ROSETTA STONE? WHAT IS IT?

Maybe you have heard about the ROSETTA SPACE PROBE in the news recently? About the spacecraft that was launched in 2004 by the European Space Agency and which reached the comet near the sun just last month.Or maybe you have seen the advertisement for the Rosetta Language School, helping you to learn any language.
The name is  used today to show an essential clue to a new field of knowledge, but it all started with a stele found in 1799 in a small village in the Delta called Rosette (Rashid) by French soldiers who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt.

rosetta stone
This stele shows a decree issued in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. It was written in two languages – Egyptian and Greek – using three scripts – hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek. The reason it was written in three different scripts was that at time there were three scripts being used in Egypt. The first was hieroglyphic which was the script used for important or religious documents.
The second was demotic, used for the common script of Egypt, and the third was Greek which was the language of the rulers of Egypt at the time. All three texts, with minor differences, say the same thing.
Since its discovery many scholars have tried to decipher the text, but it was Francois Champollion in 1822 who did –  being able to read both Greek and Coptic helped him to tell the world what the Ancient Egyptians had to say.
The fate of the Rosetta stone was determined after British troops defeated the French in 1801. When Alexandria capitulated, it was taken to England, where it has been on public display in the British Museum ever since. It is the most visited object in the Museum. Originally it was displayed without any protection, but a sign saying ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ did not keep the fingers of the world off. So in 1847 it was placed in a protective glass case, where it is today and where I saw it. Picture taking is allowed but due to the glass this is the best I could do

rosetta scrips

showing the three scripts

Bach of Stele - it has not decoration because it was only seen from the front

Back of Stele – it has no decoration because it was only seen from the front

IMG_4809

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More from Egypt soon

GEESEBrigitte

Posted in Alexandria, Ancient Stones, Egypt | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IT’S A MATTER OF SIZE – RAMESSES II

EVERY TIME ONE THINKS THAT RAMESSES II CAN’T GET ANY BIGGER HE DOES.

WHILE WALKING INTO THE EGYPTIAN WING IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM, MY ATTENTION WAS CAUGHT BY THIS BEAUTIFUL, VERY LARGE BUST, WHICH ONCE HAD BEEN PART OF A STATUE. IT STANDS RIGHT IN MIDDLE ON A PEDESTAL AND CAN’T BE OVERLOOKED. NOT JUST BECAUSE OF IT SIZE, BUT BECAUSE OF ITS WARM, SMILING FEATURES – AND YES IT IS RAMESSES II.
IMG_4813

Ramesses ii WRITE UP

LOOKING AT THAT  BEAUTIFUL FACE I COULD NOT HELP BUT WONDER HOW THE ARTIST WAS ABLE TO MAKE IT LOOK SO ALIVE, SO FULL OF FEELINGS? AND WHAT IS MOST AMAZING IS HOW HE COULD MAKE GRANITE LOOK SO SOFT AND ALIVE. YES, IT IS CARVED OUT OF GRANITE, THE HARDEST STONE THAT EXISTS, BUT THE FACE OF RAMSESSES II SHOWS NO SIGN OF HARDNESS AND COULD BE FLESH AND BLOOD.

More from Egypt soon

1017049_10151713599110535_2062641693_n[1]

Brigitte

 

 

Posted in Ancient Stones, Egypt, Pharaohs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EGYPTIAN MUMMIES CAN SLEEP IN PEACE NOW

My visit to the British Museum last week was an eye-opening experience. Ancient Mummies have fascinated the world for a long time and  to learn who they were and how they lived it was necessary to unwrap them.
Now with the latest CT-scanning technology, which was used by the British Museum in this exhibition, we can see the coffins, beautifully decorated and painted, and next to it the CT scanned images peeling away layer after layer exposing the Mummy inside.

This is the Mummy of a young child

mummy childMummy skeleton

 

The CT scanning technology also allows to know the sex of the Mummy, if the person was healthy, the cause of death, and the age when he or she died. And this is just a short list of data that can be collected with CT Scanning.

Whenever I visited the Cairo Museum, where the Mummies of the Pharaoh Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut among others, can be seen, I felt like an intruder. Looking at the exposed bodies, just covered by a linen sheet, I wondered what gave us the right to take away their dignity by unwrapping them and exposing their remains to the world?

Hopefully now with this new methods of looking and examining Mummies, they can sleep in peace for eternity.

More from Egypt soon

tile bird-3

Brigitte

Posted in Egypt, Islam, Pharaohs, Religion, TECHNOLOGY | Tagged , , , , , ,

EGYPTIAN MUMMIES – ANCIENT LIVES – NEW DISCOVERIES

I AM VERY HAPPY TO TELL YOU THAT I AM ON MY WAY TO LONDON TO SEE THE EXHIBITION AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM SHOWING HOW MUMMIES CAN NOW BE X-RAYED,   AVOIDING UNWRAPPING THEM AND DISTURBING WHAT HAS BEEN PUT IN PLACE THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO.

HERE IS A LITTLE PREVIEWancient-lives-2_464x464[1]

MORE DETAILS WHEN I WILL BE BACK  IN A FEW WEEKS.

More from Egypt/London soon
linen-man_624x624[1]

Brigitte

Posted in Egypt, Tourism, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

EGYPTIAN STATUE SEKHEMKA SOLD FOR $27 MILLION.

DO WE REALLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SELL OTHER COUNTRIES PRECIOUS ANTIQUITIES? EVEN IF THEY WERE GIFTED TO US?

Sekhemka statue

This week Christies Auction House of London sold the statue of SEKHEMKA – a limestone statue, 30″ high, for a little over US 27 million. The 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue was gifted to the Northampton Museum in England in 1880.

Northampton Borough Council decided to auctioned the SEKHEMKA limestone statue to help fund a £14m extension to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery..

The Egyptian ambassador to Britain said the council should have handed the statue back if it did not want it.

The following is quote of a BBC report —-

Before the auction, Egyptian Ambassador Ahsraf Elkholy condemned the sale as an abuse to the Egyptian archaeology and the cultural property.

He said: “Our objection starts from this basic principle: how can a museum sell a piece in its collection when it should be on display to the public? Furthermore we are concerned this piece may be moved into a private collection.”

‘Darkest cultural day’ “A museum should not be a store. SEKHEMKA belongs to Egypt and if Northampton Borough Council does not want it then it must be given back.

“It’s not ethical that it will be sold for profit and also not acceptable. The council should have consulted with the Egyptian government.”

Christie’s said it would reveal details of the new owner later.

Protesters gathered outside Christie’s before the sale said they wanted the statue to be returned to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

Sue Edwards, from the Save SEKHEMKA Action Group, who travelled from Northampton to the auction, said: “This is the darkest cultural day in the town’s history.

“The local authority has made a huge mistake but we will continue our fight to save SEKHEMKA.” (end of quote).

As the Egyptian Ambassador said, ” If they don’t want the statue give it back to Egypt.” But instead THEY ARE MAKING EGYPT PAY for an extension to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery ——-  certainly not what SEKHEMKA was meant for when she moved to England.

More from Egypt soon

tile bird-3Brigitte

 

 

Posted in Art, Egypt, Foreign Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PHOTO OF THE WEEK – SOUVENIRS

 

Egypt_11070-2IS THERE REALLY NOBODY COMING TO BUY MY SOUVENIRS ??????

More from Egypt soon

tile bird-3                        Brigitte

Posted in Egypt, Tourism, Travel | Tagged , , , ,

OPEN MUSEUM AT KARNAK

The Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor is often called the biggest outdoor museum in the world.
But the last time I visited, a friend of mine said: “You must not miss to see the “Open Museum.”

Open  Museum? I was puzzled, “But it is all open isn’t it?” I asked

“Yes, but there is a section apart from the main complex,  the Open Museum. It is an area where art effects found later are going to be displayed. It is a work in progress.”

IMG_1903-2

It was a very hot afternoon and we were only three people to visit. Oh, yes there is an entrance fee, which is very little. Maybe that is why the men at the booth asked me repeatedly if I needed the bathroom – the tip for using it was more than the few pennies for the visit, and they were happy I needed to go.

IMG_1891-2

Walking passed a tomb,

IMG_1901-2IMG_1895

a few status standing here and there,

IMG_1899-2 beautiful carvings,

IMG_1890-2IMG_1900-2

and a large field of yet unidentified stones showing what a tremendous task it is to reconstruct the past.

IMG_1892-2

It is not easy to find because it is really outside the main complex, but once you do, it will be worth your time, and if you need protection from the brutal sun of Egypt there are some beautiful trees to protect you.IMG_1894-2

More from Egypt soon

GEESE

Brigitte

Posted in Ancient Stones, Egypt, Luxor, Temple of Karnak | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments