Thursday, February 12, 2009

History - Egyptology - Archaeology - Race and its Unimportance to me

I wouldn't class myself as being particularly naïve but I've been a bit shocked whilst researching online at the lack of basic human decency and the attempts to 'claim' history for either one side, or the other, of the race debate.

When I dedicated my sites to Amenirdis I, I did so knowing that she was black - an ancient Kushite Princess with an enormous level of power politically and religiously. The fact that Amenirdis was black is irrelevant to me. What is so important is the amazing woman that she was - her lineage and her history, however confusing that may be at times for someone in the twenty-first Century trying to piece together her history.

By default, I found myself embroiled in an online conversation recently regarding race, black supremacy & white supremacy. It very quickly became obvious to me that supremacists of either 'variety', especially where ancient Egyptian history was concerned, were both as bad as each other.
I don't wish to have my view of history tainted by the likes of either 'type' of supremacist not least because their attitudes to history and its facts (however vague at times) appear to be claimed by one 'side' or the other as trophies of some description. Ridiculous.

To those supremacists, of either 'type', I would suggest that you put away your personal agendas and look at ancient Egypt for exactly what it was - a wealth of wonderful and diverse peoples of varying different skin colours who all added to the magnificence of Upper and Lower Egypt.

I live in Luxor - within its wonderful modern-day diverse culture and I see the 'modern Egyptians' struggling with race, colour and religious differences, just as the ancient Egyptians did - some things don't change :-(

Whilst I do not wear rose-tinted spectacles regarding the wars, the invasions and the barbaric cruelty of some periods of ancient history (no more obvious than in the present day!), I would like to think that I have a fairly balanced view of the 'colour issue'. For me that issue is irrelevant when trying to gain an insight in to the way that people of ancient Egypt lived, ruled, loved and died. History has no colour and to suggest otherwise is, to me, preposterous.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pharaoh Piye of XXV Dynasty - Taharqa - Nubian Dynasty - Kushite Dynasty

"King Piye of Dynasty XXV, also known variously as Py, Piankhy and Piankh, reigned in Nubia for about 31 years between 747 and 716BC.

He was the son of King Kashta and Pebatma, and married his sister, Peksater, and four other wives.

Towards the end of the 8th Century BC, Egypt had grown so fragmented that the rulers at Napata (the capital of Nubia) sought to assert some control over it.

In about 727, Piankhy began the absorption of Egypt. At that time, Tefnakhte, a ruler of various nomes in the western delta, advanced southward with a large army.
Piankhy responded by marching his troops northward and defeated the Egyptians. Piye's Victory Stela, a large, round-topped stela of grey granite, was discovered in 1862 in the ruins of the temple of Amun at Nepata at the foot of Gebel Barkal. This New Kingdom temple was much enlarged by Piankhy.

The Kushites did not view themselves as foreign invaders, but as restorers of order, reuniting the Two Lands in the names of the Egypytian gods. Piye ruled Egypt from the city of Napata.

It is thought that Piye continued to reign as King of Upper Egypt for about 30 years, and that he never returned north to Egypt. Piye was buried in a pyramid at el-Kurru near Gebel Barkal, a site that would come to be occupied by the tombs of several later members of the dynasty.

Dynasty XXV is known as the Nubian or Kushite dynasty, and comprised five rulers. The fourth of these was Taharqa.
Taharqa's (also spelled Tirhakah, Taharka, Manetho's Tarakos) reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC. At the age of sixteen, he led the Egyptian armiy against the invading Assyrians in defence of his ally, Israel. Scholars have identified him with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, who waged war against Sennacherib during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9).

In ca. 677 BC, the Assyrians, led by King Esarhaddon, attacked Egypt's eastern frontier near Sile with the intent of invasion aimed to pacify Arab tribes around the Dead Sea. Here they were defeated by the army of Taharqa.
Three years later, in 674 BC, they attacked again. This time they defeated Taharqa and captured Memphis. While Taharqa withdrew southward, probably to Nubia, the Assyrians seized the entire royal court, including the queen and the heir apparent to the throne, and transported them as captives to Nineveh. It is thought that Taharqa died in 664 BC and was buried in his pyramid at Nuri near Napata. He was a prolific builder in Memphis and Thebes, especially at the Temple of Amun at Karnak. He also rebuilt or erected anew temples and shrines throughout Nubia.

Upon his death, Taharqa was succeeded by his nephew, Tanwetamani (ca. 664 BC). He reinvaded Egypt with a Kushite army, captured Memphis and attacked the Delta. After he killed Necho I in battle, the Delta vassals recognized him as King of Egypt, while Psammetichus fled to Assyria.
Within a year (ca. 663 BC), the Assyrians returned to quell this rebellion. Tanwetamani was quickly defeated, and he withdrew to Thebes. The Assyrians followed once again, whereupon he withdrew to Napata. In retribution, the Assyrians burned and sacked Thebes.

Tanwetamani never returned to Egypt, and any effective Kushite pretensions to the throne of Egypt ended forever. For his loyalty, the Assyrians installed Psammetichus I of the Twenty- sixth Dynasty as king of most of the Egyptian Delta."
[Retrieved on 11 February 2009]
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Meroitic Kushite Period Meroe Kush Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt Gebel Barkal Nuri Kurru

Meroitic Kushite Period - Meroe - Kush - Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt - Gebel Barkal - Nuri - Kurru

"The Meroitic Kushite period is named after the royal burial ground at Meroe, situated between the Fifth and Sixth Cataracts. In the third century BC the royal cemetery was moved there from Napata, though Meroe had long been one of the major centers of the Kushite state. This move coincided with the arrival of Greek culture in Egypt, following the country's conquest by Alexander the Great. The resulting Graeco-Egyptian culture influenced the Kingdom of Kush giving its later phases a distinctive character. This was in contrast to the preceding Napatan period, which was influenced by the Pharaonic Egyptian culture. The Kushite kingdom prospered from control of the trade routes along the Nile valley from Central Africa to Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, particularly after the 2nd Century when the camel was introduced to Africa and there was a flourishing of caravan routes across the continent. Its position gave Meroe access to trading outlets on the Red Sea. The kingdom also had the resources needed for the smelting of iron: ore, water from the Nile and wood from acacia trees to make charcoal.
In 24 BC, soon after Rome had taken Egypt from Anthony and Cleopatra, the Kushites invaded Lower Nubia, attacking and plundering Syrene, Elephantine and Philae. From there, they push on to Thebes and defeated its Roman garrison. Strabo reported that the Kushite Queen "enslaved the inhabitants, and threw down a statue of Caesar". A bronze head of Augustus was unearthed in excavation at Meroe in 1912, and can be seen in the British Museum.
The Roman general Aelius Petronius was dispatched into Nubia. He met and defeated a Meroitic army and drove on to Napata, which was said to have been captured and destroyed, and its inhabitants enslaved. The Kushites sent envoys for negotiations at Samos Island and concluded a peace treaty. Kushite tribute was suspended and a permanent ambassadorial position was established between Meroe and Roman Egypt. The Romans withdrew to Maharraka, which established Roman control of Lower Nubia. The peace treaty endured for three centuries, with special emphasis on Red Sea trade, even into the Indian Ocean. Curiously, in Stabo's account it was noted that the Merotic queen, Kandake Amanirenawas, was "a very masculine sort of woman and blind in one eye."
By A.D. 300-350, Meroe was largely abandoned due mainly to environmental pollution. The smelting industry had poisoned the soil. Trees had been cut down and the resulting erosion had washed away the topsoil thus reducing the ability to feed the population. In A.D. 350, the Christian King Ezana of Axum defeated Meroitic forces, and the Meroitic period ended. The Meroitic written language has never been translated."
[Retrieved on 11 February 2009]
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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Amunirdis I of Ancient Egypt - Egyptology Research: Assasif Tombs in Luxor, Egypt - Pabasa - Harwa - AnkhHor - Petamenophis - Kheruef - Puimre - TT Theban Tombs

Amunirdis I of Ancient Egypt - Egyptology Research: Assasif Tombs in Luxor, Egypt - Pabasa - Harwa - AnkhHor - Petamenophis - Kheruef - Puimre - TT Theban Tombs

Assasif Tombs in Luxor, Egypt - Pabasa - Harwa - AnkhHor - Petamenophis - Kheruef - Puimre - TT Theban Tombs

'A few' El-Assasif Tombs in Thebes, Egypt - Pabasa - Harwa - AnkhHor - Petamenophis - Kheruef - Puimre

“Whilst buying tickets to Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el Bahri you may have noticed the sign giving ticket prices for the Assasif Tombs. Next time don’t ignore them they are well worth a visit. The Assasif is a very rich area for archaeologists and there are teams working at Petamenophis, Harwa and Puimra. The tombs that are open are Kheruef which is fully described here: and Ankh Hor, which are on the same ticket and finally Pabasa, which is a separate ticket.”

[Retrieved on 07 Feb' '09]

Details on El-Assasif Tombs mentioned above:

Tomb of Kheruef [also called Senaa] (TT192) 18th Dynasty.
Steward to the Great Royal Wife Tiye, during the reign of Amenhotep III. The reliefs in the tomb contains depictions of Tiye, Amenhotep III (shown as a weak and elderly figure in some decoration)and Akhenaten (named as Amenhotep). Hence, its decoration program started late in the final years of Amenhotep III and the earliest phase of the Akhenaten's reign.The tomb of Kheruef is large enough to have several later tombs associated with it, or placed within its substructure. The tombs, TT189, TT190, TT191, TT192, TT194, TT195, TT196 and TT409 are all much smaller and largely undecorated.

Petamenophis [Padiamenope, Patuamenap or Pedamenopet] (TT33) 25th to 26th Dynasties. Chief Lector Priest.
This beautiful limestone fragment of relief comes from Tomb 33 at El-Assassif, belonging to Petamenophis. The portrait of this priest of modest rank, who owned one of the larger tombs of the Theban necropolis, has all the characteristics of the art of the transitional period of the 25th and 26th Dynasties. An archaic profile, individualised by large eyes with very marked eyebrows and by a thick-lipped mouth, is in particularly representative of it.

Harwa (TT37) 25th Dynasty.
Harwa's tomb is situated in the middle of the Assasif area, built on the processional way of Mentuhotep, with an entrance at the south. Archaeological excavations of the tomb began in 1995 and continue to-date. Harwa was an enigmatic person in ancient Egyptian history. He lived at the beginning of the 7th century BC, when the Nile Valley was in the hands of the Nubian Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty. He held the position of Great Steward of the Divine Votaress, a position that allowed him to manage the huge resources of the state of Amun-Re of Karnak. This position was held for three centuries by the members of the clergy and embraced the whole southern Egypt. The importance of Harwa is mainly demonstrated by the eight statues portraying him in various attitudes which are now kept in the major Egyptian collections all over the world (Cairo, Aswan, Paris, London and Leipzig).

Puimra [Puimre, Puyemra and also Puyemre] (TT39) 18th Dynasty.
The Ancient Egyptian noble and architect, Puimre was Second prophet of Amun during the reigns of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut. His tomb is located in El-Khokha, part of the Theban Necropolis, on the West Bank of the Nile.

Ankh Hor [Ankh-Hor, AnkhHor] (TT414) 26th Dynasty.
Ankh-Hor was 'Steward of the Divine Votress Nitocris', 'Great Mayor of Memphis', 'Overseer of Upper Egypt in Thebes' and 'Overseer of the Priests of Amun' during the reigns of Psamtek II and Apries (Wahibre) of Dynasty XXVI. His tomb is one of a series of large tombs in the Asasif area built at the end of the Third Intermediate Period for high officials in the estates of the Gods Wives of Amun. The great importance of the Gods Wives during this time is clearly reflected in the size of the tombs of their chief administrators, that of Ankh-hor being no exception. As Chief Steward of Nitocris, he would have been one of the most important and wealthiest men in Egypt.Ankh-Hor's tomb followed the decoration in the tomb of Pabasa (TT279) and has some rare scenes of beekeeping, although the complete hives are not shown as they are in Pabasa's tomb, but only the honeycombs.

Pabasa [Pabes] (TT279) Ancient Egyptian noble Pabasa was Chief Steward to the Nitocris I, Divine Adoratrice of Amun, during the Saite Period - Twenty-sixth dynasty
Pabasa has a large tomb at Asasif, just outside the entrance to Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri. Like Ankh-hor, who held this important title after him, he was the 'Chief Steward of the God's Wife Nitocris' (Neitiqert) during the reign of Saite king Psamtek I.Pabasa's tomb still has a large mudbrick superstructure. A steep flight of stairs leads down to the entrance of the subterranean levels and on the lintel above the doorway is a fine relief of a barque, adored by the souls of Pe and Nekhen, by the God's Wife, Nitocris and by the deceased.A small vestibule leads to a larger pillared sun court. The vestibule shows scenes of Pabasa's funeral procession, including mourners and the 'Abydos Pilgrimage'. There is a long text of Pabasa and depictions of his son, Thahorpakhepesh, who acted as sem-priest at his father's funeral.On the inner lintel of the entrance to the court, a relief shows Osiris and Re-Horakhty, in the centre of a double-scene, with Pabasa and Nitocris and cartouches of the king (Psamtek I) and his daughter Nitocris on either side.Beyond the sun court is a hall containing eight pillars, part of which was decorated but is now very damaged. The pillars were also decorated with deities and texts on the sides facing the central isle. At the rear of the hall a decorated niche contains Pabasa's burial shaft. His granite sarcophagus is now in Glasgow Museum.Several other chambers containing burial shafts are accessed from the rear of the hall.
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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ancient Egypt Links - Egyptological Archaeology Resources - Societies - Publications

The Queen Amunirdis Blog

Amenirdis I - Blog [WordPress]

EgyptSites - Reflections in the Nile

Egyptian Monuments

Egyptological Resources

Absolute Egyptology

Ottar Vendel’s site containing extensive text and more than 1000 illustrations on Ancient Egyptian history and religion


In French and English, by Robert Rothenfluq, this website is dedicated to the city of Abydos and contains very detailed descriptions with photographs and plans of the area, including temples and rituals.


A guide to information related to the study of the Ancient Near
East on the web


A window into the ongoing work of Dr. Mark Lehner and the international team of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project

Amarna Project

The official website of the Amarna Project directed by Barry Kemp and Pamela Rose

Research Foundation

Dedicated exclusively to the advancement of interest and research in
the Amarna Period

Website dedicated to the Nubian Queen Amenirdis I, Dynsty XXV ‘God’s Wife of Amun’ in Thebes

Ancient Egypt - History and Chronology

English language version of Polish website covering every aspect of
Egyptian chronology

Ancient Egypt Portal

A portal for accessing Egyptological websites that are of potential
use and interest, subjects many and varied

Ancient Egypt Website

This site focuses on Egyptology information via images, with links to
reports, pictures and articles

Ancient Near East

Exploring and resourcing the Ancient Near East including sites and excavations in Egypt

Ancient World Tours

British tour company specialising in the highest quality adventures
to out of the ordinary places in Egypt and other World Heritage Sites

Antiguo Egipto

A photographic journey through Ancient Egypt by Juan de la Torre Suárez and Teresa Soria Trastoy

Antiquity News

The Ministry of Tourism of Egypt’s up-to-date listings of news and information on the ancient monuments of Egypt


An Italian portal for archaeology, Egyptology and related subjects


Excellent resource site designed for students and others interested
in archaeology, anthropology and ancient civilisations - includes many topics on Ancient Egypt

Brooklyn Museum: Mut Project

Brooklyn Museum’s website documenting their archaeological work at the Temple Precinct of Mut at South Karnak.

British Museum

Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at The British Museum in London

Dakhla Oasis Project

A Study of environmental changes and Human activity in the Dakhla
region of the Western Desert

Deir el-Medina

Images of Deir el-Medina past & present by Lenka & Andy Peacock

Deir el-Medina Database

A survey of the New Kingdom non-literary texts from Deir el-Medina
of Leiden University

Digital Karnak

Experience Karnak temple in many new ways with the Digital Karnak Project from UCA.

Egypt State Information Service

Egypt’s main information awareness public relations agency - many useful links

Égypte Éternelle

Michel Guay’s French language site dedicated to the exploration and
study of Pharaonic Egypt

Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum’s official site which includes a virtual tour of
the galleries

Greg Reeder’s Egyptology site and information on KMT magazine

Egyptology Blog

Mark Morgan’s Egyptology news from around the world

Egyptology News

Andie Byrnes’s site for Egyptology news, updated daily, covering
the Egyptian past from the Predynastic to Late Period

Egyptology Online

Articles, news, study aids, recommended book lists, and a wealth
of interesting and factual information concerning Egypt

Egyptology Resources

Website of the Newton Institute, Cambridge to provide information
on Egyptological resources

Eternal Egypt

An illustrated visitor’s guide to Egypt by Stan Kurowski which includes many of the aspects often missed on the guided tour

Eternal Egypt

A tri-lingual interactive website from the SCA offering a journey
through Egyptian cultural history

Gavin’s Egyptomania Pages

Illustrating the inspiration Ancient Egypt has provided in all forms
of media in the last 200 years

Guardians Egypt

One of the most complete and inclusive websites on Ancient Egypt
- with a bulletin board covering serious Egyptological news and topics

Hierakonpolis Online

Official website of the Hierakonpolis Expedition

Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project

Epigraphic survey in the Great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak Temple by
the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, University of Memphis


The official excavation website for the newly discovered tomb in the
Valley of the Kings

Late Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt

Francesco Raffaele describes the earliest periods of Egyptian history

Luxor Magazine Online

Luxor Magazine is a tourist information magazine providing opening
times and news of the sites in the Luxor area

MFA Giza Archive

Providing integrated, online access to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Giza excavations

Mission Française des Fouilles d’Abou Rawach

French language site reporting on the excavations of the Dynasty IV
pyramids and necropolis at Abu Rawash, including maps and panoramic views

Museums with online collections

General web presences of major museums with material on Ancient

Mysteries of the Nile

Nova Online website with Quicktime views of Egyptian sites

North Kharga Oasis Survey

Results of the NKOS project to record the archaeology in North Kharga Oasis co-directed by Dr Corinna Rossi and Dr Salima Ikram

Oriental Institute, Chicago

The Epigraphic Survey based at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt


Thierry Benderitter’s French and English language site devoted to the tombs and mastabas of Ancient Egypt, with regularly updated news and a vast collection of photographs

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

The Petrie Museum has one of the most inspiring collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world

Pyramid of Man - The House of Going Forth by Day

An illustrated discussion by Vincent Brown on the architecture of Old
Kingdom pyramids

Pyramid Texts Online

An extension of Vincent Brown’s Pyramid site with interactive Pyramid Text translations


Richard & Angela Knisely-Marpole, archaeological surveyors, kite aerial photographers and members of the North Kharga Oasis Survey team.

Satellite Survey of Western Thebes

A Differential GPS Mapping Project of the Private Tombs of Sheikh
Abd el-Qurnah

Saqqara Online

The Leiden Excavations in the New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara

Survey and Excavation Projects in Egypt

The official SEPE website detailing current excavations in the Eastern
Delta and Sinai directed by Dr Gregory Mumford

Tell Edfu Project

Uncovering a provincial capital

The Ancient Egypt Site

Website created by Egyptologist Jacques Kinnaer containing excellent
links to pages covering all aspects of Egyptology

Theban Tombs

Information on the owners of Theban tombs collected from different souces by Anneke Bart

The Plateau

The official website for Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the
Supreme Council of Antiquities

Theban Mapping Project

Interactive version of the Atlas of the Valley of the Kings by Dr
Kent Weeks

Theban Royal Mummy Project

Archaeological data about the royal mummies from the Theban cache
tombs presented by William Max Miller


French and English language site by Dr Renaud de Spens covering
all aspects of Egyptological study and research

Tour Egypt

Website of the Ministry of Tourism of Egypt - a complete Egypt guide


The cachette of royal mummies of the Theban Dynasty XXI - details of research from the Russian Academy of Sciences Centre for Egyptological Studies

Une promenade en Égypte

French language site by Alain Guilleux with almost 3,000 photographs with commentaries covering all sites in Egypt

UEE: Encyclopedia of Egyptology

Online information on publications by and for Egyptologists, and all
other disciplines that are involved in research in Egypt.

Upuat Website

Rudolf Gantenbrink’s website reporting his findings in the Great
Pyramid of Cheops

Valley of the Kings Foundation

The work of Dr Nicholas Reeves’s project 1998-2002 seasons in the
Kings Valley

Waseda Excavations

Excavations in Egypt by the Archaeological Mission of Waseda



Ancient Egypt and Middle East Society based in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, UK


The American Research Center In Egypt, founded in 1948 to support
research on all phases of Egyptian civilisation and culture - includes
details of local chapters and upcoming events

- Asociación Andaluza de Egiptología Association to promote the study of Ancient Egypt in Spain

Egypt Exploration Society

Website of the EES - publications, news and events

Egypt Society of Bristol

Society based at University of Bristol

Egyptological Societies

A list of British and worldwide Egyptological societies and their

Friends of the Egypt Centre

Egyptology Society based at University of Wales Swansea

Manchester Ancient Egypt Society

MAES is one of the longest running Egyptology Societies in the UK


Egyptian appreciation society based in Prestwich, Manchester, UK

North East Lincolnshire Egyptology Association

Society based in the South Humber area of the UK

Plymouth and District Egyptology Society

Society serving Devon and Cornwall based in Plymouth, UK

Society for the Study of Ancient Egypt

Society based around South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, UK

Southampton Ancient Egypt Society

Society to promote interest in all aspects of Ancient Egyptian civilisation, based in Hampshire, UK

Sussex Egyptology Society

Egyptology Society based in Brighton, Horsham and Worthing, UK

Tameside Egypt Group

Egyptology Society based in Cheshire, UK

Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society

Society based at University of Reading, Berkshire, UK


Ancient Egypt

The history, people and culture of the Nile Valley - website of the British magazine researched and written by Egyptologists


A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt - the periodical devoted exclusively to articles on the culture, history, personalities, arts and monuments of ancient Egypt

Museum Books

New and out-of-print books in the fields of Egyptology, Ancient
Near East, Classical World and selected archaeology


Archival Maps

Reproductions of old maps, illustrations and photographs, including
Napoleon’s survey of Egypt between 1798 and 1801


Digital art by Su Bayfield

Baciar Art

Photographic artworks in black and white, representing ancient and
modern of Egypt

Bernice Williams - Fine Art Photography

Black and white images and Polaroid transfers of sacred sites, landscape and people of Egypt

Breasted Expeditions to Egypt and the Sudan 1905-1907

A photographic study by Professor James Henry Breasted and his colleagues


Beautiful travel photographs of Egypt and other fascinating countries
by Steve Underwood


Huib Blom’s superb collection of around 1000 photographs taken on
location in a number of African countries including Egypt

Institute Photographic Archive

Checklist of nineteenth-century studio photographs of Egypt at the
Griffith Institute at Oxford

Journey to the Ruins of Ancient Egypt

Evocative panoramic black and white images by photographer Zbigniew Kosc

The Egypt Archive

An archive of superb images of Egyptian antiquities by Jon Bodsworth

The Egyptian Theben Desert

Photographs taken 1993-2002 by Yarko Kobylecky

The Pyramids of Egypt

Frank P Roy’s collection of stunning images of the Pyramid Fields

Thebes Photographic Project

Tom Van Eynde’s panoramic photographs of Thebes

Add your Link Here...

Harwa - Great of the Greats - Theban Tomb TT37 - Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun - Grand Steward and High Priest

Harwa: "Great of the Greats".

Harwa was an important man in ancient Egypt. He was an important figure in the life of Amenirdis I of ancient Egypt's XXV Dynasty. He acted as the 'Chief Steward', or 'Grand Steward' for Amenirdis I, as God's Wife of Amun and also whilst Queen Amenirdis served as Divine Adoratrice.
Additionally, he held the title (as High Priest) of "Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun".

Born in to a family of Theban Priests, Harwa held high office in Thebes (modern-day Luxor) with great responsibility to Amun and God's Wife of Amun, the Divine Votaress, Amenirdis I. He was son of the "Lady of the House", Nestaureret, and of a Priest attached to the temple of Amun in Karnak, Padimut son of Ankhefenamon.

His tomb is located in el-Assasif, part of the Theban Necropolis, near to Deir el-Bahri and is known as TT37 (Theban Tomb 37) which has been under archaeological examination for some years (14+) and currently not accessible to the public.

Harwa HieroglyphsThe tomb of Harwa (TT37) displays important features of a man holding such religious, spiritual and political power. Scenes and texts - at least those engraved in the principal axis of the monument - can be read as part of a description of the Egyptian man's journey from his daily life to the Netherworld, passing through the ultimate experience of death and beyond. Each part of the monument concurs to document a different step of the path leading to eternal life.

The tomb (TT37) is large and in the "Osiris Hall" there is a wall relief describing the moment of the death where Harwa is shown 'between worlds', and separated from his physical body, with Anubis holding one hand. Harwa then exists in two (or more?) dimensions simultaneously - in the Land of Osiris and still in the land of the living, just.

Harwa's tomb shows the moment of death in its supreme glory and Harwa continues to be shown 'in the middle', almost in a 'freeze-frame' reliefwith both his Ka and Ba 'conscious' (possibly his Akh + Ren + Shwt), 'present' and aware of their 'state' i.e. Harwa's Ba - or possibly his Shwt or Ren - is shown as young and healthy whilst his Ka and physical form is as it was before the 'freeze-frame': corpulent, bald/ing and approximately 60 years old.

Alternatively, could the 'freeze-frame' relief depict the split-second when the Ka, Ba, Akh, Ren and Shwt 'meet' prior to the 'magical' departure to the different realms?

We will never know exactly why this complex scene is shown but it was most certainly important to Harwa and the explanation could possibly be beyond the understanding of our modern-day thought processes.
For the ancient Egyptians everything exists also in its complementary form. Nothing existed isolated, only for itself. The function/s was always intertwined with their universe, with Netjer and with Man.

This relief is highly unusual in ancient Egyptian scenes and whilst the above is purely personal conjecture, there is little doubt that Harwa was 'more than a mortal' given his almost 'pharaoh-like' status and titles.

Harwa was not only a dignitary holding vast powers but the ruler of Upper Egypt, ruling on behalf of the pharaohs of the twenty-fifth Dynasty, along with God's Wives of Amun et al. This conclusion is supported by a limestone ushabti (shabty), discovered in TT37 during 1997, showing Harwa holding in his hands the crook and the flail i.e. the regalia - characteristic emblems of pharaonic royalty. A further ushabti is kept in the Egyptian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Could it be that Harwa had numerous 'Kas', similar to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt?

Could the 'freeze-frame' be indicative of Harwa's status as a ruling, 'semi-royal' noble?

Any further ideas, suggestions or comments would be most welcome - please e-mail me:

A ushabti (shabty) of Harwa from TT37 - [image link].

More information and images from Harwa's tomb - [link]

As an aside: I find it interesting that the tomb of Akhamenerau - TT404 (Theban Tomb 404) - is adjacent to TT37, the huge tomb of Harwa. Akhamenerau was "Chief Steward of the Divine Adoratrix Amenirdis I (Amunirdis I) and Shepenupet II (Shepenwepet II)" and, obviously, held office under these two powerful God's Wives of Amun. It seems strange to me - though I'm no scholar - that Akhamenerau ruled at this time (though I can find no dates for Akhamenerau) and that placement of TT404 was so very close to TT37. Was this significant in itself, as - possibly - with the adjacent placement of the tombs of Montuemhat (TT34) and Petamenophis (TT33)? I would suggest so.

Did Amenirdis I and Shepenupet II's rule of Upper Egypt overlap...?
Coregency for a few years before Amenirdis died?
Did Harwa hold Office under both God's Wives of Amun...? Amenirdis I 'adopted' Shepenupet II and the latter obviously held Amenirdis I in high regard (see Medinet Habu, Chapel of the Adoratrice Amunirdis I) or did Akhamenerau live long enough to serve - and rule - under both God's Wives of Amun?

Montuemhat and Petamenophis' Theban Tombs

Montuemhat (TT34) served the Nubian Kings Taharqa and
Tanutamun (Tanutamani, Tanwetamani or Tanutamon) as Fourth Prophet of Amun, Mayor of Thebes and Governor of Upper Egypt in the XXV dynasty.

[Bust of Montuemhat]

[Statue Group of Montuemhat and His Son, Nesptah]

Petamenophis (TT33) (Padiamenope, Padiamenipet, Petamenofi or Padiamenopea) served as Chief Lector Priest during the XXV to XXVI dynasties.

[Limestone fragment of tomb relief]

[Serpentine ushabti]

In Harwa's Tomb (TT37), a text well-engraved on the southern wall of the passage leading to the First Pillared Hall enumerates his good deeds having recourse to the most typical phraseology of the Egyptian "ideal biography". It is Harwa himself who is speaking. He tells the visitor to the tomb:

"I gave bread to the hungry man, clothes to the naked man".

This phrase is pivotal in the connection between Harwa and Queen Amenirdis I as, on the reverse (and base) of the famous alabaster statue of Amenirdis I, there is a well-carved series of hieroglyphs which say:

"I gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to
the naked man."
(the full translation can be found Here...)

I have not seen a connection made anywhere regarding these two series of hieroglyphs - online or offline. I believe that this connection hasn't yet been made by the scholars but the importance of the similar phrases is amazing to me.

Harwa held the position of "Grand Steward" for about forty years from the time of Piankhy, serving under Nubian pharaohs Shabaqo or Shabaka (713-698 BCE) and Shebitqo (698-690 BCE), until the reign of Taharqo or Taharqa (690 - 664 BCE).

Coincidentally, Amenirdis I is said to have served as God's Wife of Amun, Divine Adoratrice (or Divine Votaress) and "God's Hand" for approximately forty to forty-six years.

[Taharqo (or Taharqa) was the uncle of Amunirdis.]

It is my personal belief that Amenirdis I and Harwa had a close 'royal' relationship and ruled 'together' (in various roles) from ancient Thebes at approximately the same times in ancient Egypt.

During the 1997 archaeological campaign in Harwa's tomb (TT37), a limestone ushabty (or shabti) was unearthed showing features which shed new light on some aspects of the role played by Harwa inside the Theban administration. It is a typically mummiform funerary statuette of the XXV Dynasty but it holds in his hands the crook and the flail, that is to say, the regalia, the characteristic emblems of the pharaonic royalty.

As far as it is known, it is the only example of non-royal ushabty displaying such characteristics.

Furthermore, in the Chapter VI of the Book of the Dead engraved on the body, Harwa is mentioned as "Great of the Greats".

These evidences should point out that Harwa had more power than the one deriving from his role and that he can be considered as the co-governor of the Theban region on the behalf of the Nubian King alongside the Divine Adoratrice, Amunirdis I.

Also the vastness of his tomb and the high number of his statues can support the hypothesis that Harwa was the most politically influential person of the State; stretching to the First Cataract (a graffito signed by him has been found at Nag'esh Sheikh, near Aswan).

If this assumption is confirmed by further excavations, then the positions of Montuemhat and Petamenophis will have to be reconsidered. They chose in fact to place their tombs east and west of the tomb of Harwa as if they attributed a high reverence to him and considered him a sort of ancestor. Does this also apply to Akhamenerau in TT404 and Peshuper (tomb location unknown at this time)? In this frame one has to ask: is it possible to speak of a "dynasty" of functionaries governing the Theban region with the consent of the Nubian kings? If this proves to be true, then, as they did not belong to the one family nor did they share the same titles and position, what was the mechanism of succession of these functionaries? No-one yet knows the answer to that question or the countless others raised by the life, works and tomb of Harwa, Grand Steward in the Precinct of Amun.

Many questions are raised merely because of the surviving evidence belonging to Amenirdis I and Harwa et al., but there are some issues which are quite clear:

Upper Egypt was ruled well under the governance of these two mighty figures (and others) and for forty to firty-six years, approximately, Upper Egypt was relatively peaceful (as opposed to the XXIII to XXIV Dynasties political and religious unrest and turmoil) whilst Pharaoh
(Amunirdis I's brother) ruled from Memphis. Even after the death of her brother, Amunirdis I remained in control and acted, along with others, answering the State's needs on many levels. Order was temporarily restored and both Amunirdis I and Harwa played a major role in ancient Egypt at that time.

A video introduction to Harwa - "Great of the Greats" - from YouTube can be found here:
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Monday, February 02, 2009

Alabaster Statue of Queen Amenirdis I - Amunirdis I - Amonirdis I - Kushite Queen - Khaneferumut Hatnefrumut of Ancient Egypt

This alabaster statue of Amenirdis I (prenomen: Khaneferumut or Hatnefrumut) is probably the most famous image of this Kushite Queen - it inspired Verdi to compose Aida.

The statue is stunning when seen in real life. For many years it was on display in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities but since the ‘Black Pharaohs’ exhibition the alabaster statue has been moved for more of the public to see this magnificent depiction of an amazing Queen of ancient Egypt.

Harwa - Chief Steward of God's Wife Amenardis I - XXV Dynasty - TT37

Harwa - Chief Steward of Gods Wife Amenardis I - XXV Dynasty of Ancient Egypt

Harwa, "Grand Steward of the Divine Votaress", High Priest and "Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun"

Harwa: "Great of the Greats".

Born in to a family of Theban Priests, Harwa held high office in Thebes (modern-day Luxor) with great responsibility to Amun and God's Wife of Amun, the Divine Votaress, Amenirdis I. He was son of the "Lady of the House", Nestaureret (or Estaweret), and of a Priest attached to the temple of Amun in Karnak, Padimut (or Pedemut) son of Ankhefenamon.
His tomb is located in el-Assasif, part of the Theban Necropolis, near to Deir el-Bahri and is known as TT37 (Theban Tomb 37) which has been under archaeological examination for some years and currently not accessible to the public.

See also Harwa
"On Friday I attended an EES lecture by Dr Francesco Tiradritti of the Italian Archaeological Mission to the Theban Tombs, held at the The Society of Antiquaries of London. It was a fascinating lecture, and I must admit that up until then I had known very little about the Late Period tombs in this area, so the talk was a true eye opener for me.
The renaissance, or Archaic Revival, of the Late Period has long held a fascination for me, and it’s normally something I think of as having been “kicked off” - as it were - by the Pharaohs of the 26th Dynasty. But these classical Saite signatures, such as the passion for (exquisitely executed!) scenes in the Old Kingdom traditions, and even the inclusion of parts of the Pyramid Texts, can be seen in Harwa’s tomb (TT37, El Assasif) at the height of the 25th Dynasty.
Harwa was the Great Steward of the Adoratrice of Amun, during the reign of Taharqa, and possibly acted as a vassal ruler of the south under him, since the Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty remained in Nubia and only held power through the Priesthood of Amun, hence Harwa’s great importance. The scale of his tomb would indeed suggest this, for although it’s layout is entirely different, in it’s ambitious design, and in the quality of carving, it is certainly the equal of some royal tombs.
Sadly, time has been unkind to Harwa’s eternal home. Only fragments of the decoration survive, having been re-used for subsequent burials during the Late period, and functioning as a chapel to Osiris in Ptolemaic times. Dr Tiradritti also presented some of the tombs later history that had been unearthed during excavations, including an earlier Italian visit to the tomb by soldiers during the Second World War, leaving behind part of a biscuit packet for future generations.
Thankfully, the team have been able to take advantage of changes in technology over the long course of their work so far (excavation began in 1995, and there is still much work to be done) and this has allowed maps, images and also a complete catalogue of decorative fragments found to be made available on an online database. This has also allowed for digital reconstructions of numerous wall scenes to be made, allowing a much better understanding of the tombs original design.
A multi-lingual web portal has now been online for ten years, and is available at "

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Royal Names of Hatnefrumut - Throne Name - Nomen and Modern-Day Translations - Amonirdis I

Amunirdis I of Ancient Egypt - Egyptology and Archaeological Research dedicated to providing information and online resources about the Nubian Queen of ancient Egypt's Twenty-fifth Dynasty Dynasty known as Amenirdis I, Amenardis I, Amunirdis I or Amunardis I.

Royal Names of Hatnefrumut - Throne Name - Nomen and Modern-Day Translations - Amonirdis

The ancient prenomen (throne name) and nomen (birth name, usually) of AI are clear and not open to much interpretation if read in the original hieroglyphs but our modern-day languages vary so very much that a simple - if Royal - name becomes many multiples and variations of the original.

To make matters even more confusing, Hatnefrumut’s “birth name” was different as she was a Nubian (Kushite) Princess, possibly ‘AkaluKa Princess of Nubia’ or Aqaluqa.
The prenomen of AI is Hat-nfrw-mwt (Hatnefrumut) and her nomen is Imn-iir-di-si which leads many to state that AI’s name (or ‘nomen’) is Amenardis but there are many variations to AI’s nomen - here are just a few:


In Dutch, AI’s name becomes Amyrtaeus - Amenirdis
In German: Amyrtaios - Amunirdies
In French: Amyrtée - Amonirdis
In Italian: Amirteo - Amonirdis
In Spanish: Amirteo - Amonirdis
In Portuguese: Amirtaios - Amonirdies

Of course, this makes research of any kind very difficult as all names must be searched for and the search becomes quite confusing.

One might think that the “English” version of Hatnefrumut’s name would be enough… but try searching the major search engines for any of the above - they all result in many pages of information regardless of the modern-day language used.

It is a confusing situation as each name has to be searched for (both offline and online) and even the most prestigious of museums occasionally use multiple names for the same Royal Queen - Hatnefrumut or Imn-iir-di-si.

I am sure that the ancient Egyptians would delight in the fact that their names will never be forgotten - nor should they be but with such a wealth of spellings and pronunciations their names are bound to live forever ;-)



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