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A monthly archaeological news journal keeping you in touch with the latest finds in the Middle East and reviewing the great discoveries of the past.

The Archaeological Diggings Middle East Tour for 2010 departs on April 13, 2010. The tour will include Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. Travel in air-conditioned coaches and stay in first class hotels. The price includes internal flights and return airfares with Singapore Airlines. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel are also included each day.

The annual


King Tut’s tomb & treasures Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara Luxor Temple & Karnak Temple The Valley of the Kings Abu Simbel Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple The crocodile temple Kom Ombo Abydos, Aswan & more!


Petra and the high place of sacrifice Temple of El Khazneh Jerash, a great city of the Decapolis
e We ar a 9 ning rkey plan of Tu ur day to w our Middle follo r. Contact to ou East T for more us . details


Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Capernaum Ancient boat from the time of Jesus Bethlehem, Nazareth, & Megiddo Walk the streets of Jerusalem Wade through Hezekiah’s water tunnel Swim in the Dead Sea The Fortress of Masada Caesarea, Tiberius & more!

You also have the option of working on a dig at our own dig site at Mareshah in Israel Free tour brochure with full itinerary available now!
Write to us at: PO Box 196, Morisset NSW 2264 Free-call: 1800 240 543 Email: editor@diggings.com.au or download the brochure at www.diggings.com.au


January 2010


Published monthly by David Down ABN 92 953 993 857 Editor-In-Chief David Down Editorial Team Michael Browning Carie Browning Contributors David Down Michael Browning Carie Browning Marie Carter Kendall Down Daryn Graham

2 Middle East Tour Information 4 Digging at the Western Wall 5 Another Augustus Statue 7 Alexandria Before Alexander 8 Tomb Fractures 11 Hawass Ultimatum Pays Off 12 Hidden Treasure 13 Assyrian Palace in Turkey 14 Japanese Excavate in Egypt 16 Mummy Mania Revived 18 Persian Army Found At Last 19 Palace at Tel Kabri 21 Another Saqqara Tunnel 22 Tut’s Tomb to be Renovated 24 Cleopatra Premier in Philadelphia 26 Diggings Shirts and Caps 28 Classic Diggings Polo Sale 29 DVDs 30 Subscription Information 31 Club News 31 Newsflashes from Archaeological Diggings Back Cover: Egypt & Jordan Tour Information
Front Cover: A replica of the Anubite guardian found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings is to undergo substantial renovation in the next few years and will be closed until completed. Until then, the replica in the Pharaonic Village is as close to the real thing that visitors to Egypt will get. Photo © M Browning

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January 2010


The Western Wall in Jerusalem is one of the most politically sensitive spots in the world. A new Israeli plan will make it even more sensitive. This could lead to Arab Israeli confrontation on a grand scale. When Jesus preached in the temple of Jerusalem it was a temple that had been rebuilt by Herod the Great. It was a magnificent structure. Even his disciples came to Jesus to invite him to admire the beautiful stones that belonged to the temple (Matthew 24:1). However, Jesus warned that there would not be one stone left on another, and that happened in 70 AD when the Roman General Titus conquered Jerusalem, and his soldiers set fire to the temple and toppled all of its stones.

The platform that supported the temple was left intact, so the wall supporting the platform on the western side remained. This wall, being all that remained of the temple, became the most sacred site in the world for Jewish worshipers. When Israel attained its independence as a nation in 1948, Jerusalem was divided in two, and the Western Wall was within the Jordanian border. Jews were denied access to it and Arab houses were built to within a few metres of the wall. In 1967 the Six Day War erupted and Israel occupied the whole of Jerusalem. One of Israel’s first acts was to demolish the Arab houses opposite the Wall and create an open space for worshipers and visitors. Women were denied access to most of the wall but a small section was allocated for female worshipers. But the present level of the open

The Western Wall in Jerusalem. There are plans to excavate the plaza in front of the wall. It will become a platform beneath which visitors can see the lowest parts of the wall. Photo © M Browning


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area is well above the level of the days of Jesus. In 1995 our Archaeological Diggings tour group was invited by the Israel Antiquities Authority to participate in a dig alongside the wall just south of the area allocated to worshipers today. This area was below the level of the present plaza. In the enclosed area just north of the present plaza Orthodox Jews gather to read from the scriptures and pray audibly. In this area there are some deep shafts descending anything down to ten metres to the foundations of the wall. This may suggest that there could be occupational debris down to this depth. No doubt the Israelis want to dig down to this level. It is then their intention to replace the present ground level with a platform on which worshipers can stand. The immediate Arab reaction was apprehension that the excavations would extend under

the Western Wall to the area at present occupied by the Dome of the Rock. This of course would be very desirable for Israeli archaeologists because it would give them access to the foundation area of the temple which King Solomon built. The Israelis deny that they have any such intention, but it is this possibility that could cause further friction in the area. —DKD

Caesar Augustus was the emperor of Rome for a long time, 23 BC to 14 AD. It was he who issued a decree that all the world should be enrolled, and that decree brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born (Luke 2:1). Many statues of Augustus have been

The Dome of the Rock. The Western Wall supports the platform on which the Dome of the Rock stands. This was the site where the temple of Solomon once stood. Photo © M Browning


January 2010 Bust of Augustus in the Capitoline Museum, Rome



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found in different parts of the empire. Recently German archaeologists found segments of a statue of Augustus in a stream near Giessen. Not much of the statue of Augustus himself was been found, but the head of the bronze horse on which he was riding has come to light. The archaeologists call it a sensational find, and claim that “There has never been a find of such quality and preservation in Germany.” The stream in which the statue was found was once in the Roman outpost Germania Magna. Some 20,000 artefacts have been discovered in this area in recent years. Obviously the statue has been deliberately smashed, but rather than attributing this act of vandalism to an enemy of Rome, the archaeologists suspect that it was smashed by the retreating Roman forces who did not want the statue to fall into German

hands. The life size head of the horse was gilded with gold. In 9AD German troops ambushed and wiped out three Roman legions, obliging the Roman army to withdraw. These retreating troops may have been responsible for smashing the statue. —DKD

Alexandria today is the second largest city in Egypt. It was thought to have been called Alexandria because it was founded by Alexander the Great who founded and named a number of cities after himself. Now new evidence is emerging that this city existed before Alexander arrived and that he simply developed the city. Over the past few years scientists have found pieces of broken pottery

The Alexandria Harbour, famous for the ancient lighthouse that once stood on the foreshore. Although Alexander the Great named the city after himself, there is evidence to suggest that a city was there long before his arrival.


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that they have dated to centuries before Alexander arrived. They also found traces of lead which they have dated to earlier centuries. It would indeed be surprising if there had not been people living there before Alexander’s arrival in 331 BC. This is the only practical harbour along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. Small ships could have sailed up the Nile to cities along the banks of the river, but obviously a sheltered harbour such as exists at Alexandria would have been an attraction to sailors in antiquity. Alexandria also became a great city because of the famous lighthouse that was erected on the foreshore, and the huge library that accumulated more manuscripts than any other city of the world at that time. The Alexandria Lighthouse was recognised as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. —DKD

The tombs in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt are awesome. They extend anything up to one hundred metres into the side of the valley. The amount of manual work involved in cutting these tombs is daunting. Dumping the rock chips and debris in itself would have been a difficult task. One question that has recently been addressed by archaeologists is how the original creators of these tombs decided where to cut them. There seems to be no uniformity of choice. Some are at ground level, some are higher up. Some are close together and some are far apart. So what governed the choice about where to dig? Katarin A Parizek, instructor in digital photography in the department of integrative arts, claims she has found

The Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Many of the tombs here have been cut into the valley walls. It has now been suggested that some of these tombs have been cut where geological faults existed which made cutting the rock easier. Photo © M Browning


Tombs were cut in unusual places and then covered over in the hope the grave robbers would not be able to find them but very few of them escaped the ravages of the tomb robbers. Photo © M Browning


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a partial answer. She has examined thirty three of the tombs in the valley and has concluded that thirty of them were cut into the valley wall where there was a geological fault line. The rock being looser in such fractures would mean easier working for the men who chiselled the shafts of the tombs. That was clever thinking on the part of the Egyptian planners. Unfortunately the idea was not so good in the long term because water

from the surface can seep down into the tombs and this has caused enormous damage to the wall and ceiling paintings in the tombs. Luxor can go without rain for six or seven years but when it does rain there is a deluge and this would have filled the tombs that had been chiselled along fracture lines. What worries Katarin (pictured below) is the possibility that there are still more tombs in the valley

Photo © Katarin Parizek, Penn State 2009


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waiting to be discovered, and in the mean time water may be pouring into them, irreparably damaging the tomb paintings. That is not very likely. All the kings of dynasty 18 and 19 are known to archaeologists and all their tombs have been found. True, KV63 opposite Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered recently, but that turned out to be a store room rather than a royal tomb. —DKD

Twenty years ago some thieves chiselled four coloured reliefs from the wall of the tomb of the noble Tetaki in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. They sold them to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Recently Dr Zahi Hawass, Director of Antiquities in

Egypt, claimed that they had been illegally taken out of Egypt and should be returned. Initially the Louvre refused the demand, so Egypt suspended the Louvre’s excavations in the Saqqara necropolis and cancelled a lecture due to be given in Egypt by Christiane Ziegler, a former curator of the Louvre. The incident sets an interesting precedent. Many antiquities were taken out of Egypt during the period of Ottoman occupation. It could probably be claimed that the existing government had sold them, or given permission for them to be taken out of Egypt. Obelisks were taken to France, England and America. It is not likely Egypt will demand their return. But the Rosetta Stone was forcefully acquired by war. A French army officer found it at Rashid, a town now referred to as Rosetta, then the British took it from the French.

A sphinx of Amenemhet in the Louvre Museum in Paris. After Zahi Hawass’ successful demand for the return of stolen reliefs, many museums may have cause for concern regarding their Egyptian antiquities collections. Photo © Arch. Diggings


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But there could be even wider implications. Museums all over the world contain items from Greece, Italy, Turkey and Iraq. There could be no stopping place. Museums could be emptied of their exhibits. Time will tell on how aggressive Egypt becomes in its demands. —DKD

Recently, Michael Le Quesne, a 16 year old on a holiday in Montenegro, was swimming just off-shore with his 10 year old sister Teodora, when he spotted a stone on the sea bed that looked a bit out of place because it appeared to have once been fashioned by human hands. Intrigued, he went in for a closer look.

He quickly found that the stone was not the only odd one in the area. He spotted others nearby. Excited, the two told their father Charles Le Quesne, who just happens to be a professional archaeologist, about their find and he went with snorkel in hand to investigate his children’s discovery. Sure enough, there they were – columns 90cm (3 feet) in diameter that once formed part of an ancient Greek or Roman temple that had remained untouched for thousands of years. Charles recalls that his vast archaeological experience meant that he knew exactly what his family had found, “I’ve been dragged around a lot of ancient ruins, so if it hadn’t been for that I wouldn’t have looked twice.” As for the temple itself, Charles believes it once stood in an important coastal trading post town. “The area was an


January 2010


important, ancient trading route, so it may have been a port,” he says. As to how the columns got there, it appears that they were thrown into the water by an earthquake, where they have remained to this day. This type of discovery is actually becoming more and more common along Montenegro’s coast, where many undocumented ancient ruins are dotted. As for this one, Charles will soon begin excavation work there as part of a team from the University of Southampton’s Department of Maritime Archaeology. For the moment though, Charles, while excited, is still a little bit puzzled by his children’s underwater discovery. “If it is a monumental building it is not going to be part of a small hamlet, but it is not a missing Atlantis, as we would already know about it. It remains a bit of a mystery.” The discovery is definitely a highpoint in the recent opening of the

coastline to divers. Unfortunately, since Yugoslavia’s collapse in the 1990’s, there are now many instances where such sites are pillaged by looters who pass on the relics for a quick profit before any archaeologist is able to arrive on the scene. Even crime gangs in the region take part in this free-forall under the waters. Let’s hope that as more discoveries like these come to light there will be more archaeologists like Charles, and perhaps just as importantly children like his, to lend experts a helping hand. —DG

Thirteen is a lucky number for Doctor Timothy Matney who has directed excavations at Ziyaret Tepe in south east Turkey for the past 13 years.

The peaceful waters off the coast of Montenegro. A family holidaying in the area recently discovered the remains of a Greek temple on the sea bed and there are now plans to excavate the ruins further.


January 2010


In his thirteenth year his team found the remains of an Assyrian palace at Ziyaret Tepe, along the banks of the Tigris River, which flourished from the ninth to the eleventh centuries BC, the period of Assyrian domination of the Middle East. In the palace they found some clay tablets written in the cuneiform script, which they dated to about 1000 BC, and stored in the palace archives. The names listed in the tablets are of female workers who were apparently employed in the region. They did not bear Assyrian names, indicating that they had been imported from elsewhere. That is not surprising as the Bible records how the Assyrians conquered Israel and then exiled them to Assyria to work there. The archaeologists on this project found the remains of an important room which they consider could have been the governor’s throne room. In another

area they found some cremation burials which contained vessels made of stone and bronze. They also found bronze and stone furniture fittings. They recovered seals made of stone which would have been used to seal documents. The cremations had been cut into the palace courtyard at a later period. —DKD

Japan is a long way from Egypt, and its culture is very different, but tourists visiting Egypt recently would have noticed an increasing number of Japanese tourists doing the rounds of the pyramids, temples and tombs. The Japanese are very polite people and quietly go about their sight-seeing, taking a huge number of photos on

The Step Pyramid of Saqqara is the dominant burial place in the Saqqara Necropolis. Archaeologists from Tokyo University have done a lot of excavating in this area. Photo © M Browning


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their latest Japanese-made cameras. This interest has no doubt been nurtured by the work of Japanese a r c h a e o l o g i s t s w h o h av e b e e n excavating at several sites in Egypt. Waseda and Tokyo Universities have provided skilled archaeologists and students to explore these places. Recently the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities honoured the archaeological work the Japanese have done over the last twenty years by displaying a special exhibition in the Egyptian Museum of artefacts that have been found by the Japanese expeditions. The three major sites at which the Japanese have been digging are Saqqara, the cemetery of the early dynasties of Egypt and scene of the Step Pyramid built by King Djoser, Dahshur where the pyramids of dynasty four pharaoh Seneferu are found, and Malkata, the temple and palace of

Amenhotep III of dynasty 18. It is best known for the two huge statues, known as the Colossi of Memnon which stand at the entrance of the complex. The Japanese have been one of the foremost nations in developing sophisticated technology and they have brought this expertise into their archaeological work. Thirty years ago they started using geophysical sensing instruments, originally used to resolve Earth’s physical elements. It enabled them to locate the pit of Khufu’s second solar boat at Giza. King Seneferu was the first king of the powerful dynasty four. He was the greatest pyramid builder of all time, erecting three huge pyramids. Two of them were built at Dahshur between Saqqara and Meidum. Two kilometres north of Seneferu’s Red Pyramid is a cemetery dating to the New Kingdom. Using computer analysis of satellite imaging data they found a large, free-

The Colossi of Memnon in Luxor stood at the entrance to the temple and palace of Amenhotep III. Japanese archaeologists have also excavated in this area. Photo © M Browning


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standing tomb-chapel comparable in size to the Horemhab’s at Saqqara. Some stamped mud bricks which they found suggested that the tombchapel was built for Ipay, a royal butler and scribe. In the underground chambers they found some nice funerary objects including some faience rings with the names of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun, and two scarabs bearing the name of Rameses II. In the innermost chamber they found a granite sarcophagus on which was an inscription indicating it belonged to Mes, a royal scribe and steward during the reign of Rameses II. Usually archaeologists deplore the ravages caused by tomb robbers, but the Japanese had a different experience. Qurna is a village near Luxor in the south. Here known tomb robbers had their homes. Apparently some of these thieves had found

hundreds of mummies and had taken them to their hideouts to strip them of their treasures. No doubt they had stolen the valuables but they left the mummies and many human bones and the Japanese were delighted to be able to find them. —DKD

Nearly two hundred years ago Mummy Mania swept over Europe. Some enterprising travellers had purchased mummies in Egypt and brought them back to Europe to the wondering gaze of the public. They were in demand from museums, private collectors wanted a mummy to add to their displays, and some pharmacists even advertised the curative properties of powdered mummy flesh.

The Red Pyramid, as seen from the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur. King Seneferu , the first king of dynasty 4 built these two pyramids and Japanese archaeologists have done a lot of excavating at this site. Photo © M Browning


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One enterprising surgeon cashed in on the public fever by announcing he was going to unwrap and dissect a mummy, and sold tickets to the favoured few who could sit and watch the unprecedented performance. In 1825 Doctor Augustus Granville went to work on the coffin and mummy of a fifty year old woman by the name of Irtyersenu, which means “Lady of the House.” It was a good show. To provide the right atmosphere the operating room was lit with candles which were made from fat from the mummy. Everything went according to schedule and even the autopsy was correct. The woman had an ovarian cancer about the size of an orange, which the learned doctor saw as the cause of her death. Now there has been another autopsy done in London. Not now before an excited audience, but with all the expertise of modern medicine,

and the first doctor’s observation was spot on. Irtyersenu did have an ovarian cancer, but the latest investigators have decided that this was not the cause of death. The cancer was dormant and unlikely to cause death, but forensic analysis of tissues taken from the 2,600 year old mummy revealed evidence of tuberculosis, a very common ailment in ancient Egypt. They concluded that this was the cause of Irtyersenu’s death. Actually, all this investigation was made possible by an unusual procedure in the mummification process. Usually the brain was decimated and washed out through the nostrils. Then most of the internal organs were removed and stored in canopic jars. This was done to reduce decomposition of the entire mummy, but in this case the embalmers took a short cut. They left most of these organs in the corpse.

This mummy is located in the Louvre Museum in Paris. In the 1800’s many mummies were privately owned and people paid money to see them unwrapped, as was the case with Granville’s mummy. Photo © Archaeological Diggings


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Whether this was a labour saving device by the embalmers or whether Irtyersenu had opted for a more economical embalming we have no way of knowing, but it was this that enabled the analysts to examine all her organs to be able to determine the cause of death. Well, no insurance claims are dependent on the outcome, but it is only proper that we should get the facts right. —DKD

The Siwa Oasis is a fascinating place to visit. It is surrounded by desert but has plenty of water, and is green with many varieties of date palms. But it has always been best noted for the oracle in the temple of Amun that

was supposed to be able to answer questions put to it. Alexander the Great visited Siwa to find out if his military campaign against the Persian Empire would be successful. Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus the Great, invaded Egypt and occupied it, but it was reported to him that the oracle at Siwa had predicted his doom. He determined to destroy the oracle for predicting such a fate for him. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, who wrote about 5245 BC, Cambyses sent out an army of 50,000 soldiers from Luxor to traverse the desert and destroy Siwa, but a fierce sand storm hit the army in the desert, and it was never heard of again. Several claims have been made that traces of the buried army had been found, but their claims were not substantiated. Now a team of Italian archaeologists claim they have found traces of the

The Siwa Oasis in Egypt. According to Herodotus, Cambyses the Persian sent an army of 50,000 soldiers into the desert to destroy Siwa. They were caught in a sand storm and never seen again. The Castiglioni brothers believe they may have found their remains.


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lost army. Twin brothers, Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni, have been researching the mystery for the last thirteen years and have made five expeditions into the Sahara Desert. At last they have a clue. First they found a half buried pot and some human remains. Then a bronze dagger and several arrow tips came to light and the search was on. The brothers speculated that the Persian army may not have followed the usual route from Luxor to Siwa. They started looking along a southerly approach to the oasis and that is when the evidence began to come to light. They found an earring, which was of the style worn 2500 years ago, the period the army was on the march. Then they found Bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, and hundreds of blanched bones. Whether this turns out to be the real thing remains to be seen. All

this information comes from a TV programme which does not have a particularly good reputation for archaeological accuracy. —DKD

Archaeologists from Haifa University have found the remains of a large palace at Tel Kabri in the region of western Galilee. The palace covers an area of some 1.5 acres and would have been the administrative quarters for the region at that time. There is an interesting contrast between this palace and the palace found at Hazor in Northern Galilee. The latter displayed styles derived from Syria and the Levant. The palace at Tel Kabri reveals influences from the Mediterranean area, especially a fresco

The temple and palace at Hazor, which displays architectural styles from Syria and the Levant. Archaeologists have found the remains of a large palace at Tel Kabri which has Mediterranean influence.Photo © M Browning


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found on the island of Santorini. The archaeologists dated the palace to the Middle Bronze II period which was traditionally the Canaanite period. By a reduced chronology this would have been during the Israelite period. It is rather intriguing that they found evidence that “the rulers confiscated privately owned lands in order to build both the palace and a ceremonial path encircling the palace.” A similar incident occurred during the reign of King Ahab of Israel. The story in 1 Kings 21 proves nothing but it makes interesting reading. And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it

seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!” So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?” He said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over

Jezreel Valley in Israel. This was the area where the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite was located. The Bible records that he was murdered because he would not sell his land to King Ahab. Photo J Freeman CC-BY-SA-2.5


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Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth. She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people; and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, “You have blasphemed God and the king.” Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die. So the men of his city, the elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them. They proclaimed a fast, and seated Naboth with high honor among the people. And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth has blasphemed God and the king!” Then they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.” And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. That was confiscation at its worst. Presumably the confiscation at Tel Kabri was of a peaceful nature. The archaeologists find this site exciting because it was never built on after it was abandoned. This makes the whole ancient city available for excavation. Dr Yasur-Landau said, “The city’s preservation enables us to

get a complete picture of political and social life in the Canaanite period. We can reveal whether or not it had a central government, whether taxes were levied, what sort of agriculture there was and how politics were conducted at the time.” He should have been even more excited to think he was excavating a complete city of ancient Israel. —DKD

The Step Pyramid of Saqqara was built for King Djoser of dynasty 3 and was the first pyramid ever built. It was not the true pyramid form of later pyramids, but ascended in six stages, hence the name ‘Step Pyramid’. Beneath this pyramid was an extensive maze of passages and a tomb for the king. The passages seem to extend aimlessly in all directions, and archaeologists do not know why, but they are still searching for answers. Recently exploratory work was being done beneath the south side of the pyramid when the workmen stumbled on a deep hole not previously recorded. It had a plaster floor and contained the mummified remains of many animals and birds. Such tombs are not uncommon in Saqqara where tombs containing mummified ibis birds, monkeys and cats have been found. The workmen also discovered some fragments of gold and thirty granite blocks of stone, each weighing about five tons. They also found some limestone blocks on which were written the names of the king’s daughters. There were also wooden instruments, portions of wooden statues, the remains of a mummy, and some bone fragments of different sizes. —DKD


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In 1922 Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the boy King Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. It was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Most of the more than 2000 fabulous treasures which had been interred in the tomb at the time of his burial were intact. The majority of the treasures have been removed to museums, but since its discovery the tomb has attracted millions of tourists. The tomb is the smallest in the Valley of the Kings. It only consists of a descending passage leading into an ante room which is very plain with no pictures on the walls. From the side of this ante chamber a small doorway leads to a store room which is empty and not open to tourists. Recently Tut’s mummy has

been installed in an air conditioned glass box in the ante chamber. At the end of the ante room a doorway opens onto the small tomb chamber. From this chamber a small doorway opens onto another store room which is empty and also not available to tourists. The tomb chamber is of major attraction to visitors. In it is Tut’s stone sarcophagus, and on the walls are nice pictures illustrating the passage of the king into the afterlife. There is depicted the opening of the mouth ceremony symbolising the soul of the king leaving his body, and at the end of the tomb are twelve baboons representing the twelve hours of the night. Even when it was first opened these pictures had some strange spots on them. Since then the vapour-laden breaths of the millions of tourists visiting the tomb have exacerbated

A diagram of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings. Steps are being taken to repair and preserve the pictures on the walls of the tomb chamber in the lower part of this picture where his coffin was found. Photo © M Browning

Tutankhamun’s tomb was filled with more than 2000 fabulous treasures. Most of them were removed to the Cairo Museum. They have been reproduced and put on display in the Pharaonic Village in Cairo. Photo © M Browning



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these spots and no doubt caused deterioration to the pictures. The tomb has never been satisfactorily air-conditioned and further exposure to the body heat of tourists is bound to have an adverse effect on the tomb paintings. To restore the tomb to its original beauty and prevent any further erosion the Supreme Council of Antiquities has appealed to the Los Angeles based Getty Foundation for expertise and funding to make these changes. The project is expected to cost more than US$1.5 million. The Getty Foundation has experienced expertise in such matters and did a similar job on the tomb of Nefertari, the queen of Rameses the Great of dynasty 19. It will take two years to thoroughly assess the damage and decide on the most effective method of restoration, and then three years to carry out the work. The bad news is that the tomb

will be closed to tourists during much of this five year period. Work on the project has already begun. —DKD

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is set to host a new exhibition, Cleopatra, The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt which will begin in June 2010, and continue until the new year of 2011. The exhibition will feature artefacts from the excavations of Zahi Hawass, and others recovered from the Bay of Alexandria by Frank Goddio. The focus will be on the search for Cleopatra’s tomb, which despite ex t e n s ive e ff o r t s , s t i l l r e m a i n s undiscovered. —CB

The head of a statue found in the Bay of Alexandria. A new exhibition at the Franklin Institute will feature other underwater discoveries from this bay as part of Cleopatra, The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt. Photo © M Browning

David Down’s book on the history of Egypt. Co-authored with John Ashton, the book includes a detailed explanation of David’s revised chronology. Hardcover, with 240 pages and hundreds of colour pictures. Also included is a free 90 minute DVD on Egypt. Available from Archaeological Diggings

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EGYPT ON CD Only $29.95*


See the colour of Egypt come to life in over 900 stunning photographs from the sites visited by the Archaeological Diggings Middle East Tours Ideal for presentations and projects

or Cheque / Money Order to PO Box 196, Morisset NSW 2264 Payable to Diggings Magazine

1800 240 543

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Digging Up the past
Course - Online!
• Encounter the ancients in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Sumer, Petra & Israel • Easy format, no cost, no obligation Course from Adventist Discovery Courses Australia

Try David Down’s popular

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We are having a stock clearance sale on our monogrammed polo shirts. We have already sold out in S, L & XL in Khaki, M, L & XL in Royal Blue, and XL in White. Hurry and get yours NOW! Available in White, Red, Royal Blue, Khaki and Gold. Shirts are a generous fit and come in sizes S, M, L and XL (unisex).

A$35.95 nOW OnlY A$19.95
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Filmed on location in the Middle East AU$12, NZ$14, US$10
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❐ egypt ❐ Ancient empires ❐ Secrets in the Sand ❐ Archaeology Unearthed ❐ The gladiators ❐ Tales from Byzantium ❐ gods and gold: Seven Cities ❐ Solomon’s kingdom ❐ Petra ❐ Archaeology Update

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DIGGINGS JOURNAL ❐ 1 year ❐ 2 years ❐ 3 years Australia: 1 yr A$29.90, 2 yrs A$52.00, 3 yrs A$74.00 New Zealand: 1 yr NZ$38.00, 2 yrs NZ$69.00, 3 yrs NZ$99.00 USA & Canada: 1 yr US$32.00, 2 yrs US$59.00, 3 yrs US$84.00 Other Countries: 1 yr UK£16, Other countries A$51.00 ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIGGINGS ❐ 1 year ❐ 2 years ❐ 3 years Australia: 1 yr: A$41.90, 2 yrs A$76.50, 3 yrs A$111.10 New Zealand: NZ$47.00, 2 yrs NZ$87.00, 3 yrs NZ$127.00 USA & Canada: 1 yr US$37.00, 2 yrs US$69.00, 3 yrs US $99.00 Other Countries: 1 yr UK£21, Other countries A$62.00 BOTH PUBLICATIONS ❐ 1 year ❐ 2 years ❐ 3 years Australia: 1 yr: A$63.80, 2 yrs $122.60, 3 yrs $179.80 New Zealand: NZ$77.00, 2 yrs NZ$147.00, 3 yrs NZ$217.00 USA & Canada: 1 yr US$61.00, 2 yrs US$117.00, 3 yrs US$171.00 Other Countries: 1 yr UK£37, Other countries A$113.00
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DJ Jan 2010

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January 2010


SYDNeY The next club meeting will be held on February 21, 2010 at 3:00pm at the Wesley Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney (near Town Hall Station). Admission is $4.00, concessions $3:00. All are welcome. For all enquiries please phone (02) 9477 3595. BRISBANe The club meets on the second Sunday of each month at 1pm at the Central City Library, 266 George St, Brisbane. The club also publishes a monthly newsletter. For information about the next meeting, please phone Veronica Mason on (07) 3219 3097. gOlD COAST The Pharos Club meets in Southport on the first Saturday of each month at 1pm. For information phone Maureen Hughes (07) 5531 1394. ADelAIDe The Ancient Egypt Study Group meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm in Clarence Gardens, Adelaide. Activities include visiting speakers, illustrated talks, slide & video presentations, an annual quiz night & a Christmas feast. The hieroglyphs study group meets on the third Tuesday of each month. There is a monthly newsletter and library. For more information phone Valerie Walden on (08) 8276 7945.

Newsflashes from ARCHAEOLOGICAL

Archaeological Diggings is Australia’s top magazine of history & archaeology. Below are just a few excerpts from the current issue. gaza was one of the five major cities of the Philistines. Received wisdom claims that the Philistines did not arrive on the scene until the 12th century BC when the ‘Peoples of the Sea’ are thought to have migrated from Cyprus and Greece and swarmed over Anatolia, ending the Hittite power, and surging down into Egypt, to be repulsed by Rameses III whose inscriptions referred to them as the Peleset. Few people will get excited by seeing an image of an ancient relief, but Dina Avshalom-Gorni had good reason to rejoice. The image she had received was of a one-of-a-kind stone relief depicting a menorah which her colleague, Arfan Najar, had just found on a floor of a first century AD synagogue at the site of Magdala. Such a find would be a dream for many archaeologists. For Dina and Arfan this dream became true. There are a few temples from the Late Period of Egyptian history that still have their original roof intact. For most temples, the fierceness of the Egyptian sun, combined with sand storms, has meant little of the original colour remains.

The Dec/Jan 2010 issue of Archaeological Diggings is now available at your local newsagent. The price is just $7.20 in Australia or $8.20 in New Zealand. Why not take out a subscription? See the previous page for our special offer on subscribing for more than one year, or to both publications!

Join us for 21 exciting days touring the ancient wonders of Egypt and Jordan

14 September - 6 October 2010


e are planning a 13 day tour of Egypt with an optional 7 day tour of Jordan. Travel in air-conditioned coaches and stay in first class hotels. Our tours include air and land travel costs, accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, site fees, tips, porterage, and visas associated with the itinerary. Sites include: Egypt - Pharaonic Village, Cairo Museum, Tutankhamun’s treasures and tomb, Pyramids of Saqqara and Giza, The Sphinx, Faiyyum Oasis, Pyramid of Hawarra, ancient remains of Kahun, Temples of Karnak and Luxor, Valley of the Kings and royal tombs, Medinet Habu and Deir el Bahari, Temples of Abu Simbel and Philae, Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids Jordan - The citadel Ummayed Palace, Hercules Temple and Roman Theatre, Madaba, Mt Nebo and Kerak Castle, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba and the Red Sea, The Dead Sea, Jerash and The Forum, Cardo and Hadrian’s Arch
Lic Travel Agent: Harvey World Travel (Toronto) 64 The Boulevarde, Toronto NSW 2283 Lic No: 2TA 4798

To receive a free brochure outlining the itinerary and costs, send us your details, or phone:

1800 240 543
You can also email editor@diggings.com.au or download the 2009 brochure at www.diggings.com.au

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