Wonderful things…

Did you know that on November 26, Howard Carter made a breach in the second door to Tutankhamun tomb. After the hot air gushed out of the tomb, he took a closer look by candlelight and, when Lord Carnarvon asked him if he could see anything, answered: Yes, it is wonderful!

Ninety-two years ago today Carter was the first person to lay eyes on the wonderful things in the antechamber of Tutankhamun’s tomb.  As with the Nov. 4 post, you can read the Nov. 26 entry in Carter’s diary on the Griffith Institute website.

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Hatshepsut on the BBC

While reading the latest post on the Manchester Museum’s WordPress blog, I noticed in the comments a mention of a BBC Radio 4 programme about Hatshepsut.  Intrigued, I followed the link and listened to the programme. It was great fun to listen to Campbell and two other colleagues talk about this amazing woman who ruled Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty.  Click the link to listen: Hatshepsut BBC Radio 4.

One of my photos of a superb statue of Hatshepsut as pharaoh. She wears wears full male regalia, but she remains so exquisitely delicate and feminine. This incredible work of art is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

One of my photos of a superb statue of Hatshepsut as pharaoh. She wears the regalia of male rulers, but she remains so exquisitely delicate and feminine. This incredible work of art is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Moving terracotta figurine

This weekend, I gave to a visiting colleague a tour of my exhibition Sacred Motherhood: Mother-and-Child Representations from the Permanent Collection. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that the Mycenaean Greek terracotta figurine of a Woman Holding a Child had rotated a quarter turn from its original position. Instead of facing the viewer, it now looks at the other two works in the vitrine!

It seems that there is enough foot traffic and vibrations to cause this small work of art to rotate over time.  I saw it a short while ago and I thought it had rotated a bit, but I wasn’t certain.  Now, there is no doubt.  We never would have displayed the work sideways!  We’re going to fix this tomorrow morning…

The Mycenaean figure has rotated 90 degrees and isn't facing the viewer anymore!

The Mycenaean figure has rotated 90 degrees and isn’t facing the viewer anymore!

 

Stairway to… Tutankhamun’s tomb

Did you know that 92 years ago today Howard Carter found the first step of the stairway leading to Tutankhamun’s tomb?  You can see a scan of Carter’s very own diary entry for November 4, 1922  (and several others) on the Griffith Institute‘s website dedicated to Howard Carter’s diaries and journals. The discovery of the young king’s quasi-intact tomb is one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time.

Photo of Tutankhamun’s beautifully carved canopics jars, used to store miniature coffins that contained his internal organs removed during mummification. I took this photo more than a decade ago. This is actually a scan from the first version of An Archaeologist’s Diary back in 2002!