Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Back in 2013?

Just a quick message to say i plan to continue my "break" from blogging until 2013. I am enjoying my family time and local Archaeological interests and plan to carry that on a little longer.

News is non-existent on the Hatshepsut front. Should that change, then i may pop back before 2013.

Thank you all for being with me for the past few years. I am never too far away if i am needed in any capacity.

I will keep checking in on our Facebook group, so you may see me there.

Love to all,
Stuart

Thursday, 9 August 2012

No More Twitter!

For those of you who follow the blog on Twitter, I have decided to deactivate my account.

Whilst Twitter is fantastic if you own a mobile phone- it is less so when you do not (like me). The Facebook Group remains in full swing (Hatshepsut Project Group) and i will return to blogging here when i once again have the luxury of free time (never underestimate how demanding it is to have children).

I have updated a few older posts on here and will continue to do so. New posts should resume when i get the opportunity to go through my paperwork and memory sticks again (now getting rather dusty!).

For once, no news on Hatshepsut is (for me) good news. If i miss anything- please let me know.

Kind Regards,
Stuart

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Happy Birthday Hatshepsut Project

Two years old today. Thanks to all those who follow and read the posts. Whilst they have been quite infrequent in 2012- i have still been working on projects which can be pursued this year- and for the future.

With the Museum Database cancelled by me- i will go back to keeping this blog as the main article and post point, and Facebook for the more quickfire discussions and link/ photo posting.

On the subject of posting i am looking at interesting ways of sharing information on this blog. The post with Maria Isabel Pita was a breath of fresh air to me, the LEGO post was fun and different. 

Thank you to Rita Murray and Phil Stewart for your help on the Facebook arm of the Hatshepsut Project. I was never interested in Facebook until creating the Hatshepsut Project Group. Now i am on it more often than i would admit to. I need your help and you have both been assets to me.

Another thank- to those in the background who help, assist, correct, encourage and inspire my research. This blog continues due to you.

Finally, some stats:
  • 32,004 - Total page views
  • 1,300 - Approx. views per month
  • 200 - Most page views in one day
  • 3,135 - Most monthly page views (November 2011)
Regards,
Stuart

Hatshepsut's Temple, Upper Terrace and Court in LEGO

Here is a selection of photographs of a reconstruction of parts of Hatshepsut's temple (Upper Terrace and Court) i made out of Lego. This was something i wanted to do for a while- and finally had the opportunity recently. Those of you who follow the Hatshepsut Project on Facebook will be familiar already with these.

Here i settled on a scale which allows me to show the central path from Upper Terrace doorway (where the 2 Lego men stand guard) to the Sanctuary entrance (large yellow doorway). The red bricks are there purely to keep my focus on a symmetrical look- a guideline.
The rear wall or "Western Wall" at the back of the Upper Court. This is the southern (left) side. A deliberate attempt was made to look like an archaeological work in progress.

Aerial view of the progress.The roof of the Upper Terrace is partially reconstructed. The relationships between the western wall and the Upper Terrace are being worked on- so to be as true as possible as the appear today.

Turned 180 degrees we now look from rear to front. The rear wall is complete with 9 niches each side of the Sanctuary entrance. In yellow brick, the remains of original 18th dynasty architectural elements plus guidelines for 2 walls which will soon connect the rear wall with the Upper Terrace, enclosing the Upper Court as a rectangular area, originally full of columns.

The red bricks now go beyond the Sanctuary door (top of picture) to allow for a reconstruction of the sanctuary itself. Four plinths can now be seen on the northern (right) side of the Upper Terrace for the display of heads. The Upper Terrace roof is complete.

Front view of the Western Wall with its tall and low niches. Atop is a suggestion of the wall which now protects the temple from rock fall from the cliffs above.


 The Sanctuary plus part of the Ptolomaic porch outside the sanctuary entrance, have been added.
The walls which connect the Western Wall to the Upper Terrace has been added, including doorways and niche. On the opposite side, a similar wall with doors has been started.
The final view. Osiride statues and heads have now been added
Regards,
Stuart.



Friday, 1 June 2012

Hatshepsut Museum Database blog has been deleted.

I have been spending too much time with the endless problems with having my database online - so i deleted it.

I am very much continuing with my own personal database of Hatshepsut items in museums, but on an offline database. All database updates will be from here, as before.

My passion is the research and i have been held back a great deal by trying to display the information in a coherent way. I have a number of projects which i can now spend further time on. Back to the books (which is a great relief).

I will concentrate further time on this blog. This will always be the flagshp for whatever the future brings for the Hatshepsut Project. Soon i will update older posts with photographs supplied by the members of the Hatshepsut Project- plus further information and  links in general.

Thanks to those who followed the deleted blog. Photographs of museum items will now be posted on here and in our Hatshepsut Project Group's photos page.


Regards,
Stuart

Hatshepsut Project (Facebook Group) Photo Collection

Our Facebook Group now has the beginnings of a photographic database. We now have hundreds of photos which can be used for reference or study.

Hatshepsut Project Group Photos

Please feel free to pop in and have a look - we are always open to new members and it is a group for all, with input from all.

Currently we have photos from Deir el Bahri, Karnak, Aswan Quarry (Unfinished obelisk), the cliffs above Deir el Bahri, Hatshepsut scarabs and more.

The list will continue to grow. Should you require permissions to use any of the photographs- that must come from the photographer. If you aren't a member- please ask me and i will make enquiries on your behalf. Personal use is fine, but those wanting to reproduce them must obtain permission first.

Regards,
Stuart

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hatshepsut Project meets "Truth is the Soul of the Sun" author, Maria Isabel Pita

Truth is the Soul of the Sun - A Biographical Novel of Hatshepsut-MaatkareIn a rare and exciting opportunity- it is my great pleasure to introduce and welcome Maria Isabel Pita to the Hatshepsut Project.
Maria is the author of "Truth is the Soul of the Sun" (CreateSpace, 2009) a biographical novel on the life of Hatshepsut. 

Background on Maria: 
Maria Isabel Pita was born in Havana, Cuba, but grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. Reading, writing and history have been her abiding passions ever since she can remember. In college she majored in World History and minored in English Literature and Cultural Anthropology. Since then she has travelled extensively and authored critically acclaimed paranormal, contemporary and historical romances in addition to the historical epic Truth is the Soul of the Sun-A Biographical Novel of Hatshepsut-Maatkare and the best-selling Kindle Single A Concise Guide to Ancient Egypt's Magic and Religion. Her dream-related articles have been published in the Lucid Dream Exchange, in which she was also interviewed by Robert Waggoner.

About the Novel:
 A description of the novel can be found on Amazon. The description is itself written by Maria. I asked Maria to provide a separate description for this post. In her own words:

M: "Truth" is a fictional biography, meaning I did everything in my power to incorporate all known facts about Hatshepsut while writing a novel. It has more than 100 footnotes, and my husband said it was like having a graduate student in the house working on their dissertation. I hope you will read the book; it will be interesting to see what you think of my "interpretation" of many things, especially the bigger mysteries. As any novelist knows, at a certain point the characters take over and the writer must do as they say! For me, Hatshepsut's story is told. The book begins with her birth and ends shortly after her death (yes, you read that correctly) However, should some astonishing piece of information come to light, who knows, I might revisit it, or even concentrate on one particular time in her life in even more intimate detail.

I (Stuart) began my own research into Hatshepsut, around four years ago. As I’ve progressed, I have seen the difficulties in resurrecting the reign of Hatshepsut, due to the very many gaps we have in archaeology. It is these areas which have given birth to many ideas, opinions, theories and occasionally wild sweeping generalisations of Hatshepsut. 

My own choice of Hatshepsut as the dominant focus of my research is something which came about through my only visit to Egypt. Studying the photographs my wife and I took at Karnak and Hatshepsut's temple led to an interest which is still growing to this day.

With Maria momentarily at my side, I had the opportunity of finding out a bit about her own research into Hatshepsut and why she chose Hatshepsut out of the many ancient Pharaohs at her disposal.

S: To begin with, I would love to know the answer to a question I asked myself in my first ever blog post: "Hatshepsut, why is she so special?"

M: It took me more than 500 pages to answer that question! I think the real question is "What isn't special about Hatshepsut?" Not only was she the most powerful female ruler of ancient Egypt, or anywhere else for that matter, she was also one of the greatest pharaohs. I had always resented Cleopatra for hogging the spotlight when Maatkare was much more powerful and profoundly more interesting than this decadent descendant of one of Alexander's generals. I suppose that's one of the reasons I wanted to write about Hatshepsut, who was also, for such a pathetically long time, relegated by old school patriarchal Egyptologists to "wicked stepmother who stole her nephew's kingship and hogged all the credit."
S: Were there any other influences in your choice of Hatshepsut?

M: A Smithsonian Magazine article summing up the truth about Hatshepsut as expressed by all the evidence to date, and collected into a travelling exhibition, was the trigger. My mother had mailed me a copy and I'll never forget the evening I was working on my computer with the magazine--the cover of which featured a photo of the smiling female king's face--sitting on another desk beside me. I kept glancing at it until finally I just stopped typing and just stared at her smiling face, mesmerized by her expression and all I seemed to feel it communicating to me. Then I said out loud, "Oh no! I'm not going to write about you! I can't! I can't..." but already I knew hers was the story I had to tell. I really didn't feel equal to the task, I mean, what the heck did I know about being a queen or a pharaoh! I had always intended to write about a priestess of Hathor, but it turns out Hatshepsut was also a priestess; the more I read about her the more I realized she was a visionary, a truly exceptional individual. 

S: "What can you say of your research? Who were your research inspirations and were there any specific works you studied more than most?"

M: The project took more than three years, including an entire year of detailed research before I even began writing, and then of course the research went on as I continued discovering intriguing information which always appeared, with magical synchronicity, during key moments in the story. The novel includes a list of my principal references. The following is an example of the references specifically about Hatshepsut:
  • ·         Hatchepsut – The Female Pharaoh, Joyce Tyldesley, Penguin Books 1998, Copyright J.A. Tyldesley, 1996.
  • ·         Hatshepsut – From Queen to Pharaoh, Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Edited by Catharine H. Roehrig, with Renee Dreyfus & Cathleen A. Keller, Copyright 2005 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE.
  • ·         The Tomb of Hatshopsitu, Theodore M. Davis, First Published in 1906 by Archibald Constable & Co., Ltd., reprinted in 2004 by Gerald Duckworth & Co., Ltd. Foreword Copyright 2004 by Nicholas Reeves
  • ·         Osirisnet.net, The Red Chapel of Hatshepsut Reconstructed
I (Stuart) look forward to obtaining my own copy of “Truth is the Soul of the Sun” to see how Maria tackles such subjects as Senenmut (lover?), Thutmose III (persecution of Hatshepsut) and other such troublesome and much discussed/ debated elements of Hatshepsut’s life and memory.

Thank you to Maria for sharing your time with me. Once I read the novel for myself, I will follow up with later post to share my thoughts. For now, Amazon again provides us with a glimpse of what we may experience:

Reviews on Amazon:
·         "For those who love Egyptian history this biographical novel is a treasure trove... a work that pulls together the fragments of knowledge about a phenomenal queen into one significant survey."

·         “I love historical fiction—that is to say, I like my history told in an entertaining and engaging way—and this book accomplishes that in spades.”

·         “In this age of writing that gets a reader interested with the hook and then fades as the chapters start to drag on, this book is the opposite.”

·         “I recommend this book for other "travellers" who wish from the books they read not so much to be amused as to be amazed and delighted by a trip to another world.”
Fur further information on Maria, see below:

Maria’s Websites:
·         http://www.mariaisabelpita.com
·         http://ancientomnivore.com
Regards,
Stuart

Monday, 7 May 2012

Karnak - Evolution of a temple by Elizabeth Blyth

Karnak: Evolution of a Temple
Karnak temple on the east bank of Luxor is an impressive, huge and confusing site.

A huge mix of temples, pylons, sanctuaries, shrines and fragmentary remains greet us today. A site built over c.2,000 years in Pharonic times.

What we see today is the results of over 100 years of clearing, excavation, sorting, restoring and study.

I have previously mentioned a number of features which were wither commissioned, erected or added to by Hatshepsut. They can be seen under the "Karnak" tab to the right of the blog.

Whilst I've been making use of the superb Digital Karnak website as well as CFEETK website, i needed more- and that led me to Elizabeth Blyth.


What Elizabeth Blyth has produced is (to me) the missing piece of the jigsaw. This is a comprehensive book detailing the story of Karnak temples development from its Middle Kingdom roots all the way up to now. The focus of the book is the Amun-Re precinct, so can still make use of sources like John Hopkins University (JHU) and CFEETK to continue reporting on the Mut Precinct and other parts of the temple not covered by Blyth.


This is not a picture book, nor is it a pocket guide for casual tourists but an pharaoh-by-pharaoh walkthrough of the temples development. The English language needed this book and here it is. Typically of me i dived right into the section on Hatshepsut. As was anticipated - i have a number of leads which i will pick up shortly.

The detail and thought provoking imagery i will not spoil.

This is not a book review, more of a recommendation to anyone who wishes to know more about Karnak temples development. Reasonably priced on Amazon (i picked mine up for around £20)- this is a complement to any Egyptological bookshelf.  

The Amazon link above takes you to their site, where you can see a preview of the book.

PHOTO from Amazon.co.uk. 

Regards,
Stuart

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Hatshepsut Sphinxes - and then there were two...


051_0077__MG_7075_web
Originally uploaded by Bobonacus

Continuing work on the Hatshepsut sphinxes at Deir el Bahri.
It will be interesting to see how many are restored in the future and where they will be displayed.

Regards,
Stuart

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cairo Museum collection, Georges Legrain (includes Hatshepsut) - online documentation

I have been spending a bit of time looking at the online documentation regarding the collections in the Cairo museum. Its actually a blessing for me that so much information has been digitised for study and i have been doing what i can to locate items belonging to Hatshepsut.

The following is something to share with you all. From the Internet Archive (which is proving a great resource) is the following:

http://archive.org/details/rpertoiregn00legruoft

Georges Legrain, 1908

"Repertoire genealogique et onomastique du Musee du Caire"

 I have included the full document, as i am aware some of you are interested in the Cairo Museum collection.

In French, i am sure (if nothing else) you will be as impressed as i am with Legrains work. This is one of a number of documents, but until i have had a chance to look at them myself- i have no idea of the content.

I read some of this on the way home and am pleased to note all the obvious names- Hatshepsut, Neferure, etc.

Read online as a PDF or save for a rainy day


Regards,
Stuart

Monday, 26 March 2012

Jacob S. Rogers and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

When i began my Hatshepsut interests i knew of her temple and her obelisks. Today i enjoy recording and sharing the artifacts that history has been kind enough to spare, relating directly and indirectly to Hatshepsut's lifetime. It is through the recording of artifacts that i stumbled upon a real "character" in Jacob S. Rogers.


MMA Article on Jacob S. Rogers


Our story begins with his death. He left a considerable sum of money to the MMA, under certain conditions, which the MMA went on to use well, as the article demonstrates.

Between 1911-1931, excavations conducted by Herbert Winlock of the MMA were undertaken at Deir el Bahri. During that period a great number of finds (hundreds) ended up in the MMA (as well as other museums).

The "Rogers Fund" helped fund the excavations. The results of the 20 years spent at Deir el Bahri provided the world with a great many finds. Statues, foundation deposits, temple relief and a great deal more. See for your self: MMA Hatshepsut archive. Of course, not all items at the MMA are from the Rogers Fund, but many relating to Hatshepsut are.


Today the MMA sports a room dedicated to Hatshepsut, showcasing some of the most fantastic statues recovered at Deir el Bahri by the museum during their 20 years. Many more items linked with Hatshepsut are on display elsewhere in the museum and in storage.


Regards,
Stuart

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Hatshepsut Project followers- how can the EES help you?

Whilst posts have been light on here for a while, those of you who are following/ contributing to our Facebook Group, "Hatshepsut Project" will notice that i remain active online. Once i am back to full posting- i will create some form of summary of progress on Facebook. The Facebook Group is an extension to this blog and not intended to be a separate entity.

Christopher Naunton, Director at The Egypt Exploration Society is one of our group members on Facebook, providing help with a number of our discussions regarding the EES and Deir el Bahri - a relationship which began in the 1800s and remains intact today.


I was very excited for our group to receive the following post from Christopher:

"We at the EES have a very strong connection with Deir El-Bahri as you all know. There is a plaque at the temple commemorating the excavations (http://goo.gl/HYJtn), we have all the photographs taken at the time + correspondence and other archival material, and an awful lot of literature etc. in the library - if you haven't read it I especially recommend Vivian Davies' chapter on 'Thebes' in James, T G H (Ed.), Excavating in Egypt (http://goo.gl/5Mbzs) for Petrie's unsuccessful attempts to stop the EEF allowing Naville to work at the site. What would members of this group like to see the EES do for you? 
  • A day of lectures about Hatshepsut and the site? 
  • A visit to the EES archives and library? 
  • More resources online? 

I can't promise anything but it would be very good to know what would be helpful and interesting to you all!"


Firstly, thank you to Christopher and the EES for the above post. My own response so far is that i would first like to get the views of you- the followers and contributors to the Hatshepsut Project. I will collate all responses and will contact Christopher in a week  with the collective responses of the followers here, on Facebook and Twitter (which is linked to the posts on here). 

Regards,
Stuart