New Discovery at Giza from the middle kingdom

An Egyptian archaeological mission directed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), has discovered a large mud brick wall dating to the reign of King Thuthmose IV (1400-1390 BCE). The wall was uncovered in the area located in front of King Khafre’s valley temple on the Giza plateau.

First section of the mudbrick wall found in front of Khafre's valley temple at Giza (Photo: SCA)

First section of the mudbrick wall found in front of Khafre's valley temple at Giza (Photo: SCA)

Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny added that the discovery was made during routine excavation work carried out by the SCA.

Dr. Hawass stated that the newly discovered wall consists of two parts: the first section is 75cm tall and stretches for 86m from north to south along the eastern side of Khafre’s valley temple and the Sphinx; the second part is 90cm tall and is located in the area north of Khafre’s valley temple. This section is 46m long and runs from east to west along the perimeter of the valley temple area. The two parts of the wall converge at the south-east corner of the excavation area.

Hawass explained that according to initial studies carried out at the site, the newly discovered wall is a part of a larger wall found to the north of the Sphinx. This wall was constructed by King Thuthmose IV as an enclosure to protect the Sphinx from winds. According to ancient Egyptian texts the construction of this wall was the result of a dream which Thuthmose had after a long hunting trip in Wadi El-Ghezlan (Deer Valley), an area next to the Sphinx. In the king’s dream, the Sphinx asked the king to move the sand away from his body because it choked him. For this favor, the Sphinx promised to make Thutmose IV King of Egypt. To accomplish this task, Thuthmose IV removed the sand that had partially buried the Sphinx and built an enclosure wall to preserve it.

View of excavation trench in front of Khafre's valley temple (Photo: SCA)

View of excavation trench in front of Khafre's valley temple (Photo: SCA)

Hawass pointed out that archaeologists previously believed that the enclosure wall only existed on the Sphinx’s northern side because a 3m tall by 12 m long section had been found there. This theory has now been disproven thanks to the discovery of the two new wall sections along the eastern and southern sides of the Sphinx.
In addition to the two sections of the enclosure wall, the SCA team found a mudbrick wall on the eastern side of Khafre’s valley temple. Hawass believes that this wall could be the remains of Khafre’s pyramid settlement, which was inhabited by priests and officials who oversaw the activities of the mortuary cult of Khafre. This cult began at the king’s death and continued until the eighth dynasty (ca. 2143-2134 BCE), which was the end of the Old Kingdom.
Essam Shehab, supervisor of Khafre’s valley temple excavation, said that the mission also dug a 6m deep assessment trench in the area located in front of Khafre’s valley temple to search for any activity dating to the Middle Kingdom (2030 – ca. 1660 BCE). Initial inspection did not reveal any Middle Kingdom activity in the trench as it was filled with almost 5m of sand. Such amount of sand, said Shehab, suggested that the area was abandoned during the Middle Kingdom.

Excavations continue in order to reveal the rest of the Thuthmose IV enclosure wall and any other secrets still hidden

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Museum of Islamic Art Centennial

On Monday the Museum of Islamic Art celebrated two major milestones: the centennial of the museum’s existence and the grand reopening of the museum after an eight year refurbishment project. The day was a whirlwind of activity but I am so proud of this incredible achievement. It was a wonderful day, complete with a tour of the museum in the morning to invited dignitaries and press. The First Lady of Egypt, Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak was also able to receive a private tour of the collection and was overjoyed at the beauty of the displays. In the evening, over 600 guests attended a beautiful dinner in the garden of Manial Palace in Cairo.

A view of glass lamps

A view of glass lamps

It was a wonderful event and I hope that everyone who visits Egypt will take the opportunity to tour this museum and view our magnificent Islamic art collection. I am including here my speech from the celebration dinner and would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone involved in refurbishing the museum.

“Minister of Culture, Mr. Farouk Hosny; Your exellencies; my dear colleagues and honored guests:

Tonight we are celebrating a monument of incredible cultural and historical significance. This monument, the Museum of Islamic Art, has stood as one of the greatest accomplishments of Islamic culture for a century.

In 1979, I visited the Museum of Islamic Art and was sickened by the state of disrepair that the building had fallen into. Although by name it was called a “museum” it was not worthy of this title. There were thousands of objects crammed into very small halls that denied the visitor the beauty of Islamic art, and kept the magnificence of these objects shrouded in darkness. The heavy-hearted feeling that I walked away with that day stayed with me until 2003 when I decided that the museum should be completely refurbished.

Iranian ceramics in the Museum of Islamic Arts

Iranian ceramics in the Museum of Islamic Arts

This project proved to be a great challenge for myself and Mr. Farouk Hosny, the Minister of Culture, because the building of the museum itself was very old and its location under the Dar el-Kotob building made the museum structurally unsound. When we started the project we had countless problems. As soon as one issue was resolved, another one appeared. I insisted that the project would be completed and I visited the site every week. I firmly believed that the Egyptians would rise to the challenge and after 8 years of hard work this project has finally been completed. In my wildest dreams I never imagined that the museum would be this beautiful. To be honest I think that the reconstruction of the Museum of Islamic Art was my most demanding project over the last 8 years.

Tonight I am proud to announce that Egypt has one of the most beautiful museums of Islamic art in the world and all Egyptians should take great pride in this achievement. This museum stands in the heart of Cairo, and we all know that Cairo is the center of the Islamic and Arabic civilizations.

I don’t want to repeat what most of us already know. I won’t list for you how many artifacts the Museum of Islamic Art contains, how many halls, what periods the objects date to or the age of the pieces themselves. I don’t want my brief speech to turn into a lecture. Most of you know this information and if not it is easy to find. Instead I would like to mention the people that had such an important role in this museum’s success.

Dear guests, we should all be proud of the new beginning of this museum. This moment would not be possible without the countless hours of work put in by dedicated professionals from various fields. The crowning achievement of all this hard work was the visit of President Mubarak when he inaugurated the Museum of Islamic Art in August. Only a few minutes ago, our happiness was completed when Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady, visited the museum and expressed her joy over the display of the objects.  This evening we should all be grateful for those who have supported this huge project. On behalf of all of us I would like to thank Prince Karim Aga Khan and his Trust for Culture, and the studio of Adrien Gardere, French consultant for the reconstruction project. I would like to extend my thanks to the Louvre Museum in Paris for their assistance in creating the Museum of Islamic Art scenario, along with Egyptian curators and Dr. Mahmoud Mabruk who completed the organization of the displays. I would also like to thank the archaeologists, curators and the staff of the National Defense Council for their great efforts, along with the architect Said el-Komi.

Lamp From the Mosque of Sultan Hussan

Lamp From the Mosque of Sultan Hassan

Honored guests on this evening please allow me acknowledge the Minister of Culture, Mr. Farouk Hosny, for his dedication to this project. He visited the site several times over the course of the reconstruction and was involved in many details of the museum design, including the color of the gallery walls. His artistic touch can truly be seen all over the museum. All of these people working together have helped to create a world-class museum that has garnered international recognition.”

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International Congress of Egyptologists

The Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt (SCA) is proud to announce that it has been entrusted by the International Association of Egyptologists (IAE) with the task of organizing the 11th International Congress of Egyptologists (ICE) 2012. The SCA hopes to build on the enormous success of the 2000 Congress, the last to be held in Cairo, which is remembered as one of the most memorable Egyptological gatherings in recent history. The ICE 2012 will be held from September 7-14, in the Mena House Oberoi at Giza, and scholars are cordially invited to participate by submitting abstracts of research papers.

Cert Eye

Cert Eye

The ICE 2012 follows the end of a decade that has witnessed a complete restructuring of the SCA’s administrative system and redefining of its mission in the management of Egyptian archaeological heritage. Over the past decade, the SCA has strengthened its relationship with all members of the Egyptological community, a relationship that is based on mutual respect, and partnership to preserve and protect Egypt’s antiquities. The organization of the ICE 2012 represents one part of this cooperation between the SCA and international scholars, focusing on a better understanding of Egypt’s rich heritage.

The International Congress of Egyptologists is traditionally open to all areas of Egyptological research, and it is the goal of the organizing committee of the ICE 2012 to maintain the ethos set by the previous congresses by seeking research papers focusing on all major themes of Egyptology. However, a multidisciplinary approach to aspects of Ancient Egypt and its material culture is highly encouraged. The list of suggested themes includes: history, social history, prehistory and state formation, archaeology, art history, cross-cultural relations, economy, religion and religious literature, language and literature, archaeometry, and museum studies. Also, proposals for closed sessions (3-4 papers) reporting on the progress of excavation on major archaeological sites will be considered by the scientific committee of the ICE, and time slots will be allocated upon the approval of the proposal.

While attendance of the ICE 2012 is open to all Egyptologists, abstracts of papers will only be accepted from MA and PhD holders, who also must be members of the IAE. In keeping with the tradition set previously, the ICE 2012 organizing committee will administer a refereed congress, whereby abstracts will be peer-reviewed. In the same manner, articles submitted for final publication of the ICE 2012 proceedings will also be subject to peer review.

The languages of communication of the ICE 2012 are English, French, German and Arabic. For scholars who are proposing to present in Arabic, their abstracts should, however, be submitted in English for peer review. The deadline for abstract submission, as well as, the guidelines will be included in the second announcement of the ICE 2012 in January 2011. Questions should be sent to Dr. Ramadan B. Hussein, Coordinator of the ICE 2012 at:

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Cairo Opera Orchestra and Cairo Opera Ballet Company present the English Premiere of the Austrian musical production “Tutankhamon”, with music by Gerald Gratzer

TUTA NKH AMON The Musical in Cairo Opera House

TUTA NKH AMON The Musical in Cairo Opera House

The show is being organized under the auspices of the Austrian embassy and the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority.

“Tut Ankh Amon, the Musical” is an Austrian Musical Production that relives the life of the Pharaohs. The Show will depict the life of the youngest king of Egypt, Tutankhamon, It tells all about the history of the young king, His life, His death, and his Childhood, his coronation at the age of nine and about all the difficulties that he faced during his short reign, as well as his love to his beloved Ankhesenamon ( Akhnaton’s daughter and Tutankhamon’s beloved wife ).

Tut and his beloved wife, Ankhesenamon

Tut and his beloved wife, Ankhesenamon

It is astonishing how the story of this Egyptian King, who died at the young age of 19, reflects the topicality of profound human themes such as power, love and the quest for the meaning of life.

Behind the king Tut’s Golden Mask, Tut Ankh Amon Musical Austria will present the historical facets of the king’s life and death.

Memphis Tours Egypt can provide transfers and accommodations for anyone would like to attend this show.
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Date: 10/25/2010 – 10/28/2010
Location: Cairo Opera House Cairo
Alexandria Opera House 1 -2 / 11 /2010

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Second Egypt Race for cure October 23, 2010

Under the auspices of  Mrs.  / Suzanna Mubark, Egypt’s First Lady through the Suzanne Mubark International Women for Peace and National Council for Women and Dr. Zahi Hawass, the secretary _ general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Foundation of Breast Cancer Foundation in the Partnership with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the U.S on October 23, 2010 to host the race, the Second Race for Breast Cancer Cure in the Pyramids area in Giza. And under the Sponsorship of  SAMSUNG, the official sponsor of the Egyptian Race Year 2010

Egypt Cancer Race in the Pyramids

Egypt Cancer Race in the Pyramids 2009

Memphis Tours Egyptas a huge Travel organization will take part in this race to develop the rank of understanding the real danger of the breast cancer in Egypt and to celebrate with others as they fight to survive breast cancer.

Last year, the first Egypt Race for the Cure® was a huge success with approximately 6000 people attending. Individuals and teams of all age groups gathered wearing Race T-shirts and caps, and ran or walked from the smallest pyramid to the Sphinx.

International Race:
Thanks to the interest, hard work and collaboration of a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governmental agencies, and individuals who want to make a difference in breast cancer mortality rates, Komen Race for the Cure events are being organized in places throughout the world Ambassador Brinker never dreamed of 27 years ago.

In addition to the six international Races conducted by our Komen Affiliates in Germany, Italy and Puerto Rico, Komen is currently collaborating with select NGOs in Europe, Africa (North and Sub-Saharan), the Middle East, Latin America and Western Asia to host co-branded, culturally appropriate Races. In total, 141 Races will be held worldwide in 2010.

The Event’s Official Speakers :
Mr:Sayed Abd El Aziz, Giza Governor
Dr:Moshera Khattab Minister of State for Family and Population
Dr. Zahi Hawass, the secretary _ general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities
General Essam Abdel-Hady, the head of the Sound and Light company

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Discovery of the tomb of Rudj-Ka

A Fifth Dynasty tomb (2465 – 2323 BC) of the priest, Rudj-Ka was recently uncovered in an area south of the pyramid builders’ necropolis.

Rwd-ka marshing scene

Fishing scene

Fishing scene depicting Rudj-Ka in the marshes (Photo: Meghan E. Strong)

Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny announced that the discovery was made during routine excavation work at the necropolis by an Egyptian archaeological team from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that Rudj-Ka had several titles and would have been an important member of the ancient Egyptian court. Primarily Rudj-ka served as a purification priest for Khafre (2520-2494 BC) and his mortuary cult at Giza. Khafre’s pyramid complex and mortuary cult remained functioning well after the king’s death thanks to a group of priests and administrators who were provisioned through royal endowments.

Hawass pointed out that the tomb is the first to be found in this area and that it is very unique because of its distinguished architectural design. The superstructure of the tomb is constructed out of limestone blocks, which create a maze-like pathway to the main entrance. The burial chamber itself is cut directly into a cliff face.

Rwd-ka and his wife

Rwd-ka and his wife

Painted scene from the tomb of Rudj-Ka depicting the tomb owner with his wife (Photo: Meghan E. Strong)

Hawass continued that the tomb’s walls are beautifully decorated with painted reliefs featuring Rudj-ka with his wife in front of an offering table filled with gifts of bread, goose and cattle. Daily life scenes depicting Rudj-ka fishing and boating are also shown.

“This tomb could be the first of many in the area. Hopefully we have located a new necropolis dedicated to certain members of the royal court,” said Hawass. He also suggested that this area could be a continuation of the western necropolis at Giza, which may have resulted from overcrowding in the Giza plateau.

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Opera Aida at Egypt Pyramids next October !

opera aida at egypt pyramids

opera aida at egypt pyramids

«Opera Aida» is for the famous composer Verdi will return back to Egypt and showing in the open air between the arms of Al-Ahram in an atmosphere very fragrance of ancient Egyptian history. This is after an absence of 8 years.

Dr. Abdel Moneim Kamel – Chairman and director of the opera show said that – The Opera will show for a four-day evening, the fifth, sixth, seventh and tenth of next October , in conjunction with the celebrations of October victories .

operah aida at great pyramids next october

operah aida at great pyramids next october

The shows will present on the theater next to Al-Ahram Square and beside the Theatre of sound and light , which the Opera has specially built on an area of 1600 square meters, and four runways to accommodate thousands of viewers.

Kamel said: «Opera Aida» is involving more than three thousands of artists, musicians and groups are teams of Cairo Opera Orchestra under conductor of the Italian Marcello Mutadelli, and the Cairo Opera Choir, Choir and Okabila led Oledumaniato and Maya Ajafinerya with Cairo Opera Ballet choreography of Armenia fully and Decor by Mahmoud Hajaj and lighting by design Yasser Shalan.

operah aida at giza pyramids

operah aida at giza pyramids

Also he pointed out that «Opera Aida» one of the most important labels of Egyptian art to the world because the events taking place in ancient Pharaonic Egypt, stressing the extent of employment of technological possibilities and the lighting effects and sound with the exploitation of the charming nature of the place.

Memphis tours Egypt is pleased to offer distinguished services to the clients all over the world. It presents all the facilities of reservation of air lines and Hotels. Memphis Tours Egypt seize the opportunity to offer  special rates for accommodation and sightseeing tours in Egypt.

Click here for more details about attending the Opera Aida at Giza Pyramids.

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Cairo the Gateway to History

A long or short tour to Cairo is certainly the best choice you will ever make.  In fact , Cairo is the world  city which described by  thousands of writers . Cairo holds world historical events either within the city walls or in the surrounding areas. All accompanied by the silent water of Its river known as the Nile river.

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

Almost any vanished civilization left its imprints in this city. To name all of them it’s almost impossible. Modern Cairo today offers  a lot of attractions: The Egyptian Museum which contains more than 140,000 masterpieces ranging from the pre_historic  era until the Roman Period, The modern Oprah House, Cairo tower which is 14 meters higher than the Great Pyramid, Baron Palace the old Market and even more.

Baron Palace in Cairo, Egypt.

Baron Palace in Cairo, Egypt.

A wide selection of manifold  interests in  Cairo for almost every visitor’s desire . Cairo is a city of multicultural and multi religious interests museums, churches, mosques, Nile Cruises, modern and Arabic music festivals. etc, in short, there is nothing  you will not find in the city of thousand and one nights.

Hanging Church, Old Cairo, Egypt

Hanging Church, Old Cairo, Egypt

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