FBI identifies Middle Kingdom mummy head

April 4th, 2018

More than a century after its discovery and four millennia after it was entombed, the head of a Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 B.C.) mummy has been identified by FBI forensic specialists using DNA analysis. Even with all the advances in the retrieval of archaeological DNA over the past decade, the odds of success were slim because this poor head has been through the wringer. First, it was entombed in the necropolis of Deir el-Bersha on the east bank of the Nile in Middle Egypt where the blazing heat of the Eastern Desert destroys DNA in short order.

Then it was abused in the most callous fashion by looters who broke into the tomb in antiquity. After plundering the tomb of its precious metals, the thieves tossed aside a mummified body which ended up in two pieces — the torso, sans limbs, and the head. They tried to set the limestone chamber on fire to obscure the evidence of their crime, but thankfully failed and what was left of the human remains, not to mention some exceptional wood artifacts, survived.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of years later, the tomb’s denizens had another close call, this time at the hand of archaeologists. George Reisner and Handford Lyman Story discovered the burial shaft of what they would name Tomb 10A under some boulders in 1915. The shaft was 30 feet long and space very tight, so Reisner and Story dynamited their way in.

Recklessly explosive entry notwithstanding, the team found beautiful and rare painted wooden coffins, figurines and pottery that had been roughly piled up and tossed around by the ancient looters. Four coffins, canes and dozens of models depicting daily life on the estate of a high official including 58 boats, artisan workshops and a religious procession featuring a male priest leading female bearers of offerings. It was the largest assemblage of Middle Kingdom funerary artifacts ever discovered.

They also found a mummified head on top of one of those coffins and the disarticulated torso in a corner. The wood objects and the head were sent to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which had co-sponsored the dig, in 1921. They had their next brush with destruction on the trip across the Atlantic when the ship caught fire. The crew managed to control the flames and the contents of the tomb made it through with minimal water damage.

At the time, there wasn’t a great deal of interest in these types of materials, so most of them were put in storage. Only the religious procession and the finest painted of the coffins were put on display. Finally in 2009 the full assemblage was rescued from obscurity and displayed in an exhibition dedicated to the finds: The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC.

The mummified head was one of the stand-out items. Its serene visage, head wrap with painted on eyebrows and curly hair visible through the linen bandages made a striking impression, as did the fact that nobody knew for sure who the head had belonged to in life. Inscriptions had identified the tomb as that of the Great Overlord of the Hare (15th) Nome, Djehutihotep, and his wife, but it wasn’t clear whether the head was male or female. Expert opinions differed and even as recently as 2009 it was thought to be impossible to retrieve viable, uncontaminated DNA from an Egyptian mummy.

The MFA had doctors at Massachusetts General extract a molar from the head in the hope it might contain a precious clean sample protected by the tooth’s enamel. Several teams of scientists tried to recover DNA from the tooth since the 2009 extraction, but to no avail. In 2016, the FBI’s forensic specialists were enlisted.

The F.B.I. had never before worked on a specimen so old. If its scientists could extract genetic material from the 4,000-year-old mummy, they would add a powerful DNA collecting technique to their forensics arsenal and also unlock a new way of deciphering Egypt’s ancient past.

“I honestly didn’t expect it to work because at the time there was this belief that it was not possible to get DNA from ancient Egyptian remains,” said Odile Loreille a forensic scientist at the F.B.I. But in the journal Genes in March, Dr. Loreille and her colleagues reported that they had retrieved ancient DNA from the head. And after more than a century of uncertainty, the mystery of the mummy’s identity had been laid to rest. […]

In the F.B.I.’s clean lab, Dr. Loreille drilled into the tooth’s core and collected a tiny bit of powder. She then dissolved the tooth dust to make a DNA library that allowed her to amplify the amount of DNA she was working with, like a copy machine, and bring it up to detectable levels.

To determine whether what she had extracted was ancient DNA or contamination from modern people, she analyzed how damaged the sample was. It showed signs of heavy damage, confirmation that she was studying the mummy’s genetic material.

She plugged her data into computer software that analyzed the ratio of chromosomes in the sample. “When you have a female you have more reads on X. When you have a male you have X and Y,” she said.

The program spit out “male.”

And thus at long last, the Great Overlord Djehutynakht reclaimed his head.

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Spanish tech used in Switzerland to prove Roman shaft was a fridge

April 3rd, 2018

The archaeological site of Augusta Raurica outside Basel, Switzerland, has been excavated continuously for decades. It is the oldest known Roman colony on the Rhine but was never overbuilt after it was permanently disabled by earthquakes and barbarian raids in the 3rd century. Because of this, the site’s remains are extensive and in an excellent state of preservation. Today Augusta Raurica is by far the best preserved Roman city north of the Alps.

In 2013, a dig unearthed a number of stone-walled shafts. Archaeologists suspected they may have been used for cold storage. Romans would pack the space with snow and ice in the winter and add straw for insulation. Supplies stashed in the shaft could then be kept cool even when the sun was hot.

Peter-Andrew Schwarz from the University of Basel has experimented twice trying to get the refrigerator effect to work. The first time the team packed the shaft with snow, shoveling it all in in one fell swoop. This method did not work. The temperature inside the structure never even reached freezing during the winter.

The second attempt packed snow and ice into the shaft gradually, fitting ice blocks into gaps. This half-worked. The pit got cold and stayed cold until June.

Now, however, researchers plan to use methods developed by the so-called ‘nevaters’ or ice-makers on the Spanish island of Majorca. This will see Schwarz and his team placing 20–30-centimetre-thick layers of snow into the shaft. These individual layers will then be compacted down with a straw cover placed on top of each one.

“With this method, people in Majorca could keep food cool in summer before the arrival of electric fridges,” Schwarz told regional daily Basler Zeitung in 2017.

The experiment is taking place even as you read and the site is open to the public, as is its wont. Visitors will have the chance to see the pits while archaeologists work to figure out if they were used for refrigeration. The tests end on Friday.

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Lechaion dig unearths coin hoard

April 2nd, 2018

Archaeologists have unearthed a hoard of 119 ancient coins buried under a collapsed building in Lechaion, ancient Corinth’s main harbor. The coins were excavated during the 2016 and 2017 dig seasons and appear to have been buried in a very shallow hole. They were found just 12-16 inches under the modern surface.

The coins, many of which are made of bronze, were discovered in excavations carried out in 2016 and 2017; some of the coins still need to be cleaned. No human remains were found with the coins, archaeologists said.

The collapsed building is located beside the remains of what may be a work yard, which has the remains of iron slag, unworked iron, cooked animal bone and a concrete basin, archaeologists found.

The earliest coin in the hoard dates to shortly after the death of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (who reigned from A.D. 306-337), while the most recent two coins in the stash date to the reign of Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I (who reigned from A.D. 491-518), said Michael Ierardi, a professor of classics at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, who is studying the hoard. Based on their weight and size, the coins likely date to sometime between A.D. 491 and 498, before Anastasius I reformed the Byzantine Empire’s coinage system, Ierardi said.

There has been some discussion on the “mystery” of why whoever buried the cash didn’t come back for it, but it doesn’t seem all that mysterious to me. Lechaion was destroyed by an earthquake in the late 6th century A.D., and there were many earlier seismic episodes of destructive force. I wouldn’t be surprised if that roof collapse was the result of an earthquake that either claimed the hoarder’s life or forced him out of town.


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Tut, Tut, Tut

April 1st, 2018

The only American stop of a touring exhibition of more than 150 exceptional artifacts discovered in the tomb of 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun is now open to the public at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Much like it blockbuster predecessor exhibitions, King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is shaping up to be a monster best-seller, so even though it will run through January 6th, 2019, if you are in Los Angeles or can plan to be there, book your tickets early and often.

The objects on display are funerary treasures that were interred with the young king. Through the artifacts, visitors will learn about King Tut’s life, his death and the afterlife they were intended to accompany him into. This is the largest group of Tutankhamun’s burial treasures ever to travel. Fully 40% of them have never been outside of Egypt.

The show also coincides with the centennial of the tomb’s discovery, so there are historical photos on display from Howard Carter’s find of a lifetime.

“Each artifact presented in King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is important to the story of King Tut – helping us to learn how they were used in his daily life and in preparations for his journey to the afterlife. Especially notable is what the discovery of his tomb meant to the world of archaeology and the insights gained from the state-of-the-art technology and scientific analyses of King Tut’s mummy and artifacts,” said California Science Center President Jeff Rudolph. “It is our honor to be the first institution to host the exhibition that will hopefully inspire people around the world to see the exhibition and visit the upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza to see more of these wonders of ancient Egypt.”

That last plug for a museum that won’t even be open until 2020 tells you why Egypt is willing to part with so many priceless objects it hasn’t been willing to part with, even for a temporary stretch, over the last century. The tour is one big, beautiful, shiny, rapturous lure for tourists in the US and Europe to make their way to Cairo once the new museum next to the pyramids is complete and open to the public.

And now, the reason for this post. Bring on the glorious artifact porn!





Be sure to click on the thumbnails to see the full-sized versions because they are in fantastically high resolution and look amazing.

This is one is more from the annals of “how the sausage is made,” in this case how the artifacts were unpacked an installed after their arrival in Los Angeles. It’s just such a beautiful, haunting image. It could be a stand-alone art piece.

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Vindolanda’s wood (toilet seat included!) goes on display

March 31st, 2018

On March 30th, a new gallery dedicated solely to wooden artifacts unearthed from the Roman fort of Vindolanda in Northumberland opened at the site’s museum. Vindolanda’s oxygen-free soil is an exceptional preserver of organic materials, most famously the wood tablets recording the letters of soldiers, officers and civilians, but also leather objects (so many shoes), assorted textiles and plants.

Exactly 1,463 wooden artifacts have been unearthed at Vindolanda, some of them unique in the world. My personal favorite is the toilet seat, the only ancient Roman wooden toilet seat known to have survived, but there are plenty more treasures among the haul, including the only known surviving wooden potter’s wheel, a wagon wheel, bath clogs and the remains of doors with numerals carved into them.

There are an array of combs, boxes, tools, furniture and water pipes which are also very rare survivals. Most of the Roman pipes archaeologists find still intact are lead or tile. The smooth barrel stave from Spain engraved with the maker’s name discovered in 2016 is in the new gallery too, as is a toy sword.

Just 10 months after the initial ground work started on site the ‘Unlocking Vindolanda’s Wooden Underworld’ project is now complete and opens to the public on 30th March 2018. The new gallery has special display cases which not only allow temperature and humidity to be kept at safe levels but are also large enough to accommodate some of the current and future giant wooden objects.

Visitors can also hear the incredible survival story of the collection – from the science behind how they lasted two millennia to their conservation and the research that is uncovering their origins. […]

In addition to the gallery a new activity centre has also been created which allows more people to engage with the collection through a range of activities for all ages. Easter weekend starts the activity programme with a closer look at Roman cooking and Roman food specialist John Crouch will be demonstrating how wood was used in the Roman kitchen.

As more wooden objects are unearthed, more will be added to the gallery.

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University of Aberdeen painting is by Canaletto

March 30th, 2018

A painting donated to the University of Aberdeen 153 years ago has been authenticated as a work by the Venetian master Canaletto. It was long believed to have been the work of his studio or school, but university art history professor John Gash and leading Canaletto expert Charles Beddington are convinced it was painted by the hand of Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697–1768) himself.

Canaletto is famed for his views of Venice, but this work is more unusual in his oeuvre. It’s a capriccio, a fantasy composite of ancient ruins that don’t exist in real life, in this case a temple on which a modern cottage has been built. Peasant women hang out the wash they’ve done in the two fountains at the base and side of the ancient temple. On the left is a pyramid highly reminiscent of Rome’s Pyramid of Cestius, the only pyramid in Italy, which makes an appearance in several of Canaletto’s works.

There are three other capricci by Canaletto that share some features with the Aberdeen painting, and a collection of etchings by the artist also includes architectural and figural elements in common with this work. While it is not signed, many of Canaletto’s paintings were left unsigned by the artist. This one has a telltale mark of the artist, however: in the center of the ruined temple is a large circle which bears the coat of arms of his family.

It was bequeathed to the university by physician Alexander Henderson who died on his estate Caskieben in Dyce, Aberdeenshire, in 1863. Henderson, an Aberdeenshire native who had attended Marischal College (which in 1860 merged with King’d College to become the University of Aberdeen) as a teenager, later went to medical school in Edinburgh where he had a successful practice. He was best known for having exposed Ann Moore, the fasting woman of Tutbury, as a fraud who had been eating just fine under the very noses of previous examining physicians. After moving to London, his medical career fell by the wayside, superseeded by his interests in art, literature and fine wines, on which he became a published expert. He traveled the continent collecting art and antiquities, amassing a notable collection of ancient Greek pottery mainly acquired from the freshly excavated ruins of Herculaneum.

In his 1857 will, he left his alma mater Marischal College his entire collection which he described in far too modest terms:

“To the Museum of the said College, my pictures, drawings, marbles, Vases, bronzes, and medals which, though not of high value, may assist in forming and diffusing among my fellow townsmen a taste for the fine arts, and may lead to farther [sic.] bequests of a similar kind.”

Two years after his death, the Aberdeen Journal printed an article listing the donated works and noting they were on display in a hall of Marischal College. The Ruins of a Temple was attributed to “B. Canaletti” which is not an accurate name. The author might have meant Bernardo Bellotto, Canaletto’s nephew, student and collaborator who was known to have used his patron’s nickname, but no art historians today think there’s even a slim chance of Bellotto having painted the capriccio.

“It was often thought to be from the Canaletto school – that is, by one of Canaletto’s pupils or someone imitating his style,” explains Mr Gash. “However I and others have long suspected it was a real Canaletto and now we have been able to confirm this.

“It is clear from the technique and the style, as in the language of forms and composition, that this is a Canaletto and is in fact an autograph work of the highest quality.”

The painting had previously decorated the University’s Principal’s house but has now been revealed as one of the University’s treasures.

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These. Are. Looters!

March 29th, 2018

Greek police have seized an ancient sculpture still in caked in the soil from which it was recently looted and arrested the looters. On March 23rd, officers from the Department of Cultural Heritage and Antiquities of the Attica Security Directorate arrested three individuals (aged 44, 48 and 57) in Sparta for illicit traffic in archaeological material. Inside a van owned by the 57-year-old police found a Hellenistic-era marble statue stuffed into a duffel bag. The figure is missing her head and one arm, but is believed to be a representation of the goddess Hygieia. It is 55cm (22 inches) high including the plinth.

According to the assessment of state archaeologists from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Lakonia, the statue is of significant value in terms of archaeological importance and unquestionably qualifies for protection of the statute establishing standards for the protection of Greek antiquities and cultural heritage. It is also of significant market value, and there is evidence the traffickers were already arranging its sale with an unnamed foreign buyer.

According to Greek law “all antiquities on land and sea are the property of the State, which has the right to investigate and preserve them”.

There are stringent fines and other punishments for people who intentionally or otherwise keep, sell or remove artifacts without telling the authorities.

Other objects were seized in the investigation at the homes of the suspects. Three of them were artifacts: an ancient loom weight, black-glazed grip from a Hellenistic vessel and a knob from a Roman-era lid, all of some archaeological value. The rest were tools of the trade — two metal detectors, two dowsing rods, two flare guns, eight mobile phones, pepper spray — and cash in the amount of 800 euros.

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Buy your own hoard of (shady) nickels

March 28th, 2018

If you’ve dreamed of uncovering an untouched coin hoard but never found anything more than a few tin buttons no matter how many fields you’ve scanned, now you can make your dreams come true, as long as they involve paying for it. A full hoard good to go complete with the canvas bag it was stored in is coming up for sale next month at Heritage Auctions all in a single lot.

As individual pieces, the 1883 No CENTS Liberty nickels in this hoard aren’t all that rare or expensive. You can get one for a few bucks, and even uncirculated condition versions can be had for a few hundred. It’s the juicy, dirty history behind that lends them a rakish charm while at the same time keeping their value low.

Designed by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, who also designed the very similar Liberty Head half-dollar, the 1883 Liberty Head nickel had one feature that made it problematic: the only reference to its denomination was the Roman numeral V inside a laurel wreath on the reverse. But labeling a coin’s value as “five” isn’t exactly specific, especially when there are gold half eagles in circulation with busts of Lady Liberty on the obverse and laurel wreaths on the reverse worth five dollars.

Because of this wee oversight, people of less than honest intention immediately began to collect the nickels as an investment in the counterfeiting possibilities. A little gold-plating, a minor modification to the edges of the nickel so it more closely matched the fiver, a distracted retailer and next thing you know, you walk away from a nickel transaction with $4.95 in change jangling in your pocket. One Josh Tatum was reputed to have been adept at passing off gold-plated nickels as five dollar pieces. His system was foolproof: as a deaf-mute, he would simply present the coin, say nothing, take his change and get out of Dodge. Arrested and tried for fraud, because he never claimed to have paid using a five dollar coin, Tatum was never convicted. Or so the legend goes, anyway. The legend also says the expression “you are joshing me” (meaning “you’re kidding me”) springs from these events, but the idiom predates the 1883 coin by at least decades, so many grains of salt are in order here.

The Mint saw the error of its ways and within months issued an updated coin 1883 Liberty Head nickel with the word “CENTS” on the reverse, leaving a lot of speculators with collections of No CENTS nickels. That’s why they’re not worth all that much on the market today, because they were so widely hoarded by people hoping to get in the passing of fraudulent currency game. The versions with “FIVE CENTS” on the reverse are far rarer and more expensive today because nobody bothered to collect them.

Still, a group of 297 1883 No CENTS Liberty nickels stored in a single bag is not something you see every day. The bag is awesome in and of itself, printed in black text on the front: “New York / Lead Company’s / HIGHLY FINISHED / DROP SHOT / Tower & Office / 63 Centre St / New York / 3”. An attached period label even notes the exact date the coins were stashed in the bag — October 2, 1889 — so more than five years after the issue. They apparently stayed in the bag, untouched, unknown and unpublished, for more than a century until they were acquired by numismatist, US coin expert and rare coin dealer Jeff Garrett in 2009.

The nickels will be sold at the U.S. Coins Auction to be held April 25-30 during the Central States Numismatic Society annual convention. Bidding opens online on April 6th.

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Synchrotron reads erased Galen

March 27th, 2018

Our ultrabright friend, the synchrotron X-ray, continues to pierce the veil of history. This time it has turned its unblinking eye on the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, a manuscript known to contain the traces of a 6th century translation of a work by the physician Galen, father of pharmacology, that was erased and overwritten with psalms in the 11th century.

Other imaging techniques had revealed the presence of ancient text under the medieval, but it was so faint and hard to read that the concerted efforts of multiple institutions and experts over the course of a decade have not been successful in making out much of it. The later writers had used ink very similar to the original to write over the parchment once they’d erased the 6th text with calcium, and researchers feared there might not be enough trace iron left for even the synchroton to pick up clear wording.

A study at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is scanning a section of the Syriac Palimpsest using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) which takes a more nuanced approached to trace elements.

With the XRF technique, the synchrotron X-rays knock out electrons close to the nuclei of metal atoms, and these holes are filled with outer electrons resulting in characteristic X-ray fluorescence that can be picked up by a sensitive detector.

These fluorescent X-rays can penetrate through layers of text and calcium, and the hidden Galen text and the newer religious text fluoresce in slightly different ways because their inks contain different combinations of metals such as iron, zinc, mercury and copper.

“We’re also interested in the background composition of the parchment and the calcium that covers the original text” says Nicholas Edwards, a research associate at SSRL. “That additional information may allow us to distinguish between the layers of the text.”

For the Galen document, a scan takes about 10 hours for each of the 26 pages. The experiment has collected vast amounts of nuanced data from the X-ray scans, and the researchers are now applying data processing tools, including machine learning, to pull out the information they seek.

“Hidden in all this data, there’s information trying to get out,” says William Sellers, an expert in data processing and the director of the University of Manchester’s zoology department. “And there’s just too much data for humans alone to sift through.”

The early imaging results are very encouraging, with Galen’s original text clearly visible in green behind the medieval text.

Once the scans are complete, they will be added to an online collection of high-resolution photographs of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest as it has been scanned with different imaging techniques over almost a decade of wide-ranging studies. Many earlier files have already been added to the online collection of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and are available to the scholarly community and world at large. It’s a fascinating record of both an ancient document and modern advances in technology.

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Hatshepsut relief identified at Swansea University

March 26th, 2018

An unusual limestone relief in the stores Swansea University’s Egypt Centre has been identified as a depiction of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. Egyptologist Dr. Ken Griffin was going through photographs of artifacts in the stores for a handling session with second year students when he came across a black and white picture of a relief that caught his eye. He selected it for the session. When it examining it with the students he recognized the iconography as very similar to that used in depictions of the fifth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty (ca. 1478-1458 B.C.) and one of only five women known to have held that exalted position in all of Egyptian history.

The relief is in two pieces, offset from each other, irregularly shaped and incomplete. The pieces have been glued together at a join point that makes sense in the frontal view, but which leaves the top piece with this oddly orphaned back view depicting the profile of a bearded man from the nose down. The back bottom piece is rough, bearing the tell-tale marks of having been chiseled off its original location, so any finish at all on the top back

The front side depicts the head of a figure whose face is unfortunately missing, with the remains of a fan directly behind. Traces of hieroglyphs are also present above the head. The iconography of the piece indicates that it represents a ruler of Egypt, particularly with the presence of the uraeus (cobra) on the forehead of the figure.[…]

Having visited Egypt on over fifty occasions, Dr Griffin quickly recognised the iconography as being similar to reliefs within the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri (Luxor), which was constructed during the height of the New Kingdom. In particular, the treatment of the hair, the fillet headband with twisted uraeus, and the decoration of the fan are all well-known at Deir el-Bahri. Most importantly, the hieroglyphs above the head—part of a formulaic text attested elsewhere at the temple—use a feminine pronoun, a clear indication that the figure is female. […]

Yet the mystery of the precious find doesn’t end there. On the rear of the upper fragment, the head of a man with a short beard is depicted. Initially there was no explanation for this, but it is now clear that the upper fragment had been removed and recarved in more recent times in order to complete the face of the lower fragment. The replacement of the fragment below the figure would also explain the unusual cut of the upper fragment. This was probably done by an antiques dealer, auctioneer, or even the previous owner of the piece in order to increase its value and attractiveness. It was eventually decided at an unknown date to glue the fragments together in the original layout, which is how they now appear.

Research into the archives has so far not been able to explain how and when this important piece got the Frankenstein treatment. The fog of time and the lack of rigorousness in private collecting makes it unlikely that we’ll ever know the full story.

The Egypt Centre has housed the university’s small collection of Egyptian artifacts since 1998. It is both a museum open to the public and an important learning resource of Swansea’s Department of Classics and Ancient History. The artifacts were originally amassed by pharmacist Sir Henry Wellcome, whose ability to hoard antiquities and collectibles was on a par with the most profligate and indiscriminate William Randolph Hearst. After his death, the objects were managed by a trust who distributed to various museums and institutions. A few things remains, stored in the Petrie Museum, until 1971 when 92 crates of Egyptiana were delivered to what was then called the University College Swansea.

A few stand-out pieces were displayed, first in the Chemistry Department, then in the Classics Department, and the small collection grew, enhanced by donations from individuals and other museums. In the mid-1990s, Sybil Crouch, manager of the Taliesin Arts Centre, proposed that a dedicated museum space be created to house the collection properly and after much work and fund-raising, the Egypt Centre was born as a wing of the Taliesin Arts Centre.

The Hatshepsut relief was part of that original 1971 shipment from the Wellcome Collection, but there is so documentation regarding where it came from or when or from whom Henry Wellcome acquired it. The marks on the back of the uncarved bottom piece and the thinness of the limestone (it’s less than two inches thick) point to it having been removed from a temple or tomb wall. It’s very likely to have been part of Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri, and it may be possible to find the spot from whence it was removed, with a little bit of luck and help from the Polish Archaeological Mission to Egypt which has been documenting, excavating and conserving the temple since 1961.

Meanwhile, the relief is now on permanent display at the Egypt Centre.

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