Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ancient Egypt Everywhere

Last year, I participated in a charitable event here in Utah, called the Festival of Trees. Every year, individuals or organizations volunteer their time and money to design and decorate Christmas trees with a theme of their choice. Others are then able to view (for a nominal fee) or purchase (for the cost of the materials) the trees; all proceeds from the event go to the Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I decided it would be fun to decorate a tree with ancient-Egyptian-themed ornaments–I’ve never seen an Ancient Egypt tree there before, and I figured I was just the person to do it.

Here’s how it turned out.

The finished product--Entitled "Out of Egypt."

I decided to do a table top tree, since decorations for the full-size trees take thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours.

I was able to make ornaments out of the plastic figurines from this Egyptian Toob by using hot glue to attach wire to each of the figurines.

You can see two of the figurine ornaments here--a sarcophagus and a set of the pyramids at Giza.

I also purchased both silver- and gold-colored ankh charms to make ornaments out of, since the ankh is one of the most recognizable ancient Egyptian symbols. They were fairly small compared to the other ornaments, but they added some sparkle.

I made ornaments out of the stickers and temporary tattoos from this kit in a similar fashion, by attaching wire to each of them. These were great since they included stickers of famous rulers, museum objects, and scenes from daily life in Ancient Egypt.

See if you can spot an Eye of Horus, a Sarcophagus, a Falcon, some Men Building a Brick Wall, and a bust of Queen Nefertiti.

I also bought some papyrus and used the stencils from the aforementioned kit to make these papyrus ornaments.

Papyrus decorations.

For the top of the tree, I chose a Christmas-themed ornament (since the event is designed for people who purchase Christmas trees). It’s a lovely wooden ornament depicting the Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on their “Flight Into Egypt.”

Rather than a standard tree skirt, I tied together strips of linenesque fabric to imitate mummy wrappings. I was also able to find some really interesting items to display underneath the tree. A kid’s pyramid and sphinx toy and an archaeological pyramid excavation kit (that I was sorely tempted to keep for myself), as well as the leftover papyrus, a set of Egyptian-themed mazes, some God/Goddess figurines, a copy of the book The Egypt Game, and even a king Tut nutcracker.

I was pretty happy with it! What do you think?


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A new beginning.

Last year, I slacked off with writing this blog, but I’m very happy to be back and starting afresh.

As most of you know, 2011 was an extremely eventful year for the status of Ancient Egyptian antiquities and archaeology in Egypt.

January 2011 saw the Egyptian Revolution and opportunistic looting of many of Egypt’s museums and monuments. The following months saw the departments in charge of Egyptian antiquities and the invidiuals in charge of those departments go through various iterations.

As it stands now, in January 2012, Dr. Mostafa Amin is the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (which now reports directly to Egypt’s Cabinet and Prime Minister).

Excavations continue in Egypt and experts are also focused on repairing objects and sites that have been damaged in the past year.

2012 has already seen a mix of good and bad in the state of Egyptian antiquities.

Thousands of valuable and irreplaceable manuscripts housed in the Institut d’Egypte were badly damaged or destroyed by fire during ongoing conflicts between Egyptian demonstrators and the Egyptian army. Teams of experts and volunteers are now working on correcting the fire damage and mitigating the water damage (from putting out the fires).

Books drying

Damaged books and manuscripts drying in the sun.

From the Valley of the Kings near Luxor comes better news. The discovery of the officially designated King’s Valley 64 (KV 64) was announced just last week. The tomb itself was discovered in January 2011 on the same day as the Egyptian Revolution began, but was hastily secured and left unexcavated until this season. The current occupant of the tomb is not the original occupant, but a later burial of a female temple singer named Nehmes-Bastet. Excavations at the tomb are ongoing.

Coffin of Nehmes-Bastet

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Filed under Archaeological Discoveries, Egyptologists, Museum, Object Restoration