COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition


Stump Dr. Mark Lehner by COSI
June 17, 2009, 9:36 am
Filed under: From the Field | Tags: , , , ,

Author: Carli

Dr. Mark Lehner, who was at the Lost Egypt exhibit opening, is featured in COSI’s weekly podcast segment called “Stump the Scientist.” This week’s question comes from a young girl who attended the Member Preview on the exhibit opening day. She wanted to know how old the pyramids were, and how anyone could tell their age. There may not be anyone on the planet better equipped to answer that question than Dr. Mark Lehner, Director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates and foremost expert on the Sphinx.

Dr. Lehner recently paired up with Dr. Zahi Hawass, of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to film a documentary about the Sphinx, the Lost City, and the AERA Field School. The filming was a chance for the two archaeologists to take a walk down memory lane together. According to Hawass:

“On the third day of filming, Mark Lehner and I talked about how we met over thirty years ago, and how our friendship grew as we worked together, starting our first excavation to the northeast of the Sphinx. We found evidence from the different ages that the Sphinx has witnessed, including the Old Kingdom, the New Kingdom, and the Roman Period. We have been working together for decades to understand this amazing monument, and I am so happy that the two of us could tell our story together – as two boys who met in front of the Sphinx, became friends, and grew up to reveal its secrets.”

Dr. Lehner talks more about the project in the AERA newsletter. For more of Dr. Zahi Hawass on the Sphinx film, visit his blog.

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Sarah and the Satellites by COSI
April 30, 2009, 1:11 pm
Filed under: From the Field | Tags: , , , ,

Author: Kate

Here’s a slide show that goes through the process used by our project advisor Sarah Parcak, to find archaeological sites in ancient Egypt. We’ll talk about this process in Lost Egypt as well. You can hear Sarah talk about how she uses satellites to find archaeological sites, check out a ground-penetrating radar unit, and try your hand at some remote sensing!

Josh and I are excited that we’re going to get to see Sarah again, when she’s here for the opening of Lost Egypt, in just a few weeks!

Cairo Satellite Image

Cairo Satellite Image

This is a satellite image of modern Cairo. The city appears as a large gray-brown area near the center of the image. The bright green areas are farms along the Nile River. All the lighter areas are the harsh Sahara Desert. This really gives you an idea of how much the ancient Egyptians must have depended on the Nile River, with nothing but the desert surrounding them. The image was taken by NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite, which has been instrumental in tracking land use and changes. On July 23rd, the Landsat program will have been recording satellite images of our planet for 37 years. How much has the city where you live changed in 37 years?



Digital Karnak by COSI
April 28, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: From the Field | Tags: , , ,

Author: Josh

Just heard about a very cool tool that’s been developed by UCLA’s Experiential Technologies Center (ETC) in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design: Digital Karnak.

We had the opportunity to visit Karnak when we were in Egypt, and it is amazing. Forgive me if I sound like a guide book, but the Great Hypostyle Hall is absolutely breathtaking: 12 seven-story columns and 122 four-story columns. Walking through the hall, it felt like it went on forever. We got some wonderful pictures of our guide’s niece and nephew inside the hall, some of my favorites from the trip.

Karnak

Karnak

But the part of Karnak that’s open to the public is only a portion of the entire temple complex. Digital Karnak walks visitors through a stage-by-stage recreation of the entire temple complex, from the original two acre temple to the final 69 acre temple complex. The additions to Karnak took place over a period of almost 2,000 years during the reigns of such pharaohs as Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Ramesses II. Digital Karnak helps to give a better picture of how those changes affected the layout and function of the site, and its creators hope it will be an incredibly useful tool for Egyptologists.

Plus, it’s just a very cool site. Be sure to check out the virtual flythroughs!

Karnak

Karnak



Anubis and the Hounds of Giza by COSI

Author: Kate

AERA Dog Mummies

AERA Dog Mummies

The osteology team at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders came across a Late Period (747-525 BC) burial with five well-preserved canines, better preserved than many of the Late Period human burials. Brian Hunt of the AERA team says on their blog “These dogs were possibly buried in the Late Period cemetery as votives to the god Anubis. Like most ancient funerary material, they were a device to ensure the everlasting peace of the dead.” To see more pictures and find out more about this story, read the AERA blog.

Anubis #1

Anubis #1

Anubis #2

Anubis #2

Dr. Salima Ikram

Dr. Salima Ikram

The relationship between humans and canines goes back a long time, and in ancient Egypt, the god Anubis is seen with a jackal’s head. Our project advisor Dr. Salima Ikram says “Dogs are associated with Anubis. Anubis is one of my favorite gods. He’s the god of embalming, of mummification. Anubis is sort of a super-canid, so he’s a mixture of a dog, a fox, a wolf, and a jackal. One of the reasons they chose him is because if you go to a cemetery, what kind of animals do you see most? You see jackals. So, this is a way to keep you safe against the jackals. Anubis took the dead—he led their spirits–from the world of the living to the world of the dead. So he’s known as the “opener of the ways.” And of course dogs (and other canids) know their way through the desert paths, for hunting and tracking.”

AERA Dogs #1

AERA Dogs #1

AERA Dogs #2

AERA Dogs #2