Many houses have been excavated in Amarna over the last century. More than five hundred houses were the subject of studies, one of which was how climate was controlled inside buildings. In this article I will describe some of this research. In present-day Egypt the temperature in summer can easily reach 40 degrees Celsius. At night the thermometer gives much lower values. This big difference in diurnal temperatures is one of the characteristics of the desert climate. Other important aspects are the humidity of the air and the low rainfall. These principles are also applicable to the time of the Pharaohs, as modern scientific research has demonstrated.
By Jac Strijbos
There are many important and disappearing sites of the Early Coptic period in Egypt that should at least be considered as world heritage sites. These include Wadi el Natrun in the desert edges of the eastern Delta, the site of an important early Christian monastic tradition, with four functioning monasteries surviving today (and recently put forward to UNESCO for consideration); Kellia, an important monastic site north east of wadi el-Natrun, which demonstrated the ‘bridge’ between the ascetic (lone) monks and the cenobitic (communal). Just as important is the vast Christian cemetery of el Bagawat near the Kharga oasis, with its painted private tomb-chapels, considered to be the oldest and largest Christian cemetery in the world. A few hour’s drive from Luxor it is now an increasingly busy tourist attraction and should certainly be considered for a place on the UNESCO list.
The Gurob Harem Palace Project (http://www.gurob.org.uk), directed by Dr Ian Shaw from the University of Liverpool is collaborative, led by the University of Liverpool, University of Copenhagen and University College London. The conference took place on July 29th 2012 in Liverpool. Originally named Mer-Wer, today’s name derives from the nearby Medinet el-Gurab. It was investigated by a number of previous excavators including Flinders Petrie, William Loat and Guy Brunton before coming, for many years, under military control. The Gurob Harem Palace Project started work at the site in 2005, and their work is ongoing.
Rising 300m above the desert floor, and covering an area the size of Switzerland, the Gilf Kebir is one of the most arid and inhospitable places in the Sahara. Located in the Egyptian desert, near the Libyan border a 100km north of Sudan, it shares a latitude with Abu Simbel. For over 100,000 years the Gilf Kebir was home to generations of hunters, followed by two thousand years of use by nomadic herders. It was only re-discovered in 1926, and since then it has been the subject of numerous expeditions for exploration, archaeological and geological investigation and, more recently, tourism. Very remote and arid it remained an almost pristine landscape until recent decades, perfect for field research. Even NASA researchers have studied the Gilf Kebir to evaluate conditions that might prevail on Mars.
Edition - March, 2012
By Andrea Byrnes, published on In Brief, Egyptological, 18th March 2012 The Vanished Capital of the Pharaoh (In the series ‘Lost Cities of the Ancients’) BBC4, March 15th 2012. 2000-2100. Narrator, Mark Halliley, Series Producer, Dan Clifton Writer, Mark Everest Featuring Manfred Bietak, Edgar Pusch, Aidan Dodson Introduction Figure 1. Map of the […]
Review by Andrea Byrnes. Published on Egyptological, Magazine Reviews, 29th September 2011. AWT Conference 2011. House and Home at el-Amarna: some thoughts on domestic architecture by Dr Kate Spence Introduction Dr Kate Spence of the University of Cambridge introduced the audience to an area of the city of Amarna which formed an equivalent of […]
Review by Andrea Byrnes and Kate Phizackerley. Published on Egyptological, Magazine Reviews, 29th September 2011. AWT Conference 2011 – Christianity on the Edge: The North Tombs Settlement at Amarna. By Gillian Pyke. Introduction Gillian Pyke was the only speaker at the 2011AWT Conference to discuss aspects of Amarna which date to outside the […]