” shape. The aim was to eliminate the pieces of the other player. Most of the squares are plain except for the final 5 squares which were inscribed with special characters maybe to explain some rules of this game, the mw sign (water) for example might have symbolized something dangerous or other signs could be of advantage to the player like the nfrw sign. Certainly it was a game of chance, the moves being determined by the throw either of knucklebones or of four casting sticks, both of which were found in the tomb.

The casting sticks were of two kinds, one pair having ends in the form of the tips of human fingers and the ends of the other being carved in the form of a long-eared canine animal, probably a fox. Both pairs consist of black ebony in the upper half and white ivory in the lower half. Perhaps the number of points scored from a cast depended on the number of sticks that finished with the white or black side uppermost when they were cast.

  The Senet Game of King Tutankhamun

 Description


This game is made out of wood veneered with ebony, and the 30 squares are inlaid with ivory, it is mounted upon an ebony stand with its legs taking the shape of animal's (probably feline) feet each resting on a gilded drum. Beneath the drums is an ebony sledge. At one end of the board there is a small drawer for the gaming pieces.

The inscribed band of hieroglyphs on the sides are wishing the king life and prosperity, and mentioning his titles and epithets.


 The Tjaw GameThe Tjaw Game

The Tjaw Game

On the other side of the board game, there is another game called Tjaw, a word which means ‘thieves’. It consists of 20 squares, a middle row of 12 squares flanked by 4 squares on each side at one end. The way of playing it is also unknown.





Tutankhamun shelter

 The royal shelter ( umbrella) of King Tutankhamun

The function: Its main function was to protect the king from the heat of the sun, the wind

and the rains . 

Types: Land shelter ►used during the different military expeditions. Hunting trips, during

the ceremonies as well as watching the military activities

 Sea shelter ► from the name we can deduce that it used mainly upon the boats and it

presented here with the prow (the frontal part of the boat).

  The royal shelter of King Tutankhamun
  Description: It made out of wood gilded. The upper part rectangular in shape, having

 several ropes coming out of it indicating the rays of the sun. These robes are to allow

decreasing and increasing the amount of the shape provided to the king. It resting

upon 4 throws, ending with papyrus and lotus flowers at the top.  At the bottom we

have stool upon which they used to put a cushion to allow the king to sit upon .

 it decorated with sign of unification (sm3-t3wy) →the lungs, the turcia, papyrus and lotus

 flowers tied together with the enemies Egypt and their hands tied behind their backs,

 they were Libyans, Nubians and Asiatic that indicating that the king was capable of

unifying upper and lower Egypt as well as suppressing all his enemies.  There are 6 sticks

 inside the same showcase may be they are remains of the robes but the largest stick is

 probably the way of opening and closing the umbrella. 

The royal shelter used to be covered by linen sheets, some scholars that the linen sheet

 which is on display at the same corridor is belonging to it, while other scholars said that

 they are some remains of the king's garment.


Tutankhamun Unguent Vase

Unguent Vase of Tutankhamun in the Form of a Lion


       It was found in the Annex, but the crown was removed by ancient robbers and was lying on the floor nearby at the time of discovery. It represents a lion; most probably it could be god BES.






Tutankhamun Unguent Vase


GOD BES was a household deity. He was the god of music, fun and merrymaking and he was thought to protect women during childbirth. He was also thought to protect against snakes through his role as a household guardian. 

He was represented on most of cosmetic containers and objects associated with beauty e.g. mirrors etc.. Recent opinions has suggested that he composed a triad with Taweret (represented as a pregnant hippopotamus) as consort and Meskhent (goddess of the birthing bricks) as their daughter, and they were all associated with childbirth.


        The lion or BES is standing upright on a pedestal. The head and the body were hollowed out to hold unguent or perfume, traces of which could still be seen at the top of the container.


        The container is made out of alabaster while the tongue and the teeth made out of Ivory. The tongue is painted red. The left front paw rests on the hieroglyphic sign SA, sign of protection, while the right one is held up either to greet the people or to ward off the evil in a gesture meaning to stop.  The right back paw is stepping forward in contrast to the left leg stepping forward attitude of kings.

Tutankhamun Unguent Vase


        Over the head there is a crown decorated with floral and geometrical motifs serving as the mouth of the jar. The earlobes are pierced to hold earrings. The names and titles of the king and queen are inscribed on the chest.

      At the back of the figure, there is a representation of a blue rosette or a tuft of hair on the shoulder of the lion and this sign was proved that this lion belongs to Tutankhamun .

2014/03/08

Islamic Art Museum

 The Museum of Islamic Art


Museum of Islamic Art is really a wonderful reservoir of Islamic antiquities. Has a workforce of about 10,200 important works of art that can not be explored in a day. The museum displays works of art of different Islamic eras that have passed through Egypt, including the Fatimid period, and periods of Turkish and Persian. The Fatimid era, and you can find a fantastic range of wooden planks that are surviving elements just west of the palace of Al Kahira Palace. And people love the craft of mihrabs graves Sayeda Ruqayya and Sayeda Nafeesa.

 Islamic Art Museum

Islamic Art Museum

Islamic Art Museum

Islamic Art Museum


 Ayyubid period can be found beautifully carved wooden tabut (coffin) of the Al-Hussein, in addition to a fine inlaid brass candlesticks. Of the Mamluk era, there was a group of enamelled mosque lamps, as well as vaccination of wood, metal, marble furniture, and different things. Tatar and Mohamed Higaziya provides us the platform to their school (the grave). Boxes of the Koran that once belonged to the Sultan Shaaban are true pieces of art that represents the drafting of minutes. Beautiful rugs from Iran and Turkey are simply eye-catching. Patio has a beautiful fountain of the nineteenth century has been obtained from the palace on the island of Roda Monasterli.

These antiques are only a fraction of the display in the museum. They are only examples of the most important artifacts in the museum. Museum of Islamic Art is in place in the Bab El Khalq Egyptian library. Port Saed take place to reach the intersection with Muhammad Ali Ahmad Maher in the Holy place. The museum is open all week 9:00 to 4:00 p.m., except Friday, when it is open from 9:30 to 11:30 and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 On the other hand, you take a look at Cairo, you will find Islamic architecture everywhere. Old (historic) Cairo is a museum open to the beautiful architecture of Islam where it can be seen that the geometric shapes are the main elements of this art. This is because in Islam, it is believed that images of people ages is a return to pagan idolatry. So instead of Islamic art is used drawings (arabesque). Islamic art has changed with the change of ruling periods. The evolution of Islamic art began from the Fatimid period.

 Examples of the architecture of the Fatimid period are the mosque El Azhar and Hakim Be Amr Allah Mosque. The following period was that of the Ayyubids, and citadel is the best example of the art and architecture of this time period in Egypt. The Mausoleum of Sultan Al Mansour Qalawon symbolizes the Mamluk Bahri. The Mamluk Bahri Mamluks Circassean follow and they built many school buildings like the Mausoleum of El Zahir Baybers and Mausoleum of Sultan El Ghuri. Mosque of Mohammed Ali embodied the Ottoman period.












Jewel Palace

 The Jewel Palace (Qaser Al Gawhara) in the Citadel



I have lived in Cairo all of my life. That's 27 years, but perhaps surprisingly, I had in all that time never visited the Citadel, though of course it is a very famous monument that of which I was aware. I am sure there were some trips organized by my school, but somehow I missed going. The Citadel is considered a museum for Islamic architecture and was the home of various Egyptian rulers for more than 700 years.

It was founded in the year 1176 by the famous Muslim Commander Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Syyub (Saladin). The Citadel is one of the main tourist attractions in Cairo these days and the southern part of it, where the Mohamed Ali Mosque is located, is the place most visited by tourists.
 Jewel Palace

 Jewel Palace


There are actually a number of museums located on the grounds of the Citadel. There is the Military Museum, built by Mohamed Ali in 1827. It was the residence for the Egyptian ruler's family until 1874 when Khedive Ismail moved to the newly built Abdeen Palace. The display of the museum consists mainly of uniforms and weapons.

The Police Museum is also found in the Citadel and this small museum illustrates the history of the Egyptian police, which is more than a little interesting. The display consists of weapons, uniforms, and pictures of famous historical Egyptian criminals like Rayya and Sekina, Egypt's version of Jack the Ripper. The two sisters murdered more than 15 women in Alexandria at the beginning of the 20th century.

I took in these museums, but they were not the main reason for my visit I had come to see Qaser Al Gawhara. This was where Mohamed Ali massacred the Mamluks leaders, thus forever ending their long influence on Egypt, and in fact, making Egypt capable leaving behind its feudal past so that it could enter the modern world.

I went to the Citadel at 2:00 pm and was lucky to find a place to park my car as it was really crowded. There were many buses full of students from different schools and colleges coming to visit the Citadel. I had to walk for about 10 minutes going up the hill, but it was a nice day and the short walk was well worth the effort.


 Jewel Palace


I arrived at Bab Al Azab, the gate built by the Ottomans in 1754. I headed towards the Gawhara Palace but I had to stop for a few minutes and admire the Mohamed Ali Mosque. Somehow it seems so different than other mosques in Cairo. I have seen so many mosques in Cairo and all regions of Egypt but the Mohamed Ali Mosque is of the Turkish style and was built to mimic one of the main mosques in Turkey, the center of the Ottoman empire. The Mosque was built between 1830 and 1848 under the rule of Mohamed Ali, who is considered the founder of modern Egypt. His tomb is located to the right of the vast prayer hall area inside the Mosque.

Now I had to move on to the Gawhara Palace (Qasr al-Jawhara, also known as the Bijou Palace, but popularly referred to as The Jewel Palace), which is located near the front of the main door of the Mosque. Qasr Al Gawhara was built by Mohamed Ali in 1814 to house his administration and to receive guests, and as a personal residence. It was basically the government house at that time.


 Jewel Palace


It was named for Gawhara Hanem, the last of Mohamed Ali's wives. The popular name, the Jewel Palace, is a bit misleading. There are few jewels on display here. The name actually derives from the fact that it was used as a museum for the jewels of the Khedives after the 1952 revolution. However, it was gutted by fire in 1972 when thieves attempted to steal the jewels.

Today, it is one of the best 19th century Ottoman constructs in Egypt with Ottoman decoration. However, the palace actually combines elements of Ottoman and European palace plans, dividing the private quarters of the family from the reception areas. The ornamental program borrows heavily from European models. However, it should also be noted that parts of the Jewel Palace are being restored in an overall plan to restore the whole.


 Jewel Palace


Its collections include 19th century royal portraits, costumes and furnishings, along with some truly amazing treasures.  It also includes a small garden leading to a mosque with one of the more interesting eccentricities being the Watch Hall, where the shape of a watch has been used to decorated the walls.

Upon entering the palace, the first thing one sees is a huge mirror in a gold plated frame and pedestal. This was put there so the guests could examine themselves when entering the Palace and fix their appearance, such as making any adjustments to their clothing, hat or hair. Then, one would have to take the stairs to the second floor where another huge mirror can be found. Here, there are portraits of the rulers of Egypt from the time of Mohammad Ali and later, along with depictions of life in Egypt during the Ottoman Period. But what perhaps caught my eye the most were the gleaming white statues of angels attached to the walls, which make them appear to be flying about.


 Jewel Palace


The third floor is the main guests' hall. It contains the golden throne of Mohammed Ali in the throne room, which is elevated above the remainder of the floor. The throne itself is made of ebony and covered by gold. It was a present to the King from Italy, and remains one of the finest thrones in the world. Some say that its only rival is the peacock throne that belonged to the Shah of Iran.



 Jewel Palace


To the right and the left of the hall, there are many chairs where court officials and guests would once have been seated in the presence of the king. This is truly what one would expect of such a place, with wonderful  red carpets on the floor and huge lamps hanging form the ceiling. At the end of the hall, there is an Arabian style sofa in the shape of a rectangle where guests would sit while awaiting an audience with the king. It has a huge golden fountain in the middle and a big portrait on the wall. There is also an open air hall in the middle of the palace that was used in celebrating different events during the Ottomans period. It is decorated in the Islamic style with big, heavy doors all around.

 Jewel Palace

Another part of the palace is known as the Kusha hall. The Kusha is supported by four gilded columns, linked from above by a gilded network. The thrones of the bride and bridegroom are placed under the columns. Among the items on display in the hall are a wedding photo, crystals and watches dating back to the 18th century, and a French styled salon.

During his first years ruling Egypt, Mohamed Ali had to fight the Mamluks in order to have full authority over Egypt. So it was to this palace that he invited the Mamluks leaders to a feast celebrate his son, Tusun Pasha, appointment to lead an army being sent against the Wahhabi rebellion in Arabia. Mohammad Ali let the Mamluks have their feast, but on the way out, Mohamed Ali and his soldiers trapped them in a section of the palace and assassinated just about every one of the leaders in one of the most famous incidents in modern Egyptian history.

 Jewel Palace

Just in front of the Gawhara Palace and the Mohamed Ali Mosque is a vast open area that some people refer to as the Cairo View. As the name implies, it offers a grand view of Cairo, but particularly the Islamic monuments. Today, kids were running all about this open area, which seems to be a fine playground while the adults look out to try to spot their homes, hotels or other landmarks. A huge fountain stands in the middle of this open area, where water once gushed from the mouths of lions. This is indeed a nice place to take in Cairo after a stroll through the Gawhara Palace.