Ancient Egypt Magazine 136

Cover Story

A family of god-kings: divine kingship in the early Nineteenth Dynasty Peter J Brand begins a new series focusing on the Ramesside Period by exploring the divinity of the early Ramesside kings.


Tomb offerings: a wish list for eternity Ancient Egyptians believed that the foods and goods listed in their tombs would magically become available to them for eternity. Hilary Wilson reports.
Horemkhauef of Hierakonpolis In the first of an occasional series focusing on remarkable people of their period, Wolfram Grajetzki introduces the ‘First Inspector of the Priests’ at Nekhen during the Second Intermediate Period.
Min: the most popular deity in the Eastern Desert? Sean Rigby traces the worship of this distinctive-looking ancient Egyptian god.
The Temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri Geoffrey Lenox-Smith explores the innovative Middle Kingdom monument that inspired Hatshepsut’s famous Deir el-Bahri temple.
Pharaoh’s chariot wheel: the power behind the throne Kim Masters traces the development of the chariot wheel from its humble origin as a tree log under a stone block.
Exploring tomb distribution in Upper Qurna Katherine Slinger searches for patterns in the locations of private tombs on the slopes above the royal mortuary temples of Luxor.


Exploring the Great Pyramid void The international ScanPyramids team has published a paper revealing more details about one of the voids discovered in the Pyramid of Khufu in 2016/2017 (see ‘News’, AE 93). The Great…
Roman residential town found close to Luxor Temple The complex dates to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
‘Smiling’ sphinx statue discovered near Dendera The face of the sphinx could possibly represent the Roman emperor Claudius
Analysis shines light on ingredients of mummification Some of the ingredients, such as elemi and dammar resins, are thought to have been imported from the tropical forests of south-east Asia
Roman, Coptic, and Byzantine tombs discovered in Minya Other tasks carried out by the team this season included conservation work on the murals of the basilica on site
Unrolling a Book of the Dead scroll Measuring more than 16 metres long, the papyrus was discovered in May 2022 at Saqqara
Burial complex unearthed at Dra Abu el-Naga necropolis Finds included canopic jar stoppers, cartonnage fragments, and several woven baskets.
Golden mummies share their secrets Many of the amulets are made of gold, including a golden tongue inside the mouth


Win a copy of ‘The Story of Tutankhamun’ Competitions Do you recognise where in Egypt this photograph was taken?
Ancient Egypt Magazine 136 Letters Letters Your thoughts on issues raised by the magazine, plus what’s coming up in future issues. Email the Editor: with your comments.
Margaret Murray’s Pioneering Investigation in 1908 People, The Picture Desk A scientific approach to the study of ancient Egyptian mummies.
Terracotta female figurine from el Ma’mariya Objects In this issue, Dr Campbell Price describes an intriguing Predynastic artefact in the Brooklyn Museum.
Ancient Egypt April listings Museum, What's on PHARAOH: KING OF EGYPT An international touring exhibition of more than 120 objects from the British Museum, exploring the ideals, symbolism, and ideology of Egyptian kingship, and the realities of…


Alexandria Antiqua: A topographical Catalogue and Reconstruction Review by Sarah Griffiths The city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great (c.331 BC), was strategically situated on the Mediterranean coast at the junction of three continents, protected by…
Ancient Egyptian Statues: Their Many Lives and Deaths Review by Campbell Price This finely produced book from AUC Press is written with eloquence by statue scholar and curator Simon Connor. Opening with recent debates about the role and…
The Archaeology of Egyptian Non-Royal Burial Customs in New Kingdom Egypt and Its Empire Review by Anna Garnett Traditional Egyptological narratives often placed Egypt at the centre, to the detriment of neighbouring cultures, with the result that our understanding of the complexities of those…
The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Nubia Review by Anna Garnett The past two decades have seen greater recognition that the cultures of Nubia represent the earliest complex societies in inner Africa in their own right: scholars…
The Tomb of Tutankhamun: The Other Side of the Story Review by Hilary Forrest Oh no – not another book about Tutankhamun! This one, however, is rather different. The first sections of the book cover the history of the Valley…
Tomb Families: Private Tomb Distribution in the New Kingdom Theban Necropolis Review by Campbell Price This book is the result of the very recent PhD research of Liverpool University student Katherine Slinger – so recent, in fact, that Dr Slinger graduated…
Ancient Egypt April listings PHARAOH: KING OF EGYPT An international touring exhibition of more than 120 objects from the British Museum, exploring the ideals, symbolism, and ideology of Egyptian kingship, and the realities of…
Sister-Queens in the High Hellenistic Period: Kleopatra Thea and Kleopatra III (Routledge Studies in Ancient History) Review by Sarah Griffiths There are so very few books on female Ptolemaic rulers (with the exception of Cleopatra VII) that I was excited to see a new volume dedicated…

From the editor

As Hilary Wilson explains in her article ‘A Wish List for Eternity’ in this issue, the ancient Egyptians had an extraordinary respect for the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the walls of their tombs, believing that speaking the names of the foods listed would magically cause them to be made available to the tomb-owner in the afterlife. Similarly, they believed that speaking the name of the deceased would ensure that he or she would have life after death.

Because of this, pharaohs inscribed their names at every opportunity on their monuments and statues, often on those made by their predecessors. Ramesses II, whose statue in Luxor Temple is pictured on the cover of this issue, enjoyed a very long reign, but as is explained in the article by Peter J Brand on divine kingship in the early Nineteenth Dynasty, he may well have felt it necessary to legitimise his right to the position, as he was descended from an army general, rather than being of royal blood. He took every opportunity to make his mark, by building everywhere from Abu Simbel in the south to his new capital Pi-Ramesses in the Delta, and his deeply incised cartouche is one of the most commonly read by modern tourists. Like so many of the 19th-century explorers, who felt it perfectly acceptable to record their visits for posterity by writing their names on the monuments they visited, Ramesses II’s workmen carved the king’s name all over the place. It can even be seen on one of the columns of the temple erected 700 years earlier by Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri, described by Geoffrey Lenox-Smith in this issue’s ‘Out and About’ feature. Ramesses is no doubt enjoying a happy sojourn in the ‘Field of Reeds’ thanks to the readers of this magazine!