Recent explorations in the Great Pyramid at Giza have recently discovered new hieroglyphs painted red. The discovery was made by robots, specially designed to reach previously inaccessible regions of the pyramid.
Archaeologists hope that this new discovery will help Egyptologists to further understand the role of the pyramids in Egyptian ritual. You can read more about the discovery in this Discovery News Article.
The recent upheaval in Egypt has brought to light the very serious problems of the looting of antiquities. This week, NewsWeek explores the issue of looting in Egypt and the future of its Antiquities:
Antiquities theft is as old as the pyramids, but never before has it so shocked Egyptians.
This is a long-standing problem, highlighted in the wake of the political upheaval in Egypt with no clear resolution or end in sight. See the article in NewsWeek for more on this topic.
What should be done to protect Egypt’s monuments? Here’s a list on which most Egyptologists agree: Consult with local and international agencies and specialists to develop and implement long-term management plans. Train on-site inspectors and give them greater responsibility. Design better security for sites and museums. Allocate more money for site conservation and documentation. Take a strong stand against commercial and political interests that threaten the monuments.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I am not a big fan of Zahi Hawass (Egypt’s Current Minister of State Antiquities). His scholarship is questionable at best, he panders to media sources, and his misogyny and anti-semetism are palpable.
“Zahi Hawass, the bombastic, clownish pseudo-archaeologist who has tyrannized, bullied, and manipulated Egyptologists and Egyptian Villagers alike for years now, today officially accepted President Hosni Mubarak’s appointment as Minister of State for Antiquities.”
While his position remains tentative in Egypt’s new government, he is still the most recognized face in Egyptian Archaeology today. I have seen only a handful of documentaries on Egyptology that have not at the least included, at the least, a a quote or an interview of Mr. Hawass.
This month’s Biblical Archaeology Review includes a lengthy and candid interview with archaeology’s most controversial living figure. You can read the entirety of the interview here. I’d be interested in hearing your views on this very public political and academic figure.