Thursday, January 18, 2007

Egyptology Online Karnak and Avaris

The Near Eastern Studies department of Johns Hopkins University is scheduled to roll out an educational website on January 19, 2007 titled Hopkins in Egypt Today.

Also, Tell el-Dabca (a.k.a. Avaris) has its own homepage. Avaris was the capital of the Hyksos in Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. The Hyksos were Canaanite immigrants and Manethos referred to the them as heku-shoswet, and, Hellenized, it became "Hyksos," which means rulers of a foreign land. This later became a general Egyptian term for Asiatic foreigners. Pharaoh Ahmose I (18th Dynasty) sacked Avaris and chased the Hyksos to southern Canaan to their fortress, Sharuhen near modern day Gaza. Ahmose laid siege to the fortress for three years before he stormed it.

Look below the fold for quotes and further discussion.

Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins
The goal of the site is:

to provide the viewer with the elements of archaeological work, including the progress of excavation. The daily results are crucial to an understanding of how field investigation takes place, since decisions must be made on the basis of ongoing work. The people involved in the work are also an essential feature and contribute profoundly to the final outcomes. The focus of our diary is thus often on the people and their activities.

Returning for her 12th season, Professor Betsy Bryan of Johns Hopkins will oversee archaeological work at the Temple of the Goddess Mut (pronounced "moot") at Karnak (in Luxor, Egypt).
Mut was the wife of the great national god of ancient Egypt, Amun, whose central temple at Karnak is the largest existing religious complex in the world. Mut had her own temple in the southern precinct of Karnak, and the main temple was linked to it by two different paved alleys flanked by rows of ram headed sphinxes. The god Amun's statue was brought to the Mut temple when rituals occurred commemorating the birth of a son to Amun and Mut. That son, Khonsu, a moon god, has his own temple at Karnak as well.

Avaris Online
The site appears to be run by Professor Manfred Bietak, the Professor of Egyptology at the University of Vienna in Austria. He's also director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo (Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Kairo). It could be run by one or more of his grad students, however. I couldn't tell for sure.

While obviously still under development, there is already a great wealth of information for the student interested in the Hyksos period of Egypt (that would be me). Descriptions of the sites and the excavations as well as artifacts and features recovered are included as well as a detailed bibliography. Of course, if you plan to study or write on the Hyksos, a familiarity with German is a must! The site is in both English and German, but most of the references are from German language publications. Here's a short quote from the site:
After the conquest of Avaris by Ahmose c. 1530 BC the major part of the town was abandoned. The citadel, however, was destroyed and enormous storage facilities set up, among them numerous silos. On top of those remains traces of a camp with bonfires a, ovens and postholes of tents were encountered. Bodies probably of soldiers were buried without any offerings in pits. Also bodies of several horses were found in this stratum.

Go. Visit these sites. Get your learn on.
Hopkins in Egypt Today
Tell el-Dabca Homepage

0 Epigraphic Artifacts:

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