2014/02/01

The Gilded bed of King Tutankhamun

The Gilded bed with lions heads 
of King Tutankhamun


 The bed  date back to reign of King Tutankhamun - New kingdom 18th dynasty.It was dicoverd in Tutankhamun tomb in  the Valley of the Kings In 1934 – the west bank of the Nile of Thebes .

 The Gilded bed with lions heads of King Tutankhamun
 

It was found in the Annex of the tomb. It is in a bad condition and maybe its footboard had been wrenched away from it.

It is totally gilded and low to the ground having short and thick leonine legs. The 2 front legs continued through above the frame by 2 heads of lions as a sign of protection to the one who is sleeping on it. This composes the Axt sign with lions being the two mountains and the head of the sleeper is the sun rising in between. (also theory of the two lions representing the eastern and western horizons).
The lions’ eyes are inlaid with quartz and coloured glass.

This bed made of wood and a layer of gold. it was measures  H: 26.5 cm, W: 85 cm, D: 221 cm .

 

Geological Museum in Egypt


The Egyptian Geological Museum was established and opened for the public in 1904, as a part of the Egyptian Geological Survey (EGS) founded earlier in 1896. The museum introduces visitors to Egyptian geology and history. Mining and metallurgy started many thousands of years ago, in predynastic times. Egyptians were the pioneers in extraction and utilization of metals and stones, the essential basics of civilization.

They were the first to discover gold and copper and mine them from the Eastern Desert and Sinai. The first geological map known to us was drawn to represent the Fawakhir gold mine on a papyrus in the Turin Museum. Iron was smelted from ores in Aswan and smelting was also carried out at Naukratis and Defna in the Delta region.

 Egyptian Geological Museum

This added to the Egyptian power and prosperity. During the Ptolemaic and Byzantien periods, granite was quarried from Mons Claudianus, the Imperial Porphyry from Gabal Dokhan and the Breccia Verd from Wadi Hammamat . These were used in decorating palaces all over the Roman Empire. Egypt was also the first to produce famous types of glass. Precious stones, especially turquoise, emerald and peridot, were gathered and turned into very pretty jewelry by the ancients.



The geological history of Egypt as indicated by it’s fauna and flora is displayed in the Museum. There is also the unique collection of the Fayoum vertebrate fossils on display and of course, a large collection of Egyptian and other minerals, ores and rocks. In addition, a very valuable collection of meteorites discovered in Egypt and from other places in the world are displayed. These include the famous Egyptian meteorite “Nakhlite” believed to be from Mars.

The Museum is served by a library with references that date as far back as 1778, in addition to up to date references and bibliographies. These are available to the public and scientists. The Museum also includes some specialized laboratories for mineralogical, petrological and paleontological (both vertebrate and invertebrate) studies. Models for rare vertebrate fossils are made to facilitate detailed studies and preserve the original specimens. The Museum shares in the studies conducted on the protectorates and outstanding geological features in order to raise the public environmental awareness.

Joint researches and cooperation with other international geological surveys, universities and museums are among the major concerns of the Museum. Cooperation with Duke University (U.S.A.), Toronto and Milano Geological Museums (Italy), The Museum of Natural History in London (U.K.) are good examples. Also, support to local museums in universities and schools is offered. This includes providing samples and training secondary school teachers and specialists from other scientific institutions.

The Egyptian Geological Museum (E.G.M.) is a unique establishment in Egypt. It houses and exhibits geological specimens from Egypt and all parts of the world.

The museum is a part of the Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority (EGSMA). The Egyptian Geological Museum was officially opened as a part of the Survey and was allocated a beautiful and specially designed building in the gardens of the Ministry of Public Works in downtown Cairo. It was opened for the public in 1904 and remained as one of the cultural centers in Cairo up to 1982 when the building was taken down and the Museum transferred to its present location near Maadi (southern Cairo).

The first Museum Keeper was William Andrews (1904), followed by Henry Osborne (1906). Hassan Sadek was the first Egyptian Museum Keeper.

The famous fossil collection of the Fayoum vertebrates was the first to be displayed in the new museum. The collection was dug from the Fayoum in 1898, sent to the British Museum in London for identification in 1899 and returned for display. The collection continued to grow and become more varied with the increased number of field expedition and the different areas covered by field work.

The Geological Museum celebrated its 75th Anniversary in the year 1979 and a special postal stamp was issued to commemorate the occasion . However, in the following year the building had to be torn down because of the Cairo Underground Metro, and its collection was transferred to a temporary sits in the Al Zahra area near Maadi.

The Geological Museum plays the essential role of introducing earth sciences to the public. It emphasizes the geology of Egypt, its minerals, rocks and fossils, through well organized displays. The Museum participates in the advancement of scientific research through collaboration with scientists from Egypt and abroad, who seek out famous collections of vertebrate fossils and of meteorites.

The Museum is open to the public from 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. daily, except on Thursday, Fridays and official holidays. The Museum collection is displayed in three Galleries. These are described in brief, below :

Minerals & Rocks Gallery

This Gallery is one of the three main galleries of the Museum. In this gallery, various specimens of minerals and rock are exhibited. These represent the main occurrences of minerals and rocks in Egypt and some important specimens from other parts of the world.










Mineral Exhibitions: These exhibitions show different varieties of minerals that are classified on the basis of their chemical composition, their occurrences in Egypt, their physical properties and their uses. These include :

A- Gold Glass Case: In ancient times, Egyptians exploited many sites for gold in the Eastern Desert and utilized large quantities of gold in the making of jewelry and object of fine art.
The gold show case exhibits specimens of gold-bearing quartz and calcite that represent the natural occurrence of gold. It also shows the different stages of extraction of gold from its ores by amalgamation. At the same time, it displays some different gold alloys.

B - Al Omary’s Showcase: This glass case exhibits a collection of minerals of special value donated by the late Omary’s family. The collection represents some rare varieties of the mineral species in their ideal habitat.

C - Chemical Classification of Minerals: This exhibition occupies a large sector of the minerals and rocks gallery. It is devoted to the minerals arranged according to their chemical composition. In this case, minerals are exhibited as groups on the basis of the type of anion, as follows:
1. Native elements, including , gold, silver, copper and sulfur.

2. Oxides, including, including different varieties of quartz, corundum, ilmenite, chromite, cassiterite, hematite, magnetite, limonite and goethite (among others).

3. Sulfides, including, Pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, cinnabar, arsinopyrie and molybdenite (among others).

4. Halides, including, halite, fluorite and others.

5. Carbonates, including siderite, malachite, azurite, calcite, aragonite, cerrusite, strontianite, magnesite and others.

6. Sulfates, including gypsum, anhydrite, barite, celesite, epsomite, alunite (among others).

7. Phosphates, including apatite varieties and others.

8. Miscellaneous Minerals, including molybdates (wolfenite), borates (borax) and chromates (crocoite).

9. Silicates, including the main groups of silicate minerals such as nesosilicates (olivine and others), sorosilicates (hemimorphite and others) , cyclosilicates (beryl and others), inosilicates (enstatite , tremolite and others), phyllosilicates (micas and others) , tectosilicates (feldspars and others).

D- Egyptian Ores: In these showcases the Egyptian ores are arranged according to their localities in Egypt, e.g., Sinai ores (coal , manganese ores, turquoise etc) ; Eastern Desert ores ( iron ores, mica, wolframite, chromite, magnesite, talc, quartz etc) and Western Desert ores (iron ores, phosphate, etc.).



E- Exhibition of the physical properties: This exhibition shows collection of specimens that illustrate the physical properties of minerals, such as the variation of color in the same mineral e.g.( quartz); stability of streak irrespective of the variation of color in the same mineral; luster; play of colors; transparency; hardness and cleavage.

F- Exhibition of Morphological Features: This show case exhibits a collection of minerals of special forms, such as; fibrous gypsum , oolitic hematite and others.

G - Exhibition of Crystallographic Systems: This show case displays a collection of minerals occurring in the crystallographic systems , i.e., cubic tetragonal , hexagonal , trigonal orthorhombic , monoclinic and triclinic systems. Each of these systems is represented by ideal mineral crystals accompanied by their stereographic projections.


H - Exhibition of Gems: This exhibition displays collections of minerals that are characterized by pretty colors , transparency and hardness. It includes the well known Egyptian gems such as emeralds , turquoise and peridot. In addition to these Egyptian gems, it contains some of the world gems such as topaz, amber tourmaline, garnet and others

Exhibitions of Rocks: These exhibitions show representative specimens for the three main groups of rocks consisting of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic as well as , most of the famous Egyptian rocks. The include:

A – Igneous Rocks: This exhibition shows representative specimens of most of the subdivisions of igneous rocks. In this exhibition, the rocks are arranged according to the degree of saturation of silica i.e. over saturated, saturated and under saturated. The exhibition also shows the intrusive rocks of each subdivision and their equivalents of the extrusive rocks. Also, in a special show case are the ornamental Egyptian rocks such as granite, Imperial porphyry and others.

B- Sedimentary Rocks: The exhibitions of sedimentary rocks show specimens representing the two main subdivisions of these rocks consisting of clastic and nonclastic. The clastic rocks are represented by breccia , conglomerate, sandstone, shale and a few others, while the nonclastic rocks are represented by limestone, dolomite, coal, phosphates and others.


C- Metamorphic Rocks: The exhibitions of the metamorphic rocks show most of their common varieties. The metamorphic rocks in this exhibition are classified according to their textures into two main groups consisting of non foliated rocks such as marbles, quartzite, and foliated rocks such as gneisses, schists, and others.

D- Famous Egyptians Rocks: This exhibition shows some of the most famous ornamental Egyptian stones which were used during ancient Egyptian times. These include monumental granite , diorite, Imperial porphyry, Egyptian alabaster , Nummulitic limestone, breccia verde antico, marble and others.

Miscellaneous:

A – Exhibition of Flint Implements: This exhibition shows a collection of flint implements and other stone tools of prehistoric time. The collection illustrates the development of the stone industries through the three main periods of prehistoric times consisting of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods.



B – Exhibition of Tektites and Silica Glass: This exhibition shows a wide variety of tektites from different parts of the world including Moldvites, Australuite, Indochinites and others.

A large space of this exhibitions is devoted to the well known Egyptian silica glass ( Libyan Desert Glass) and three meteorites that were collected from the glass field during a May 1991 expedition. This expedition explored the possibility that Libyan Glass was formed as the result of an impact of a huge meteorite.

C- Exhibition of Meteorites: This shows a huge international collection of meteorites , representing the three main groups consisting of irons, stony- irons and stones. In a separate show case , the Egyptian meteorites are shown.

These are the Nakhla , Isna, Great Sand Sea 004 and El Bahrian meteorites.

Invertebrate Fossils Gallery


This is the second of the three main exhibition galleries in the Egyptian Geological Museum, which consist of the Rocks & Minerals , Invertebrate Fossils and Vertebrate Fossils galleries.

This gallery is divided mainly into three divisions consisting of the Stratigraphics Sequence ( Geological Column), Egyptian Geology as represented by fossils and Systematic paleontology. In addition, the Gallery shows a collection of specimens that represent the methods of preservation. There are also some collections that represent gifts to the Museum.

1- The Stratigraphic Sequence ( Geological Column): This display exhibits invertebrate fossils arranged stratigraphically from Cambrian to recent times and includes Trilobites , Corals , Mollusca , Echinoid and others.


2- The Egyptian Geology : Here is displayed exhibits of the Egyptian stratigraphic sequence as given by fossils from Cambro of Ordovician ( represented by trace fossils), including Brachiopoda , Mollusca, Echinoid and others.

3- Systematic Paleontology : Organisms are not only classified into two great kingdoms ( Plants & Animals) but are also subdivided into successively smaller and more restricted groups. There is a special show case exhibiting the systematic classification of invertebrate organism.

4- Miscellaneous:

4.1 The prehistoric Civilization Collection: A special showcase provides some imaginative pictures depicting the life of prehistoric man, along with the tools he used such as arrows, axes, knives and others.

4.2 Display of Methods of Preservation: This collection exhibits samples showing the mineralogical replacement which happened to the hard part of the organisms. Replacement can be done through the introduction of many substances such as iron oxides, calcite; silica and others.

4.3 The Ex-Royal Family Samples : This display contains a collection of some most rare and unbelievable samples, including :

1. A very beautiful pearly shell fashioned as a crown. It was presented to the Ex-King by the Egyptian Scouts.

2. A picture of the Ex- King ( Fouad) and a part of the Opera Aida engraved on gastropod shells.

3. A collection of shells fashioned in a beautiful manner.

4. A collection of amber containing fossilized insects.

5. Some Corals from the Egyptian beaches:

4.4 Display of Fossil Plants : This display exhibits a collection of fossil plants that represent carboniferous and Jurassic Periods in the Sinai along with Cretaceous , Oligocene and Pleistocene in other areas of Egypt and abroad. The Plants are fossilized either as prints on rocks or by mineralogical replacement such as the solidified wood from the Siwa Oasis, Maadi and Cairo (along the Suez Road).

III- Vertebrate Fossils Gallery


This gallery hosts mainly the world famous Vertebrate fossils discovered in the Fayoum province , together with a few other important Fossils – The main displays are;

1 - Arsinoitherium show cases : Arsinoitherium is a unique creature which lived some 34 million years ago. Fossilized remains are found in the lower Oligocene in the Gabal Qatrani formation of the Fayoum. This great beast was of Rhinoceros size. The most striking feature o f the animal was the presence of a huge pair of horns on the nasal bones , together with small ones on the frontals. Many glass cases exhibit different fossilized parts of Arsionitherium and there is also a complete model of this animal at one fifth its natural size.

2- Moeritherium : Moeritheries were heavily built animals about the size of pigs with long bodies and short legs that terminated in broad , spreading feet with flat hooves on the end of the toes. The tail was short. They lived in Egypt during the late Eocene ( 40 million years B.P.) and early Oligocene periods. Fossilized remains of Moeritherium have been extracted from the Qasr el Sagha Formation and the Gabal Qattrani Formation north of Birket Qarun in the Fayoum. The Museum shows a complete skeleton of the Moeritheriun in a special glass show case.



3- Palaeomastodon : Palaeomastodon and phiomia were the first of the mastodons. They lived during the lower Oligocene period in Egypt. Fossilized remains of paleomastodon and Phiomia are found in the Lower Oligocene Gabal Qatrani Formation located in the Fayoum. The Museum shows a complete skull and other parts of the Palaeomastodon.

4- Basilosaurus (Zeuglodon): Basilosaurus (or Zeuglodon) was a huge whale that lived during the Eocene. Well preserved skeletons of this creature are fairly common in the Gehannam Formation near Garet Gehannam north of Wadi El Rayan in the Fayoum. The body of Basilosaurus was over sixty feet in length.

5- Aegyptopithecus : This is one of the most important specimens in the collection of the Egyptian Museum. This extraordinary fossilized creature lived during the late Oligocene in the Fayoum region.

Aegyptopithecus was a more advanced creature than the typical ape adaptations. Aegyptopithecus, evidently about the size of a modern Gibbon , had a somewhat expanded cranium as well as large, forward directed eyes adapted to binocular vision and depth perception.

6- Tomistoma : Tomistoma is one of the widespread reptiles which lived during the Eocene , Oligocene and Miocene in Egypt. Fossilized remains of this creature have been found in Qaser el Sagha and Gabal Qatrani Formations of the Fayoum region as well as in the Moghra Formation, Wadi Moghra in the Qattara Depression. Many specimens are exhibited in the Museum.

7- Turtles : Numerous fossilized true turtles are exhibited in the Museum. These were collected from different sites in the Fayoum and Wadi Moghra. These turtles lived in different environments including dry land, rivers, marshes and seas.

8- Sirenia (Sea Cow) : Sirenia (Sea Cow) are purely aquatic animals found along the coasts and river mouths of various parts of the world. The body has assumed the torpedo like characteristic of many water vertebrates , with no distinct neck and with a laterally expanded tail. Remains of fossilized primitive Sirenians are found in different sites through the Eocene Formations of Egypt such as at Mokattam, Qasr el Sagha and wadi Hitan in the Fayoum region. These lived during the middle and late Eocene.

The discovery of primitive Sirenians remains in Egypt suggests that this creature originated in Africa and migrated to other parts of the world.

9- Fish : Numerous types of fish are exhibited in special show cases in the Museum. These fossilized fish come from many geological periods. One of the most important example is the middle Eocene fossilized fish from a limestone quarry at Ain El Sira, Cairo.

The Library

In addition to the three galleries , there is a library specialized in geological sciences. It hosts more than 10.000 text books, journals, periodicals, annals and maps. It includes original editions of many rare books such as Fossilen Mollusken by Von Wien (1836) , Echinodermes by Agassiz (1847) , Naqada and Betrie (1895) among others.

CONCLUSION


Scientific museums play an important role in educating the public. The large numbers of these museums in Egypt is indicative of our country's desire to spread scientific awareness in the public sector.

The Egyptian Geological Museum is the museums that disseminates geological science to the public. It introduces the discoveries of the Egyptian Geological survey and Mining Authority ( EGSMA), in the field of the geology in Egypt , to the public. While it provides considerable attention to the ancient life forms in Egypt, it also devotes a great interest to the most important mineral deposits in Egypt, along with their uses during the different ages. Meteorites and their effects on the earth surface are also considered within the main topics of the museum.

Moreover, it concerns the history of the Earth as a whole, including the most important events effecting the Earth. It explores the creation of life and its development during the various geological periods. During one visit to the Egyptian Geological Museum, one may gain considerable knowledge about the history of the Earth as well as the features of the Egyptian Land over millions while also examining the strange forms of creations that spread during different periods in Egypt.





























Ramses Wessa Wassef Art Center


Wissa Wassef Art Centre Ramses is the home of a unique experience in the textile fabric that produced extraordinary works admired and collected by museums and galleries all over the world. And devoted work of life of its founder and Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911-1974) for the release of the innate creativity of villagers who have been liberated from Egyptian restrictions on formal education. He wrote:

"I had this conviction vague, born of every human being an artist, but you can get him or her gifts outside unless it is to encourage artistic activity from early childhood through the practice of craft ... and the creative energy of the average person is being drained by a system committed to education and expansion of industrial technology to every area of ​​contemporary life. "



 Ramses Wessa Wassef Art Center

Since 1952 has developed two generations of weavers in the Center for Art and Ramses Wissa Wassef established with his wife Sophie in Hurrian, near Giza. Nine of the original group of children who have begun work on the age of twelve, many of whom are now grandparents, and weaving is still under the supervision of the Wissa Wassef Sophie. The second generation of weavers guided by Susan Wissa Wassef for girls and Yoanna, continue to produce wool and cotton upholstery business, which is distinct and unique art.



This art center was first founded by the late Egyptian Architect and Educator Ramses Wessa Wassef in the early 1950s. He set out with a goal to prove his idea that any human being using his natural creativity is able to produce art when provided with suitable circumstances. Through this art establishment, Wessa Wassef began realizing his dream and offering people such opportunities.

Wessa Wassef was born in 1911. He earned his degree from an Art School in Paris in 1935 and upon his return to Cairo, became a professor of Art and History of Architecture in the college of Fine Arts in Cairo.

His Belief in the human being’s freedom of creativity, which from his point of view was not used to its full length, drove him to form his art school. There, it would be possible for him to allow anyone, whatever his social standard or education level was, to create art.



Interior view of the courtyard of the Wessa Wassef Art Center

The school is located in Haraneya village, near the Pyramids road in Giza. Wessa Wassef saw Haraneya village as a perfect choice. It would be the best place to find youngsters with no previous schooling, living a simple life away from the modern environment that usually affects the freedom of mind and it’s creativity. For this same reason he started his work with children since they would be still free-spirited and in touch with their imagination.


Left: Another View of the Center's Courtyard; Right: A Passage within the Complex

To commence his experiment, he chose to start working with a group of 12 children, ranging between the age of 8 and 12. The art center originally started as a tapestry weaving school, which involves a great amount of patience and dedication.

A weaver has no preliminary drawings or sketches even for large works.

The art produced is meant to come straight from the image composed in the weaver’s mind. Wessa Wassef considered this a life time experience, meaning that the artist or weaver was meant to grow gradually side by side with his craft.



The children first started working on small frame looms, using only a few colors in each carpet.

With time and the constant efforts of Ramses and his wife Sophie, the children gained skills and started producing designs that mainly expressed their daily life in the village. In order to broaden their horizons, Wessa Wassef took the children on many tours, visiting new places to help them capture different images in their minds.

After Wessa Wassef’s death in 1974, his wife and children carried on with his dream and project, preserving these crafts and introducing new ones to new working generations.



More crafts were added to the school, such as Batik weaving and ceramics workshops. Hand made carpets were either made of 100% cotton or wool, each one with a unique design not to be reproduced.





Many Domes and Corridors of the Complex


Wessa Wassef’s ideas and philosophy regarding the necessity of keeping in touch with nature was also reflected on his building techniques. The art center, a beautiful architectural complex in itself was all built in mud brick, an affordable and available material. When he began building the workshops, he brought workers from Upper Egypt where he had sensed the beauty of the Nubian architecture and it’s absolute harmony with the surrounding environment.



He also considered these building methods as the renaissance of the Egyptian Architecture adopted by Pharonic, Coptic and Islamic civilizations. When he started expanding the center, he began teaching the locals how to build vaulted and domed mud brick structures keeping as far as possible from the modern buildings that lacked the human touch and the environmental friendly aspect. At the same time, he offered the locals an opportunity to design their own houses, providing them with land to realize their homes that were connected later on with the art center.


Left: Outside view of the Habib Gorgi Sculpture Museum;
Right: Interior View of the Habib Gorgi Sculpture Museum

The vast grounds of Wessa Wassef art center include workshops and showrooms. Also a pottery and sculpture museum where the works of his father in-law, Habib Gorgi are displayed. And finally houses and farm buildings providing the workshops with all the necessary materials.

Left: Main Fa├žade of the Habib Gorgi museum; Right: Interior of the Habib Gorgi museum.

The family established another museum in 1989 where all walls, domes and vaults are constructed from sun-dried earth and mud brick. It exhibits the different stages Wessa Wassef went through during his experiment.



Left: Exterior view of the Wessa Wassef Museum; Right: Interior view of the museum dome

It shows works of the first generation of children he worked with and other buildings he designed such as the Mar’ashly Church in Zamalek and the Mahmoud Moukhtar Sculpture Museum in Cairo.

The art produced at the Haraneya art center is exhibited all over the world. The first exhibition of the tapestries took place in 1957 in Egypt followed by another in Switzerland.

This unforgettable unique experiment had different successful impacts in various ways; apart from ensuring the revival and preservation of old crafts, it offered worldwide fame to the Haraneya village where the hand made carpet industry has expanded in the whole area.

Ramses Wessa Wassef ‘s Art center was the recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983.