July 1, 2010

And now. . . .the news from the EEF

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 1:32 pm

A few items taken off of the EEF wires:

Cleopatra ‘was killed by a cocktail of drugs – not a snake bite’

Cleopartra did not die from a snake bite but from drinking a lethal drug cocktail, a German scientist said today.

The Queen of the Nile ended her life in 30 BC. Legend has always held that it was the bite of an asp – an Egyptian cobra – which caused her demise.

Now Christoph Schaefer, a German historian and professor at the University of Trier, will present evidence on a television programme tomorrow that he claims will prove that drugs and not a snake were the cause of death.

[All I've heard was that she was decidedly not possessed of 'great beauty', so we ought to take this with a rather large grain of salt]

It’s Your Last Summer to Catch the Pharaoh in the Fenway!

OMB is closing to relocate to a more prominent location and to provide an opportunity to upgrade elements of the experience. In TOMB, guests play the role of archaeologists who are trapped in a Disney-caliber recreated ancient Egyptian burial chamber by the ghost of a pharaoh. They must solve a series of puzzles and challenges in order to make it out alive. Equal parts, museum exhibit, live-action video game, theatrical production, and haunted house, TOMB is unlike any other attraction in existence.

[Now that sounds coooooool]

– A special beer is brewed in conjunction with the Tutankhamun
exhibit at the Denver Art Museum:


“Tut’s Royal Gold is an unfiltered “Imperial Egyptian Ale” of about 6%
ABV made with pale malts, ancient fermentables (honey, wheat, teff)
and a handful of spices including tamarind, coriander, grains of paradise,
orange peel and rose petals. The beer is fermented with a wheat beer
yeast and is served unfiltered for extra, (very) old-school authenticity.”

Press report: “‘Strange bones’ in Colchester Egyptian Mummy”


“The skull of an ancient Egyptian mummy in Colchester is packed
with ’strange bones’, a CT-scan has revealed. The scan on
2,500-year-old Lady Ta-Hathor yesterday also revealed an odd
bundle between her thighs, thought to be the remains of her organs.
(..) She was healthy with no bone defects, and had died of natural
causes aged in her mid-twenties – not far off the era’s life expectancy
of 30. Ta-Hathor’s heart had been placed back in her body, a
vital step on her journey to the afterlife. (..) Caroline McDonald,
curator of archaeology at Colchester and Ipswich Museums [says]:
“It appears as if the skull cavity has been packed with linen. There
are some strange bone fragments in the skull that we can’t currently
account for and we hope experts will be able to reveal this particular
secret.” “There does appear to be a bundle of some description between
(Ta-Hathor’s) thighs which may be a parcel containing her other organs
such as the lungs and intestines,” adds McDonald. “In early Egyptian
history these were placed in separate containers known as canopic
jars but later they were simply wrapped and placed back in the body.
Again, analysis will confirm this for us.” Ta-Hathor’s brain was also
removed during mummification. (..)”

Press report: “BYU team digs up ancient Egyptian mummies”


“BYU students and professors have been excavating a cemetery
near the Seila pyramid in Egypt, containing more than one million
mummies, most of which are likely Christian, according to BYU
professor C. Wilfred Griggs. (..) The pyramid, built on a hill by
Pharaoh Snefru 4,600 years ago, is part of the BYU team’s land
concession, but no burials have been discovered there, Griggs said.
The cemetery, with a million or more mummies, is about a mile
and a half north of the pyramid and covers roughly 300 acres.
There are about two mummies per square yard, buried in shafts
five or more mummies deep.(..) In Griggs’ book, “Early Egyptian
Christianity,” he suggests Christianity came much earlier than
previously thought. He originally published his book based on
research from written records. The book has been republished
many times since, and he now has thirty years of architectural
evidence to back up his findings from the written research.
Before 75 A.D., mummies were buried with their heads to the
east so when they were resurrected, they could get up and go
west. Around the time Christianity came to Egypt, burial methods
changed. Griggs first noticed the change around 1981. It is likely
the change in burial direction around 75-100 A.D. was due to
Christian teachings. The heads of the newer mummies’ in this
cemetery are to the west, allowing them to get up and walk
east to meet Christ. These mummies also wore different ritual
clothing and had different artifacts, such as crucifixes, buried
with them. “We cannot say whether all of the head-west burials
were actually Christians, or whether the influence of Christianity
was such that everybody was buried in that orientation from
the second century onward,” Griggs said. (..)”

[This is an update on an earlier story, in which I speculated these were ancient Egyptian burials; guess (maybe) not]

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