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Egypt’s Archaeology and Revolution

Chris Naunton, Director of the Egypt Exploration Society

A scene from the mortuary temple of Ramesses III, Medinet Habu, showing the ceremony of the severed hands.

It is worth reminding ourselves just how thrilling archaeology in Egypt has continued to be, despite the widely held belief that there probably isn’t much left to find. My personal highlights in recent years include: evidence at Tell Ed-Daba by Manfred Bietak that corroborates the well-known iconography showing that the Egyptians cut off the hands of captured enemies; the first ‘tomb’ to be discovered, by Otto Schaden, in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamen’s in 1922 (CWA16); the excavation by Krzysztof Cialowicz at Tell Farkha of solid gold late Predynastic anthropomorphic figures of a previously unknown style; and now, Angus Graham’s pioneering work in Luxor showing that the site of the temples of Karnak may have been an island when they were originally built.