It will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that, after a half day for AEMES at Lincoln (on March 14th, with Strange Tales From the Royal Mummies, and When Queens Were Kings), all my talks were cancelled up to September owing to the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The next possible date is the rescheduled event for The Ancient World Society, Boston, Lincolnshire with talks on Bull-Leaping and Aegean Frescos on September 5th. Probably more secure is my talk Briton, Roman, Saxon – Our Local Tribe to the Rutland Local History Society, at Oakham Museum November 12th 7pm. Next year, 2021, the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society Day School on Royal Ladies of the New Kingdom has been rescheduled to March 27th; and my Day School on the same topic at Southampton has been rescheduled to July 17th.
TOURS – I am looking at an Egyptian tour to include less-visited sites – probably late spring 2021. Details to follow.
Recent publications have focussed on the ongoing debate over the presence or otherwise of the burial of Nefertiti behind the north wall of the burial chamber in KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun. As many will know, I am NOT a ‘believer’ and challenged Nick Reeves’ theory, when first published as ‘The Burial of Nefertiti?’ in 2015, with my own paper, ‘Did Tutankhamun Conceal Nefertiti in KV62?’, 2015. As far as I know, my papers (on Academia.edu) remain the only published critique of Reeves’ theory on purely logical, observational grounds. Other commentators have concentrated on the validity/accuracy of radar scans conducted on the walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in late 2015, by Hirokatsu Watanabe (positive), in 2016 by National Geographic (negative), and in 2018 by Turin University (negative). After the last of these it was generally accepted that there was no chamber or burial behind the tomb walls. However, in late 2019 Nick Reeves issued a new paper entitled, ‘The Decorated North Wall in the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62): The Burial of Nefertiti II, which restated his case in greater detail, and included a reinterpretation of the scan results by George Ballard. I found much to question in the new paper and issued my reservations/doubts in, ‘Is There Anyone There? Were the Scans Wrong? Might Nefertiti Yet Be Found Behind the Wall of Tutankhamun’s Tomb? See this for details of the various publication mentioned here.
My paper will be attached here when the opportunity arises, but, in the interim, please view it on Academia.edu. Note also that each of my papers appeared in an earlier form – my 2015 paper as ‘Iconic Queen Hidden by Golden Pharaoh’, and the recent 2020 paper by ‘Nefertiti – The Comeback : Tutankhamun – The Cover-up’. I also added another (more tongue in cheek) view Tutankhamun and the Burial of Mrs King which showed how Nefertiti might be discovered… on Academia.edu , and (edited) in Kmt: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt 30.4 (Winter 2019-20).
Another case which I found highly questionable was the identification of the so-called Screaming Mummy (Unknown Man E), as Pentewere, the conspirator son who killed his father, King Ramesses III. I issued I’m not Pentewere Screams Unknown Man E (Academia.edu)
All of these papers have been viewed by very large numbers of people across the globe.
On another topic, the Spring 2020 issue of Kmt (31.1) will include a new article: ‘She For Whom The Sun Shines: Nefertari Meryenmut, Favourite of Ramesses II’s Wives.’ This has been a popular talk for some while now, and it is good to see the case laid out in print.
AVAILABLE NOW on Canopus Press
These books are available through this web site, Amazon, and Aboudi’s bookshop opposite the Luxor Temple.
See the BUY BOOKS page for basic details.
An Ancient Egyptian Case Book. The fourteen Case Studies gathered together here examine the evidence behind a range of theories and discoveries. Four cases comprising the Deductions From Discovery section look at the evidence behind four excavations of Amarna Period Material: The Tomb of Akhenaten and The Golden Ring of Nefertiti; The Enigma of KV58; The Mysterious Mr Carter and the Troubling Case of the Lotus Head; KV63, Embalming Caches, and the Clues to Lost Tombs. Tales Told By Enigmatic Mummies gathers together six cases examining in detail the evidence for the identity of Royal Mummies (including questions over assessments of Age at Death, and DNA studies). Ancient True Stories comprises an intensive exploration of the stories behind the documents relating to The Harem Conspiracy Against Ramesses III; Tombrobberies; and the strange circumstances of the Death of Hadrian’s ‘favourite’, Antinous, in the Nile. A final section concerns the true story of The Cursed Play in the Valley of the Queens.
Identifying the Royal Mummies Part 4 of Refugees for Eternity, The Royal Mummies of Thebes; looks at each method used to ascertain the identity of a royal mummy, and then weighs up the evidence for and against each mummy in turn.
THE EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH
When the opportunity allows! I continue to update and expand my original booklet from 2002/3. The expeditions in search of the site, back into the 17th and 18th centuries, provide much that is entertaining. The investigations and excavations on the Hawara site (including the pyramid) are studied in depth. An exploration of the concepts of labyrinths and mazes is also included, as are the ways in which it is possible to become lost – and to escape! The links to the legendary Cretan labyrinth, the bull cult, bull-leaping frescos, and the Aegean world are explored, with especial reference to the site of Ezbet Helmi/Tell el Dab’a in the Egyptian Delta. Naturally the accounts of the visitors to the Labyrinth and Lake Moeris in the Classical era are considered fully. The attempts at reconstructing the original appearance of the building will naturally be developed in the light of a more comprehensive catalogue of finds from the Hawara site. So, a great deal has been done, but much yet remains before the work can be prepared for publication.
THE ROYAL MUMMIES CACHE
A very thorough discussion of all the evidence relating to the discovery and clearance of this remarkable cache-tomb. The study benefits from the work of the recent clearance of the tomb, including accurate plans and diagrams, illustrations, notes on finds etc. with thanks to Professor Erhart Graefe for permission to use these.
This will now form Part Two of the Refugees for Eternity series. See details below of Parts One and Three.
A SECOND ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CASE BOOK.
A number of articles which have been previously published, appear here in full/unedited form – often much expanded with new/additional information; and also some which are entirely new. Including: Why Sinuhe Ran Away; Great Expeditions to God’s Land & Punt; Adoption, Inheritance, and Freedom; Strong Man: Wrong Tomb, The Problem of Belzoni’s Sarcophagi; Emile Brugsch and the Royal Mummies at Bulaq; The Death of Three Kings on the Battlefield: Seqenenre Ta’o, Seneb Kay, and Richard III; The Mummy in the Nile; Tales of the Tombs of the Thutmose Three; The Modern History of KV34; The Lost Tomb of Thutmose II – is it intact? Did Tutankhamun Conceal Nefertiti in KV62?; Sun Ra and Egypt; For Whom the Sun Doth Shine – Nefertari Mery en Mut & Isitnofret; The Wadi Hammamet Signalling System; The Throne of Hatshepsut; and more…
Revised plan for REFUGEES FOR ETERNITY: THE ROYAL MUMMIES OF THEBES:
Part 1 – will now cover the discovery of royal tombs up to the first royal cache (1881). This is thus now largely complete, and can, in theory, appear fairly quickly.
Part 2 – (see above) will however be the initial focus of my attention, since this will deal with The Royal Cache of 1881 through to the second Royal Cache in KV35 which is an area of special interest and expertise, on which I have a considerable volume of extremely detailed unpublished material. The subject matter planned for the original volume 3 will be covered in this.
Part 3 – will now cover the discovery of tombs and mummies from after the second royal cache down to the present day. Again this is substantially complete.
Part 4 – Identifying the Royal Mummies has, of course (as noted above), been available since 2009.
I do not generally get involved in discussions on Tutankhamun, since there is a feeling of ‘overkill’ in all the examination of the discovery of his tomb, the examination of his treasures, theories as to what caused his death, his relationship to Akhenaten etc. etc. However, one topic that I felt had NOT received the attention it deserved was the lack of a mortuary temple for Tutankhamun, and the various (poorly publicised) theories that have sprung up to fill that absence. The talk I have created to discuss this fascinating puzzle is:
Tutankhamun’s Last Secret: Why You All Forgot Me.
Another new talk relates to the ongoing discussion of Nick Reeves’ theory:
Reeves’ Hidden Queen. How Strong Is The Case For Nefertiti’s Burial Existing Behind the wall of Tutankhamun’s Tomb?
For news on my FORTHCOMING TALKS PROGRAMME please refer to that specific page. Hear I shall very briefly summarise the bookings to date (as at March 2020):
The Ancient Egypt and Middle East Society (AEMES).
March 14th 2020, from 1.30pm. Venue: The Robert Hardy room, Bishop Grossteste University, Longdales Road, LINCOLN, LN1 3DY.
Talk 1. Strange Tales from the Royal Mummies.
Talk 2. When Queens Were Pharaohs.
Contact. Secretary, Mrs. Sue Kirk. Tel.: 01754 765341. email@example.com
Manchester Ancient Egypt Society (MAES)
March 21st 2020, 10.30 – 5.30. Venue: The Longfield Suite, Prestwich, Manchester. M25 1AY.
For this I contribute three talks:
Nefertari, Beloved Queen of Ramesses II:
Part One – Finding A Tomb : Tracing A Life.
Part Two – A Wife Favoured Above All Others…
The Ancient Egyptian Harem, and the Conspiracy Against Ramesses III.
Contact. Secretary, Sarah Griffiths: firstname.lastname@example.org
Essex Egyptology Group
April 5th 2020, from 3pm. Venue: The Barn. Spring Lodge Community Centre, Powers Hall End, Witham, Essex CM8 2HE
The Royal Harem in Ancient Egypt:
Contact: Janet Brewer: Tel. 07732 563935. email@example.com
The Ancient World Society (TAWS)
July 11th 2020. Venue: The Boston and County Club, Park Gate, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 6RL.
Bull Leapers of the Aegean and Levant.
Did Tutankhamun Hide Nefertiti in Tomb KV62?
Contact: Sandy Davey: Tel. 01205 722997. firstname.lastname@example.org
Southampton Ancient Egypt Society www.southamptonancientegyptsociety.co.uk
July 18th 2020, from 9.30am. Venue: Oasis Academy, Lord’s Hill, Southampton.
Study Day – Royal Ladies of the New Kingdom (4 sessions)
Contact. Secretary, Nicola Simpson: Tel. 07729 627901. email@example.com