Editorial: Egyptological Magazine Edition 5

We aim to bring you a new edition of the Magazine every two or three months but Edition 5 is published less than 6 weeks after Edition 4 as Egyptological goes from strength to strength.

Headlining this edition, experienced writer Barbara O’Neill  demonstrates a new talent as a journalist. Her interview of Dr Joyce Tyldesley of the University of Manchester will be of huge interest to many.  Dr Tyldesley talks about the new Manchester Diploma of Egyptology.  So far as we understand, this is a world first being the first Diploma of Egyptology offered entirely through the medium of distance learning, making it accessible to students worldwide.  If that wasn’t enough, Barbara presents another article that is about Egyptian headrests.  I saw the exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum which inspired Barbara to write about headrests and was delighted to receive an article on such a fascinating subject.

Two other regulars writers have further pieces in their areas of interest.  From Brian Alm we have the most recent article in his well-regarded series on Egyptian religion.  Covering the significance of the design of both Old Kingdom pyramids and New Kingdom royal tombs, it is bound to be immensely popular.  In the week which has seen the BBC screening in the UK of the documentary about the life and career of Flinders Petrie, Garry Beuk taps the interest in early 20th Century Egyptologists with the second half of his article  about Arthur Weigall.  It is sad that the careers of many distinguished Egyptologists finish on a down beat.  I have been reading about Muhammed Zakaria Goneim whose career ended tragically.  As Garry reveals, Weigall’s career had a somewhat ignoble end.

There is a growing recognition  that experts in other scientific disciplines can extend our understanding of Ancient Egypt, for instance  through forensic science, DNA testing or hydrology.  It is a delight to welcome new writer William Williams who reviews a book by Dr Geraldine Pinch on Egyptian mythology.   Williams takes precisely this multi-disciplinary approach reviewing Pinch’s book not just in the context of Egyptology but also within the context of its standing as a philosophy text.  I confess to a certain ennui when it comes to Egyptian mythology but Williams has convinced me that I should buy Dr Pinch’s book.

My co-editor Andrea Byrnes has led many tours into the Egyptian deserts and I persuaded her to write about one of her passions – the remote Gilf Kebir.  The resulting article stands fair to become the ‘go to’ for anybody wanting an introduction to this unique location.  My own contribution is more modest with an article about child birth, although it contains a few surprises …

There are also a number of other reviews.  Andrea has summarised the recent Petrie documentary; I have reviewed some books about the Valley of the Kings; there is a review of Blackwell’s ‘Companion to Ancient Egypt’, and another on a travel guide to the Oases of the Western Desert.

Finally, we have some new photo albums: the second half of Heidi Kontkanen’s recent photographs of the Valley of the Kings and a set of rock art photographs taken in the Mestekawi-Foggini cave, as a companion to Andrea’s article on the Gilf Kebir.

New content will continue to appear regularly.  I have scheduled another photo album for publication on 10th April and more are in the pipeline.  Nonetheless, it is a constant challenge to maintain the flow of new material.  We would very much appreciate submissions from new writers, both experienced and novice.  Egyptological is both a wonderful showcase for your writing or photographs, and a very easy, indeed friendly, place for anyone inexperienced in publishing their work.