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This mud sealing found in KV 54 is still attached to a piece of the papyrus tie that was used to secure a container. The impression preserves the throne name of Tutankhamun, Nebkheperure, and the epithets “beloved of Khnum” and “manifold of praises.”

When Tutankhamun Lay in State: Do Floral Collars Hint at Sinister Turn of Events? – Part II

Based on the floral remains recovered from his crypt (KV62) and Pit (KV) 54, do the Dakhamunzu letters, allegedly written by Ankhesenamun, point to Tutankhamun’s delayed interment? If true, this is...
Of all the pharaohs of ancient Egypt who yearned to rest for an eternity in their sepulchers in the Valley of the Kings, only Tutankhamun has had his wish fulfilled. Here, his mortal remains rest within a climate-controlled glass case in the Antechamber.

When Tutankhamun Lay in State: Did Ankhesenamun Willfully Delay Her Husband’s Burial – Part I

The twilight years of the Amarna interlude are shrouded in mystery. We have little concrete evidence of the persons who reigned and their actions. Tossed into this confounding milieu are details of...
Magic Wand of hippopotamus ivory (Middle Kingdom-Second Intermediate) depicting a procession of deities. The curve of this wand follows that of the hippopotamus tusk from which it was made, but its flat form is reminiscent of the curved throwing sticks used to catch fowl. Powerful protective deities, such as Taweret and Bes, are depicted together with protective uraeus serpents and other mythical creatures. Many of the figures brandish knives to dispel evil spirits.

Think Egypt Think Magic: Essence of Spells, Incantations, Amulets and Absolute Faith – Part II

Popular stories from different eras of ancient Egyptian history reveal staggering and incredible tales of magical feats that were performed by lector priests, sorcerers and even kings. How much of...
This dwarf-like, protective deity was very popular in ancient Egypt. Bes is represented with the nude body of a dwarf, grotesque facial features, and the ears and mane of a lion. He wears a tall feather-crown and usually rests his hands on his hips. Known from as early as the Middle Kingdom circa 2000 BC.

Think Egypt Think Magic: The Power of Heka in the Life of King and Commoner – Part I

Ancient Egypt was renowned and respected for her wisdom, art and architecture by all those who came into contact with her. What also caught the attention of these admirers was the practice of magic...
 Discovered by Gaston Maspero in 1885–86, this wooden shabti box was inscribed for Paramnekhu, a ‘Servant in the Place of Truth’ who was a son or grandson of the famous Sennedjem and Iineferti. Families of artisans such as this brought the king’s tombs to life. 19th Dynasty. Thebes, Deir el-Medina, Tomb of Sennedjem (TT1).

Heart of the Pharaoh Part II

The artisans and builders who resided at Set Ma’at (‘The Place of Truth’) were among the most valued workers in all of Egypt. Yet, there came a time when the economy of the country was on the verge...
The Ramesseum witnessed high drama during the workers' protest against the third king to bear the name, Ramesses. Pictured here are headless Osiride statues of Ramesses II.

Striking at the Heart of the Pharaoh: Social Injustice and Deception in the Place of Truth – Part I

A couple of years before he celebrated his jubilee, Ramesses III was beset by internal problems. A great king who had combated vicious enemies from all corners and was deified by his subjects for his...
The richly decorated wooden chair or ‘throne’ of Princess Sitamun that was found in KV46; design by Anand Balaji

Bedazzling Treasures of Yuya and Tjuyu: Stunning Burial on a Par with Royalty – Part II

With their daughter, Tiye, married into the powerful ruling family of Egypt, Yuya and Tjuyu led a charmed life. With strong ties to their hometown Akhmin, Yuya seems to have participated actively in...
Dancing Bes figures on the left outer arm of the Sitamun's chair; and detail of the face mask of one of the coffins of Yuya; design by Anand Balaji

Bedazzling Treasures of Yuya and Tjuyu: K46 and the Golden Road to Nobility – Part I

Queen Tiye stands head and shoulders above all the Great Royal Wives of ancient Egypt. Though it is said that her background was that of a commoner, she rose to prominence mainly due to her...
Faience amulet of the head of Bes from the Late Period, 26th to 30th Dynasties. The deity was worshipped and invoked by ordinary Egyptians as a protector against malevolent forces; design by Anand Balaji ( Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Deriv)

Bes, The Protector Deity: Exuberant Harbinger of Health, Happiness and Vitality – Part II

Few gods achieved the fame that the lion-dwarf Bes managed to garner. He was not only a popular god among the elite in ancient Egypt, but in time was worshipped by people of every strata of society...
Detail from the richly decorated wooden chair or ‘throne’ of Sitamun, daughter and later wife of Amenhotep III, which was found in KV46. The image shows richly gilded images of Bes and two Tawaret figures; design by Anand Balaji

Bes, The Protector Deity: His Role and Significance as Defender of the Good – Part I

Few ancient cultures rivaled the Egyptian pantheon of gods and goddesses. Virtually every known creature was represented and venerated as they were believed to possess magical qualities of different...
We can understand the progression of decoration in an ancient Egyptian tomb by analyzing the images present in KV57, the tomb of King Horemheb - the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty - in the Valley of the Kings.

Scribes in Egypt: Brilliant Practitioners of the Outstanding Profession – Part II

Scribes were counted among the elite in ancient Egypt and led charmed, yet challenging, lives. They influenced virtually every sphere of the public and private affairs of the citizenry to an...
On the Southern Part of the East Wall of Horemheb’s Saqqaran tomb, military scribes, magnificently represented, scrupulously record the details of long files of prisoners escorted by Egyptian soldiers (not in pic). This depiction is often speculated to represent women scribes.

Scribes in Ancient Egypt: Custodians of the Voice and Words of the Divine – Part I

The rich scribal tradition of ancient Egypt was one of the foremost pillars of the development of that culture. At a time when much of the world could not read or write; these resourceful and erudite...
Top Image: Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, oil on canvas, 1810. By Antoine-Jean Gros; design by Anand Balaji (Public Domain); Deriv.

The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt: Hasty End of a Powerful Dream – Part II

Even though Napoleon Bonaparte had tasted a series of successes within weeks of setting foot in Egypt, including an important victory against the dreaded Mamluks, his plan to conquer the entire...
The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt: The Path to Conquest and Glory

The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt: The Path to Conquest and Glory – Part I

At the end of the 18th century, Great Britain and France were vying to dominate one another by colonizing several territories across the globe. The English were already ahead in this race – but only...
Napoleon Bonaparte before the Sphinx, (circa 1868) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Hearst Castle.

Napoleon’s Amazing Foresight: Savants, Soldiers and Science

In 1798 the French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, led an expedition to Egypt vowing to annex the country and halt the military and commercial march of the British. But a little over three years later,...
Top Image: Painted limestone block from Amarna shows Akhenaten worshipping the Aten; while his daughter, Meritaten, shakes a sistrum; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum, New York); Deriv.

Was Meritaten the Ephemeral Ankhkheperure? Death of Nefertiti and Succession Games in the Royal Court – Part II

Given the virtual lack of royal males who were old enough to rule, disarray over who would assume the throne after Akhenaten’s death seems to have plagued the Amarna family. Having accorded...

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