Tag: Egypt

The Terrific Mr Mummific

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment

A few months ago, in my Egypt Today column, I described the ways in which museum curators and archaeologists are bringing together a number of scientific techniques in order to delve deeper, and more meaningfully, into the real lives of individuals who were mummified in ancient Egypt (see http://egypttoday.com/blog/2016/10/02/unraveling-the-private-lives-of-mummies/)

While many specialists feel increasingly uncomfortable about the public display of mummies, in the context of the growing worldwide interest in Egyptology, we recognize that the display of mummies will remain, well, a fact of life. (more…)

Ibn Tulun Mosque

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment
The Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo

Ahmad Ibn Tulun (835-884) was the son of a Turkic slave and was raised at the Abbasid court in Samarra. Through both luck and talent, Ibn Tulun rose through the courtly ranks until, at the age of 33 (in 868), he was appointed governor of Egypt. His own military success and the growing weakness of the ‘Abbasid caliphs led Ibn Tulun to form an independent sub-kingdom consisting of Egypt, Palestine and Greater Syria in 880. (more…)

Mosques of Egypt

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment

All images are from The Mosques of Egypt (AUC Press)

Some months ago, I wrote an article for my Egypt Today column that concentrated on what many consider to be one of the most serene and spiritual spaces in the whole of Egypt—the Mosque of Ibn Tulun (see: http://egypttoday.com/blog/2016/02/02/the-lost-city-of-ibn-tulun/).
This month, I have been reading more about Ibn Tulun, and more than eighty other mosques around Egypt, in a new publication: The Mosques of Egypt by Bernard O’Kane. The book is sumptuous—a true publishing tour de force combining the unrivaled subject expertise and photographic talent of the author, and the best in editorial and production values. (more…)

St. Peter’s Obelisk

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment
Re-erecting an obelisk

The ancient Egyptian obelisk at the center of St. Peter’s Square, Rome, was placed there in 1586, though it had been brought to Rome much earlier by the Emperor Caligula. Re-erecting the Aswan red granite obelisk—25.5 metres high—took the efforts of 900 men working 44 winches, 140 horses, and 0 aliens. (more…)

The Man Behind The Cat

Published / by imagesofcenturies / 1 Comment on The Man Behind The Cat
Gayer-Anderson (AUC Press)

One of the most beloved objects on display in the British Museum is a bronze figure representing the goddess Bastet. It stands 14cm high and takes the form of a seated cat with incised details, an inlaid silver sun-disc, a wedjat-eye pectoral ornament, and gold earrings and a nose ring. (more…)

Al-Ghuri Funerary Complex

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment
Al-Ghuri complex dome

In the pursuit of a bargain in the market outside, or on the way down to Bab Zuweila and the Street of the Tentmakers, it is quite possible to pass between the two halves of the Sultan al-Ghuri funerary complex—a stone’s throw away from the Khan al-Khalili—without a second thought. (more…)

The Geology of Egypt

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment
The Geology of Egypt (AUC Press)

There are few sights as spectacular as sunrise in the White Desert of Egypt. The early light catches the wind-carved chalk formations and begins to play tricks on the mind. Indeed, some of the shapes are so reminiscent of figures from ancient Egyptian mythology, such as the sphinx, that it lends credence to the theory that these shapes left an indelible print on those nomadic peoples who passed through the emerging Western Desert on their way to found a brilliant civilization along the banks of the Nile. (more…)

The Church of the Apostles

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment
The Church of The Apostles, St. Anthony's Monastery, Egypt
The Church of The Apostles, St. Anthony’s Monastery, Egypt

The Coptic monastery of Saint Anthony’s lies in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, quite a long way from anywhere, and that, of course, was the point.

Saint Anthony was born into a wealthy family in Lower Egypt circa 251 A.D.. What we know of him comes almost exclusively from a biography written by Athanasius of Alexandria, the Vita Antoni. (more…)

On Egypt’s Traditional Crafts

Published / by imagesofcenturies / Leave a Comment
The Traditional Crafts of Egypt (AUC Press)

At this time of year, much of my attention—as a publisher of books about Egypt—centers on trying to understand what is happening in the re-emerging tourist market.

My weather vanes are not, for the most part, the resorts on the Sinai Peninsula or the Red Sea, but Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan, which attract those who are most interested in pharaonic, Ptolemaic, Coptic and Islamic monuments and history.

The good news is that, this season, things do seem to have been looking up for book sales. I have no doubts now, if I ever really had any, that we will survive the post-2011 slump, and will rise again, alongside the Egyptian tourist trade. This also seems to me to be inevitable given the universal interest in this most fascinating of countries.

So, the book trade will survive, in one form or another, but it is possible that others may not. (more…)