Friday, February 17, 2006

"Arch"itecture and Archaeology

Ya gotta love it! The juxtaposition of the "very old" (Luxor Temple) and the "new and tacky" (can you see the Golden Arches?) is incredibly surreal, but it's also what life in Luxor is all about--the new and the old jockeying for position and co-existing a bit uncomfortably at times...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Of Birds and Love and Other Things...

How do the birds know? Today is Valentine's Day and they're busy building nests in preparation for a new generation. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia: "The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer's Parliament of Foules we read:
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day 
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate."
In any's been a busy few days, which is my excuse for no postings! First, the announcement of the tomb discovered in the Valley of the Kings (KV 63) by our friends from University of Memphis; next, the final game of the African Cup of Nations on Friday night where the "Pharaohs" beat the team from Côte d'Ivoire in overtime; third, a big party here for the KV 63 team on Saturday night (I've included a picture of some of the team - Betty, Heather, Roxie, Alistair and Sharon - and one of the cake - "Mabruk" means "Congratulations");
and finally, a Sunday morning expedition to the West Bank to visit some of the tombs of the nobles (Sennefer, Rekhmire, and Ramose). You can find out more about Sennefer's tomb, called "The Tomb of the Vineyards" because of its marvelous painted ceiling, by clicking on the title of this post.
Whew! Just writing about all this excitement wears me out...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Breaking News from the Valley...

...and this is the place! Just outside of KV10, the tomb of Amenmesse. And I was there on the day of the initial discovery!! "Ancient Egypt" is still alive and kicking...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Mystery Librarian

Fridays are usually pretty busy here in the CH Library. Since it's the equivalent of our "Sunday" here in Egypt, the other missions don't work. To accommodate their research needs we are open all day, closing only for lunch, which users are invited to partake of with us in the residence. So sometimes I wish I could disguise myself on Fridays as self-preservation!

This is Sue O.'s (CH artist) take on what my disguise and my website might consist of. She gave me this as a birthday card! Don't try to access the URL--it doesn't exist (at least not yet).

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Usual Suspects

We celebrated my birthday a day early this year--on January 20. This picture was taken in the courtyard of the CH residence and includes CH denizens as well as visitors. Front row (l. to r.): Krisztian (CH artist) and Marga (Spanish – Egyptian Mission at Dra Abu el-Naga Tombs of Djehuty and Hery (TT 11 – 12)). Back row (l. to r.): Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters of "Amelia Peabody" fame--you can visit her website by clicking the title of this post); Dany (standing; CH stonecutter); MOI; Yarko (CH photographer) and Frankie (CH epigrapher). Y'all missed a great party!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Sunday in the Valley...

...of the Kings, that is. One of the joys of living where we do is the ease with which we can hop a ferry and then a taxi to sites on the West Bank, all in a morning or an afternoon. Yesterday it was an afternoon jaunt to the Valley of the Kings. My first picture shows the path to and the cliffs surrounding the tomb of Thutmose III. The second one is a dramatic view back down the steps one must climb to reach the entrance. It was well worth the effort, however! You can learn more about this tomb by clicking on the title of this post.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Kitten Kaboodle

Please meet the three newest members of the Chicago "Cat" House family: Sophie, Pele, and Leroy. We've been raising them since they were tiny babies and they seem to be thriving. This makes 13 cats...I think it's a lucky number!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Into the Sunset...

It was Friday in Luxor--time for a "Sunset Party"! So across the Nile we went to the West Bank to celebrate on the rooftop of a CH friend who is giving up his flat this weekend. Malesh! The presence of some of our Spanish, Italian, Canadian, American, Egyptian and Slovenian colleagues guaranteed good conversation by the cartload. Of course, a little wine, a little beer, a little gin and winding down from a busy week loosened tongues. The view was spectacular! And the evening was graced with echoing shouts from all over Luxor when the Egyptian team scored another goal (they beat Congo to advance to the quarter finals!!).