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.



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



AERA is back in the field! by COSI

Author: Kate

Our Lost Egypt project advisers from Ancient Egypt Research Associates have entered another field season in Egypt.

Lost City Excavation (1 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (1 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (2 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (2 of 2)

Their goals at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders’ site this season are:

  • Excavate House Unit 1, a large high-status house in the western section of the town.
  • Investigate an area we call the Chute to better understand its function.
  • Investigate remote sensing anomalies detected by Glen Dash’s team in the Western Extension of the town to determine the type and date of buildings that may lie in this area.
  • Investigate the construction of the Lost City enclosure wall.
  • Excavate Late Period burials in the Western Extension and train the field school osteology group.
Wall of the Crow

Wall of the Crow

Students and teachers have just started arriving for the Giza Field School, in which students will learn advanced skills in Ceramics, Illustration, Survey, and Osteology. Some of the Egyptian graduates will be teaching the classes to the next group, and eventually the school will be an Egyptian-run operation.

We’re very excited to see what they discover in their research this season. Check out the blog for their 2009 season – which is the 20th field season of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project under Mark Lehner. You’ll see postings from some of our advisors – Ana Tavares and Mary Anne Murray!
http://aerablog.wordpress.com/category/2009-field-season/

Ana Tavares

Ana Tavares

Mary Anne Murray

Mary Anne Murray