2014/01/19

Pectoral as Shield for Magical Protection


The pectoral, a large piece of jewelry worn on the chest, is shaped like an aegis, or shield. It represents a shield of magical protection. The aegis is in the shape of a collar consisting of five rows of lotus and papyrus flowers.

In the middle of the first row, a small representation of the winged goddess of justice, Maat, depicts the feather of truth on her head. The aegis is topped by the head of the goddess Hathor as a protective amulet.

Pectoral as Shield for Magical Protection

Hathor is shown in the form of a woman wearing the horned sun disk crown. Under her traditional crown, she wears a long wig covered with the feathers and wings of Nekhbet, the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt. Both sides of Hathor's head are decorated with heads of the falcon god, Horus.

The Alabaster Boat of of King Tutankhamun

The Alabaster Boat of of King Tutankhamun



·        It is considered one of the most beautiful pieces of the collection of King Tutankhamun.

·        It was found in the annex of the tomb.

·        The function of this boat is uncertain: it was either an unguent container or a perfume holder or most probably it was a centerpiece used during celebrations and ceremonies for decoration purposes because Howard CARTER found it, it was covered with garlands of flowers.

The Alabaster Boat of of King Tutankhamun

·        It consists of a boat mounted on a pedestal, both of which are decorated with floral and geometric motifs. It is thought that this basin might have been filled with water to complete the image of the decorative centerpiece.

·        It is mounted upon short cylindrical legs. The basin is decorated with some features of the shrines, like the cavetto cornice and torus moulding.

·        The boat itself is represented with ibex or antelope heads at the prow and stern, both of those heads have real horns one of which is now missing and they are both facing the same direction. The second one is turned about 180 degree to face the same direction.

·        At the prow a naked girl with a curly wig, wearing earrings, armlets and bracelets, is represented seated and holding in her hand a blue lotus.

·        At the stern, there is a dwarf standing naked and he is wearing a wig similar to the one worn by the girl. He is also wearing armlets and bracelets. When this piece was first discovered, he was holding a pole in his hand and most probably he was the helmsman who directed the boat.

 N.B. There were two kinds of dwarfs known in ancient Egypt:

    1-Pygmies were in a small form of normal human and without any deformities. They were a species of African tribes that lived in Africa.
  
 2-Dwarfs with pathological deformities: they had normal sized torso but short arms and legs the head was also big as they suffered from pathological or inherited deformities.

·        In the center of the boat, there is a cabin or kiosk supported at the four corners with columns having double capitals: papyrus set in lotus flowers. These columns support the roof of the kiosk and they are partly gilded. The kiosk is decorated with the same floral and geometric motifs as well as having the cavetto cornice and torus moulding.

·        At the side nearer the prow of the boat there are 3 cartouches bearing the names of the king and the queen.

·        On either sides of the basin, there are lotus and papyrus flowers upon which there are two cobras. The one which is over the papyrus is wearing the red crown while the one over the lotus is wearing the white crown.

·        There are also some signs: the Was – sign of prosperity, dominion and authority; the Djed – sign of stability and the Shen – sign of eternity.

The Kharga Museum

 The Kharga Museum in El Kharga

 The Kharga Museum in El Kharga


The Kharga museum not only has displays from pharaonic, Ptolemaic, Roman and the Christian eras, but also considerable information on prehistory, including artifacts. Most of the displays were derived from the Kharga and Dakhla oasis.  Museum hours are from 8 AM until 4 PM.

The Ramatan Taha Hussein Museum


Decision was issued by the Ministry of Culture transferred Villa Taha Hussein or "Ramattan" also called the dean of Arabic literature and the land adjacent to a museum to commemorate his memory, in the 91/92.At the entrance to the museum is a statue of Taha Hussein, head of bronze from the work of artist Abdel Kader in 1936 livelihood and the museum contains two floors of the villa? The library is divided into two parts: a huge part has books in Arabic and when he died gave this part of the Library and there are even now.
 
The other part of the library is mostly written in foreign languages​​, and these books are still in the library the villa and the chair he was sitting upon the office that he was writing his secretary upon the dining hall and space for his son, sociable, as well as rooms for the management and display some of the belongings of Dr. Taha Hussein from clothes and decorations Arab and foreign Collar of the Nile, which received them and medals given to him on various occasions and the life of Taha Hussein was a bus and saw the property of the Republic and the First World War and the second saw the Egyptian revolution of Taha Hussein's life is a life history of all of Egypt over the past half century.


The Ramatan Taha Hussein Museum

The Ramatan Taha Hussein Museum

Dr. Taha Hussein (1889-1973) is the doyen of Arabic literature and one of the most celebrated figures of Egyptian contemporary cultural and intellectual history.


He emerged from the Egyptian countryside and from the cloisters of Al-Azhar University to enrich the Arabic library with more than fifty books dealing with literature, history, philosophy and education. Almost all his books have been translated into several languages.


Dr. Taha Hussein transcended the reality in which he lived by opening up to the study of humanities without losing his originality. He was awarded more than 36 Egyptian and foreign decorations foremost among which was the Collar of the Nile which is the highest decoration in Egypt conferred on Kings and Heads of State. He also obtained the United Nations Prize for his achievements in the field of human rights.


He occupied senior university posts including a professor of ancient history of Arabic literature, dean of the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University, a general supervisor or of culture at the Ministry of Education, Rector of Alexandria University, and chief Editor of "A1 Katib A1 Araby" (The Arab Scribe) magazine.
In 1950 he was selected as Minister of Education. He introduced a number of reforms most important of which was the establishment of the principle of free education in Egypt.


In recognition of all Dr. Taha Hussein's achievements for Egypt the State bought his residence in the Pyramids district after his death and converted it into a museum carrying the name "Ramatan" which literally means in Arabic the two oases where traveling caravans stop to take rest. As Dr. Taha Hussein was keen on having his son Dr. Moeniss share his residence, he designed the villa with two entrances to preserve each one's privacy and freedom.


That is why he called it "Ramatan" or two places of rest for him and his son.


The museum or "Ramatan" is made up of two stories. The ground floor houses Dr. Taha Hussein's study and a part of his 7,000 book library, a great reception hall where he received men of letters, politicians and artists every Sunday evening. In one of the corners of this hall stand a huge piano, a gramophone and records of rare musical works by Schubert, Verdi, Bach, Mozart, Schumann and others.


The top floor has three bedrooms and a small hall where there is a closet enclosing all the decorations, medals and orders which the Doyen received during his lifetime.


The garden has a bust for Dr. Taha Hussein by the noted Egyption sculptor Farouk Ibrahim. A smaller building designed in the same style of the villa has been converted into a cultural center which will be used for holding seminars and cultural exhibitions to keep Dr. Hussein's legacy alive .




November 14th, 1889
The Birth of Taha Hussein
An Egyptian leader of enlightenment
(1889-1973)


He was born in Upper Egypt and lost his sight at the age of three.

Taha Hussein is the doyen of contemporary Arabic literature and a pioneer of enlightenment.

When he assumed office as Minister of Education in 1950, he managed to put his motto, "Education is like water we drink and the air we breath," into practice.

In 1914, he received the first doctorate granted by an Egyptian University.

He succeeded in making all elementary and secondary education free.

In 1918 he obtained another PhD in Social Philosophy from the Sorbonne, Paris.

In 1919 he received a diploma in post-graduate studies in the Roman Civil Code from the same university.

He was granted honorary doctorates from the universities of Oxford, Madrid, and Rome.

In 1919 he was appointed a professor of history at the Egyptian University. He did not confine himself to political and constitutional history but transferred to his students his knowledge of Greek drama such as Sophocles and Aeschylus.

The greater part of Taha Hussein’s canon is basically influenced by Greek culture. He issued "Selected Pages" from Greek Dramatic poetry (1920), "The Athenian System" in 1921, and "Leaders of Thought" in 1925. Thus, the link between his Arabic culture with that of Greece was a turning point as thinker.

The first book was an incomplete attempt at an expose of Greek poets and their works. The second book was a meticulous translation of one of the most important texts of Greek history of civilization. He deals with the religious impact on thought in the Middle Ages, then moves on to the Modern Ages of multi influences.


Thus, Taha Hussein was not merely influenced by Greek thought in his literary work but also in his books on politics and civilization. The books he issued following his return from Paris greatly influenced modern Arabic classical literature.

He waged many battles for enlightenment, the respect of reason and thought, and women’s emancipation. The first of these was in 1926 when he issued "Pre-Islamic Poetry", which was highly controversial in both politically and literary circles. It aroused wide-scale front page arguments in newspapers between supporters and opposers. In self defense he argued that he adopted a scientific method of approach in his treatise on Pre-Islamic poetry. That method, he said, was adopted by western philosopher scientists and men of letters who followed the French philosopher Descartes in his reasoning in search of the truth of beginning. It renovated science and philosophy and changed the outlook of men of letters and artists in the West.


Pectoral ornament in the form of a winged scarab

Pectoral ornament in the form of a winged scarab


Pectoral ornament in the form of a winged scarab

Faience pectoral in the form of a winged scarab. The holes on the outer edge of the wings indicate that this was mean to be strung onto a bead net. 

Such nets were made to cover the mummified body in the Late Period. The winged scarab was a powerful image of solar rebirth for the deceased.

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